Adding textures to your work in Photoshop can really add a sense of detail. Depending on the textures and how you use them, they can help make a piece look more realistic, or grungy, or even cartoonish. They can really define a Photoshop piece. So, let's learn how to bring a texture image into Photoshop and use it to help our artwork look better.
First of all you need a few files – if you have your own textures that's great. I am using a couple of concrete textures. We also need some sort of object to add the texture to. I'm just going to use an RSS icon, but feel free to try other things, like text.
Open a new file. I made mine 800px X 600px. The size doesn't matter that much.
Fill the Background layer with a color. I think darker colors look better with the concrete textures we will be using. My color #2c2721.
Create a new layer and name it light spot.
Grab the Gradient Tool. Make it a Radial Gradient and pick a very light gray and a medium gray as your background and foreground colors. Foreground #e1e1e1 Background #898989
Drag from the center of the image almost to the top.
Set the Blending Mode for the layer to Overlay
This gives us a spotlight look.
Texture the Background
Now, we will add a texture to the Background layer. I will be using the second concrete texture from above.
Go to File->Place… and browse to where you saved the second concrete texture from above. Select it and click Place.
The image will come in ready to be resized or moved around. Resize it to cover the whole image/background and hit Enter.
Rename the layer that was created to bg texture.
Right-click the bg texture layer and select Rasterize Layer.
I have found that changing the Layer Blending mode to Multiply works best for texturing. Feel free to experiment with other Blending Modes. Like Overlay, Soft Light, and Hard Light.
Change the bg texture's Layer Blending mode to Multiply and adjust the opacity to about 50%.
What we've got so far.
Next, we will bring in our next item to texturize. I'll be using the RSS icon from above. If you are using text, you don't need to bring anything in – just type out your text.
Go to File->Place… and navigate to where you saved your RSS icon. Select it and click Place.
Resize the image if you need to and hit Enter. Rename the layer icon and right-click the layer and select Rasterize Layer.
Double-click the icon layer to change its Layer Styles. Add a Drop Shadow and change the Angle to 90.
Next, right-click the icon layer and go to Duplicate Layer… rename it reflection and hit OK.
Drag that layer below the icon layer. Double-click the reflection layer to change its Layer Styles and remove the check by Drop Shadow.
With the reflection layer selected. Go to Edit->Transform->Flip Vertically.
Select the Move tool (keyboard shortcut 'v'), hold down the shift key, and drag the reflection down below the other icon.
Now we will add a Layer Mask to make the reflection fade out.
Still on the reflection layer, click the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the layers pallet.
Grab the Gradient tool – Foreground color #626262 Background color #000000.
Start your drag at the top to the reflected icon and drag to the bottom of it.
Create a new layer and name it shadow.
Grab the brush tool(keyboard shortcut 'b') and set the color to black, size to about 65, and Hardness to 0%.
Brush just underneath the main icon. Set the shadow layer's Opacity to about 35%.
Finally – Texture the Icon
Now, we can add a texture to the icon. I will be using the first concrete texture from above.
With the icon layer selected, go to File->Place… and browse to where you saved the first concrete texture, select it and click Place.
Resize the texture if you need to, I just left it the size it came in at – we will get rid of the extra later – hit enter.
Rename the layer icon texture and right-click the layer and select Rasterize Layer.
Change the icon texture layer's Blending Mode to Multiply and set the Opacity to about 50%.
With the icon texture layer selected, hold down the ctrl key and left-click on the icon layer's thumbnail to make it our selection.
Now, hit ctrl+shift+i to invert the selection or go to Select->Inverse.
Make sure the icon texture layer is still selected and hit the delete key on your keyboard. This will get rid of the extra texture image we just brought in.
And there you go – the finished product.
Click to Enlarge
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