Digitizing is the process of converting artwork (like a company logo or emblem) into a stitch file that run on your embroidery machine. Simply put, digitizing is using software to create a series of commands which tell your embroidery machine how to stitch out a design. Before any design can be embroidered, it must be digitized.
If you have a jpg, png, pdf image it must first be converted from a bitmap image to a vector image before embroidery software can add stitches to the design. Bitmap images are made of pixels and vector images are made of lines.The process of changing the image from a .jpg to .svg for example would require the image to be traced on the screen with the mouse (almost as if you were tracing an image on paper). Then when every line has been traced you can add color back into the image. This does also give images almost a cartoon effect. That is the process of turning a pixel image to a vector image.
The first process is have the image in a vector format. That is .svg, eps, ai, cdr. What that means is that the image needs to be made up lines, not pixels. Did you ever look at an image in your software and hit zoom- you will see dots that make up the image. This is called pixels.
These images are then able to have stitches added them.
There are 3 kinds of Embroidery Stitches:
Running Stitch- This is an embroidery stitch that will look like an outline. It looks just like it sounds. It is a stitch that will round around the design. (This stitch does not fill in objects just outlines them). A running stitch can be done single stitch, double stitch or bean stitch( the outline is then stitched out three times for every stitch).
Fill Stitch- This is an embroidery stitch that will fill in the area. The embroidery stitches can have a texture to it or plain. A fill stitch can be every thick or almost look like a sketch. The different effects are done with what is known as density and pull compensation. But that is an article of itself.
Satin Stitch- This is an embroidery stitch that looks just like it sounds. Due to the fact that the stitches are long it will give the effect of a satin appearance.
Whereas the fill stitch will have short stitches it will have the. effect of a matte finish.
The design will be saved to a zip drive for the format of the embroidery machine that you will sew it out on. Every machine will read a different format. Most commercial machines use the format .dst.