Hi, Nadine here with a tutorial using compound paths. I must admit that compound paths were somewhat of a mystery to me when I first got my Silhouette. As I hadn't used design software before, Compound Paths intimidated me. Once I relented and read a few tutorials, I found that they are actually really quite simple. I've been able to do so much more in Silhouette Studio now I understand what I'm doing!
My filigree fill design is surprisingly simple and it's really just about understanding the tools in the Modify Window - compound paths combined with welding and cropping. Compound paths are also really important when mastering pattern and sketch fills so I've plans do a tutorial on that aspect too :)
What you’ll need:
- Silhouette CAMEO
- Paper or Card
- Silhouette Design Store files
STEP ONE: Difference Between Group and Make Compound PathIf you group two shapes, they remain separate items, with their own pattern fills and properties. I think of it as a virtual paper clip holding them altogether.
When you select Make Compound Path, you are actually creating one shape that has the internal shape cut out.
Notice how the pale green background shows through the bunny on the compound version in the screenshot above? That's because the it's one shape with a hole. As the grouped version contains two solid shapes, it is not possible to have the background showing through just the bunny.
To be fair, at this stage it makes precious little difference which you chose if send to cut now, in both instances you will get a square and bunny cut out. We want to proceed and do the filigree fill however, so it is important to select both the square and bunny and then make into a compound path.
You can make compound path via right-click menu and the modify window but my favourite is the shortcut key Cntl + E
At this step you should have a square with a bunny hole, the same as the right-hand side of the screenshot above.
STEP TWO: Weld OverlayPosition your overlay design on top of the bunny. Now click Weld, the shortcut key for this is Cntl + Shift + W.
This stage really needs the bunny and square to be a compound path, if you weld to the grouped shapes, it just gives a plain square. On the other hand, you've a gorgeous filigree bunny when you weld the overlay to the compound path, yay!
To find pretty filigree designs in the Silhouette Design Store I find the following search terms give good results: Lace, Overlay, Background, Filigree and Stencil
Here is an animated screenshot of steps 1 and 2:
STEP 3: Advancing to Filigree Frames
The centre initial and right hand side bunny were super easy - just compund path and weld overlay and you're done, woohoo!
If you fancy getting a bit more of a stretch, see my picture with the steps below for how to make the filigree framed bunny. Remember to make two circles in step 3 - one to subtract and the other to offset and make a frame with.
This one was for my newest niece Emily, but as my other niece is called Elle, I made her a vertical version: