Thursday, February 21, 2008

Adding a Splash of Color

Have you ever needed to add a splash of color to your otherwise black and white drawing?

Let's say that you have a plan drawing that plots using a CTB pen table where all the layer colors are mapped to black pens, and you need to plot a few lines or hatches in color. Ordinarily I'd advise you to convert the drawing from CTB (color table) to STB (style table), then set all the layers to plot with a black style except for the few that you want in color; those we would plot with the Normal style so that they plot with the layer color. However, whoever created this sheet didn't assign lineweights to their layers so many of the layer lineweights are still Default (i.e. not set) and hence the black line work wouldn't plot correctly.

Here's the tip:

The only colors that map to pens in a CTB drawing are the index colors 1-255. True colors, or Pantone colors, plot as displayed and do not map to CTB pens. So, use true colors for the layers or entities you wish to plot in color.

When you first click over to the True Color tab, you see all the true color information of the current standard index color. Click to select this same color as true color, then click OK.

Notice how the resultant true colors are displayed in the layer dialog. (I'll admit that I cobbled this together from some older existing drawing so ignore the poor layer names.)

Here's a portion of a plot using the TriSrv_F.ctb (Benham's old tried and true A/E/C CADD Standards pen table) and these few true color layers:
We still have the black line work that we normally expect in our plots, but we also have the added benefit of color for a presentation plot or a PDF plot.

12 Comments:

At 12:12 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

good idea - i was running out of 'reds' for diff. lineweights.
kudos !!

 
At 12:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a great tip, so handy.

But is there a way to screen the true colour? Rather than having it opaque.

 
At 3:46 AM , Blogger Ale- said...

well, is there to automate a color conversion? I have a drawing made by another person which used lots of different colors and *only* truecolors. Now that I have to plot it using a ctb table I'd like to convert each truecolor to its nearest indexed color; unfortunately it's a hard work, as even with a selection by color I'd have to spend a whole day selecting each different group of objects and reassigning them a color from the indexed palette.
any way to do it automatically?

 
At 10:14 PM , Anonymous Ink Pens said...

Well I can honestly say that with todays technology my arm lost some muscle from not painting for a while. Now with messing around on photoshop, pictures come out with an effect of my choice. Anyways, I want to get back into painting but my favor is in for photoshop for the time being :)

-Kelly

 
At 11:32 PM , Blogger Gianni Napolitano said...

Hi!,
Maybe this sounds crazy, but I'm a little tired of all those
different unrelated default colors on screen, and I would like to use some different ones.
I decided to use true colors so I can easily make them match.

Is it possible to plot true colors in Black?,
how can I do that?,

thank you!

 
At 6:40 PM , Blogger Ward Romberger said...

Yes, it's possible. You cannot map true type colors to black pens using CTB pen table, but you can using STB pen tables.

Using STB, color is (or can be) irrelevant to plotting style. The way a layer plots is a function of the Layer Properties. In the layer dialog you set the weight and plot style. The default plot style is Normal and uses the layer color, but you can define a black pen and set that as your layer plot style instead.

To convert existing CTB drawings to STB use the AutoCAD CONVERTPSTYLES command.

 
At 10:14 PM , Blogger Gianni Napolitano said...

Hey Ward Romberger!,
thank you very much for answering.

When I use the CONVERTPSTYLES command it sais "You should convert your color dependent plot style table (.CTB files) to named plot style tables (.STB file) whit CONVERTCTB before you convert your drawing"

So, I did it.

I assigned in the "layer properties manager" all the true colors I will use.

After that I've run the command "CONVERTCTB" opened a CTB file and saved (create) it in a SBT file.

Then I run the command CONVERTPSTYLES and everything seems to be working.

After making that, I could make it assigning an SBT plotter style table editor.

I also could make the true colors print in Black.

So I have to thank you for that.

BUT, I figured out another problem,
it seems that it's not possible to plot some of the layers in its true colors and others (true colors) in black at the same time.
It plots all layers using its own colors or every layers in black.

So the new question is, using the "Plot style table editor" on SBT mode is it possible to plot some true colors in its own color and the rest of true colors on black?

I really appreciate your patience and help.

 
At 11:17 PM , Blogger Gianni Napolitano said...

Dear Ward,
finally I did it!
I'm so so happy.

Thank you very much!

 
At 1:42 AM , Blogger aa said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7:00 AM , Blogger cc22 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 3:35 AM , Anonymous Promotional Pens said...

Great advice! It'll give some life to my work.

 
At 1:49 PM , Anonymous SaraK said...

Thank you. This saved me a ton of time! Did not know how I was going to be able to print in both B&W and color. This is the first answer that came up when I googled my question. I don't get service like that anywhere!!!!

 

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