In August, Silhouette announced the release of the new Silhouette PixScan Technoloy. The concept is cool, but to be honest I found the written directions and the video tutorial rather vague. Here at Silhouette School we like to spell.it.all.out. so it's baby steps the whole way.
First let's talk about what Pixscan is. Pixscan Technology utilizes a cutting mat that has pre-printed registration marks on it which allows you to cut out pre-printed patterns or images. Think of it like you're doing a print and cut, but someone else did the printing.
To get started, you first need to download the latest version of Silhouette Studio. Yes, you need V3 and you'll need the most recent update (you do NOT need Designer Edition). Still scared of V3? Don't be..here's all you need to know about upgrading to Studio V3.
Click on the Mac or Windows version to download onto your computer, then you'll need to find the download to install. Just follow the two or three prompts and you'll be good to go.
After updating to the latest version of Silhouette Studio, when you open Studio you'll notice a few changes in the software that you did not have in your previous version. There is now a PixScan icon along the upper tool bar and the PixScan mats are listed in the 'Cutting Mat' drop down menu.
Now that the software is set up, let's work on the mat. The PixScan mat has a cover sheet and a sticky surface just like the regular cutting mats. Make sure you remove the protective sheet before you go any further.
After you have your material on the mat, snap a picture of it with your phone or scan it into your computer. You can take the picture straight on or at a slight angle. However you do it, the entire mat needs to be part of the final image like in the image above. (The above photo is the actual photo I used.)
Download the scan or the image (I snapped a photo with my iPhone 5 > emailed it to myself > opened my mail on the computer > downloaded image) to your computer.
Now go back into Silhouette Studio and click on that new PixScan icon along the top right bar. You'll get this window along the right side.
Click on 'Import from File' if you downloaded a photo like I did or 'Import From Scanner' if you're scanning.
Then click Import PixScan Image from File.
A pop up box will appear. Navigate to the image on your computer and click 'OPEN'.
Your photo will replace the image of that PixScan mat shown in the window as it loads into the software.
Once it's into Studio, the image will pop up in your work area.
At this point you're going to use the TRACE tool to trace the area hat you want to cut. I only wanted to cut two of these little branches out. I traced them to get cut lines and then had to release the compound path to delete a few unwanted trace areas (ie the berries below the branches).
Before you send your work to the machine, make sure you go into the Cut Style window and select the material that you're cutting and adjust the blade in your machine.
Also, it's a good idea to double check in the Page Settings window that the software has automatically detected that you are using the PixScan mat.
And now you're ready to cut.
Load the PixScan mat into your Silhouette and click 'Send to Silhouette' in the software and watch this thing of beauty.
Isn't this amazing!?
This side by side of the digitized version and the hard copy really demonstrates just how impressive this PixScan Technology is.
Next week I'll be sharing Part 2 of this PixScan tutorial mini-series to show you a few ways to customize your designs using the PixScan mat....like adding an offset or forcing other cut lines.
How will you use PixScan? Leave a comment below to share!
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Thanks for coming to class today at Silhouette School. If you like what you see, I'd love for you to pin it!