Create an Image Into an SVG in SCAL

image to svg

If you found this tutorial because it answers ‘how to create an image into an SVG in SCAL’, it would be safe to assume you’re a crafter, maker, or another creative type with a digital cutting device — and a pocket full of dreams, of course. Or maybe you’re doing some research before dipping your toes in the crafty waters?

In any case, you won’t get too far into your digital cutting journey without an SVG to hand. Luckily we have loads of downloadable SVG files (many of which are FREE) suitable for almost any project. However, if you’re feeling a little like Goldilocks about a ‘just right’ image file, our handy tutorial will show you how to turn your image into an SVG using Sure Cuts A Lot.

What You Will Need

  • SCAL
  • Your ‘just right’ image file
  • Don’t forget this epic tutorial!
  • Refreshments of your choosing, we recommend a hot drink and cake.

What Is an SVG File?

The mighty SVG file is the darling of the craft and design community, and for a good reason. Seriously, are we the only people who think the ‘V’ in SVG could also stand for ‘versatile‘? Scalable Vector Graphics use vector data instead of pixels, meaning creatives can rescale them to any resolution without compromising quality.

What Is Sure Cuts A Lot?

Sure Cuts A Lot is easy to use software that enables crafters and makers to import and customize or draw from scratch almost any shape or font and then cut them using a digital cutting device. A unique aspect of SCAL is that it still works offline, meaning a design doesn’t depend on your internet connection.

We used SCAL4 Pro at the time of writing the tutorial. The latest version of the software (SCAL5) has many new features, but thankfully the layout is pretty similar, meaning the super handy screen-shots below are still applicable.

A final important note for cutting machine connoisseurs; while Sure Cuts A Lot V5 works with plenty of digital cutting devices, the Cricut Personal, Expression, Create, and Cake machines are not compatible.

How to Use SVGs and SCAL Together

When you have a versatile SVG file, SCAL, and a compatible cutting machine at your disposal, even the most ‘out there’ craft projects are suddenly in reach. From artificial leather earrings, layered bows, and signage, you can achieve a professional outcome if you have the right materials.

SVG files are also fantastic for web and graphic design projects or even animations. So if you don’t have a cutting machine, you can still use SCAL to turn your chosen image file into an SVG to repurpose for such a project.

Once you’ve completed the tutorial, and learned how to turn an image or photo into an SVG using SCAL, you can refer back to this section for a dose of inspiration.

How to Create an Image File Into an SVG Using SCAL

Now that we’ve laid the foundation let’s ace this tutorial thing! It’s time to uncover how to convert your image file into a mighty SVG and make your crafting dreams come true. We’re not crying; you’re crying, sniff, sniff.

Step 1 – First of all, open up your Sure Cuts A Lot software; as stated above, we’re using SCAL4.

Opening up Sure Cuts A Lot

Step 2 – Go to ‘File’ and then ‘Import’.

Importing an image file using SCAL4

Step 3 – When you import an image into SCAL4, you will get a cut line around the image’s outline like below. But to make it an SVG with each part of the image separate (to cut in different colored media), we need to take the following steps.

Making separate image layers in SCAL4

Dividing an Image Into Parts Using SCAL

Step 4 – Click on ‘Trace Image’ and then go to ‘Choose an image’ and select your image. We have used a jpeg file available from a ‘Cute Animals’ graphic svg bundle.

Using 'Trace Image' in SCAL4

Step 5 – When the image appears in your trace window, make sure that you have ‘Color layers’ selected and change the number of colors to one more than you have in your image. Click on ‘Update Preview’ to ensure that all layers are selected.

Editing 'Color layers' in SCAL4

Step 6 – Once you update the preview, you will see that the colors have appeared in your left window; this is an excellent way to ensure every different color is accounted for. Once you are happy, click ‘OK’.

How to check separate 'Color layers' in SCAL4

Step 7 – Your image will now appear within your design space.

Viewing an image in the design space using SCAL4

Step 8 – Select your image and right-click and then choose ‘Break Apart,’ this will separate each layer of color.

How to separate color layers using SCAL4

Step 9 – You can now pull apart each colored layer. If there are parts of your image with more than one piece, select them together, right-click, and choose ‘Group’.

Grouping image parts using SCAL4

Step 10 – You can now place the individual sections on top of one another in the correct order, ready to convert into an SVG file.

Reordering sections using SCAL4

Success! Now Let’s Export Our SVG File

Step 11 – As you can see below, every part has cut lines when you go into the preview section, indicating they are separate layers.

Checking separate cutting sections using SCAL4

Step 12 – Once you are happy, go to ‘File’ then select ‘Export.’

Exporting Image ready to save as an SVG using SCAL4

Step 13 – Select where you would like to save your SVG file. Name it, and in the drop-down box, select ‘Scalable Vector File (*.svg).’ Once you’ve saved your image as an SVG file, you can use it in conjunction with your digital cutting machine. Woo!

Saving and naming an image file as an SVG using SCAL4

Now You’ve Successfully SCAL-ed That Wall

Thanks so much for joining us. Now you know how to convert an image file into SVG format using SCAL. And create separate layers so you can incorporate different colored materials into your next craft project. Yay!

If you found this guide helpful, please share it far and wide to help other crafters and makers also SCAL-e hehe the same creative wall. For more design or craft inspiration,. And to find out more about Sure Cuts A Lot, check out their website.

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