One of my favorite instructables of all time is the 3D Printing Photograph. I was fortunate to meet Amanda, while I was doing my Residency at Instructables and learned a few tricks to do my version. Amanda uses Processing to draw the 3D Models but I hardly code so I figured a way to do the same using Autodesk 3DS Max.
The 3D printer used is an Objet Connex500 and the material used is VeroWhite. Both the printer and the material are really nice because you can get a great quality finish which will reflect on your photo quality. As the thickness varies, the amount of light that is able to pass through changes giving more depth to the photograph. The thinner the material, the brighter it will be.
This year is the world cup so I printed one of the best football (soccer) players that lived on this planet Diego Maradona, holding the World Cup in Mexico 1986. Hopefully this year we will see Lionel Messi hold the world cup in the Estádio do Maracanã.
Grab any image you want to 3D print and open Adobe Photoshop. The first thing you need to take note is find out the proportions of the image (width and height ratio). In this case: 1366 x 768 pixels.
Now convert the image into Greyscale mode since color is not necessary for processing the texture of the photograph. We only need to know how dark/bright it is.
Now we will Invert the image greyscale as shown on the screenshot because 3DS Max will process a taller surface wherever there is a light shade and we actually want the inverse.
The final step on Photoshop is a bit optional but I decided to Increase Contrast so I have a bit more contrast on my peaks/valleys.