Engraved Barak Obama

Copperplate Engraving.  A style done entirely using photoshop!  This portrait of Barack Obama is print size A3 poster at 300dpi.

Sometimes called Banknote engraving, this most distinctive of all the traditional and labour-intensive print crafts is virtually extinct today.  I wondered if it might be possible to digitally re-create the parallel lines, so I began with a lot of  false starts exploring the usual engraving plugins, I dismissed those yet achieved the authentic appeal and 'look' by using photoshop's Liquidize filter, dragging contour lines over a template of Obama's image.  Here's a close-up -


I believe it now possible to have this particular 'Copperplate' style for the premium end of packaging design.

My poster is available as a signed, limited-edition print.

15 comments:

  1. do you have a tutorial on how to make this??

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  2. I don't have a tutorial for reproducing this copperplate technique, as i say in the post - it was achieved by trial error using the 'liquidize' filter in photoshop. I very almost gave up on it but slowly all the experiments began to make sense and couldn't begin to explain it as that would be even more excruciating. Sorry.

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  3. How did you make the lines to start with?

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    1. I started by making very basic stripes constructed by first using the Line-tool set as Vecter-shape with weight set at 20px, then i dragged out the first line onto a new file with Grid view set at 20px spacing, and 'Snap to grid' selected.

      Then copy\paste your line so it snaps to grid at 20px from original line.

      Repeat until you have as many evenly spaced stripes as you think you may need, 30 or 50 lines should be plenty for selecting them all and saving as a custom shape by Edit >Define Custom Shape.

      Now you have stripes saved as a 'custom shape' you can now drag your custom shape over an image-template layer. The next stage is the Liquidize filter.. is quite tricky to build up the copperplate engraved effect.

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    2. Thanks! I've tried quite a bit and I am suprisingly happy with the effect, even though i don't got your skills (yet ;-). Really awsome! Thanks for sharing

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  4. Too bad you wasted your efforts on such a loser subject. The logical side of your brain is obviously missing. Next subject? Lenin?

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  5. Replies
    1. Good question Stephen,
      Guess the best answer i can give you is - How long is a piece of string?
      Seriously my absolute flat fee would be in excess of 400 buckies and half up front. Am flexible to any deal you wish to pitch.

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  6. the liquify filter only shows the layer its liquefying. how did you see the pic of obama behind to know where to liquify?

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    1. 1st highlight the layer you want to apply the Liquidize filter.
      Then, from in the Liquidize window, see bottom right to check ''Backdrop'' and choose there whatever layer has your photo-template.

      Hope that's the answer you're looking for and thanks for your question, Ed

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  7. thanks for sharing this, gives me something to practice on and hopefully get better

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