Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Silhouette Tutorial: Cutting Digital Elements

This is a photo-free tutorial, so if you get confused or need any actual photos just let me know.  Sooner than later, I would like to write up a tutorial with screen shots, so just keep any eye out for that.

Open up your photo-editing software - I use PSE 7.  Open the png file you want to cut out.  Save it as a jpg file (I usually just save mine to my desktop so it's easy to find later on in the process).  Then while still on the screen, add a new layer and fill with your paint bucket the color black.  Control-G to group with the previous layer .  Save the black version as a jpg file.

Open Robo Master software.  Create a new document.  Then click Insert>File.  Find the jpg file (the non-black version) you just saved.  Then click anywhere on the work area to place the element.  NOTE: some jpg files open just fine in this program.  I have come across a few that I've saved that don't want to open for some reason.  Simply open the file in Microsoft Paint (or some other editing software) and save it as a jpg again.  I've seen some places online say they don't know why it does this.  Oh well - at least there is a fix!   Then resize the element to your desired size (lower right hand corner in Robo Master software tells you the measurements).

Next, right-click on the element and click 'get outline.'  In that new screen, click on File>Load Image.  Open the black jpg you saved earlier.  Sometimes I have to play around with the 'threshold' setting in order to get a good outline of the element.  Then click 'convert to outline' and 'paste to exit.'  Now sometimes I can do all of that and the element just shows up automatically on the screen, the past few times I've had to place the element on the page myself and line it all up.  Either way will work.  Once done with that, save it as a .gsd file.

Open your Silhouette Studio Software.  Create new document: File>New.  You can adjust the size of your document by clicking on the red square icon (top far right side of the window).  Then File>Open.  Find .gsd file you just saved.  Place it on your work area and voila!  You may have to monkey around with the registration marks (top far right side of the window).  I always try to make mine within the printable area b/c otherwise the Silhouette won't detect them and will cut everywhere but where you want to cut it (unless you're really lucky).

Before you send to your printer and Silhouette, make sure you change the Silhouette cut settings (top far right side of the window) so it's right for the type of paper you are using, etc.  Send to your printer, then place on the carrier sheet, and then send to your Silhouette.


Mandy said...

Thank you! I got a Silhouette for Christmas and had absolutely no idea how I was going to cut out my digital elements.

Jenn (jk703) said...

Jackie... Mine (Mac) is totally different... and I think I am making it a lot harder, but I got it to work at least! Thanks for putting up a tut! I'm suer a lot of people will use this as a reference! I'm going to do one for Mac users, lol... then send them your way for PC! :)

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