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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, updated for CS5, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
In this exercise I am going to show you how to create a kind of paper texture pattern. The idea is that you can create textures out of whole cloth inside of Photoshop. There is a bunch of different ways to do it, this is just one. Most of them rely on filters; you also have some patterns that you can select from if you like. Now there are a couple of different reasons you might want to do this. One is for creative purposes. That's what we'll be doing here in order to simulate the effect of kind of painting. If we take a look at Fly paper.psd here, we're going for this kind of painterly effect.
But you might just as easily be trying to match a level of grain inside of an image or something along those lines. So let's start back here inside of this document that I have open which is Final feelers.psd. This is the final effect that we just got done creating in the previous exercise. It's found inside the 16_smooth folder. I'd like you to take this image, go up to the layer menu and just choose Flatten Image. Let's just go ahead and flatten everything away. So, that this image doesn't become unnecessarily complicated.
That's Ctrl+Shift+Alt+F or Command+Shift+Option+F on the Mac, if you loaded Deke keys. I've given you that keyboard shortcut. So mash your fist F for Flatten. Now we have a flat version of the image, sitting here on the Background layer of the Layers panel. The next thing I want you to do is press Ctrl+Shift+N or Command+Shift+N on the Mac to create a new layer and we'll just call it texture and click OK. Now as I was telling you, we are going to be creating this texture out of whole cloth. That is to say, no painting required no, nothing. What I need you to do is make sure that your default colors are active.
So just go ahead and press D for default, the D key on your keyboard and you will have black for your foreground color and white for your background color. Because the next step is to go up to the Filter menu and choose Render and then choose this guy right there Clouds. Now Clouds ostensibly creates a kind of cloud pattern and it does so incidentally between the foreground and background colors. So if you have black-and-white selected, then you will get black-and-white clouds. If you have some other color selected, you'll have some other color clouds. So I'll go ahead and choose the command. Now, if you look closely at this, it's like, well, yeah, they look kind of like clouds I guess, they don't really look like clouds at all.
It's kind of smoke or some sort of billowy effect. What it really is, is a thing called fractal noise. It's a random noise generator. Every time you choose this command; so if I were to go up to the Filter menu and choose Clouds or press Ctrl+F or Command+F on the Mac, every single time I press Ctrl+F or Command+F on the Mac, I am going to get a different effect. It's a random fractal noise generator. You can even go fairly crazy with it if you want to. By going back to the Filter menu, choosing Render and now choosing Difference Clouds which applies another layer of random fractal noise on top of the first subject to the Difference Blend mode.
You end up getting an effect like this, the first time around something along those lines. Press Ctrl+F or Command+F, you end up lightening things, press Ctrl+F or Command+F, you end up darkening things again. You keep going back and forth. Anyway, I don't have any desire to get an effect like this. You start creating this kind of billowy lava effect that you can ultimately turn into lightening, using arbitrary maps inside the Curves dialog box if you want to. But what we really want is, I'll go up to the Filter menu, choose Render, just standard Clouds is all we want.
Some random application of clouds, it doesn't really matter what. The next thing we want to do is we want to add some regular noise to this layer and I'll do that by going up to the Filter menu and choosing Noise and choosing this command right there, Add Noise. So most of the commands under the Noise submenu. From Despeckle, which gets rid of single pixel anomalies inside your image incidentally, all the way down to Reduce Noise. Those four are devoted to the task of getting rid of noise inside of an image. Add Noise is the only one that allows you to add noise to an image.
So you are adding random color and luminance data. Go ahead and choose the command. I believe this guy is set to 12.5% by default and it's set to Uniform Distribution pattern, Monochromatic is turned off. So you'd be adding a bunch of colorful noise, if I zoom in on this preview right there. Well, we don't want color noise. So I am going to click on Monochromatic so that we get just black-and-white noise. Notice if I select Gaussian for a Gaussian Distribution, then I am going to get more variety in my noise. So there's more likelihood that I'm going to get black-and-white noise out of Gaussian Distribution then Uniform where I am more likely to get gray noise.
Then finally, if you want to change the Amount of noise, you can raise this value and I'm going to raise this to about 20%. Now if you ever trying to match Noise, using the Add Noise filter, sometimes you can get away with doing that. You are trying to match one area of noiseless image to another area of somewhat noisy image. I probably going to go with very low amount value, something like 3% or even 4%. I generally like to keep Monochromatic on, because usually you are trying to match Luminance Noise not Color Noise, but that's up to you. Sometimes you follow it up with a little bit of blurring.
You do this on an independent layer. However, in our case I am going to go ahead and take this value up to 20% Gaussian and Monochromatic, here we go. Click OK. Now we've got a bunch of noise. Let's go ahead and zoom in on this image here, so that we can see the individual pixels of noise. You should know this. Each fleck of noise is just a single pixel in size. So every pixel varies from its neighbor. Thanks to the application; the Add Noise filter. Unfortunately, you can't vary the size of your Noise, which is something you can do it now inside of Camera Raw, just by a way of a little bit of a preview of coming attractions.
We'll discuss Camera Raw in the final chapter of this course. The advanced course of the series. The reason I mention this is, because if you want to grow the Noise, you need to blur it, most likely. That's the best way to work. So go up to the Filter menu, choose Blur and choose Gaussian Blur, which is your primary blur filter inside of Photoshop, very simple filter to use as well. I've given you a keyboard shortcut, if you've loaded Deke keys Shift+F7. So go ahead and choose that command and let's set the Radius value, not to 8 pixels, because that's ludicrous.
Let's go ahead and set it to 2 pixels. So we are just slightly growing out that noise, and then I'll click OK in order to accept that modification. Now you may look at this and you might say, you know what, gee, Deke, this in no way shape or form, even sort of resembles a paper texture pattern. What in a world are we going to do? Well, I'll explain how to transform what we've done so far into a texture and then apply it to our background image in the next exercise.
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