Everyday I see great designs around me, but there are times when I have the feeling something is missing from one of them. The simple final touch, as I like to call it.
I’m talking about textures. And in this tutorial I will go through how to create your own!
How to source textures
Lets say, for example, you wanted to create a design with a gold effect. There are many ways you can achieve this effect:
- Use your camera to shoot and scan images of gold surfaces
- Scan a piece of gold foil with a scanner
- Source your texture in a stock imagery library
- Create your own with just Photoshop!
Our vote is for that last one — here’s how you can do it yourself:
Create a gold texture
The most powerful tool to help you creating great textures in Photoshop is the filter feature. It’s easy, and with a few adjustments you can create tons of different and unique textures.
Fire up Photoshop if it isn’t running already. Double click the background layer so that it’s unlocked and we can make modifications to it.
1. The base
Select the foreground color #eddf87 and the background color #7f6623. Then, select Filter > Render > Clouds from the menu. You should end up with something like the image above. This is not very realistic yet, but it’s the first step.
2. The filter gallery
Open the filter gallery from the filter menu. The filter gallery window is split into three parts: on the left you have a preview, in the middle you can choose the filter, and on the right you can make the adjustments for the selected filter.
Select the Brush Strokes group in the middle section, then the Sprayed Strokes filter. You can play around with the settings from this filter to customize your texture. I used a small stroke length of 1 and a spray radius of 25.
But don’t close the filter gallery yet, we aren’t done! The first filter has been applied, but still it doesn’t look quite the way I imagined it. Lets add a second filter.
Do this be clicking on the New Icon on the right bottom side of the filter gallery window. This time we will add a Glass Filter from the Distort group. For my settings, I used:
- Distortion at 18
- Smoothness at 1
- Texture at Frosted
- Scaling at 117%
You don’t have to use these exact settings, but they’re a good place to start off with. It’s best to play a little bit around and find the settings that look best to you. When you are happy with the result hit the OK button.
3. The final adjustments
Ok before we make the final adjustments to our gold texture lets take a look what we have got so far:
Not bad, but the color isn’t as vivid as I imagined it.
Select your gold layer, and press CTRL+J (CMD+J) to duplicate it. In the Layer Palette change the blend mode to Soft Light and lower the Opacity to 70%. The final result should look similar to my image above.
Congratulations! You created your first own texture. How much time did it take? Probably less than 5 minutes, and you can use it in multiple designs.
Create a wood texture
Save your last texture and prepare your self for the next — wood.
1. The base
Press D so that the foreground color and the background color will be reset to the default values, black and white. Most of my textures start with a cloud filter, and this one isn’t different.
Choose Filter > Render > Clouds. The result I got is in the image above, your result may be a little bit different.
2. The first filter
From the menu choose Filter > Blur > Motion Blur. We’ll use an angle of 90 degrees and for the distance, the biggest possible value, which is 999 pixels. Here’s the result:
3. All you need is color
Right now our texture doesn’t look like wood at all — the big issue is color.
Select image > Adjustments > Hue / Saturation, (CTRL+U or CMD+U on Mac). In the dialog make sure that you set the check box Colorize to active. Click:
- Hue at 40
- Saturation at 30
- Lightness at -8
You can use the same settings as those above, or you can start off with them and play around to find your preferred colors.
The texture already looks way better than before, but still it’s not what we imagine as wood texture.
4. A more natural wood
In this step we will give our wood texture a more natural look. From the Filter menu, open Liquify. In this window you find three great tools:
- Twirl Clockwise Tool (C)
- Pucker Tool (S)
- Bloat Tool (B)
Play around with these three tools, don’t follow any specific brush size or think too much about where exactly to use the brush. Try to get rid of the straight lines that the motion blur filter created in the beginning. Once you are happy, press OK.
5. Let the magic happen
Now comes the magic. Open the Filter Gallery from the Filter Menu. What we’re looking for is the Grain Filter, found in the group Texture.
- Use an intensity around 4
- The contrast at 0
- Grain type should be changed to vertical
The image above should give you already an idea what will happen when we press ok.
And this is the result we get! Pretty nice, isn’t it?
Use these two examples just as a start. Then use the techniques you learned in them to create your own textures! They can be created really quickly and can be used in all sorts of designs for enhanced realism.