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Speedy Photoshop Texture Tutorials!

Learn how to use Adobe Photoshop to create cool textured pictures

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There are plenty of great Photoshop texture tutorials around that walk you through all sorts of cool tricks. Using textures in Photoshop allows you to create striking artistic effects and play around with the style and mood of photos.

My aim with this tutorial is to show you how to speedily have fun with textures and make great edits in quick time! So I'll show you how to use Adobe Photoshop to blend textures into images and fine tune the results.

I think this is one of the best Photoshop tutorials because the benefit to effort ratio is really good! Quick and simple steps for stunning results! So let's get started.


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First up, open the photo you will be working on and any textures you plan to use in the main Editor workspace of Photoshop.

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Click on the 'maximize' square icon in the top right hand corner of your images to reduce their size so they are all visible.

Choose the texture you would first like to apply to the photograph and click on it so it is selected. In the 'Select' menu click 'All' to bring up the marching ants around the texture.

Hit 'Ctrl + C', click on the photo so that it is selected, then hit 'Ctrl + V' to paste the texture on top of the photo.



Hit 'Ctrl + T' to bring up the free transform handles and drag out the texture so that it fills the entire photo. (This will not be necessary if it is not already the same sized image).



Now for the fun bit of Photoshop texture tutorials. Time to play with the 'blend modes'. In Elements you will find the list of blending options in the drop down menu at the top left of the layers palette. Using these different modes is crucial to lots of Photoshop tips and tricks and it’s really fun!

Just open the menu by clicking the down arrow and play around with different settings. To save you time - try 'overlay', 'hard light' and 'soft light' first. These are almost always the best - at least I find them to be.

photoshop texture tutorials
('Soft light' blending mode)


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Found something that looks cool and enhances the feel of your pic? Great! Now to adjust the opacity. The opacity slider is found adjacent to the blending modes menu in the layers palette of Elements.

Often 100% is a little over the top and causes a texture to dominate. So just use your common sense and find a level of opacity that looks nice.



Now to one of the most important bits of Photoshop texture tutorials: selectively removing the texture from areas where it is not wanted. Often portrait photos look great with a bit of grungy texture going on, but you don’t always want someone's skin to look like old parchment! Luckily there are some simple Adobe Photoshop tricks for dealing with this.

In Photoshop CS, just create a layer mask as usual. For Elements users, select your background layer (the photo) in the layers palette and create a Levels adjustment layer. Make sure the Levels layer sits between your photo and the texture. Hold 'Alt' and click on the line between the Levels layer and the texture in the layers palette to link them.

Now select the brush tool and choose black as your foreground colour. Soften the edge of the brush by holding 'Shift' and tapping the left square bracket, '[', repeatedly. Set the opacity of the brush to about 40%.

Select the Levels layer in the layers palette (this is functioning as a layer mask) and begin carefully moving the brush over the area of the photo that you don't want to be affected by the texture, e.g. someone's skin. It's worth zooming in close whilst doing this!

photoshop texture tutorials
(Texture over red petals deleted.)



So now you know how to use Adobe Photoshop to blend a texture into a photo. But often one texture isn't enough! If you want to play around with additional textures and continue developing the style of your photo, just keep doing more of the same.

Copy and paste a new texture on to the image, making sure it is positioned on top of your first texture in the layers palette. Then repeat the process:

  • Drag texture to size of photo
  • Try out blending modes
  • Adjust opacity slider
  • Selectively delete texture with a layer mask.


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That's basically all there is to it guys - but you can go on fine tuning your picture by applying other Photoshop tips and tricks. Try playing with the tone and intensity of specific textures that have been blended into a photo, if you want to tweak the effect a little bit.

Select a texture in the layers palette and create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. Link this adjustment layer with the texture by 'Alt' clicking on the line between them. Now move the Hue/Saturation sliders to come up with an effect that works.


So that's it! Really simple and quick Photoshop texture tutorials to give pictures a cool new look in rapid time. You now know how to use Adobe Photoshop to create artistic images made up of several different textures. The simple steps above allow you to produce millions of combinations and styles. Have fun!

Here are some more pics I made using the techniques in these Photoshop texture tutorials:


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photoshop texture tutorials
photoshop texture tutorials
photoshop texture tutorials
photoshop texture tutorials
photoshop texture tutorials

I've watched lots of great Photoshop texture tutorials on the free CD's that come with Digital Photo Magazine; worth checking out!


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