How to convert a JPG picture into a vector drawing for experimentation

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I would like freeware to convert a JPG photo into whatever format I need so that I can "arrange" pumps and pipes around in the drawing to determine an efficient setup (few elbows, no pipes running over pumps, etc.).
Have you ever done that process of arranging blocks in a photo?
Here's how I tried it (but maybe there is a better way)?
I started with this crude photo of the current pump setup:

Here's a quick 1-step conversion to a pencil drawing with The GIMP: Filters->Edge Detect->Difference of Gaussians
Here's a quick conversion of the photo to vector format in Inkscape: Edit->Select All Path->Trace Bitmap->(o)Edge detection->Update->OK Inkscape saves a vector diagram, but I can't upload that SVG file; so I'll instead save as a PNG and upload that (but assume all lines are now vectors in the Inkscape SVG or DXF file):

This takes seconds to do; so my question starts from here:
Given this conversion of the photo to either a pencil drawing or to a vector diagram - what freeware would you use to experimentally arrange pumps and plumbing to get an optimal fit?
Constraints: - As few elbows as possible - No pipes running over objects - Easy access to pump baskets & motors - etc.
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On Sat, 04 May 2013 05:33:42 +0000, Danny D wrote:

This one is bigger:

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l

I don't believe software exists that can do that. Maybe the reverse. This is one job for the human brain.
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On Fri, 03 May 2013 23:22:03 -0700, harry wrote:

Thanks.
Here's an example of the Hearst Castle from a Google screenshot:
I took a landscaping class at the local recreation department, where we did the planning reviews with large paper blueprints.
In that case, it was all drawn by hand after taking tedious measurements, transferring to block paper, & then to blueprints.
But, the vector blueprint above only took a split second to create from a screenshot of Google maps - saving umpteen hours of drawing were I to draw on graph paper to scale ... so I was just wondering what is out there currently that other people use for blueprints.
No big deal ... just curious (mostly for landscaping purposes).
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picture into a vector drawing for experimentation:

Perhaps you can help me. I am looking for some software, free or inexpensive, to enable me to visualize landscape design around my home. However I would like the software to be able to show me what everything will look like after it dies a few months after I plant it. That way I can visualize what I'll end up with.
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On Sat, 04 May 2013 09:00:07 -0500, CRNG wrote:

:)
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wrote:

Aah but you considerably limited your options when you asked for Freeware. There are commercially available tools at reasonable prices, some of which can do quite a good job. Where time is money, Freeware doesn't seem to cut it.
--

Regards,

Eric Stevens
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On Sun, 05 May 2013 10:03:48 +1200, Eric Stevens wrote:

For home use, freeware is nice because, in about two minutes, you can change this, to this (and then start from that):

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On 5/4/2013 6:03 PM, Eric Stevens wrote:

Agree, what the OP wants is done everyday but not with free software. Not sure why "free" is cited so often as the main requirement for software when someones intellectual abilities that were used to create software allow you to save time and money.
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wrote:

Obviously because the function isn't worth the money asked by "professional" software companies. There is an amazing amount of freeware out there that is quite good. A perfect example is "Sketchup". It's hard to beat for a 3-D modeling program for woodworkers or homeowners and there are "professional" packages available for those who need more function.
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On Sun, 05 May 2013 17:59:17 -0400, George wrote:

Free means, among other things, that someone wrote the software to be distributed freely.
They distribute this way on purpose. They *want* you to use their freeware.
Just like you help me, for free, and just like I write up details to help others, for free. Just like I post pictures, for free. And, I write up the summary, for free.
There's nothing wrong with that.
In fact, there's almost nothing you need for casual home use that isn't already available, for free. Just ask the folks on alt.comp.freeware for details.
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On 5/5/2013 7:14 PM, Danny D wrote:

You missed my point. I understand why software (or whatever) might be free but I questioned why it is often the main criteria.
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On Mon, 06 May 2013 07:39:52 -0400, George wrote:

Oh, OK.
Well, I think KRW aptly answered that aspect of the question then.
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wrote: >>

The OP is asking for quite a lot. He's basically asking for 3D-modeling software that is capable of recognizing exactly what the photograph shows, and drafting it so as to create an editable 3D scene. Wouldn't that be nice if it existed!
Somebody mentioned Google SketchUp. That's about as close as the OP will come to free 3D software. It's actually pretty good but, like all 3D programs, requires that you enter the elements in by hand (or by brain, mouse, and keyboard). However, once in, it's easy enough to push and pull stuff around and get what you need. I've tried SketchUp, but since I already use 3DSMax for work, it's not something I want to invest the time to learn. A designer at one of our suppliers uses SketchUp as her 3D program; she's learned it well enough to make some pretty nice 3D renderings.
--
Tegger

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On Sat, 04 May 2013 22:24:54 +0000, Tegger wrote:

On Sat, 04 May 2013 08:08:37 -0700, Oren wrote:

Looks like Trimble SketchUp is the suggested raster-to-2D vector program for small one-time home projects such as that which I contemplate.
Googling for a Linux version, I find the closest 1:1 replacement appears to be the open-source Blender
Features: http://www.blender.org/features-gallery
Download: http://www.blender.org/download/get-blender
I'll test this sequence out: a. Snap a photograph (or screenshot from Google Maps Satellite View) b. Convert to 2D vector diagram (with Inkscape or equivalent) c. Read into 2D/3D CAD software (need to test with Blender)
I'll see what I can do to write up a tutorial for small homeowner projects; and report back when/if successful.
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On Fri, 3 May 2013 23:22:03 -0700 (PDT), harry

Some people cant take a shit without a computer these days. A pencil (with eraser) and some paper are all that is needed. Use the eraser when a change is needed! I've done quite a lot of plumbing. I just measure the overall length, plan where I need a fitting, and buy what I wrote. I add 10% to the length of pipes, and buy at least one extra elbow, tee, 45, etc.
Using copper pipe, or CPVC, I always dry fit the thing together first until it fit and looked right, (a little duct tape helps dry fit). When all looks good, I solder or glue. Whatever fittings are left can be returned to the store.
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On Sunday, May 5, 2013 5:25:28 AM UTC-6, snipped-for-privacy@internet.com wrote:

Holy Shit...A really honest down-to-earth solution that makes sense, is practical and workable. Too bad there weren't more posters like this guy. Computer program indeed!!...who needs a computer program to "envision" a problem that doesn't even really exist.
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On 5/5/2013 12:14 PM, Roy wrote:

The "down to earth" solution might be nifty for a small one of situation but if you were doing it more than that it is amazing how much time and money you can save using available computerized methods. And once you have a library of shapes it doesn't even make sense to do it in a one of situation.
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I did much the same with my garage but that was 20 years ago. I'd never attempt such a thing without a 3-D modeling program, now. I don't even write anything down, anymore. I could never read what I wrote anyway. ;-)
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I don't know if any of them are free, but IIRC there are several pipe planner software systems that do this kind of thing, including automating some of the routing for you. It might be easier to start from that end, and then find out which of them will allow the import of some kind of image and work backwards from there.
No, can't give you any details, I just saw some of them being demonstrated many years ago.
--
Chris Malcolm






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