Archive of ‘textures’ category

The 12 days of Christmas 2013 edition – Day 1

Little elves are hard at work at this crazy busy time of year.  Designing, building, wrapping toys.  Double-checking the nice or naughty list.  There’s almost nothing they can’t do.  But sometimes, they are confronted with a very special wish from a child, and they just can’t figure out how to create it.  That’s when they turn to Santa.  After all, Santa is the master Mr. Fix it.  He will build anything you have in mind, or he will fix that object or toy you wish would still work.  Even the most confusing designing puzzle, he’ll sort out.  He may be a cookie and hot cocoa addict, but he has the mind of a genius, and there’s also some magic involved…  Sometimes.

Santa loves his own personal workshop, he likes to sit at his workbench and figure things out.  He likes the smell of sawdust almost as much as the smell of peppermint.  Mrs Claus secretly wishes that sometimes, he would come upon an object he couldn’t fix and that he would give up.  But he never does…  Like that time when her very old hot cocoa machine died, she would have loved to get one of those shiny new programmable one-cup-as-you-wish machine, but no, he fixed the damn thing, again.  Though Mrs Claus certainly loves her man and her vintage (uh-hmm, old ) stuff, she often dreams of new and more modern ways to help her in everyday chores.  

“I will learn to love the skies I’m under”,  some singer said,  she remembers, and that’s what she does.  Even when life in the North Pole is at it’s worse, and when her days are a blur under too much work, she knows the magic is still there.  Not in the shiny new stuff, but in her heart and in the heart of her man.   And in the heart of every single elf and fairy giving their all for the greater good.  That puts a smile on her face, and then she goes back to her kitchen, puts the kettle on the fire, grates some chocolate, whips some cream and life goes on, as happy as it always was…

Sharing with you today three textures grabbed from Santa’s workbench…

Santa's workbench textures

Santa's workbench textures

Santa's workbench textures

If you’re not afraid of a little mess and of a lot of sawdust, enter Santa’s workshop —–> HERE

Texture work – The basics

The basics.

The first thing you have to remember when working with textures, is that the results will vary depending on your photo, the texture you choose, and the blending mode you select.  You have to play with them a couple of times to determine the effect you like best.

First step is to open both your photo and the texture you want in an editing software that allows layering (PS, PSE, Gimp.  But not Lightroom unless you add a plug-in for it, and that’s a whole other story…).

Then you slide the texture over the photo with the move tool or by copypaste.  You will have to adjust it’s size with the Move tool or the Free Transform tool so it fits perfectly your document.

Next you play with different opacity and blending modes on your texture layer.

The most commonly used are Soft light & Overlay, sometimes Vivid light.

Note that Darken and Multiply modes will give you a darker result. And that Lighten and Screen modes a brighter result.

An opacity ranging in the 20 to 35% will give you really subtle texture, if you want to lose part of a disturbing background, go higher.  From 50 to 80% is a safe opacity, unless the texture has very strong details.

Don’t hesitate to duplicate your texture layer (once you’ve removed it from the unwanted areas if you need to do so,  see below…) and vary blending modes.  Let’s say you start with one texture layer in Soft Light mode, add one in Multiply mode to get some stronger texture back.   Adding extra layers and blending them all at a different opacity will get you that custom look you’re after.

 

To remove the texture from some areas of your photo, like a face, three easy ways.

The first and the one I recommend is painting over the texture layer with a soft brush with a color you picked from within the texture itself.  With your texture in Normal mode and at 100% opacity, use the Dropper tool to pick a color from the texture, a mid-range one, not too light, not too dark.  Reduce the opacity of your layer so you can see what is underneath in order to be able to paint over the surface where you want the texture to be smoother.  With a soft brush at a reduced opacity, between 35-60%, paint over the face, skin, or other areas where you want the texture to lose it’s details.  This method is my fave because it allows you to keep the tint of the texture in the painted areas.

Second method is using the Magnetic Lasso tool. Use it to determine the area. Then run a Gaussian Blur Filter to clear the texture from the selected area.  The higher blur value you set, the clearer it gets. So, go for a 250 value.  This is method also allows the skin to retain some of the texture tint, so it looks naturally blended. But it’s a longer process than simply painting.

The third is by creating a layer mask.  Remember that where it’s white the texture shows, where it’s black it doesn’t show.  Paint with a black brush over the layer mask and the texture will be erased from the areas where you painted.  You can adjust the opacity of the brush to fade the texture along the edges of the area.

 

The best way to use textures is to get to know them by playing with them.  Some might be brighter some darker, that’s when your knowledge of blending modes is useful.  Everyone has a different taste, so whether you like strongly textured images or lightly enhanced ones,  the secret is how you will blend them!

Have fun working with your textures!

Free BW actions and free Pastel actions & textures.

If you’re like me you never have enough BW actions.  I need one for every mood I have!  Sometimes I want it dark,  other times light.  So I created this free  BW trio action set.  Three BW actions, slightly tinted,  compatible with PS and PSE.  All files are in the same folder, just select the ones you need.

 

Get your FREE BW trio action set HERE

 

My next freebie is another trio of actions, this one for pastel colored tones.  And not only do you get three actions, you also get three matching textures!  A small set with big potential.  Still compatible with PS and PSE.

 

Get your FREE Pastel set HERE

 

Have fun with your new goodies!

Free Impressions textures sampler set

I’ll be releasing a new set of  Fine Art Textures tomorrow!  New set is called Impressions, and I thought I’d share three textures, that aren’t in the set, but have been designed in the same style.

The new set will include 25 textures and will be sold 35$, on this blog or on the website.

So, use the link at the end of this post and download your three free Impressions texture samples, and enjoy!

 

Grab your free Impressions sampler HERE

Frequently asked question about texture work

Hello everyone!  It’s been a while!  I was on vacation 🙂  And it was good!  Only problem is summer never lasts long enough, back to school is upon us, days are way shorter and the nights are cooler…

I thought I’d post a tutorial about THE question everyone asks: How do you remove the texture from faces or skin and keep the tint?

It’s not that difficult you’ll see.  I use two methods that can erase the texture details but preserve the tones, one is faster,  the other will require a bit more work.  But both will come in handy at times.

Let’s start with the first one.

1. Open both the photo and the texture you want to use in Photoshop (For Elements same steps apply for all this tutorial)

2. Drag the texture (or copy and paste) over your photo,  select it with the rectangular marquee tool, then right click and use Free transform to stretch it so it covers entirely your image.

3. With your texture layer in Normal mode at 100% opacity, use the Dropper tool and select a mid-range colour from your texture, not too light, not too dark.  (This is where it gets a bit tricky, if your texture has very strong colours and a wide range of colours, then the second method maybe better for you.)  Just like in the circle, for this particular texture.

4.  Once done, reduce the opacity of your texture to around 60%, so you can see underneath and still see some texture detail ( still in normal mode).

5. With a big soft brush, at around 40 to 50% opacity,  paint over the areas you want to remove the texture detail, when done this is how it should look (screenshot#5)

6.  Blend your texture in the desired mode now, I used Overlay, you decide what you want.  And adjust your opacity, I went with 80% for this particular texture.  That’s it!  You’re done!

 

For the second method, follow steps 1 to 4, the change will be in how we remove the texture detail.  So at step 5 instead of painting we will use the Magnetic lasso tool and select an area around the face.  Click on your mouse and make your lasso tool follow the edges of the face, click when you have made a full selection, to activate it.  It will look like in step 5 below.

When your selection is active, go to your top menu bar and select Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur  Run a blur at maximum value, 250.  You will loose all details but will keep the colouring.  This method is useful when your texture has a lot of mixed tones and you are not able to select a mid-range colour easily.  Now, blend your texture in your favorite mode and opacity, here Overlay at 80%.  Done!!  Not that hard wasn’t it?

 

So here is the before and after, texture used was “Tiziano” from the Renaissance set.