From PNG to Cutting File Tutorial
NOTE: Tut is for the Silhouette Cameo machine.
The following tut was taken from an earlier post but I thought it might be good to repost it and put it under Tuts for those interested.
***Also let me say that for those of you who have purchased any of my template files or project kits in the past . . . this tut will also work for those files and even as a print and cut project. One NOTE . . . before you print and cut – you will need to remove or cover with white, any instruction or other text not on the actual design. If you don’t the machine will add cut lines to it and try to cut it out . . . BIG MESS!!! (grin).
Let’s talk a bit about cutting files. First, let me say that I’m a bit new to this “cutting file” option and while I would love to furnish you with my Silhouette .studio cut file, Silhouette forbids the sale of their native .studio files so this isn’t an option. However . . . you CAN easily bring a PNG file into your cutting machine – most all machines allow for this – and turn it into a cutting file and save it into your own personal files library. I’ve not tried this with anything but the Silhouette Cameo at this point so the following is just for this machine. I will try and find time to make a little video as soon as I can and update this post with it. For now, following the directions below should get you a good cutting file.
NOTE: This tut begins with a PNG file. If you want to work with a JPG sheet/file … you will first need to cut out all the white areas and re-save the file as a PNG file. This is easily done by opening the jpg file in a graphics program, selecting the white areas with the magic wand tool and cutting it out. When all white background areas are removed, save as a png file. You can also simply select all objects and copy them from the jpg file then paste them into a new clear background file and save as a png file.
- Open your Silhouette Design Software program
- Click on “File” then “Open” in the top menu and search for the png file on your hard drive, that you want to use then click to open the file inside the Silhouette software – the file will be placed on your cutting mat.
- So now that you have the image in Silhouette you need to do a couple of things to it to prepare it for print and cut. First you need to look for any holes or areas that might need to be cut out that are “inside of a shape”, such as the circle/hanger hole in the right side back image. Using the “elipse” tool from the tools pallette on the left, draw a circle the same size as the hanger hole.
- Click on the circle you just drew and then click on the “cut style window” menu to open the cut style settings. Click on the “cut edge” option in the tool settings window. This turns your circle into a cutting line.
- Close the Cut Style window. Now open the “Trace” tools window and click on “select trace area”. Use the cursor to draw a rectangle around all images on the mat. Slide the “Threshold” to 100% and uncheck the “High Pass Filter” and lastly click on the “Trace Outer Edge” in the Apply Trace Method. This will create red cut lines around all the images on the mat as seen below.
- Now use the cursor to select everything on the mat by just dragging your tool from the bottom right corner of mat to the top left corner of the mat. With everything still selected, right click on the image and from the pop up menu click on “Group”. This will group the images and all cut lines into one layer/image.
- The next step is to open the “Page” setting window and set the page size to “Letter 8.5×11″ size. You will leave the mat set at 12×12.
- Now you need to open the “Registration Marks” settings window and add the registration marks as shown below. Be sure your registration marks settings are the same as mine (see image below). You will then need to resize the project to awidth of 8.110 and height of 10.495. You can do this by clicking on the image to get the little boxes in the top left or bottom right corners, clicking and holding on a box and dragging it upward toward the upper left corner. Just look at the dimensions while you drag the box and stop when one, width or height, reaches the correct size.
- One important DETAIL is that with any cut file, if an image runs into any of the grid that is showing or passes a registration mark point, the file will not cut properly!!!! Also NOTE: with each additional file you need to complete the project, you will repeat these same instructions and resize them all to the same dimensions. If you do not resize all files to the same size you will not be able to construct it correctly.
- At this point the file is ready to be printed on your home printer!!! Simply use the “Send To Printer” option from the menu at top and choose your printer settings just like you would for your own printer.
- Once your project sheet has been printed, load it onto the Silhouette mat and load the mat into the machine. Now use the “Send To Silhouette” option from the top menu.
- The print image window will pop open. Click on “skip printing” to go to the next screen. Click on continue and on the next screen choose “detect automatically” for detecting the registration marks. Let the machine do it’s thing and when it stops, on the next menu, click on “CUT”. The machine will then begin to cut out your project.
- Now you can save your project sheet to your own hard drive by choosing “File” / “Save As” / and saving it as a Silhouette Studio file. From now on you can simply use File / Open in the Silhouette menu, locate the file and it will open with all cut lines and settings saved for you! Alternately you can import the file into your Library and save it there.
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