Advice on making this into a useable vector

I’m hoping some of you can give me some advice on making this photo into a carveable image. I’m
trying with Inkscape and I just don’t have all the skills yet to make this come out decent. Any help would be appreciated.

Do you have a better original? Or at least a photo taken squarely?


Unfortunately, that’s all I have. I got this from a potential client and that’ all he had

Manipulate the file in Photoshop to square it up, then re-draw.

3D or 2D?
If 2D, you could try pulling something from here and here and similar. It’ll still take some work.

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Are you trying to replicate this as is, or carve a stylised version of it?

I can’t give an answer to your question, sadly, but I’m interested to know what you’re planning to do (or try :thinking:, anyway!)

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I’m attempting to make this as close to actual as possible. I know I won’t be able to get all the detail, but it will HOPEFULLY be a reasonable facsimile.

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This might be a better starting point, at least for the outline?


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Here’s a couple more starting points. Could change officer to lt in the one, the other just a different style optionmassachusetts-specific-badge-sw-s501 images

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As you mentioned, it will be difficult to cleanly reproduce a lot of the detail on a 1:1 size carving, even with a fine engraving bit. That said, I still like to start with as much detail as I can, and then just delete those paths from the image in CAD if I can’t use it on that carving.

I’m really picky, so I make pretty much all of my own vectors for carving since it’s usually easier and gives much cleaner results than fixing whatever a converter can possibly do. Especially on projects that you can’t get off the shelf vectors for.

I feel like a lot of people are intimidated by the idea of creating their own images from scratch. Personally I’m an engineer, not a graphic designer. So I went down the self taught path, which took a lot of trial and a lot of errors. I would be happy to make a file of this image for you, but don’t be afraid to just start playing with paths and nodes in a proper vector editor like Inkscape. Eventually you will get comfortable with it–and customizing your own files is really satisfying!

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If you are after a facsimile, are you visualizing a 3d model or a flatter 2d carving?

This badge is heavily contoured:

If you are looking to reproduce the curved nature of the shape, and not just have lines carved into different levels of flat surfaces, then you’ll probably need a 3d model or a very good image (or set of images) that can be converted into a height map.

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If you want a 3D version of the badge, why not make a probe and do a 3D scan?

Or send a badge out to someone who can 3D scan it, or get the fancy software which turns a series of photos into a 3D model?

Not looking for a 3D version of this at all. I’m doing a Thin Blue Line flag for a client and he’s just looking for a decent representation of the badge. I know there is a lot of tiny detail I won’t be able to get, especially in pine, but I just want to get the overall gist of the badge

Understood! Not “a close as possible” then :wink:

My contribution is sourcing the centre of the image (the bit from the Massachusetts flag) as a vector: Flag_of_Massachusetts (74.2 KB)

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