Tree Frog Marquetry: FAIL

I thought this critter would look great in marquetry:

Tree frog - on trash can lid
Tree frog – on trash can lid

Posterizing the colors to represent a few shades in my Little Box o’ Veneers simplified the problem:

Tree frog - posterized
Tree frog – posterized

Applying LightBurn’s Trace tool to the various shades produced vector outlines, which I then collected together based on the veneer they should come from:

Tree Frog vector patterns
Tree Frog vector patterns

Which seemed similar to my hand-drawn doodles on a larger image:

Tree frog - sketch vs chipboard
Tree frog – sketch vs chipboard

Before committing to actual veneers, though, I cut the shapes from spraypainted chipboard on a small scale, which showed why this wasn’t going to work:

Tree Frog - auto-trace chipboard
Tree Frog – auto-trace chipboard

It’s facing the other way because I cut the chipboard from the back side, so as to keep the colors reasonably clean and bright.

Contrary to what I initially thought, the automagic tracing routine generates different nodes along a boundary between two colors depending on which side is selected by the color range. Because the nodes (and control points) don’t match exactly, adjacent pieces will have different border shapes and won’t quite match up. The missing pieces at the frog’s rump simply did not fit after the other parts soaked up all the tolerances in between.

So (I think) a better way to do this requires carefully hand-tracing the borders, then using the same path (all the nodes) for adjoining pieces. This mean duplicating the borders for each of the pieces: tedious bookkeeping and layer manipulation.

More study is needed …