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Keith Bragg
07-09-2007, 5:59 PM
Was hoping some of you folks with Photograve could help me setting up mine I seem to be chasing my tail with this one and dont know if I have not set it up right or if I just am missing a step or two I get very mixed results some times I get a big blob for the outcome and on a very rare occasion (1time)I actully got a nice job, A result that I have not been able to duplicate since.

I also tried to attach the file of the drawing I am currently working and it was to big so I do not have that task mastered either any help with either problem would be great it has been one of those days.

Thanks

Garry McKinney
07-09-2007, 6:21 PM
Keith

1) Import the scanned pic into Corel
2) Convert the file to 300 dpi grayscale once you have it to the size you want.
3) export the grayscale bitmap to desktop or place it is easy to find. Being careful to export it at maintain size.
4 open photograve
5) import the grayscle image
6) select material
7) auto process
8) save engrave image
9) import engraved image into corel with enter
10) place image into place
11) print

photgrave needs 300 dpi

Garry

Stephen Beckham
07-09-2007, 10:23 PM
Keith,

First question is how does the simulation burn look in PG?
Second - what are you lasing? Wood, Acrylic, Annodized Alum?
Third - what DPI... 300 does well on a lot of surfaces - but 600 is the cat's meow on Aluminum.
Fourth - are you engraving at the same DPI that PG converted at. I did this alot when I first started - I like text at 400 or 600 - but most pictures I do at 300. Oops - now you need to two burns, one for text and one for image (400 & 300) or make all your burn the same DPI. I use 400 DPI on image with text when I'm saving time.
Fifth - I'd love to see some test images from you to give you an idea of what I believe could be your issue.
Six - how bright is your picture. PG works best when it can tell contrast in picture. Lots of dark shadows might be giving you the blob...

Oh yea and one last thing - depending on surface, you may have to cut your power about 25 to 50% off of the normal recommended setting. Burning at the normal power for PG images can over-saturate and your dot's will cross over and cause a blur. A nice Monical (diamond or jewelry eyeglass - got mine from Laserbits) will give you an idea if your dots are doing the tango...

Stephen Beckham
07-09-2007, 10:41 PM
Only thing I go higher than 400 DPI on is 600 DPI on Aluminum Dogtag....

Bob Cole
07-10-2007, 2:50 AM
The steps as outlined above should give you good results. The real biggy for me was to make sure I sized the image before going through photograv.

I also downloaded new materials from photograv site. They have black granite which wasn't included in the software I received.

Dave Jones
07-10-2007, 5:40 PM
Never scale or stretch the Photograv image once you place it back into Corel. Just click to place it and then position it. If it's the wrong size, then you need to start over and make it the right size before going into Photograv.

Make sure the laser is set to the same dpi or a multiple of the image's dpi. For example, running a 300dpi image through Photograv and then engrave it with the laser set to 300, 600, or 1200. Do not set the laser to 400 or 1000 (if yours has that setting). The dpi must match or be exactly 2 times, 3 times, etc... higher in the laser than the image.

Keith Bragg
07-11-2007, 8:12 AM
Keith,

First question is how does the simulation burn look in PG?
Second - what are you lasing? Wood, Acrylic, Annodized Alum?
Third - what DPI... 300 does well on a lot of surfaces - but 600 is the cat's meow on Aluminum.
Fourth - are you engraving at the same DPI that PG converted at. I did this alot when I first started - I like text at 400 or 600 - but most pictures I do at 300. Oops - now you need to two burns, one for text and one for image (400 & 300) or make all your burn the same DPI. I use 400 DPI on image with text when I'm saving time.
Fifth - I'd love to see some test images from you to give you an idea of what I believe could be your issue.
Six - how bright is your picture. PG works best when it can tell contrast in picture. Lots of dark shadows might be giving you the blob...

Oh yea and one last thing - depending on surface, you may have to cut your power about 25 to 50% off of the normal recommended setting. Burning at the normal power for PG images can over-saturate and your dot's will cross over and cause a blur. A nice Monical (diamond or jewelry eyeglass - got mine from Laserbits) will give you an idea if your dots are doing the tango...

Hi Stephen

Thanks for answering,To anwer your questions if I get them all.

First ~I thought the simulation looked real good I thoguth I finely had it.

Second ~Wood and eventually Marble & Granite.

Third~ I scanned at 300 & engraved at 300.

Fourth~ Not sure to be honest I beleive that I am how do you check for sure?

Fifth~ I am going to attemp to do a attachment for you to see to finished product and also the saved engraved file.

Sixth~The original is a ink drawing I had a local artist doe for me I have several of these drawings he has done and would love to start doing more of them but I have not got this down yet.

Maybe I should not even be using Photgrav there may be a better why if you or anyone has a suggestion I am willing to try.

Mike Null
07-11-2007, 8:23 AM
Keith

Not an expert but that looks pretty darn good to me.

Frank Corker
07-11-2007, 1:09 PM
Keith I have sent you a pm (private message) regarding your issues.

Bob Cole
07-11-2007, 3:25 PM
Once you get it figured out, would you mind posting the resolution? I am a sponge for learning new techniques.

Where do you get your log slice? Do it yourself or vendor?

Keith Bragg
07-11-2007, 6:06 PM
There is a Vendor here in Maine I get them from he has a limited supplie as he gets them from Canada a coulple times a year.

Keith Bragg
07-11-2007, 6:10 PM
Garry Thanks for the steps I will give them a try.
Keith

Garry McKinney
07-11-2007, 8:02 PM
Keith ,

Once your confortable with the standard funtions , of Photograve I suggest instead of auto you use interactive, and use the high quality box.
It will give you slightly better results.

I found your piece to be good.

Garry

Curt Stallings
07-11-2007, 8:03 PM
I have had good luck buying Basswood slices from Hofcraft.

http://www.hofcraft.com/walnuthollowbasswoodrounds.html

Stephen Beckham
07-11-2007, 8:47 PM
Keith,

I'm a wood lover and without a doubt in my mind - I'd use a phrase from my father "nature of the wood." I like the wood as it's pictured because I like what wood does - what it wants....

I believe - not the expert - but I understand this is a piece of basswood? Very soft... You could be experiencing the bleed over of the dots being so hot they smolder the wood beyond the expected dot instead of an instantanious flash. If you are in a soft wood - I'd consider the lowering to 150 DPI forcing more space between the dots or reduce the power. Remember - what you see on the screen may look horrible, but our eyes deceive us. I've had to get used to the Picaso effect of thinking it looks like crap on the screen, but knowing it'll sell on auction day.

As far as the ink drawings - along with pencil sketches - usually they will burn in greyscale pretty nice without having to use the PG software. If you are using Basswood - you might be able to test burn on cardboard to get a similar response and save money on those beautiful blanks.

Steve

Dave Jones
07-12-2007, 1:30 AM
I missed the fact that this was basswood.

You might try this same image on something like cherry and see how it looks. It'll probably come out sharper, and show the image better.

Keith Bragg
07-12-2007, 9:06 AM
The wood slab I used is actually called.

Balsam Poplar
Populus balsamifera L. (Salicaceae)
Common Names
Balsam poplar, balm buds, balm of Gilead, Carolina poplar, cottonwood, hackmatack, poplar balsam, tacamahac poplar, tackamahac.

I do belive that they are all still part of the softwood family.

Bill Cunningham
07-12-2007, 10:53 PM
I think your problem with the moosehead is a contrast problem.. The areas of the antlers the forward part of the nose, and the back part of the sholders look real good because the contrast varies, and the laser can define the differences in shading and the forward part of the body has little varying contrast, so the laser treats it as black, or mostly black with little shading.. I would lighten up those dark spots in photopaint or what ever using a filter that will give more difference definition to the subtle areas of the grayscale that the eye can see, but the laser has difficulty defining.. Dark areas of picture alway need a little extra work.. I generally never bother with the simulation, and look at the engraving file instead. If it's looks over black or very dark I will usually just run a sample on some scrap wood and see how it looks.. If all else fails, use the "cherry" parameter.:D

Stephen Beckham
07-12-2007, 11:22 PM
Sorry - guessed at the wood, Populus balsamifera L. was going to be my second guess. :rolleyes:

I believe Popular is considered a hard wood species by the Cabinet Industry, but it is kind of like calling the big yellow ball the ladies use a "Softball." Tooling the wood you'd know it is pretty soft but consistent.

I think if you adjust the contrast as mentioned and play with that DPI - you'd get a good match. Good luck...

Steve