Inkscape photo project question

I have a picture of a woman and a little girl in the forest. I’ve removed the background clutter and prepped it as a nice B&W, and it engraves well in practice runs.

I’d like to have the Glowforge engrave it and then cut out around the girls instead of a big rectangular frame. Does anyone know if Inkscape has a way to isolate, trace, or border a picture in that way? (The original is, of course, a rectangular image with a bunch of white pixels where the forest background used to be.)

Thanks for any help!


P.S. Be gentle on me. I’m an old man! :joy:


On my phone so can’t give detailed advice. Easiest way might be to use the line tool to trace around the girls with a different color that would be set to cut. Takes practice but can easily be done in a couple minutes.


What I’d do: Copy the raster in inkscape then use the trace function. This allow you to have a clean raster to visually refer to as you mess with the other.

Clean up the path to get the outline you want via node manipulation.

Move your path on top of the original and then delete the duplicate raster.


There is an alternate way to do it in a program like Photoshop that might be a little easier, at least to get the line started, but you have to feed the path information to an Illustrator file.

@jbmanning5 wrote it up here:

Photoshop to Illustrator / Quick Outlines and Vectors of Photoshop Paths

Since I’ve got both of those, I did a quick rough outline around the girls for you and saved it as an SVG file. If you want to cut out the area between the legs, you can practice with the manual pen tool in that area. Otherwise doing a manual trace on something like this would take a very long time.

Feel free to tweak it with the Inkscape tools. (106.4 KB)


Damn, dude! That’s the extra mile!

Not a big deal if you do it the way shown in the tutorial. I’ve done my share of Manual Tracing. It can be a bear. :wink:

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I just posted a tutorial using this image (I hope you don’t mind @Darth_Sixstring) as it was a perfect image to show a technique I’ve used for a long time.

My results looked like this:


image Thanks to all the suggestions. I continued in Inkscape only, using a stylus and some trial and error to get the freestyle draw tool (hard to do on a trackpad!). Found that extreme close-up zooms tend to make things smoother on the final cut.


Turned out great!