Awards & Engraving

2018 Laser Engraving Report

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LER 2018 n 25 find pictures with as many details of dark and light shading as possible. Finally, consider what you want your image to say to others. Why are you choosing this photo for the mural? Be sure the photo is relevant and unique for the attention it will receive. TWO: PROCESSING AN IMAGE Once you have selected a good image, you need to process the picture using a computer and software. The process turns your original picture into a series of pre- cisely arranged black-and-white pixels for the laser machine's engraving process. A process called dithering is first required before laser engraving. If you look closely at a newspaper photo for example, you will see that the image has gone through a dithered effect to give you good image quality on a black-and-white newspaper. Dithering is the process of contrasting pixels of two colors to create the illusion that a third color is present. By com- bining black-and-white pixels in complex patterns, a graphics program like Corel- DRAW or Adobe Photoshop creates the illusion of gray values — this dithering process causes a printed image to appear more photographic by inserting shades and reducing color hues. Dithering simu- lates more colors and shades in a palette than actually exist. While dithering cannot produce the identical results as having sufficient levels of gray or colors in the graphics display system (the color depth), it can make shaded drawings and photographs appear extremely realistic. A laser program called Photograv allows you to import any image, and the computer software calcu- lates the correct dithering effects automati- cally depending on what type of material you choose to engrave on. This software knows if you choose stone and creates the exact amount of pixels needed for your laser engraving. A large wall mural may be several feet in length and height. The images will need to be "sliced" in the graphics software to no larger than a 4-by-4-foot size because of the laser machine table restriction and handling of the large stones. THREE: CHOOSING A LASER MACHINE That brings me to my next point. I have seen and operated many laser machines throughout the years. The difficult part of the process is locating a heavy-duty laser table capable of handling large pieces of stone for a mural project. The ability to laser engrave big panels and huge pieces Awards & Engraving Introduces Join Today! Network.a-e-mag.com/join Questions? Call 800-870-0904 Choose your level! Select your business activities and interests. Submit! YOU'RE IN!

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