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How's it done?

How it’s done 

The technology used to make your high-definition Crystal Photo is based on lasers and impurity-free K9 borosilicate glass. It also requires the knowhow of how to convert a flat photo into an almost-living  3D or 4D image captured inside the crystal. 

The etching itself is created by a laser beam focused to a high intensity at a precise point. Many tiny dots of fracture are created, which appear to float inside the glass. By precisely joining these dots, an image is created. 

From a 2D Photo to 3D Masterpiece

The first step in the process is to have a sharp clear photo where the subject of the photo is looking toward the camera and the subject is not cut off at the sides of the photo. When your photo arrives at our studio it is checked against our check list to ensure we have a good photo to start with. Any photo with a possible flaw to the crystal engraving, such as an unclear subject or poor lighting we will contact you with some suggestions.

Once your photo is approved, our designers start the cropping and enhancement, we use Photoshop, ready for the 3D conversion process. For 3D photos the background of your image is removed, small imperfections are removed or cleaned.

Once the photo is ready, we use our proprietary 3D conversion software which builds a 3D digital points cloud model from your photo. This conversion creates a high definition (HD) file readable by our top of the range laser machine.

Our 3D Laser Engraving Machine

This is where the transformation takes place. The laser printer uses the points file to create precise tiny points in layers within your crystal to build a high definition 3D image of your photo, starting from the back through to the front. The detail of your photo will be highlighted by the high definition laser making it appear very realistic and life-like. Our laser prints in very high DPI similar to a high resolution printer.

Any text you want etched on crystal is etched close to the surface to make it stand out.

2D or 3D Etching?

The main difference between 2D and 3D engraved images is the 2D image has no internal depth of field, it's just like looking at a photo in glass. 3D engraved images, on the other hand, are etched in layers at various depths to create an image that has depth of field. The result is a stunning 3D replica of your photo that seems to hang inside the crystal just like a hologram. You can turn the crystal and see a different aspect of your subject

We etch both 2D or 3D images into any size crystal, but just remember - 2D crystals in our catalogue are not suitable for 3D photos as there is not enough depth to accommodate the points cloud.

Why Choose 3D Photo Engraving?,

3D laser engraving in crystal is the way of the future. Your 3D photos are compact, everlasting with no cracking, tears, fading in the sun or blemishes. And with your personal message engraved your gift will be totally unique. This is the best way to preserve and display your favorite photos for future generations.

If you’re looking for an amazing gift to really WOW someone special or a unique way to commemorate a meaningful moment, a custom-engraved crystal from Crystal Photos NZ can turn a treasured photo into a 3D masterpiece that will be the center of everyone's attention for many years

4D Photo Etching - our flagship service  

A 4D image is like a hologram, and shows your subject with a top, bottom front and back. Such an image has a maximum impact, and is ideal for a building, car, motorbike, product, logo or object. 

4D images are created by ‘stitching’ together a series of photo images. Because such image creation takes extra time, prices for these stunning pieces are quoted on a case by case basis.

Learn how to place an order online here, or visit our shop to get started.

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