Vectorized cutlines for CSP illustrations made easy


Although Clip Studio Paint offers great vector features, they are unfortunately not compatible with other vector programs and therefore can not be used for printing.

Unfortunately, most vector programs are extremely cumbersome to use and much too complicated for laymen.

In this tutorial, I'll show you how to create cutlines for Clip Studio illustrations in just a few clicks with Kiss & Cut Sticker.

Do you already know Kiss & Cut stickers?

Among artists, they enjoy great popularity. The stickers are pre-cut according to their shape and can be easily removed.

Printers need vectorized cutlines for the Fomzusschneeidungen.

To create these you need CSP pro, or EX and a vector program such as. Adobe Illustrator

Step 1

In the first step you create your sticker sheet in CSP.

Make sure the file contains a clipping border

In my case the sticker sheet should have a size of 90x160mm

the trim required by the printer * is 3mm

-> So my file has a size of 96x166mm.

In the next step you create your background and distribute your stickers.

Make sure the background and stickers are on 2 separate layers, or folders.

In the next step you surround your stickers with a white outline.

To do this, click on the layers / folders with your stickers, go to "Layer Properties" and add a white border of at least 1mm.

In the next step you make the background invisible by clicking on the eye next to the corresponding level. Once it has disappeared, the plane becomes invisible.

Now you should have a transparent background.

Exports the result as a .png file.

step 2

In the next step you take the wand and click on an "empty area" of the picture

Then you invert the selection by going to "Selection" -> "Revert Selected Area".

In the next step you expand the selection by at least 1mm by going to Selection -> "Expand Selection".

Now you're going to make a new layer and fill the selection with the same color as the outline of your stickers

Finally you make the layer with the stickers invisible and the background visible again. Only the background + the fill area should be visible.
This result stores it under a different file name than the exported .png sticker file.

step 3

Now you open the previously saved .png file in Clip Studio and chose the option "Lock transparent pixels" (to find them above the layers).

Then take any color and paint over the entire surface. Then you export the result again as .png under a different file name.

You should now have three exported files:
1. png file with the stickers with a contour
2. Background file with an extended contour surface
3. A png file with the silhouette of the original .png file

Step 4

Now you can close CSP and open a vector graphics program In my case, I use Adobe Illustrator, but there are now many free alternatives.

Go to File -> New and get the following window.

Now you give again the size of your stickers (90x160mm) and the trim (3mm) separately from each other. In addition, you should make sure that the color mode CMYK is set

Press okay and get a file similar to this one.
The outer frame shows you the trim. If this is not visible go to View -> Show artboard.

Now drag your background layer into the program and place it using the black arrow "Selection Tool". Then you place your stickers.

Now you lock your two levels by clicking on the empty box next to the corresponding level.
If a lock appears, it is locked.

Step 5

Now you're the last to drag your silhouettes file into the program and place it.

Your file should have some features to choose from. Click on the little arrow pointing down to get more features and choose "Silhouette".

The preview result should now be black. Now press "convert".

You should now have a similar result.
At the top left you will find options to change the vectors.

Put the left box on the white icon with the red line (no color) and for the right one select the color of your cutlines. Right next to it you can still define the strength of the contour.

The color of the cutlines must meet the specifications of the printer and must often be specially created and named. As good as any printing company has its own tutorial that can be found on relevant websites.

In general, the cutlines are 100% magenta and have their own name, such as Cutline color. You create this by clicking on the icon that you know for new levels of CSP. Now you can define and name a new color.

Now you have your cutlines!

Then you export your cutlines.
Go to File -> "Save As ..." and select PDF.

Make sure that the bleed settings of the document are used, so that the whole bleed including the bleed is exported.

Now you should have a PDF with cutlines. If you have done everything right, the color of the cutlines will not be visible in later printing.

Read the specifications of the printing company exactly, because these vary from printer to printer.

The silhouettes technique can be used for cutlines of any kind and I hope I could help you with this tutorial and make it much easier to create them.

* Cropping

The trim is a safety edge that guarantees that there are no white edges, also called "speed cameras".

Because unlike what you might suspect, your print files are not printed on a sheet of appropriate size, but with other pages together on large sheets of paper.
After printing, they are cut to the right size using a laser. Since this does not work 100% accurate, it has a fault tolerance, which corresponds to the "bleed", or "bleed".
It is therefore not advisable to simply draw a white border around the page, as it will be visible in the print if the laser has not worked exactly.

The cutlines for stickers also require a white border, as the laser does not work 100% accurate here either.

If you create the bleed manually and not by program presets, you have to add it on each page, ie.
with a trimming of 3mm 3mm top, bottom, right and left are added to it.
The print document is then 6mm wider and 6mm longer than the original size.
To make the source format visible, you can use guides.

For this you activate under "View" -> "Ruler"

Now a measuring tape should appear around your document.
You can create an auxiliary line by clicking on the measuring tape and moving your cursor while holding down the left mouse button.

When you release the left mouse button, you also let go of the guideline and place it.

In this tutorial, I used guides in steps 1-3.


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