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How to Create a Dusty Texture From Scratch

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Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

Wondering how to create dust in Photoshop? In this tutorial, we'll create a dusty overlay texture from scanned paper, and I'll show you how to apply this texture to your photo.

Dust textures applied to images look great, but what happens if you don't have time to learn how to make textures from scratch? 

dust overlay Photoshop texturedust overlay Photoshop texturedust overlay Photoshop texture
This cool dust overlay Photoshop texture is available on Envato Elements

Scroll down to the end of this tutorial and you'll find a selection of the best dust textures and dust and scratch Photoshop actions from Envato Elements. These will save you hours of work and will help you achieve the same result!

What You'll Learn in This Tutorial on How to Create Dust

  • How to make a dust paper texture from scanned paper
  • How to create a dust and scratch texture
  • How to apply a dust texture to an image using Photoshop

Follow along with us over on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:

What You'll Need

You'll need the following resources in order to complete this project: 

  • A sheet of craft paper or any other paper with a similar structure.
  • A scanner that has the ability to scan A4-sized paper.
  • Any photo on which you want to apply the texture. I chose this photo, but you can download unlimited professional photos from Envato Elements with your subscription.

1. How to Scan the Paper 

Step 1

Make sure that your paper is not too wrinkled, because this can create blurred areas on your texture.

Cheking the paperCheking the paperCheking the paper

Step 2

Then we need to prepare the scanner glass to avoid stains or unwanted elements on our texture. You can use a wet wipe for glasses to clean the glass.

Cleaning the scanner glassCleaning the scanner glassCleaning the scanner glass

Step 3

Once you've cleaned the scanner glass, put your paper inside the scanner.

Placing paper inside the scannerPlacing paper inside the scannerPlacing paper inside the scanner

Step 4

Set the following settings in your scanner preferences: A4 paper size, 300 dpi. Then start scanning. The color of our scanned paper can be different from the color of our paper, but it is much more important for us to preserve the structure.

The result of our scanningThe result of our scanningThe result of our scanning

2. How to Prepare the Document

Step 1

Press Control-N to create a new document and use the following settings: 3000 x 2000 px; 300 dpi.

Creating a documentCreating a documentCreating a document

Step 2

Go to File > Place and put your paper scan inside the document.

Placing image inside documentPlacing image inside documentPlacing image inside document

Step 3

Resize your image to the borders of the document and click Enter.

Resizing the image to the bordersResizing the image to the bordersResizing the image to the borders

3. How to Create a Dust Paper Texture From Scanned Paper

Step 1

Let's begin with the scratch texture. Right Click on the paper layer and select Rasterize Layer.

Rasterization of the layerRasterization of the layerRasterization of the layer

Step 2

Now we need to invert the image. Select the layer and hit Control-I.

Inverting the imageInverting the imageInverting the image

Step 3

Use the Shift-Control-Alt-B key combination and set the following settings: Reds: 40%; Yellows: 60%; Greens: 40%; Cyans: -25%; Blues: -25; Magentas: 80.

Applying black and white effect to the imageApplying black and white effect to the imageApplying black and white effect to the image

Step 4

After that, press Shift-Control-Alt-L to add Auto Contrast to your layer for your dust and scratches texture.

Adding auto contrast to the layerAdding auto contrast to the layerAdding auto contrast to the layer

Step 5

Go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast and use the following settings: Brightness: -105; Contrast: 95.

 Color correction of the textureColor correction of the textureColor correction of the texture

Step 6

Right Click on the scratch texture layer and select Duplicate Layer.

Layer duplicationLayer duplicationLayer duplication

Step 7

Select the copy of your layer, and then press Control-T and Rotate it 180° while holding Shift.

The rotation of the layerThe rotation of the layerThe rotation of the layer

Step 8

Change the Blending Mode of your layer to Lighten.

Changing the blending modeChanging the blending modeChanging the blending mode

Step 9

Select your layers by holding Shift and then Right Click > Merge Layers.

Merging of layersMerging of layersMerging of layers

Step 10

Select your new layer and then go to Image > Adjustments > Exposure and set the following settings: Exposure: 0,00; Offset: +0,005; Gamma Correction: 1,00.

Adding offset effectAdding offset effectAdding offset effect

Step 11

Now let's make our scratch texture just a bit more detailed. Make a Duplicate of the layer.

Creation of layers duplicateCreation of layers duplicateCreation of layers duplicate

Step 12

Select your new layer and then go to Image > Adjustments > Shadows/Highlights and set the following settings: Shadows Amount: 40%; Highlights Amount: 0%.

Adding details to the textureAdding details to the textureAdding details to the texture

Step 13

Go to Filter > Other > High Pass and set the following settings: Radius: 15 px.

Adding High Pass FilterAdding High Pass FilterAdding High Pass Filter

Step 14

Change the Blending Mode of the layer to Overlay and set the Opacity to 30%.

Changing of the blending mode and the opacityChanging of the blending mode and the opacityChanging of the blending mode and the opacity

Step 15

Merge Layers to one and Rename it "Dusty Texture".

Merging and renaming the layer to oneMerging and renaming the layer to oneMerging and renaming the layer to one

This is how our dust and scratches texture Photoshop effect will look after all the manipulations listed above:

Dusty overlay textureDusty overlay textureDusty overlay texture

4. How to Add a Dusty Texture to Any Photo

Step 1

Now we can use our texture as a dust texture overlay! Go to File > Place and put your photo under the scratch dust and scratches texture layer.

Placing of the photoPlacing of the photoPlacing of the photo

Step 2

Now let's add some vintage color correction to the photo. Make the texture layer Invisible.

Making the texture layer invisibleMaking the texture layer invisibleMaking the texture layer invisible

Step 3

Select your photo layer and go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves to create a new color correction layer.

Adding color correction layerAdding color correction layerAdding color correction layer

Step 4

Double click on the curves layer icon and use the following settings:

Changing curves for vintage color correctionChanging curves for vintage color correctionChanging curves for vintage color correction

Step 5

Make your texture visible and change the Blending Mode to Screen.

Adding texture to the photoAdding texture to the photoAdding texture to the photo

Awesome Work, Your Dust Texture Overlay Is Done!

In this way, we can create a dust texture from scratch using a scanner, craft paper, and Adobe Photoshop. You can easily create and add scratches in Photoshop using the same techniques!

The result of the tutorialThe result of the tutorialThe result of the tutorial

The Best Dust Textures & Actions From Envato Elements 

You've learned how to make textures and how to add dust to photos using Photoshop. But if you'd like to save some time while creating awesome images, I'll show you some of our best dust textures and dust and scratch Photoshop actions.

These are from Envato Elements, our subscription-based marketplace. For a low monthly fee, you'll get unlimited downloads of dust overlay Photoshop add-ons, photos, fonts, and thousands of creative digital assets. 

Let's check the best dust and scratches texture Photoshop packages:

1. 50 Dust Overlays (JPG)

50 Dust Overlays50 Dust Overlays50 Dust Overlays

We begin with a complete dusty texture pack. You'll get 50 dust overlay Photoshop textures and a color change action as a bonus. It's really easy to add dust to photos this way. You just need to place the overlay on top of your image, change the mode of the overlay layer to "screen", and it's done!

2. 30 Dust and Scratches Overlay Textures (JPG)

30 Dust and Scratches Overlay Textures30 Dust and Scratches Overlay Textures30 Dust and Scratches Overlay Textures

Are you looking to add a vintage look as well? This dusty texture pack is a perfect choice for you. This dust and scratches Photoshop pack comes with 30 high-resolution JPEG files (300 dpi) and one Photoshop action for adjustments. You'll have vintage dust texture photos in no time.

3. 30 Dust Particles Backgrounds and Textures (JPG)

30 Dust Particles Backgrounds and Textures30 Dust Particles Backgrounds and Textures30 Dust Particles Backgrounds and Textures

This dusty texture pack will give your images a realistic touch, since the glass dust texture was made from optically captured real dust. You'll get 30 high-resolution dust particle photographs suitable for print or web use.

4. 15 Dust and Hair Particles Backgrounds and Textures (JPG)

15 Dust and Hair Particles Backgrounds and Textures15 Dust and Hair Particles Backgrounds and Textures15 Dust and Hair Particles Backgrounds and Textures

Add scratches in Photoshop in a few simple clicks! This is another cool dusty texture pack that will give your images a vintage film look. These dust and scratches overlays were created to resemble the grain that is commonly seen on old film negatives. Add these awesome dusty backgrounds to your collection.

5. Dust Storm Backgrounds (JPG, PNG)

Dust Storm BackgroundsDust Storm BackgroundsDust Storm Backgrounds

For a colorful touch, get these cool dusty backgrounds. This dust texture is an abstract multi-colored background of exploding dust. In this dusty texture pack, you'll get ten abstract, high-resolution images for your projects. 

6. Dust Storm Photoshop Action (ATN, ABR)

Dust Storm Photoshop ActionDust Storm Photoshop ActionDust Storm Photoshop Action

Now, if you're looking for dust and scratch Photoshop actions, I've got you covered. You can apply a dust storm effect to your images in just a few clicks with this action. 

This dust overlay Photoshop action is fully customizable and comes with 40 preset color looks.

7. Color Dust Photoshop Action (ATN, ABR)

Color Dust Photoshop ActionColor Dust Photoshop ActionColor Dust Photoshop Action

Want something more expressive than just a dust and scratches overlay? We close with a colorful dusty background action that'll make your images explode in a dust cloud. This easy-to-use action works best with figures and models. You'll get a composition that's fully layered and customizable. 

Find More Texture Tutorials and Resources

I hope you've enjoyed the tutorial on how to make a dust and scratches overlay and how to add dust to photos. If you'd like to know more about how to make textures or get more inspiration after checking out the dusty backgrounds and glass dust textures, these are for you:

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