What Inkscape version allows me to make a silhouette image?

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justinbigby
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What Inkscape version allows me to make a silhouette image?

Postby justinbigby » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:59 am

Greetings! I am brand new to Inkscape and I am looking to really only do one thing with the program, and that is to make silhouettes from existing pictures.
I have watched 10 different videos and read many instructions on how to do it, but my version does not allow it. (0.92?). So, where do I find a version of Inkscape that lets me make silhouettes out of images?

Thanks!

theozh
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Re: What Inkscape version allows me to make a silhouette image?

Postby theozh » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:44 am

Welcome to Inkscape Forum, @justinbigby,
What videos have you watched and what instructions have you read? What instructions were difficult to understand for you?
Could you please attach an example image?
Win7/64, Inkscape 0.92.2

Moini
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Re: What Inkscape version allows me to make a silhouette image?

Postby Moini » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:22 am

And could you also mention your operating system, and make a screenshot of your Inkscape window at the time that you're trying?
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brynn
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Re: What Inkscape version allows me to make a silhouette image?

Postby brynn » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:22 pm

Also could you please mention exactly what you mean by "silhouette"? People seem to have a number of different ideas about it.

For example, I'd say that Inkscape can easily create such an image. Draw an outline or closed path. Then fill it with black or grey or some dark color. Done. So you must mean something other than what I think of as a silhouette.

What kind of "existing pictures"? Do you mean photos? Or do you mean raster images in general?

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Re: What Inkscape version allows me to make a silhouette image?

Postby Moini » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:21 pm

(@brynn: Trace bitmap)
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Inkscape FAQ - Learning Resources - Website with tutorials (German and English)

justinbigby
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Re: What Inkscape version allows me to make a silhouette image?

Postby justinbigby » Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:19 am

I have followed all the video instructions that I could find. I have the same buttons, I do the same actions, but get no results. At best, I end up with a copy of the picture, not a silhouette. I have tried TRACE BITMAP, COLOR INVERSIONS and even trying to manually just color the whole picture black, but I am not getting results. That leads me to believe that I have a "lite" version of Inkscape and need to find a "full" version.

theozh
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Re: What Inkscape version allows me to make a silhouette image?

Postby theozh » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:15 am

sorry, @justinbigby, if you don't tell us which tutorials you followed, it is difficult to give some advice.
From your descriptions, I just can guess that you have a bitmap image with an object (flower, animal, profile,... whatever...) and you want to have the outline or silhouette of the object.
If you don't give a proper description of what you have and what you want to achieve, it is difficult to help. Please attach an image that would already help a lot.
By the way, there is only a "full" version of Inkscape.

Just a guess what you might want to achieve...
FishSilhouette.png
FishSilhouette.png (57.87 KiB) Viewed 2206 times
Win7/64, Inkscape 0.92.2

justinbigby
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Re: What Inkscape version allows me to make a silhouette image?

Postby justinbigby » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:16 am

Sorry, let me fill in some details here. Win 10 on a Lenovo laptop.

To me, a silhouette is a b&w outline of a given image. Below is a link to a couple videos I have watched to learn how to do a silhouette. I have seen about 12 variations of these tutorials.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TA57oP-U10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiuUh3LtNt8

My apologies, but I see no functionality on this screen that allows me to post any pix. My only options at the bottom of this text box is SUBMIT. If I try drag and drop, all I see is the loss of this screen and a full page render of the pic I tried to drop (meaing I have had to type this whole thing 3 times now).
So here is a link to a silhouette image.
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/571464640193959040/

So when I follow the above instructions to make a silhouette from an existing image, my results differ in one of two ways.
EITHER I just get an exact copy of the image (full colors and all detail)
OR I get nothing.
I have tried variations of checking or unchecking all the boxes in the SINGLE SCAN and MULTIPLE SCAN popup box.
Most of the time, I do not even get a LIVE PREVIEW even if I check the box. Generally, when I see no LIVE PREVIEW is when I get no results at all. So my Inkscape version does not recognize the image at all.

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Maestral
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Re: What Inkscape version allows me to make a silhouette image?

Postby Maestral » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:59 am

Well, if only you could see the other images shown on Pinterest, you`d notice that your desired result is most commonly know as - stencil, not a silhouette.

All that could be wrong here may not be about your IS installation but about your search keywords ,)
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Moini
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Re: What Inkscape version allows me to make a silhouette image?

Postby Moini » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:11 am

Just select 'Brightness cutoff' and adapt the threshold behind it to get a black-and-white image.
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brynn
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Re: What Inkscape version allows me to make a silhouette image?

Postby brynn » Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:46 pm

To me, a silhouette is a b&w outline of a given image.


Yeah, that's what I thought a silhouette is. But I never would have thought about Trace Bitmap to create it, because it can trace color images too. But I guess we never stop learning, and next time I'll understand.

Anyway, no worries. We'll get it sorted out.

Often we find, especially with b/w or grayscale images, the trace result is so close to the original that you don't realize the result has been there all along, right on top of the original image.

Although I guess the tutorials would have shown you that.

Something that used to trip me up when I was first learning to use Trace Bitmap, was during all the importing, and trial and error, and Undoing, sometimes I didn't realize the image I wanted to trace had become deselected. Or I had accidentally selected a trace result from a different image on the page. So you can double-check that. As you probably already know, you'll see the dashed line rectangle (known as "bounding box") with arrow handles when it's selected. (I don't mean to be rude, but just trying to cover all the bases.)

Without having the image you're trying to trace for testing, I can't be sure. But the last time I saw this type of complaint, after equally long time running around and chasing each other's ideas, we discovered that the image which the user was trying to trace was already a vector image. Any chance that's the case?


If you click on Post Reply button, instead of using Quick Reply, you will get the full editor. And just below the Submit button for that editor, and over to the left, you'll see "Attachments" tab.

The only other thing I can think to ask, is whether you can see the Preview. You have to check Live Preview box of course (again, not to be rude, just covering bases). If you're seeing the preview, it ought to be working.
Let us know if any of that helps :D

Edit - misread the comments, see new answer in my next reply

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brynn
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Re: What Inkscape version allows me to make a silhouette image?

Postby brynn » Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:58 pm

justinbigby wrote:At best, I end up with a copy of the picture, not a silhouette.


Oooohhh, I missed this before! If you made the trace with colors or grays, you probably have at least 2 objects there. And you probably only need the one on the bottom. Although it's hard to say for sure, without seeing the image.

Select whatever the result it gives you, and Object menu > Ungroup.
Next, deselect everything.
Next select everything except the object that you need - the one that has the right shape, and delete them.
Next, select the one shape that's left, and click on the black color chip, in the palette.

If the image is more complex, you might need to do some additional editing. But we can't say exactly how to do it, without seeing the image. So hopefully you can share it with us? Or at least an example that's similar. If you can't get it uploaded here, you can upload it anywhere, and give us the link to it.

Or, as Moini suggested, just use the Brightness Cutoff option, and it will give you only a single result. Then you just need to color it black.

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flamingolady
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Re: What Inkscape version allows me to make a silhouette image?

Postby flamingolady » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:26 pm

I may have missed something here, but I've created a couple of silhouettes in the last couple of weeks. There's usually more than one way to do this. Trace bitmap is one method, but I wanted to add some artistry to it (highlights and be able to change the hair, etc). I don't know of any quick, automated quick way way to make one.
but, here's another way that I like using. What I did was make the picture a pattern first.
Here's the steps: After importing your picture/jpg, etc, Select the picture, then do Objects, Pattern, Objects to Pattern. You'll need that for later. Create a shape, suggest starting with a reg rectangle, that is the same size as your original picture, make it a path and select it. Open the Fill N stroke box, and fill the rectangle with the newly created pattern. It's the 5th square, you may have to use select a couple of diff pattern to get the correct one, but usually it's in the top two at the top of the pattern list (wish it had a thumbnail, but it's hit and miss). Anyway, once you've selected the pattern, you can move it around so it fits nicely in the rectangle. There are a couple of handle you can use to move it around. Then, highlight the rectangle, so your nodes show, it usually has only 4 nodes, and you'll need a bunch of nodes, so highlight them all and click on the add nodes button many times, you can always add or remove nodes as needed. now the fun begins. move the nodes around so only the part of the picture you want shows, it's like deleting part of the picture. This works well when doing say a profile pic of a human. Once done, chg the fill to black or whatever color you want, the original pic disappears as it's now replaced with just a color, and there's your silhouette.
If you have questions, feel free to ask. There are YouTube tuts on this method, I've seen a couple in the past.
dee

theozh
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Re: What Inkscape version allows me to make a silhouette image?

Postby theozh » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:17 pm

@flamingolady, interesting approach. It's good to let disappear all the surrounding immediately.
Although, I don't see a big advantage over manually drawing the outline of the desired object with the Freehand-Line (F6) or Bezier-Tool (Shift+F6). With this you directly generate as many nodes as you need, not more not less.
An "automated" tool to cut-out (or crop, or clip, or mask, or isolate, or remove the background... whatever is the correct english term for it) would be nice. Depending on the background, this might be difficult with the "Trace Bitmap"-Tool (Shift+Alt+B). Since your input is a bitmap image, maybe e.g. GIMP has better tools for achieving this with fewer mouse-clicks... and then import this (still bitmap) outline/silhouette into Inkscape and use the Trace-Bitmap to vectorize...
Win7/64, Inkscape 0.92.2

justinbigby
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Re: What Inkscape version allows me to make a silhouette image?

Postby justinbigby » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:05 am

Capture.PNG
Capture.PNG (54.74 KiB) Viewed 2035 times


So here is what i see when trying to TRACE BITMAP. I get this about 75% of the time. Why does my version of Inkscape not recognize pictures?

I am thinking that Inkscape is too complicated to do simple tasks. All I want is a solid black silhouette image.
I have another program that does it in 3 button clicks, but that program does not allow you export images (proprietary rules).

I need a solid black image for cutting patterns in a Laser and a vinyl cutter.

theozh
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Re: What Inkscape version allows me to make a silhouette image?

Postby theozh » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:36 am

strange... that's what I get.
Try unchecking "Live Preview" and click "Update". And if you're satisfied "OK".
How large (in pixels) is your original image?

Silhouette.png
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Win7/64, Inkscape 0.92.2

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brynn
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Re: What Inkscape version allows me to make a silhouette image?

Postby brynn » Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:27 am

Where's the original, which you imported into Inkscape? Is there any chance it's already vector paths? (I posted that question above, when I misread your message, and then crossed it out. But maybe that's the problem after all?) Because that's exactly what you'd see if you tried to trace something that's already vector.

Without seeing the original, and hopefully be able to download it for testing, it's hard to give you precise steps for this. But probably you can adjust the Threshold value, and fill in a lot of the open spaces there. But only if it's a raster image.

I'm not sure if that would fill in all the open areas. You still might need to do some more editing.

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flamingolady
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Re: What Inkscape version allows me to make a silhouette image?

Postby flamingolady » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:30 am

justinbigby - The above trace results are why I use my method. Just never quite happy with the results. Though you can get better results if you use 1 color and at least 16 scans. Can you give that a try? That might be enough to be able to laser cut it. I 'think' 1 color will make it only black and therefore easier to see and make you a decent cutting path. Try adding one color at a time until you get what you need. Did you mention this already - are you able to crop in Gimp (it's free, but also not an easy pgm to learn, IMHO)? I should mention that I did people, so there were no feathers to crop around, that makes it more complicated. you, as the artist will need to decide how far to take the notches of the feathers (just like I have to decide on where to draw the hair, or to add eyelash definition). There's always going to be an artist's take on it.
*edit - It would help if you can post the original pic.
I get better results using pattern. I might try cropping in gimp then I wouldn't have to crop so much, might save a little bit of time, though it didn't take long. My method sounds like it takes a long time, but it really doesn't.
I would love a trace bitmap that worked better, esp for silhouettes.
dee
Last edited by flamingolady on Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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brynn
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Re: What Inkscape version allows me to make a silhouette image?

Postby brynn » Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:26 am

I think the lowest number of possible colors/scans might be 2.

To me, the problem with using Trace Bitmap to create a "silhouette" image, is that that's already a silhouette image. I just happens to be more detailed than what is wanted.

I can't be sure without an example to test with, but I'm pretty sure you should be able to get rid of a lot of those open areas using the Threshold value.

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Maestral
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Re: What Inkscape version allows me to make a silhouette image?

Postby Maestral » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:38 am

Have you thought about making a screenshot capture from your magical 3-button-click-program and then trace it in IS?

By the way, which program is it?
:tool_zoom: <<< click! - but, those with a cheaper tickets should go this way >>> :!:

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flamingolady
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Re: What Inkscape version allows me to make a silhouette image?

Postby flamingolady » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:33 pm

Has anyone used trace pixel art with the trace bitmap? I saw a tut somewhere where you run trace pixel art first, then the trace bitmap, and it's supposed to make the output much better. Wish I could remember where I saw the tut, most likely on youtube. I haven't seen much on trace pixel art. I just tried it and got frozen up, my laptop is ancient so that didn't surprise me.

justinbigby
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Re: What Inkscape version allows me to make a silhouette image?

Postby justinbigby » Sat Jul 22, 2017 1:59 am

How.PNG
How.PNG (206.89 KiB) Viewed 1889 times


Here is how my other program spoils me. It is called Silhouette Studio.
Place image on page. Highlight where you want to trace. Select TRACE IMAGE. Drag image away to reveal the traced image.

It's a 3 second operation, automatic edge detection, 3 mouse clicks and done. The downsides are that my silhouette image I created cannot leave this program, nor do I have much if any image manipulation capabilities.

The reason I am trying to use Inkscape is two-fold.

#1. The above program I use is strictly for my personal vinyl cutter, and there is no export function for my creations to use elsewhere (proprietary rules)
#2. For the laser cutter I have access to, it uses ONLY Inkscape for the design and cutting process. I want to be able to (in 4 clicks or less), do the above. Otherwise, it is not really worth my time.

So, can anyone tell me, how to make a silhouette of the below Trooper image where the operation takes less than 10 seconds and 4 mouse clicks using Inkscape? Keep in mind, I have watched 12 videos on how to do this, but my results as I follow those instructions are as follows: Either Inkscape fails to recognize the image (as you have seen with the Phoenix screen shot) about %75 of the time OR all I get is a single full color copy of the same image (%25 of the time) and no "layers".

Sandtrooper.jpg
Sandtrooper.jpg (35.94 KiB) Viewed 1889 times

Polygon
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Re: What Inkscape version allows me to make a silhouette image?

Postby Polygon » Sat Jul 22, 2017 2:57 am

justinbigby wrote:So, can anyone tell me, how to make a silhouette of the below Trooper image where the operation takes less than 10 seconds and 4 mouse clicks using Inkscape?

You´re kidding right?
No program can do what you want here. You might need some basic skills in editing/optimizing lousy raster images; mostly get rid of the background and have a good contrast on your main object. Here´s a "1 minute" effort in GIMP" on that. Once you separated your object make a selection either from the background (and reverse selection afterwards) or the object by collect selecting its colors - then GIMP makes a path from it which you can export to SVG which Inkscape can open by default:
Trooper.svg
(4.05 KiB) Downloaded 18 times


TrooperGIMP.png
TrooperGIMP.png (58.22 KiB) Viewed 1879 times


Cheers
P.

theozh
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Re: What Inkscape version allows me to make a silhouette image?

Postby theozh » Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:42 am

Hey justinbigby, relax...
I agree what @Polygon wrote. You cannot compare your clean writing "Lucky" with the other image with background and difficult contrast.
How does your special program perform on this?

Well, just a well-intended advice for future to keep in mind for you:
now, we all know that you have watched 10 or even 12 videos. And several people have spent more than 4 mouse clicks and 10 sec of their spare time trying to find out what you want. A bit more modesty and patience would be also good for you. "C'est le ton qui fait la musique". Well, the type of martial image might explain...
If you once have more than 10 seconds you might want to read this:
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=745
Win7/64, Inkscape 0.92.2

justinbigby
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Re: What Inkscape version allows me to make a silhouette image?

Postby justinbigby » Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:50 am

Cool, thank you all for your time! I will see if I can find what I am looking for in other programs.


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