Tutorial written in Silhouette Studio v4.4.247
The new v4.4 software version was recently released and there are a couple of new features in it. One of those is the auto-tracing of .png files with transparent backgrounds when opened.
Now, this is still a new feature and there are still a few quirks with it.
Let’s look at how this works.
Open a .png with a transparent background in v4.4 software and notice that once it’s opened, red cut lines now appear around the design.
This may catch some users off guard when there are red cut lines around the .png file as soon as it opens.
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After you open the .png file, click on the Send tab and you can see it has bold red cut lines around the design.
This will be a great feature for using with print and cut images.
For example, these butterfly & flower images.
Open the .png file and the images are traced around each.
Keep in mind that .png files are flattened graphic images. If you increase the size of the image after it opens, the quality may not be as good. Decreasing the size, should not affect it as much, but they are not like .svg files that are scalable without losing the quality.
Since the .png files are already traced, you can combine images easily for a graphic design and then choose Cut Edge on the Send tab and it will only cut around the outside edge of all the objects overlapping and selected.
This is a great new option and just like any tool or feature in the software, I encourage you to play, play, play.
Turn the Auto-trace on or off
Not everyone will like this new feature and in some cases you may want to turn it off.
The great news is you can under the Preferences.
Click on the gear icon in the bottom right corner of the Design tab.
Or in the top left menu, under Edit > Preferences
the keyboard short cut is Ctrl+K
Choose the Import tab and then uncheck the Auto-trace for png files.
Click Apply and Ok.
Quirks or bugs
Now, I did mention that there are a few quirks still in this new feature. This post is written using v4.4.247 that is today’s current release (8/09/20). New versions released after v4.4.247 may fix these issues, but I think it is still good to be aware of things you might encounter.
It is a new feature and not all .png images created by every designer are created the same, so there is always the element of it not working as designed.
Some .png files even with a transparent background do not open as transparent.
Some png files will open but the trace is not complete or there are sections that just don’t look right.
Now, something to note is that a svg file will always be a higher quality cut file than a png file. A big factor is that a svg file can be scaled up or down and not lose image quality.
However, a png file is not the same way as it is a graphic file.
So you may experience different things with different designs.
Compared to the edit points on the svg file for this design.
This can make a big difference in the cut quality when you are working with files.
I would still highly recommend the Designer Edition upgrade to open svg files as they will always be a higher quality cut, especially when changing the size of designs from the original size.
Keep in mind, these edit points are the data points that the Cameo uses to make the cut connect. The png file in the first edit point example is 10.9 inches when it opens. If you scale that down, the number of edit points stays the same, but is in a smaller area. This can make some cuts difficult or impossible depending on the design.
The only way to know for sure is to play, play, play.
How do you edit the cut lines that trace on a png file?
With the auto-trace turned on, a png file will create the cut lines automatically.
But, what if you do not want all the cut lines?
Right click on the cut lines and choose Release Compound path.
This will break up the cut lines into pieces and any piece that is not connected will now be an individual pieces.
Click off of the design and then click back on the individual piece and delete as needed.
For instance, in this design, if I do not want all the little pieces inside the letters to cut out. Once the compound path is released, I can remove those bits and delete them as needed. I have just moved them away from the design so you can see them.
This will be a great feature for print and cut designs, when you just want the outer edge to cut and not the inner bits that traced.
Here it is on the Send tab to show the cut lines better.
Notice how the little bits inside no longer have a cut line around them. I removed them and can delete those now, so they do not cut inside the letters.
That is it!
A neat new feature in the v4.4 software.
The v4.4.247 was recently released at the time this is written.
I always recommend waiting a bit to update unless you have specific reasons or issues that are fixed in a release.
But, if or when you do decide to update the software, this is a neat feature.
Software updates are always free and I recommend updating direct from the website here:
anytime that you do decide to update.
I would love to see what you make!
Feel free to post photos or questions on my Facebook group at
Silhouette Secrets with EllyMae.
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