Use your imagination
Funny enough I was speaking with someone at the local sawmill about this the other day, I have cut some strips of wood at about 2mm thick on the bandsaw with the intention of gluing them together & then cutting a pattern with varying depths.
I said to the guy that while I could see what the pattern would be like there was no way I knew of to determine how it would look colour wise with the wood being different colours.
His reply to me is the first line of my reply
As I said to him though. unfortunately my imagination is seriously lacking