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Tutorial 90: Engraving

Joe Clay | Sep 29, 2017

First, I realized while editing this that I didn't use my Workbench space so the main comp is a little smaller than I'd like, but I've provided a project file, so you can mess around with that.

This is a quick technique using the same method we went over in Tutorial 03: Blobs in order to make an engraving-style effect. I feel like I could've explained it a little better in this tutorial. Basically we set our Venetian Blinds/Lines layer and our image to around 50% opacity. Then we blur that so our lines can have varying thickness—i.e. if dark areas bleed together we'll see thicker lines. Then we use Brightness and Contrast to compress our tonal range to black and white so that overlapping blacks give us lines that vary in thickness according to how much black is in the area. Hopefully that makes sense. If not, there's the project file. Playing around with that should solidify it for you.

These two examples are in the project file. The second uses an additional noise layer—a halftone in this case—to break up the lines a little bit and really mimic an older style engraving.

In case you're wondering, this photo is from, I believe, the Burgert Brother's collection. I downloaded it a bit ago, but almost all images of old Tampa come from them. They photographed Tampa in its early years, and you can't find a larger part of our culture than cigar rolling—except perhaps our Cuban Sandwich. I was going to say a photo of a sandwich might not show off this technique, but it probably does! I might need to make an infographic animation on sandwiches, haha.

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Feel free to download the project file that you can use in your own projects!