Introduction: How to Make a Slave 1 Stencil

Picture of How to Make a Slave 1 Stencil

I have been wanting to make a stencil for the past few months as I have always loved doing them. I have a pretty lengthy way of doing it. I recently became a member at the new Austin TechShop and took the laser cutting class. I am still amazed at how accurate this machine makes cuts. Pure beauty. I went back to the drawing boards to try and make making stencils an efficient process. This is what I have come up with. 

We will be cutting this stencil using cardboard and the laser cutter. 

First you are going to want to find a picture of your beloved ship and open that bad boy in Photoshop. 

The picture I am using is already black and white and grey. So I wont need to posterize it. 

I found a reference picture of the colours that I was wanting. This stencil will be a 4 layer stencil. 

Colours are as listed. 
Layer 1: Grey
Layer 2: Maroon 
Layer 3: Olive Green
Layer 4: Black

I am entering this contest for the Epilog Zing laser cutter. Please vote for me!

Step 1: Magic Wand Tool

Picture of Magic Wand Tool

First you create a new layer and name it grey. You will then select the Magic Wand Tool. If you click on the outside of the object it will select everything around the object. We dont need to color the background. So if you right click after you select everything on the outside. You will bring up the menu and select Select Inverse. Then you just color it grey you have your first layer. 

Step 2: Layer 2-3

Picture of Layer 2-3

You will create yet another layer for the green and another for the maroon. 

Use the Magic Wand Tool to select just the green part of the ship. 

This is what I chose to make green after looking at the reference I posted in the intro slide.

Rinse and repeat for the maroon layer. Don't forget you will want to do each color on its own layer. 


Step 3: The Final Layer

Picture of The Final Layer

This is the most critical layer as it will give the entire picture its definition. 

I just started this today and still have to run some practice cuts on the laser to find which pieces I need to bridge. 
This is one layer you really want to spend some time with. Just make sure it looks how you want. 
I continued to use the Magic Wand Tool. If you need to select multiple things with it just hold the shift key when clicking. If you are almost done with selecting things and you screw up or it selects something completely random ( It will do this.), just hit CMD+Z. 

This is what I came up with. Not perfect but I like!

Note: I made the grey layer visible so you could see the black lines.


Step 4: Make Sure Everything Lines Up.

Picture of Make Sure Everything Lines Up.

Just make all of your layers visible and at this point you should pat yourself on the back for getting all your layers done! 

This is what the stencil will look like all layered up. 

Im obviously going to get some better paint to more closely resemble Sir Fetts paint scheme. 

You will then want to CMD+Shift+ S each layer as its own file. 

You will then open each layer into Adobe Illustrator to get ready for cutting with the laser cutter. 


Step 5: Open Each Layer in Illustrator

Picture of Open Each Layer in Illustrator

Open each layer in Illustrator and select the picture in each one. 
Go to Object> Image Trace. Then per your specific laser get it ready for cut. 

I am going to cut this stencil about  26 inches by 16 inches. 

Cut each layer out then we can get to painting!

Step 6: Spray Paint Onto Whatever!

Picture of Spray Paint Onto Whatever!

I used a laser cutter to cut the stencils out. Then spray painted the layers in this order.
1. Gray
2. Green
3. Red
4. Black

Enjoy your piece of art! 


I made it at TechShop!

Thank you TechShop for allowing me to actually make what I've always wanted. 

Check them out if you haven't already! 

http://techshop.ws/

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Bio: I am a dabbler. I like to make things better than what they were intended for. I work at Apple. I play with Yoyos and ... More »
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