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Preparing an image for a cutting plotter - Macromedia Freehand

:confused; Hi, I'm creating an image in FH to be exported as an Adobe Illustrated file eventually to be cut on my vynle cutter. I've coverted my type to paths which overlays on to a solid background to product type with a shadow effect. I've set my stroke width to "hairline." I've un grouped everything and filled the image with "none." (So Preview essentially looks the same as Keyline.)When I import it into LXi VE, the image looks complete, but when I go to the Product Mgr for cutting, only the outline of the shadow shows and when I send ...

  1. #1

    Default Preparing an image for a cutting plotter

    :confused; Hi, I'm creating an image in FH to be exported as an Adobe
    Illustrated file eventually to be cut on my vynle cutter. I've coverted my type
    to paths which overlays on to a solid background to product type with a shadow
    effect. I've set my stroke width to "hairline." I've un grouped everything and
    filled the image with "none." (So Preview essentially looks the same as
    Keyline.)When I import it into LXi VE, the image looks complete, but when I go
    to the Product Mgr for cutting, only the outline of the shadow shows and when I
    send to cut, only the outline of the shadow cuts, no inside type is cut. Any
    hints on how I can pass "bone head vynle image prep - 101" to make this image
    cut complete?? Thanks.

    mollysmumzy Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Preparing an image for a cutting plotter

    I sometimes have a similar type problem when I import an Adobe Illustrator file
    into Gerber Omega, a sign layout program I use for cutting vinyl. This is what
    happens after I've imported the graphic file into Omega. I'm in outline view
    and all the lines in the graphic image are colored in red. If I try to send it
    to the plotter, the plotter doesn't seem to recognize the red lines and it
    won't cut them. I have to go back and click on a paint bucket tool and on the
    window that comes up I click on no fill color and no line color. All the
    outlines are then seen as black on the monitor and the plotter is able to cut
    them. My older version of Omega use to import files that had some red lines and
    some black lines. It would cut the black lines but not the red lines. Maybe
    you're experiencing the same thing and you'll have to figure out how to make it
    read those lines.

    Hope this helps. :)

    macletosh Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Preparing an image for a cutting plotter

    Yes, I found the answer. SignWarehouse's tech support offered this: if I import
    the image into LXi VE (after exporting it from FH as an Adobe Illustrated 1.1
    file, any later version would not import - not sure why?) and fill it
    completely with black (which makes it look like a big black blob, no definition
    of the lettering inside) when I send it to the Product Mgr all the outlines
    show, are recognized and they cut. Thanks for responding!! Do you know of any
    other chat sites that discuss image creation in FH for export, file trouble
    shooting and subsequent cutting?

    mollysmumzy Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Preparing an image for a cutting plotter

    I have another question. To create the shadow, I typed the letters and added to
    the stroke of the letters. Then I took the tracing tool and traced the outside
    of the heavily stroked letters (so heavily stroked the letters were
    unrecognizable and it resulted in looking like a random shape once traced.) I
    took the traced outline and filled it, then overlayed the type and converted it
    to paths. It works, but I think there is a better way to do this, any
    suggestions? How are shadowed type for vynle application normally created in FH
    for an export? The Apprentice level of image creation - very limited artistic
    liscence offered - came with the cutter. I could fork over hefty bucks to
    elevate to a Master level which offeres more drawing abilities, but don't want
    to since I understand using FH will suffice and I'm getting to know it more
    each time I play in the application. Thanks in advance.

    mollysmumzy Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Preparing an image for a cutting plotter

    You should not have to trace the letters. In the menu bar under Text
    there is an option to Convert to Paths. That will make all your selected
    type into art. You may have to edit some of the letters with compound
    paths like Os and Ps.

    dp

    mollysmumzy wrote:
     
    D. Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Preparing an image for a cutting plotter

    Good to know you've your problem figured out mollysmumzy.

    I've been to other FH forums but they're pretty slow. Not much are happening
    there. This is probably the best FH forum to get your FH questions answered,
    although it may be a little hard to get your signmaking related questions
    answered.

    As far as exporting files from FH for cutting vinyl on another program, just
    remember to convert all your fonts to outline, convert all your stroked lines
    to outline and join or merge all your shapes where it's appropriate. It might
    be good to view your image in keyline mode so you have a better idea how the
    shapes will cut. In Omega I always work in outline (keyline) mode and rarely in
    full preview mode. Remove all your guidelines. I know that the guidelines in
    Illustrator are also exported out as lines. I don't recall if the guidelines in
    FH are also exported out to AI.

    As far as shadows are concerned, I rarely had to make shadows in FH. I do most
    of the shadowed text in Omega. It can do Shade, Drop and Cast shadows that are
    plotter ready. I've done simple drop shadows in FH and I'm not sure how the
    shadows you created look, but there are easier ways to make shadows than what
    you've described as D. Plank has suggested above.

    macletosh Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Preparing an image for a cutting plotter

    mollysmumzy wrote:
     

    These steps will give you better results.

    1. Enter your text as desired.
    2. Convert text to paths.
    3. Xtras/Path Operations/Union. This will give you a composite path with any
    overlapping letters joined.
    4. Clone the composite path. Send to back and leave selected.
    5. Use Xtras/Inset Path by a negative number equivalent to the size of
    outset desired.

    Judy Arndt

    Judy Guest

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