Core Skills: Pho­to­shop

This month, Mark White takes a look at how to quickly em­bel­lish your paint­ings with tex­tures, and what they can do for your work

ImagineFX - - Issue 163 August 2018 -

Learn about tex­tures, with Mark White.

Tex­ture is of­ten what blurs the lines be­tween tra­di­tional and dig­i­tal art­work. Of­ten it’s easy to tell the dif­fer­ence be­tween the two if your dig­i­tal art­work doesn’t have any kind of can­vas be­hind it, but by ap­ply­ing your own tex­tures in Pho­to­shop, you can help to give your art­work a lit­tle more re­al­ism.

Here, we’re go­ing to be ap­ply­ing a sim­ple noise and can­vas tex­ture, which will look and feel a bit like pa­per. We’ve cre­ated a sim­ply chalk and char­coal draw­ing to use it on so that we can see it clearly, and it’s go­ing to help add a lit­tle more shape and tone to the im­age. This is why tex­ture is great; with­out some kind of tex­ture be­hind this pic­ture, it looks rather ob­vi­ously dig­i­tally drawn.

It’s not just pa­per tex­tures that you can add to your art­work. You may want the il­lu­sion of a film tex­ture for more re­al­is­tic pieces, or even a wall of some sort for a street art ef­fect in your ur­ban sci-fi com­po­si­tion. There are plenty of pre-made tex­tures on­line that you can insert into your work and change the blend mode of. Okay, let’s see how much of a dif­fer­ence a tex­ture makes…

1 Add noise to be­come the ba­sis of your tex­ture

Start by set­ting your fore­ground and back­ground swatches as black and white by hit­ting D. Cre­ate a new layer then go to Fil­ter> Noise> Add Noise. Choose an amount of 400 per cent, check the Monochro­matic box and make sure you choose Gaus­sian, be­fore you hit OK.

2 Ad­just the Blend mode of the tex­ture

Be­cause we want to blend our noise tex­ture in a lit­tle with the dig­i­tal art­work that’s sit­ting on a layer be­neath it, this is the stage where we’re go­ing to change the Blend mode. Set the Blend mode to Lin­ear Light in this case, and re­duce the Opac­ity to around 40 per cent.

3 Blur the tex­ture layer for a more sub­tle ef­fect

Now we’re go­ing to ap­ply a blur to the noise to just smooth it out a lit­tle. Go to Fil­ter>Blur> Gaus­sian Blur to ap­ply your blur, and choose a ra­dius of around 3-5px be­fore hit­ting OK. You can see in the pre­view dia­log how it will af­fect your work be­fore you ap­ply it.

4 Set up a can­vas tex­ture

Next up we’re go­ing to use a can­vas tex­ture, just to give this im­age a more be­liev­able base. Go to Fil­ter>Fil­ter Gallery and choose Tex­ture, then Tex­tur­izer. Choose a Scal­ing value of 200 per cent and a re­lief set­ting of 10, with light in the im­age com­ing from the top, be­fore you ap­ply.

5 Sharpen and smooth your tex­ture

Fi­nally, du­pli­cate this tex­ture layer and go to Fil­ter> Other>High Pass. Set your value as 5px and click OK, be­fore set­ting the layer to Over­lay. Merge this with the layer below, set to Lin­ear Light again and then go to Fil­ter>Noise>Re­duce Noise to fur­ther smooth out the tex­ture.

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