Silhouette Cameo Tutorial: How to Trace an Image

I’ve had a few requests to make cutable files for my readers because they’re not sure how to do it themselves. Usually I just search around the internet a bit and send them whatever tutorial I can find on it, but I figured I may as well make one of my own! This is my first tutorial of this kind, so I hope it’s easy enough to follow along! If you have any suggestions for Silhouette Cameo tutorials, please let me know in the comment section so I can make one for you.

Go to Google or you favorite search engine, and search for whatever it is you’re looking for. I decided to use a cupcake for my example.

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Click on “images” to do an image search.

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Find the image you want to trace, right click, and save.

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Open your image in Silhouette Studio.

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Zoom in so it fills your screen. Depending on what size the image is when you open it, you may need to resize.

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Click on the tracing tool in the upper right hand portion of the screen.

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Click the button to activate the tool.

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Draw a box around the item you want to trace.

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You can mess with the threshold and see how it affects your image, and decide what numbers to keep it at.

Now you have two options. You can either trace around the outside of the object, or do a full trace, which will catch the detail on the inner portion of the object.

Here is an outer trace.

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And here is a full trace.

Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 8.54.49 AM

And that’s how you trace an image! Next I’ll show you how to edit a traced image to clean it up, make modifications, and much more! I hope this was helpful.

If you have an tips or requests, please leave them in the comments!

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8 thoughts on “Silhouette Cameo Tutorial: How to Trace an Image

  1. Pingback: Cupcake – Free Silhouette Download! | :) Crafty Mama

  2. Thank you for your instruction. I have had my Silhouete for about a year and a half now and have yet to do much with it. I don’t have a lot of time to play around with it and I found your tutorial easy and helpful. I was sad to see that there’s only one tutorial on this so far. I will be sitting here messing with my program to muddle through how to edit my traced image. Thank you for your tutorial and I look forward to more updates.

    • Hi Tifani! Editing a traced photo is actually pretty easy once you figure out how to do it. I haven’t had the time to write up another tutorial, but I can go over the basics real quick. Once you have an image traced, you can double click the red “cut” line, and it will bring up points. From there you can delete, drag, and create new points (the options are in the right side bar in Silhouette Studio). If you have lots of background noise (in other words, little dots and lines that got traced but you don’t need), you can delete all the points until the spot is gone. Also, while you’re tracing, you can play around with the “threshhold” and see what effect it has on how the image will trace. Increasing the threshold will sometimes remove a lot of the “background noise” in pictures you trace. There is also a great Facebook group that is ALL about the Silhouette, and it is a great resource for newcomers to use. You can ask questions, share files, and learn from everyone else. if you would like to be added, just let me know!

  3. hi. i too am new to the silouhette and am struggling. i have a cupcake wrapper file already designed that i purchased. how to i just cut the basic outside of the line design.. there are a million little circles in one and a million lines in another and it tried to cut ever little thing. I am having no luck:( im interested in joining that facebook group as well. thank you!

    • I’m not sure how to help you here, but I used the e-mail address attached to your account to add you to the SIL group. It should be approved within a few days and you’ll see it show up in your Facebook sidebar under “Groups”.

  4. Hi, I also found your tutorial very helpful and easy.Just bought a silhouette and I am starting to learn how to use silhouette studio. thank you! when you “save image as…” from the google search, which format do you think works better with silhouette studio (e.g. jpeg)? also, I would love to get invited to the silhouette facebook group if possible. BR Helena

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