Saturday, July 30, 2011

Printing and cutting Disney layers on the Imagine

Please note that since Build 59 of CCR was released the process covered below is not working and Build 60 didn't address the problem. The design will print but all the layers cut instead of just the outline.

8 Dec 2011
PC has stated that the reason that this was working in the first place is because of a bug. Whether they'll add this as a feature at some point is unknown.

You can still follow the instructions below and let it print. Then as soon as the outline of the image has cut press the Cancel button. That way the layers won't cut.

You can download a PDF version of this tutorial from here:

One of the things that many users of the Imagine have been wanting to do is weld together all the layers of an image from the Disney cartridges (amongst others) so that it will print as one object and then cut the entire image.

Well, using CCR I finally cracked it!

I found that the main trick to getting it to work is to not weld the images and to not group the top layers with the base layer. I even managed to hide the contours within the base layer and it still worked!

(I tested this at least 10 times to make sure it wasn't a fluke...)

Confused?? Here's what you do.

I'm using Daisy from the Mickey Font cart if you want to play along. (I don't have the Mickey & Friends cart but will show you some examples from the Best of Pixar cart at the end.)

Daisy is on page 131 of the handbook. This shows you which layers I'll be using. Please note you won't be using the base layer of the image. You'll be using the blackout feature instead.

On carts that don't have a blackout feature you'll use the Shadow feature. On carts that don't have a shadow feature you would use the base layer on which you would use the Hide Contour feature to hide all but the outside contour. 

  • Select the Imagine as your Default machine from the Options menu, Project tab
  • Set the size of your base image in the Options menu, CraftRoom tab, Dial Size
  • Ensure that Relative size is showing on the toolbar
Turn Mat Layers off if the message asking "Do you want to add this design to a new layer or the current selected layer" annoys you. You'll find that in Options, CraftRoom, Mat Layers Enabled. If you leave Mat Layers turned on always select Current Layer when that message pops up.
  • Place all the required layers of the design on the mat by selecting each required feature key in turn. 
Make sure you place the blackout layer on the mat first. By doing this you won't have to use the back/front toolbar buttons to move the layers in front of the blackout (base) layer.

  • So that you can see more of the mat (without zooming out) you can now close the Drawer by clicking on the green arrow.

  • Select the Colors and Patterns menu, then select Colors from the drop down box. 

It doesn't matter which Imagine cartridge is showing in the Color Palette. Any cart will do.

  • Click the blackout layer on your mat then select Black from the Color Palette. That layer will now turn black.

  • Click on your next layer and select any other color from the Color Palette. (We'll change it to the exact RGB color later). I selected yellow from the main palette. You can use the image in the cartridge handbook as a general guide.

  • Drag the selected layer on top of the blackout layer and position it so it aligns correctly.

When you release the mouse the selected object will turn grey.

You'll notice at the top of the object the Weld/Don't Weld box will appear.

  • Click on Don't Weld
The layer will turn black.

Now we'll change that layer using its correct RGB code. (You don't have to use the correct RGB color if you don't want to. You can just select any color from the Color Palette).

The RGB code for Daisy's mouth is R255, G156, B0
  • Making sure the mouth layer is still selected click on the down arrow beneath the Color Palette and type those numbers into the correct boxes. 
  • Click the Apply button

  • Select the blackout image and click Don't Weld

  • Select the next layer (Daisy's bow/ears) and change its RGB code to R255, G156, B206

  • Drag it on top of the base layer and align

  • Click the Don't Weld button

  • Color and place the two remaining layers remembering to click Don't Weld on each of them.
The RBG code for the face is 255, 255, 255 which is white - so you can simply select that color from the regular color palette

The RBG code for the tongue is 255, 148, 148

When you've placed those two layers your image should look like this:

There's just one final thing to do before you're ready to print and cut.
  • Drag a selection box around the whole image (or select Ctrl A / Cmd A or select Edit, Select All)

All 5 layers of the image will be selected. Now you need to de-select the base layer.
  • Hold down the Ctrl key and click somewhere on the black part of the image. (In this case the eyes are the easiest). The base image will now be deselected. You should notice that the selection box became a tiny bit smaller.

  • Click the Group button on the toolbar

Now everything apart from the base layer will be grouped. To test that it worked click anywhere on the top layer and you should be able to move it all away from the base layer. (This isn't a necessary step. It's just so you can check that it worked)

  • Move the top layer back and align it on top of the base layer

And now you're ready to print and cut!
  • Click the Go button

  • At the Print and Cut dialogue box click on the arrow beside the Layer drop down box and select "daisy"

  • Click the Go button. CCR will check your Imagine to verify that the correct cartridge has been inserted

Once it has detected the cartridge it will send the project to the Imagine

You'll then see this message.

  • Insert your mat into the machine. While pressing the mat in click the Go button on the Imagine screen.
Your project will print, then after a pause of about 15 - 30 seconds it will proceed to cut.

And here it is:

And here's some I prepared earlier!

It's obvious I still have some adjusting to do to get my calibration just right, but I'm very happy with the result!

Once you've done a few of these it takes about 5 minutes start to finish.

If you have any questions please let me know!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bookmarks - What are they?

Cricut CraftRoom Bookmarks are a convenient way for you to keep track of which Cricut cartridges you own.

  • To bookmark your carts click the Options menu, then the CraftRoom tab.

  •  Click the Edit Bookmarks button

  • Click the green Add button next to the cart you want to Bookmark. 
  • If you bookmark the wrong cart just click the brown Remove button.

  • Use the scroll bar to move through the list.
  • You can use the drop down Filter box to list particular carts eg. just the Imagine carts. 
  • When you have finished adding your bookmarks press the Continue button to return to the main CCR screen.
Now when you are select a cart you can click on the drop down Filter box and select Bookmarks. Only the carts you have bookmarked will appear in the list.

Note: Bookmarking your cartridges is different to linking your cartridges. When you bookmark a cartridge you will still have to insert the cartridge into the Cricut to cut your design... unless you have also linked it to your CCR account.

The Linking function hasn't been added to CCR yet, but when it is added you will be able to link your carts to your CraftRoom account so that you don't have to insert the cart into the machine. You can only link your carts to one CraftRoom account.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Painters tape and the Imagine - be careful where you put it!

Here's something I stumbled over today. I was using CCR and cutting an image from Sweet Tooth Boxes. (I love that cart by the way). I currently only have the mat that came with my Imagine and it's starting to get less tacky. So to make sure my cardstock stayed put I used some blue painters tape to hold it down (just like I do with my other Cricuts.)

I sent the image off to cut, inserted the mat and pressed the Go button on the Imagine screen (as per the usual instructions on the CCR screen.) The mat was pulled into the Imagine but didn't cut. So I cancelled the cut and tried again. The same thing happened. To me it seemed that the Imagine couldn't work out where to cut the image.

I removed the mat and relocated the tape so that it wasn't covering any of the four registration marks on the mat. This time when I sent the file off to the Imagine it cut without a hitch!

So, if you're using tape to hold your cardstock to your Imagine mat make sure the tape doesn't cover any of the four registration marks.

Here's where you shouldn't place the tape (the same applies to the bottom of the mat):

And here's where you can place it (you can probably also place it anywhere on the border, just not on the registration marks):

Hope that helps!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Separating Imagine image layers

Today at the Cricut Craft Room forum ReenyBug was attempting to separate the layers on an Imagine image so she could cut each part separately. After she had separated the layers some weren't cutting and some of the images were printed with a shadow when there shouldn't have been one.

I recreated what she was doing and had the same thing happen to me. Here's what it looked like on the CCR screen:

Here's what it looked like after it cut. Only the piece at the top cut. You can see where I've removed that piece and moved it to the bottom of the mat. You can also see the black shadow.

With some help from another board member CricutCMV (Char) we managed to work it out. Chalk another one up to team work!

Here it is again. This time all the layers were cut and everything printed correctly.

Here's how you do it:

  • Select an image from the Imagine cart of your choice and place it on the mat. Resize it if necessary.
  • Click the Edit Group button in the bottom left corner of the image.

  • Click the Separate button (top right of mat screen)

  • Click the Exit button (top left of screen). All the layers will now be separated:

  • Select all of the layers by dragging a selection box around them

  • Click the Ungroup button from the toolbar

The Edit Group button will disappear.

  • Now you can select each different layer and move it around on the mat if you need to

And now you're ready to print and cut!