By Mary Zimmerman

Select an image
1. Select & open the image into Inkscape (Jpg, gif, bmp, anything) 2. Make sure the image itself is selected (look for the BLACK arrows around the image). 3. Go to <Edit> <Make Bitmap> If your image is a jpg, you can skip this step! 4. You can delete the original image (unless it is the jpg and you skipped Step 3!).

• • •

Select the ‘new’ bitmap image (black arrows) Go to <Path><Trace Bitmap> Select <Brightness Cutoff— Threshold>

Trace Bitmap

– Play around with the Threshold #s: you will need to reselect the bitmap each time you change the numbers. Cont. playing with these numbers until you find something that works for you. Sometimes, on more detailed/difficult images, you may need to ‘trace’ the image a couple of times at different ‘thresholds’, keeping EACH tracing to get all of the detail. I will show an DIFFICULT tracing at the end. – <OK>

• • • •

Move the Bitmap image out of the way Select the ‘traced’ image (black arrows) Go to <Path><Break Apart> Deselect the entire ‘traced’ image, then click somewhere near the edge of the image-this should select the ‘base’, the largest piece from the break apart.

• If the ‘break apart’ doesn’t pull all the pieces you want (the eye, the nose, cheeks, etc…) Reselect the starting image and repeat the ‘trace’-changing threshold #s, & ‘break apart’ again. • Saving the other ‘break aparts’ to piece them together later.
Base Break Apart Pieces Image

Node Tool


Nodes allow you to move and adjust the ‘traced’ piecesreshaping parts as you desire. Once you select NODES zoom in to see up close what you are moving. If you need to, you can move your ‘traced’ piece over your image to see where you want the lines to be. I try to keep the pieces just slightly smaller than the outer edge, as I like to see the outline of the base when it is all put together.


Pieces that Wouldn’t Trace
• Cont to ‘trace’ & ‘break apart’ until you have what you need. If you find that no matter what Threshold you try, you can’t get a piece or two to trace, you will have to create your own piece. • The simplest way I have found is to copy <ctrl+C> a piece you already have, any shape, move it over you image, to the spot that did not trace. Here you will use the NODES to adjust it to the shape you need.


Move the copied piece over your Colored Image, over the area you need.

Use the nodes to reshape the piece into what you want (this is why we DON’T delete the starting image!)

Keep working on the reshaping until you are satisfied.

Combining ‘Break Apart’ Pieces
• There are times when after the ‘break apart’ the pieces need to be put together. They are usually pieces NOT touching each other. • Use the NODES to reshaped the pieces and to make them touch.
Not touching, but they all belong the Thumpers’ chest!

You will have to reshape each piece at a time, reshaping them to touch each other.

Look CLOSE, see the dotted lines around the sections these are to four pieces that reshape to touch.

Now, select all of th ‘reshaped’ shapes together. <Path><Union>

This puts them together as ONE piece. If you DON’T

Look CLOSE, see the dotted lines around the sections-these are to four pieces that reshape to touch. •Now, select all of the ‘reshaped’ shapes together. •<Path><Union> This puts them together as ONE piece. If you DON’T do UNION, when you cut it out, EACH of the 4 pieces will cut out, instead of ONE solid piece.

Check to make sure your pieces will fit together nicely. I place the individual pieces over the ‘Starting Image’, use NODES to reshape and adjust to fit and contour.

Once I have the shapes as I like them, fitting close together, but leaving just a little bit of space between to let the base show through, I move the ‘starting image’ out of the way and move the base under. This way I can check to make sure the pieces will still fit nicely Over the base, leaving a nice border/edge. PIECES BASE STARTING IMAGE

Once I have all of the pieces shaped/reshaped and “ok”, I separate them by color. Inner Ear, Eye, Nose If I have pieces that are REALLY close in color, I put them together. The fewer pieces I have to cut out & put together, the better for me! For Thumper I will put the nose with the eye color and the inner ear color. The pieces that are seperated (the face, tummy, & feet) that are the same color, I move closer together. Save paper!

Face, Tummy, &


Then I place them far enough apart to make paper placement a little easier. I also changed them all back to black. Then <Save As> whatever you want, where ever you want! Now, <IMPORT> into SCAL and cut away!

•Some things I do, or don’t do: •I don’t usually cut out White parts-eyes, teeth, etc…They are too tiny to cut! I use a White pen. •I will cut white pieces if the pieces are big enough, like gloves. •If I DO cut anything for they eyes, then I cut the colored part, use a pen for the whites of the eyes, and a Black Pen for the pupil. •I usually don’t cut a tongue, either. Again, because they are usually TOO tiny to cut and/or manipulate!

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