A Tire Mechanic SVG. Shared in response to a discussion on the Facebook Cricut Design Space group.
Because this was a negative image I cheated and used a technique we haven’t put in a video yet to add a white background piece for the cut file. Since I cheated I have put the image up to share. 😉
In the discussion two images were shared, a truck and a mechanic. I converted the mechanic but offered tips for thinking about your images. I recommend you join the Cricut Design Space group on Facebook and check out the full discussion in context.
From my reply:
Wall of text here, but since this is such a popular thread I felt it was a good place to address some common problems and tips.
As you mentioned, simpler image work best when trying to trace them in Inkscape to make SVGs. I’m right there with everyone wishing it was a one click – BOOM – Done option, but that’s not always going to be the case. That’s why it’s the Coloring Book SVG series, not the Black & White image series. Normally coloring book pages are pretty simple!
If there is a lot of detail in an image, that is definitely going to be more work and require more techniques to make a cut file that works. That’s why we ended up having a whole series of videos trying to cover different ways to address different problems. The 101 techniques aren’t going to work for everything.
The truck is possible, but it’s definitely going to be a lot more work. One thing I always recommend when people have detailed images they are working with is to think of your end result first. This is going to be cut out of paper blocks. Do you need all of that detail? What detail could you cut back on to not have so many tiny pieces to work with? Can you do less detail and have your paper choices or embellishments bring the illusion of some of that detail back in the final piece?
Going from less effort/complication to more, my tips here are…
When tracing the image in Inkscape, don’t forget you can adjust the “Threshold” of the “Brightness Cutoff” on the Trace Bitmap dialog in Inkscape. In this case raising it up gives a better trace. Still a lot of detail, but better lines.
Personally, I would cut back on the detail in the image first before tracing it. Using the techniques in our video “How Two Tips: Coloring Book SVG – Touching up images with GIMP” at http://youtu.be/uXa6SUR2tmY . Adjusting the Brightness/Contrast to make a crisp B&W image removing the grey shades they left in the image. Then I would really use the eraser to erase a lot of the detail. Things like simplifying the front grill and headlights, clearing out some of the detail in the rims. Erasing the antenna because I can add that in to the final piece with a gel pen.
Then things you can add to the final piece to bring in the illusion detail. Like if I wanted this to look well loved, using a mottled paper for the body to give it some age and wear. Going the other way, using a high gloss paper for show-room new paint job! You could pop in some clear gem bling for the headlights. Silver or black stickles on the rims. A touch of glitter wash to the windows and windshield.
When looking at an image don’t forget you’re a CRAFTER! The piece isn’t the SVG alone, it’s all the little touches you’re going to bring to the final piece!
This actually comes out really well using the Path > Exclude technique we cover in our “How Two: Coloring Book SVG 201” athttp://youtu.be/ck4H5punzeE
This ended up being just two pieces in the end! The center of the tire and then all of the rest is one piece.
What I did was trace the image and break it apart using the 101 techniques in our 101 video. Selected everything using CTRL-A. The tricky part is I then held SHIFT and clicked the two center tire pieces to remove them from the selection. Then used Path > Exclude to punch out all of the piece from the main piece. This may take a few tries removing the tire pieces! Never forget that Edit > Undo is your friend, only you and Inkscape will know you didn’t get it right the first time! Anyways, then I selected the two center tire pieces and did Path > Exclude with those. Boom, two pieces.
Don’t forget you can Zoom your view, or resize the piece while you work with it in Inkscape. If you use CTRL-A to select all you can then hold CTRL on the keyboard while you drag a corner, you can resize the image to scale so it doesn’t distort. I always forget to hold CTRL on the keyboard and mess it up, but never forget Undo is your friend! LOL
I hope that essay helps some people! Just keep your expectations grounded and keep working at it. I know we all want things quick and simple, but don’t get discouraged when it doesn’t work out right away! I takes time to learn and practice. Some time with a few more butterflies before you jump in to the deep end with the trucks!
We can’t do everyone’s images but George and I hope with Crafts By Two our videos can help and inspire people to try things out! Don’t forget to Like our Crafts By Two page on Facebook to get all of our updates or subscribe to our channel on Youtube!