I need to create an image in a format that can be burned on wood with a heat-pen. I was wondering if anyone is familiar with some functionality (free preferably online or in a own software) which can convert an image into a dotted image, where each dot is proportional in size to its position in the depth of the image. So if the y-axis is inward and outward of the image, the a dot is smaller the more the respective countour of an object is distant from the viewer. The closer the respective contour or point of that image is to the view, the larger the dot becomes.

Here is an example of dotted images: https://www.google.com/search?q=dotted+images&client=firefox-b-lm&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwipqdyVwpX_AhWLU6QEHeIABFMQ_AUoAXoECAIQAw&biw=1467&bih=694&dpr=1.09

However, I would like to generate a dotted simplified version of the following image

enter image description here

I have done some editing on it, and got this far. enter image description here

Any ideas appreciated.

  • I'm not sure you've really thought through even the visual implications of this, let alone the practicality of constructing it. What you have there is a 'mostly flat' object. Only the base has any real depth. Conveying depth just by making smaller dots is going to mess with the way your brain calculates perspective anyway, because dots on the sides of 3D objects would be foreshortened. You'd do best building it as a 3D model, then you could just put a simple dotted skin on the whole thing.
    – Tetsujin
    May 27, 2023 at 13:02
  • Most all of the detail of this image would be lost in the conversion to dots. Also would improve your question if you included what you tried and what software or programming language you're wanting to use May 27, 2023 at 13:07
  • see update in OP. This has to be converted so it can be burned on wood, with wood-burning-pen May 27, 2023 at 13:17
  • "I need to create an image in a format that can be burned on wood with a heat-pen" that is incredibly important information. So it seems you don't actually need what you were asking for originally ("convert an image into a dotted image"), you just need it to work with a heat pen. A classic XY problem. Your question is a lot more answerable now, thanks for editing. May 27, 2023 at 17:10
  • @ZachSaucier the fact is that with dots, it is much easier to get a nice result with the heat-pen, while with curves, it looks barely as a drawing. May 27, 2023 at 18:38

1 Answer 1


Forget presenting such a complex image with somehow regular dots. It will become a mess if the dots are large. If they are small enough for good imaging the number of dots will be so high that making them manually takes weeks.

Take another route. Draw irregular dots and curves. No need to invent them by yourself. The next example applies Turing Pattern effect. It's not my creation, it's copied from this older discussion How to do a "Turing Pattern" dither/halftone effect?

enter image description here

1/3 is left out because I have no right to make a ready to use derivative version of an image I do not own. Imgur cannot show it as sharp due the high pixel dimensions.It looks blurry. But here's a zoom in of the bottom part:

enter image description here

Make the background transparent, insert a thin black edge stroke to get a solid edge and flatten the image to have a white background. Then apply the Turing Pattern effect. It's a short Photoshop action in the linked discussion. It contains only generally available effects.

In a comment in the same discussion there was also suggested Krita or GIMP + free G'MIC filter pack. It contains the same effect in section Testing. It's Lylejk's Stencil:

enter image description here

Lylejk's Stencil is the winner when compared to the Photoshop action version. It has adjustments for tuning how coarse the result should be. The Photoshop action needs parameter changes for searching the good effect which is extremely tiresome.

Both effect versions need the monstrance image in high resolution The image height should be about 3000 pixels. Careful background removal and desaturating help to get clean results.

Your image was about 1000 px high. I only scaled it to 300% to get the playground the effect needs.

  • Great idea! Thanks, I will follow this suggestion up. May 28, 2023 at 9:14

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