Chicken portrait relief

I’ve been working for a while to design a relief from a photo of one of our chickens. Over the break, I managed to get the first modest success! Not done yet, but happy with making progress towards a vision.

Chicken portrait CNC relief rough cut in wood
Chicken portrait

The process is a mix of analog and digital. Starting from a photo, using Affinity Designer, I manually created a depth map: first I traced hard edges as a vector layer, wrote down rough heights at various points on a paper, then roughing out a strongly quantized depth image in Affinity Designer, and finally adding some finishing filters to blend the layers together. Here’s the original photo:

Chickens!
Chickens!