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Question how to automate cutting paths on a vector image

Discussion in 'Adobe' started by DrunknMonk, Apr 4, 2020.

  1. DrunknMonk

    DrunknMonk Member

    Aug 23, 2010
    England Uk
    Hi all, In Illustrator, alot of my jobs I have to put cutting paths (CutContour) on my jobs, which I do all the time, my files are made of of multiple colours, that all need a stoke adding (bleed), then a copy placed on top, that's welded together, and made in to a fill colour CutContour, is there an automation that can do this, I spend all of seat time doing this.

    Thanks Gary

    Examples attached.

    Attached Files:

  2. untitled

    untitled Member

    May 27, 2014
    You can do this with actions and using offset path instead of setting a stroke weight as the stroke weight have to be setup individually, whereas offset path will add a new same color object behind the original to provide the bleed. Not exactly what you were asking for, but a work around. See my attached screen shot for how they should be setup. Here are the actual steps.

    If not familiar with actions-->
    Select Window -> Actions
    Name it whatever you want. You can also assign a Fkey so that you can run it from there.
    On the bottom click on the symbol to the left of the delete bin to Create a new action
    A new action will be created and will begin recording. So anything you do from this point on until you hit stop will be recorded.
    ctrl+a (select all)
    ctrl+c (copy)
    Select Object -> Path -> Offset Path (settings I used were Offset: 0.05 in; Miter Limit: 4; Line Joint: Miter
    (deselect all) Make sure to use keyboard shortcut or the Select -> deselect all from the top menus to deselect. Just clicking on an empty space to deselect won't work).
    ctrl+f (paste in front)
    In the Pathfinder window click on Unite (also known as weld)
    In your Roland VersaWorks swatch window select your CutContour swatch.
    On the bottom of the Actions window, hit the Stop button. (last on the left)

    I broke it down as if you were a complete beginner with Illustrator only because I obviously have no idea what your experience with it is and so that it is as easy as possible. I don't mean any offence to it lol.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 4, 2020
    • Pure Genius! Pure Genius! x 1
  3. iPrintStuff

    iPrintStuff Prints stuff

    Sep 3, 2018
    United Kingdom
    I probably wouldn’t even do an action for that, takes about 30 seconds. The results will be quicker but you’ll still likely have to go in and screw around with the nodes on some joins
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Keith van der Westhuizen

    Keith van der Westhuizen New Member

    Oct 12, 2018
    South Africa
    Hi DrunknMonk,

    I have had similar issues over the last 8 years in our graphics department. There is a viable solution to this but it takes TIME!
    Actions can only get you so far; because what you can re-produce in an action is very limited however if you create a SCRIPT then you are able to include mathematical calculations, search variables and basically anything your heart desires.

    For CutPaths and CutContours i automate this process in CorelDraw purely because learning Visual Basics code was easier than attempting JavaScript. If you are planning on doing the same job over and over and over for the next couple of years then i suggest taking the time to get the software api and to do a couple courses in JavaScript so that you can create your own scripts for illustrator.

    It will not happen over night but in the long run it definately pays off.

    I have created plugins for photoshop, i have action lists and i have created scrips in Excel and Corel Draw that work with each other to speed up the print prep times of job from 15 to 30 minutes per job to an avarage of 3 minutes per job with a 99.9% success rate.

    Allot of the code is already out there; so all you need to do is find it and figure out how to adjust the code to do what you want it to do.

    I know i'm not of much help right now; but if someone told be about Macro Scripts and JavaScripts that can be used for automation 8 years ago; who know what i would have created to date!

    I will be more than happy to share some things with you if you want to have a look at it and see what things do.

    My entire creative department basically just sit and press hot-keys on the keyboards now! lol!

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