Tracing External Images with Silhouette Studio

Using Your Own Designs

You can use your own images created in other programs with Silhouette Studio. The Silhouette Studio software program is able to use external images that are in a basic raster image format, such as PNG, JPG, BMP, GIF, and TIF file types. These files can be opened through the File > Open option.

Once in the software, these image types need to be converted into a cuttable design with lines present for the Silhouette cutting machine to recognize as cut. The Trace feature is included in the software for this purpose.

The Trace panel can be found in the right-hand side toolbar, or by going to the Panels menu and selecting Trace. Options are provided in this tool to trace imported images in order to create cut lines.

Please note that Silhouette America cannot support or guarantee results from files not offered by our company. Not all images are designed in such a way that they can be traced well for cutting purposes.

For supported ready-made designs, you may visit the Silhouette Design Store.

How to Trace

Steps to bring in an external image and trace it for cutting purposes are as follows:

Open Silhouette Studio Go to the File > Open option to locate and open the image file
NOTE: If on a PC, "All Files" may need to be selected from the "file type" selection in the "Open" window in order to locate your files Go to the Trace icon Click on the Select Trace Area option Draw a box around the image that is desired to be traced
NOTE: The trace filter will show a yellow area covering the image. This yellow area is a preview for where your cut lines would be created. Adjust the filters to define how your traced lines will be crated as desired
Filters include the following: High Pass Filter - Allows the trace lines to be set beginning from the outside of your image and then works toward the inside of the image as the filter setting is adjusted up. This is a good option if you are trying to create a basic cutting frame from a more detailed image. If you do not wish to create a frame outline for your image, you may wish to turn this option off. Threshold - Determines how broadly you wish to apply the trace filter to your image beginning with the darkest colors for low settings and applies lighter color parts as well as you move to larger settings. Scale - This setting controls the smoothness of pixilated edges of your image. It is only necessary to use if the image in question is of a low quality and highly pixilated. Once the trace area has been drawn and desired filter settings are in place, select one the tracing methods under Apply Trace Method.
The available trace options are as follows: Trace - This option will trace all outer and inner lines. This is generally preferable if you are attempting to create a regular cut image with multiple parts and specific details to be cut. Trace Outer Edge - This option will create a cut line only around the outer edges of your image. This is generally preferable if you are attempting to create a Print & Cut image. Trace and Detach - This option will punch out the image from the white background space. It is only used when you specifically removing the white background so that you can have select images overlap or be closer for Print & Cut jobs.

Performing these steps will create cut lines for the imported image. Once your image has been traced, you can delete it from Silhouette Studio. The software will only need to see the cut lines to perform the proper cutting action.

Click here for an overview of the Trace feature with images.