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Everything posted by Wildgoose

  1. Wildgoose

    My initial assesment and continuing help thread

    Been almost a month and I have had a few chances to play with the program a little more. I do my graphic work in AI but I decided to play around a little with the design capability and was pleasantly surprised at how well it did. I was actually surprised at the ease of use on the text edit menu and the ability to stretch and modify live text very much like AI. I can honestly say that if I didn't already have AI I would be comfortable working with the program and it will be a good backup if my other computer goes down. I think I like SCALP better than Inkscape. Its a little more user friendly or maybe a little more like AI not sure why but I definitely prefer it. A lot of my work is traced images from existing logos where they don't have the original vector. The tracing operation is a little different but once you're used to it it works fine. I think its going to be a great program for USCutter to sell with cutters. There are still a lot of things that need attention and I know they are working on them and making regular progress. I had initially found that SCALP seemed to progress through the cuts almost in a sensible order like step by step cutting but as I have had opportunity to use it a bit more I think that was just a fluke with that particular design so hopefully they will continue to improve some of the cutting utilities including step-by-step and tiling.
  2. Wildgoose

    welding on adobe

    I would recomend using "minus front" which will accomplish what you want without leaving anything in the hole you are trying to create. Some cut programs like SignCut will recognize the knock out letters as objects of their own and male a second pass over that area when you are cutting. I use merge sparingly due to this little issue and usually go into the layers list and find the open objects and delete them. not sure what cut software you use so maybe its not an issue with your program.
  3. Wildgoose

    Letters like "O" are showing a fill color in SCP

    Merge is pretty handy for certain applications like what you are doing here. I use "Unite" whenever I can and it doesn't cause the same problem I don't believe that any of the exclude options do either but I can't remember right off. Seems like "Merge" is the main culprit but there are some actions that only merge can complete. Once you are aware of the problem its not too big of a deal. I have found a lot of pre-built vectors come in with a lot of empty objects also I assume they are a product of the designers save options or program. It's nice to be able to pick them apart. You may also note that you can order your cuts by stacking them in the order you want and SignCut will follow the stack, usually from bottom to top which can be nice on jobs with a lot of small elements so you don't have to have your cutter jumping all over the vinyl. (Assuming you didn't already draw them in order or if they got re-ordered during the build process)
  4. Wildgoose

    Letters like "O" are showing a fill color in SCP

    When you use "merge" Illustrator creates a separate object in the open holes. Usually they are transparent/no fill, so SC is interpreting them as black for some reason. I usually go into the layer stack and check for objects with no fill color and delete them before I send them to SC. If you select them from the layers panel you can see where they are and you will know if you wanted them there or not. I found for me in SC that it would basically double cut all these spots and often pull up some of the vinyl in the process. You will find these two holes at the very bottom of the stack in the layers panel which is how SC interprets what to cut first. If you try it with the top object a different color like grey or something its a little easier to find the problem objects.
  5. Wildgoose

    Question from a noobie

    Won't you have to use app tape to stack the three colored layers? That means you would also have to try and cut through that as well. I don't think its a feasable way to do it. I am not familar with Corel but the design could be built in AI easily enough. If you have the camo vector can't you layer the final design over the top and trim the excess to give you the three color layers that you're looking for? With the camo design you might want to think about overlap of the colors. The lower layer(s) might need some modification so you can get a little overlap and not end up with gaps. It would depend on your existing vector camo design.
  6. Wildgoose

    My initial assesment and continuing help thread

    I finally got around to cutting a job using SCALP. I have been hesitant to waste vinyl with some sort of mistake and have mostly just been using the plotting pen. I was very satisfied with the cut. It went about it differently and I had to go into the cut by color menu and deselect a couple stray items that somehow found their way in but it did a good job. One interesting thing I noticed was the way it chose to work down through the lettering I was doing. It was definitely different than SignCut which follows the stacking order of the design. I'm not quite sure if I am happy with letting go of having control over the cut sequence or relieved that I can skip that on my design checklist. I sometimes spend quite a bit of time re-ordering things to make the cut track as fluid as possible rather than jumping around in the order I drew things. SCALP was sort of like a modified step by step cutting although that would neccessarily change had my design been one with a large object spanning the design. This project was a 12"x 36" quote from the constitution for someones rear window so it was just a bunch of words. I have also noted for design glitch complaints that if for any reason you stop a cut in progress it will freeze up SCALP to the point you have to kill it in the program manager and start over. Thats just a weird quirk really and quirky can be dealt with. SignCut does the same thing if I forget to hook up the USB cable to the cutter, freaks it out for some reason. All in all as they proceed to make the improvements that are still in the works I can see this being a great program. I don't use the editing end of it because I draw everything in AI but its a nice change to have it there if I find something I screwed up I cold just fix it right there. I'm also loving that I can import CS5 version artwork from AI. There is still a problem with the colors coming through the transfer but I'm sure they will cure that one easily enough.
  7. Wildgoose

    3.039 not activating

    Do you have to uninstall and reactivate? I just intalled it right over the top with no apparent problems.
  8. Along with tiling I would like to see step by step cutting. Also duplication/stacking like Mars suggested.
  9. Wildgoose

    SCALP Tiling tools?

    I recieved an email from the design team. They indicate that tiling is in the works along with some import issues I was having with AI files. I have to say I am impressed with how well they are getting after all this stuff. They must be seriously burning the midnight oil. I applaud their efforts and feel much better knowing they are working on a tiling solution!
  10. Wildgoose

    SCALP Tiling tools?

    You guys aren't getting what I'm talking about. If the sock is huge and you still have to re-cut the whole thing then you have to waste a whole bunch of vinyl. As I ponder this issue another part of the equation comes into focus: How do you cut something that is bigger than the vinyl you have? I don't find any options to input your vinyl size other than using the mat size. So what happens as in scenario #1 if that sock is 50" tall and your using 24" vinyl? Is there even a way to cut it at all without a tiling utility? Either you have your mat size reduced down to what you can cover with your vinyl or your cutting head will be running off the side of your vinyl and how are you going to control the next part of the graphic and for the scenario you will have to build a 50" sock in 3 parts assuming your using 24" vinyl. Some folks only run 15" and would need tling even more. Hopefully you can see my point and why this is a real concern if it's going to be a boni fide cutting software. What good is having a mat size large enough to build a 6ft graphic if you don't have the mechanics to actually cut that vinyl out?I feel like there is a whole facet to the program that got overlooked.
  11. Wildgoose

    SCALP Tiling tools?

    I played around and found a way to somewhat accomplish an isolated cut. If you shrink the mat size down and drag the graphics over it until what you want cut is the only thing on the mat it will ignore the rest. I guess thats something.
  12. Wildgoose

    SCALP Tiling tools?

    I tried what you suggest. I can select individual objects but it won't cut just that item. Here is a scenario: The sock in your design is on a sign that is 50" tall. The wind was blowing and the tip of the toe got caught in a wind gust and folded onto itself. You had to trim it off of the sign and have to run back and re-cut the design to stick a patch on that part of the sign. You just need the tip of that one sock and at the 50" sign size the patch will be about 4" square if you can just select and cut the very tip that you need. Otherwise you have to re-cut the whole sock or perhaps the whole design in order to make one repair. Scenario two: This one actually happened to me. You are cutting vinyl to go on an 8ft long banner. 3/4 of the way through the design your cutter glitches out and stops cutting for whatever reson (in my case static electricity problem) you now have 6ft of an 8ft design. Do you scrap the whole 6ft and hope the next time it doesn't do it again or do you re-cut the last 2ft that didn't make it allowing for a little overlap and tile the project wasting only a few inches of the precious vinyl you specifically ordered in for your client (and don't have extra)? If you can draw a selection box around the part you want to cut and it will just cut that part then that would be great but I can't get it to work. I can't even get mine to just cut the selected item let alone a partion of it.
  13. Wildgoose

    Live Trace silhouette image help needed

    I have rarely been happy with any live trace images to try and cut. If it's something that I want to look good I usually maually trace the object. It's much more time consuming but the resuts for vinyl are far superior. Live trace on a black image on white background will yeid ok results but even then there are often weird little protrusions or rounded lines that should have been straight. If you are going for a colored item like the pic you uploaded there are just so many colors involved that live trace tries to take into account that it gets confused. All the gradients and shaddow effects throw it off. Where that is a vector you might try picking it apart by removing the gradients and changing the colors to the point your happy with it. Going to a raster then back just causes messy lines where you won't want them. With practice you will get faster. I would allocate about 30 minutes to that image. Also if you are using SignCut you might be having some input issues. I have to down-save everything to illustrator 8 to get good results in SC. I like the idea of live tracing the hands individualy to get them closer to how you like them. You should be able to merge them togother for a full image and maybe you can go through the nodes and clean the image up to be satisfactory. Good luck. I learned the hard way that there's really no easy button for a clean image. You might try using the plotter option with some butcher paper for the first time to avoid wasting vinyl. I am assuming your cutter has a pen attachment.
  14. Wildgoose

    My initial assesment and continuing help thread

    I have spent a few hours watching some tutorials and then playing around. I see a lot of areas for improvement in the design/draw end some of which have been mentioned already. I would like to be able to multi select items. Also have had a bad time with AI files importing (my primary design tool) I figured out that CS5 files WILL import but older ones wouldn't. The colors and/or layers aren't coming through the transfer. I think these AI issues are probably simple fixes the designers can take care of and I know they are already working on them. I am most disapointed in the cutting tools and functionality as a cutting utility. I design elsewhere and am hoping for a good cutting program to run my cutter. This seems almost an afterthought in the program...oh yeah lets be able to send this to a cutter. I would most like to see big upgrades in that department. I have been using SignCut Pro for 1-1/2 years and have gotten used to the weeding/tiling abilities and the cut by color options. I think SCALP can compete especially in the cut by color area if they fix the AI import problem but it needs a few more tools to work with for cutting. For instance, I use the tiling lines to control vinyl consumption. SCALP has a weeding tool that will inject some weeding lines but you can't exclude the other areas, at least I have not been able to find it. Also missing preview options that show actual cut image size to help pre-size vinyl for cutting (SC shows calculated vinyl length and width and a small detail showing current orientation in the cutter) I'm not bashing the program just giving input. On a positive note. If I were new to the whole thing and just getting a cutter to play around and do crafts and hobbies I think SCALP could easily be a one stop shop for simple design and cut work. I do NOT think that in its current state it is satisfactory for full on sign building (which unfortunately is how it was advertised). I think it can get there. I actually like the general layout of the workstation and it has some decent merge and exclude tools, the image orientation tools are very useable and I didn't have a bunch of learning time to trace an image or even play with the nodes. (that is probably in large part due to prior experience with AI and Inkscape) With Inkscape available for free I don't think many people will be using the design end of things in this program but for an entry level program to send out with US Cutter machines its probably perfect.(once the bugs are worked out) I don't agree with Sue 2 who posted that it was released prematurely, I think if the design team is trying to make this into a real great viable program the best thing they can do is get it out to a bunch of geeks like us and let us rip them up about it. If they can wade through all our biased input they can get some real good input that may be things they wouldn't have thought of. Personally the jury is still out...
  15. Wildgoose

    AI file crashing system

    I want to start a specific topic on this because its apparently an issue and I have a hard time following it through the other threads as it is a sporadic topic. I loaded SCALP and then went to the website and downloaded the upgrade before I even tried it. I can open jpg files and trace them just fine but I tried to open an Illustrator file (older illustrator 8 version) and it just gives me the runtime error and closes the program. I tried importing and opening a coule different ways in case I was going about it wrong (maybe I still am). No luck yet. I use SignCut Pro and have to save my work into the older illustrator version for it so I assumed it would at least handle that but no go yet. I have been too busy to dedicate a bunch of time to this yet but hope to be able to within the next few days. I build all my cuts in AI so I am mostly looking for this to run as a cutting utility for my Creation P-Cut rather than worry about the tracing and other design tech that it offers. I'm a patient person and trust that I will get it figured out and will keep updating here as I learn more. Please post up if you are having the same issues and any fixes or ideas you have. Thanks
  16. Wildgoose

    AI file crashing system

    Update! The original AI CS5 I tried to open actually opened but was blank. I switched at that point to the older version as mentioned above with the assumption that SCAL wasn't up to handling CS5 yet. That didn't really surprise me because I use SignCut and have to downsave all my work to AI 8 to cut it anyway. Well NOT SO with SCAL. I had time to try some other files tonight and CS5's opened right up for me! I'm like.....What the... So I go back to the first file I tried and low an behold i was just some text that hadn't been converted to curves so it wasn't coming through the transfer into SCAL and I unwhittingly picked that file and then assumed CS5 was out. LOL So if your system is crashing from a runtime error you are probably trying to open a legacy version of AI. An easy fix, if you don't have AI (new enough) on your computer to up-save it, would be to open it in Inkscape and save it in native inkscape (.svg) and your golden. SCAL is cool with CS5 AI files. Yea! I do have a new concern that I must research. SCAL isn't bringing over the assigned colors to the AI files so they are all assigned black in SCAL which makes using cut-by-color a no-go. I told the support folks about it and will see if I'm just missing something.
  17. Here is a link to a comparison of the last 4 versions. Not sure if that helps or not. http://www.adobe.com/products/illustrator/buying-guide-version-comparison.html?PID=2159997 Illustrator is a massive program and it takes a LOT of time time and effort to learn but its well worth it. I use CS5 but the new program is just out and I see a lot of folks using older CS2 versions with good results.
  18. Wildgoose

    AI file crashing system

    I got a reply from support that said that currently not all .ai files are supported but they are working on improving it. I am sending them the file. I'll post it when I get a chance.
  19. Wildgoose

    My initial assesment and continuing help thread

    I tried in Illustrator 8 which is quite old and what I have to use in SignCutPro but it just crashed with the runtime error also. I put in a support request so hopefully they will get back with me in a few days.
  20. Wildgoose

    Duplicate paths in Illustrator image?

    You are probably not having a color problem. When you live trace illustrator creates an object in each hole. I am betting thats what your getting. Look in the layers panel and scroll down and look for objects with no apparent color. Click on it to highlight where it is on your design and you can tell if its a hole or not. Your cutter is going to think this is something that needs cut out and it will go over it again. I use CS5 version of AI not sure what one you're working with but it should be similar. I have had this problem when using the merge tab in the pathfinder menu.
  21. Wildgoose

    SCP -- Here's what I am expecting to find

    I am excited to see if it will print in newer AI formats. I have been using Signcut Pro and have to save all my work in older Illustrator 8 format for it to recognize.
  22. Wildgoose

    Sure Cuts A Lot Pro

    I couldn't resist and ordered a copy also. I have been using signcut pro with good results but I never got around to buying the dongle so I have to buy a license every so often anyway and if my internet is down so is my cutter. I'm excited and hope it does as good as signcut pro. Does anyone know if upgrades will be included as they work through the bugs?
  23. Wildgoose

    why i cant merge ?

    I don't know what version of AI you are running and things are a little different in each version, although most main features are available in all just named different or in different places. (I run CS5) You are having problems with this one because it has a bunch of clipping paths. If you go into the layers menu and start clicking on the little arrows it will pull down the items within each item, sort of a sub-menu. You will see clipping paths which you can also tell you have by the big bounding box that shows up when you select an item. You need to remove the offending clipping paths until you have just the outline of the object showing up when you select it. Then of course select the multiple items you want to merge or unite and it will work. I try to use unite when possible because merge will also create new objects in any open hole in compound paths which you won't see because they don't have color until you cut them on your cutter and it double cuts everything. At least thats how SignCut works. Sorry for the 600 page novel. Remeber you can always undo if you mess up. Keep playing around and you'll figure it out.