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I have a vector logo (can upload if required). Its single colour, now it was natively created in illustrator so it is all vector, however the problem is when i go and cut this image The cut is different from what i see on the screen. the parts where the images overlap have cut lines through them, some of the paths don't cut at all etc.

Basically I want a way to trace all visible objects and paths into a cutable design. One option I thought of was saving as a gif then live tracing it but I lose sharpness with the text. Is there a better way for this? I have heard about the merge as group then expand but I still have paths that dont cut and other bits etc.

Using CS4.
cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
upload the file so we can open it up and look at it
Ok its linked, so basically I want the cutter to trace the lines around the outside, cut the inside line of the skull, cut the eyes and cut the ellipse through the head. (and possibly cut the curve through middle of the head haven't decided how that will look on vinyl yet)

http://kdn.co.nz/fiteware/img/new-1.ai
 

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when I open it up I see 3-4 different versions of black.. meaning its not all one color.

I am assuming the lines pointing down coming from the wings is another image am I correct??


Since this is a vector image I would make sure all the colors are the same then group it... this may help.

I use Corel so in Adobe terms it may be merge..
 

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Here is what I did to clean up the design.

1. Convert the font to outline,so that it will cut.
2. Select everything and click the "merge" button on you pathfinder menu.
3. Click on the two "light" colors in the skull and hide them.
4. Use you "wand" button to select all the black shades
5. Click the "unite" button on your pathfinder menu.
6. Hide all the black colored items
7. Select everything that is on the board and delete
8. Unhide the black and the two light skull colors

This will leave you with three solid shapes.

Hope this is what you were looking for.
 

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Looks like it was designed with printing in mind... not cutting. There are alot of objects that are covered by layers on top... who knows why!? Then there are gradients, not a cut vinyl friendly thing. Some old school vinyl weenies use rattle can krylon fusion on the sheet vinyl to get a gradient effect.

You have to combine/merge the objects to get the cutlines you want. how do you plan to hande the gradients in cut vinyl?

At the end the whole thing is one curve. Dump the grung effect in the wing... who wants to weed that!?
 

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What on Earth is going on with that file? Did you make some changes to it yourself from its original configuration? No one would build a vector file like that. For example, there are two star shaped objects (star within a star) in the nose area of the skull, but they are covered by the fill of the skull object. There are also various circles, lines, blotches, and rectangular shapes that are covered by the skull and wings that have no apparent reason for being there (even if they were on top and visible they wouldn't make any sense).

In any event, it is easy enough to clean that file up so that "what you see is what you get". Temporarily hide the large visible objects (mainly the skull and wings) to make it easy to see what you need to get rid of and then delete all the hidden seemingly random objects. Don't delete the vertical slanted lines that are partially hidden and partially visible though; you'll want to just add those to the black shape area.

Look at the attached file and see if it is what you need.
 

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What on Earth is going on with that file? Did you make some changes to it yourself from its original configuration? No one would build a vector file like that.
Look at the attached file and see if it is what you need.
Thanks to everyone for their contribution, yes I know the file is quite a mess with lots of random stuff going on, thats exactly how i got it, I just added the text.

anyways, I will follow the steps given as I need to learn this for myself, (photoshop native here).

Im thinking of getting rid of the vertical lines and for the inside just have the eyes and the top ellipse showing. I guess I can have one version for vinyl and one version with mroe detail for heat transfer. Anyway I will have a play and let you know if i get stuck. cheers.
 

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Im thinking of getting rid of the vertical lines and for the inside just have the eyes and the top ellipse showing. I guess I can have one version for vinyl and one version with mroe detail for heat transfer. Anyway I will have a play and let you know if i get stuck. cheers.
You could also just remove the gradients from the light gray and dark gray objects, and have them be solid gray colors. You'd have to cut out two more pieces of vinyl for the design than you'd have to if you simply removed them, but it would make it look very similar to the original file; like so:



The "Pathfinder" tool in Illustrator is your friend. When you see objects that overlap and you think they would work just fine as a single shape, select them all and click the "add" button (known as "unite" in CS4 and CS5). When you want areas cut out of objects, use the "subtract" button (new name = "minus front"). Make sure the object you want to subtract is on top of the shape you subtract from.

For example, if you wanted to create a donut shape, you would create a large circle, and then create a smaller circle and place it, centered, inside of the large circle. The small circle would be on top in the layer order. Then select both circles and click the subtract button. Now you will have a compound path that is a donut shape; and is treated as a single object.

A good example of using both functions to good effect is to create the number 8. Make two circles and place them one above the other, with a slight overlap. Then create two smaller circles that fit, centered, inside both of the larger circles:



Then select both of the larger circles and click "add":



Then, making sure that the united shape is below the two smaller circles in the layer order, select all three objects and click "subtract". Now you have a number "8" that is a single object (click on it and select a fill [and a stroke if you wish] and it will fill without filling in the center holes):



"Add" and "subtract" are the two most useful functions in the Pathfider window. Doing the exercise I described above will help you understand their function. You can also play around with the other Pathfinder functions.
 

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I was just about to post another version of the logo, that I had used the pathfinder tool on, then I saw the post above. Hope the problem is resolved!
 
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