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In this course, author Nigel French shows how to use textures to create visual interest, heighten realism, and add dimension to Photoshop artwork. The course demonstrates how to apply multiple filters and paint in effects with layer masks, combine textures with images using layer blending modes, use brushes to paint in and accentuate texture, and create brush presets by sampling textures from photographs. The course also shows how to automate the application of textures with actions.
When you want to take your texture and really make it a part of the image then you might consider this technique. It's always difficult to tell which technique is in going to work best, whether it's using layer blending modes or whether it's using this technique of actually taking the texture and using that texture as a layer mask for your image. So there is certain amount of trial and error involved. Here we are using a layer mask; we are not using blending modes. We have a texture and the texture is this and that texture has been taken and applied as a layer mask to this image layer and when we see the whole effect it looks like that.
So we're really making the texture a part of the image layer. It is still completely nondestructive and I can hold down my Shift key and click on that layer mask to disable it. Let's switch back over to our starting point right here where we have the image and we have the texture. I am going to turn the texture on first of all and here's how we make a texture mask, you will need to turn off all other layers that may be interfering with things temporarily.
So all we want to see is that texture that we want to make into the layer mask. When you are done that go to your Channel's panel and hold down your Command key, or your Ctrl key and click on the RGB channel. That's going to load the grayscale values for your image. And if we now go to the layer's panel we can turn that texture layer off and it's to the background layer we that we want to use the texture as a layer mask. I will first of all need to unlock that just by double-clicking on it, and then I can come down here to add the layer mask.
How it looks is going to very much depend upon what are the gray values of your image, if it looks like this it's because the grays are too dark and because they are too dark dogs they are obscuring the image. So what we need to do is work on the Contrast of the layer mask. Now this is not the image itself, this is just the copy of the image used to mask our house picture. So when you clicked on to the layer mask, and you know you run it because you have the four corners around its thumbnail, press Command+L, Ctrl+L to go to levels, and then we need to massively boost the Contrast.
I am going to do that with the black point slider and that's not going to make much difference, it's the white point slider that's going to make all difference, because by introducing more white into the mask we are allowing ourselves to see more of the image, but the image is coming through the texture. So the further I go the more of the image we will see and I am going to stop about there. What we can also do here is put a background color behind it and I'm going to choose a solid color layer and may be we will start out with black and see how that looks, and then I am going to drag that underneath the image layer and that's how a black solid layer will look.
What about if we were to go with a slightly off-white, I think I am going to stick with that. But it's worth mentioning that the layer mask is knocking a hole in the image layer itself and where the layer mask is black we're seeing through the image to whatever is beneath it. Where the layer mask is white we are revealing the image. And because this is by its very nature, so textural when it's applied to the image that's how it's going to look.
The texture layer that we derive the layer mask from is currently turned off and we could actually delete it. It has served its purpose and it's not actually factoring into the appearance of the image in its present state.
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