Turning photo into a layered cut file?

I’m not sure of the correct terminology to search for this, but I have several landscape photos I’ve taken, mostly of the mountains, and I would like to turn them into the layered, wooden wall art or shadow boxes…can someone recommend a good tutorial for doing this? I am proficient with Photoshop and currently learning Inkscape.
Thank you so much!!

Not sure where to find and in depth tutorial, however, I would recommend using a stencil generator plugin. I use paint.net for my photo editing and they have a stencil plugin that lets you set the threshold levels. I use this to create multi color stencils with pretty good results. If I understand what you are looking to do this may be an approach to try out.


Inkscape has this functionality:


You can always posterize your image in Photoshop first if you’re starting from that tool.


@Jgoric, @timjedwards Thank you both so much, I’ll check these out! :slight_smile:

Your experience may vary, but I’ve found it far easier to just hand-trace each layer than to use automated tools, because you need to spend so much time trying to clean up their results.

I’ve done “rolling” mountain scenes and city-skylines this way. For stacked layers, you don’t need super precision of each layer.


Okay, I have to go with @eflyguy on this one. Automation is great and all but to get this to look just the way you want it to I’d draw/trace my vectors by hand. This is super tedious at first but once you get used to it, it gets easier.
I don’t know what program you plan to use but in most any of them there will be layers. Use layers wisely and things will go MUCH smoother for you.

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@eflyguy and @markevans36301 Thank you! I know I sometimes do get frustrated with the results of automation, but it does save time in some cases. With these photos, though, it might be better to trace by hand and then digitize it…digitize?? I think I’m just making up words now. :laughing:
Thanks again!

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