Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Video Tutorial: 10 Steps to Convert a Lettering Delights graphic into a MTC file


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Notice: Provo Craft/Cricut does not endorse the use of any 3rd party software. Cutting or communicating to any Cricut machine with any 3rd party or non-Cricut endorsed software or device will void the warranty of the Cricut cutting machine. As such, it might be prudent to wait until the warranty expires on your Cricut machine before trying out this tutorial.
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It’s here. I’ve done it. So many of you have asked me for this tutorial and I am so excited to tell you that IT'S DONE!! :-D

Thank you everyone for your patience. This is my very first video tutorial and it was truly a learning experience. For all of you who have ever made one of these, I applaud you. 

This video tutorial will show you how I convert the whale from Lettering Delights' Seven Seas graphic set into a Make-The-Cut file. I used Adobe Photoshop CS3 in this tutorial but I understand that the same tools that I used in PS is also available in Photoshop Elements so if you only have PSE, you should still be able to do the same conversion.


You are free to share this video tutorial on your blog or craft forum but I would really appreciate it if you would point back to my blog. I have worked hard to put this tutorial together and I would be grateful if you could support my blog by using my affiliate link when you make a purchase at Lettering Delights . You can use the coupon code "SpendTen" for a $10 discount when your purchase totals $20 or more.


Video Tutorial: 10 Steps to Convert a Lettering Delights Image into a MTC file





I know that this video tutorial could use a little more polishing and I realized that it might be a little too fast. If you miss a step, press the Pause button on your video player or refer to these instructions that I have written out here for your reference:

Step 1: Prepare your tool.
Select Magic Wand. Set Tolerance to 50.
 

Step 2: Open Lettering Delights file.
 

Step 3: Create the layers.
Select Blue Polka Dot layer and right-click to Layer via Copy.
 

Step 4: Increase Canvas Size
Select Image>Canvas Size and set height to 20.
 

Step 5: Hold down the CTRL key and the left mouse button to separate the layers.
 

Step 6: Make the image black and white. Select Image>Mode>Grayscale
 

Step 7: Sharpen the image with the Brightness/Contrast feature.
Set Brightness to -150 and Contrast to 100
 

Repeat Step 7.
 

Step 8: Save your converted image. This graphic is now ready for MTC or Inkscape.
 

Step 9: Import the new file into MTC. Trace.
 

Step 10: Adjust the size and split the image. Your LD graphics is now ready for cutting!


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If you enjoyed the tutorial, please leave a comment below and tell me what you think. 




Thanks. :-)

46 comments :

  1. Jin,
    Thank you so much for the tutorial! I can't wait to get started making some school items. Please thank your family too for allowing you to share your time and expertise with us.
    Kim

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  2. love your site and your work! I recently purchased MTC and am learning but don't know how to convert a grapic into a cut file yet. I don't have the programs you use but do have Paint Shop Pro and am wondering if I can use that to convert? Thank you for your hard work!
    Blessings, NOrma

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  3. What an AWESOME tutorial. And so easy. Sales at Lettering Delights are going to EXPLODE now. Thanks for all your work. :-)

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  4. Wow, thank you so much for this tutorial. You make it look so easy! I can't wait to play with my files soon. Now, if only LD would have their $1 sale, wouldn't that be fantastic?

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  5. That was AWESOME!!! Thanks so much for taking the time to make the video. I have a ton of Lettering Delight graphics and MTC. I can't wait to give this a try. The only problem is that I don't have Photoshop anything. I have StoryBook Creator by CM. I'm hoping to be able to figure out how to do the Photoshop steps in SBC+.

    Again thank you for your hard work. It is much appreciated.
    Donna

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  6. This is great, thank you so much. I will put a link on my blog (http://anne-mariej.blogspot.com) with your blog: super!! I do have Paintshop Pro and had to change a few things, but I think I can manage it now! Cannot wait to play with it! Bye, till later!
    Anne-Marie

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  7. Thank you so much for a great tutorial! Even though I don't have either of the Photoshops you mentioned, I was able to do something similar with Paint Shop.

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  8. Great tutorial, Jin!

    Now, I will try it with PSE and make all those cute images cuttable! Thank you much!

    Carmen L

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  9. Thanks so much for doing this! I found your tutorial very easy to follow, and have successfully converted my first LD graphic into a cut file for Make the Cut! Couldn't have done it without your instructions! newbie1nomore

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  10. thank you for the tutorial...I was wondering if all the graphics on lettering delight come in black and white images also....thanks again

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  11. This was great. Have to watch again as it went a little fast for me. I have been buying clipart and fonts from Lettering Delights for years, maybe I can put some of it to good use with MTC if I can figure this out in PSE with the help of your tutorial.
    Thanks again for doing this tutorial.
    Linda

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  12. Jin,
    Your first video was great. Thank you for also doing the step by step instructions. How often are the $ sales...I missed the last one.
    Thanx, Brenda

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  13. The tutorial was very useful and your cards are inspirational. thanks very much

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  14. Thanks for a great tut. I've added your video to my blog and linked to your page!

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  15. Silly question, but if we are doing an image that has mroe than 2 colours to be cut, do we repeat these steps for each part?

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  16. Not a silly question at all. :) It doesn't really matter how many colors because the Magic Wand tool will select whichever layer you click on. It takes some practicing but you have to remember to always go back to the first (original) layer when making new layers and also you would probably need to adjust the Tolerance level (Step 1) depending on the color saturation.

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  17. I'm a nervous newbie with a really silly question. How does the cricut machine get the file from the computer to cut it? Do you hook up a usb cable or something?

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  18. That's not a silly question at all. :-) I have Design Studio so my machine is connected to my laptop via the USB cable that came with the program. You should be able to use any standard A/B type USB cable(an A/B type cable has one flat end and one square end). You can find this info here: http://www.cricut.com/CDS/FAQ.aspx and scroll down the page to question 20.

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  19. Hi, Jin, I love your blog and this video! I followed your instructions and it worked until I tried to import it into SCAL. Will your method work for SCAL or only for MTC? Thanks!

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  20. Hi Amy, I mostly use MTC but I do have SCAL (not SCAL2). I don't know how different SCAL2 is from SCAL but when I use SCAL, I have to open the .jpg or.png image file in Inkscape first and then do a "Trace Bitmap". I would then save the trace as an .svg file before I can open the image (SVG) in SCAL. I have not used SCAL in a long time but I am pretty sure that was what I needed to do before I can use SCAL to cut.

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  21. Amy, I just did a quick search on youtube and I think that if you have SCAL2, you should be able to import and trace the image without Inkscape but if you only have SCAL, you would need to convert it into a .svg file in Inkscape first.

    Hope that helps.

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  22. Thanks Jin, I will give this a try!

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  23. Jin - u r awesome! U make it look SO easy!
    I can hardly wait to get started cutting!
    I am wondering if it's possible to put each piece on a separate page so that the cricut doesn't want to cut it all at once?

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  24. Yes, cinder! After you trace and import in MTC, click on the image and Break it apart to get the different layers. Then mouse over Default Layer (under Layer Properties on the right side of screen) and select To Each Its Own. After that you can click on the eye button on each layer to hide/unhide it. The Cricut will not cut out the hidden layer.

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  25. Oops, I meant to say cinda. Sorry for the typo error.

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  26. Is there anyway to do this without PS? I have soo many images and no way to convert them, but it seems silly to buy a $100+ program LOL

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  27. I'm sure that there are other ways to do this Mominct. If you google you might find alternative methods that uses the free program Inkscape. I used PS for this tutorial as I find that PS or PSE ($50 at Costco sometimes) gives me the best results. You can download a 30-day free trial for PSE at http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshopelwin/

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  28. does this work with a Mac? I have cricut expression, tons of lettering delights and journaling delights, cricut design studio, Make the Cut (which I have not put on my computer yet) - I am just reluctant to do much lately cuz I get frustrated that not all things work with my MAC. I don't like to use my pc cuz it is old and slow. I did install the Parallel program to do some window things thru my mac - but have not spent a lot of time playing iwht it and when I have used it - Creative Delights is not the same.
    Just wondering if you have any wise words for me. thanks

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  29. Hi Denise, 'm a PC user but I have a Mac in the house. Give me some time and I will see if I can get the Mac to do something similar. Do stay tuned.

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  30. Hi, Jin, I love your work; you're awesome. I tried this once with a free trial download of Adobe, and got almost to the end. Now I just downloaded PSE 9. I can't seem to separate the layers using CTRL and the left mouse button. Is there another way to do it or am I missing something? I have a Mac.

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  31. Hi Jin, me again. I have been messing with these ideas and have a few things done, although I haven't gotten anywhere with the whale. Anyway, here's a link to what I did:
    http://thestampingtree.blogspot.com/2010/09/learning-new-skills.html

    Thanks for all your inspiration and creativity, and most of all for sharing your process!

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  32. Hi Amy, Sorry that I didn't reply to your earlier question. Hubby has the Mac and I was waiting for him to set it up with PSE so that I can look into your problem but he STILL has not done it. Men! :-(

    Thanks for sharing your blog. The cutouts look awesome. You did GREAT! I'm so happy that you were able to use my tutorial. I mainly work with my PC but when hubby gets the Mac ready I will see if I can work on that whale for you. Thanks for your patience.

    Happy Cricuting!

    Jin

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  33. Thanks to you I have become a Lettering Delights junkie! How do you keep all your LD files organized. I like to mix and match. Or do you just use the LD library?
    Thanks!

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  34. Hi Gina, I do use the LD library a lot. I do not use their free Creative Delights Companion software but I did try it out and it seems like a useful tool to keep your fonts and graphics organised. You can go to the following link to download the free program. Just scroll down the page to no. 2

    http://www.letteringdelights.com/programs.php

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  35. Hi Jin,
    I just wanted to give you a big, big shout out and tell you You Are Awesome!!!! I have used Corel Draw for along time to capture and crop things but never could quite master graphic editing. Well, those times are long gone now thanks to you and this wonderful tut! I not only can use my Corel draw, but taught a friend how to use her free Paint.net program to do.
    I have bought LD graphics and fonts for a long time and would just print and cut them out with scissors, but no more. My Corel, MTC, are burning up the Cricut.
    Thanks again for these great tuts, they are so easily to follow and apply to so many graphic drawing and editing programs and your generousity in sharing so much with us.
    You are the best!
    Linda

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  36. Oh, Linda! You've made my day!! I am so happy that my tutorial helped. Thanks so much for letting me know. Have fun and keep on creating! :-)

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  37. Hi, I have photoshop CS5, I'd no idea this could be done. I will have to get MTC. Can you tell me if this would also work with images from CDroms or other jpeg images etc? I am making a CDrom right now and it would be ace if I can also cut my own art work on the cricut.
    thanks
    Sarah

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  38. i happened to come acrosss your site while looking for info on scrapping/card making.. i have to say i love the site and the info.. i am reading alot about make the cut.. i have a program similar called sure cuts alot (can i use your tutorials for my app?) i am new to all this and very excited about what i just learned :o)

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  39. Hello Jenny,
    Welcome to my blog! MTC and SCAL are competing programs but they both allow your Cricut machine to cut images from non-cartridge sources. For this particular tutorial, you can certainly use SCAL to trace the image once it has been prepared for tracing. Just follow the tutorial up to the point where I switch over to MTC and use your SCAL instead. :-)

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  40. What if you don't have PS????

    Nancy

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  41. Hi Nancy,
    I used PS but I understand that you can also use the free program Inkscape to do the same thing. You can download Inkscape here:
    http://inkscape.org/

    For a tutorial on Inkscape, you can go to:
    http://inkscape.org/doc/basic/tutorial-basic.html

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  42. Thanks - I'll check it out!

    Nancy

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  43. Hi, I was wondering if I could ask you to show us how you would convert a little more complicated file. I have a gazillion scrapbooking kits with tons of pngs and am wondering if these can be converted to be cut with MTC, (which I own and LOVE!). Thank you!

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  44. Jin,

    I just want to thank you for having your blog, and doing the tutorials. I have been buying LD graphics files and just wasn't sure what to do with them, other than printing them out. After watching a few of your tutorials, I can now create a layered cut file from many different graphics, thanks to you!!!! I have had MTC for about a year, and am still learning new things to do with that awesome program! Thank you for all you do!!!

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  45. What a great tutorial. I will have to play with it in my SCAL! If you have any pointers, please share :)

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