On the Introduction to Laser Cutting 2 Day Courses, I ask participants to bring a simple black and white line drawing, which I will show you how to convert to a vector file for laser cutting. I often get asked what I mean by this?

Here are two images. I would call (A) a simple black and white line drawing. Why? Because everything in the image is either black or white, there are no midtones of grey. The paper is very white and doesn’t have a cast from scanning. In order to get the paper completely white, I have adjusted it on Photoshop (we can do this on the course if you don’t know how to do it in advance).

Image B is a lovely drawing, but it has midtones of grey and also the paper is not totally white. When we create a vector file from a drawing, the software will take each pixel of the image and read it as either black or white. On image B it may get confused between the pale grey lines and the cast on the paper from scanning. You could still get an interesting result from vectorising this beautiful drawing (B) but for the purposes of the introductory course I would suggest an image that is closer to A than B. As you develop your skills, you can progress onto creating vector files from subtler, more complex images, to great effect and of course you can always raster engrave a drawing or photograph with subtle tones (rather than cut it). We learn about this on day two of the introductory course 🙂

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