Embird Embroidery Software
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Use of the Mask to Split Vector Objects

Mask concept allows to adjust one object with use of another object that serves to trim or intersect the first object. The mask defines which parts of original object will remain and which parts will be deleted.

The mask effect can be achieved by using the Shaping operations Intersection and Difference .

Ring design with multi-color segments

Fig. 1. Ring with multi-color segments.

Imagine that we want to create ring with multi-color segments as illustrated on the figure 1. Instead of digitizing each segment manually, we will create the whole ring first and then we will split it with use of another object.

Full ring

Fig. 2

The Yellow Parts

The first step is to create a large ring. We will use a fill object with opening (hole) in this example.

Temporary mask object

Fig. 3

The next step is to draw object that will serve as a mask for splitting. The ring will be sliced on places where mask run on top of the ring (highlighted with thick lines). Therefore, the mask edges must be drawn carefully on the intersection with the ring. On other places, you can draw it with lower accuracy.

In this example we use fill object as a mask. Mask can be any object (sfumato, column) except lines (outline, connection, manual stitches). The mask will have no stitches, it is only a temporary object. Therefore, it does not matter where is its start and end point or how its parameters are set. Mask can even have one or several openings (holes).

Object and mask selected for shaping operation

Fig. 4

Select both objects (the ring and the mask object).

Use the main menu > Build > Shaping > Difference command to create new objects that are ring area minus the mask area.

Resulting objects are shown on the figure 5.

Object after subtracting the mask areas

Fig. 5

Note: shaping commands do not work with linear objects like outline, connection or manual stitches.

The Red Parts

Now we are going to create complementary objects to fill the empty areas. We will use another shaping command to produce these objects.

Before doing so, we need to enlarge mask to make new objects larger and overlapping the previously created objects. This step is very important because if there is no overlay between the objects, the pull effect of thread will cause gaps in the actual sew out.

Select the mask object and use the main menu > Transform > Offset > Expand Objects command.

Expanding mask area to achieve overlays

Fig. 6

Now select the original ring and the new, larger mask. Use the main menu > Build > Shaping > Intersection command to create areas that are common to both the ring and the mask.

Intersection of object and mask

Fig. 7

You should achieve objects that are complementary to above yellow objects. Change their color to red by dragging the red color from palette to selected objects. Now you should erase the original ring and mask objects, because they are still in the background. They were only temporary objects and we do not need them anymore.


Resulting design has overlays between adjanced different color areas.

Complete design composed from parts created with mask

Fig. 8. Complete result.

Overlays between the adjanced areas

Fig. 9. Overlays between the adjanced areas.

Respective segments are separate objects and it is useful to connect some objects (not shown in this example) with connection tool to reduce thread trimming. As the yellow color is sewn first in this case, connections between the yellow objects can be hidden beneath the red objects.

Note: objects in Studio can be sliced also with guide lines . However, this approach produces only straight-line cut.

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