Quick tip: how to turn wooden textures in awesome grunge backgrounds
Here at WeGraphics we regularly publish high quality textures. After worked in the market of stock resources for a while, I’ve noticed that people love grunge textures. Differently from our competitors, we generally don’t publish “naked” photos in our sets, in example 10 photos of a dirty wall, untouched in Photoshop, zipped and distributed as a texture pack. We try to go one step forwards, modifying and mixing several textures in Photoshop to create unique pieces. So In this brief tutorial I’ll show you some tricks that will allow you to transform a wooden texture in a unique grunge background.
Let’s start creating a new A4 document in Photoshop. A4 is the ideal size for textures. Working with high resolution allows you to use the texture for works destined to print, not only web.
We need a wood texture. You can find tons of free images online. Also you can use one of our wooden texturs. Just to be clear, the following techniques can be applied to any kind of wooden/dirty texture, so you are free to use your own photos.
Here is mine:
Drag the wood photo into the A4 canvas. In case you need to resize it, press ctrl+T to activate the transform tool. Finally set the layer blending mode to overlay. Since the background layer is white, the texture should disappear. Don’t worry about this. Double click on the background layer to unlock it. Then right-click on it and select “blending options”. Here add a grey (#bfbfbf) color overlay. The texture should now appear again (with a low opacity). Reduce opacity to around 20%.
At this point we need a second texture. An old paper texture will work fine.
Here is mine, always taken from WeGraphics arsenal:
Paste in the texture and move it between the background layer and the wood one. Set the paper texture to multiply. You can see how the 2 images interact, with nice details of both the textures that are enhanced by their blending modes.
To enhance even more the details of the 2 textures, you can consider applying the Smart Sharpen filter (Filter>Sharpen>Smart Sharpen), but don’t abuse with it, or the final result will look too much sharp at 100% zoom.
I want the center lighter and the edges darker. Press shift+alt+ctrl+E to merge all the visible layers into a new one. Set this layer to multiply. Then grab the eraser tool (or create a layer mask if you prefer) and use a large soft brush to erase the center area.
You can notice that after only few steps the texture looks completely different from the original one. We are ready to complete the transformation with 2 color adjustments.
Firstly reduce the saturation by using an adjustment layer (Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Hue/Saturation).
Secondly is main effect. Add a second adjustment layer, this time select a gradient map. Add a gradient going from a color of your choice (mine is a strong red #e90b00) to black (#000000).
The last touch consists in giving more contrast (if necessary) to the texture. This result can be easily achieved by merging all the layers in a new one (shift+alt+ctrl+E) and setting the layer to overlay with a low opacity (around 20-30%).
Our grunge background is ready. At this point you can add other elements, like a simple text as I made.
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