How To Create a Realistic Money Effect in Photoshop

How To Create a Realistic Money Effect in Photoshop

How’s it going everyone this is Chris from
Spoon Graphics. Welcome to the first of my new video tutorials here on the Spoon Graphics
YouTube channel. So I’ve been writing tutorials on my main
Spoon Graphics website for a number of years, many of which are now buried deep in my archives,
so I thought why not bring some of them back to life as video tutorials, starting with
my most popular tutorial of all time; How To Create a Realistic Money Effect in Photoshop. The effect we’ll be creating mimics the engraved
illustration style often used on money. Now there’s plenty of tutorials online that
show how to create a very basic engraved effect, but it doesn’t look very realistic. The great
thing about this technique I’ve discovered, is it captures the difference in tone of the
image and the lines seem to warp around the contours of the subject. Not quite as much
as an authentic hand crafted engraved illustration, but it does the job nicely. If tutorials aren’t for you then you might
be interested in my ready made Photoshop Action which produces this effect, link to which
will be down in the description below. Otherwise if you’re interested to see how it’s done,
then follow along with this guide. So first of all we need to create a series
of screen overlays that will give the image the appearance of engraved lines. I’m going
to go with a large 2000x2000px canvas to cater for pretty large images. Remember you can
always scale down your elements in Photoshop, but scaling them up will result in a loss
of quality. Create a new layer, then select the Line tool
and make sure it’s set to 1px. Hold the Shift key and draw a line near the top of the canvas. Next, go to Filter>Distort>Wave, then
we need to configure the settings. Enter 10 as the number of generators, 199-200 for the
wavelength, 5-6 for the amplitude the 100% scale. Activate the selection tool again, then hold
ALT+Shift+the Downwards cursor key on your keyboard to produce a series of evenly spaced
wavy lines. This leaves us with a ton of layers, so shift
click down to Layer 1, then press CMD+E to merge them all together. Next, we need to make a repeating swatch from
this pattern, so we’ll use a guide to mark out a identifiable area, like the centre of
a peak. A quick trick is to use a marquee selection to find the exact centre point by
snapping a guide to the centre handle of the transform selection command. Find an identical point elsewhere in the pattern
and drag out another guide. Now we need to
find two identical points vertically, so zoom
in and carefully drag a layer to match up to the pixels of one of the lines, then find
the exact same pixel further down the pattern to outline a square area. Use the shortcut CMD+J or drag this layer
over the New Layer icon to make a duplicate, then double click it to open up the layer
styles, add a stroke then configure it to 1px and align it to the Centre. Duplicate this layer, then open up that stroke
setting and increase it to 2px. Repeat the process again, so duplicate the
layer and increase the stroke, this time to 3px. Repeat it again, this time 4px. Then do this two more times until we get to
a 6px stroke. One important step here is to Raterize the
strokes by selecting all these layers, right clicking and selecting Rasterize Layer Styles.
Otherwise there’s a little glitch I discovered where these tiny portions of the stroked lines
will disappear when the canvas is cropped. Once the layers are rasterized, grab the crop
tool and make sure it snaps perfectly to these guides. Hit enter to crop the canvas to size
to create a repeating pattern swatch. Turn off the visibility of all the layers except
layer 1, including the background to leave the transparency. Next, go to Edit>Define Pattern, and give
it name like Screen Pattern 1. Turn off layer 1 and turn on layer 2, go to
Edit>Define Pattern again but this time call it Screen Pattern 2. Do this again with layer three, naming it
Screen Pattern 3. Then again with Screen Pattern 4… Screen Pattern 5, and finally screen pattern
6. It’s worth giving these patterns a quick test
in a new document, so create a nice big canvas at say 3000px, select the fill tool, change
the mode to Pattern, then select one of the new Screen Patterns and make sure it repeats
seamlessly. With those screen patterns complete we can
now begin with the actual effect. The good news is now we’ve created the patterns they
can be instantly applied to any future images, without having to go through this process
again. I’m going to use this queen image. So first
duplicate the background 6 times by repeatedly pressing CMD+J, then turn off the visibility
of all the layers. Turn layer 1 back on, then go to Image>Adjustments
>Threshold. Enter 80 in the options then hit OK. Turn on the next layer, then go to Image>Adjustments
>Threshold but this time enter 100. Turn on the next layer, go to Image>Adjustments
>Threshold again but this time add on an extra 20 to make it 120. You’ve probably guessed the next step but
Add a Threshold effect to the next layer, this time 140. Next layer is 160, then finally 180. Then
turn off all the layers. Next, go to Image>Canvas Size. Change the
dropdown to Percent then enter 200%. Create a new layer, press CMD+A to Select
All, activate the fill tool and choose Screen Pattern 1 from the dropdown list, then click
to fill this layer with the repeating pattern. Create another new layer, then change the
pattern to Screen PAttern 2 and fill this layer. Repeat the process with Pattern Number 3 on
a new layer. Create and fill a layer for Pattern 4, Pattern
5 and finally pattern 6. Double click on the top layer to change its
name and enter Shadows. Then change the next two to Dark Shading, The following two to Light Shading, then name
the last layer Highlights. Activate the first Dark Shading layer and
press CMD+T to transform. Hold Shift and rotate this layer by 90 degrees so the pattern flows
vertically. Do this again with the next Dark Shading layer. Press Cmd+T and Rotate the Highlights Layer
by 45 degrees. Turn off all layers again, then turn back
on the bottom threshold layer. Go to Select>Color Range, and change the setting to Shadows. Next, select the top screen layer, which is
Shadows, then apply a Layer Mask which will use this selection. Turn on the next threshold layer and go to
Select Color Range again. This time add this selection as a layer mask to the Dark Shading
layer. Repeat the process with the next layer, so
load the color range selection, then apply it to the next dark shading layer. Same again for the Light Shading layers. Then finally the last threshold layer’s selection
is applied as a Layer Mask to the Hightlights layer. Now this is the moment of truth. Delete all
the threshold layers, then turn on all the screen layers. Add a new layer above background
and fill this with white to see the full effect. You can actually make some further adjustments
to the pattern by unlinking all the layers from their layer masks, then press CMD+T and
scale down the screens while holding Shift and ALT to increase the density of the pattern. All you need to do then is crop image to size,
then you can add a Solid Colour Adjustment Layer and choose a dark green. Change this
layer’s blending mode to Color to allow the green to colourize the effect to give it the
appearance of money. If you want to see more tutorials like this
be sure to head over to my spoon graphics website, where there’s loads of written tutorials
to learn Illustrator and Photoshop. Join the mailing list while you’re there to
be the first to hear about new content and to receive my free resources bundle, and don’t
forget to hit the like button and subscribe to the Spoon Graphics YouTube channel if you
enjoyed this video tutorial.

100 thoughts on “How To Create a Realistic Money Effect in Photoshop

  1. Every time I tried using this action a box throws up saying, Could not use the paint bucket because no pattern has been defined. Could somebody please help me resolve this issue 🙂

  2. When I did it my photo was soooo dark. Too many shadows i guess. I will have to try this again with a different image

  3. Hi, loving this tutorial but when I'm on the colour range section the selection isn't being applied to the layer mask, any ideas?

  4. Hey, can you help me please? When I click on Wave it does not show me options like Number of Generators etd. I have photoshop CC2015

  5. Amazing Tutorial! When I do the add the 5 pixel stroke there is no space between the lines. Can you help me?

  6. Join my mailing list at Spoon Graphics if you want to keep up with all my other content. Every subscriber gets a FREE design resources bundle! 📦

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  9. Good video but I really wish people wouldn't put music in the background of tutorial vids. Its distracting, and if you're watching on a laptop (ie with the sound coming through laptop speakers) then it actually gets in the way of hearing the voice over properly.

  10. Whenever I try to make the very first wave line, it disappears as soon as I click OK in the wave box. Someone help!

  11. the moire patterns this technique creates are off the charts, but there are some very good things about as well. There needs to be a solution with no moire, and more of a stippled line.

  12. AT 08,31 MIN. Here is the point I do not understand. Layer 1 to layer1 copy 5 are selected. And what did you do to make a new background or did you deleted these layers? Please, help me out. Thanks, Paul, The Netherlands

  13. Can I get a help here. I'm using photoshop cs6. At the end of tutorial, I'm having a problem with changing the solid color to green. It's only taking effect on gray and white. Thanks!

  14. Love the tutorial, but it is a bit hard to follow along. When doing tutorial I prefer to work along with the video as sort of a step by step process, but you move to quickly between steps. Please slow down to give us time to duplicate the steps, and see what your typing and/or clicking on. You also seem to expect that we know how to do certain steps; such as creating guides and snapping to them. I had to stop and look for another tutorial to see how this is done. I was able to get a great locking picture, but it took a lot of stopping and going back to get it done.

  15. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I'm a student in graphic design and your tutorial helped me tremendously with my project.

  16. Dear Chris, you've helped me enormously with Illustrator. Tour Illustrator tutorials are the very finest.

  17. Good night!
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  18. The effect was having errors with the image I was using the premade pattern and actions with. I have no idea why, but after witnessing it working with a sample image I grabbed from the website of the queen. This worked, so I merged it with the image I was wanting to apply the effect to and then it worked. I would be interested to know why this happens. Hope this helps someone.

  19. i try the method on vector graphics it looks too scattered at the edge, but thx for sharing, really learned a lot in the process!

  20. Really useful thanks so much. One minor suggestion would be, if possible, to slow down a bit. I found myself having to replay sections over and over and zoom in to the screen so that I could actually follow what you were doing and what tools you were using. Appreciate all the hard work.

  21. Great video, but I think I have to slow it down by 400% and watch it 200 more times to follow what you are doing. But thanks

  22. Hey I can't get the filter wave effect in the beginning of the video to work on the line. I am working on a new layer too, not just the background layer

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