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daveO17/05/2013 16:38:00
250 forum posts
32 photos

hopsfully this will be the first of many

thanks for looking



Derek Lane17/05/2013 18:14:00
3219 forum posts
1004 photos

Hi Dave did you use a photo program to get the desired effect. If this is a first then a great job

Wolfie17/05/2013 22:15:50
406 forum posts
76 photos

Great job Dave, I would also like to know how you transfer from a photo to wood. I would love to be able to do some pictures of family members. Very well done.


daveO18/05/2013 17:16:02
250 forum posts
32 photos

Ok Derek and Ian, so lets make patterns

Firstly yes you need a powerful graphics package, in fact you need two. Now the "guru's" and the "must haves" would point straight to the direction of something like Corel draw or Adobe Photoshop.

But we dont need those, out on the net is some public domain software (thus free to download and use) the first pack is called GIMP which is a btilliant manipulation program.

So first search on GIMP 2.6 go to GIMPS official website and download from there, note search on 2.6

there is a newer version 2.8 but this has issues and at the moment is not to newbie user friendly.

then you need a pack called INKSCAPE again totally free, so download and install that

then pick yourself a photograph you want to work with, if its person portrait try and pick one with a head and shoulder format, and the better the pic the better the results, dont worry about anything or anyone in the background as that will all disappear.

I'm sending you a PM with my E mail address so when you have chosen your picture please send me a copy to play with at this end, thats not for competition its so that along the way if there are any questions or queries, we are singing from the same hymn sheet as it were.

While you do that I will write the basic procedure and post it later.

I think this will be a good exercise



daveO18/05/2013 19:46:40
250 forum posts
32 photos

so this is the methodology


  1. launch GIMP go to “file” “open” and navigate the way to your chosen picture select and OK.
  2. Now first we need to get rid of any large amounts of unwanted background, so click on the crop tool in the tool box to the right and select the area you want and click inside , this will leave you the wanted image, at this point press CTRL+C to copy that image to the clipboard.
  3. Now we need to decide on the finished size of the portrait I normally work with a standard 10x8 as frames are easily available, so go to “file” and “new” this will offer a dialogue box, at the top of the box it shows the width and height and at the side it shows in pixels from the drop down box change from pixels to inches, then change the width and height to 10x8 and from the advanced options change the X Y resolution to 150 and the background colour to white and OK, this will open a new screen, click the expand button to full screen then Press CTRL+V to copy the image to the new screen. Now select the scale tool from the tool box and click inside the image and drag the corners out to almost the outer limit of the white working area (leave a slight margin all round as the frame will cover about the first quarter inch of the pattern) then in the dialogue box that appeared to your upper left click “re scale” and the image will be re proportioned correctly. It will be a good idea to save a copy of this as a jpg to your desktop at this stage because as and when you mess up you can revert back to an earlier stage.
  4. go to”image” “mode” “greyscale”
  5. optional, if you are working with an old pic you might like to now go to “colours” “contrast and brightness” and put a little depth back in to the image.
  6. Now go to “filters” “artistic” photocopy” in the dialogue box ignore everything else and just OK.
  7. Go to “colours” “curves” and in the box that comes up click on the diagonal line and drag it up and down until you get medium to grey to black image and OK.
  8. Now using the paintbrush option from the tool box and various size brushes both in black and white remove and left over background blotches in the the image etc until you have effectively a line drawing, pay particular attention to the features such as eyes nose and mouth, once all the unwanted is removed and you are happy click file” “ save as “ and save to a JPG cilick export and save when the boxes ask. You can now close GIMP for now.
  9. Launch INKSCAPE go to “file” “import” and navigate your way to the saved JPG and OK
  10. move the image into the white working area if its not there already. And reduce its size if it larger
  11. now with the image selected go to “path” “trace bitmap” and in the box ( top right ) change the thresholds to around 550 ( only practice will tell you which is the best) click OK and close the box. Now move the top image to the left and look closely as to which one is the bitmap ( the better you get the harder it id to tell) (TIP if in doubt, with the image selected go to the colour bar at the bottom of the screen and change the colour if the colour does not change then it is not the bitmap so select the other image and right click and delete that image, move the remaining image back into the working area and now save as “plain svg to your desktop, you are now finished with INKSCAPE so close it.
  12. re –open GIMP go “file” “open and navigate to the SVG you just saved , this will come up on screen but will have some chequered background to it.
  13. Go to “layer” “new layer” and select white and OK your image will disappear ( don’t worry) go to “layer” “stack” “layer from bottom” and you now have the image back without the background.
  14. now Save that image as a jpg
  15. done I dont think so we have not even covered bridges and islands yet "still interested" give it ago and report back, happy pattern making.
daveO15/06/2013 17:08:51
250 forum posts
32 photos

No takers there then.

robert dignam15/06/2013 18:05:15
194 forum posts
134 photos

Another nice one dave I've used gimp before and found it to be one of the best for making scroll saw portrait patterns and one of the easier ones to use

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