Engraving animal pictures / Engraving Resin?

This is a 2 part question, that I am hoping someone can help me with. I have been asked to engrave a key chain as a gift for someone of their recently departed dog. The problem is, the tutorials I have found for PS all seem to work great on people, but not so great for dark fur babies with dark eyes (no contrast). So question 1, have any of your come across some good PS tutorials for tracing such objects to create a vector for engraving? As for my other question, I make a lot of stuff with 2 part epoxy and I would love to be able to engrave some of it, does anyone know of a safe to engrave or cut brand of epoxy?

Thanks for in advance for any help or suggestions.

What kind of keychains?

I guess I would engrave out of wood or acrylic. Might give both a try, just to see how it looks.

Ok. Wasn’t sure if you were maybe using aluminum blanks. When the engrave is lighter than the source, it’s usually better to invert your image. If darker, leaving it normal is better.

Getting the details out of the eyes really depends on the image. Usually you can push the shadows though and get nice detail out of the darker elements.

I am a PS novice, so are appreciate all advice you can give me. What technique do you use to push the shadows through to get detail out of darker elements?

There’s a very good instructional on how to adjust your photos in Photoshop here:



That is exactly the info I have been looking for! Thank you so much!

Some additional reading on top of the link that Jules provided.

I’ve followed both tutorials and after trial and error on both, for me the link above gives the best results…good luck .

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This is so helpful, because animals seem to be much more challenging than humans, fur and often lack of contrast. Thank you so much for your reply. You Rock!

Lol. You are very welcome, all I did was provide the link to someone else’s excellent work. I was working with dogs and it provided a bit of a break through for me after some very frustrating results.

With regard to resin, I looked into it some time back and came away with the realization that lasering epoxy resins was a bad idea for safety and/or toxicity reasons. Maybe you could getaway with it using polyester resins, I have no info on that.

one little tip that I discovered just last night. Engrave without the masking paper, I would engrave and it looked good until I removed the masking paper. I was losing lots of fine detail, so I have to sand the image a little by hand but I have had much greater success like that. You can sand clean up and then sand a little more if needed until you are happy with the results. I just printed this onto Oak and love it! A mainly white dog as well.


Awww, too cute! Thanks again for the tip, I would have used masking paper. You have really saved me a lot of time, much appreciated!

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You need a minimum power of (when using vari power) at least 5 to get through most of the masking out there. It does suck to pull the masking and watch the fine details go away!


If I want to engrave without masking ( it often makes a sticky surface) I score an outline, remove the masking inside the image without moving the wood, then engrave.

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Thanks for the help on the rectangle. I engraved a picture of my granddaughter and wanted to cut it out for her. Question? When engraving, do you take the paper off first? otherwise there is not much left but the glue after the full engraving is done.

If you leave the masking on, you sometimes lose a little bit of the fine detail, since the laser has to burn through the masking first. (Although the Photo Engrave settings compensate for that to a certain degree…it’s one of the pluses to this machine.)

But there might still be some loss. It’s not a bad idea to run a second pass without moving the material or the image…it can make the whole thing darker.

If you take the masking off, you are going to get significant staining on the white areas, and that can be a bit of a bear to try to scrape off.

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It seems that after Engraving the picture, about all that was left on the wood was the adhesive. It kinda rubbed off….
Tried doing a different picture and acrylic without the paper and since everyone said the first one on wood was too dark I lightened it up in Photos, but with no paper it was quite lite. Trying it now on the acrylic with paper to see the difference.


Make sure the low/minimum power setting is at least 5 - it takes that to burn through the paper & the sticky glue.