When I first started playing around with the Silhouette software I was really keen to try out the welding function. I thought it would be pretty simple. And the first bit was:
Choose two pictures from your library, or two of the same picture to make it easier.
Overlap them, select them both, right click and select “weld”
Okay yay, pretty simple. So then I tried adding text to a shape.
Open a shape or draw one yourself and type a word using the text option.
Drag the word onto the shape so part of it overlaps
Highlight both the shape and the word, right click and select “weld”
Great, this is going well!
But the problem arose when I wanted to add either text or a shape to a frame, or to weld two frames together.
I wanted to be able to do something like this:
I thought it would be pretty cool and seeing as I had worked out how to weld the other shapes I thought it would be easy. Well the bottom line is, it IS easy – but you just have to figure out a little something first and that is called “compound path”. Say it with me: “compound path”.
Okay, so the best way to get a frame is to use the offset feature, which can be found in the top right hand corner next to the Trace feature.
Choose or draw a shape, highlight it and in the top right corner open the offset window.
You can either do an internal or external offset, both will work. You can use the up and down arrows on the offset distance toggle to make the frame bigger or smaller.
And you end up with a frame like this
Now the first thing I tried was just to group the two frames together, and then weld the word on like before.
I then typed my word and dragged the word to make it big enough to span the inside of the frame, and overlapped it on the bottom and the sides. I’ve made the frame a different colour so you can see more clearly.
Then I highlighted everything, right clicked and selected “weld”… and this is what happened:
Yeah. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. We won’t go through all the trial and error (looking in the manual, looking online, cries of “WHY???”etc etc) but here’s the solution:
Let’s go back a step or two. So you use your internal or external offset to make a frame just as before. Now here comes the trick – compound path. Highlight the frame, making sure you get both of the rectangles (or whatever) selected. Then right click and select “make compound path”. It won’t look like anything’s happened, but trust me, it has.
Great, now drag the word bigger like before so that it spans the inside of the frame and also touches on the bottom (if it doesn’t touch on the bottom the middle letters will float in the middle and won’t create the effect we’re going for – I’ll show you how to put a word in the middle later). Remember to weld your word to make all the letters link up, if it’s a linked-up font.
Now highlight everything, right click and select “weld” just like before and…
Voila! Can I get a high five? You can also see that both the hello and the frame have gone the same colour – this shows that it’s one shape now. And here’s a similar one I made and cut out earlier, with the word in the middle:
Okay, now you can do the same thing with a shape. Again make your frame by means of the offset feature
And don’t forget to turn it into a compound path. Then duplicate it and overlap the two hearts…
Select both hearts, right click and choose “weld” and…
BUT if you haven’t made them into a compound path, this is what will happen when you try to weld them:
So, make sure you make them both a compound path - or be smart and make the first one a compound path before you duplicate it.
Ready for one more? Okay, I promised that I’d show you how to weld a word in the middle of the frame, like the one I cut out earlier.
The first thing you need is a font that is linked up, so that the letters will be joined. You can also do this with a non-linked up font, provided you squash the letters up close to each other, but we’ll leave that for another tutorial.
Okay, so here’s our same frame from earlier and our same word, but in the middle of the frame
So the first thing to do is to weld the word so it’s all joined. Nothing fancy here, just right click on the word and select “weld”.
Great. Now drag your word over the frame, but in the middle this time. Stretch it to span across the inside of the frame. Again, make sure that it’s touching on both sides or it won’t weld. That was also something that it took me a while to learn – there MUST be an overlap.
Highlight everything, right click and select “weld”. And there you go!
Great, I think that’s enough for today. Leave me a comment if you’d like a specific tutorial and I’ll see what I can do. In the meantime, keep creating with your Silhouette Studio : )