Photo (expiring soon) vs SD Photo?

Hello. I’d like to engrave a photo on wood without doing a depth or 3D cut. I tried with “Photo (expiring soon) and it did treat it like 3D, with the dark areas burned well into the material (1/8” basswood), and the highlights left with only light marking.

Is this the way it’s supposed to work with that setting? Will SD Photo or HD Photo only burn the surface? What do I need to do to produce a nice, flat photo engraving?


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Okay, I found the “Convert to Dots” option and that appears to be doing what I want. However, it’s dark. What is the relationship between speed and power and which should I change to make the image lighter (I’ve adjusted the contrast and sharpness of the photo to basically match what I’d use to make a B&W print).

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Just experiment a little on a small square on a bit of scrap. Faster speed, lower power will reduce charring, but your best bet for lightening is to reduce the LPI. Anything over about 225 is doubling up on the areas that get engraved, so it burns deeper and darker.

If you just want one burn of the material, use a lower LPI. (I believe SD is 270 LPI.)


Thanks, again, Jules. :slight_smile:

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I would also add that image prep makes all the difference. If the file looks good for actual photo printing, it’s likely not optimized for a good photo engraving. Basically a good photo file should look almost washed out maybe even with blowout areas. I also try and avoid true black or white areas. (Intentionally making it look bad is tough to do when you’re a photographer lol.)

GF has added a photo option to do some of the work for you, so keep that in mind when looking at generic tutorials on how to optimize photos. I think it helps understand the basics of what makes for a good engraving though.

Here’s an example I did last night that shows the original file and how I prepped it. (WARNING it’s a dog w/a rabbit in it’s mouth, so if that bothers you, don’t look. :-)) I don’t show the final step where I converted it to halftone black and white. (The background banding you see in the engraving is a halftone conversion issue, not a problem with the GF.)


Here’s a few good tutorials on it

This one is interesting too

Lots of good info in the forums as well!


Thanks @jules and @kittski. Please open a new thread if you have more questions about this or something else.