Grayscale/Photoengrave from SVG?

I’m working on a project right now, and I want to have some trees in it. I made these trees in Inkscape, then adjusted the coloring on each layer. I wanted the foreground trees lighter than the background trees.

My questions are:

  1. Can you have a layer from an SVG file set to do a grayscale engrave?
  2. Each tree consists of multiple overlapping objects. If uploaded into the GFUI the way it is, will it only engrave the visible part of the objects, or the full object? (I only want it to engrave the visible part.)
  3. Should I just make this a bitmap then embed it into the SVG?

Here is the SVG

Here is what the trees look like in normal view.

Here is what they look like in Outline view.


There should not be a problem with the file format but I often get weird results from Inkscape so I am trying to learn other packages to see what gives me the best, most repeatable results.
From what I can see PDF is the best format for including several types of eliments in one file
I’m looking forward to seeing more native formats.


You’ve got a couple of choices.

  1. You can just use the png that you posted above as an embedded image in the file. (It will probably do a grayscale engrave, but I’m not 100% certain.)

  2. Or you can create your SVG file, load it to the interface, and then use the Add Artwork button to place the png file into the SVG file once it is opened using the GFUI. In that case, I’m pretty sure it will do a grayscale engrave on it.

Trying to use them as vectors will require a bit more work to get them ready for engraving.


I mostly do #2 but I want to figure out #1 better because, well, repeatability.


I just need to test that specific case to see what happens with it. I know it will engrave the raster, I’m just not sure whether it will grayscale engrave it.

If you have a black and white image…that will work great. I’ve tested embedded line art that does a fantastic job. (Anything already half-toned or dithered too.)


No need to create a separate bitmap file to then reload into an SVG or import into GFUI separately from vector files.

Inkscape can convert those items into bitmap artwork WITHIN the vector file you’re already working in, and save the SVG with it embedded. The bitmap art will be a PNG file with transparency maintained, plus it will be a copy so your original art will remain untouched so you can use it to then create cut paths if you like. Plus the bitmap art will also be output as its own PNG file so you dont even have to do another export step.

Check it out:


Sweet! :grinning:

(Please remember to delete the originals though, if you wish to treat the object as an engrave only. It will add a lot of extraneous stuff to the file that will confuse the interface as to what you want it to do.)

And I’m still not sure that that will grayscale engrave from inside of an SVG. Probably will, but I’m not 100% positive.

Once I get my hands healed up, remind me and I’ll run a small test to see if it does. (Current project I’m working on can be somewhat hazardous for klutzes.)

Oh blast, heck and tarnation…I just figured out how to keep from slicing myself into ribbons…wish I’d done that about three stab wounds ago. (It’s amazing how much more dangerous an Exacto blade is compared to a laser! ) :wink:



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Chuckle! Is that for the Exacto Blade use? (The laser can’t do this part, or I’d be using it.) :wink:

Yes! Watch those hands! Can’t wait to see what you are working on but it would be nice if you were still in one piece at the end.


I didn’t break the tip off in it this time… i count that as serious improvement in my technique! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


… you broke an exacto blade off in your hand? Am I reading that right?!

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Just the very tip. :smile:
(Done it several times actually - not a big deal…just like a very painful, hard to remove, splinter…)


Yeah but ow! Goodness be careful, craft work is easier with all ten digits firmly attached


Yes…“Ow” is definitely right! :smile:
(I do try to avoid it but sometimes the material slips. I get a lot more upset if I bleed all over the fabric though, so i usually have to pause production. That’s the bigger annoyance.)


Hope you are also wearing safety glasses. I have had broken tips from Exacto knives fly up into my face.


No, but you’re right…i should be. (Need to dig out the onion goggles.) :+1:


So here’s two tips for working with X-acto knives:

  1. Wear fully enclosed shoes. Sandals or anything else with an open top, just a bad idea.

  2. If possible, make sure your work table has a raised ledge at the edges that X-acto knives (and pens, pencils as well) can not roll over and drop to the floor.

Those are some big arteries in the tops of your feet and WOO-Boy do they make a mess when you drop a knife on (through) them.


I obviously don’t play hardcore enough with exacto knives. I don’t think I regret it though


They break off so easily!

For that reason I like the wider blades, the tips aren’t as fragile.

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