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View Full Version : HELP- Looking for someone who has etched a photo of person or animal on glass w/co2



Chris Toshack
01-25-2017, 11:33 AM
I have watched many videos ans read many articles and for the most part all the processes are very similar. I am trying to put a portrait of a person or animal on to a piece of glass. I think the best video I have watched is one by a Trotec employee describing a process that includes a mask which I have tried on multiple pictures but always with poor results. I am looking to see if anyone here has had any success with etching a photo with a detailed outcome on glass with a chinese co2 laser. I have a Thunder Laser Nova 35 and I have seen very good results on such things as wood etc but with glass I am short of nothing but terrible.

If someone would be willing to send me a processed file that they have etched onto glass with settings that were used to etch the final product I would like to throw it at my machine with the same settings and see if the results are close to what were obtained by you.

This will help me understand if it is something that I am doing, my settings, my photo processing, or my laser!

ThunderLaser
nova 35
100w Tube

Neville Stewart
01-25-2017, 11:52 AM
I have watched many videos ans read many articles and for the most part all the processes are very similar. I am trying to put a portrait of a person or animal on to a piece of glass. I think the best video I have watched is one by a Trotec employee describing a process that includes a mask which I have tried on multiple pictures but always with poor results. I am looking to see if anyone here has had any success with etching a photo with a detailed outcome on glass with a chinese co2 laser. I have a Thunder Laser Nova 35 and I have seen very good results on such things as wood etc but with glass I am short of nothing but terrible.

If someone would be willing to send me a processed file that they have etched onto glass with settings that were used to etch the final product I would like to throw it at my machine with the same settings and see if the results are close to what were obtained by you.

This will help me understand if it is something that I am doing, my settings, my photo processing, or my laser!

ThunderLaser
nova 35
100w Tube

I did this on acrylic, so it would surely work on glass. I cant exactly recall how I did it but I believe the OS of a Trotec was the key to getting such a result. Ive seen work done other ways but far more steps involved. All I recall doing was cutting the image out inCorel, then selecting Stucki or FS in Job Control. Thats probably not much help to you, but then again, that might be why its easier on a Trotec.

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Bill George
01-25-2017, 12:20 PM
Its a learning process and best learned for YOUR machine by practice. Do not attempt to do a finished to give or sell item without getting it down. Do a Search on here lots and lots of help. https://www.google.com/search?sitesearch=www.sawmillcreek.org&q=photos+on+glass&submit.x=0&submit.y=0

Scott Marquez
01-25-2017, 12:52 PM
First, different glass gives different results. Second, selecting a good picture is important, meaning good contrast. Third, you are going to want to manipulate the photo before you send it to your laser software.
Scott

Kev Williams
01-25-2017, 1:14 PM
I did this on acrylic, so it would surely work on glass.


Very nice Neville!

However-- I've gotten similar photo results on acrylic, a few years ago I put all of our kids & grandkids pics on round plex as tree ornament, they all came out great!
--but I've never gotten even close to those results on glass. I'm getting to be very good with photos in many ways;
I have great luck with stainless...
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And the Creek even awarded me a GoPro in a lasered photo contest where I laser etched this photo of my basement shop on some 'non-laserable' Romark...
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(tooting my horn a bit ;) ) -- but getting a decent photo on glass has eluded me. What I get looks like a blob of frost.... :(

My LS900, I have dialed in to the point I can make a full sq. ft of glass look exactly like it's been sandblasted, but I've yet to get the thing to produce a decent photo.

I DO know the main problem is that I'm not prepping the photos right. The depths of blacks, the lightness of the grays and the contrast between, very critical on glass. I also think I use too much power when doing photos...

Which is all to say, I share the frustration of anyone who has trouble photo-engraving glass. Because my industrial market base keeps me hopping, and doesn't include photos on glass, I never find the time to just experiment. So keep after it, adjust those contrast settings, the DPI numbers, the speed and power settings, hopefully you'll find the sweet spot. And when you do, document EVERYTHING! :)

Good luck ! :)

Neville Stewart
01-25-2017, 1:37 PM
I think they gave you the Gopro to work similar to a BodyCam so that we could find you when we lost you in there ; ) You know Im joking, your work is always to be admired.

Chris Toshack
01-25-2017, 3:11 PM
Its a learning process and best learned for YOUR machine by practice. Do not attempt to do a finished to give or sell item without getting it down. Do a Search on here lots and lots of help. https://www.google.com/search?sitesearch=www.sawmillcreek.org&q=photos+on+glass&submit.x=0&submit.y=0

I have searched high and low and followed many tutorials online, this is why I am asking if someone can provide me with a photo that they have engraved that has been fully processed and provide me with the settings used to do the job. With this I will see some things that might help me understand. For example I can see what the processed photo should look like both inverted and not inverted. I will also see what kind of results my laser will produce with known good image and can play with settings from a starting point. It may or may not work to help me solve my issues but at this point it's all I can think of trying as I have tried just about everything.

This is the best I have got so far but still not to my liking

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Bill George
01-25-2017, 4:38 PM
I have searched high and low and followed many tutorials online, this is why I am asking if someone can provide me with a photo that they have engraved that has been fully processed and provide me with the settings used to do the job. With this I will see some things that might help me understand. For example I can see what the processed photo should look like both inverted and not inverted. I will also see what kind of results my laser will produce with known good image and can play with settings from a starting point. It may or may not work to help me solve my issues but at this point it's all I can think of trying as I have tried just about everything.

This is the best I have got so far but still not to my liking

352547352548

FYI Everything I learned about engraving on glass and acrylic I learned reading on here and by trying it on my own machine.
Machines and power/speed setting vary. You need to try another dithering method for one.

Try the results of this google search > https://www.google.com/search?q=the+gold+method+for+engraving&rlz=1C1NHXL_enUS697US697&oq=the+gold+method+for+engraving&aqs=chrome..69i57.10075j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

chris szlachetka
01-25-2017, 4:46 PM
Chirs that's a good start, I'd play with the contrast a bit more. Your picture seems washed out. In Corel these settings can be found at the top bar "effects - Adjust -". For quick adjustments, I use Brightness/Contrast/Intensity until I feel the picture looks dark enough in those areas. If the picture adjustments don't work, you'll need to add your own outlines by hand. I've found it easier to use programs like Photoshop to define certain areas that wouldn't show up or weren't very pleasing. I'd also play around with the dithering.

Chris J Anderson
01-25-2017, 7:10 PM
Also try dropping the resolution to 200 or 300 dpi. Best method is practise on your own machine sorry to say.

Mike Chance in Iowa
01-25-2017, 7:21 PM
Search through this forum and you will find several great posts on glass. Bill Cunningham has perfected his glass engraving quite well and shared many posts. http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?215575-A-file-to-try-for-Glass-Etching-Engraving

Bill George
01-25-2017, 7:53 PM
Well OP never says what program he is using? Did not someone have a Macro for Corel Draw or PS? Bill was included in the Search results I posted. Bill is about the best and someone who I would call an expert.

Scott Shepherd
01-25-2017, 8:21 PM
That's the problem with engraving photographs. From the laser's standpoint, it doesn't really like black or white in the image. Black will engrave solid white and white in the photo will not engrave anything. If you invert the photo, you're in the same situation. You need to knock the whites back to a grayish color and you need to pull the black back to a darker grayish color. Anything solid white or black isn't going to engrave great on acrylic. That's why so many of us don't do retail engraving of other people's photos. What do you normally get asked to engrave? A wedding photo (white dress, black tux, one blows out solid white and the other doesn't engrave at all), a baby photo of a baby in a white blanket, etc.

Once you understand what the laser wants, you can pop a photo into a photo editing program like Photoshop and make the needed adjustments pretty quickly, but in the end, for paid work, that's a tough path to follow.

My advice, edit the photo, get rid of anything solid white or solid black for the most part (there are certainly exceptions) and go from there. In the end, the photo that looks great engraved will look very flat and ugly as a photo.

Ross Moshinsky
01-25-2017, 9:32 PM
If you're trying to do a photo on flat pane glass, why not throw it in the garbage and use acrylic? It will cost a few bucks but you have a better than decent chance of success.

John Bion
01-26-2017, 4:14 AM
......you can pop a photo into a photo editing program like Photoshop and make the needed adjustments pretty quickly, but in the end, for paid work, that’s a tough path to follow...

Totally agree Steve (Scott), It can be horribly time consuming and wasteful, I don’t offer the service.

Acrylic works very much better, especially edge lit.

Bill George
01-26-2017, 10:09 AM
My other suggestion other than Search, Read and Try is http://www.photograv.com/aspnet2/Default.aspx it takes the photo editing uncertain results out of the picture.

Tim Bateson
01-26-2017, 10:24 AM
My other suggestion other than Search, Read and Try is http://www.photograv.com/aspnet2/Default.aspx it takes the photo editing uncertain results out of the picture.

I would GIVE my copy away...if I could find it any more. Most useless and poorly coded software (for it's cost) I've ever purchased. In my opinion.

Bill George
01-26-2017, 12:09 PM
I would GIVE my copy away...if I could find it any more. Most useless and poorly coded software (for it's cost) I've ever purchased. In my opinion.

No I do not really use my copy but so far the Poster has not said what He is using. Photograv is better than nothing and it will allow him to visually see the results. Yes but I do have the upgraded edition.

James & Zelma Litzmann
01-26-2017, 2:02 PM
We have excellent results engraving photos on mirrors (using PhotoGraV) but have never really tried photos on plain glass.

Danielle Pattison
02-15-2017, 12:08 PM
I've had some success with doing pane glass. I currently have been using a setting of 25% speed power 100% and 300 dpi. I've found that the best piece of advice I've gotten is to use news paper and wet it and use that as a mask. It keeps the glass cool so it doesn't crack too much.

Laser Pro Spirit GX 30wtt
Ontario

Bert Kemp
02-15-2017, 10:29 PM
I don't do photo's on glass but I do a fair bit of vector engraving and I find that low power about 30% and a speed of 350mmps scan gap.o55 is were I get good results. I think 100%power is way to high. JMO Oh and I agree you'll get better results on clear acrylic