Jul 16, 2009


Hi everyone! Welcome to part 2 - the fun part. If you haven't already, please read Part 1 below. We ended the last session with an image that consisted of only 5 pure colors (including white). We've eliminated all the other shades which will give us cleaner outlines to cut. The first thing we need to do is to open our saved Tweety image in Paint.net. Now click 'Image', on the drop-down menu click on 'Canvas size...". A new box will appear as shown:

In the new box click the 'By percentage' button and change the value to 300%. Leave the 'Anchor' value as 'Top Left' and click OK. This will give you the Tweety image on a larger work area, which you will need to move the various colors around.

Next click 'View' then 'Zoom in'. Do this 4 times and you will have a large view of Tweety. You will have to use the scroll bars to get the image where you can see it. *HINT* You can move the toolboxes out of the way by clicking and holding on the title bar of the box and dragging it out of the way.
NOW for the 'FUN' part. First we'll take the yellow part of Tweety and set it aside. There is only one yellow area in this image so it's easy to break it out. Using the 'Magic Wand' tool, click it anywhere in the yellow area. The yellow part is now selected. Using the 'Move Selected Pixels' tool, click and hold on the highlighted yellow area and drag it downward until it is clear of the remaining image.

You'll notice that where the yellow used to be, there is a checkerboard pattern. This area is transparent as far as the computer is concerned, and Inkscape doesn't handle transparent well, so we'll have to make it white. Using the 'Magic Wand', click on the transparent area to select it, then using the 'Paint Can' flood tool color it white. When you zoom out you'll have a white Tweety with the yellow part below like this:

Now zoom back in so we can separate the orange parts - Tweety's feet and beak. Using the 'Magic Wand' tool, and while holding the 'Crtl' key, click on each of the 4 orange areas to highlight all of them at once. This will create another layer consisting of the orange areas only. *Remember* that you can drag the toolboxes out of the way. The image should now look like this:

Click the 'Move Selected Pixels' tool. An area will be 'boxed in' that includes all of the orange areas that were selected in the last step. Click and hold anywhere inside the box, and drag it to an open area on the work area. You may have to zoom out to make it easier to position the orange layer on your canvas.

Select and paint the transparent areas white as we we did before. Now you can use the same technique to separate the blue and finally the black areas. Don't forget to paint the transparent areas as they are created. *HINT* You can use one of the 3 'Select' tools to re-arrange the layers to make the best use of your work area. You should now have an image thet looks something like this:

One more step and your image is ready to be converted to SVG in Inkscape. Use the 'Rectangle Select' tool to select all the layers together. Click 'Image' on the toolbar then click 'Crop to Selection'. The finished image will look like this:

Save your work and it is ready for conversion to SVG in Inkscape. If you have gotten this far with me you are probably familiar with Inkscape and will know how to manipulate the image and its layers, but I think I'll do the next post on converting this image for those of you that aren't quite sure of what to do next. Stay tuned! Until then.......


Jul 5, 2009


Hi All! I'm sorry that its been so long since the last post, but we have been very busy getting the new website organized. Anyway, I'll show you a really easy way to get a color image image ready to cut with the SURE-CUTS-A-LOT software. I'll break this lesson into 2 parts: First - selecting and editing the image with PAINT.NET and Second - Separating the colors with PAINT.NET and converting the file to SVG in INKSCAPE. Below is the "Tweety" that we will work on. To download it, just right click on the picture then select 'Save Picture As...' and save it to a file where you can find it easily.

When selecting a color image to cut I have some basic guidelines that I follow.

1. - Select an image that is fairly large so you get most of the detail
The image above is 237 pixels X 433 pixels.

2. - Select an image that doesn't have any tiny details.

3. - Select an image with as few colors as possible. If there are some areas of
the image with shades of the main colors, that's OK because we'll deal with that in this lesson. There are 5 colors in this image (including white).

In this part of the lesson we want end up with 5 'pure' colors only (no other shades of the main colors). The first thing we need to do is open PAINT.NET and then open the Tweety image file that you saved. Next click on 'Image' in the toolbar then click 'Zoom In' from the drop-down menu. Repeat this step until you have an image like this:

You'll notice some 'mottled' areas near the color transitions that we will eliminate. This will result in cleaner cut lines when you convert to SVG. Using the 'Magic Wand' tool, click on the yellow area where there is no mottling. The yellow part of the image is now high-lighted. Next click the 'Color Picker' ('eyedropper') tool. Notice that your primary color is the exact yellow of Tweety. Lastly select the'Flood' ('paint can') tool and click it on the yellow part of the image. Presto! the mottles are gone! Remove the mottles from each separate area the same way. Be sure to pick the right color and don't forget to do the background. **HINT - You can select or paint several areas of the same color by holding down the 'Crtl' key as you click on them.**

Your 'de-mottled' image (at actual size) should look like this:

In the next post (which won't be as long coming as this one) we will separate the colors the easy way and convert it to SVG.