Started with a high resolution image of the bottom and top of the tree. Cropped to the size of the final tree using dimensions and image provided by the architect, who is really responsible for the vision of the wall and tree. Used photoshop to mask over the top of all the extra stuff. That mask was a single color-white. Early in the process I learned that I had to bump up the resolution of the image a lot. When you blow up the photo to wall size it gets kind of grainy. That didn't work well in early testing. So, using photoshop added pixels, lots of pixels. File size was 1.7 gig as I worked on it. So, with all the background gone, then started thinning the tree to remove some of the branches. At the top of the tree it was just solid color, mostly blues and browns as the branches criss-crossed a lot. Cleaned it up until we liked it, Architect and us.
During this exercise was constantly testing the entire process from photoshop, to save as .tif file, to import into PhotoVcarve, to saving that .PVC file and importing into Aspire, to then tiling for cutting. Used lots of junk materials to practice with. Actual cut time of the final product was about 1/2 of the time I spent test cutting.
Setting for PhotoVcarve were overlap of 28 percent. Depth of 0.33 inches. Contrast about 35%. Set cut depth so it would happen in one pass. Cut speeds for all three axis at 400 ipm. Actual speed much slower because of all the accelerating and decelerating. Import to set Z fast so it doesn't slow the x and y. Cut using 1/2 ball nose spiral at about 16,000 rpm.
I set the tiles to over lap about 0.1 inches. Worked perfect.
Aspire, CAMaster Stinger II