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Creating Textures with Photoshop 4.0 and KPT Powertools

Looking for a background texture image? Here's how to render your own, and all the tools you need can be found in the filter menu. The following filters will be used: KPT Power tools, Distort-wave, Render-Lighting effects, Sketch-plaster and Brush strokes-splatter. To see an example of this technique in a finished picture, check out the article on tuberculosis in the science setion.

1) Create a new document. For this example, the pixel dimensions were 1200X800. It is important to note that the following effects settings would need to be adjusted for other document sizes. To begin with, I filled with a 'Dean ice scape' texture from Kai's Power Tools Texture Explorer, set to 512X512 tiling.

2) In my opinion, Kai's filters are fine as a starting point. With so many extra filters at your disposal, why not take things further? Here a KPT Pixel storm filter was added to mix things up a bit.

3) The wave filter is a favourite of mine. Remember the above settings worked on a 1200X800 pixel sized image. Here are a few tips: For larger pictures, increase the scale settings. For example: If you were testing an effect at 50%, repeat everything on an image 4 times bigger at 100%. The number of generators setting instucts the filter to electronically throw more stones in the water. Experiment with the wavelength and amplitude settings - try keeping the sliders close together and also far apart to see the full range of possibilities.

4) Here is the result I got after applying the wave filter. So far so good, one can keep adding more variations, it's just a case of knowing when to stop.

5) A neat feature of the Lighting effects filter is the 'Texture channel' bump map facility. I selected the blue channel as the texture map, with 'white' set as high. In fact, one could use any of the other colour channels or an alpha channel.

6) With the lighting effects applied, I faded the filter to 85% opacity, keeping to the normal overlay mode.

7) To complete the picture, add more detailed textures, I applied the plaster filter from the sketch sub-menu with the darken overlay mode at 15% (image balance 15, smoothness 2.00, lighting - Top). Then I added a spatter filter from the brush strokes sub-menu at 80% and made a few adjustments to the colour via the hue/saturation dialog box.

Copyright: Martin Evening

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