Introduction: Engraved Photo

This is a tutorial on how to engrave a photo, however this tutorial does not include steps to include the background.


Materials: Plywood 1/4 inch, about $7.

Software: Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

Step 1: Crop Out the Background

  1. Want to use photoshop for this step.
  2. Select the "quick selection" tool in photoshop
  3. Can adjust the size of the brush via the "brush picker" feature. Located on the top left of the screen.
  4. With the tool in hand, click and drag over the unwanted background areas
  5. Resources:
    1. This is a blog page dedicated to the quick section tool in removing backgrounds for further clarity and questions on this step.

Step 2: Change Photo to Grayscale

While still in photoshop, go to image --> mode --> grayscale.

Step 3: Adjust Grayscale Contrast

  1. While still in photoshop select the sponge tool
  2. This tool will adjust the contrast of black vs white.
  3. Want to make the eyes and non-shadowed face areas more light
  4. Want to make the hair darker
  5. Sponge tool options
    1. Mode: Increases or Decreases the color contrast
    2. Brush: Sets up the brush tip
    3. Size: Changes the size of the brush
    4. Flow: Changes the rate of change in saturation
  6. This is helpful link to add clarity on this step.

Step 4: Warning

If the last step, adjust the grayscale contrast is skipped, the result will turn out poor. Here is an example.

Step 5: Touch Up the Photo

  1. While still in photoshop adjust the resolution to 200 pixels/cm
  2. Then go to filter --> sharpen --> unsharp mask
    1. Amount: 200 % Radius: 1 pixels Threshold: 0 levels.
  3. Change image to a bitmap
    1. image --> mode --> Bitmap
    2. output at 200 pixels/cm
    3. method will be halftone screen frequency: 200 lines/cm
    4. Angle at 15 degrees
    5. shape will be round
  4. save image as BMP file

Step 6: Add a Red Outline

  1. Open the file in adobe Illustrator
  2. Make sure the program is in the RGB color mode
  3. Draw a box around the image using the Rectangle tool
  4. Change the outline of the box to red
    1. R: 250
    2. G&B: 0

Step 7: Cut Settings

  1. Send the file to the laser cutter
    1. Tip: is a good website for easy file transfer
    2. but can use other means as well
  2. Parameters for the laser cutter (40 watt)
    1. Speed should be 300 mm/s
    2. Power should be 20%
    3. Interval should 0.05mm
  3. Cut out the Image!