Let's get Dirty - Creating dirt and other textures using Adobe Photoshop CS4

Horror NerdStarred Page By Horror Nerd, 25th Jan 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/p47b1ccm/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Art>Painting

Have you ever worked on a design project and realized you needed a
certain texture.Your digital camera isn't close to you and you really don't have
time to go outside snap some pictures of dirt and most of the stock sites are
not offering the exact texture you need. have no fear, within a few minutes
you can achieve a dirt texture that suits your need.


Have you ever worked on a design project and realized you needed a
certain texture.Your digital camera isn't close to you and you really don't have
time to go outside snap some pictures of dirt and most of the stock sites are
not offering the exact texture you need. have no fear, within a few minutes
you can achieve a dirt texture that suits your need.

This tutorial is being created using Adobe Photoshop CS4, not sure if these
steps can be replicated in older versions of Photoshop. I will try to explain
each step as clearly as possible.

To Tile or Not To Tile

In order to make your textures seamless, it's best to start with a canvas size
of : 128 x 128, 256 x 256, 512 x 512, and 1024 x 1024. I'm not quite
sure of why the canvas has to be one of those sizes for the pattern to
tile seamlessly. For the sake of this tutorial, I'll stick with a canvas
size of 512 x 512.

Step 1: Preparing the canvas

create a new file in photoshop. Set the width and height to 512 pixels. For
resolution I leave it at 72 pixels/inch unless I'm working on an image that
will be printed. The background color should be white.

Step 2: Laying down the basics

create a new layer above the background layer. there are 3 ways to create a
new layer.
1. Shift + Ctrl + N
2. Go to Layer - New - Layer...
3. click on the new layer icon on the bottom of the layers palette

Step 3: Time to cloud it up

Make sure your foreground color is Black and the background color is white.
Those are the default colors for Photoshop. To change them just press D
on the keyboard.
Remember that layer we created in the last step ? It should say Layer 1
and it should be above the background layer.
We will rename that layer now. Double click on Layer 1 and now you should be
able to edit the name. For this tutorial I'm calling it Clouds 1.
Name it any way you want or don't name it at all. It helps me keep organized.

With the layer renamed and the colors set to default, make sure the active layer
is the clouds 1 layer.

Now go to Filter - Render - Clouds. A black and white cloud Pattern should
have filled the Clouds 1 layer.

Step 4: Keep it going

still on the same layer Clouds 1 we are going to run another clouds filter
called Difference Clouds but we are going to tweak it a bit.
Go to Filter - Render - and click Difference Clouds. Now your clouds should
look a bit different. Now We are going to make them even weirder. Press
Ctrl + Alt + F. The filter Difference Clouds should have been applied again
to the same layer. For this tutorial I pressed Ctrl + Alt + F Eight times until
I liked how the pattern looked.

Step 5: Filters Again please.

The filters you use during this step can be whatever you decide because most
of this is all experimentation. The settings I use are what I feel works for me.
I encourage you to try different settings. You'll be amazed how different the final
outcome will be.
still on Clouds 1 layer go to Filter - Filter Gallery. With the filter gallery
you can stack different filters for different effects.

Filters I used:
Sketch - Graphic Pen Settings:
Stroke Length - 15
Light/Dark Balance - 100
Stroke Direction - Vertical

Texture - Grain Settings:
Intensity - 31
Contrast - 68
Grain Type - Vertical

Sketch - Conte Crayon Settings:
Foreground Level - 12
Background Level - 10
Texture - Sandstone
Scaling - 193%
Relief - 29
Light - Top
Invert is Checked

Sketch - Reticulation Settings:
Density - 17
Foreground Level - 25
Background Level - 18

Brush Strokes - Spatter Settings:
Spray Radius - 5
Smoothness - 15

If the order of filters isn't like above the end result might be different.
Now we have a weird grainy texture.

Step 6: a little more to go

I like to add a little color as it helps me see the texture better. so
I create a Hue Saturation adjustment layer above Clouds 1. To do this click
the adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the layers palette. Now select Hue/
. click Colorize and change the settings to this:
Hue: 25
Saturation: 30
Lightness: -81
Now our Texture is dark brown

Step 7: Taking it to another level

Create another layer above the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and name it Clouds 2
If your colors are not set to default do so now by pressing D on the keyboard.
now we repeat Steps 3 and 4 on this new layer.

The only difference is that while repeating Step 4 again instead of pressing
Ctrl + Alt + F Eight times I press it Twelve times instead.

Step 8: Back to the Filter Gallery

Time to take another trip through the filter galley (Filter - Filter Gallery)
This time we will be using different filters in hope of getting a different texture.
For this round I use:
Ink Outlines Settings:
Stroke Length - 50
Dark Intensity - 26
Light Intensity - 13

Rough Pastels Settings:
Stroke Length - 0
Stroke Detail - 20
Texture - Burlap
Scaling - 94%
Relief - 15
Light - Top Right
Invert is checked

Dry Brush Settings:
Brush Size - 10
Brush Detail - 10
Texture - 3

Sprayed Strokes Settings:
Stroke Length - 20
Spray Radius - 13
Stroke Direction - Vertical

Bas Relief Settings:
Detail - 15
Smoothness - 5
Light - Top

Like before after each filter, click the the new effect icon and add the
next filter. Once you have them set and in the order hit ok.

Step 9 Almost there

now clouds 2 layer should look like a black and white cross thatched streaky pattern
I want the other texture to show through and blend with this new one
So I will go through the blending modes to find one that I like.
Blending modes are at the top of the layers palette.

I chose the blending mode Hard Mix for the Clouds 2 layer and lowered the opacity
to 87%

Final Steps

I need to add some more brown to make it look like dirt. So i create another
Hue/Saturation adjustment layer as in Step 6. This on should be above Clouds 2 layer and the settings should be:
Check the Colorize box
Hue: 25
Saturation: 18
Lightness: -60

The color is still a bit off for me so I click on the first Hue/Saturation
Adjustment layer we created earlier
and lower the opacity to 73%. With that we are done.
While the outcome may not that great nor realistic.It works and fits what
I need. With more work more layers and Experimenting I'm sure you will be producing
great textures in no time.
As the Alternative image shows,with a few more layers and tweaks the dirt really starts looking good.

In Closing:

I created this tutorial to show how using the built-in filters you can create
different textures. I hope my instructions are clear, if not leave a comment and
tell me the problem and I will do my best to help. Feel free to comment with a link to textures you create using this tutorial.

for outstanding tutorials by others visit good-tutorials


Adobe Photoshop, Design, Filter, Filters, Texture, Tutorial, Tutorials, Tutoring

Meet the author

author avatar Horror Nerd
I'm a freelance graphic designer and gamer at heart. I love horror movies.I like to write poetry and short works of fiction usually horror or scifi genre.I occasionally write tutorials for the program Adobe Photoshop CS2

Share this page

moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar Josh
12th Mar 2013 (#)

This tutorial sucked

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?