Multi-Layer Engrave Using Photoshop Actions

Step 1:
Open image in Photoshop


Step 2:
Decide how many layers you want your project to be. This image I will do two layers, placing the truck and most forward tree on the right on the front layer.


Step 3:
Process image using JB’s Photoshop Actions


Optional Step 4:
Tweak image if necessary for best engrave (for advanced editing techniques, see:


Step 5:
If Step 4, making additional edits was performed, run JB’s Resize Edited Image action and specify the overall size of your final engrave along with resolution (enter 300 if engraving below 340 Lines per Inch). Save this document as FileName-Layer1.


Step 6:
Select the rectangular marquee tool from the tool bar menu and then click Select and Mask button that appears in the Options toolbar (usually located at the top of the Photoshop program)


Step 7:
With the Quick Selection tool selected, click the Select Subject button that appears in the Options toolbar and refine the selection as needed using the Quick Selection tool and brush selection tool. Select the subjects you want to add to the front layer — in this case, we will select the truck and the tree on the far right. If you don’t see anything in the preview, make sure the view mode is set to “Marching Ants.” As you’re working, you can switch between Marching Ants and Onion Skin to get a better view of your selection. Click OK to accept the selection.


Step 8:
With the selection made on your edited image, run the “#4: Test Burn Action.” This creates a new document at the same dimensions of your resized, edited image containing your selection. Save this document as FileName-Layer2.


Step 9:
From the new document created, select the Magic Wand Tool and make sure “contiguous” is not selected on the options toolbar. Click the transparent background, and from the menu, Select > Inverse. This inverts the background selection to select the objects.


Step 10:
Make sure the Paths palette is open. This is often attached to the layers palette — if not, you can activate the Paths palette by going to Window > Paths. Then, select the hamburger menu on the top right of the palette, and click Make Work Path. This will turn your selection into a real, editable path. Once it’s created, it should be automatically selected. Copy this path using either Edit > Copy, or Control-C (Command-C on Mac).


Step 11:
Go to Illustrator, open FileName-Layer2, and then paste the work path into this document. It will give you two options, either shape or path. I select Path. Position this if needed. An artifact of saving to PDF from Photoshop is that it creates a clipping mask. This can be either ignored in the Glowforge app, or deleted here in Illustrator. The path that is pasted will have no fill or stroke, so apply the stroke color that you use for cuts.


Step 12:
Save this file (layer 2) as an SVG file


Step 13:
Open your Filename-Layer1 document in Illustrator. This file will also have a clipping mask, but we can use it to our advantage to very quickly make a cut path for our layer 1 engrave. Select All and then Object > Clipping Mask > Release. The new path will not have a stroke or a fill — assign this path a stroke color that you use for cutting and then save the document as a SVG.




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