Load Test Pattern Tab
The second tab, “Load Test Pattern”, allows BCL to analyze the 16 GS ‘color’ shades on the actual wood material itself, via a photo.
It’s this second step in the laser tool calibration process that gives BCL the ability to engrave with excellent results (use light colored hard woods to get best results). BCL analyzes each one of the 16 squares and calculates a shading color value. These color values get stored in the laser tool parameters on disk.
- Load Photo of Test Pattern. I use my smart phone camera to take a photo of the GS burn pattern, then plug a USB cable into the phone. I can then open file manager on my PC and access the photos on my phone and select the pattern photo to load into BCL (as shown below).
- Press the Selection Button and Select the Test Pattern. To engage the cyan dotted lines, click the selection icon (with the mouse pointer) to activate it and then click in the upper left corner of the pattern and hold the mouse down while dragging down to the lower right corner. Release the mouse.
The horizontal GS squares will fill in with the analyzed shade color values (directly above the photo itself).
- Once you’ve reached this step, you’re ready to move on to the next tab.
The photo below is a piece of Ash hard wood. Notice the horizontal ‘dark bands’ of color. This is what I call ‘marbling’ in the grain.
When the laser burns over that dark marbling, the shading goes very dark. Darker than it should. This will make it very difficult to get a correct pattern burn and thus be able to set the correct shading colors.
In summary: woods with this kind of dark banding or dark marbling, do not make good engraving candidates.