Sunday, August 28, 2011

Making Letters Fatter in Silhouette Studio

Hi everyone...another day, another video. This one is for someone on the Yahoo group that wanted more information about making letters fatter in Silhouette Studio. As always, this is the way I do it. It doesn't mean there aren't better or easier ways to do it. I'm certainly no expert but I do dink around a lot and figure out how to do what I want to do. It's fun to change the look of your letters and sometimes you need something bolder so here's one way to do that.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tiling and Saving to a PDF file from Silhouette Studio

Yes, time for another video. There is no actual "tiling" command in Silhouette Studio but you can easily take an image and split it into parts, enlarge the parts, and then print and cut the pieces to put together a large image. Also I had posted on the Silhouette Yahoo Group that I was saving my files in Silhouette Studio as a PDF. That way I can open them in Illustrator (and maybe in Inkscape although I didn't try it) and then export/save them as any format I want that is supported by Illustrator. That way I can cut my .studio images with another cutter.

Not a fabulous video...but a quick one to show how to do something that several people were interested in doing.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

More on Tracing Graphics Directly in Silhouette Studio

One of the Silhouette Yahoo group members asked me for a video on how to make a 3D graphic usable. One look at the graphic told me it would be pretty much impossible to trace directly in Silhouette Studio because it had primarily light areas on the edges. You can, of course, take a graphic into Photoshop and make a blackout of it and other things but I realize most people do not have the program and/or don't know how to do this.

The only real option is to learn to trace directly in Silhouette Studio. It really is not hard to do. It does take time though and you have to have some patience...but it opens up the opportunity to use a lot of files available on the internet for free and for a very reasonable cost. I have personally used a lot I have purchased from CraftsUPrint which has fabulous files for the 3D layered look on cards. To the right is a card I did a few days ago from a graphic purchased from them. It is sort of hard to see the layers but the cross and message are raised on popdots and then the butterflies and the bow on the message are raised another layer.

Anyway the graphics are opened in Silhouette Studio and the first thing you need to do is to cut the multiple images apart using the knife tool. You can also trim off the excess "white" space at this time. Then you just have to start tracing around an object. I usually go in VERY close to do this and just start clicking and placing nodes. I am not really all that careful when I do it. One reason I'm not that careful is that I know I can't do a great job as my hand shakes sometimes and I know I'm going to have to go clear around it and adjust the nodes when I I might as well just click around quickly and then spend the time adjusting the nodes up to the edges of the graphic.

This is a case of "how badly do I want to use this graphic." If you want to use it then you have to spend the time to make it work. The detail the Silhouette is able to cut makes it oh so least to me.

Below is the video showing how to get started on a project. Be sure to watch it on YouTube if you want to see it on a larger screen.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

If You Have Make-the-Cut...Wow!

Watching a video on the newest features in the updated Make-the-Cut program something came up that, at first, I didn't see a need for. You can now export files as a raster image. Andy (the fabulous program developer) said it was not for print and cut but if you wanted to print the file. I was thinking...why would you want to do that. Then it occurred to me why I would want to export it as a raster file. Andy has programmed the ability to change the resolution and add a drop shadow, not just a drop shadow around the whole outside, but to add a drop shadow to the individual pieces of an SVG file and then export it as a PNG file. I own a zillion SVG files from Lettering Delights and My Scrap Chick (and other places) and I don't think of using them much since I am totally obsessed with the Silhouette and it's print and cut ability.

What came to me is that if I could export the files with drop shadows...I could then import them into Silhouette Studio and trace them quickly and have a single (adorable) file to print and cut rather than using the SVG for cutting all the elements separately out of different colors. I quickly switched to my PC (since MTC does not work on my Mac) and checked it out. It worked absolutely fabulously. I couldn't stand it. I called my friend Sharry and asked if she had time to learn to do it and we worked over the phone and I walked her through the process. Now I want everyone to try it out if you happen to be lucky enough to own Make-the-Cut and have a Silhouette. This is the best discovery I've made and I am SO grateful to Andy for this addition to an already great program.

The video is below. Go to YouTube to watch it in a larger format.