Photoshop tricks & VCarve Pro/Aspire = photo v-carving...

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Photoshop tricks & VCarve Pro/Aspire = photo v-carving...

Postby BOOMER52 » Sat May 14, 2011 6:21 am

By sheer happenstance I was able to develop a technique to be able to v-carve photo images in Aspire OR VCarve Pro. I just wanted to share my first pass at this technique and will write up a tutorial ASAP.

Basically all the work is done in Photoshop bitmap mode using the halftone screens. Then the resulting BMP, jpeg, PNG etc is imported to VCarve Pro/Aspire for a straight vector tracing. Simple really... but I need to play with Photoshop more to see how far this can be pushed...

BOOMER52
Attachments
OriginalArt.jpg
OldHarley.jpg
WhiteMelamimeVcarve.jpg
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Re: Photoshop tricks & VCarve Pro/Aspire = photo v-carving...

Postby BOOMER52 » Sun May 15, 2011 3:23 am

OK... I fooled around a little more with creating acceptable images that VCarve Pro/Aspire can vector trace to create a photo v-carving. Like I mentioned in my first post... all the heavy lifting is done in Photoshop. I only have Photoshop so I cannot say that this will be applicable to other photo editing software. I use Photoshop's BITMAP/HALFTONE function and have no idea if it is exclusive to Photoshop.

Starting with a good COPY of a subject photograph (I never work on an original)... I bring it into Photoshop and click IMAGE from the menu, then MODE, then GRAYSCALE. A pop-up window asks DISCARD COLOR INFORMATION... click OK. Your color pic will change to a B&W image. In this example... I wanted to eliminate the clutter of the background... so I quickly painted out all that detail with WHITE which left me with just the dog's head. I then used IMAGE > ADJUSTMENTS> LEVELS and lightened the overall image just a bit as some of the detail was getting lost in the darkness of the image tonality.

Once you have the B&W image acceptable... click IMAGE > MODE > BITMAP. A pop-up window appears where you can input the DPI RESOLUTION and also select the METHOD... I'm using HALFTONE SCREEN. In this example the RESOLUTION is 180 DPI. Click OK. The HALFTONE SCREEN pop-up window appears where you input values for the FREQUENCY and ANGLE. The FREQUENCY is the number of line per inch you want the HALFTONE screen to produce... and the ANGLE is the angle you want the HALFTONE screen lines. I used a FREQUENCY of 25 and an of ANGLE 40. At the bottom of this pop-up window select the SHAPE of the screening. I've been using LINES. Click OK. The image will convert to the halftone based on the parameters selected. I SAVE the halftone image in an acceptable format for VCarve Pro/Aspire (bmp, jpg, gif, tif, png, jpeg).

Now bring the image into VCarve Pro/Aspire and simply do a FIT VECTORS TO BITMAP. Get into TOOLPATHS and select V-CARVING/ENGRAVING TOOLPATH. Choose your v-bit... I used a 60 deg in this example... and calculate. That's how I arrived at the attachments provided.

I've yet to carve one... plan to do that tomorrow. I'll be carving the dog's head on a 16" X 18" piece of WHITE MELAMINE. I believe the melamine coating is thin enough to provide the substrate color and the board itself should provide the contrast... we shall see.

BOOMER52
Attachments
BodhiLove (3) .jpg
BodhiBW .jpg
BodhiOutline .png
BodhiHalftone.png
BodhicarvedHalftone.jpg
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Re: Photoshop tricks & VCarve Pro/Aspire = photo v-carving...

Postby fatham » Sun May 15, 2011 3:44 am

Great info.......Please keep us informed as to any new ideas and methods. Waiting to see your final product. Are you going to try a cutting in oak as well?

Cheers fatham
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Re: Photoshop tricks & VCarve Pro/Aspire = photo v-carving...

Postby P.Passuello » Sun May 15, 2011 4:36 am

Excellent Boomer52,
Some great lateral thinking. I had a look at using the same process using Gimp Version 2.6 and found it under Filters, Distorts, Newsprint. The Spot function needs to be changed to "Line". You can set the angle and there are other options that can be set so it looks like you don't need to buy Photoshop to do your process. I look forward to seeing how your VCarve comes out.

Cheers
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Re: Photoshop tricks & VCarve Pro/Aspire = photo v-carving...

Postby BOOMER52 » Sun May 15, 2011 9:48 pm

The CMT 60 deg LaserPoint performed flawlessly...! This particular carving sure illuminated just how tight and precise my machine is. Any backlash or missed steps would be immediately obvious...!

16" X 18" of 3/4" white melamine shelf material... nothing but the contrast of the melamine and the pressboard substrate creates this image...

BOOMER52
Attachments
Progress.jpg
Carved at a fairly sedate 50 in/min... took 1:09:49...
CarvedBodhiMelamine.jpg
A great friend & companion... no longer with us...
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Re: Photoshop tricks & VCarve Pro/Aspire = photo v-carving...

Postby fretsman68 » Sun May 15, 2011 10:41 pm

Nice work, and yet another great example of how close Vectrics preview is to the real deal.

Dave
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Re: Photoshop tricks & VCarve Pro/Aspire = photo v-carving...

Postby Mduncan » Fri May 20, 2011 10:47 pm

Hey Guys....

I read thru this today and decided to give it a go and put together a tutorial for my
kids in class. anyone care to read thru it for me and see if I got it correct?

http://www.greatlakesgraphics.net/photos%20in%20CNC.pdf

also. I created a VCarve file of the image if anyone wants to give it a go and see
if i did it correctly....

http://www.greatlakesgraphics.net/ Edit > File created in Trial version so cannot be opened.

Any tips or critiques you could offer would be greatly appreciated!

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Re: Photoshop tricks & VCarve Pro/Aspire = photo v-carving...

Postby BOOMER52 » Sat May 21, 2011 3:18 am

Wow... your PDF tutorial was fantastically done...! Truly a resource.

In your final carving image I did note some typical carving anomalies that WILL happen in areas of a photo having black or near black tonal value. This was something I glossed over and didn't address in my explanation of the process.

Look at the example attachments... while the fix is rather simple in concept... it can be grandly tedious depending on the area requiring editing. With my dog subject I lightened the contrast slightly to avoid the BLEED one tends to get with the darker tonalities. In the MARILYN Life Magazine cover pic I edited the vectors so that each carved line was individualized... and NO carved lines connect together which creates the carving anomalies.

I'm still learning how to take photos through this process... and with SOME photographs it really is a simple bit of PhotoShop manipulation and a straight pass through VCarve Pro or Aspire. I'm finding other photographs require some node editing and possibly a GREAT DEAL of editing. This is NOT as simple as PhotoV Carve... but VCarve Pro or Aspire can produce images when a decent HALFTONE is imported for vector tracing.

BOOMER52
Attachments
Example1.jpg
This happens when the black or near black tones BLEED together in your halftone...
Example2.jpg
It manifests as carving anomalies...
Example3.jpg
By node editing these CONNECTED vectors to maintain individuality the pictures halftone effect is restored...
mFin.jpg
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Re: Photoshop tricks & VCarve Pro/Aspire = photo v-carving...

Postby pabneypaol » Sat May 21, 2011 2:41 pm

BOOMER52,
there are two things in photoshop that I think you should look into. The first, before changing your image to bw go to
image>adjustments>black and white
This will give you sliders for each color channel so you can adjust how each channel converts to black and white.
Then continue with
image>mode>grayscale
then go to image>adjust>levels
at the bottom of this dialog is a slider for output levels. If you move that slightly from 0 you will open up the solid blacks in your photo. If your photo goes a little flat you can adjust the input levels slider to help get some of you contrast back.

If you play around with these I think you can speed up the process.

Hope this helps
Paul
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Re: Photoshop tricks & VCarve Pro/Aspire = photo v-carving...

Postby Mduncan » Sat May 21, 2011 4:10 pm

Hey pabneypaol,

That makes perfect sense and I was thinking about that last night on the
car ride home from work. By balancing out the blacks etc, that would keep
the image from having the deep gouges in the black areas... I wish I
had photoshop on my home laptop... now I want to try this out!

Thanks for the tip man!

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Re: Photoshop tricks & VCarve Pro/Aspire = photo v-carving...

Postby BOOMER52 » Sat May 21, 2011 7:12 pm

Paul...

Did some playing with the Levels as you suggested. It does a great deal toward the success of a first pass trace and carveable image when you back off of BLACK level. My first attempt with the attached BOGART pic was successful and needed no editing... EVEN with all the darker tonalities...!

There is a slight trade off with the HIGHLIGHTS when doing the black levels reduction... but it's a minor issue that I may find a cure for the more I play.

I also went crazy with the PhotoShop BITMAP Resolution setting it to 1200 dpi which made for a huge file that Aspire eventually digested (lots of that ebbing and flowing with the YELLOW progress scroll bar)...! It seems to have reduced the degree of TRACING jaggies the lower res imports gave me.

The attached PREVIEW is of a 16" X 20" sized carving... with an imported BITMAP HALFTONE of 25 lines @ 40 Deg. GOOD STUFF...!!!

BOOMER52
Attachments
HumphreyBogart.jpg
Original image...
Black Level Reduced.jpg
Black LEVEL has been reduced...
24_40.jpg
Photoshop Bitmap HALFTONE done at 1200 dpi, 25 Line, 40 deg...
Bogart.JPG
Aspire took quite awhile to chew through this image import with the 1200 dpi Bitmap output from PhotoShop...
PreviewBogart.jpg
This is a straight first pass trace and carve PREVIEW... NO EDITING required...
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Re: Photoshop tricks & VCarve Pro/Aspire = photo v-carving...

Postby pabneypaol » Sun May 22, 2011 1:47 am

BOOMER52
glad I could finally help someone on the forum. I don't know a lot about cnc yet, but I have been working with photoshop form the better part of 20 years.
I agree that 1200 dpi is a bit much, try 600 as that will reduce your file size to 1/4 of 1200. Should be much faster and will probably give you no jaggies. In the adjust levels dialog you have and import slider with 3 triangles for highlights, mid tones, and shadows. If you play with the mid tones and the highlights it should help you achieve what you are looking for.

Paul
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Re: Photoshop tricks & VCarve Pro/Aspire = photo v-carving...

Postby BOOMER52 » Mon May 23, 2011 9:51 pm

This is the PREVIEW of my end result of the whole reason I started this journey...! I had a request to combine a PhotoVCarve image onto the same plaque as one I was VCarve'ing. Since I didn't have PhotoVCarve I began playing around with the applications I did have attempting to reproduce a PhotoVCarve effect. By sheer luck I made the breakthrough that we've been discussing above. Now after getting a bit of experience with this technique I feel confident enough to proceed with this and future projects.

This is also going to be an experiment in veneering AND carving through veneer. MDF substrate with a quilted Maple veneer was requested. I've been checking the prices of veneer and given how proud they are of that stuff... I'll NEED to do some testing prior to the project carving. :mrgreen:

BOOMER52
Attachments
AntiquePhotoVCarveHD.jpg
AntiquePhotoVCarveHD2.jpg
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Re: Photoshop tricks & VCarve Pro/Aspire = photo v-carving...

Postby Mduncan » Tue May 24, 2011 2:47 am

Loving the progress in this and the experimentation of learning something new.

I updated the PDF I had before... I really like the new results....
http://www.greatlakesgraphics.net/Photos_in_CNC.pdf

Here is Halftone if anyone wants to play with it....

halftone_image.png


Boomer and Paul, thanks for the help with this!

Cujo31
Last edited by StuartH on Wed May 25, 2011 10:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Image resize requested by user
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Re: Photoshop tricks & VCarve Pro/Aspire = photo v-carving...

Postby Mduncan » Tue May 24, 2011 2:51 am

hahahaha.... sorry about the size of that image.... I bungled something....

Don't kill the rookie... :D

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