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February 22, 2019

When bored, I’ve defaulted to this question: “What interesting thing can I make today with anime images I find online?”

This time around, I answered by laser-cutting one of these images into a woodblock as a gift. It’s possible with four easy steps!

First, find a good image with a simple background.

A drawing of a girl smiling while adjusting her glasses.

Second, remove its color and increase the contrast.

The same drawing of the girl with glasses, but without color and with more contrast.

Third, use Inkscape to convert the image into several SVG vector layers. Pick out the best ones, change them to either pure green or yellow, and place them on an image canvas. Add in other elements like a quote or a sun.

A digital canvas with a simplified version of the girl drawn with solid green and yellow color layers, next to a quote and image of a cartoon sun.

Fourth, plug it all into a laser cutter, put in a standing woodblock, hit start, and pray it comes out okay.

The simplified version of the girl, with the quote and sun, carved into a standing wooden block.

Once all the above are done, dance into the night in celebration!