Inkscape for Cutting Design

Help and Support => Help Using Inkscape => Topic started by: scuttleboose on June 23, 2017, 04:20:35 PM

Title: Problem with .dxf file in Silhouette Studio
Post by: scuttleboose on June 23, 2017, 04:20:35 PM
Hi everyone! I am attempting to use Inkscape to make cut lines for some planner stickers.

So I imported a JPEG (and a PNG file in other trials) into Inkscape and did a Trace Bitmap. I've followed lots of tutorials.

I saved the traced file as a .svg and as a .dxf

Well the first one I did turned out great!

But every other time that I try to do this, I get a weird file coming up with lots of lines.

Any idea why?

I've attached a picture of the good file and one of the (17) bad files that have extra lines in them.

Help, please!

Thank you!


Title: Re: Problem with .dxf file in Silhouette Studio
Post by: brynn on June 23, 2017, 11:32:33 PM
Welcome to the forum!

Could you please share the SVG file of the PNG which shows the problems.  We can't learn much by looking at the PNG.  But with the SVG file, we can see what's actually in the file.

The outward appearance makes me think you might have some open paths, and that the conversion process is causing them to be closed.  However, on the other hand, the places where such end nodes would be placed doesn't make sense.  Plus, the fact they were created with Trace Bitmap - I've never known Trace Bitmap to produce anything except closed paths.

After you run Trace Bitmap, do you send the file directly to the cutter?  Or do you edit further, to remove the extra paths?  If you aren't removing the extra paths, it could be that the cutter is confused by the 2 closely placed paths.  Or there could be a bug, which I can research, after I've had a change to look at the file.
Title: Re: Problem with .dxf file in Silhouette Studio
Post by: scuttleboose on June 24, 2017, 02:58:52 AM
Thank you so much for the answer!  :ur: I'm attaching the SVG file and the DXF file.

I'm not sure whether or not I have open paths or closed paths (I'm a completely newbie) but I'm sure there's a place around this wonderful forum that will help me figure that part out.

Thank you again!
Title: Re: Problem with .dxf file in Silhouette Studio
Post by: brynn on June 24, 2017, 07:48:13 AM
You must have done some editing after using Trace Bitmap.  There aren't open paths at all the places showing the extra lines, but there are in many places.

So I'm not sure what's causing this, in every case.  I've searched for bugs, but the fact I didn't find any to match your problem doesn't mean there isn't one.  It just means I can't find.  (For a couple of reasons, it's hard to use the search feature of the bug tracker.)

I have a couple of ideas you can try.  But first, tell me about the editing you must have done after using Trace Bitmap, with as much detail as possible.

Also, which version of Inkscape are you using, and on which kind of operating system?  It must not be the current stable version.  I see a clue about that, but I don't know the specific version.  One thing that I can suggest, before we get to the editing, is to upgrade to the current stable version, which is 0.92.1.  (Because if there was a bug with your version, there's a good chance it's been fixed by now.)  Unless you have a specific reason not to upgrade?
Title: Re: Problem with .dxf file in Silhouette Studio
Post by: scuttleboose on June 24, 2017, 08:43:16 AM
Brynn, You're a lifesaver!

I'm running version 0.91 ( on a Mac with XQuartz 2.7.11. Version 0.92 hasn't got a .dmg file yet for Mac.

Here's exactly what I do:

Open a JPEG, PNG, etc.
Go to Trace Bitmap
I change the scans to 3 because it's a black file. I unclick Smooth and unclick Smooth Corners in the Options.
I also change the Brightness Cutoff threshold to 0.95 because when I have it lower, it leaves open spots in the lines.
I click OK and then delete the original image, leaving only the trace.
Remove fill and Change Stroke to flat (and make it 0.05 inches in stroke style tab)
And then I save it as an .svg and .dxf file.

I just went through all those processes and am attaching the files that I ended up with to this message.

Is this a  :help2:??

Perhaps I will uninstall and go with the 32bit version and see if it makes a difference.

Thank you so much for your help! :)

Title: Re: Problem with .dxf file in Silhouette Studio
Post by: scuttleboose on June 24, 2017, 08:50:52 AM
I'm sorry, I also forgot to mention that this issue didn't happen with another file where I only used boxes. I'm attaching that one so that you can see that it worked properly (followed the same process) and it opened fine in Silhouette Studio.
Title: Re: Problem with .dxf file in Silhouette Studio
Post by: scuttleboose on June 24, 2017, 09:32:00 AM
 :clap1: :clap1: :clap1: This forum rocks!

I think I discovered the solution! - I had ticked these two boxes when saving as a DXF. Could that have been the problem?
 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

Thank you so much for your help, and I'm sorry to be so annoying with my repeat questions. As we say here in Spain, "I weigh more than a cow carried in your arms" (in English, it's like saying very, very annoying)

Title: Re: Problem with .dxf file in Silhouette Studio
Post by: brynn on June 24, 2017, 03:35:42 PM
Well I have to say, I'm not terribly familiar with DXF.  You could always just make a test run, trying different options.  I mean, don't actually cut anything.  But just export the DXF and load it to the cutter, to see if it looks proper.  It is possible that one of those options should or should not be checked.

If you know what those options are or do, then you know whether you should use them or not.  If you don't know what they are....well, the rule I generally go by, is if I don't understand what an option is or does, I guess I probably don't need it.  (haha)

I doubt whether the 32-bit version would make much difference.  But I thought we did have a DMG for 0.92.....  Hhm, no, you're correct, we don't.  The last I heard, when they made the DMG for 0.91, it was considered the beta release, because I think this was the first time the guy (or maybe it was a small team) had tried packaging Inkscape.  As I recall, the 0.92 version was going to be the stable release.  But I guess things didn't work out.  I hope they can eventually get it out.

Here's where I'm confused with the steps you mentioned.  When you use an auto trace (like Trace Bitmap) it never creates a single path.  It always creates 2 - one along the outer edge of the line that's being traced, and one along the inner edge.  But in your files, somehow you have managed to end up with a single path.  At some point, you either deleted all the nodes for one path or the other, or you used Path menu > Break Apart, which would enable to you to delete the unwanted path (paths, in this case).

Ooohh....  Ok I've been thinking you're tracing an image that starts out as outlines of stickers.  But if the image you're tracing is like a solid black circle, for example, or solid black rectangle, then you would get a single path.  Ok, now I'm on the right track.

Nothing in the steps you mentioned would account for the open paths.  I think you may have found the solution, with the export options.  Just give a try without those options, if you've been using them previously.  Or if you haven't been, then try using them.

However, I think you'd get a much better result by drawing the files yourself, instead of tracing them.  Those are very simple shapes, which don't need hardly any knowledge about math or geometry.  The circles, squares and rectangles can be made by rank novices.  A couple of those I've seen so far might need a little extra thought, the ones that are sort of like the end of a ribbon, with either a point or a notch on the end.  But still, very much do-able by a beginner.

And the reason I say that, is if you look very closely....  Oh, by the way, I meant to point out that you've been working with Inkscape zoomed way, way in, so that the actual drawings are huge.  I'm thinking of planner stickers as not much bigger than an inch wide.  But some of them are 5 or 6 inches wide.  Inkscape has a zoom tool, and various ways of zooming and stuff.  But to be sure you're drawing a the correct size, you can just press the 1 key, and it puts the zoom at 100%.

So anyway, when I look at just 100% zoom, I can see that some of the corners aren't very sharp.  In the last SVG file you attached, even though the stickers are supposed to have a straight edge, they all have a node in between the corners.  That means those edges might not be perfectly straight.  The auto trace is a nice convenience, but it can only approximate the image.  There's nothing precise about tracing.  So by drawing the objects yourself, you can be sure the sides are straight.

Besides the trace adding a node a long a straight segment, it also tends to add way too many nodes, in some cases.  For example, in the last file you attached, those objects which are sort of like a teardrop on its side.  The curved edges of those have relatively tons of nodes.  Actually drawing that kind of shape yourself could be a little challenging.  But I still would try it.  We can always give you some tips if you get stuck.
Title: Re: Problem with .dxf file in Silhouette Studio
Post by: scuttleboose on June 24, 2017, 04:09:36 PM
Brynn, you are amazing! Thank you so much for the time you've spent helping me!

Yes, it turns out that the extra lines were created by having those boxes checked (it was a default from Inkscape). I unchecked them and am getting good files! Sometimes I still have to close some open parts by myself, but I'm getting better at it.

Yes, I'm using black files that I was previously using to trace in Silhouette Studio. I have templates made in another design program, so it would be hard to transfer those templates (and some of my stickers, like a gradient-colored check list) might be a pain to make until I get a better idea of how to do it.

But perhaps I'll start with just very simple shapes in Inkscape and learn it little by little, which means you will be hearing from me a lot in the future! hahaha

My first question is: how do you fill an object with an image from another file? For example, if I create a circle and want to fill it with the pattern from a digital paper...

Thank you so much!
Title: Re: Problem with .dxf file in Silhouette Studio
Post by: brynn on June 25, 2017, 05:05:12 PM
Well, if you've already figured out how to close open paths, then drawing those simple shapes should be no problem!

In case you haven't figured it out yet.  When you're using the Ellipse tool or Rectangle tool, holding the Ctrl key while you drag out the shape, will make a perfect circle or perfect square.  If you don't use the Ctrl key, you'll be lucky to make perfect circles or squares.

Oh!  And I just learned this trick the other day.  If you drawn an ellipse and later want it to be a circle, you can place your mouse over one the of the square handles on the ellipse.  Then just click, and it changes to a circle!  Don't know if it works for rectangles....  Hhm, I guess not.

To fill a shape or closed path with a pattern:

Import the raster file.
Object menu > Object to Pattern.
Select the shape or closed path.
Object menu > Fill and Stroke > Fill tab > Pattern

The Pattern button is the 2nd blue and white button (from the left), the one with the smaller checkered pattern.  If you created the new pattern immediately before, then your new pattern will automatically fill the shape.  But the dialog will still be showing you a menu of pre-installed patterns.  I'm pretty sure your new pattern will be at the top of that menu (I don't use it much).  So if you come back later (and you haven't deleted the new pattern) you can find it in that menu.  You can also draw your own patterns.

Also, Help menu > Inkscape manual is where you can find answers on your own.  Well, at least you can try.  It's not written with newbies in mind.  But I have a feeling you'll be able to use it  :)
Title: Re: Problem with .dxf file in Silhouette Studio
Post by: HeatherM on June 26, 2017, 05:43:04 PM
Sorry I didn't answer earlier, I was out of town and without internet.  It looks like most of your questions have been answered, but I don't think fill patterns will transfer to a dxf file.  I think you are better off creating your dxf and then adding the pattern after you open the file in Studio.