I found this Image on an obscure YouTube channel and since then I've had a hard time trying to recreate this effect . I would like it to know what's the key to achieve that lighting using photoshop , and that grunge lines texture too if possible . thanks alot in advance :)

enter image description here

  • 3
    Are you sure they're done in an image editor? They all look like drawings [outer two specifically engravings].
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 15, 2021 at 15:22
  • True , they are most certainly drawings and that way they have more control over lighting than trying to achieve that in editing a photo . however, what I wanted to learn is how to do hard lighting shadows like that using the curve tool mybe or any other tool . About the texture I think I may have a chance achieving somehow similar effect following Thetexturelabs tutorial on YouTube.
    – Yassine
    Nov 15, 2021 at 16:52
  • The brownish colors are easy to achieve, but I suspect it's the engraved effect which makes you like this. The hard shadows are kind of part of the drawing and not something you can "apply" to any image. It's not easily achieved digitally I'm afraid. You can try searching this site for engrav* (to get both hits for "engraving" and "engraved") and see if there is something you can use.
    – Wolff
    Nov 15, 2021 at 17:03
  • Are you looking for something to create an engraving from a photograph? If so, you might want to have a look at this action: blog.spoongraphics.co.uk/freebies/… - I have no affiliation with this site.
    – Billy Kerr
    Nov 15, 2021 at 17:06
  • 1
    Welcome to GD.SE!
    – Mensch
    Nov 15, 2021 at 18:29

2 Answers 2


This is more basic experimentation than anything....

It's possible to start with a photo and remove color (desaturate) and boost contrast (levels) then use a number of different filters to achieve the engraving appearance.

This sample uses Flaming Pear's India Ink filter (no affiliation). And uses a few variations for that filter in the hand and for the background (which start as gradients).

enter image description here

The filter creates the hatching, then it's up to you to manually create more or less contrast where desired.

Then it's just a matter of creating a layer stack to achieve the appearance you want...

enter image description here

  • thank you for this detailed comment ! I will def use this reference since it look almost identical to what I wanna achieve !
    – Yassine
    Nov 15, 2021 at 21:38

They are manipulated photos, I guess. The version in the middle looks tricky to be made only with effects, without drawing manually the parts which look simplified bones. Versions in the left and in the right use half-toning. There's plenty of noise inserted. To start one needs a photo where the limb is about 1000 px long to get enough resolution. The image must have high contrast and deep shadows. In the left the image of the hand is inverted to get deep shadows to an image which obviously has only bright and midtone areas. Inversion turns bright areas dark and vice versa. Deep shadows could also be drawn manually.

A comment suggests that the images are carved or they are drawings. I do not believe it. A competent engraver or draughtsman would not use straight lines, he would make curves which follow the surface forms like they were on a 3D surface - Its totally different than those curves which are made by fake engraving scripts or filters. The subject is discussed here: Create engraving in GIMP/Inkscape

You want to use Photoshop. You do not need any 3rd party add-on if you accept straight lines. You can get easily something like this;

enter image description here

I made it brown because in my low quality screen your examples seem nearly black, no matter they are actually dark red in the darkest places.

I do not have a high contrast image of any limb. I captured one from an advertisement. It's a pedicure shop an I should in theory say where I borrowed it, but I see it's better to stay silent because I had to convert the image to black&white and insert contrast to get some deep enough dark areas without painting them. I guess the pedicure shop doesn't want his name to be shown with this:

enter image description here

The background is also removed. It was easy before applying Image > Adjustments > Black & white and increasing the contrast with the curves because the original image had clean color borders and low noise.

After you have he limb as colorless, with high contrast, deep shadows and the background removed duplicate the layer duplicate the layer and insert a new layer filled with pure white:

enter image description here

Merge the white layer and the duplicate. You will need later the version with transparent background, so keep that layer!

Open 2 new images with the exactly same pixel dimensions as the limb image. Move (or cut&paste) the limb with white background to one of the new images and fill the other with grey. Convert both new images to grayscale mode (=Image > Mode > Grayscale):

enter image description here

Change the mode of the new grayscale images to Bitmap. Select bitmap principle "Halftone screen". Select preset bitmap pattern "Lines", set line density about 20 lines per inch (=assuming you have about 1000 pixels wide image with resolution 72 pixels per inch).

The line densities must be sparse enough to prevent interfering with the screen pixels. Line direction angles should be different for good visibility. My versions have +45 degrees and -45 degrees:

enter image description here

The images with halftone screen contain only full black and full white pixels, but they can be copied and pasted to the original RGB image for colorization. Do it. The bitmap line pattern limb should be the new top layer and the grey one should be just below it. The originals should be in the bottom:

enter image description here

You must remove the white from the top layer around the limb but keep the white in the limb area. Make a selection by holding the Ctrl key and clicking in the layers panel the layer icon of the limb with no backround.

Invert the selection and delete the white in the bitmap limb layer. As well you could simply insert a layer mask just after making the selection. I deleted the white:

enter image description here

To experiment easily and without losing the line pattern layers due an accident duplicate them, merge the duplicates and add some noise (=Filter > Noise > Add noise > Gaussian monochrome 20%). By applying Image > Adjust > Treshold you can adjust the roughness caused by noise:

enter image description here

To be serious an adjustment layer should be used for this. I hit Cancel and inserted a Treshold adjustment layer. I inserted also adjustment layers "Curves" and "Hue&Saturation" for colorizing. Black and white do not take color, the contrast should be dropped with curves. Black and white become grey. Hue&Saturation layer in colorize mode gives the color to the grey:

enter image description here

For more complex coloring you can insert a new top layer with blending mode color and fill it with a painted or gradient color fill. The hue&saturation layer is in that case not needed. But the curves layer is a must, because black and white do not take color. I skip it.

Finally I inserted a new layer (=Frame) just above the merged layer. It has blending mode Multiply. It has only black and white. The edge is a black frame and in the middle there's a white area which makes a window when the blending mode is Multiply. The frame layer has got some blur, noise and tresholding to keep it pure B&W but have some roughness:

enter image description here

This used destructive effects. Avoiding them and using as much as possible layer styles, adjustment layers and smart filters would be a step towards more pro-like workflow. But that's another subject.

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