Trying to engrave a photo

Hey everyone I am trying to engrave this photo my sister sent me of her dogs, but I’m not sure what editing to do to get it ready for burning. I’ve tried black and white and pencil sketch stuff through picasa, but not sure how it will look once burned. Any tips would be helpful.


You are going to have to experiment to sneak up on the optimal settings for your material.
In general, lighten and sharpen in your software of choice, most use either Photoshop or Gimp. Then it’s going to be a treasure hunt for the right mix of power, speed, and style.
Letting us know what material you intend to use and the software you are using will prompt some helpful, knowledgeable soul to help.
That picture should turn out great.

Edit - That guy on the right is a beast. I love those big headed dogs, Mastiff lineage. Smart and loving if not abused - until a threat to their master, then either that leash snaps or the tree comes out of the ground.


I was planning to use proofgrade maple plywood for the burn. As for software i can use photoshop on an older computer and figure things out from there. My concern is the darker parts of the dogs faces and losing all the detail. I suppose that will be taken care of by lightening the image in just that area which I am familiar with doing.

Sadly the 2 large dogs have passed away since this photo was taken but that little pup is huge now. Head like a rock too.

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What I do is select a small, representative part of the image at full resolution and do a bunch of tests till I get it to look the way I want.


I’ve made a simple tutorial earlier: Prepare photo for engraving tutorial
I used Photoshop. The old versions can be freely downloaded at Adobe.
Before engraving in the real material I always test in on the chipboard (
It takes a lot of adjusting the keep the details.

Thank you for reminding me about the tutorial and tip for using chip board. I went to adobes website and cant seem to find any free old versions to download. Just the monthly subscription to creative cloud.

If you create an Adobe account, you can download CS2. It’s old software (like 10-years) so YMMV as to if it will work for you. I understand it doesn’t play nice with Windows 10 or any of the newer Mac’s.

I’m using CS2 on Win10 and it works reasonable.
At least all functionality is working. Sometimes the panels are all over the place, are suddenly hidden or are on top of your other applications.

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Don’t know about Macs but here’s another testament to it working fine in Win10.

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Do i download all the files. There seems to be like 7 of them for cs2.