Hi again all!!!
As promised in my first Instructable "Laser Cut Fine Art" it's time to share my new idea. I couldn't wait for this one.
I really like laser cutters, and I'm always looking for other ways how I can incorporate them with my art without spending a lot of additional time and effort.
For this Instructable you would need: painting (yours, or some favorite from the internet), vector editing software like: AutoCad, CorelDraw, or Illustrator (so you can prepare your files for cutting) and of course a laser cutter. Laser cutters are not easy to come by, but if you can, or you have some shop near you like TechShop, I'd strongly encourage you to go and start using this great tool. There can be so many various use cases, and the community is steadily growing.
When painting I'm always drawing in layers. I start with the background and then I keep adding what's further in front in separate passes. For this painting I made it on purpose by using 3 layers, so I can use the same amount of laser cut wood slices, and so I don't end up with really thick final peace. The process of me making this lovely painting can be seen on my first updated YouTube video (hopefully one of many more to come).
So lets get started!!! If you want to see how this was made and how easy it was, lets go to Step No.1
Step 1: Step 1: First Draw your Painting you wish to cut, or download some favourite from the internet
So, if you are creating new painting from the beginning, take some photos along the way. More specifically take photos from different stages of your creation. In my case I separated my painting on 3 stages, so when I'll assemble the 3 parts I don't end with too thick product. That would not look so cute.
When you have the different layers, in my case the background, the middle section with trees, and the front section then it's time to go in Illustrator, AutoCad, or any other vector product so you can prepare the files for cutting.
Lets go to Step No. 2 to see how to prepare the pictures.
Step 2: Step 2: Preparing your painting layers for laser cutting
If using Illustrator, you can change your images into vector files by selecting "Image Tracing" from the top. Before doing that I would advise you to change your images into Black&White with high contrast up to the maximum so the software can produce cleaner vector file when using "Image Tracing". Eventually that is what you need for using the laser, clean vector lines that the laser will go along.
When using "Image Tracing" I go with "Silhouette" option, but feel free to experiment with the other options for the best results. Next click "Expand" and your vector line will appear. There may be some extra lines that will show up that you can remove, but you are not obligated to. It only depends on how would you like to see your cut.
If you don't have Illustrator you can simply do the same and overlay your photo by drawing a line instead of using this automated process.
When ready make your artwork size equal to the size of the laser cutter bed and align your vector slices. In my case I'm using 36" x 24" big cutter so I can easily fit 4 frames on one sheet.
As you can see on the last attached photo, I added one slice as my background, 2 slices with the trees, and 2 more slices that I'll use as my frame. There was no room to fit my 5th slice so I'll have to cut it on another plywood sheet. You can always reduce the dimension, but I wanted to use the original panting size which is 9" x 12".
When you are ready lets check the cutting part and what you need to set up in Step No3
Step 3: Step 3: Setting up your laser cutter
This is where the fun begins! :)
Make the vector lines that you wish to cut in one color, and the ones you wish to etch in other. In my case I'm going to use only cutting settings so I made all my lines in red.
Set up your laser settings to cut wood and run your file!
And finally, join me in my last step where I'm adding my final step by painting on these 5 plywood slices.
Next Final Step No4...
Step 4: Step 4: Final touch - Painting the laser cut plywood pieces
One by one, this is the part that I enjoy the most and I know the best.
First I painted the background, then the 2 tree shaped slices, and lastly the 2 frame parts.
Connect them all together and you have something magical. Sort of 3D laser cut painting!!
There are many more ideas I'm planning on making, so I'll make sure I'll keep them coming and share them with you.
If you wish to check my Fine Art paintings you may visit my website at: marinela-art.com
Until next time,
Much love ******