Design PERSONALIZED SVG cut files (of people!) | From photograph to digital Etsy Product | Cierra Smith | Skillshare

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Design PERSONALIZED SVG cut files (of people!) | From photograph to digital Etsy Product

teacher avatar Cierra Smith, Simplifying your next creative passion

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Intro & What you need to know before getting started

    • 2. Designing using a light-background photo

    • 3. Designing using a dark-background photo

    • 4. Designing using a dark-background photo pt.2

    • 5. What to do when your design just won't come out right

    • 6. How to Export as an SVG (and PNG!)

    • 7. File Packaging & compressing for sell on Etsy

    • 8. Last Minute Selling Reminders & Conclusion

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About This Class

In this course, you'll learn how to make your very own custom SVG (and .PNG!) files from SCRATCH. Your designs can then be used as cut files for Cricut and Silhouette Designer, or for brand identity, gifting, printing, etc. You'll learn how to make designs from photographs of people, and "image-trace" their portraits into vector images with transparent backgrounds. Your creations can also be used on both physical and digital greeting cards, business cards, websites, and logos. A great, cheap way to give a personalized gift to someone you care about. The whole process takes anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes, depending on the photograph. 





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Cierra Smith

Simplifying your next creative passion


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1. Intro & What you need to know before getting started: Hi. Ah, welcome to my course. I'm making custom spg cut miles to actually sell on Etsy. Here's my Etsy shop page here where I've actually accumulated 121 sales as of April 5th 2020 selling mostly digital files. And it's just been a really nice form of past of income. Right here on the top, My banner here you can see some of the files that I've designed myself and for this video, and for this course in particular, I will be focusing on the files that are black and white, or at least a pure black and white here, but actually black in half transparent backgrounds. In the future, I will be making other courses on color and watercolor specifically, if you're not exactly sure Nspd cut ball is I did just pull up a Google search. The first link here is from shop craft doubles dot com and they list exactly on SPG cut file is just in case you want to know. And basically you're able to print on anything, literally, anything. Any products you have a Sure. Um um you imprint on it using this design, and if it's custom, I think that this is really cool because you can print your face a loved one's face and you can give these as a gift. Actually had a customers in me in, um, her own pictures of using my products. This is one side of it, but this side was even cooler because they literally had the SPG father had created of a person, of course, this woman's face list. And in this chorus, I will be focusing on people with faces, of course, but I didn't think it was really cool in It is a really cool visual demonstration of how exactly this could look as a finished product. So in this article Army, in this course, I will be focusing on three different models here, and you can see that I am using Adobe Illustrator. Fortunately, Adobe Illustrator is free for students as of April 2020 and I think it has been for at least a year now. It's free for students if you put in your student email and they do have deals with throughout the year, so this doesn't have to be an expensive they adobe illustrator isn't super expensive, and you can like I said, I got it for free. So this has just been super useful. For me, Adobe illustrator is a really powerful tool when it comes to creating, use SPG cut files because literally lets you export your designs as S. P. G's, which is not a feature that many tools have. So Adobe definitely has a leg up here. So here are a few of the designs that I've made in the past. These were all using photos. You can see that they have fish, they actually have faces. And these photos were made from real photographs and the photographs have transparent backgrounds. As you can see, you inside jacket off of here. So I did decide to print it on something if I could print it on any color, and I won't have to worry about a white background. So this was one bundle. I me. This was another bundle I made. And this was one more, and these were are just using photographs. So if this seems like something that would actually interest you, then make sure you keep watching because I will definitely be tackling all avenues of this style. The design, the first world. I will be focusing on Is this lady right now here? She won't. But from what I can tell, this is a nice clear background. So it should be pretty simple to get a good photo out. This one, I can tell it will be harder because it has a dark background. But I would get to that soon in one of the future videos. And because of that will be a little bit harder just to make sure that the design comes out clearly. And and then this one just looking at it, I can tell that there's a pretty good chance that it won't look great initially. Just when I image trace in which I haven't covered yet, you will hear. And a few videos What image tracing means. So, yeah. Um, so the 1st 1 will be focusing on will be this lady out here than her and then her. So we'll cover how'd of how to make these svz files with one background without a back room with the background and when it just doesn't turn out that right because I'm sure that we will have a situation where our designs just turning a little worse than you're expecting. So make sure that you stick with this and you watch the course to the because I'm sure we'll all be out alerts and then is here together. 2. Designing using a light-background photo: So for our first editorial, I will be focusing. Like I said on the lady right here at the bottom So further, making these designs the only application you will need is Adobe Illustrator, which is just super useful in itself that you could make anything you want just within one platform. So you really need to understand with image trace feature is because that is the main foundation of how we make these designs. So as you can see where the industry's boxes right here. But if it's if it wasn't open and you were on Adobe Illustrator, you would just click window right here at the top right now. Yeah, when the right here and you will go down to image trace in the box comes up and there are a lot of different presets that you can choose from. And they're all pretty cool if you do have some time a mess around. But for this tutorial, I will be just be focusing on the default, which is black and white, and that's all you need. So if you check the preview here, it will just go ahead and show you wouldn't look like right after and that just basically replaces a trace feature. You can either click, trace or preview, and it'll it'll trace it for you. And so, just to make sure that the background is transparent cause you don't want a white back on on your digital files, you see if you're trying to print it or something or you're trying to sell it, people are not gonna want that white background. And that's another. If you if you are trying to sell files where you don't want to sell them in the SPG file format. But you doing a seldom if you sell them as a P and G, P and G's can also be sold with transparent background, and the those wealth are the only two real files that can be sold with transparent backgrounds. I believe you have to make sure that when you're doing the PNG fossil, that they do have transparent backgrounds because of all the times that of fall will be a white background. But I'll gets all that and a little bit. We focus and saving. So I clicked. Ignore white, and if to like the way the photo looks automatically, then you're pretty much good. There is not a background anymore. As you can tell, I feel like it could look a little bit better if I did mess around with the threshold of it . Anything else won't really affect it. Pats corners and noise as faras. I'm really concerned. I don't really think you should ever be messing with those because they don't actually affect how the design looks. It's just threshold that can really make her break, so I don't It really doesn't look that bad. It was originally at 1 20 a. I could just move it down a little bit. Her hair texture still looks pretty good. This looks good to me to use this to figure out what looks good to you, because you can really choose anything. I want her nose to look a little more visual, getting a little cut out when I go to low. And just as you can see, the lower you go and threshold, the less of the picture that shows up, the higher you go, the more that shows up. You go all the way up, it'll be black, and the default is 1 28 Whenever Adobe Illustrator's image traces it for you so I'm gonna go back around 1 28 cause it didn't look that bad. I think I'm just gonna do you like 1 26 I think that looks good. So that's it that's literally are used to do, and that it only really be that simple. If you choose a photograph that has a light colored background that really has nothing else going on the blank backer on its preferred and you get a close up to their face, you'll need a close up views of its farther back that the facial features will look just kind of distorted. And it won't really built a clearly identify each feature, so you'll need a like a portrait of whoever you're designing. And the exposure needs to be good as in like, the lighting should be pretty high, not too high, but good enough to see their future is very clearly so. Really, Do consider all of these when you're choosing your photo, because if it's a bad photo, the design would just kind of be bad about it. Fought because I am adobe, really sure you can only do so much with this feature, so that was the 1st 1 That's when you have a father. Just the photo was just perfect for designing already, and it's super simple when you choose files like that from the next article who makes video . And until I bloggers, I keep saying article you can I'll be working on Halle, which, well, no, she's an actress, I but I will be working on her, and I will be addressing how Teoh handle photos that have backgrounds, so stay tuned for that. 3. Designing using a dark-background photo: I'm moving into the photo with the dark background, which a lot of photos you have back background. So you'll find yourself needing to do this this step as well. I'll show you what happens when you do image trace of photo where the background isn't distinguishable enough from the object in the front, which in this case is a person. And if I click mo black and white, which is the mode that we would need to be in, I'll shoot exactly what happens when you do try to do this and you know the background. Is it different enough? It just combines them and you can't really do anything with that. So says I am working on a PC. I'll just click Control Z to go back to its original form. But if you were working on a Mac, that would be Command Z, and then it should revert back to its original form as well. And she's back. Thankfully, Now I will click Well, I'll click. You could clean any of these set black and white this case just so that you're able to do the next step, which will be to expand the photo and make it a racer friendly? Because right now, Adobe illustrator won't let you a race on the photo. It'll just show you this pencil icon with this icon that you can actually do anything with . So you're gonna have to actually expand the photo and make it something file that adobe illustrator hand Rick with. So I'm gonna click, um, gray scale, and that will just automatically image trace the photo for me. But this time it will just be gray scale, which I can't do anything with that because there's no way that the background will ever be taken away if you do great skill or any like image tracing option other than black and white. And once I do this, it will actually allow me to click expand, which is what you have to click to make the photo a racer like eraser edible because he's If you don't do that, you're not able to take out the back on and then you're stuck with the photo just blending in with the background, which isn't. You know, that's not what we want. And that's not what customers want, not what your family wants, and you'll see that this image trace. It could take a little while could be a process, but here it is. It doesn't really looking different, but it's actually a lot of different now, and in this traces Adobe Illustrator's reading it as like a photo that you can actually edit now. So I go up to the top here and I click expand. I clicked, object and then expand. You want to leave both of these checked object and feel and click OK, then you'll get off. These blue icons are blue lines and them trying to show just all the photos outlines, which is kind of evidence that it's been image trace. All the colors are I had a distinguishable between one another. Now and now the eraser tool will work. So once you click the eraser tool, it'll become big like that, which isn't. If you don't want that, you can click Ah, that you click back on this election tour, then click off of it and go back to the eraser. And then you couldn't raise so that it's just clear to see, and it just depends on how perfect you want it to be. I'm going right up against her hair and I made it really big. If you click the bracket icon on your, um, keyboard, which which in this case would be the right icon, it will make the paintbrush Arthur the eraser to a bigger. And if you click the left bracket, it will make the eraser tool smaller. Right now I'm leaving. It just about is because it can get cause this is for demonstration purposes. It doesn't exactly need to be perfect. And I'm just going right up against her hair, taking out background and, yeah, that should be good enough and low. See you exactly what? It's a racing. This isn't that important. And, yes, you can see it might even be a bit much on the processor. It just But you just take some patients. The more you do it, the more you'll get used to it, and it can actually turn into a quite fun process. So now that that's been done, I can go back here 4. Designing using a dark-background photo pt.2: All right, So now that the photos looking like this good and ready, you're gonna have to go back up to object. Because now the phone is no longer image trace friendly. So you can see there's kind of a lot of steps here You have to go upto object on the tube, are here at the top, and then you are able to click rast arise at rest resident artwork making it once again a photograph format. And you were able to image trace it just like the original photo at the bottom. And now it doesn't have a background so actually look good, which is what we are want. So I haven't on black and white All click Ignore right now. And instead of clicking preview this time you can still click preview. They do the same thing. Trace or preview. I'll just click trace just to show you for demonstration. No, don't simply click Trace BSO for threshold. It's looking a little grainy now, right? The first time I do it, you can zoom in and see that it just looks weird. So I'm gonna take the threshold down some, um, Chuy Once May 1/5 here you mean starting to look a little bit better? Honestly, yeah. I think this looks fine. I don't If you had gave that somebody who aren't going to be too picky, her background is gone now and you can put it on stuff. And I think that I look pretty good on a shirt. You won't even be able to tell that it's a little It looks a little like, but it's a little weird. I'm close. Yes. So that's how you do it. If you have your background, you just take it out. You're so and you can change the dress code as much as you want. Of course, I'll just show you what it looks like. You lower the threshold. You might like it more like that because it's just her features might look a little more noticeable year once again. It's according to personal preference. I think that you should kind of stay around the mid range, I think 1 65 Yeah. See, that looks agree too much. So I'm going to go back up so, like one. Yeah. 1 14 Sure. Yeah, that looks good to me. So that's what you do. If you have the background. Actually, Do you have to do it if you have a light background And now if you have a dark background and for the next one, I'll show you what to do If you just can't, like, get it right. If you have a photo on the photo, looks like you would work well, which this photo does look like it would. But you're just trying in, I don't know, like it just it's just not really working out. The photo looks bad when you image trace it, which will definitely happen at times. I'll show you what you could do, so stick around. Be ready for that. 5. What to do when your design just won't come out right: to further their photo. The process would be closer to the 1st 1 just because it does have a light background and should go to image streets just her minus the background from the first go. So I'll go ahead and click Image Trace. See, that's getting on the default preset motives. Black and white. I'll go ahead and click. Ignore way check preview. And this is what I get. So I guess you may be would be happy with that. My foot. Just looking at that, I automatically realized that it just looks a little off like her future is kind of got distorted her nose. Pretty decent. Part of that is missing some. Her lip is missing and that does it doesn't look that great, Sim. You So if you want to fix this, you want the photo to show Mawr like if you have you with the eyes first per se, which I felt could have took the threshold down. I'm a ticket to maybe like 11 1 11 Yeah, the eyes here they look good, but the mouth and nose are just about gone. I don't want them there, but I want I like the eyes and I don't want the threshold behind the eyes no one wants to do is copy this and I should show you to do that right quick. You click out on your keep on your keyboard, you're able to drag it immediately in a that oldest copy for you if you don't know how to use the out. But in our something, you're on a Mac and yeah, I don't know. But you could also click control, see, And then control V in that shit. Copy and paste it for you, and or you can just right click it and sometimes a coffee button will come up, and sometimes it won't. So, yeah, I reckon I recommend just sitting sticking with the keyboard shortcuts. So I just did is I placed the copied image over the original image, so they looked like one. But they're not. And for this one, I will be upping the threshold, probably to a amount that would be much too high if it wasn't going to be partly your race . So I'm gonna take it up to, let's say, maybe, like 1 60 ones idea one of 11. The other one. Okay. See? Yes. So her nose and her lips on where they are more visible now. And as you can see, the eraser tool once again isn't working. Um, so I'm just going to click expand right here, and yeah, I went object. I clicked expand, and I allowed me to just automatically erase. I grabbed the eraser, and I want to keep her nose and mouth, but I don't want the rest on what? The eyes from the bottom photograph? Because the threshold was only 11 then and I looked better, so I'm gonna just a race as much as I feel is necessary. So I raced a little bit of the shadow, too, just because it it was a little much basically good and erase everything, Oates except the parts that I feel like look better when the threshold is higher. And the reason that's wanna have worked like I showed you is because if I went, if I did 1 11 for all of it, part of the photo was missing. If I did once 61 for all of it, it just wrote bad. I'm gonna make it even smaller clicking that left bracket on my keyboard. I'm gonna zoom in cooking control. Plus on my keyboard human as much as I can And I'm able to edit of close in I can really get custom with it when I do this and you can really make it look good. If you have time, you're willing to go in like this. So yeah, I'm going right up against the lines there and you can see what you see. The person that they are racing that are the top photo. The reason that hasn't erases because it's part of the bottom photo. All right, so I did that, too. Um, I think that's fine. A zoom out like this corner, but and again. And yeah, I think it looks better if you if I take both of them off, you'll see that the top photo is literally just the nose in lifts. And then this one is everything out. So click Rico control Z to combine it all together again. The photo looks good. I'm happy. And then all the photos look good. So that's what you do. If the photo just won't look good, you initially do it. You have to copy and erase parts up in up or less in the threshold accordingly. And that's how you make it look good. All right, so I'll move on to saving now. 6. How to Export as an SVG (and PNG!): All right. So saving most important part arguably. I'm gonna take my selection. So here you hover over it. You can see it says selection tool. And I am going to drag out this rectangle over all three. See all three of them get selected, going to right click, and I'm going to click Collect for export. Now, you don't want to click a single asset when you have more to poor designs. Click Because all three will be combined into one design. If you Onley have clicked one design, then you can click s single asset But I'm gonna click as multiple assets right here. And I did this just to show you that you have to make sure that if you have a photo that you edit it and you copied, you have to group them together. You can see that the assets showed up here for asset one into their the same photo. But it showed both versions because technically, there's two tour files that you just combined to make into one design. So you have to once again select both and then you click group and that groups them together. You click off, you move it and now it's together so clearly these two aren't gonna work. So colleges click both of them by clicking shift on my keyboard out of lead and now show you that I can click Collect for export a single asset or I could collect, say, click for it, um, export as multiple assets in either way. The design is the exact same when you have one design click, so I'll click lead for that one. Just because it's a duplicate, I'll show you what it looks like if you do click asking what aspect? A single asset for all three, all three year on one. And that's not what I want right now, so I'll leave. That to is important. If you want the SPG format, you have to click format and you have to go down SPG, which is a second to bottom one here. So I just click SPG. That's all I need to click. Then I'll click all three of them so they all get exported at the same time and I will click Export. I can choose anywhere. Um, I'll just click this one X voter for now and sorry about the different language. That's just choosing the folder, and they've been exported as as SPG files. And if you want PNG file with a transparent background, which is what I normally do also offer my listings in, you have to go to these three lines right here at the top. Click format settings go to P and G, which it will automatically be on. Make sure that the background color is transparent because by the fall it is normally on white that I already had it on transparent and you click save settings. Then you go to format. You click P and G, not PNG eight. This time, at least because the format is saved for a transparent background for just the PNG foul. Ah, one segment, Click all three. I'll click Export, and I will this time in the one Exporter Already I'll click. One X again, just will be saved in the same spot, and now they've all been exported and their save, and they have the clear backgrounds. I don't have to worry about a background messing it up, so that's how you save it. You see, it's pretty simple. You want to save it as just a file. In general, you could also click file at the top there in the first icon and click Save as and it will give you a choice. But this will save the whole file and not each individual design. So if you just like you click SPG that just automatically combines all three together and one which isn't what we want. So if you want, you can just say that the Adobe Illustrator file just so that you're able to edit it later on if needed, which I do recommend doing. I'll just say school share M o and his box will come up Don't have to click anything here. Now click. OK, and now all my files are saved for they need to be state. 7. File Packaging & compressing for sell on Etsy: all right. Now, this file patching video is especially important for users who want to sell on Etsy. When you go into etc. You click digital file instead of physical. You go to the bottom here, and you noticed that they only allow you to upload up to five files. And the files have, like, a file type that you're actually allowed upload. So that could be a problem. I know that in this case, at least I have six different designs. I would need to be uploaded because I have three p and G's of these files and have three s P G's of this spot. So I have to do is go to my files, locate where I saved the designs, which, in this case here, the PNG Files are saving one X and the SPG fouls Aaron this xbg photo right next to it. So I'll just click on this one. I'll click, shift and click on this one. Or I could click control, click on that one or command click on that one on Mac and it'll click both All right, clue. Okay. And it would be showing. Send Teoh zip folder. This isn't another language so I would just say this says Sin to and I will go here. You will see zipped and you click Zipped. Now I'm going to say this s skill share Grandma and I'm going to be moving it where I also saved my AI file. So my Iife I was staged in my documents. So I will be going down where it was safe. I know it was saved a skill share. So they will be near each other. Here it is our click school share a demo and I'll put it into the zip file as well. Which is right here present it by this zip folder And now it's in there. You know you can't really So just from the outside you double click. It will show you what's inside. Click. It will show you that click. It will show you your P and G's. They're all there together. They're all savoury school. Sure, they move and they are counted as one file together Now, which that's what she wants. So you click upload found. Now you're going on to where you saved it. I saved it. Like I said, A school share demo. I'll find school share demo in the ZIP file. I would double clicking and it will automatically be uploaded on etc. Etc. Will only see this as one file and etc. Won't be obra to not like. 8. Last Minute Selling Reminders & Conclusion: so I really, really do. Wouldn't thank you all so much for watching. Just does a little tip before you go. If you are selling digital files at sea, you'll need somewhere to to create product photos. And you need to have, like, a mark on top because that's the thing about digital files is that they can be taken by people just by taking screenshots or using the snipping tool. People don't actually have to pay if you don't put a mark on top. So make sure you have something that will kind of, in a way block your design from being fully visible by people before they actually purchase it. So I will go to where I know my files are saved here. And if you are applying it unto a photo editing platform other than like photo shop, you'll only be able to use of PNG files. You can't add it with SPG files. So I I know this so I'm not even gonna try it up. Blow this. We do files that should be there. I'll just go straight to the PNG files here, and I'm using Can Va and you could see that they can all automatically be uploaded Now SCG files can't be Like I said, you would just take your father. You would put it to the back. And just like that, Now it's behind my own, like my trademark simple is which are just an S and C, and you could make it as bigger a small as you want. You can use as many Marcy's you want. Just make sure that they're enough to actually block your think you're designed from being stolen. I don't want to look but so crowded, so I'll just put down enough to block it a little bit. And the font color is white just so that it shows up on this black design. So that's also important to remember, because the white if it's a black fun, it's not gonna show up anyway. That's it. That was just a little tidbit for my Etsy. Sellers who are watching are people who just want to sell in general on e commerce platforms. Thank you so much for watching. I hope you enjoyed it. This is my first free course that I've offered, and it just means a lot makes you check out some of the links that I have linked below and be sort of bones with the project and do some happy selling sauce. You guys, the next time I release a chorus, hopefully and you don't be afraid to reach out.