I have a graphic which originally comes from Adobe Illustrator, currently in Sketch but I could also use in Affinity Designer or even Figma.

Note that I would like to get the final cut version back into Sketch because I have a couple of animation tools that use Sketch as a source. Or, possibly, just raw SVG if ShapeShifter turns out to be as good as it looks.

The illusion of cut paths you see below is because there are three shapes drawn on top of the paths of the filled fingerprint.

Envelope as negative space on top

Colouring the lines of the "Envelope"

Colored lines

As I want to animate the shape, I would like to actually cut the paths where they appear to be cut by the overlaid negative envelope.

So far the only ideas I've come up with which seem workable are very brute force:

  1. Export as SVG and manually edit the SVG file to create new paths with those end points, then re-import and tidy up
  2. Redraw a series of paths over the top of each fragment.

I have read the Cutting paths with paths in Sketch.app question but they are not dealing with independent paths to this degree and the layer operations didn't help - I ended up with additional whitespace on top

The Sketch Scissors tool also seems to break the image as soon as I try it, it is not an intuitive snip the path tool.

I suspect the real problem is that the sinuous paths are not a series of curving lines but are made up from Shapes. Maybe the answer is not to use Sketch at all but a different tool (Figma?) with a different model of paths?

thanks, Andy

1 Answer 1


Nearly any vector drawing program (except Affinity Designer) should allow you to convert the black curves to strokeless shapes that have a black fill. In illustrator it is "Outline Strokes". In Inkskape it's "Stroke to Path". Do the same to your white lines and subtract the areas.

Save the originals, becauce once converted to filled shapes, editing them is more complex.

  • 1
    I'm not sure why you think Affinity won't let you do it. Layer-->Expand Stroke works perfectly fine.
    – spiral
    Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 12:14

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