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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Adobe Photoshop

How to Create a Quick Grunge Filter Effect in Photoshop

Read Time: 6 mins
Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

Wondering how to create a grunge effect in Photoshop? Today, I'm going to show you how to make a grunge aesthetic filter with light leaks and grunge texture Photoshop overlays.

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to create complex grunge Photoshop styles, check out this amazing Grunge 2 Photoshop Action. This grunge effect Photoshop action will turn your image into a beautiful work of art in a few simple clicks!

Grunge 2 Photoshop ActionGrunge 2 Photoshop ActionGrunge 2 Photoshop Action

What if you prefer video tutorials? We've got it covered! You can watch this new video from the Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel to learn how to grunge an image in Photoshop:

What You'll Learn in This Grunge Filter Photoshop Tutorial

  • How to create light leaks and color corrections for a grunge aesthetic filter
  • How to grunge an image in Photoshop with overlay textures
  • How to make a grunge photo effect in Photoshop
  • How to create a grunge photo filter with actions and templates

Tutorial Assets

The following resources were used during the production of this tutorial:

1. How to Create Light Leaks and Color Corrections for a Grunge Filter

Step 1

Let's start by opening our image with the Control-O keyboard shortcut.

opening image in photoshopopening image in photoshopopening image in photoshop

Step 2

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation and set the Saturation to -36.

creating hue saturation adjustment layercreating hue saturation adjustment layercreating hue saturation adjustment layer

Step 3

Let's create our light leak. Go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Gradient Fill and set the Style to Linear, Angle to 0, and Scale to 100%.

creating a gradient fill layercreating a gradient fill layercreating a gradient fill layer

Step 4

Now you need to click on Gradient Strip to open the Gradient Editor and use the following Stops:

  • Opacity: 100%; Location: 5%
  • Opacity: 50%; Location: 15%
  • Opacity: 25%; Location: 82%
  • Opacity: 100%; Location: 94%
  • Opacity: 100%; Location: 100%
  • Color Code: #130341; Location: 80%
  • Color Code: #9c0433; Location: 86%
  • Color Code: #faa786; Location: 98%
  • Color Code: #fad9c4; Location: 100%
creating a gradient fillcreating a gradient fillcreating a gradient fill

Step 5

And finally, change the Blend Mode of your gradient fill to Screen.

creating a light leak layercreating a light leak layercreating a light leak layer

2. How to Make a Grunge Photo Effect in Photoshop With Overlay Textures

Step 1

Now let's go to File > Place and put two grunge textures above all the layers.

placing the textures inside the documentplacing the textures inside the documentplacing the textures inside the document

Step 2

Change the Blend Mode of the textures to Soft Light.

changing the blending mode of textureschanging the blending mode of textureschanging the blending mode of textures

You can try other blending modes to get different results, for example Overlay, if you want to get a hard grunge effect.

changing blending mode to overlaychanging blending mode to overlaychanging blending mode to overlay

3. How to Create a Grunge Effect in Photoshop With Brushes

Step 1

Let's create a grunge filter using a free brush. Press Shift-Control-Alt-N to create a new layer.

creating new layercreating new layercreating new layer

Step 2

Press B to activate the Brush Tool, select Grunge Brush, and make a few strokes with a white brush.

creating an overlay with a brushcreating an overlay with a brushcreating an overlay with a brush

Step 3

Change the Blend Mode to Soft Light and the Opacity to about 25%.

changing the blend mode and opacity of brush overlaychanging the blend mode and opacity of brush overlaychanging the blend mode and opacity of brush overlay

Here is our result:

How to Create a Quick Grunge Filter Effect in Photoshop Main PreviewHow to Create a Quick Grunge Filter Effect in Photoshop Main PreviewHow to Create a Quick Grunge Filter Effect in Photoshop Main Preview

4. How to Make a Grunge Photoshop Effect With Actions and Templates

Now, I would like to show you how easily you can create a grunge effect in Photoshop with templates and actions from Envato Elements. Let's start with Atmospheric Vintage Template.

Step 1

Open the PSD template file. Right-Click on the Placeholder layer and choose Edit Contents.

opening the placeholder layeropening the placeholder layeropening the placeholder layer

Step 2

Place your image inside the newly opened window, and then close and save the placeholder layer.

placing image inside the placeholderplacing image inside the placeholderplacing image inside the placeholder

Step 3

Select some light leaks and textures by making the layers Visible.

selecting textures and light leaksselecting textures and light leaksselecting textures and light leaks

Here is the result of applying the template:

end result of the templateend result of the templateend result of the template

Now let's try to use the Grunge 2 Action, which will create a beautiful effect for our photo.

Step 4

Install the action by opening it in Photoshop. Create a New Layer above your background and name it "brush".

creating a new layer for actioncreating a new layer for actioncreating a new layer for action

Step 5

Brush the areas of your photo where you want to apply the effect.

creating the action areacreating the action areacreating the action area

Step 6

Open the Actions panel by pressing Alt-F9, and then select the action and press Play.

playing the actionplaying the actionplaying the action

Step 7

As the grunge action works, you will see a popup window telling you to import the texture you want to use. Just press Continue and select the texture you want to use.

placing the paint texturesplacing the paint texturesplacing the paint textures

Here is the result of the Grunge 2 Action applied to our photo:

final result of grunge 2 actionfinal result of grunge 2 actionfinal result of grunge 2 action

Awesome Work! You Finished Our Grunge Effect Photoshop Tutorial!

Today you've learned how to make grunge photos in Photoshop using overlays, brushes, and adjustment layers. Here is our final result:

how to create quick grunge filter in Photoshophow to create quick grunge filter in Photoshophow to create quick grunge filter in Photoshop

Top Grunge Effect Photoshop Resources From Envato Elements

Now that you know how to create a grunge effect in Photoshop, you probably want to find a high-quality grunge brush Photoshop pack or some hand-crafted textures. Let's take a look at some of the best Photoshop resources from Envato Elements!

Atmospheric Vintage Template (PSD, PDF)

Turn your photos into authentic works of art with this PSD grunge filter, which is very similar to the one we already created. This template contains 15 different light leaks, three overlay textures, and some color correction layers. The PDF guide included in the main archive will help you to get started!

Atmospheric Vintage TemplateAtmospheric Vintage TemplateAtmospheric Vintage Template

Grunge 2 Photoshop Action (ATN, ABR, PNG)

Grunge 2 Photoshop Action is a powerful tool to create stunning artwork from almost any of your photos. It creates a complex multi-layered effect, with fully editable colors and elements. Follow along with the video tutorial included in this action to get the best result!

grunge 2 photoshop actiongrunge 2 photoshop actiongrunge 2 photoshop action

Daguerreotype Photoshop Template (PSD, PDF)

Wondering how to make grunge photos in an old style? Try this Photoshop template with an instant daguerreotype effect inspired by old photos. It will send your photos back in time in a few simple clicks!

Daguerreotype - Photoshop TemplateDaguerreotype - Photoshop TemplateDaguerreotype - Photoshop Template

Dust Textures Megapack Vol. 01 (JPG)

Looking for a high-quality grunge texture Photoshop pack? Check out this amazing package, which includes 25 dusty textures created with paper scans. It's a great tool for adding a subtle grunge filter with one texture—or why not combine a few to create an extremely grungy look? All the textures are JPEG files with sizes of 3000 by 2000 px.

Dust Textures Megapack Vol. 01Dust Textures Megapack Vol. 01Dust Textures Megapack Vol. 01

Grunge Texture (PNG, EPS)

If you need a transparent PNG or a scalable vector texture, you should take a look at this package of ten handmade textures. These grunge textures are great for creating an authentic look. Try these textures to create a grunge aesthetic filter or use it on your text layers.

Grunge TexturesGrunge TexturesGrunge Textures

20 Grunge Artistic Brushes (ABR, PDF)

This grunge brush Photoshop package contains 20 unique brushes with sizes of up to 1400 px. It will be a good addition to your collection of Photoshop tools. Use these brushes to create overlays, textures, or any other grunge elements.

20 Grunge Artistic Brushes20 Grunge Artistic Brushes20 Grunge Artistic Brushes

If you want to learn more about how to grunge an image in Photoshop or create your own grunge Photoshop styles, check out these amazing tutorials:

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