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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 I first started using Photoshop about 20 years ago now the emphasis seemed to be that we would take a damaged image some sort of historic photo and then using the retouching tools would make it look shiny new. Well, things have come full circle, because now we would have lots of shiny new images that we can take with our digital cameras that don't have any grain that don't have any imperfections and apply various techniques to them to make them look aged and imperfect.
And that's what we are going to do here. Here is our starting point and the first thing that we want to do is increase our canvas size so that we can add the background field of color and the border for the photograph so that the canvas will be added as transparency rather than colored pixels. I am going to unlock the background layer just by double-clicking on it and while I am here I might as well name it as well. So now I am going to come to the Image menu and choose Canvas Size and I have my unit of measurement in pixels. If yours is not, then you can change it right here and I am going to make the Width 1300 pixels and the Height 900.
So I am increasing by 100 pixels on both dimensions. I am going to create a new layer. I want to name this layer and have the layer go behind the existing layer. So I am going to hold down Command and Option or Ctrl+Alt when I click on Create new layer. I will call it background. I will press Shift and my Backspace delete key and for the Contents I will use 50% Gray.
Now I am going to create another layer. I might as well duplicate the one that I have there, Command+J and I am going to come and make the foreground color a light gray with a bit of a yellow tint to it and then double-click on to name and this is going to be my border. Now I need to shrink my border so that we reveal the background and to do that I am going to press Command+A to select all. I am going to come to my Select menu and Transform Selection and I am going to shrink it from the center point so I am holding down the Option or Alt key and press then Return to accept that transformation and now make that selection into a layer mask, like so.
Now that we have the layer mask we can work on that layer mask, we can work on the black and the white pixels to create the illusion of a deckled edge. So I need to actually be on the layer mask itself, and then I am going to the Filter menu and to the Filter Gallery. I am going to apply three filters and since I was practicing before I did this, here they all are lined up. I am going to just delete those so that we start out with Spatter.
You can see it's working on the transition between the black and the white and it's giving us this spattered stroke kind of effect. I am going to dial both of those down to their starting point and then bring up the Spray Radius to like it some sort of transition like that between the black and the white and then to smooth out bring up the Smoothness slider. Now the smoothness is not going to get as smooth as I would like. So in addition to Spatter I am going to use this filter Sumi-e.
Sumi-e is a Japanese brushstroke technique. So I am going to come and click on New Effect layer, place Sumi-e right there. I will turn everything down and the minimum setting there is a Stroke Width of 3. So even with the controls dialed all the way down we can see that it's having an effect nonetheless. And I am just going to increase the Contrast a little bit and experiment with these other sliders, which are not really going to make a whole lot of difference but it is having the effect that we want, because it's smoothing out some of the roughness that we got from this pattern.
Now to give it a bit more definition still I am going to add another filter and this time I am going to use Accented Edges just to give a bit more sharpness to those edges. You might want to start with these dialed all the way down. Edge Width doesn't go any lower than 1, neither does Smoothness. So even with the controls all the way to the left I am still having an effect. It's worth mentioning here that when you apply filters in this way they are applied cumulatively. So this first filter is Spatter, then the Sumi-e, then the Accented Edges and if you apply them in a different order you are going to get a different result.
I am not sure we will see anything here, but yes, if I move the Accented Edges down to the bottom we see different result. Now when I click OK there are my Accented Edges. I would like to apply some layer effects to them just so that we can concentrate on these layer effects. I am going to turn off the photo layer and then click on the border layer. Now I already have a collection of layer effects saved as a layer style and I am just going to apply that. So in my Styles it's the imaginatively titled Style 1.
So when I click on that it applies the Inner Glow, Bevel and Emboss, and the Gradient Overlay, but let's just take a quick took at what those styles are. So we have an Inner Glow, which I have set to Multiply, the default Blending mode is Screen. So we wanted Multiply to make it darker and I have chosen this warm brown color. Then we have a Bevel and Emboss. Really, the only changes I have made here are to reduce the percentage on the Screen and to increase the Size of this a little bit.
Then finally the Gradient Overlay if I turn that off we can see what that's doing. That's just applying a very modest amount of vignetting to the edges of the paper. We also need some layer effects on the photo around its edges to make it look like it belongs on this photo paper and I have another very imaginatively titled Style 2 ready to go for that. So I am going to click on that to apply that and we will just take a look at what we have going on here.
We have some Inner Shadow if I turn that off we can see what that's doing and let's have a look at the values there. So I have increased the size on that a bit. I have changed the color to a warm brown color and the Inner Glow, same color. I have changed the Blend mode to Overlay and if I turn that off we can see what that was also doing. For this step we need to add the sepia toning and that I am going to do with an adjustment layer and I want the Black & White adjustment layer and this is really easy.
All we need to do is click Tint and it's going to give us that sepia tone tint. One slight modification we need to make, and we see that this sepia toning is applied now to everything, including the border and, including the background, which we don't wanted to do. So I am going to just go to my layers and I am going to make sure that I make this Black & White adjustment layer into a clipping mask. Hold down the Option or the Alt key and click on the line between these two layers to do that.
So now it's only applying to the photo itself. If I unclip that you can see before it was changing the color of the background. Now it's just changing the color of the photo. So there is the completion of the first part of this exercise. Next, we are going to add some water stain damage to it.
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