Affinity Designer Tutorial Beginner: Add Contour Cut Lines for PNG & JPEG (No More Box) (2023)


The only Affinity Designer Tutorial Beginners need to add contour cut lines around JPEG and PNG images instead of getting that dreaded box! | Silhouette School Blog 😍 SUPPLIES and MORE INFO and IMPORTANT LINKS!👇

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Have an SVG file? That's even easier! Use this video for how to add the Roland Cut Contour line in Affinity Designer:

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✅ Can Import and Export a lot of different file types including PDF, SVG, PNG

🌟LEARN: How to Add Versaworks Cut Contour Lines in Affinity:
👉How to Add Roland BN-20 Cut Contour Lines in Adobe Illustrator:

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Hey guys, it's melissa in this video, I am going to show you how to use pngs and jpegs in affinity.

So when you use affinity designer you are going to likely for roland anyway, you are going to want to add that cut line.

Unfortunately, jpegs and pngs need to be vectorized first and you can't really do that in affinity at least not very quickly or easily.

So what happens when you bring a png, I'm just going to drag and drop one directly into affinity here, so you can see.

So what happens? Is this? The edge of this design is actually the square, okay, it's transparent, but it's still the edge.

So let's say we try to put a stroke around that um.

This is the roll in contour stroke.

So if I put that around there what you it's kind of tough to see, let me see if I can increase it, so you can see.

So what happens? Is you end up getting the stroke around the edge of the image instead of the edge of your design, and you likely don't want to cut a square? So if you want to contour cut a jpeg or a png, you need to you need to vectorize it first and you're, going to need probably another software program to do that.

My preference, because this is where I'm most comfortable, is silhouette studio.

So silhouette studio is very it's a very powerful program.

You do not need to have a silhouette, cutting machine, it can import svgs, pngs jpegs and it can export those same file types and more, with a one-time upgrade of 99 for business edition.

So, okay, so, let's pop into silhouette studio where we will now be able to add um the cut line or the vector line that we need to either a png or a jpeg.

So what we're going to do in silhouette studio, I'm just going to do file open and find that same file that we have downloaded you can see.

I have it a bunch of times on my computer, but the original here is this png.

Now the png is going to come into silhouette studio with a transparent background.

This tracing process that I'm going to show you next is the same, regardless of if you're, using a png or a jpeg.

So just keep that in mind.

A jpeg will have like a white or some other type of background.

The png is transparent, but regardless we need to trace it.

So tracing is done very quickly and easily using this tool here on the right side called the trace panel, so you're just going to open that and then you're going to click, select trace area and you're going to use your mouse to draw a large box around your design.

So this yellow shading that's going to come in here.

All you need to do.

Is you want to increase the threshold bar until as much yellow is added to your design as possible without yellow being outside? So basically, if you were going to trace this as a traditional trace anywhere that you see a yellow line, you would have a cut line.

What we want to do is detach the background, so we're going to click trace and detach.

Now it's going to look like nothing happened, but what we have now is this design.

That is free of its background.

Obviously it would be much more obvious if it was a jpeg and there was a background left behind, but you can see there are little pieces of your design over here from even from the png.

So now what we're going to do is select our design so that only the design is selected.

This is important in case there's anything else, kind of left on the the design area and we're going to go to file save as we're going to save to hard drive.

Now this is the part that is going to require you to have the business edition of silhouette studio, because when you go to format, you will now have the option to export as all of these other file types.

If you don't have the business edition version, you are only going to have the option to export as a silhouette studio file which is not going to work in affinity.

So pick pdf, portable document format and I'm going to put in here- use this one.

So we know, because I have several copies on my computer already, and I want you to see that it's the same one that we're working on all right, so that's saved to the hard drive, and now we can pop back over to affinity so oops.

This affinity, this design here is the one that we originally brought in and had that large, you know square around it we're going to open up the pdf by going to file open, and we will use the one that I named.

That said, what what did it say? It said use this one or something like that right.

Where is it it might be in here? Yes, use this one, okay, so here's our pdf and it's gonna come with a bunch of options.

Just I just click open, so it opens in traditional with the standard default settings all right.

So now it looks the same as the other one that we had, but there's a big difference here, and the big difference is that now we have a blue selection line around the outside edge.

You see that what we want to do is change the stroke uh to the roll and cut contour line so that we can do a print and cut with a contour cut line on our roland.

So we're going to pick color excuse me stroke and then swatches and here's our our color.

We need to use that color and just you can close out of that now.

It looks it's difficult to see on this design itself, because the outer edge here is red, but if I was to increase the line weight, which I would not suggest that you do you'll see that that border is there and it's right around the edge.

So when we export this over for versaworks, I would suggest that you leave the line at about 0.3.

But now you are ready to export this and then you can bring it in to versawork.

So you would just go to file export and then again export as a pdf uh rolandverseworks really likes pdf.

So when you export this from from affinity as a pdf, then you can open enroll in versa works and, what's going to happen, there is because we added that line.

Uh the the stroke line, the magenta stroke line, cut contour.

You will have those dancing ants where it's telling your role in bn20 or bn20a, exactly where to print and exactly where to contour cut around your design.

Okay, all right! So if you have an svg file, it's much easier.

You don't need to use silhouette studio to create the cut line or vectorize, because it's already vectorized, but if you have a jpeg or a png, you will need to use silhouette studio or some other program again.

My preferences studio to quickly vectorize by tracing and then pop it into affinity just to add the contour cut line.

Unfortunately, neither program, silhouette, studio or affinity does both and there's really.

Even if you use something else like adobe again, you still have to figure out a way to vectorize those images first and a lot of it's your piecing together.

But this is the simplest, uh fastest, most effective way and definitely the least expensive way to add a contour cut line to a file that that is not already ready to be used in roland versaworks.


Where is the contour tool in Affinity Designer? ›

Drag the shape out on the canvas. Next, select the shape and click on the Contour Tool on the left side panel. Click anywhere on the shape and drag out.

Can you slice an image in Affinity Designer? ›

The Slice Tool allows you to create and edit drawn export areas, called slices, so you can select portions of your design to be exported as individual graphics. As an alternative to drawing slices using the tool, selected objects and layers can also be made into automatically-sized slices.

How do I cut an image into a shape in affinity? ›

To crop an image:
  1. From the Tools panel on the left, select the Crop Tool.
  2. From the context toolbar, select a crop mode from the Mode pop-up menu.
  3. Adjust the context toolbar settings.
  4. Drag a corner or edge handle on the grid to resize the grid to suit, then reposition the grid by dragging within it.

What is the contour tool in Affinity Designer? ›

The Contour Tool lets you offset the stroke of a curve or shape. The tool offsets the object's original outline; the stroke moves with the newly offset outline but its width remains unchanged. The object's outline can be moved inwardly or outwardly (more typically) by dragging.

How do I find a contour palette? ›

When contouring, we want to choose shades that imitate the realistic shadows of your face. Select a contour shade 2-3 shades darker to sculpt your features with a similar undertone as your skin. The easiest way to find out whether it is cool, warm, or neutral, is to look at your wrist veins under natural light.

How do you get a contour map? ›

  1. Gather supplies. ...
  2. Draw orientation lines on the drawing paper. ...
  3. Make a clay mountain and cut layers out of the mountains. ...
  4. Use the clay layers to draw contour lines. ...
  5. Complete your contour maps with DOGSTAILS. ...
  6. Share your contour map and explore contour maps of your local area.

Is there a shape builder tool in Affinity Designer? ›

Affinity Designer Video Tutorial

The new version of Affinity Designer is not been a mindblowing step forward but Serif added some nice new features. One of the most anticipated ones is the Shape Builder Tool. It allows you to easily and quickly combine areas into new curves.

How do you add grid lines in affinity? ›

From the View menu, select Grid and Axis Manager. Click the Grid lines or Subdivision lines swatch to display a pop-up panel to set the line color(s). Drag the sliders to set the opacity of either, or both, line colors. Click Close.

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