Friday, May 29, 2009

Making Robo Words in PSP

Not sure if this will be helpful to anyone, but I thought I'd take a few minutes to write down how I make words for cutting with my Craft Robo.

I use Paint Shop Pro to make my words.
Open a large new page (about 1000 x800 pxls depending on what I'm needing).
Type the word, change the letter size to as large a number as will allow the word to fit on your page.
Reduce to 2 colours (B&W) and save as a gif.
Now you can tweak the saved copy so that it cuts as required.
For a joined up word I'd use the "magic wand" to join up the letters,. then paintbrush tool to neaten up the joins - either in black to make the lines longer, wider etc or in the white to take away any bits I don't want.
I then select the whole thing and expand the selection as much as I can without distorting the letters too much - usually by 10 for joined up words.
Fill the expanded area with black using the Paint Can (Fill tool) and check for any tiny white dots that sometimes appear as Robo will cut anything you leave white).
Save again as a gif
It may seem a bit of a faff - but once you've saved them you start building up a "library" of words and letter styles so you'll soon have quite a few that will be ready for use whenever you need them. I try to remember to save mine using the font name and the word itself, so that I don't find myself making the same word in the smae font twice!

Now you can open a new page in Robo, and use the Get Outline button to bring up a new window, click Load Image in the File menu and load your gif
Click on "Convert to Outline", then "Paste then Exit"
Your word should appear on the page and you'll be able to rexize it as required:
With the mouse over the word, right click and a new menu will pop up, right at the bottom of the list you'll see "Position Settings", click on that.
The width and height options are the second set of boxes - you'll probably know how wide you want your word to cut so fill that measurement in - remember these values are in milimetres not cms.
You can choose to tick the "Hold Aspect Ratio" box to alter the height by the same ratio, but if you want the letters a bit taller you may prefer to change that value manually too.
I often set the value of whichever (width or height) is the most restricted for my project, then go back and tweak the other measurement by just stretching or reducing with the grab-lines on the page. You can always go ack to the Position Settings window to check what size they'll end up being when you cut.

If I'm cutting the word in card, I usually tell the Robo to cut it twice by highlighting, copy and pasting without moving the shape at all - this helps make sure the word is cut out completely.
To get more dimension for my words I'll cut 1, 2 or 3 times in card, run them through the little X shaped xyron and stick them all together. For the words on THIS card I cut a layer in card and a top copy in patterned paper.

That's it really, I hope at least some of this makes sense and is useful - although I can only use PSP I'm sure other graphics programs have pretty much the same wotsits (tech term...) to do the same things.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Fab & easy to follow tutorial Kathy. Thank you xx