Finishing Methods May 30, 2014 10:53:45 GMT -8
Post by Vic on May 30, 2014 10:53:45 GMT -8
Like the others, I would highly recommend The GIMP, with the caveat of a steep learning curve.
One simple, no cost alternative, is Irfanview. It will convert to greyscale with the push of a button, and will also apply blur, in a simple adjustable process ranging fronm 2 to 10 pixels wide and in varying strengths. I have used it to prepare a couple of pictures for carving, prior to running through i-picture and it works fine. (I normally use Paintshop Pro, which also has a steep learning curve and is unfortunately, not free.)
The process is quite straightforward, - download the latest version of Irfanview, then download the plug-ins.
Start Irfanview and open the picture you wish to work on.
Click on ‘Image’ on the top toolbar and select ‘Convert to Grayscale from the drop-down box. (It’s about halfway down.)
That’s it. You’re done. Save and exit.
If, however, you wish to apply blur to smooth the edges of the image, leave the 'save and exit' for a moment and click on ‘Image/Effects (4th from the bottom,)/Sandbox/Simple Blur’ Click on the middle button at the top of the box that has appeared and the adjustment sliders will be visible.
Adjust the range and intensity of the blur effect and click on ‘Apply’ on the bottom row of buttons. Don’t like the effect? Click on ‘Undo’ and try some different settings.
When you’re happy with it all, save and exit. Then run it through I-Picture.
For all of the simplicity of manipulating the picture, there is still a learning curve. Applying effects and then carving to see the results is what that is all about.
Hopefully, this software might provide a faster, low tech path into the world of CNC carving while newer owners learn the finer pints of The Gimp.
Screenshot of Irfanview Blur sliders and maple leaf.
Maple leaf with blur applied
Screenshot of I-View rendering
1318 and using Paintshop Pro and Cut 2D