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Lessons:16Length:1.4 hours

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Free Preview: Texture Crafting in Adobe Photoshop


  • Overview
  • Transcript

High-quality textures are an integral part of creating digital artwork with depth, realism and visual interest. One of the best ways of adding believable detail to any digitally created element or illustration is to use good textures. But where do you get these textures? One of the best places is to develop them yourself. In this course you will learn exactly how to do just that! We’ll look at photographing textures out in the “wild” or in a studio setting, crafting your own textures with real media, and creating digital textures with the tools in Photoshop. This course will spark your interest in texture crafting and start you on your way to creating your own library of digital textures.

1. Introduction

1.1 Introduction

High quality textures are an integral part of creating digital art work with depth realism and visual interest. One of the best ways of adding realistic detail to any digitally created element or illustration is to use good textures. But where do you get these good textures? One of the best places, is to develop them yourself. Don't know how, well that's what this course is for. I'm going to show you exactly how to create your own library of digital textures. I'm Kirk Nelson with Tuts+ and welcome to texture crafting in Photoshop. In this course, we will explore three main approaches to creating textures for your library. We'll start with textures found everywhere in the world around us. We'll take a look at how to find and photograph these textures both out in the real world and in a studio setting. From there we will look at a method of creating textures with real media and scanning them in to use as digital resources. After that, we'll take a look at how to create purely digital textures strictly in Photoshop with some creative uses of dynamic brushes in filters. Finally, I've got a collection of tips and tricks to share with you that will help take your digital texture crafting to the next level. By the end of this course, you will have the skills you need to start populating your very own ever expanding library of digital textures, it may even change the way you view the world around you. So let's go ahead and get started. In the next lesson, we'll discuss ways of organizing and setting up your own personal library of digital textures.

1.2 Building a Library

Hello everybody. Welcome back to texture crafting and photoshop. Before we get started with some of the actual crafting of the textures. I wanted to talk a little bit about organizing your texture library. If you're like me, you'll end up building up this library over the years. And you'll have hundreds if not thousands of different texture files. And if you just throw them all in a single folder, you're gonna end up digging through them, trying to find the one you need, and lose a lot of time that way. So I just wanted to share with you some thoughts that I had, and some techniques that have worked for me. And hopefully they might work for you too. The primary challenge that I encountered when trying to build my library logically is that I needed it to be simple enough that I could quickly find what I needed, detailed enough that it wasn't difficult for me to find something that I was looking for, yet not so overly complex that I got lost in a labyrinth of folders. Let me show you what I came up with. You may come up with a different solution but I would encourage you to at least start with what I'm outlining here. And I think it would be helpful to you. I find that if I break it down into two main categories of photos and real media I tend to develop my textures as one way or the other. Photos would be, obviously, pictures that I've taken with my camera. Real Media would be textures that I've created either with, well, real media. Or even digitally. Usually these tend to be scanned images that I've collected. Within the photo section, I've got nine subcategories bricks. Would be, well clearly, bricks. Or any other substance that a wall would be built out of. If it's a stone based wall, It would end up in my Bricks folder. Cracks is because I enjoy taking pictures of cracked surfaces, and I find that those make some really good textures. Now, I have this pulled out into its own subcategory, regardless of what the base material is. So if it's cracked bricks, it'll end up here too. Liquid would be water splashes, water drops, or possibly water surfaces. Anything that's on a fluid based type of texture is gonna end up in my liquid folder. Moving down, I've got Machine. Now these aren't necessarily a single texture, this is more of the internal workings of a machine. It's highly specific, but it would include things like gears or pistons, or the insides of an engine. Metals is pretty self-explanatory, textures that are derived from photos of metallic objects. Smoke would also include things like fog and fire. You would think fire might be its own, but I find that I end up with more photos of smoke than I do actually a fire. Then we have the stone, vegetation and wood which are all natural elements that I do tend to take photos of a lot. When creating these type of textures. Now I know technically Wood would be Vegetation, but under Vegetation I would put things like tree bark or ground elements that are naturally occurring or things like mulch or grass, things like that. Wood would be more of the cut wood grain effects that you would find on doors and tables and desks. Stone would be stoneware and rocks that are not formed into building materials. They're just kind of raw in that sense. Then going back to the Real Media folder. I have this broken down into three subcategories here. There's Brushes, Grunge and Hand Prints. Brushes would be things like, well, clearly brush marks. Whether it's done with oils or acrylics or water-based paints, whichever, I tend to collect a bunch of those and I'll stick those all in my Brushes folder here. Grunge would be elements that I create that's like splashes or scrapes and scratches. Other elements that are like that. Hand Prints would include not only hand prints, but anything that's created using human hands or feet or human based marks. Things like fingerprints or footprints, all those would end up in my Hand Prints folder. Couple of other quick techniques that I want to make sure I share with you. Whenever I have a PSD file that I used to craft some of these textures. I'll have that saved in here. But notice in my File Explorer my PSD file just shows the Photoshop icon. So if I'm saving the texture out as a PSD, I will also save a lower res version of it as a jpeg, only because the jpegs tend to have good thumbnails for me to look at. I'm very visual when I sort through my folders. So I want to be able to see these thumbnails and be able to scroll down and visually pick out what I want. And then I'll make sure that thumbnail has the exact same file name as the PSD file, so it's easy for me to know which one to open. Also many times I'll have files that are redundant. I'll put them in more than one folder. If it's something that I think looks a little bit in between or poorly defined, I'll put them in whichever one tends to apply. It's okay to have multiple versions of the same texture because the idea is, you want to be able to find it quickly. It's entirely possible you may have your own system for categorizing the different textures that you are using. But whatever you're doing I do encourage you to at least try to categorize them. If you're building a texture library don't try to put all of your textures in just one folder and hoping to find them easily in the future. Spend a little bit of time. Create a logical system for you to help categorize things. So next up is chapter two where we take a look at photographing textures.