First, some backstory:
About six months ago, my dad bought the Silhouette Cameo Three off of Amazon. He had every intention on learning how to use it so he could create his own vinyl stickers for his truck and RV. After a week of messing with the Cameo and the printing software that came with it, he got a job that didn’t allow him the amount of free time he needed to teach himself how to use the machine.
I thought it was kind of ridiculous that after a week of trying to learn, he wasn’t able to print a single sticker that was fully complete. When I asked him, he just shook his head and told me that it was ridiculously hard to find any information on how to create the stickers.
Fast forward to May 2019. I decided to learn how to use the Silhouette Cameo 3 with Easy Cut Studio as my printing software. I experienced first hand the struggles my dad went through, and encountered many of my own. Because of the difficulty, I also decided to create tutorial videos so others can learn how to do this too. At the end of the month, I uploaded my videos to a playlist on YouTube:
Why did I choose this project?
To challenge myself
There were three main components to my project: 1) Learning 2) Teaching and 3) Editing.
Learning how to set up and use the Cameo was a challenge by itself. There are so many people trying to teach the same things, but many of them sit in front of their Cameo rambling for 15 minutes before getting into the tutorial. The lack of useful sources combined with Silhouettes practically useless website tripled the amount of time it took me to learn, not to mention everything else I needed to know for my project, like how to even make tutorial videos.
Teaching others generally comes naturally to me, but teaching through a video is much different because it’s harder to check for understanding and clear up any miscommunications. I had to make sure I was clear, concise and said what I meant 100% of the time, while mixing the media up a little to keep my audiences attention. Writing my script took forever, and a lot of feedback from my dad.
Editing videos is something that I’ve done before, but I’ve never been very skilled at it. I used this project to hone in on that skill. I took it to the next level by incorporating background music behind my voice overs, using a semi-professional external microphone, and using three different types of medium in my videos. Images, film, and screen recordings.
To make something easier for others
I’ve always been passionate about finding a flaw in a system and coming up with solutions to fix it. Many times, I don’t act on those plans because they’re unrealistic, but this problem was different. I had the chance to realistically make a difference, and I did. Hopefully, others will be able to utilize my videos to make their own stickers in no time.
To open a path for further learning
Cutting vinyl and creating stickers is just the tip of the ice-burg compared to everything else the Cameo can do. Now that I’m familiar with the hardware and how to use it, I can start learning (and creating tutorial videos for) more things.
So How Did I Do It?:
Planning: I did a ton of planning when I first started. It was the most planning that I had ever done for a project like this, but as I worked through the project, I realized that it still wasn’t enough.
Research: I had to research how to make tutorial videos, how to make decals, how to use the Cameo, requirements for where I can put my videos and more! I tried to keep a log of my research, but I retain information pretty well, so I forgot to write a lot of it down.
Recording: I did massive amounts of filming and recording. I had to do filming where I was in front of the camera, and where I just filmed my screen. I had to record, and rerecord my audio multiple times and ended up with countless files of the same parts of the script over and over again. I especially challenged myself in this part by using an external microphone (The CAD u37), something I’ve never done before.
Editing and Uploading: My next step was to put all my videos together in IMovie so that I could get them uploaded into YouTube. This was one of the hardest and most rewarding parts of my project. I loved seeing everything come together in a way that was satisfactory to myself, given that I’m a bit of a perfectionist. The thumbnail I created seemed to make my videos official, and it was amazing seeing them uploaded on YouTube.
What did I learn?
This project was nothing but a learning experience. I’ve learned a lot about myself, my Cameo, and about several programs that I didn’t think I’d ever use. I also have a detailed post about my experience with the project week by week! See My Project Update here.
– I am not good at planning (or sticking with my plan), and I am super optimistic with my time. I ended up thinking I can do way more than I actually can. This resulted in a huge plan and only half of the results.
– I love creating things for people! Everyone who I made a decal for was so happy and appreciative. It was really rewarding.
– Unfortunately, I tend to beat myself up over the small things that have gone wrong and in doing so, I loose sight of the good things I have done.
The Cameo and Easy Cut Studio:
– How to set up the Cameo 3 and work with the hardware side of things.
– Everything I needed to know about Easy Cut Studio in order to create stickers. I also learned how it compares to other types of vinyl cutting software.
– Pulling away useless vinyl in a way to make a beautiful sticker. I really had to focus on the difference between negative and positive space in my designs.
– How to finish stickers and make them look official.
Other things: (videos and blogs are coming soon about each one of these)
– More skills with IMovie
– I leanred about Canva,
– How to set up a course on Udemy
– A creators channel on YouTube
I’m still not done with the project and I have many more videos to do. I will start on those in the upcoming month!