Interlaced Scanline Effect

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Interlaced Scanline Effects(With & without using a native Photoshop filter: Halftone Pattern.)

Creating 'Scanlines' from scratch; not using a filter.
The following method of creating the scanline effect allows us more control over the thickness of the lines. Which in turn can produce more variations of the look when applied to our images.

I don't think any sample images are needed to explain this method. It really is very easy to visualize and understand.

Method 1: Creating the effect from scratch, without using a filter. (more variation)

Method 2: Using a stock Photoshop filter
This won't take very long to explain either, it's quite easy to learn.

Step 1 - Create a simple 1x2 pixel line pattern
Create a New Document that's 1x1 pixels in size. White Background, RGB, and 72dpi.

Step 2
Press Ctrl+0 (zero) to make the image 'fit the screen'. Since it's only 1 pixel square, Photoshop will simply zoom into the image using the maximum amount. You should see just a white square. Now switch your Background color to black. Then under the Edit menu choose Canvas Size.... Change the height of the canvas to 2 pixels, and click OK to apply the change. What you should now see is a white pixel above a black pixel.

Step 3
Now press Ctrl+A to select All. Under the Edit menu choose Define Pattern. For the sake of a test, create a New Document (Ctrl+N) and make it around 300x300 pixels with a white background. Then create a New Layer in the document. Under the Edit menu choose Fill..., then within the 'Contents' menu in the Fill options window, change the option to 'Pattern' and click OK to apply. Now you should be seeing a thin horizontal striped pattern fill the canvas. If there were some content on the Background layer or other colored layers below the striped one, you would set the striped layer to Multiply to produce the scanline effect over top of the layers below it.

Step 4 - Increasing line thickness
If you wanted to create a pattern where one of the lines is twice as thick as the other is, all you'd have to do is increase the canvas's height to 3 pixels instead of 2 (step 2). And if you wanted to create a line pattern where both the white and black lines are 2 pixels thick, just start off by creating a 1x2 pixel image (1 pixel wide / 2 pixels high). Then, as in step 2, expand the canvas but instead make the height 4 pixels. That will add 2 black pixels below the 2 white ones you started with, making a 2 pixel thick stripe pattern. Try it!

  1. Don't forget, you can also just fill a specific selected area with the scanlines; instead of the whole layer. Or, you could fill the whole layer, and then 'clip' that layer to a 'clipping path' (masking shape) created on a layer below it. Or, you could fill the whole layer with the scanlines, and use a 'Layer Mask' to block-out specific areas of the lines.
  2. Try setting the 'scanline' layer to Screen mode if you want the white lines to create the effect. It has a different look than using the black lines.
  3. Try applying one of the artistic filters to the scanline pattern, using some low settings to create a subtle texture in the effect.
  4. Add a Layer Mask to the scanline layer that uses a 'White to Black' Linear gradient as the mask. That will create an effect whereby the scanlines will fade out at some point over the image. If you used a 'White to Black' Radial gradient for the layer mask, the scanlines would fade near the outer edges of your image. If you applied the 'Clouds' filter to the layer mask, then you'd have more of a 'gritty', hitech look.
  5. You can also use other colors for your lines besides white & black. That can produce another type of look or style to the effect; which might be more suited to a specific design.

This ends method 1.

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Copyright © Mark Anthony Larmand

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