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Applying realistic cracks with Craquelure

From: Photoshop for Designers: Textures

Video: Applying realistic cracks with Craquelure

The Craquelure Filter simulates the cracking of paint that we see on old paintings like this detail of the Mona Lisa here and we are going to apply it to this image which is an image from the Thinkstock Photo Library. Here I've applied the Craquelure Filter in differing amounts to the highlights, the mid tones and to the shadows and this, I think, is how to get the most from this filter, because if we just apply the same amount of the filter to the whole image, the cracking that it simulates is just going to look far too uniform.

Applying realistic cracks with Craquelure

The Craquelure Filter simulates the cracking of paint that we see on old paintings like this detail of the Mona Lisa here and we are going to apply it to this image which is an image from the Thinkstock Photo Library. Here I've applied the Craquelure Filter in differing amounts to the highlights, the mid tones and to the shadows and this, I think, is how to get the most from this filter, because if we just apply the same amount of the filter to the whole image, the cracking that it simulates is just going to look far too uniform.

Here is our starting point and our first task is to separate out the image into its Shadows, its Highlights and its Midtones. To do this, I am going to use the Color Range tool. From the Select dropdown, I am going to choose first of all Highlights, click OK, that's going to give me a selection of my highlights. Command+J or Ctrl+J will copy the highlights to a separate layer.

Come back to my Background layer, back to Color Range. This time, I'll choose Midtones, Command+J or Ctrl+J, back to the Background layer, Color Range and this time, Shadows. Okay! So now we've got those three different tonal regions and it's not got absolutely everything, but that's okay, because we would leave the Background layer on behind these three layers.

So now one by one, I am going to convert these layers for smart filters and you can see that I've added a keyboard shortcut for that and that's what I am going to use for the other two. Now I'm going to go to the Filter menu and down to Texture and choose the Craquelure filter. Now in the shadow areas, I want the Crack Spacing to be relatively low so that we actually see more cracks and I want the cracks to be deep in the shadows.

So those are the values I am going to use for the Shadows; 15, 7 and 5. Now I'll come to the Midtones where I am going to hold down my Option or Alt key as I choose Craquelure from the Filter menu. And here I want the Spacing to be a lot bigger, so that we see fewer cracks and the Crack Depth to be not quite so deep. For the Highlights, hold down the Option or Alt key; choose it from the Filter menu and Crack Spacing, a bit bigger still, not as deep as in the Midtones nor as in the Shadows.

Now to refine this and the fact that we have applied these different amounts as Smart Filters to different layers, means that we can go back and adjust the amount and I think on reflection, that's a little bit too much in the Shadows. Now what we can do is working on each of the Filter Masks that come with the Smart Filters, we can paint away some of the uniformity that we are going to get.

So I'll start with the Shadows, choose a nice big paintbrush and I've got a Brush Opacity of 50 and I am just going to tab over some of those regions just to remove or reduce the amount of cracking that we are seeing. I am going to repeat that in the Midtone region. Varying my brush size a bit, possibly varying my Opacity, press 3 to go down to 30% and then repeat the same thing again in the Highlight region.

So what we should now have is a far less uniform result than we would have got from just running the Craquelure filter on one image layer. So the point I'd like you to take away from this movie is not just about the specifics of applying the Craquelure Filter in a convincing way, but more than that this approach of applying varying amounts of a filter to different tonal regions of your image, so that you get a much more customized, more effective result and we see here that's exactly what I've done, I've broken the image out into Shadows, Highlights and Midtones and applied differing amounts of a filter to those different tonal regions.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop for Designers: Textures
Photoshop for Designers: Textures

60 video lessons · 19598 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
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  1. 1m 30s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      28s
  2. 6m 52s
    1. Working with textures
      6m 52s
  3. 30m 19s
    1. Creating a rocklike texture with Clouds
      6m 17s
    2. Improving a flat sky with Difference Clouds
      3m 43s
    3. Creating a grunge effect with Fibers
      11m 30s
    4. Applying a texture channel with Lighting Effects
      4m 22s
    5. Adding an effect and blending with Lens Flare
      4m 27s
  4. 15m 20s
    1. Applying textures with Texturizer
      6m 8s
    2. Applying realistic cracks with Craquelure
      5m 11s
    3. Preparing an image for a stained glass effect
      4m 1s
  5. 30m 48s
    1. Adding noise to an overlay layer
      1m 33s
    2. Adding film grain
      6m 5s
    3. Painting with grain
      4m 10s
    4. Adding grain to a Camera Raw image
      2m 21s
    5. Matching grain when cloning
      5m 32s
    6. Accentuating texture with Speckle grain
      3m 4s
    7. Creating a split-toning effect with Stippled grain
      4m 20s
    8. Beyond the Mezzotint filter
      3m 43s
  6. 18m 5s
    1. Creating deckled edges and sepia tone
      8m 6s
    2. Adding water stains
      5m 41s
    3. Adding cracks
      4m 18s
  7. 38m 16s
    1. Blending textures with Soft Light
      4m 15s
    2. Blending textures with Hard Light
      54s
    3. Blending groups
      3m 59s
    4. Blending textures with layer masks
      3m 49s
    5. Creating an antique poster
      5m 59s
    6. Blending mode sandwich
      4m 34s
    7. Blending texture from a pattern fill
      4m 9s
    8. Applying texture to an uneven surface
      10m 37s
  8. 42m 43s
    1. Creating a watercolor effect
      5m 30s
    2. Painting on canvas
      9m 57s
    3. Creating a rubber stamp
      8m 42s
    4. Converting a photograph to a drawing with Find Edges
      2m 58s
    5. Combining a black-and-white halftone with color images
      5m 6s
    6. Creating a textured duotone effect with Conté Crayon
      2m 33s
    7. Creating an abstract image with Mosaic
      6m 2s
    8. Creating a reticulation effect
      1m 55s
  9. 59m 11s
    1. Finding and installing brushes
      2m 19s
    2. Creating a shatter effect
      3m 58s
    3. Creating a smoke brush
      3m 50s
    4. Combining Photoshop with Illustrator to create a sample brush
      9m 56s
    5. Creating coffee rings
      4m 13s
    6. Creating a Bokeh texture
      9m 50s
    7. Creating corner brushes
      4m 24s
    8. Sampling a brush stroke
      3m 3s
    9. Creating a rust jewel brush
      5m 43s
    10. Building density with brush settings
      6m 45s
    11. Painting with the Mixer Brush
      5m 10s
  10. 17m 30s
    1. Adding texture to type using clipping masks
      2m 25s
    2. Applying texture to type with layer effects
      2m 53s
    3. Applying texture to type using a layer mask
      5m 33s
    4. Painting with a texture brush
      4m 31s
    5. Blending type into background texture
      2m 8s
  11. 17m 55s
    1. Using the texture actions set
      3m 12s
    2. Editing an action
      3m 18s
    3. Creating your own texture action
      5m 14s
    4. Finding, downloading, and installing actions
      3m 2s
    5. Applying texture styles
      3m 9s
  12. 20s
    1. Goodbye
      20s

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