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Pop-Grunge Texture Tutorial (PS CS2) New!
by sinecure (sinecure)
at April 16th, 2007 (11:21 pm)

I feel: accomplished
listening to: Cherry Blossom Girl - Air

Recently, as I was looking at post after post of tutorials that read: 'Get this coloring!' or 'use this brush, apply this texture, use this gradient', I wondered where tutorials on how to actually DO something went. So, I'm writing one. This is on how to achieve a pop/grunge style texture. It's a header-sized pop/grunge texture I made a few months ago. It's long. And I'll be using a lot of visual aides, so, be warned.

1. Create a New Image, blank layer, any size you want. I'm working on a canvas that's 710x450. Grab your Gradient Tool and select Radial. I used a gradient I made ages ago. It goes from #e02625 to #fbf1d0. But you can use whatever one you want. Or just a solid color. I placed my cursor up at the top left and drew down to the bottom of the canvas at a slight angle to the right. Not very far, just 100 pixels or so.

2. New Layer. I got these next few steps from someone else. Just letting you know. Paint around your canvas with a large soft brush, (I used Watercolor Flat Tip size 65, one of PS' Default brushes) in different colors. I used a light blue, tan, dark red, light purple, and dark green. Then Gaussian Blur it at a strength of about 20.

3. Use your Lasso Tool and select areas of your image. Fill each one, on a separate layer, with a different pastel color similar to the ones you used in the previous step.

Set the layers to Soft Light.

4. New Layer. Set your Paintbrush to size 1, Hardness 100%. Make your color white and draw lines around the image. All over the place, like scratches. Don't worry about being perfect, just draw. Cross some lines, make them go off the canvas, do some short lines, some dots, all over the place.

Get your Eraser brush and choose a large, grunge-type of brush. If you don't have one, then modify one of your Default brushes. I chose Oil Heavy Dry Flow, size 48 and just messed around in the Options Palette.

Size: 350
Spacing: 70%
Angle Jitter: 60%
Roundness Jitter 75%
Scatter: 135%
Count: 5
TEXTURE: Clouds, 150
Mode: Multiply
Depth: 55%

Go over your scratch layer and erase here and there. Don't erase too much, but break them up enough that they're not just white lines lying there.

5. New Layer. Grab your paintbrush and choose a Hard Round Brush, about 30 in size or so. I made a brush preset that makes dots of different sizes, and I use it a lot in my pop-grunge stuff. Instead of listing all the sizes and jitters, I'll just show you:

After you have these set, make a Preset out of it. Go to the Tool Presets tab and click the Create New Tool Preset button at the bottom, it looks just like the New Layer button at the bottom of the Layer Palette. Name it whatever you want. I named mine Retro Dots.

Grab a nice, acid green like #4ce457, and just draw over the left-hand side and the top. Set the layer to Exclusion.

6. As I'm doing this out of order of the way I originally made it, this may seem a little backward, but, turn off visibility to the dot layer we just made. New Layer. Now copy everything we have so far by hitting CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+E. It'll add a copy-merged layer above all the others. Ideally above the others. If yours is not, move it up there. Duplicate it three more times. Set each layer to Screen and position them around the canvas to create sections. Offset them.

Do the CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+E thing again on a New Layer on top of it all. Set this layer to Linear Burn. Turn visibility back on to your dot layer.

7. Most of the next steps are brushes done in black or white on a new layer. So, New Layer. Black. I think I used the Large Texture Stroke sized 54, Opacity at 60%, Flow set to 75% or so. This isn't the exact same one I used, but it's close. Draw over your entire image, not heavily, just enough to cover most of it. Use a grunge Eraser to erase a lot of it, leaving bits here and there.

Set the layer to Soft Light.

8. New Layer. White. I used one of my wallpaper-sized grunge brushes here. But you can use anything grunge. Cover most of the canvas, again, and then Erase with a large grunge brush. Leave the layer on Normal, but turn the Fill down to 25%.

9. New Layer. Black. Another grunge layer. I used one of my wallpaper-sized grunge brushes again. Whenever I want texture, I usually use these guys. You can get them from here if you want them: Wallpaper-sized Grunge Brushes Set the Fill to 20%.

10. New Layer. White. Grunge, all over the canvas. I used, yep, you guessed it, one of my wallpaper-sized grunge brushes. In fact, I used one or more for the next three steps including this one. Each on a new layer, alternating black with white. All are set on Normal, Fill lowered to 20%.

After all that, we should all be on layer 20, and our texture should look something like this:

11. New Layer, (#21). I found some shapes online somewhere, liked them so much I made my own, then turned them into brushes. I changed them slightly, adding my own touches, but basically they're the same, so I can't claim them as my own design. But here they are if you want to use them:

Place them wherever you want them. Lower the Fill to 20%.

12. New Layer. The same gradient we began with? Grab it again. This time use it on Linear. Start somewhere on the lower right hand side and drag it about halfway to the upper left corner. Grab a grunge Eraser brush and erase some of the right hand side. Set the layer to Soft Light.

13. New Layer. Add a couple of circles very close together to each other. Just grab a hard round brush of 30 or so and click once, then move a little so the next time you click the circle will kiss the first one. The other shape in the retro shapes I zipped up there? It goes on in white. Both on Normal, 100%.

14. New Layer. Flood fill it with #525b86. Set the layer to Screen, lower the Fill to 75%.

15. New Layer. Flood fill it with #0a450e. Set the layer to Color Burn, lower the Fill to 25%.

16. New Layer. Gradient. It goes from #121b38 on the left, to #5a2a44 at the 50 spot, to #6f2e28 on the right. Set the layer to Vivid Light.

17. New Layer. Flood fill it with #e2d8a2. Set the layer to Multiply.

18. I didn't like it completely, so I Duplicated the previous layer and set it to Soft Light. I moved it under the Multiply layer. I erased a few spots of black from the grunge layers that I thought overwhelmed the texture and added some white to the white grunge layers. Better.

And there you go!

Endless ways to make endless textures.

What I usually do is create a New Image 200x200, and another one 100x100 and use my Rectangular Selection at a Fixed Size 200x200, and 100x100 respectively, and copy-merge/paste them into the new images. As many as you want, then save it as a PSD file, NOT a jpg. Keep it and whenever you make icons and want some texture, open the file up and just drag and drop into your icon. Change the Opacity and/or the Blend Mode and you have instant texture.

Or, use it as a background for an icon. Cut someone out, put the texture behind them and there you go. You could change the Blend Mode of the person and soft erase areas to blend them into the texture. Make brushes from them. Make a header.

Copy-Merge all of it into a new file--without the layers, and because you don't want to alter the original--Desaturate it, play with the Contrast/Brightness, use your Lasso Tool to Select areas and paste them into a new image for Grunge textures and use a grunge eraser to erase the edges so they're not defined by the Lasso Tool. Or, alternately, you could go up to Select > Color Range and leave the settings as Default. Use the color picker to click on the picture and click Okay, it'll select the colors nearest the ones you chose: instant brush.

I changed my colors to Black and White, desaturated, upped the Contrast, lowered the Brightness a tiny bit, ran it through the Sketch > Water Paper, then Sketch > Halftone dot pattern, duplicated it, flipped the top one 180 degrees, set the layer to Hard Light and lowered the Opacity to 30% and now I have new textures that I can make brushes out of. I was just playing around with whatever struck my fancy.

I then ran the top layer through Distort > Wave. I duplicated the bottom layer again, flipped it 180 degrees, moved it to the top, set the layer to Soft Light, and left the middle layer--the distorted one--on Hard Light 25%.

Seriously, there's no limit to what can be done just with ONE texture, let alone all the other ones you can make just by altering colors, brushes, steps.

So, enjoy! :)