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Tutorial/Work in Progress: Cutting Multilayered Jigsaw Puzzles From a Single Image

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  • #31
    Okay....time to update some progress!

    So, here you can see that I have cut out most of the girl, and have come to her arms. This spot will take a little extra attention.

    Remember that the girl is three layers thick, and I decided to keep her left arm the same, but to make her right arm two layers thick (the same as the branch). This will give a neat sense of depth when done.

    Of course, the background sky will be a single layer, and we'll have to deal with that little triangle of open air between her hands.





    The first thing I did was to cut out her left arm. This will be a simple glue-up to make a single triple layered piece.





    Now I have to decide what I want to do. One option would be to cut the branch as a single piece, with the air between the girl's head and the branch as another piece. A problem with this is that having a shallow, single layered piece, between surrounding multilayered pieces, can make it hard to fit a finger in when trying to press the shallow piece in place.

    For this reason, I will make the air and the branch a single united piece, similar to how we did the fence a while back. I will also cut a locking tab above the branch. We'll have to remember that the interlock is only one layer thick.

    Another Tip: When planning interlocks which transition between two different heights like this (in this case, the branch and the sky), always cut the interlock from high/thick toward low/thin (from the branch extending out toward the sky, not from the sky extending into the branch).





    Shawn Ferguson

    Come visit at The Ferguson Puzzle Company !

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    • #32
      And here is our "raw" piece before shaping.





      As always, I will remove my base layer and set it aside for later. Since I have no triple layer portions to this piece (just the single layer sky, and the double layered branch and right arm), I will discard one of my layers (not yet shown in picture)





      Here are my piece portions after I have attacked the sky sections with my hobby knife.





      And here is the final sculpted piece after gluing it up! Looks pretty cool!
      The interlocking tab on the top of the branch is just a single layer thick, and will blend seamlessly with the other sky pieces after assembly.


      Shawn Ferguson

      Come visit at The Ferguson Puzzle Company !

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      • #33
        Coming along nicely!!

        You can see where I had placed other occasional interlocks along the girl's back. In general, you don't need as many interlocks with multilevel puzzles, as the thicker portions help to keep the puzzle tight, but you do still need them periodically.

        Again, the interlocks which transition across thicknesses do so from high/thick toward low/thin (from the girl's back, extending toward the sky).


        Shawn Ferguson

        Come visit at The Ferguson Puzzle Company !

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        • #34
          Sorry it's been a few days, gang.....only so much time per day for "puzzling."


          Looking at the remaining puzzle board, it's time to attack the boy. My plan is to cut him out, along with the branches, and then cut the single layer background pieces with a finer blade.





          The first piece of the boy I am cutting is his left foot. I will include the branch portion near his leg into the same piece, but drop it to a two layered segment, similar to what I have done before.

          Since the shape of the boy's foot acts as a natural interlock, I have decided not to put further interlocks along his leg. I think I will place a few on the other leg, however, just because I want to. :-)





          Shawn Ferguson

          Come visit at The Ferguson Puzzle Company !

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          • #35
            As I cut through the boy, I have come to a few other decision points. There is a sliver of white sky between the boy's body and his right arm. Similarly, there is a larger portion of sky between his left arm and the branch.

            Since both of those sky pieces would be too small by themselves, and would be too difficult to insert between the larger pieces with an average sized finger, I am going to incorporate those sky sections into the adjacent arm sections, similar to how I treated the sky above the girl's head.






            After gluing up those pieces, they will look like this (there are single layer interlocks on one side of each arm, not seen well in the photo).



            Shawn Ferguson

            Come visit at The Ferguson Puzzle Company !

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            • #36
              As I have made progress, I have been careful to cut in such a way that my yet-to-bet cut portions are still held in place by being contiguous with the screws.

              In this case, however, I have allowed a large portion of background to come free. Portions determined to be single layer do not need additional layers of ply to be held in place underneath them. I will set this section aside for later cutting.





              Using this puzzlecrafting technique, as you can imagine, there is a fair amount of color line cutting. Again, I am not going to add any further interlocks to the boy's head, as the shape itself kind of serves that purpose.


              Shawn Ferguson

              Come visit at The Ferguson Puzzle Company !

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              • #37
                I'm often happy when I cut my final multilayer piece. In this case, it is the last portion of the tree branch, which falls along the right hand border of the puzzle. I decided to switch already back to my #1 blade to make those single layer sky interlocks nice and tight, especially since they are on an edge. After this is done, I will switch to my fine puzzle blade to cut the remainder of the puzzle.





                As I've worked my way up the puzzle board, I am approaching those screws. Since I really don't need them anymore, I have decided to cut them free, remove the now unnecessary underlying ply levels, and make my furture cutting much easier.

                It looks like when I had my image professionally printed, there is a small white border field on the very top which I don't want in my final puzzle. I will mark this edge with pencil, cut along it, and cut the true edge I desire.








                Shawn Ferguson

                Come visit at The Ferguson Puzzle Company !

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                • #38
                  Almost done, but a few important things left!


                  Here are the multilayered portions, all ready to go.





                  And here are the remaining single layered portions, free from their underlying counterparts. I bet they'll look great together!





                  For the rest of the single layered portions, I will cut the pieces in the traditional way, one at a time, with adjacent interlocks. For more on this, see my other tutorial, or Carter's great video.



                  Shawn Ferguson

                  Come visit at The Ferguson Puzzle Company !

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                  • #39
                    One final step before my puzzle is completed. I think every great puzzle deserves a Signature Piece, and as expected, my Buff the Magic Dragon as decided to make an appearance, flying amongst the tree leaves.

                    For more on figural cutting, please see my other tutorial on that subject.







                    And finally, the puzzle complete!!










                    And that concludes my tutorial on this subject. I have lots of other little tips perhaps I can work into something else down the road using some associated techniques, but I hope this gives everyone a nice idea how to start.

                    I've been fielding a number of emails on this already, so please, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to PM me, email me, or post a message here on this forum.
                    Shawn Ferguson

                    Come visit at The Ferguson Puzzle Company !

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                    • #40
                      WOW

                      Shawn, that is the cat's pertusie.(?????) I don't know where that is on a cat, but please take it as a complement. You did a top shelf job on the tutorial and as I said in an earlier post, I am going to try to figure a way to print it, including the pictures. Thank you very much for your effort, I'm sure it took an awful lot of your time,
                      Rick
                      Just because the circus left town, doesn't mean the Monkey's off your back

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                      • #41
                        Great job, Shawn!

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                        • #42
                          WOW


                          The mystery has been revealed.

                          Thankyou , great job.

                          It's all fun
                          Terry
                          Craftsman 18"
                          Delta 46-460 lathe
                          ________________________

                          https://www.facebook.com/SillyLillyBowsAndMore

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                          • #43
                            Shawn, thank you!! That was a really useful tutorial, and I can't wait to try one of these. Thanks for taking all of the time to make that. I really appreciate it.

                            I love this forum!!
                            Loving my big yellow saw....

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                            • #44
                              Thanks, Shawn. Very detailed and clear. Couldn't you save time by dealing with three identical pictures? Just a thought. Thanks for your patience.

                              Carter

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                              • #45
                                Thanks, Carter.....this kind of puzzle can certainly be made using three pictures (I go over that technique in my other multilayered tutorial). Using that technique works well, but one of the downfalls is that it requires gluing wood to paper instead of wood to glue, and the results are not as sturdy. On the plus side, you end up with three (or more) unique puzzle layers, and special "treasures" can be hidden under each of them.
                                Shawn Ferguson

                                Come visit at The Ferguson Puzzle Company !

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