Silhouette Cameo Tutorial: How to Trace an Image

I’ve had a few requests to make cutable files for my readers because they’re not sure how to do it themselves. Usually I just search around the internet a bit and send them whatever tutorial I can find on it, but I figured I may as well make one of my own! This is my first tutorial of this kind, so I hope it’s easy enough to follow along! If you have any suggestions for Silhouette Cameo tutorials, please let me know in the comment section so I can make one for you.

Go to Google or you favorite search engine, and search for whatever it is you’re looking for. I decided to use a cupcake for my example.

Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 8.52.53 AM copy

Click on “images” to do an image search.

Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 8.53.03 AM copy

Find the image you want to trace, right click, and save.

Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 8.52.24 AM copy

Open your image in Silhouette Studio.

Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 8.53.29 AM

Zoom in so it fills your screen. Depending on what size the image is when you open it, you may need to resize.

Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 8.53.44 AM copy

Click on the tracing tool in the upper right hand portion of the screen.

Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 8.53.50 AM copy

Click the button to activate the tool.

Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 8.53.54 AM copy

Draw a box around the item you want to trace.

Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 8.54.01 AM

You can mess with the threshold and see how it affects your image, and decide what numbers to keep it at.

Now you have two options. You can either trace around the outside of the object, or do a full trace, which will catch the detail on the inner portion of the object.

Here is an outer trace.

Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 8.54.24 AM

And here is a full trace.

Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 8.54.49 AM

And that’s how you trace an image! Next I’ll show you how to edit a traced image to clean it up, make modifications, and much more! I hope this was helpful.

If you have an tips or requests, please leave them in the comments!

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26 thoughts on “Silhouette Cameo Tutorial: How to Trace an Image

  1. Pingback: Cupcake – Free Silhouette Download! | :) Crafty Mama

  2. Thank you for your instruction. I have had my Silhouete for about a year and a half now and have yet to do much with it. I don’t have a lot of time to play around with it and I found your tutorial easy and helpful. I was sad to see that there’s only one tutorial on this so far. I will be sitting here messing with my program to muddle through how to edit my traced image. Thank you for your tutorial and I look forward to more updates.

    • Hi Tifani! Editing a traced photo is actually pretty easy once you figure out how to do it. I haven’t had the time to write up another tutorial, but I can go over the basics real quick. Once you have an image traced, you can double click the red “cut” line, and it will bring up points. From there you can delete, drag, and create new points (the options are in the right side bar in Silhouette Studio). If you have lots of background noise (in other words, little dots and lines that got traced but you don’t need), you can delete all the points until the spot is gone. Also, while you’re tracing, you can play around with the “threshhold” and see what effect it has on how the image will trace. Increasing the threshold will sometimes remove a lot of the “background noise” in pictures you trace. There is also a great Facebook group that is ALL about the Silhouette, and it is a great resource for newcomers to use. You can ask questions, share files, and learn from everyone else. if you would like to be added, just let me know!

      • I am new to the silhouette, I would love to be added to the facebook page. I came to your blog after googling how to trace an image. I know that my silhouette can do so many different things, I have the basics down but would love to know more:)

  3. hi. i too am new to the silouhette and am struggling. i have a cupcake wrapper file already designed that i purchased. how to i just cut the basic outside of the line design.. there are a million little circles in one and a million lines in another and it tried to cut ever little thing. I am having no luck:( im interested in joining that facebook group as well. thank you!

    • I’m not sure how to help you here, but I used the e-mail address attached to your account to add you to the SIL group. It should be approved within a few days and you’ll see it show up in your Facebook sidebar under “Groups”.

  4. Hi, I also found your tutorial very helpful and easy.Just bought a silhouette and I am starting to learn how to use silhouette studio. thank you! when you “save image as…” from the google search, which format do you think works better with silhouette studio (e.g. jpeg)? also, I would love to get invited to the silhouette facebook group if possible. BR Helena

  5. Your tutorial was very helpful. I have had my Silhouette for less than a year and having been trying to figure this out. Thanks so much. I would love to be added to the Silhouette Facebook group

  6. Thank you for these instructions. I am going to try this with my cameo today. I see that you have suggested a facebook page to several people. I would like to find and join that page if possible. Thank you

  7. Not sure if I am doing something wrong…after I have opened my image and select the trace tool, the yellow triangle appear in the right corner of my screen telling me that my image is too big (but it is in fact small). I see, however that the yellow triangle also appears on your screens above, but I think this blocks my tracing tools so I can not select what I want to do with the image.
    Please help me.

  8. Thank you so much for your tutorial! It has helped me really be able to use my silhouette! I would love to be added to the facebook group if possible? I am sure I will run into trouble now that you’ve opened my eyes on how to create my own files with tracing!

  9. Hello! Thanks you for your tutorial..It was helpful…I am NEW however and I wasnt clear on how you “open your image in silhouette studio” …I would love some insight. I am sure there are some people who would automatically know what you mean but since I am new it is still all foreign to me and I cant find a tutorial on it. THANKS SO MUCH!

  10. Thank you for great lesson. My Silhouette arrived last night….oh the possibilities. Sadly the Cricut has been relocated to the back corner so room could be made for such a new and exciting crafter’s tool. Could you please add me to the Facebook page for the Silhouette Group! Thank you and God’s Blessings to you.

  11. Thanks for your tutorial! I just started using my silhouette and am kind of discouraged about the lack of instruction manual with it! I know how to do basics like cut out text and shapes etc. when you buy an image from them and it is supposed to have two different colors how so you separate the parts that are supposed to be another color? Also, can it cut out photos? I’m hoping to make a bday invitation of a jet and wanted to put my son’s head in the cockpit. Is that possible with the cameo or do I need to do it manually? And I would LOVE to be added to the group on facebook! Thanks!

  12. Your instructions were clear and very helpful. I haven’t opened my Silhouette, yet, but look forward to using it. I applied to join a Silhouette group last week and haven’t heard back, not in my groups list. Could you send a link or apply to the group for me.

  13. Hi to the craftymammablog
    I have had my cameo sillohette when it first came out and can’t get to grips with it.
    My problem is getting the right cut setting seem to get it wrong all the time. So after a few attempts stuck it on a shelf where it’s staying unless I could possibly grt some help .Thank you
    Kind Regards
    Averil

  14. Hi, i have just got my cameo last week. May i know is yours the designer version? I couldn’t locate the “NO CUT” icon in my silhouette, do i need to upgrade to get this function? Thank you

  15. Hi. I need more simple instructions like this. The best. Hubby bought me the cameo and its still sitting under the bed. Help! I was thinking of starting a little business to earn but this learning curve is so mountain. I’m looking for a nappy hair smiling baby to print on a onesie but I only need the outline and use the color of the onesie as the color of the baby. Does that makes sense? Help! Add me to the fb group too pls

  16. Excellent tutorial. Thank you for posting. You should do more as you explain it in clear, easy steps.

  17. Would you be able to add me to the silhouette Facebook group? I tried looking it up myself but wasn’t sure which one it was.

  18. Hi, I have never played with the cameo until last week when I had to go to a cameo class instead of my mother who owns the machine, we were learning how to trace the outer image but none of us could do it. I would select outer image but it would never do it. And the worst is that we couldnt download an image from the internet, we had to take a picture of our design while it was on the mat and make sure that the cameo could see the whole mat. I thought the process was tedious and backward. We were using the new update as well. Have you ever heard of this happeneing?

    Thank you.

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