Converting a design to basic lines?

Okay, here's the deal. I want to put this design on the blade of a knife I'm making (the design is the USNA class of 2013 ring crest).
Before I can do that I need to have a stencil made of the design so I can etch it on the steel.

But, the design is to complicated (all the shadowing and such). So I need to clean it up, get rid of shading, shadows, all that. How would anyone suggest I do that? I gifure I'll have to do some editing in a photo editing program, what program? And how do I do it?  Thanks for any help, I'm not a computer graphics person at all, so explain it like you would to your grandpa (no I'm not old, just not computer smart)


rickharris6 years ago
Gimp is free and will allow you to delete all of the black.
mole16 years ago
What photo editing program do you have access to?

Here's a start, there is now no gray. But for best results, I think you're going to have to decide what is going to be solid black and what is going to be solid white by 'hand' . The reason is that a filter may or may not give you an image that will 'read' with the important shapes you want..

Look at the thumbnail below and squint at it.... can you see how some areas (like around the numbers) become black that in close-up are lots of little black lines?

Think about the things that you can't see clearly...like the flag symbols and the jets(?). You may need to make the wing-y things at the outer edges of the numbers black to make the jets read in the thumbnail.

So that's the general process I suggest. You could probably take it from here by making many copies and trying lots of things in hard copy or in MS Paint... although Photoshop would be easier because you could then use 'layers' (virtual tracing paper).

There are lots of people here to help you. .. so yell if you get stuck.