Picture Engraving Help

Thanks for all your help… much appreciated…I think I may put a call into the Retailer tomorrow…Have a good evening.

No problem. Hopefully one of the LB guys can get you sorted on the other stuff.

It looks like you have an Aeon machine, which means it has auto-focus. If it’s set up properly you should be ok, but you might need to tweak it a little, depending.

When you put a sheet of material in, you should set the focus to the correct height before you run a job (if you don’t know what that height is, you should have been given a focus blank to use for setting the height, or you can run what’s called a Ramp Test to figure out where the best focus distance is for your machine - https://lasergods.com/glossary/ramp-test/ )

Inches or mm is fine, and it is a setting you can change if you go to Edit > Settings in the menus.

I’m going to suggest trying something a little different:
In the settings for the image, change the Image Mode to Halftone, set the DPI value to 600, and set the Cells per Inch setting to 85. Set the speed to 300mm/sec, and the power to 12%.

Normally you wouldn’t go nearly that high with DPI, but with Halftone you actually want some overlap because of the way the system works. If you are using one of the normal dither modes, like Dither, Jarvis, or Stucki, keep the DPI setting around 200 to 300.

I’m suggesting Halftone because it’s designed to be significantly more forgiving than most of the other image modes. You’ll get a bit of visible patterning in the result, but the shading and overall image quality is pretty good.

It’s also worth making sure your original image has good contrast and uses most of the overall brightness range available. If your image is really dim, really bright, or very “muted”, it’s harder to get a good result. You can select the image, then right-click and choose ‘Show Properties’ and adjust contrast and brightness in LightBurn if you need to.

There are also a pair of settings called ‘Enhance Radius’ and ‘Enhance Amount’. Setting either of these to zero disables the edge enhancement. I recommend trying a radius of 4, and an amount of 150 as a general starting point - it’ll help the edge detail pop a little better. You can also try setting the ‘Gamma’ value to 0.8, instead of 1.0, which will pull the mid-tones up a little.

Playing with any of the image controls will change the image in LightBurn as you watch, so you can see the effect. Give those settings a try and see what you end up with.


@LightBurn. What’s the ratio? Define “bit”



Quote “I need to Master the technique of engraving pictures on wood and anodized metal. (I think I’m ok on leather tests I’ve been doing… for now)”

Laur, with respect, doing photos well takes a ton of experience. And time. Lightburn makes it easier than most other programs, but it’s not feasible or realistic to get the laser, and get reliably good at pictures within just a week of getting the laser!

There are SO many areas to be fine-tuned, like Travis has tried to show you above- gettng to know your machine and its settings comes first. Learning to focus it is 2nd. Learning about about what dot size it can produce is 3rd. Learning power and speed settings for optimal burn, and not wasting time is next. Learning too edit pictures, perhaps in Photoshop, to make them better for detail in the areas needed is another skill.

Then lasering anodised aluminium is another thng that can be quite a trial to get dialled n right. Even the colour of the anodising coating makes a huge difference. The more you practise, the more you’ll learn that the laser heats the aluminium, and can warp it out of focus, sometimes such that it can hit the head and ruin the picture.

Like it or not, you need to crawl before walking, and walk before running… I hope you enjoy the learning curve, because it all adds up to necessary experience. :slight_smile:

There are no great short-cuts, as you’ve seen. The more you learn the more you’ll realise how much there is to learn!

Pictures in timber can be a trial, as the extra burning tends to mean that the pic won’t be as sharp, for instance as if it was on a tile or hard surface that can hold a tinier dot than burned wood can hold.


You assume I measured. :slight_smile:
I added about a teaspoon to a 3 oz spray bottle 3/4 filled with water, let it fully dissolve, then misted it onto the wood to saturate the surface and let it dry. No proper scientific testing was done.

I could eye ball and try to experiment “a bit” however the key to your formula decipher for which I am truly great full for lies in the baby spray bottle. Because the concentration is far greater in the baby bottle then the regular spray bottle we all know.

Thank you so much for replying @LightBurn, I know how busy you are…



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“I need to Master the technique of engraving pictures on wood and anodized metal"

Of course when I wrote that, I didn’t mean all at one time, neither did I mean I mean to master it immediately which is absurdly impossible anyway. As you may have noticed, there wasn’t even a sample pic or an attempt to engrave any anodized metal. I meant that as a future statement … on the other hand, I was having an extreme problem trying to dial in any engraving on just a simple piece of them precut wood.

quote=“Stewey, post:60, topic:14041”]
Like it or not, you need to crawl before walking, and walk before running… I hope you enjoy the learning curve, because it all adds up to necessary experience.

Yes, I expect the learning curve, and welcome it wholeheartedly. Thank goodness this forum is here with such experienced people. Through this forum and the excellent supportive / patient help through the members that contribute their comments, along with the informative video’s, this site is invaluable to me.

So I have yet to be able to apply the suggestions of Oz, but I look forward to doing that soon and will keep up (the crawling phase) to learning/testing/honing so that I can accomplish work I’m proud.

Hilariously, the right image is exactly the bottle used.

I can tell a 2oz bottle from a 3oz bottle and I know that Target carries them in colors and I figured you were a Plain no nonsense kinnda guy and not a pink bottle dude



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I’ve done this with NO result at all (Blank)

I did not do this … If they are in LB, I don’t know where they are.
This is the original picture I used:

Other screenshots:
IMG_4473 IMG_4474 ![IMG_4475|240x320]

Then I tried to change it to Neg Image … just to see if that would be different - It still wasn’t…no engraving at all.

I do have a call into the retailer… and hopefully, they will call back today, remote in, and make sure all settings on this machine are correct.

Your min power setting is zero, which means the laser won’t fire. Set it the same as max power when engraving. It’s a quirk of the controller.

Select the image, then right-click and choose ‘Show Properties’. That will open the Shape Properties window, which is where you find any settings that are specific to a shape or object.

The factory rep did call - he checked / verified machine settings -
He didn’t quite understand your formula - he remoted in and set the following settings which produced this results with Grayscale / different power and speed…

I went back to your suggested Halftone and tested with an increase to power to 40/20(min), DPI still at 600, 300 mm/sec…same gamma, brightness, etc used that rep set. The results speak POSITIVE for using the Halftone. Much better eye and nose definition.

Original pic…

@CustomCut Images such as this beautiful pet portrait reproduce far better on wood if you subtract the busy background around the pet leaving a clean contrast.

The out of focus background works great in the color composition not so much in the lasered engraving



I am of the strong opinion that this image as you have engraved it would benefit from @LightBurn process
Picture Engraving Help

You will obtain the rich blacks that will make the pet portrait POP!


my 2¢

@Sasquatch and I agree - I’m sticking with LB- Oz suggestion… the next thing I tried for test was to use the Baking Soda Spray (same settings). Black pops a bit more, but now I need to smooth it out. At least this is progress…

(I’ll work on eliminating background later, but some backgrounds may be required as these are memorials)

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Thank you to @LightBurn, @travisr100, @Sasquatch for all your help. I took Oz’ Halftone suggestion with numbers and have tried to tweak from there.

It’s not perfect (I need better shading around his chin and jaw, but his eyes look great. I fix one/lose the other. Anyway… huge improvement from where I started… again thanks.


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