View Full Version : Illustrator Stroke Question

Jason Saul
03-21-2011, 7:05 PM
Hi all - Looking to slice out a world map to use as a stencil (cutting some birch wood) but I need there to be space between each country. Wondering if there's a quick way to do this in Illustrator which will result in hairlines on the inside of the countries that the laser can read. I'm using an Epilog Helix 24.

I've already tried to:

- "transform each" to scale them down - unfortunately the space between the countries is entirely uneven after this

- use 2 stokes: a middle white stroke and inner black stroke, which seemed like it was going to work but i believe the laser only sees one stroke and ignores the fact there's an "inner" and "middle" to the stroke itself

I've attached an .eps and a detail .png to give a better understanding of what I'm looking to do - thanks for any and all suggestions!

Josh Richard
03-21-2011, 8:09 PM
There are a few ways to trace a raster image with CS4. I am not sure which one would work, but I when traced, there would be two different vector lines, an inner and an outer. Experiment tonight, I will see if I can do it tomorrow at school.

The general concept:
Make the vector lines with a heavy weigh line
Convert to a raster
Convert to a vector that makes the lines you want

Doug Griffith
03-21-2011, 9:02 PM
Oh boy, one of the rare Illustrator questions!

I would set a thick stroke weight making sure the joins are round. Then "Object:Path:Outline Stroke". Then "Object:Ungroup". Then "Object:Compound Path:Release". Then set the weight of the stroke to 001". Then lock. Then delete the original lines or send to their own non-visible layer.

Jason Saul
03-22-2011, 11:16 AM
thanks so much Doug! yep, i grew up on PS/Illy! going to give this a shot . . .

Jason Saul
03-22-2011, 11:17 AM
thanks Josh - the lines are already vectors and I think Doug might have figured out the solution i was looking for! cheers.

David Fairfield
03-22-2011, 11:27 AM
Yeah outline stroke is useful for all sorts of things whenever you need complicated parallel lines. Its a great alternative to offset path; you set the offset with the stroke thickness.


Jason Saul
03-22-2011, 11:30 AM
right on - crossing my fingers i can get it going, thanks David!