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Engraving Effect in Photoshop

Posted on 22nd June 2018
For this Tutorial, we are going to use the image of any subject you want to apply the effect to. Its better if it has a nice contrast.

1 - In Photoshop, create a “New Document”. Make it 2000 x 2000 Pixels @ 300 Dpi, with a White “Background”. Click on the small button at the bottom of the “Layers Panel” to create a “New Layer”.

2 - Select the “Brush Tool” (B), use a 1 Pixel, hard brush and draw a horizontal line on top of your document, from side to side. Go to Filter > Distort > Wave and use the following values:

3 - Hold Shift + Alt/Option + Down Arrow keys to create many wave layers moving downwards. Select all your “Wave” Layers, right-click on top of their thumbnails and choose “Merge Layers”. Go to View > Show > Grid to get some visual help and maybe drag some “Guides” to mark the spots. The idea is to “Cut” a rectangle that has identical wave peaks on both sides.

4 - To do this, select the “Crop Tool” (C) and make a “Box” that is inside your “Guides”. Once you are happy, hit “Enter” or click the “Checkmark” on the Top Menu. Then, duplicate your “Rectangle” 5 times (Command/Control + J).

5 - Double-click on your duplicate’s thumbnails and apply a “Stroke” Blending Option. For the first one, use a 1 Pixel “Size” and make 1 Pixel increments in the other ones. Once you are done, select all your “Wave” Layers, right-click on top of their thumbnails and choose “Rasterize Layer Styles”.

6 - Make sure that your White Background Layer is not visible by clicking on the small eye icon to the left of their thumbnails. Then, hide all your “Wave” Layers but one and go to Edit > Define Pattern. Name your “Pattern” and click “OK”. Repeat for each “Wave” Layer remembering to “Hide” the other ones. Once you are done, you can save or delete your File.

7 - Open the image you want to apply the “Engraving Effect” to and create 5 copies of it (Command/Control + J). Select the first duplicate and go to Image > Adjustments > Threshold, and use a value of about 40. Repeat this with the rest of your duplicate, increasing your “Threshold Level” by 20 each time (60, 80, 100, 120).

8 - Create 5 “New Layers” on top of everything (use the small button located at the bottom of the “Layers Panel”).

9 - Select the first one and using the “Paint Bucket Tool” (G), select “Pattern” as “Fill” in the Top Menu then, choose one of your newly created patterns to fill all your layer. Repeat this with the rest of your layers using different patterns.

10 - Use “Free Transform” (Command/Control + T) to rotate some of your “Waves” in different angles. You may need to pull one of the sides a bit to make sure you are covering all your image underneath. Try different angles and maybe move a couple of layers a few clicks to the sides or up and down to create different visual effects.

11 - Hide all your Layers except from your first “Threshold Layer” and go to Select > Color Range, change the “Selection” to “Shadows” and click “OK”. Now, un-hide and select one of your “Wave Layers” (with your selection still active) and click on the “Add Layer Mask” button at the bottom of the “Layers Panel” to create a “Mask” of your selection.

12 - Repeat with the rest of your “Wave” and “Threshold” Layers. If you notice that one of the rotated “Wave” Layers is not covering your canvas properly, click on the small chain between the “Image” and “Mask” in the Thumbnail and use “Free Transform” (Command/Control + T) to resize and/or reposition it. Link them back once you are done.

13 - Create a “New Solid Color Fill Layer” (click on the small black and white circular button at the bottom of the “Layers Panel”) and fill it with White (#ffffff). Now, you can turn on all your “Wave Layers” to see the effect. You can delete the “Threshold Layers” if you want or just hide them.

14 - Try different combinations of “Patterns” and add some color using the “Adjustments Panel”. You can add a “Color Balance Adjustment Layer” and play around with the values. Or add another “Color Fill Layer” and change the “Blending Mode” or you can combine different “Adjustment Layers” with different “Blending Modes” too.

by @lornacane

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