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5 Simple Tricks to Enhance Your Textures in Photoshop

5 Simple Tricks to Enhance Your Textures in Photoshop

I take a lot of texture photos. The macro lens in on my camera about 90% of the time waiting for the opportunity to find a perfect texture. In most cases though, textures are not design ready right out of the camera. Below I’ll cover 5 simple tricks that I use to enhance my textures in Photoshop.


I usually don’t use all 5 of these steps on a single texture. Usually I’ll use one or two of them depending on the image, and how it’s going to be used.

Below we have a simple wood texture straight from the camera. It’s not bad, but we can easily make it much better.

1. Duplicate and Overlay

One very simple method to subtly enhance the contrast and color is to duplicate the texture layer and set the duplicate’s blending mode to Overlay.

2. Levels Adjustment Layer

A fast way to boost the detail and contrast is to add Levels Adjustment Layer.

You’ll notice that the levels form a hill in the center. If you drag the outer arrows in towards the beginning and end of the hill it will boost the contrast of the image.

3. Smart Sharpen Filter

Applying a Smart Sharpen (Filter | Sharpen | Smart Sharpen) will give your texture a nice crisp appearance. Below are the settings I used on the wood texture.

4. Gradient Map

The great thing about applying a Gradient Map Adjustment Layer is that you can adjust the color tone of a texture as well as boost the contrast. Add the adjustment layer, then set the layer’s blend mode to Overlay.

5. Curves Adjustment

Similar to a Gradient Map, the Curves Adjustment will allow you to adjust the color tone with a bit more control. Add a Curves Adjustment Layer, then apply adjustments to each channel separately. Below are the settings I used on the wood texture.

I hope these simple steps have given you and idea of how many different ways there are to enhance and transform your textures before applying them to your designs.

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Nathan Brown

Nathan Brown is a graphic designer who loves working with various media. He combines traditional art styles with a little experimentation and digital flare. Nathan's works have contained everything from ink and paint to leaves and a box of dirt. Everything is fare game when it comes to his approach to art. Nathan lives in Austin, Texas where he has been working as a designer for 10 years.

39 Comments

(+add yours)
  1. Nice little tip, works well.

  2. This is definitely a great way.Gonna try with some other texture now.

  3. Thank you very much.

  4. Very simple steps indeed but quite educative for me! I’m new photoshop learner and this type of post is really helps me a lot enrich my knowledge to enhance textures in photoshop. I’ll look around this site other posts as well to learn more helpful tips of photoshop works. Thanks.

  5. Simple but very effective… Thanx :)

  6. Wow.These are cool ways to improve the look of a texture. This is surely helpful!

  7. Thanks Nathan to give me a way of non-destructive editing, I was using Adjustments, but they destroy the remaining pixels, now by using adjustment layers; I can reverse my editing anytime.

  8. It makes wow when awesomeness and style comes together. fantastic tricks.

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  14. Nice Technique guys…

  15. I only knew about the first 2 tricks. I am totally surprised after learning about the last tricks. Thanks a lot for sharing such wonderful tricks.

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  19. tnx a lot. it was very useful for me

  20. tnx a lot. it was very useful for me. goood

  21. nice thank you

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  23. it’s very good. thank you.

  24. good job , nice article.

  25. so Amazing textures in Photoshop tut ,…love this

  26. Nice Technique guys…

  27. very good.very nice
    thanks for sharing…

  28. it was great thank you

  29. very nice
    thanks for sharing

  30. thank you so much…

  31. nice…
    thank you…

  32. very goooooooood…

  33. tanks sir

  34. it was great.tnx

  35. very gooooood…. thank you

  36. thank you very much :)

  37. its very very good,thank you…

  38. nice work
    i used them for my tourism website and it appeared very fit and nice

  39. thanks for your text it was very good

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