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Silhouette Knockout Technique Tutorial: Updated for V4


Today's tutorial is brought to you by the words: Popular Demand! That's right I heard you loud and clear - you want a tutorial on the Silhouette 'Knockout' technique.

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It's actually a pretty easy to do once you get the two main steps down..so here goes!
Start by opening up Silhouette Studio.

Use the text tool to type out your text.  Keep all of the text in one text box - don't make separate lines of text using individual text boxes.

For a knockout, I like to pick a font that's pretty bold like Arial Black.  You can always put a slight offset around the font to make it even thicker if you want to.

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After you've typed out the font you'll want to bring the lines of text closer together as well as the characters.

From the Text Style panel use the line spacing and character spacing bars to adjust the spacing between the lines of the text.  Use the Character spacing to bring the letters closer together


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Now find and open the design you want to 'knockout' and open it in the same work area.

I find it MUCH easier to design when my pieces are filled in with the color - using the fill tool - of the material in which I will ultimately cut on.

Place the design over the text where you want it. (Be sure the design is "in front" which it will be if you added it to the work area AFTER the text.

Select both the text and the design > Copy > Paste to make a duplicate.

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Open up the Modify panel from the right sidebar. (In blue above)

Working with one set, select both the text and the design and from the Modify Panel click CROP. 

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You'll notice that much of the design will disappear, the design will no longer be grouped, and the color may have changed.

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Group it all back together by selecting all the pieces > right click > Group.

Now you're going to work with the second copy. Select both the text and the design again and this time from the Modify window click "SUBTRACT".

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Now select the top piece of your design and drag it over the bottom "knocked out" text to line it up.

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Now that you know how to design a Silhouette knockout design in Silhouette Studio you need to cut it.
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But how you cut it will depend on what material you're cutting ...and that deserves a tutorial of it's own!  So go get designing so you're all ready to cut...and then follow this Silhouette tutorial for how to cut and layer knockout designs with Silhouette CAMEO or Portrait.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine! 

8 comments

  1. this is incredible! My mind is beyond blown. Thanks for the tutorial

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  2. Wonderful tutorial and so easy once the steps are known :) Question: this works great if the image is single color. Is it possible to do a knockout if the image is multiple colors? Thank you!

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  3. HELP! The crop works great on my first font/image grouping, but when I am trying to use the Subtract option it just deletes my entire design. What am I doing wrong?

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  4. Only half of my image shows when I Subtract!

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  5. I have had my cameo 2 years and have wanted to try this but it seemed to difficult. Your tutorial made it a piece of cake!! I wish I had found you sooner. Since finding your blog I have tried several things successful with your help!! Thanks!!

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  6. your tutorial is perfect but my project isn't coming out right. I think because I have two words, and trying to put another "knockout" word ontop of it.

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