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on June 10, 2008 at 4:43:36 am


For this project, it will be assumed that you have read and succeeded at the MakeaPosterImage project.


Multicolor images are great because you can create a more complex picture or fabrication.


Some of the things you can do with this process are to take a color picture and make sections of the image 'print' in different color vinyl. You can also laser cut certain sections of the image with various power settings.


Pick a photo

Again, here you want to have a relatively simple image, which may help when you are doing some of the fabrication.


Open the photo in Gimp

If you don't have Gimp, you can download it for free, as it is open source software. There are other software packages you can use, if that's your thing.


Simplify the image

The threshold tool can be really useful for this, but it will turn your color image into a black and white image. If you do this, you will need to make sections for the colors later.


Select by color

This tool looks like a hand pointing to a band of colors. Pick the tool, then click on one of the colors in your image. All instances of that color will be selected.


Select by region

This tool looks like a magic wand. When you use this tool, select an area, and everything which is that color and connected will be selected. Press the control key or shift key for other options.


Create layers of each of the colors

Copy the colored sections of the image. Paste them. When you paste them, a new layer will be created. Open the layers window, and you will be able to see each layer, and you can show or hide them by clicking on the eye symbol.


Check out your separations

Test to see how much of your image is separated by clicking on the eye symbols next to each layer. When all the eyes are showing, you should see pretty much all of your picture, when none of them are selected, you should see nothing.


Put a border around the image

To do this, you may have to increase the size of the canvas. This feature should be in the Image pull down menu. Add some space all around. Then go into either the box tool or some other shape and put the border in. The border will help to weed the image, and may be useful for giving the bottom layer some form.


Add registration marks

If you add marks at each of the corners, it will make it much easier to get all the layers aligned. In printing, these are usually a plus symbol, about a half inch square. To be really useful, the registration mark should be on every layer. You should be able to make one on a layer, then keep that layer on when you export each of the color separation layers.


Export the image

After making the separations, you will need to export them as .jpg or some other compatible format. Each separation will be its own layer. Turn on the layer you want to export, name it something you can recognize later, and save it in a place you can find. If there a lot of exported layers, you can turn the collection into a .zip file for easier online storage.


Use the image

You can use the image to make a multicolor vinyl sticker. You could cut a relief image with the laser cutter by using various power settings and cutting strategies for different colors. You could make a three dimensional picture with the mill or mill, based on the colors. You could embroider the image onto fabric in colors. Or you could....



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