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Photoshop print/cut flow?

flat rock stan

New Member
Hello everyone! I did an intro post the other day after lurking here for a few days (I’m trying to figure out basics of Photoshop to do van wraps) I received a reply from “Signs that Work” that I appreciate but don’t understand. In the post they said:
“Photoshop is a huge program and integrating it into your print/cut flow will be quite a task. The hardware will likely come down in price while you are learning to work the software. To answer your question...Yes. Being proficient ( not excellent) with Photoshop will allow you to do this.
Sounds like you are on the right track.”

I might be sooo much a newbe that I don’t need to understand yet but……..Would someone tell me what this means and what the hard part is going to be? Also any opinions on a training cd for Photoshop would be great; I’m more of a visual person than print!
Just call me grasshopper:peace!:


New Member
Do a search on the forum for rip and print/cutting. What he is trying to tell you is photoshop is a raster program and to do a cut you need a path (vector) image. Also there is a lot to learn about color management (ICC/ICM). But once you learn PhotoShop and Illustrator you should know what we are talking about.

RJ California

New Member
I use Lynda.com for online training --- I should say that I pay Lynda.com for training, I don't use it nearly enough. They do offer excellent training on Adobe, Corel and many other products.


New Member
I think he meant, that you could take the time to learn some of the programs like flexi, Photoshop & illustrator, and when you feel ready to jump in to digital printing, the printing hardware may be cheaper at that time. As far as integrating Photoshop in to you print/cut flow – if you have a newer version of flexi , it actually integrates quite well for print and cut. All you need to do is knock out backgrounds in Photoshop, and use Flexi-signs “create contour cut” command to have print and cut graphics.


New Member
Stan, there are any number of tutorials available for PS. I think I've got one called PS for dummies or something like that. I"ve also got WOW for PhotoShop 7.0. (it's a Photoshop Bible) I consult it probably more than anything. The VP, Video Professor has a few CD's out there, and I've got them too.

You can get going fairly quick in PS for basic bells and whistles. Bevels, shadows, effects, etc. Mastering other techiniques will take more time and energy. I know, cuz I'm right there with ya.

But fortunately, you're on board at Signs101 and there are some really smart guys here.

flat rock stan

New Member
good stuff here

Thanks for all the advice! I do have flexi 7 and yesterday received the training CD. I had a few minutes last night before I passed out to check it out, cant wait to check it out today! If I understand what “Sign Shop” is saying I can make kool background stuff using like digitaljuice and then take that into my flexi and go for it? I will also check out Lynda.com and WOW. Your right…….this board at signs101 is the greatest! My stress levels are coming way down by the day
:signs101: :U Rock:


New Member
Welcome aboard! i too bought Lynda training on photoshop CS2 by Deke Mcclellan (he is awesome) and i think that was one of the best investments.


New Member
Although I'm new to the signage business, have been screenprinting since 1978 and have used and written color separation programs, such as QuikSeps for Photoshop since version 1.0.

Regarding a vector cutting path from your Photoshop image, all you have to do is make a safe working duplicate of your file then merge all visible Layers (do not flatten it). Now either load the layer as a "selection" or use the magic wand to select outside the image and then choose "inverse" from the Select Menu.

You'll see "marching ants" surrounding your art. Now if you'd like the path to border beyond the edge or bleed into the graphic, choose "Select", "Modify", "Expand or Contract" and type in the amount into the dialog box and click OK.

Open up the "Paths" Window and choose "Make Work Path". Click OK and now "Save The Path" using any name or the default name. You'll now have a perfect cutting path.

Next, under Photoshops "File Menu" choose "Export Paths To Illustrator" and bingo....a vector cutting path for your raster file!

If the path happens top be rough or contains far too many control points, this can easily be modified and automatically "simplified" in Illustrator to allow smooth cutting.

flat rock stan

New Member
I have been working with the flexi training CD’s (1 and 2) for nearly two weeks and have learned probably enough to get myself in trouble!!! I think I will sign up with Lynda.com tonight. Seems the premium subscription will be the best for me with the exercise files. It looks like I have several programs to learn and would appreciate more advice on what to concentrate learning first. My printer and laminator should be in and a new room ready to set up in about one more month. I have decided to go with the Roland soljet pro lll xc 540. Seems like a lot of people sell the sp 540v after about six months to a year because it is slow. The XC has lots of extras that add up to some money so I can justify it to my wife……heeeeeeee evil grin!!!!
Thanks everyone for the information.


New Member
you will need flexi to output the jobs, but I would suggest you spend your time learning Adobe software. You can compile your digital elements, Juice Drops, client photos, other clip art images etc... & also create vector art in illustrator, typesetting, client logos, or cut paths...

...then like i do you can simply bring image files & cut path files into Flexi at the last minute & simply use flexi to output your prints.

Of course Felxi is a very powerful & expensive program... but Illustrator and Photoshop can legally be loaded on 2 computers, so if you learn to initiate all the work with those two programs, you may also have an opportunity to take advantage of the ability to have a home computer to work on some of your stuff. You will learn more over time & will know when a specific task is more suitable to tackle in Flexi... but if you start with learning to create your jobs in Adobe software, I think you will have the advantage mentioned above, and will have more turorials available to you to get better & better.


New Member
Hey Flat Rock Stan

Good luck with your purchase of the SolJet Pro 540! Tell you wife it cost $10k! I just ordered mine today. I also looked at the Versacamm and to me, the differences between the machines are dramatic.

They threw in the auxilary heater/blower, a set of inks and $1,500 off.

I'm totally new to the sign/decal biz but decided to jump in with both feet and buy what is probably the best 54" machine available.

I've always bought the best screen printing machinery and that has served me well.

If there's anyone in Central Jersey looking to contract out some output...drop me a line....I'll need the money to pay this thing off! LOL!