I really enjoy working with the laser cutter at TechShop. I am constantly amazed at the tiny detail it can render. And while it's running the motion is mesmerizing.
I wanted to cut some images that showed off this incredible device, but I'm not an artist. I could use images I find on the web, but those really belong to someone else. I wanted to find a way to make some detailed artistic projects that I could call 100% my own.
Last month I hit on the perfect idea - use my own photographs of nature! The subjects come with infinite detail, and the copyright belongs to me.
I start with picking a leaf from our garden and end with a third clear coat. Along the way we'll use a digital camera, Corel Draw, and the Epilog laser cutter at the Menlo Park TechShop.
You can see my other projects at Shrimpware or read more about me on my web site.
Let's get started!
Step 1: Choose a leaf
I added the photo to Dropbox and it magically appears on my PC.
Step 2: Turn the Photo into a Solid Area
I create a new project and use File/Import to bring in the photo.
Using the corner handle I resize my large photo until the leaf is about 6 inches across.
Use the Effects / Adjust / Desaturate to get a gray image.
Use the Effects / Adjust / Brightness Contrast Intensity to set Contrast to 100%.
Now we have a solid black image of the leaf.