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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.
To get this look of painting on canvas I am building up the effect using various different layers, using much the same approach as you might use if you were really painting. And I have to confess at this point that I am not a painter so if some of the terminology I use referring to painting is a little bit off then please forgive me. But let me break down the end result for you, I'm beginning with a canvas this has been applied using the Texturizer filter. On top of this I have one layer that is the under painting and just a very sort of sketchy like version of the image and, by the way, the photograph without any filters applied looks like this.
On top of that I have then applied a filter with the diffuse glow to bring out some of the highlights and generally make the image a bit warmer on top of that I am bringing back some of the detail using a dry brush. I've then added to a border and I am using a mixer brush in order to do this and then to just lighten things up a bit I have added a tone curve and to finish the whole thing off because in doing this thing's got a little bit blurry, I have sharpen the whole thing and that also helps accentuate the texture that's behind the image.
And one last thing I didn't mention was that we have here a layer mask on the group, if I turn on that top layer we can see it. In this layer mask which is actually the canvas texture we are compounding the whole textural effect. So let's start from scratch. Here we are with the photograph; I am going to unlock that background layer. Now I am going to increase the canvas size and I am going to add 100 pixels to both the Width and Height.
And now I am going to create a new layer beneath that, hold down the Command key, click on Create new layer, filled out with white, Command and my Backspace Delete key with white as my background color. Then I am going to convert that for Smart Filters and I'm doing that just so that I can keep track of exactly how much of the filter has been applied and then back to the Filter menu and down to Texture>Texturizer where I'm going to choose Canvas as my texture, Scaling of 100 %, Relief for 4, Light coming in from the top.
Now to my image and I am going to name my layers here, I call this one underpainting and I am going to convert this for Smart Filters and then return to my Filter menu and come down to my Artistic group and underpainting. Now here we get the chance to also apply the canvas, we got the usual four basic textures that we can apply here and I am going to use the Canvas texture again, I am going to keep the same Scaling, same Relief.
And I am going to make this a bit more impressionistic by increasing the brush size, Texture Coverage I will leave as is. Now I'm going to duplicate that layer Command+J and on the duplicate I am going to throw away the underpainting filter and let's rename that, this is one is going to be a diffuse glow and I am going to come down to the Distort Group>Diffuse Glow.
Now when I do this the Diffuse Glow filter uses the background color to accentuate your highlights and I wasn't paying attention but I got lucky because my background color is white and that's what I want it to be. So I think I am just going to tone that down a little bit. Now on top of this copy this layer again Command+J and I throw away the Diffuse Glow filter and we will rename this one dry brush and then that's exactly what we will add to it, Filter>Artistic>Dry Brush and here is where we actually bring back the detail that we lost with the underpainting and I am going to make my brush size small so that I retain much detail as I can here.
Now in order to blend these layers together I need to change my Blend modes, currently they are little bit normal, 100%. So starting with the dry brush I am going to change that one to Soft Light. Now if we go down to Diffuse Glow and change this one to Color Dodge but then drastically reduce the Opacity on that. We have got the underpainting and we have to glow and then on top of that restoring some of the detail we have the dry brush.
Now in doing all of that it's made my shadows a little bit too dark. So I am going to now compensate for that by coming to my Curves adjustment layer and use my target to the adjustment, come and find where the deep shadows are, but from this point here I am going to click and drag up on the curve. Okay I like that except that it's making my sky too bright, so I am going to then come and use my Gradient tool, I have foreground to Transparent Gradient, black is my foreground color I am just going to drag down from the top to restore the color to the sky, I am going to do that a view times.
So I built up a layer mask on there, it looks like that and overrule this adjustment layer is having that effect, just brightening things up a bit up at the bottom. So I am now going to create my border using a combination of the Mixture Brush tool, a particular Bristle Brush, I'm using this one Flat Blunt Short Stiff, if you don't see them listed with their names next of them you can come to this flyout menu here and change it to small list or large list.
I am also using a tablet and stylus which is why I have my brush an angle like this, I have this z-axis which if you are using a mouse or track pad you will still see this daunting bristle brush disturbingly reminiscent off the daunting paperclip in Microsoft Word but this does indicate the angle of the brush when using the tablet. I need to make sure that my Mixture Brush settings are correct for what I want to do, this option here which is to load the brush off to each stroke should not be turned on i.e. it should not be grey, it should be unselected.
I am using this preset very wet light mix and that's going to set these values to how they currently are and I want to Sample All layers turned on. And now what I am going to is just paint the corner out into the canvas and because I'm not loading the brush I'm just using the paint that's already on the canvas. Having made the border, I am now going to select all of these layers with the exception of the background and I am going to put them in a group, Command+G or Ctrl+G.And then I am going to turn that group off, leaving me just with the canvas layer, there is the background, I am going to come to my Channel's panel, Command+Click, or Ctrl+Click on the RGB channel.
Because it's so light its going to look like it has made the selection of the whole canvas but it's just loading the gray values of that. And then turning on the group itself I am going to add that as a layer mask to the group. Now that's a very subtle change I am not sure that it's going to carryover on the video, but if I zoom in we can really see that the texture is worked in to the paint and that's a result of that layer mask. Now if I turn this off we will disable it by holding down the Shift key and clicking on it and there is the before and there is the after.
And then one final finishing touch and that is that it's not quite as sharp as I would like it to be, so I'm going to stamp a layer i.e. collapse everything into one layer at the top of my layer stack and then apply Sharpening filter to that. Keyboard shortcut for this useful one to memorize is Command+Option+Shift+E you can also do it from the menus this way come to layers panel menu, come down to the Merge Visible and as you choose hold down the Option or Alt key.
That's going to make sure that you don't collapse all of your layers into it but you retain your original layers underneath it. And then I am going to come to Sharpen> Smart Sharpen and I am going to use an amount of 150 and a Radius of 1.If we look at that 100% view and then Command+Z there is the before the sharpening and there is after the sharpening. It was a long and winding road but we got there in the end.
We will have underpainting diffuse glow dry brush all blended into each other all sitting on top of the canvas, that canvas further blended into the overall result by applying as a layer mask, some tonal adjustment and custom painted border and then the whole result sharpened on this top layer.
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