Best way to approach gradient for Edge lit Wedding surprise

Hey All,

I rapidly outstripped my Gimp/inkscape knowledge on this one. I know this needs to have a gradient to adequately light all the way to the top. What I don’t know is the optimal way to get there. Obviously deeper at the top is the goal.

However, what is the best approach? The figures represent my cousin and his wife, they are avid Cosplay participants. So I combined their two passions.
Would it be possible to engrave the image as it is? with the 3d engrave function? I would be ok with filled outlines for the images.

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I’d have to say no on 3D engrave.

You’re not going to get a range of shades that give you enough contrast to provide much detail. 3D Engrave is good for carving shapes into a surface, but not for photo-like detail.

If you have plenty of material and want to try, just go for it and experiment. You’d probably have better results with Covert to Dots, but I’ve not seen good results with photo-like lit acrylic. It’s better suited to solid shapes or wire-frame. A cartoon-like outline drawing would be more appropriate (and then Vary Power would be fine.)

If you want to change the intensity of an image across a range (gradient), you can simply build the gradient on a second layer, and “multiply” with your original image, merging/flattening to produce the output.

Thanks for the feedback. you gave me enough to go on. The good thing is I don’t need a lot of detail, so I think it will work just fine. Just have to remember to use DOTS.

Another thing that can be a trap for edge-lit stuff is a narrow base that spreads out as it goes up… which unfortunately describes your heart shape. It might work ok, there are a lot of variables. I tested this out on a pizza shape once that was the extreme version of this, and it was a total fail.

Even with a steep gradient, barely any light made it through.

One thing you could to do avoid this would be to make the whole thing a rectangle and engrave the heart as part of your design.

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Oh that is totally true. I am actually going to lop of the bottom of the heart shape so the LED feeds across the whole width of the array. The heart outline in the uploaded png was merely there for the placement.

I converted the two images to gradients, so hopefully my test run will make me smile :slight_smile:

won’t be able to do it until much later. Daughter is in Talent show most of today.

Slogging through a Test run right now. I got what appears to be a passable gradient. I did keep the whole width of the LED base across the bottom of the heart.

@jules you helped me out with a long ago previous reply on how to rasterize! so thank you for your leaking head. LOL


Share the result, good or bad?

:blush: This is one thing I’ve never tried, but I think @PrintToLaser and maybe @Xabbess have done it. Might want to ask them for gradient tips.

I don’t do gradients, I’ll just divide the designs into sections graduated by increasing power as the design progresses upward from the light source. It only takes a small amount of power to get the depth for exposure.

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This is a MINI version. and I already figured out I didn’t reverse the image. Sheesh.

it is to be about 10 inches Tall. I also realized AND corrected that the TEXT wasn’t done with a gradient. DuH.

I suppose I’d be better at this if for the last 2 years I’d actually gotten to use BEAMER.

I need to change the gradient for my Empire officer. It shows full legs in the image, but I guess it doesn’t go that light, as the paper wasn’t even affected.


This is the original image. Well the TEXT has had a gradient applied to it. as mentioned above. as you can see his legs are all there.

You know. I shrunk this down. That could be a function of the scaling right?


Good test!

The mermaid is close if you only invert the skin/face.

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The face isn’t weeded!

had to hurry so I could show my daughter before she hit the sack.

also being shrunk down it is only across about half of the available LED’s

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in other news I learned that I could drag the gradient range down BELOW the figure to change the range of the gradient.


You can also set the max and min levels within the area, which does the same thing.


As stated, great test. The lighting looks very homogenous. Thanks for sharing that. :+1:

According to my OTHER daughter, I had to go back and clear up Ariel’s face in GIMP.

I think it will look more clear.

I will cut the 10’ version tomorrow, and post the result!

It appears that the face is much clearer. I am kinda stuck on the face for the officer, as his fiancé doesn’t have a good picture of HIM in his uniform. so I had to use a “stock” photo of the same style uniform.

The wedding is next week, his father is VERY ill and won’t be out of the hospital for the event. So I’m working hard for something a bit special.


You got this. :sunglasses:

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Hey All,

I just wanted to show you the final product! I sillt have to file off the little nub at the top where the clamp was in the way of the heart cut. That sucker DID NOT show up in the camera view. it is about 10 inches tall. I am pretty pleased as this matched my vision. usually my brain exceeds my ability to execute.


They’re gonna love it! :grinning: