Tutorial: Beginning Level
This quick-start tutorial will have you working with textures right away and to make it really easy to follow along, I’ve decided to give you the files. Two high-resolution original files. One Anemone flower photograph and a Fine Art, grunge texture. Downloads At The End of the Post.
You’ll need the texture, Saffron Fields and the Anemone flower image. Got the files? Great, let’s get started.
Step One: Open both documents in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements
You’ll have this Japanese Anemone image.
And this High-Resolution Texture that I created just for this tutorial. It’s called Saffron Fields.
Step Two: Place the Texture into the Anemone File
This isn’t my favorite method to put a texture into my destination document, but as it’s the most basic way, I’ve decided to start with this. See an alternate way in the next post.
- Select the entire texture with CMD (for MAC) / CNTRL (Windows) + A
- Copy the texture CMD/CNTRL + C
- Select the Anemone file and paste in the texture with CMD/CNTRL + V
You’ll now see the Texture document in the layer above the background layer in the Anemone document. I have purposefully made the Anemone document a little bit smaller than the texture document. Since there is interesting detail along the edges of the texture that we don’t want to lose, we need to scale down the texture layer to fit the document.
Step Two: Resizing the Texture Layer
Again, this is not my favorite way to do this, but let’s start here and later I’ll show you my preferred method.
- Make sure the texture layer is selected in the Layer Panel.
- Open up the Transform tool. You can do this via the menu: Edit>Transform>Scaleor CMD/CNTRL + T.
- The layer will now have a bounding box that extends beyond the document window.You may need to zoom out to see it.
- Grab one of the square handles at the bottom right and drag up to the edge of the document. note: It doesn’t matter with this texture, but if you were resizing an image you would want to constrain the proportions by holding down the shift key when you drag.
- Tip: Make sure that Snap / Document Bounds is selected from the View menu.
- Hit Enter to apply the transformation.
Step Three: Setting the Layer Blend Mode
Let’s set the blend mode. Blend modes determine how the pixels of one layer blend with underlying layers. I’ll go into the details of blend modes in future tutorials. For now, select a blend mode of Multiply. Multiply is usually the first blend mode I try and does work fine with this file. We’ll also leave the opacity at 100%. Feel free to play around with the other Blend Modes and opacity. Note: a lot of them don’t work very well with a white background.
The image should now look like this:
Step Four: Applying a Layer Mask
This actually doesn’t look too bad without a layer mask, but let’s go ahead and add one to play around with.
Click on the New Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the layer panel and a white box will appear to the right of the texture.
What is a layer mask? A layer mask is a non-destructive way to hide or reveal areas of a layer. Here’s the basic idea of how a layer mask works: wherever we put black, it masks the interaction of the layer, revealing more of the layer below. The opacity of the black will determine how much of the selected layer is masked. Think of painting in black as erasing away part of the selected layer—except that unlike erasing, you can edit the mask at any time (thus it’s non-destructive.)
Now that we have a layer mask, we’ll paint away over areas of the flower that we want to reveal more.
- Select the brush tool
- Select a brush that is soft edged (0 hardness) and make it around 200 pixels.
To start out, let’s set the opacity of the brush to around 30%
Make sure your mask is selected—in the layer panel you should see a second set of lines around the rectangle. See the illustration below. Then, just start painting the center of the flower and you’ll see it brighten. You may want to paint away a little on the petals as well. I think in this case, it looks pretty good having some of the texture showing on the flower. This is what my layer mask looked like.
Feel free to play around with the layer mask.
- Try a different brush opacity
- Try a different brush size. The shortcut for enlarging your brush is CMD/CNTRL +]to decrease brush size CMD/CNTRL +[
- If you go too far and want to apply less mask, just switch your color to white and paint over those areas of the mask that you want to diminish.
Here’s what my final image looked like, but feel free to play around. If you got lost or something is confusing, a perfect place to chat is the Facebook page.
Get The Downloads
- This file lives on Dropbox. When you click the Download button, you will be taken to a page to download a zip file. You may need to wait a few seconds for the Download button to appear.
- When you click the download button, the file will start downloading into where ever you’ve set your downloads. This is often into a download folder.
- The file name is: FrenchKiss_QuickStart.zip
- File size is: 7.1 MB
- Unzip the file by double clicking on it. Occasionally, zip files can become corrupt during downloads. If you are getting errors, try to download it again. I recommend the free Stuffit Expander for unzipping files.
Boring but essential copyright info. © Leslie Nicole 2010. You are free to use the flower image for personal use, but please do not reproduce it as your own. You may not reproduce it in any form other than personal sharing. The texture is free to use in your personal and commercial work and no link or credit is required (although it’s always appreciated.) You may not share it or resell it as is or claim it to be your own. Enjoy!