Just Illustrator / Quick Vector Outline for cutting

@jbmanning5 wrote a tutorial here which inspired this quick video. The method he describes may work better for certain things, especially if you need a cutline for straight raster art that you will not be vectorizing.

The method shown here is not better or worse, just different; it assumes that you are already going to be using the autotrace function for the art anyway, and it may be faster than switching programs.

The more methods you have at your disposal, the better prepared you will be to take on any given design challenge!


:+1: I like it!

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Nice contribution to the hive mind :slight_smile:

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Yep! Matrixed! :grinning:

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Would you mind summarizing the technique here? The audio in the video is not that great, and you sort of blew quickly past the part I was most interested in (the bit immediately after the image trace).

Guess I should have used an actual mic, and placed it closer to my mouth than to the keyboard. Sry.

Image Trace (with Ignore White checked in the advanced settings dropdown) and clicking Expand gives me the art I want to engrave and duplicating that layer gives me a second version to make into the outline/cut-line. (Turning off one layer helps to avoid confusion. label the layers if you are going to be working on more complex stuff, or collaborating with other folks).

Object > Compound Path > Release Path breaks the compound shape (fills in the holes)

Pathfinder > Unite turns all of that mess into a single (filled) shape

Click the Swap Fill and Stroke Color button to have a stroked shape instead of a filled shape.
(not necessary, but recommended ((by me)) to avoid confusion later on in the GFUI)

Change the color of the stroke to something other than the color of the engrave. I use red.

Save As SVG or PDF and throw it at the GF.

If you have one object with a black fill and one object with a red stroke, as I do in this example, the GFUI will make the filled shape an engrave, the stroke a cut; the black colored object will be the first step and the red object will be the second step.


Thank you, I’ve booked marked for later reference.

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Thank you!

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