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How to Create a Money Engraving Action: Photoshop in 60 Seconds

This post is part of a series called Learn Photoshop Actions.
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This post is part of a series called Photo Effects.
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Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Welcome to our Photoshop in 60 Seconds series, in which you can learn a Photoshop skill, feature, or technique in just a minute!

In this quick video, I will show you how to create an engraving effect in Adobe Photoshop.

Browse the incredible selection of Engraving Photoshop Actions from GraphicRiver and Envato Elements to apply this effect to your photos in seconds!

Photoshop in 60 Seconds: Engraving Action

Turn your photos into actual currency. Recreate the look of a traditional money engraving effect in Adobe Photoshop. In this quick video, I'll show you how to create a simple wave pattern using the Line Tool (U) and then follow up by creating a Photoshop Action to apply those patterns to your subject.

Follow along with us over on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:

How to Create a Money Engraving Action

Start with the pattern. Open a large New Document at 2000x2000 pixels. Use the Line Tool (U) to create a line at the top of the canvas at 1 pixel. Then go to Filter > Distort > Wave and use the following settings to create a quick wave.

  • Number of Generators: 10
  • Wavelength Min/Max: 199, 200
  • Amplitude Min/Max: 5,6
  • Scale: 100%

Then hold Alt-Shift-Down Arrow to create many wave layers moving downwards. Merge all the wave layers together. Use the Crop Tool (C) to Crop the canvas so that you create one rectangular box with identical wave peaks on both sides.

Create the Money Engraving Pattern in Photoshop

Duplicate the wave layer five times. For each layer, add a thicker Stroke line (1 pixel greater) using the Blending Options, before Rasterizing all the layer styles. Then go to Edit > Define Pattern to save each wave as its own pattern.

Add Thicker Strokes to Each Wave Layer

Open your image. Here I'll be using this Woman Portrait. Create a quick Action Group and Action Set for your effect. Hit the Record button when you're ready to record the next steps. Hold Control-J to Duplicate your photo five times. For each layer, go to Image > Adjustments > Threshold. Start with a low level for the first layer, and then Increase the Threshold for each duplicate by at least 20 pixels more than the last.

Apply Threshold to Your Photo

Apply a Fill of each wave pattern you created earlier to its own New Layer. Rotate a few of the layers for more wave variety. Finally, select your first threshold layer and go to Select > Color Range, changing the main option to Shadows. With the shadows selected, Unhide the Visibility of one of the wave layers and hit the Layer Mask button to create a perfect Mask. Do this for each layer before Deleting the threshold ones.

Remember to hit the Stop button on the Actions palette to save this action for future photos.

Create the Engraving Mask

Here is the final effect.

Money Engraving Effect Black and White

Feel free to add a tint of green for more color variations.

Money Engraving Photo Effect Photoshop Tutorial

5 Photoshop Engraving Actions

Short on time? Apply an instant money engraving effect to your photos by selecting one of the incredible Photoshop Actions available on GraphicRiver. And check out a few of our favorites below!

Engrave Photoshop Actions Kit

Create an awesome money engraved effect in less time with this useful pack of actions. This pack includes seven amazing actions that apply different levels of detail to your photos. Add cool color effects and more with this resourceful download!

Engrave Photoshop Actions Kit

Money Engrave Photoshop Action

Great for any cover design or experimental photo, this action allows you to create a wavy engraving effect fast! Simply hit the Play button on the Actions palette to enjoy your effect in a few short clicks!

Money Engrave Photoshop Action

Engraving Lines Photoshop Action

For more variety in the types of lines you hope to achieve, check out this wonderful Photoshop action. This action has been developed to support multiple versions of Photoshop, so test it out on your photos, no matter your software version.

Engraving Lines Photoshop Action

Engraver Photoshop Action

Transform any photo with just one click! Add beautiful tints to your effect or keep the original colors from the photo for more options. This action pack contains three professional actions with various levels of line weight. Choose from light, medium, and heavy weights to match your unique style.

Engraver Photoshop Action

Engraving Lines Action

Jump back in time with this exquisite Photoshop action. This action creates an insane money engraving effect that rivals the real thing! Enjoy an action with three levels of depth to get the level of detail you desire.

Engraving Lines Action

60 Seconds?!

This is part of a series of quick video tutorials on Envato Tuts+ in which we introduce a range of subjects, all in 60 seconds—just enough to whet your appetite. Let us know in the comments what you thought of this video and what else you'd like to see explained in 60 seconds!

Learn more about how to create Photoshop actions:

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