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Vectorization at Silhouette Studio

To cut with a cutting plotter we need patterns created with vector graphics. This type of simple graphics can be made in plotter programs such as Cricut Design Space or Silhouette Studio. More complicated patterns can be created in the free program Inkscape or paid ones like Adobe Illustrator, Corel DRAW or Affinity. However, what to do if you only have raster graphics? One possibility is vectorization, which I'll talk about shortly.


Simple and contrasting raster graphics are best suited for vectorization. All you need to do is open a raster graphic, for example, in .png format in Silhouette Studio. Depending on the version of the program you have, we will be able to use more or less of the available options, which I will talk more about later in the article.

Silhouette Studio

To begin with, we will focus on the free basic version of the program that comes with the plotter.


After opening the graphic in the program, click "Open Drawing Window" located on the right side.


The next step is to select the outline area. We adjust the gray border to the size of the graphic we want to transform.


Next, we can select the area around which the cut lines are to be created. I chose a solid fill, and then used the slider to adjust it so that the entire inside of the flowers and leaves are filled. I then chose the "outline" option by clicking the icon below the sliders.


The program will create a vector outline around the selected area visible when the raster graphic is moved to the side. It will consist of very many points. When cutting with a plotter, this will make its work much longer. Therefore, the next step will be to simplify the pattern. We can do this by clicking the S-shaped icon.


After simplifying the pattern, we get a ready-to-cut shape with a number of points that allows the plotter to work quickly. This is an extremely useful feature thanks to which we can vectorize simple graphics or lettering, and what's more, we get it in the free version of the program. So what do the extended versions have to offer us?

Silhouette Studio Designer and Business Edition

For the extended versions of the program, we have two additional options for creating outlines. The first is designating shapes by color.


After selecting this option, we click the "Track by color" icon. Then we click the item of interest in the selected color.


After selecting a particular color, we have the option to fill one element, or all elements in the selected color. In my case, it will be all the green leaves. Then I click "outline."


After removing the raster graphics aside, we will get a vector outline around the selected elements. If it also appeared around elements of similar shade, we can get rid of it with an eraser. In this way we will get an outline around shapes of the same color. Just simplify it so that it does not consist of too many points and you're done!

The second option available in the Silhouette Studio extension is to outline the desired shape yourself using a magnetic trace. This option works well for lines that are difficult to draw automatically. It can be used in addition to the previous two methods.


After selecting the "magnetic trace" option, we can use the slider to change the size of the area in which the tool will search for the place where it should create the cut line. Then we slowly move the point along the element we want to outline. If something goes wrong, we can delete the line by holding down the right mouse button and try outlining it again.


After creating the outline, it remains to simplify it. We get manually created cut lines around the selected object.

Is vectorization in Silhouette Studio useful? It definitely is. It allows you to cut out elements such as logos created with raster graphics and much more. It allows us to use designs that were not initially created with plotter cutting in mind. This gives us many new possibilities and allows us to create interesting designs. I hope it will be useful for you as well!

See the vectorization process in the video:

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Made by: Michał Desol