Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Texture Tutorial


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A number of people have asked how I achieve my effects with textures, so I thought I'd do a little tutorial.  It's pretty much the same way as everyone else does them, but it's always interesting how everyone's comes out differently, depending on their style.  Here's the original picture, of some Mother's Day flowers I got:

[Linkup with Flowers on Saturday]

It's an okay picture, but I knew I could make it better.  The first thing I do is clone out any areas of color or brightness that I think will detract from the final image.  In this case, I cloned out the small pink area on the right, and the white lines in the lower right corner; I also cloned out the bud at the top that was going across the iris petal.  The cloning doesn't have to be perfect, because the texturing will cover it.

Next I crop, and in this case, I cropped out some of the areas I'd cloned, so I could have saved myself the trouble :)   (Just thought I'd share my little slip-up, in the interest of full disclosure.)


I liked it better pulled in a little closer to the flowers.  Next, I choose my first texture.  I want to minimize the bright area on the lower left, so I chose a Flypaper Texture called "Tempest Sea," from their Spring Painterly set.  As you can see, it's darker on the bottom, particularly in the left corner:


I float the texture in its own window, and then use the move tool to slide it over the photo, and use the grabbers to resize it.  (In Photoshop, make sure the "Show transform controls" box is checked at the top of the move tool bar).  Once the texture is on its layer over the photo, I click the check mark at the top and then find the blend mode I like -- in this case, I like Hard Light at 74%.  At this point, the flowers don't look great, but that's okay because I'm only looking at the background, and I like the way the bright spot on the lower left is toned down.



Next, I use a layer mask and the brush tool to brush most of the texture off the main subject.  In Photoshop, you create a layer mask by clicking the little square with a circle in it at the bottom of the Layers panel, and then with the mask square selected, I used a soft brush and a setting of about 80% to take the texture off the orange flowers, and a setting of about 48% to take the texture off the blue background flowers. Make sure that black is selected as the foreground color -- black adds the mask, white takes it off (if you make a mistake in the brushing part, just switch to white and you can take it off).  You can see what you're doing more easily by hitting "\", which will show you the mask in orange, as you can see here:


Now I choose my next texture -- "Spring Equinox," again from Flypaper's Spring Painterly set -- I like this one because it will green up the background more, and begin to darken the edges a bit.  Here's the texture, followed by the effect.

The blend mode I used was Overlay, at 100%, and I again used the brush and a layer mask to brush away the texture on the flowers, but not so much this time because I liked the way the texture brightened the flowers.  I decided I wanted to see if I could darken the background even further -- I'm liking the way the orange flowers are really beginning to come forward --  so I chose "Cyprus Haze," from the Tex Box Two set at Flypaper; it's a really dark green, again with darker edges. 



I used Overlay at 84% here, and brushed away maybe 70% of the texture, with this result:



I'm happy with the picture now, but I wanted to try one more thing.  I duplicated the original (bottom) layer, leaving it right above the bottom layer, changed the Image mode to 8 bits (I don't know if you have to do this in every version, but you do in CS5), and then go to "Filters - Artistic - Paint Daubs."  I like the effect that this filter gives -- this is the brush type "Sparkle,"  with the brush size at 10 and the sharpness at 11.  


  

I really like the final effect, so I'm done.  As a last bit of housekeeping, I do the following:  1) change the names of the layers to the names of the textures, so I know which ones I used; 2) save as a PSD file, which maintains the layers (so I can go back and work with it more, if I want to); 3)   Go "Layer - Flatten Image," and save that for web and devices at around 600 pixels on the long side.  (If I'm not using it in the blog, I'll save as a regular .jpg.)  And I'm done!  Here's the final product:


What do you think?  I hope I've explained things well -- if I haven't, just ask and I'll answer.  And please sign up for the giveaway!  You could win this picture, if you like it!
 

31 comments:

Nancy said...

Great photo editing tutorial, Elise. Maybe someday I can afford PS and try this myself! :)

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

You can do it if you have a newer version of PSE, and maybe other programs too -- you just have to have something that will do layers.

texwisgirl said...

I have a freebie version of Gimp that is supposed to do what PS does, but I was lost. This gives me a bit of "what to expect" and how to treat it so when I have time I'll play with it again. I know it does layers. I just didn't know how to work them. :)

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

I hope it works for you -- let me know if I can help figure it out (though I don't know GIMP).

Anne U said...

Great tutorial, like that you added the slip-up.

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

Thanks -- I'm particularly skilled at the slip-up part!

NatureFootstep said...

thanks for visiting NatureFootstep. I have only started with textures. Great to see yours.

lisa said...

Fantastic tutorial Elise!
Thank you for being so kind in sharing it here.
Beautiful result.

Tammy said...

Great tutorial...I will have to refer back next time I attempt a texture...this is quite a bit different than how I have been doing it.

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

Thanks very much, everyone -- Tammy, I'd be interested to know the techniques you use --

loisreynoldsmead said...

Excellent tutorial. Thanks for being so clear!

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

Thanks for visiting, Lois --

Tasha said...

What a great tutorial. Thanks for sharing!

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

Thank you, Tasha!

Linda Makiej said...

Beautiful textures here!!

Henrietta said...

LOL:) Elise Ann- I'm working on with 1500 pictures from Tuscany...but here is so much to shoot right now that I don't have time for them.

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

Thanks, Linda and Harriet -- :)

Rachel Victoria said...

Love the bright orange flower!!

Kristy said...

Very pretty, I love the fading colors in the texture!

Linda Makiej said...

Wonderful work!
thanks for sharing the recipe!

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

Beautiful edit. V

From Tracie said...

That is amazing!

I don't have photoshop, and have never really known what the process is that people were going through when they talked about editing photos. It was really interesting to see the step by step and all the work you put into it!

Ewa said...

beautiful edit and great tutorial, I think it's time for me to invest in some photo editing programme

Emily said...

Wow, you are amazing!

I'm happy if I could do red-eye reduction, crop and rotate my photos through iPhoto!

First time reader, from Saturday Sampling.

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

Thank you, everyone -- I use Photoshop, but Photoshop Elements works just as well and is much, much cheaper, and I understand that Gimp (a free program) will do the same things --

SquirrelQueen said...

Nice transformation of these beautiful flowers. I don't own Photo Shop or similar programs but they do seem to be fun.

Mrs4444 said...

Ooohhh....I love it! The detail is wonderful. Thanks for the tutorial and for linking it up for others to see :)

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

Thanks very much!

Kim, USA said...

Very beautiful!!
Tulips & Bible

Courtney said...

great explanation and gorgeous picture. i love the bright flowers with the rustic texture.

Stampmouse said...

great tutorial and lovely picture