Rookie looking for help

Hey, all I am very new to the GF community as my wife just bought us one for Christmas. I have almost zero background in editing but I am learning using Inkscape and Adobe Illustrator. I have a photo that I want to carve out but my raw skills are driving me insane. Can anyone help me understand what I need to do to edit this photo to be used on the GF.


That would depend exactly what you want to do with that image. Cut out, engrave, 3d engrave, score?


Ideally I would like to 3d print, replicate this if possible. I am still learning all the possibilities this machine can perform

I think you mean 3d Engrave? For that you’ll need to convert it to grayscale in a raster based photo editor and I’m afraid Inkscape and Illustrator are vector based. You’ll need to use something like Gimp, Affinity Photo or Photoshop.

Convert it to grayscale, adjust levels and curves, erase the background so it’s entirely white.
GF 3d engrave interprets pure white as zero power (no engrave at all) and pure black as max power (deepest engrave) and the shades in between accordingly. So essentially you want your high spots white, low spots black and gentle or sharp gradients in between depending on the effect you want to get.


That is helpful to know. I am currently trying to cut it after I used the scan feature. I placed a print in the GF and that seemed to work but the shading the GF produced seems off. Is there away to clean that up when you use the scan feature.

1 Like

Honestly I never use the scan feature but I’ve heard you can adjust the scan results with keyboard shortcuts.

1 Like

Awesome thank you for all the advice. I appreciate your time and help learning my new machine

1 Like

Happy to help, ask away! PS - to replicate the original you’ll need to combine your 3d engrave with a vector cut line so it cuts out. That’s generally an Inkscape/Illustrator job but I believe that outline function in Premium can generate it, too (are you still on the free trial?)

I am on the trial not sure about renewing at this point

To do a 3D engrave of that piece is a fairly advanced project since you would need a 3D scan (your Glowforge will not do that) or at least a photo taken with very even lighting. What you would want to do is generate a depth map (search this forum for depth map, you’ll get a few hits) that creates the correct black to white graduated image that Ekla refers to. I could be wrong, but I don’t think you’d get a good depth map from that image, there’s too much side lighting.

While you’re reading up on depth maps, you might want to concentrate on getting a good quality regular (2D) engrave of the image. There’s tons of advice on the forum about optimizing an image for photo engrave, but basically you want to convert it to greyscale and bump up the contrast in GIMP or Photoshop. I would also erase the background to either transparent or pure white and erase that pin that runs along the back side of the piece. That should get you a decent 2D engrave.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 32 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.