JessXEmoji

Designing guestions.

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Im a noob! I got a few questions.

1. When making something in lets say Inkscape does the drawings have to be black and white? All premade images I see are black and white.

2. How does the cutter know which parts of a image to cut? Is it going by the black and white parts?

3.and once you make a image and vector it, can you cut it to any size? Or does it have to be made the size you want from the start?

If someone could clear this up for me Youd make my day. THANKS!

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1: no they don't have to be 1 color. The reason you see so many 1 color design is to simplify the design to be cut in 1 color instead of multiple colors.

2: The software will have an option of what color to send to cutter. The cutter doesn't "see" color it only receives the information to make a line kind of like connect the dots (nodes are the dots)

3: Unlike pictures (raster) design made for cutting (vectors) are infinitely adjustable for size after completion without affecting the quality of the design. 

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Hi Jess, good questions.

 

jaybird gave you the lowdown, which covers the basics.

 

Think of it this way ---  you are going to create a design that is LINE ART.

The cutter is thinking only in terms of OUTLINES.

 

This is the type of graphic that a cutter loves --

 

stock-vector-halloween-design-elements-s

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1: no they don't have to be 1 color. The reason you see so many 1 color design is to simplify the design to be cut in 1 color instead of multiple colors.

2: The software will have an option of what color to send to cutter. The cutter doesn't "see" color it only receives the information to make a line kind of like connect the dots (nodes are the dots)

3: Unlike pictures (raster) design made for cutting (vectors) are infinitely adjustable for size after completion without affecting the quality of the design. 

Just to be sure what you are saying, when im making things, I can just make them small enough to fit my screen and resize them in the cutter program like signblazer? Also if the image doesnt fill the working area will the cutter cut out the whole work area size? Or just the image? For example if I start a project on a 5" x 5" background and just draw a tiny star in the midddle. Will the cutter just cut the star out?

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I'm less familiar with inkscape but I think if you go to View>display mode>outline it will show you what the cutter sees. Good idea after you build a complicated design to take a quick look and make sure you have everything welded together that you wanted. Sometimes when drawing you get layers overlapping with the same color and you forget to weld them together and the results will be ugly when you cut it. Some cutting programs will give you a preview and you can catch mistakes there as well. 

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Sizing can be changed in Signblazer before cutting. The box on your screen is mainly for for your reference, say you're making a 48" x 48" sign you size that box to 48x48 and now when you design in that space you can see how all the things work in the dimensions you have to work within. It does not affect how big you can cut. (That last part is from memory I haven't cut with signblazer in years)

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When i make something .. i use inkscape or coreldraw .. What i do is make the box as big as i want the item..  and you can still change the color's in there what you want.. and i use " Signcut " for my cutting program and all i have to do is select what color at the time i want to cut.. and at that i can make my reg marks and my weed lines to make it vary easy to weeed.. :)

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Many of us just make our own reg. marks when doing the actual design. I use the "+" for my reg. and for example I'm doing a red and blue design I'll make the plus green and when I go to cut I'll cut red and green then blue and green together. 

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Many of us just make our own reg. marks when doing the actual design. I use the "+" for my reg. and for example I'm doing a red and blue design I'll make the plus green and when I go to cut I'll cut red and green then blue and green together. 

 

I tried that one time and had weed borders and horizontal/vertical weed lines turned on.   It cut my design and a weed border, then asked me to change colors - I hit OK to continue and it cut the plus sign and then a weed border and weeding lines around the + that went right through what it had already cut... DOH!  (Note: I had it set to cut multiples of the same item, it probably wouldn't have done this if I was only cutting one at a time)...

 

I normally do a "+" as well and make a duplicate for each color needed to avoid such a mishap as above...

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OW, that sounds strange to me, what program were you cutting with?

 

Edit: OW is the one who I first saw using the plus mark and I liked it so much I stole his idea. Just remembered that.

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This was done with the Cutting Master 2 plugin for CorelDraw and Graphtec.

 

Once I saw what it had done, I realized why it had done it - it told me to load a new color of vinyl and when I said "OK" it assumed that I had.  If I had weeding lines turned off, or had only cut one copy at a time, I'd have been fine...

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You know I didn't use weeding lines with my old cutter because it was a little inaccurate and would nip into the design here and there but since the upgrade I find I use them a lot more and what a time saver they can be. 

 

I'm going to have to try out the "green" color option Jay. I have thus far did a diamond or star in each design color and stacked them but the green option and just cutting by color for both should save some messing around. I think I'll try out the plus mark too. Makes sense, I like it!

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Reg marks - used for multi color/layered designs. You put a plus or X or what ever at the edge of the design. Then when you cut your two or how ever many colors you have a point to line them up with so everything comes out looking right.

 

Weeding lines - extra cuts made by the cutter to help make weeding easier. Can also be done manually with an exacto knife.

 

Weeding - removing the unwanted vinyl from the cut design.

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I'm less familiar with inkscape but I think if you go to View>display mode>outline it will show you what the cutter sees. Good idea after you build a complicated design to take a quick look and make sure you have everything welded together that you wanted. Sometimes when drawing you get layers overlapping with the same color and you forget to weld them together and the results will be ugly when you cut it. Some cutting programs will give you a preview and you can catch mistakes there as well. 

I finished my image in inkscape and switched to outline mode, and it looks horrible. Nothing like the

image I made. It outlines the layers and cut marks I made. So the cutter will cut the outlines that I see in outline view? How can I fix it?

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I think one one of my problems is i imported a normal jpeg image and inkscape cannot see the outlines. Im gonna have to trace the image and drag it over into a new layer arent I?

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If you are using an image like jpg or png you will have to at least do a trace on the image. There are auto trace functions in every vector program but NONE of them do what I would call an acceptable job. Not even high dollar programs. I guess you can say there is no "Easy Button". That said sometimes if you can find a large image, a couple times bigger than you want to make, and it's on a white background then sometimes you can get a trace that is close enough that it will cut out and be ok. Even then there is usually several little weird doo-hickeys that the trace throws in there that need to be cleaned up by playing with the nodes or removing points etc. (all of the above pretty much only works with black and white one color stuff). Also text rarely looks right and most of us find the text that was used or similar and then convert it to lines and curves to have clean text. 

 

You will get good at the trace and fix with some practice. Some objects are just easier to trace from scratch. When I trace from scratch I usually import the image and reduce the opacity to about 50% then lock the image so you don't accidentally grab it while working and then you can trace right on top of it. I also suggest tracing with no fill color until you are all the way around and close your loop then I usually turn the fill on for a sec and see if anything looks funky, turn it back off and begin the next layer or object and repeat until I am done. Once you have it all done you can fill all the layers. You may notice as you get more experience that you begin to learn to layer things in order so you get the correct look when you are all done without having to re-order any of the individual objects. Also sometimes its easier to trace out a few individual objects and then weld them together rather than building a huge complicated one but that is a personal preference and will change job to job.   

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Another question guys.  Lets say i'm making a sign and ive drawn up 3 pictures and some words for the sign.

 

When I go to cut, will the cutter program let me pick witch way I want to cut each image and words?  For example I want a beer mug with the center cut out but i want a word like Beer to be a solid color.  thanks.

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