Archive for January, 2010
I am a big fan of Wordle.net and I made myself a cheat sheet so I could see what the fonts look like. It’s not pretty but it gets the job done and I’m sharing. View/download the PDF version here Enjoy!
I am so excited, I just found a free print driver that will print to svg! Here’s how to use this technique to change a printable vector into a cut file.
1. Install PDFCreator version 0.98 or later (Windows only). This is a free open source utility.
2. Choose a suitable vector image in a program or applet that has a print command (see pre-screened suggestions below) and click Print.
3. Choose PDFCreator from the list of printers in the Print Dialog window and click OK.
4. Click the Save button at the bottom of the PDFCreator dialog.
5. Choose SVG from the pull down list of file types at the bottom of the window, and choose a name and location for your file, and click Save.
7. Once imported into SCAL2 or MTC, resize your image so you can see it well. If extraneous items appear (like a rectangle around your design or buttons from the Flash application), select all, break your image apart and delete the unwanted items. If letters or shapes overlap, you have to break apart the graphic and weld them.
Note: MTC has recently added path simplification and you may want to use it at this point in the process to reduce the nodes in your design.
8. Resize your image as desired and cut!
Here are things that I’ve tried successfully so far. I suggest you start with one of these to make sure you know it works:
- WordArt from MSWord (black outline, no fill, if using SCAL1 be sure no letters are touching.)
- ImageChef Word Mosaic (use black background, white text and right click on image to find Print command. Once SVG is imported, break it apart and remove extraneous items in SCAL2 or MTC)
- silhouette graphics in PrintMaster
- custom graphic generated in PrintMaster
- silhouette clip art from MSWord
- Hugware clip art in black and white .wmf format opened in default clip art application (works great in for making paper piecings)
- Coloring book pages from ColoringPlanet.com
- Image created in Funtime Scrapbooking Lite (contains way too many nodes, not recommended without simplifying)
- Tuckbox Creator
- Ideogram Box and Envelope Maker
- Vector PDFs such as paper crafting templates, etc. Tip: Look for crisp lines at a high zoom level to identify vector PDFs.
You should be able to “print to svg” anything you were getting vectors out of before using a PDF and Inkscape. Some things are a little too complicated to make it worth it to work with in just MTC or SCAL2. For instance, I was able to get a valid SVG with vectors from a stick figure generator, but it was too “busy” to clean up, at least with my patience level.
Note: This process is no longer needed since because the latest versions of SCAL2 can save directly to svg. This post does show how to trace a screen shot so I will leave it up.
Ever since SCAL2 came out and more people are using it to design, rather than resorting to Inkscape, there’s been a need for a way to go backwards and change those SCUT files back into SVGs. This is because SVG is a more universal format, compatible with SCAL1 and MTC, for instance. You can also use the SVG to print your design in high resolution. Today I played around with this and got some great results so I wanted to share my steps.
1. Open the SCUT file in SCAL2 and fill the screen with the image you want to trace, either by zooming in or by resizing the image.
2. Click the Preview All button to create a solid preview. (If you have other layers in the way, click the appropriate eye icon on the layers palette to toggle off the unwanted layers.)
3. Take a screen shot of the solid preview, cropping fairly close, and save it as a .png or jpg. If you don’t know how to take and save a screen shot, click here for resources.
4. Click the Image button in SCAL2 and navigate to where your .jpg or .png screen shot file is saved to open it in the autotrace window. Set Brightness to 49 and leave the other settings at their defaults. If the trace does not look satisfactory, adjust settings and try again. Pay special attention to rounded shapes and to corners when evaluating the trace.
5. When the preview looks good, click the Save button. Name and save your SVG. It is now available to use in other programs or to share.
6. The new SVG will also be placed on your SCAL2 mat so you can compare it with the original. (Size is not maintained)
That’s it. I fully expect Craftedge to add a feature to render this unnecessary, but until then, hope this helps.
If you look at the menubar at the top of this page, you’ll see a new tab labeled “Fonts.” It will take you to my resource page on TTFs for cutting. This is not another giant list of font sites, but some carefully chosen links that relate specifically to die cutting. Hope you’ll check it out soon!
I dug out some high resolution seamless tiles I created for Valentines Day 2001, and made them into printable digipaper for the new decade. If you just want a pattern, click on a thumbnail below for a single 300 dpi tile.
Please enjoy these files on your personal and commercial projects. I would love to see what you create with these.
Note that I am withholding the right to sell the files or include them in a collection for sale. Thanks.