Join Julieanne Kost for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding a texture to a photo, part of Photoshop CC 2018 Essential Training: Photography.
- [Narrator] Blend modes are a great way to add textures to your image, but if the texture has color in it and you want to apply it selectively to different areas of the image, you might run into problems. In this example, we have two layers in the layers panel the flower layer and the texture layer. I'll select the texture layer and click the eye icon in order to make it visible. If I want to quickly run through the different blend modes, I can tap the v key to make sure that I had the move tool selected and then hold down the shift key and tap the plus key and move down through the different blend modes.
I'll keep moving through them until I find one that I like. In this case, I like overlay but it's a bit too harsh. I think soft light is much better. The problem is is that the texture is being overlayed on the entire image and I would prefer not to see the texture as strong over the flower area. However, if I add a layer mask by clicking on the mask icon at the bottom of the layers panel, tap the B key to select my brush tool, get a larger brush by tapping the right bracket key, I'll tap the X key in order to exchange my foreground and background colors.
If I paint with black in my image area, it's going to hide not only the texture, but also the color from that layer. I'll set my opacity to 100% by tapping the zero key and then paint. It's very obvious that I'm hiding the texture because I'm also losing all of the color from the texture layer. So I'll right click on the layer mask and choose delete layer mask. Instead of using a layer mask, I'm going to use a smart filter in order to add a blur to this layer.
Then I can hide the smart filter with a blur throughout the image where I want to see the texture and just have the blur show up where I want to hide the texture. From the filter menu, I'll choose blur and then Gaussian Blur. I'll choose a blur of about 20. We can see in the preview that it's really blurry in the texture. I'll click okay and then I'm going to fill the smart filter mask with black in order to hide the Gaussian blur so that I can see the texture in my image area.
I'll use the keyboard shortcut option delete to fill with my foreground color. But now we have that texture back. With the brush tool still selected, I'll tap the X key. I'll set the opacity down on my brush, maybe 30% by tapping the three key and then by painting with white in the flower area, I can slowly reveal the blur and therefore hiding the texture but still retaining that color overlay.
I'll get a little bit smaller brush and just hide the texture in some of these other areas where there's detail around the flower. Now you may have noticed that these two layers were smart objects. They're actually RAW files so if I double click and want to edit the content, I'm working with the highest quality possible image. I try to work with RAW files as often as possible, especially when I'm compositing because I often want to go in and change the settings for the individual layers.
I don't really like the cold blue color that it's giving the image. If I double click the edit the contents of the layer, Photoshop opens as a smart object which is a RAW file in camera RAW. I'll make a change to the temperature and click okay and Photoshop will update this information based on that raw data. Likewise, if I double click on the flower layer in order to edit the contents, I can use camera RAW to quickly add a radial filter, darkening down the edges of my image in an off center vignette.
That might be a little too strong so I'll increase the exposure a bit to just decrease the outer area. I'll click okay. Again, Photoshop re-renders from that raw data. If I think that the texture is too strong, I can always return to the texture layer and just decrease the opacity a bit. So the next time you want to add a texture to an image but you don't want the texture to be visible throughout the entire image area, don't try to hide it with a layer mask. Instead, convert the layer into a smart object add a Gaussian blur and then just reveal the blurred area in the areas that you don't want the texture.
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- Tinting and toning techniques
- Using color lookup tables
- Brightening eyes and lightening teeth
- Using the healing brush
- Combining multiple images
- Creating a double-exposure effect
- Creating a panorama in Photoshop
- Creating a soft glow with grain
- Creative blurring effects
- Painting essentials
- Type and layer effects
- Artboard and library essentials
- Quickly exporting images
- Sharing images to social media