After the find edges filter, you might try Image>Desaturate and then loading a selection (Ctrl or Command click on one of the channel thumbnails in the channels panel) from one
of the channels (red,green or blue) or loading the luminosity by Ctrl (Command) clicking on the RGB composite channel.
You might have to use Select>Refine Edge to tweak the resulting selection or save the selection as a channel and use Image>Adjustments>Levels on the channel
Please don't ask Adobe to bring back their old extract plug-in.
Have you tried playing with the quick selection tool and refining its selection.
Joe, what sort of file does the laser cutter need? I thought they used vector line drawings saved as .DWG files from the likes of Autocad.
We are having to guess to some exctent without seeing the images, butIf you just need lines, then you could turn to black and white with Threshold > Ctrl (Cmd) click the resultiung layer, and stroke the selection on another layer. That would give you perfect lines.
If threshold produces jaggie edges, then add some blur - amount depending how much fine detail you have - and reharden with levels or Curves applied directly to the layer.
But the bottom line is knowing what the laser cutter needs. I guess you could take the resulting outline to Illustrator, Trace, and save as a vector file.
Just found this link
Which clear says the cutter needs vector file format, but gives some good guidelines on how to produce them
Thanks for the suggestions all, I've tried a couple of them (and have experimented extensively with quick selection and refining) but still not quite there. Most laser cutters actually accept a wide array of file formats both raster and vector. I've tried sending the below file as a raster and the output is not what I'm looking for. It would be fantastic to find a way to create a relatively simple vector out of this (again created using find edges) - image trace either gives me far too many paths (as in tens of thousands - waaay too many for the laser cutter) and/or distorts the imagery. I know it's abstract to begin with - it's (clearly) an art project, but I'm picky about my abstraction .
You are have a little joke with us. Right? To make things clear, are you hoping to cut the above pattern out, or burn it onto stainless sort of thing? How would you expect the laser to interpret all the grey tones, for instance? It just looks a dreadful mess to me.
Wow we've got an art lover folks! Could we keep the conversation productive please? I may not post a lot here, but I understand forum etiquette, and this is a bit over the line imho. If you don't have something helpful to contribute then just move along.
When I say it is a mess, I mean literally that. Nothing to do with whether it is art. So I ask again. What do you expect a laser cutter to make of the image above? It is full of feathered lines which the the laser cutter will not be able to interpret as either on or off.
The link I posted above suggests that laser cutters can be used with bit map, but still need B&W imagry, and not a full greyscale range. Do you understand that? So at the very least, apply the Threshold filter to your image.