Join Steve Caplin for an in-depth discussion in this video Completing the texture, part of Creating a Hallway Scene with Photoshop.
Now that we've made the basis of the wood texture by adding a wave distortion to the Noise, Clouds and Motion Blur we used earlier, let's go on to add the human touch by applying some distortions directly to the surface. And we're going to do that using Filter > Liquify. Now what the liquefy filter allows us to do is to Smear, Smudge, Pinch, and Pull the image in a variety of ways. We're going to start by using the Twirl tool, and that's the third one down, to twist some of these straight lines into more organic shapes. We could make the size of our brush larger, either by dragging on here or by using the Square bracket keys.
And the Square bracket key, as you can see I'm holding it down now and it's quite a slow process. If we hold down the Shift key as well, we can use the Right bracket and the Left bracket to make the brush larger and smaller. So I'm going to drag down here with a few little wiggles. We are going to hold the Alt key to twirl anticlockwise; otherwise, it'll default to twirling clockwise. And I'm putting in some very small movements down here. Just to make a few little variations in this wood. If we find at any point we've made too strong a change, such as this wiggle down here, which is looking unconvincing, you can always go to the second icon. And this is the Restore tool.
And as we paint over it, it'll return it to its original state. Let's now have a look at the Bloat tool, and that's the fifth one down. We can use this to make our knots. And to do so, I'm going to look at some dark areas in this wood. There's one down here. If I can just hold on that, as I drag, it expands that area. Let's do the same with this dark area above, and the small dark area here and one over on the side and one up there. And so, by pulling out these knots by expanding them, we're able to make our wood texture look just a little bit more convincing.
If we go too far on this, well we could revert selectively our document. Or we could switch from the Bloat tool to the Pinch tool and that'll just shrink it down again. It's the opposite of a bloat. So some of these are a little bit too strong. Let's just take them down. And that's looking rather better. But the two of these most often are the Forward Walk tool that it's strangely called. I prefer to think of it as a Smudge tool. Let's reduce the blush size here and we can use this to smear in any direction we like.
I can use it to pull out from these knots. And this is the tool that really creates a more organic looking wood texture. Now this is the kind of thing that you could tinker with endlessly, and in fact I have tinkered with it tremendously from time to time. It's enjoyable to play around with, and you can keep on playing until you get a texture that you think looks convincing and is good enough for your purposes. That will do for now. So we'll say okay and return to our main Photoshop document. Now it is all looking a little bit washed out to me so I'm going to strengthen this wood texture by first duplicating the layer, and now I'm going to Desaturate this copy.
And we can do that with Image Adjustments > Desaturate and that knocks all the color out of it. When I change the mode of this desaturated copy from Normal to a Hard light, we can see through it to the wood below, and it strengthens that up. In Hard light mode, we lose the mid tone gray but we keep the highlights and the shadows. So there's our original wood. And there's the strengthen version. That may be a bit too strong so let's take the opacity of this hard line layer down a bit. And there round about 55% that looks good to me. And then to make the effect slightly stronger by using Free Transform to stretch this copy very slowly, and that's going to blur the effect a bit but produce a slightly more convincing wood texture.
And finally, I'll merge this down til we have just one there. Making wood is one of the trickier textures to get right in Photoshop, largely because of the often unpredictable nature of the wave filter. With little trial and error, anyone can make a convincing wood texture.
- Working with wood
- Color correction with the Curves adjustment
- Drawing wallpaper
- Creating a window
- Adding a lamp and switch
- Working with light and shade