This is what the output from the laser engraver's default duotone conversion looks like right?
That's because the engraver represents grayscale as huge halftone dots by default:
By controlling the duotone conversion manually one can make the best use of the 1200dpi resolution of the engraver (click to zoom into the original to see the full dithering pattern):
Which when viewed from a normal distance (that 1200pixel wide image occupies 1 inch of print area) looks like this:
This is the idealized result, in reality the output will still be a bit pixellated but much better than the default output. Also gray tones may come out the wrong shade of gray (dark tones may look darker (close to black) than intended and light tones lighter (close to white) than intended) but for something simple like the halo around kyubey the approximation should be sufficient. For printing photographic scenery with all shades of gray, equalization of the gray shades (I call it printer equalization ) is required.
I speak from experience: once when I was bored I tried to print photos from the office B&W laser printer: I went on to do my own "gradient test", equalized the black to white gradient to match the screen display, and went on to produce fine art B&W prints from the laser printer
Edited by Joe Bloggs - 1/29/13 at 6:20am