Apr 18, 2009


Hello Everyone! This little instruction is on making a folding card using Microsoft Paint, a program that almost everyone has. Image selection is important. You want an image that has a wide left side or 2 or 3 areas along the left side for the hinge. You also want the card to stand by itself so an image with a large base or several points along the bottom is important. The image we are using here as an example is a POOR choice because of the round bottom (we had to use tape to make it stand up). So select a suitable image (jpeg, png, gif, or whatever) and open it in Paint. Using the little 'handles' (the tiny dots at the middle of the right and bottom of the white area) drag the white area out to at least 4 times the original size. This will give you room to work. Using the 'rectangle select' tool, select the image and drag it away from the top left area.

Next you must clone another copy of the same image. With the image selected, click Edit>Copy.

A copy of your original image will appear in the top left of your work area. The duplicate will be selected. Next click 'Image>Flip/Rotate. In the box that appears be sure to select 'Flip horizontal', then click 'OK'.

The copied image is now mirrored. Next select the original image, making sure that 'Transparent' mode is active, and drag it towards the mirrored image. Carefully line up the images so that they touch symmetrically at the hinge area. Because the images are touching they will be 'welded' when you convert to SVG.

The resulting 'welded' image should appear something like this:

Now crop the image using the little handles (to remove all that excess white area) and save it. You can now convert it to SVG in Inkscape. Ours looked like this:

Our finished card looked like this:


Apr 11, 2009


Hello All! We're glad that you're still with us to finish up separating the colors of the BADGE image. If you are just joining us, please read Parts 1 & 2 below. Let's get started. So far we have removed or painted over everything on the image that wasn't gold and was easy to access. There are few little areas left to be looked after; the middle of some of the letters and the 'phantom' outlines. To make these areas easier to work on, we have to enlarge the image using the 'Zoom In' function in the 'View' drop-down menu. When your image is enlarged the white areas will show up as gray. Click 'View' then 'Zoom In' a couple of times and your screen should something like this: With the image enlarged, you can use the 'Magic Wand' to select the centers of the letters and use the paint bucket (or brush) to change the black areas to white. If you use the brush, note that the brush size is enlarged the same as the image.

Next we will get rid of the outlines. Select a gold area with the 'Magic Wand'. Check to see if the wand included the 'phantom' outlines. It probably didn't. On the toolbar there is a box called 'Tolerance'. Increase the tolerance (by left-clicking and dragging) until the outlines are included with the gold area when you use the 'Magic Wand'. This will probably take a few tries to get it just right. Then paint the selected area black. The 'Phantom' is gone! Continue selecting and painting until all the gold areas are black. Sometimes you must work the opposite way; i.e. selecting the white areas while adjusting the tolerance and painting in white.

You will find that even after the selecting and painting there are still some areas with poor detail. We must eliminate these so that you don't get a 'raggedy' SVG. To do this last step I use a technique that I call 'Pixel Painting'. Zoom in a couple of more steps until your image looks something like this:

You should be able to see the individual pixels that make up the image. 'Zoom In' another step if you need to. On the 'Edit' drop-down menu click 'Select All' to select the entire image. Choose the brush size to be 1 pixel. Now you can add black or white pixels (one pixel at a time) to fix all the little problem areas that will show up on your final cut. You will have to use the scroll bars to move around the image to make sure you haven't missed any bad spots. When you are done, 'Zoom Out' to normal size. Your image will be improved and contain only black and white (a perfect silhouette) and should look something like this:

Now save your image so you can convert it in Inkscape.

When you trace the bitmap in Inkscape select 'Brightness cutoff', set the threshold to about .650 - .700, and uncheck 'Smooth' (to give you sharper corners). Save your file and that's it! The gold part of the 'Badge' image is ready to cut. Now use the same techniques to make a silhouette of each of the remaining colors.

REMEMBER - Make a silhouette of each color and don't be afraid to experiment. After you have done some images you will be able to separate the colors in just a few minutes. For the best results we always start with the largest image we can.


Apr 3, 2009


Hello all and welcome to our blog. I hope you have all downloaded the image we will be working on and have Paint.net (or other good graphics program) ready to go. The important thing is that you must have a 'Magic Wand' or 'Fuzzy Select' tool. This feature enables you to select an area consisting of a single color. It is represented by an icon that looks something like this:
The first thing we must do is to create a new folder in which to save our images. When we are done you will have an image for each color that you want to cut. Make sure that you remember where your folder is and what it is called.For the first part of this lesson we will make an image consisting of only the gold parts of the original image. If you remember from the post 'First Image' it is easiest to convert an image to an SVG if it is a silhouette, so we will make a silhouette of the gold parts of the image. Open the 'badge' image with Paint.net and select the 'Magic Wand' tool. The cursor will be a little '+' sign with a diagonal line. The 'Hot Spot' of the cursor is the center of the '+' sign.Since we only want the gold areas for this silhouette, we need to make all the other colors disappear. Click the cursor on the green area on the lower left of the shield. You will notice a dotted line that seems to flash surrounding the green area. This means the the selected green area will be the only area affected by the next coloring step.

All we have to do to make the highlighted green area disappear is to paint it the same color as the background, in our case, white. Select the 'paint brush', make sure you have white selected as the color, and pick a brush size. I like to use a fairly large brush so I can color an area in a couple of swipes. You don't have to worry about 'staying inside the lines' because the highlighted area is all that is affected.

Now, just paint the green area white by clicking and holding the left mouse button and moving the cursor over the green area. Just continue selecting everything that isn't gold and painting it white. If you happen to click or paint a gold area just click 'Edit' then 'Undo' on the toolbar. Don't worry about the small areas inside the letters or the remaining edges of the painted areas, we'll get to them later. You should now have an image that looks like this:

On the toolbar click 'Edit' then 'Select All'. Notice the the entire image is enclosed by the flashing outline. Select the paint brush and white as your color, and a brush size that you are comfortable with. Now paint out all edge lines, etc. that are easy to get to with the brush size that you are using. But BE CAREFUL here because the whole image is selected and a slip might cause you to paint some of the gold - REMEMBER THE UNDO FUNCTION!
You now should have an image that looks like this:

You should save the image at this point. Use the folder that you created earlier and use a file name that is easy to remember, like 'badgegold'. There are still some black areas and edge remnants but we will get rid of them and smoothen any jagged parts in the next post. If you have any questions -email us- . Until then;