View Full Version : Grey scale / height map / relief carving

07-11-2013, 03:33 PM
Hi i would like to make a grey scale image so i can carve it in a program like photo vcarve. The images i have been looking at are like these


I think its called a relief carving?

I would like to create a relief carving of this


But i dont know how to create a greyscale image of it so i can use it.

Any suggestion on how i could create a carving or is this not possible?

Thanks simon.

07-11-2013, 04:18 PM
Use one of these free programs

Inkscape. Draw Freely. (http://inkscape.org/)
MyPaint (http://mypaint.intilinux.com/)
GIMP - The GNU Image Manipulation Program (http://www.gimp.org/)
IrfanView - Official Homepage - one of the most popular viewers worldwide (http://www.irfanview.com/)

I used photoscape


08-11-2013, 02:05 PM
I have tried it this way by just changing the picture to grey scale but the picture needs to be like a height map, so white being the high point down to black being the lowest, so anywhere in between will be varing shades of grey, i will give it a try when i get to my computer, thankyou.

08-11-2013, 04:50 PM
Sorry I didn't realise that, the task is now more demanding.
After a quick search it seems the technique is widely used for geographic purposes, generating 3D terrain etc. and the software mentioned includes Wilbur and Terragen.
Other methods include hand editing the gray scale colours in software such as Photoshop or the free alternative GIMP as mentioned in my first post.
Then there's this

08-11-2013, 04:52 PM
Thats okay i thought it would be, my search shall continue.

08-11-2013, 07:29 PM
Your using terms like height map which suggest you have looked at CamBam. You can do what you want straight out the box with that software without changing to grey scale.

09-11-2013, 08:00 AM
edited......like eddy said.

09-08-2014, 01:11 PM
totts, did you get any further with this ? I now have the same requirement, doing it on the cheap being one of them.

09-08-2014, 09:05 PM
No unfortunately not, either running out of program trials or trying to find how to use the software, it was very hard work, not helped by the low resolution of the image.

If you come across a way of converting an image please do share as i would still like to make this.

george uk
10-08-2014, 01:51 PM
I think meshcam does this, meshcam art. Not sure but think so

10-08-2014, 09:48 PM
Is it something like this your were after
I spent five mins just messing with it but there is a lot of noise on the picture.

10-08-2014, 09:53 PM
How on earth did you get that?!

Thats looking good! What program is that?

If you are feeling generous i might have to pinch a 3d model of that :)

By noise, is that because it is a low resolution picture?

10-08-2014, 10:01 PM
Yeah the noise is the low res picture and by all means i can send a 3d model ill have a look see if i can get it any better

10-08-2014, 10:03 PM
Yes please, and thankyou, what program did you use?

10-08-2014, 10:16 PM
Ok hows this

I found a hi res picture of it

10-08-2014, 10:18 PM
I use aspire ill have to figure out how to send a 3d model of it

10-08-2014, 10:27 PM
I use aspire ill have to figure out how to send a 3d model of it

Good effort, maybe this helps


How did I guess it was going to be big money software :grumpy:

10-08-2014, 10:42 PM
Thats awsome! Shame it is big money software i cant afford yet :(

11-08-2014, 10:20 PM
What software do you have I will try replicate it for you when I get out of hospital lol

11-08-2014, 10:47 PM
If you want to create a greyscale image like the shell in the first post, you first need to model the object in a 3D modeling program.
Then you need to render the depth map in a rendering program like blender.

This method is far more complex than the quick and easy bitmap to 3D model in Aspire shown above, but the results will be far superior. And once you have a 3D model, you can render the depth map from different angles, for a variety of different effects.
Blender is free, btw, and there are many low cost 3D modeling programs out there.