Thursday, May 6, 2010

Adding New Textures to Photoshop and Using Them

There are always instances where a photograph may look good, but not great.  Something is missing, a touch, a feel, or a look that just isn't quite there.  Texturizing your photo is a simple way to add a little effect.  Photoshop gives you several "canned" textures, but they become stale easy.  You may find yourself wanting to add a new texture so I am going to tell you how to do that AND use them!

To add a new texture to your Photoshop collection:
You may have created your own texture or found (with permission of course) an image online that would make the perfect texture!  If you are stumped for an example of what a texture image looks like utilize Google image search for"texture" and you'll see countless examples.
  • Save your image as a Photoshop file (.PSD)  If you download an image that is a .jpeg or other image file form simply open it in photoshop, select 'save as' and then change the file type to Photoshop (.PSD).  
  • Find your Program folder for Adobe Photoshop.  As in C:/Programs/Adobe/Photoshop....  
  • Open the photoshop folder, locate the folder named 'Presets', and open it.
  • In the Presets folder locate 'Textures'.  Open that folder.  In it you will find all your existing textures that Photoshop utilizes. 
  • Copy and paste your new.PSD texture file into the 'Texture' folder
  • Your new texture is ready to use!
Now some of you may be wondering... how the heck do I even use any of these textures, let alone make new ones?  That's a perfectly valid question. Keep in mind I am no expert and there are probably more ways than this to use textures with your photos, but this is a simple way I have found.

First, for the photo you would like to add texture to make a copy of the image. You can do this by right clicking on the background layer and select duplicate layer. 

Once you have a duplicate layer from the top menu select Filter, Texture, and then Texturizer.

Once you are in the texturizer you will see a zoomed in view of your image on the right.  I suggest clicking on the little 100% in the bottom corner and changing the view to "Fit in Screen" so you can better see what you are doing.  Then all that is left is to load your texture!

You will see the folder open that has all your preset texture images, including the new one you added to it earlier if you did that first.  Select the texture you want and then play with the scaling and relief (which mean how magnified the texture is and how sharp it appears on top of your image).  When you are through adjusting the texture click "Ok"  and Wa-la!  You have now texturized your photo.


So... why did I have you duplicate your image in the first step? I will tell you why!
Sometimes you may not want to have texture over certain parts of your photo.  You can't selectively apply the texture, but you can selectively erase it over areas where you do not want it.  To do this you simply take the erasure tool and use it on the areas you do not want texture.  If you did not duplicate the image you would erase the actual photo along with the texture.  

This is the wrong way to erase, with only one layer of your image.

This is the right way to erase, so you have a nice clean image underneath! 

Now you can experiment with different textures on different photos.  In case you were curious, these instructions are based for Photoshop CS3. These are fairly older Photoshop options so they should be fairly similar for other versions.  What may very is where your folders are located in your computer.  If you are having difficulty finding them try utilizing your computer wide search using the term "Photoshop".

Hope you learned something today!

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