Engraver Adobe Photoshop Plugin Updated for Creating Engraving Effects

The artistic medium of engraving goes back a long way, being first employed by artists using wood and then metal to create a wide variety of illustrations. The nineteenth century saw the rise of photoengraving as a way to economically reproduce both photographs and artwork of all kinds, for use in books and magazines. While engraving has now come full circle, being employed almost exclusively by those creating original works by hand, the engraved look remains popular. As with all such effects, you can do the whole thing from scratch in Photoshop. Or you can simply use a plugin and save yourself hours of work by tapping the capabilities of Engraver, from AlphaPlugins.

Engraver has been around for many years and in fact seemed to have fallen off the map, so it's good news that it has now been given a substantial upgrade. As you might imagine, you open an image or photo and then use Engraver to render it using lines and hatches of user-defined width and curvature. Effects can be either straight lines or waves, or employ different kinds of concentric circles and spirals. As well as black and white, you can also pick from a range of color schemes. Simply apply a preset or tweak the parameters and save for future use.

Version 1 of Engraver III notably adds multilayer support, making it possible to create engraving effects employing intersecting patterns. It's possible to experiment with parameters that affect and blend the layers, with results shown in real time. Additional geometric patterns have been added, with the developer claiming that the result is "a unique family of engraving effects not available in any other plugin." One problem with such digital effects is that they're completely even and thus don't reflect the inevitable imperfections of the original effects. The new version adds the welcome ability to randomize such parameters as line noise, roughness, continuity and edges, as well as overall line coverage of the image. Also new is faster processing and an improved interface.

Engraver III works with Mac or Windows Photoshop CS2 through CC 2014 and can be purchased for the modest sum of $25 on the AlphaPlugins site. A trial version is also available for download.