View Full Version : Needing help with a few pictures

Robert White
08-30-2014, 2:58 PM
I am needing help with about 4 photos that I need to engrave. I cant seem to get the pictures to come out correctly. If someone could help I could send photos so you could see if you could help... Trying to get theses ready for Christmas gifts this year

Thanks Guys

Dan Hintz
08-30-2014, 3:21 PM
The last is about the only one you have any hope of getting a decent pic from. The others are entirely too small and grainy (looks like the third has already been processed).

Bill Stearns
08-30-2014, 7:38 PM
Robert -
Dan is more than likely correct; have never known him not to be. :) - on the other hand, 'think he said once he doesn't do 'lot of photographs. I do. (the 3rd pix is definitely a "no go"; the others may be worth working at. (suppose depends on how large you're trying to make 'em.) I use Photoshop CS5 "smart sharpen tool" (not the reg. sharpen) - helps sometimes on blurry photos. Regarding the man 'n woman: what I do on black/dark clothing is - I use the Photoshop "quick select" tool - select the "dress" in this case - then - think it's called "color balance" to change the black to - sometimes bright green or bright burgundy, etc. Lightens it up so it's not a black mass when engraved. (sometimes smart sharpen will bring out details not evident at first: creases in the fabric, etc; that's a good thing. Also: I would use the Photoshop clone tool to get rid of the age-specs on the man's hat - and anywhere else spots appear. Just my thought; my two-cents. Good luck.


Frank Corker
08-30-2014, 7:42 PM
If you need help with these, you need to present better quality pictures definitely bigger than those you have put up here. Someone will most likely help, might I suggest you put the full size scans in a zip file and upload the zip file for those to be examined, the third picture has been played around with too much by the way. You also need to advise the people you are asking to help you, with the size, material, type of laser and wattage, otherwise you are getting nothing other than guess work.

Bill Stearns
08-30-2014, 8:26 PM
Hey again -
Yeap - Dan's guidance was right on the mark. So, forget what I said 'bout using "smart sharpening" to make the difference with those particular photos as they are. What' d they call it in the computer world? GIGO? I took 'quick break to see what I could do with one of 'em. More time might've made some difference, but I doubt it. On the other hand I've learned: people see in a photo (engraving) what they want to see - so, sometimes they're happy with whatever you produce. Again - good luck. Shoot! - I'm unable to attach the photo of the engraved picture; the attach screen pops up, but it's blank and unresponsive. ??? Anybody know why this would happen? I'll try again later ....


Bill Stearns
08-30-2014, 8:29 PM
Just me - trying to download that photo again. Why wouldn't the attachment button work. Screen is blank and doesn't connect to the photo's file.


Scott Shepherd
08-30-2014, 9:25 PM
I think you make them work. They'll just take some time and skill. I have no skill, so this is 5 minutes with no skill....

I think with maybe 15-20 minutes in Photoshop or Perfect Resize (I don't have it installed on my home computer so I can't take it into there right now), you'd have something you could use. This one is resized in photoshop and 5" wide at 300 dpi. It's still a little rough, but it would certainly yield decent results.

Also note, this is a screen shot, not the actual file.


Glen Monaghan
08-30-2014, 9:35 PM
I really haven't done many photos on the laser but most of the ones I have done have been similarly bad... one was even a photocopy of an old photo! What I found worked best for me was to forget about trying to create something that looks like a photograph and essentially turn them into line art. I've used both "artistic" tools that simulate pencil or charcoal drawings, as well as just fiddling around with standard image processing tools such as histogram adjustment, brightness/contrast, edge enhancement, sharpening and smoothing, etc., to eliminate most of the low spatial frequency stuff (such as the minimal details of a broad forehead) and emphasize the larger scale high spatial frequency stuff (edges of head, outline of glasses, shirt collars and dress folds, and the like), without adding in a bunch of smaller scale high spatial frequency stuff (mostly noise, such as grainy speckles). I normally start by getting rid of the background (especially important for the house behind the couple) and adjusting hue/saturation/brightness to blow away colors and start pulling some details out of overly dark or light areas. Sharpening, edge preserving smooths, blending, etc. to bring out the most significant details while fading out stuff I don't want to see. Eventually reducing the number of shades of gray drastically as I begin to distill the person's or people's essence so the laser doesn't have to be dithered a bunch to attempt to create a wide gamut of shades on what often is a substrate that isn't capable of supporting a lot of shades.

Scott Shepherd
08-30-2014, 9:38 PM
And about 5 minutes with this one too....


Robert White
08-31-2014, 11:00 AM
well guys I thank you for all the ideas, I do thank you for taking time out an giving me a direction. I am not a newbie but haven't played a lot with photos. Those photos are of love ones that past away and are some old photos that was found. So I have to do the best with what I got sad to say. I am not going to do anything $$$$$ just a little something for Christmas. so keep sending ideas and I can go from there.

AL Ursich
08-31-2014, 12:08 PM
An alternate would be to convert the picture to a sketch... Many programs can do that...


Peter Meacham
09-04-2014, 8:14 AM

Can you advise what programs will convert a photo to a sketch, sounds interesting



Glen Monaghan
09-05-2014, 2:18 PM
Not Al, but that's exactly the sort of thing I was talking about earlier. You are eliminating most of the low spatial frequency stuff (such as the minimal details of a broad forehead) and emphasizing the larger scale high spatial frequency stuff (edges of head, outline of glasses, shirt collars and dress folds, and the like), without adding in a bunch of smaller scale high spatial frequency stuff (mostly noise, such as grainy speckles). You can do this manually in most any bitmap graphics software, but most of the popular ones either have built-in "artistic tools" or plugins to do this stuff (Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop, etc.)

Mike Null
09-06-2014, 7:16 AM

PhotoPaint has a number of options under the "effects" menu on the "art strokes" flyout.

Martin Boekers
09-12-2014, 5:18 PM
This ones free and easy to use.


John Frazee
09-15-2014, 9:50 AM
This ones free and easy to use.


I thought I replied to this this a few days ago but didn't see my reply today. Oh' well. Martin, when I tried to download that software my virus protection stopped it and said it was or had adware in it. Have you downloaded from this website and used it without any issues? It looks like it could be a good help with photos.

Martin Boekers
09-15-2014, 11:12 AM
It's been a couple years ago. When I ran it there were no issues. Actually it is a pretty cool program. Maybe you might try contacting the webmaster of the site and express your concers. Better safe than sorry....

There are quite a few actions out there if you are using Photoshop, many are free that do similar things. Google PhotoShop Sketch actions.