This instructable will outline how to make a laser-cut cutout of Hogwarts that is similar to Disney's iconic opening sequence, with a semicircle and a silhouette of a castle. In this particular instructable, I will be cutting this out of acrylic, but this design could easily be adaptable to wood and any other material.
Step 1: Gather Materials
You will need:
- Adobe Photoshop
- Acrylic Board
- Digital Images of Hogwarts, Harry Potter playing quidditch, and a semicircle imported into photoshop
- Access to a laser cutter
Step 2: Cut Out Hogwarts
Using the Magic Wand Tool on the sidebar, select the bigger background areas of the Hogwarts image and delete them. However, this is not enough, since it doesn't delete the grey background in the windows of the castle. Going through each individual window and the spaces under the bridges is a possibility, but that would be too time-consuming. Instead, you can go to the "Select", and click on "Colour Range"; click on the colours of the castle, until it selects the castle, sans the greys of the windows and other gaps. Then, right click on the image, select "Select Inverse", which should select the grey areas you want to delete, and then press delete. This should leave you with a clean photoshop layer with only a black Hogwarts.
Step 3: Cut Out Semicircle
Since a semicircle is just a curve, it's far simpler to select. Simply select the white areas using the "Magic Wand Tool", and then press delete.
Step 4: Cut Out Harry Potter
Once again, using the "Magic Wand Tool" on the sidebar, delete the white background of Harry Potter. This particular photo has white areas inside Potter and his broom, so those white areas will later be coloured red.
Step 5: Colours of Etches, Cut Outs, and Just Solid Acrylic
In this project, the laser cutter will be doing two things: etching and cutting. In order to make the laser cutter recognise the parts you want it to cut out, etch, or not touch, you will need to colour the specific component of the image. In this laser cut project, the Hogwarts silhouette will be solid acrylic sans the windows, which will be cut out, while the ring around Hogwarts will be etched. Harry Potter will be a mix of etching and solid acrylic.
The cut out parts will be coloured white, while the parts that will be left alone will be solid black. The etched parts will be filled in with red.
In the right-hand sidebar, under the "colour" tab, there are three sliders: R, G, and B. However, it's easier to use the text boxes next to the sliders to get the colour you need. These are the colours for red, white, and black:
Step 6: Colouring in the Hogwarts and the Ring.
Using the magic wand, select the clean image of Hogwarts. It should just select the black parts, sans the windows. Then, select the paintbrush tool. It may be under the pencil tool if you can't find it on the sidebar at first glance. After the paintbrush tool is selected, make sure the colour is set to black, and then adjust the size of the brush using the box bracket keys (these things:  ) in order to make it easier for you to fill it in. Since you had already selected Hogwarts, it should only fill in the Hogwarts image.
Do the same for the ring; select the image, but instead of using black to fill it in, fill it in with red.
Step 7: Colour POTTA
The image of Potter has two colours: white and black. However, white means that it would just get cut out, and Potter with several gaping holes doesn't sound very visually appealing. So, I decided to etch the white parts. To do this, select the whites with the magic wand, and then, using the brush tool, filled it in with red. Do this for all the white parts of the image. Just to make sure that black parts of Potter are fully black, select it again and fill it with black.
Step 8: Arrange and Finishing Touches
Now, since all the separate elements of the final product are done, we can put then together! Looking on the right-hand sidebar, order the images so that the image with the layer you want forward is up higher than the other two layers. Preferably, it would be ordered like the first image: Hogwarts, Semicircle, then Potter. This is because the Hogwarts image is in front of the semicircle. However, Potter isn't overlayed with any other image, so it doesn't really matter where Potter goes as long as Hogwarts is on top of the Semicircle.
However, there might be some peaks of the red semicircle peeking through the windows, and that may not look good when it's been laser-cut. So, after you select the semicircle layer, click on the eraser tool and erase away the red that manages to peek through the windows.
Step 9: CUT IT OUT
Stick it in the laser cutter and you're done!