And our next step in the Let’s Explore v4 series is the Tracing Panel – Tab 1.
This is a very popular Panel and there is so much that you can do with it from tracing an image to tracing a photo. But, I will say right from the get-go, it is not a one size fits all Panel. Each image you trace is going to require you to adjust it differently than the last one. So while the concepts can be taught, the technique varies some each time a trace is done.
You will find the Trace Panel on the right side of the v4 software and it resembles a butterfly or a piece of bread.
Now, let’s take a look at the Trace Panel.
Tutorial written in version 4.1.441
Updated 6/8/21 – trace panel has not changed since original post
- Select Trace Area – Click on Select Trace Area and then draw a rectangle around the image you want to trace. A gray box shows up around the image and you should see some yellow show for your trace. For a good trace, you want as much yellow and as crisp, clear lines as possible.
- Trace Preview – Choose between Solid Fill (as shown above) or Outline fill.
I prefer to use the Solid Fill so I know exactly where it will trace.
- Threshold – Determines how the trace filters are applied to your image.
- Despeckle Threshold – Eliminates noise in your trace. *
- High Pass Filter – Trace lines begin from the outside and work to the center of your image. *
- Scale – Scale the trace up or down to get the look you want ** Each image will be different in how it traces and you will need to adjust the Threshold & filters to what works best for you particular image.
- Trace – Click on this when you want to trace around all the yellow of the design. This is the most common Trace and the one that I use the most often. After clicking trace, move your design away and the cut lines will be there around the area traced.
- Trace Outer – This traces the outside edge of a design on your screen. If you stamped an image and wanted to trace around the outside edge of it, this is the option you choose. Then your cut lines will only generate on the outside of the image and as you can see below, it did not trace the 2 circles on the inside of my image.
- Trace and Detach – This will trace the image and then detach it from the background. It works great if you have a jpeg image. For instance, if I wanted to use this little guy for a Print and Cut Valentine.
For a basic trace, black traces the absolute best. The resolution of your image also plays a big factor in your trace. If the file you are tracing is very pixelated, then it will trace all of those pixels. This results in a very choppy cut line and a lot of edit points.
And there you have your Trace Panel – Tab 1. It is a fun option to play around with and I suggest practicing with it and seeing what works best for you. A lot of it is moving the filters and finding out what works best for the image you are working with.
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For my information on the filters, I consulted the Silhouette Handbook that is available in the Silhouette store.
Make sure to check out all the other sections of Let’s Explore v4 and learn more about what you can do in the software.
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**This has been updated on 4-12-18 to reflect the changes released with the v4.1.441 software version.**
*Updated 6/8/21 – the Trace panel has not changed since the original post was written.
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