Prepare photo for engraving tutorial

I’ve been struggling with engraving my photos on different materials.
Fellow owners gave me suggestions and tip and today I finally got a good looking engraving.

I thought I show the steps I did. Most likely some steps can be improved. Feel free to suggest improvements.

I started with this photo I found online:

Step 1: Desaturate:

Step 2: Adjust the curves:

I played with it until the tails are good and the background is as white as possible.

Step 3: Adjust the size:
Because I’m engraving on a plate I want to cut out a rounded rectangle.
Create such a rectangle. Select it, optionally add a feather, inverse the selection. Select the correct layer and hit the delete button:

Step 4: Remove background
Trim the image to get rid of the transparent pixels and put a new layer underneath this layer and fill it with green. Select the ‘Background eraser tool (E)’, select a hard brush and set limits to ‘Discontinuous’ and tolerance between 5 and 10%.
Click now on the background to remove it. For this photo I only did the top part. Because of the extra green layer it is easier to see what you need to do:

Step 5: Save
Delete the green layer and save the image as PNG to preserve the transparency.
Optionally you can let make the file smaller.
Upload it to :glowforge: and start engraving.

Later today I will add a photo of the final result. I already made a smaller version on plywood but the photo is terrible :wink:


Very nice! I moved that to the Tutorials section for you. :slightly_smiling_face:


This is great! Thank you for taking the time to lay it out!

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Thank you for this! Something that I’ve been struggling with as well even after reading a lot on these forums. I’m engraving some photos for my mom tonight for a mothers day gift and this will HELP!

I tried to edit my initial post, but I’m not allowed to save the changes.

Here’s my result on a mint green bamboo fiber plate:


Wow, came out great! Engraving photos is a thing I struggle with, so your process will be helpful, thanks!

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Great job and thanks for the instructions and the link!


Really nice work.