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    Overlays And Textures Tutorial with Diagrams
    by roz

    i've tried to go from the very basics ..  just use what you can and disregard anything that's too hard .. any questions please ask ..

    you'll find that some textures work very well for certain sorts of photographs but not on others .. and then you'll have some textures that seem to work on heaps of different types of photographs.. often a texture that you thought wouldn't work ends up working the best .. play around with them and start an overlay/texture folder -- it's very much a matter of trial and error and just doing it.

    here's an overlay side challenge in dpc that has links to the textures library.

    the links are at the very beginning of the thread ..  



    and here's some more sites that i've used ..




    http://mayang.com/textures/ .. this site is down at the moment but may come back sometime.







    you might be able to find more textures if you google 'free texture sites' or something along those lines.. there are also one's you have to pay for .. and dont forget that heaps of your own photographs can work as textures/overlays ..


    HAVE FUN .. !!!


    step 1 .. open your photograph in photoshop (the one you want to add the texture to) ..

    step 2 .. open the texture you want to put into that original photograph ...

    (do not minimize either photograph .. but have them open so you can see each one .. you may have to make them smaller by using your navigator and reducing the %size .. ) (see figure 1)


    figure 1.

    step 3 .. you only have to drag and drop the texture into your original photograph, and it will come in above the layer you have selected in that original photograph .. use the move tool for this action ..


    it will come in above the background layer if you are bringing it into a photograph that has had no changes made to it ..

    (if you've made new layers, duplicated layers, or created adjustment layers, the texture will then come in above your selected layer .. )


    if the texture is one of the smaller files, and it is very small in your image, then go to your edit drop down menu and select transform .. there you will find options like scale, rotate, skew etc(see figure 2)

    figure 2.


    step 4 .. (use this step if you want to adjust the size of the texture/overlay layer which is usually the case) ..

    click on scale and then drag the texture layer out to the size you want it to be, (its a good idea to reduce the opacity before you start scaling it, so you can see how its impacting with the layer underneath .. eg.  you may want to drag it out bigger than the actual image or position it so that a certain dark or light area is a particular position .. wotever .. ) .. but very often with these textures you'd drag it out to the size of the original image .. you can play around with rotating, skewing, etc after this if you want, but to start, just drag it to the size of your original photograph ..

    also when its pulled right out during the transform/scale action it can look very pixelly .. dont worry, coz when you apply the transform it will lose that over-pixelly look ...


    step 5 ..  then go to your layers palette ..

    at the top left hand side you'll notice it says 'normal' ..

    if you click on the drop down menu beside 'normal' it will show you the blending modes ..  (see figure 3)

    figure 3.

    with your texture selected in the layers palette (see figure 4), you can scroll down these blending modes, using the arrow key ..  eg.. dissolve, darken, multiply, etc etc  ..notice that with each change of blending mode you'll get a different appearance ..

    opacity is also very important here, coz different blending modes and textures require different opacities ..



    if you want to get rid of the texture effect in certain areas, like a face for example, then you can selectively erase the texture using a mask ..

    a mask allows you to delete selected areas in that layer so you see the next visible layer underneath .. you do this using the brush tool with either black or white foreground colour .. black to erase the layer and white to put it back .. more on this below ..




    step 6 .. with your texture selected, within the layers palette,  you can now add layer mask to delete or change the opacity in your texture layer .. {its a little box with the circle in it down the bottom of the layers palette .. (if you hold your mouse above the different options at the bottom of the layers palette it will tell you what each one is) ..}  .. (see figure 4)

    figure 4.


    if you click on add layer mask it will create a mask of the layer ..  in this case, your texture  ..

    when you have created the mask you can then erase parts of the layer, at different opacities, by selecting your brush tool, usually a soft brush ...  with the background and foreground colours black and white, paint in the mask with your brush tool  .. black to erase the layer and white to put it back .. you can use shades of grey, but I wont go into that now  ..

    you have to make sure that the mask is selected and not the actual layer otherwise you'll be painting in the original layer rather than the mask and you'll lose information .. (you can see whether either the mask or layer is selected by clicking on them in the layers palette, and you'll notice that the mask or the layer will get a line around it when its selected or clicked on) ... (see figure 5)

    painting with a black brush in the mask erases the layer so the next visible layer shows thru, and using the white colour puts back wot you've erased ..

    you'll notice that the mask is white when you created it ..

    figure 5.

    just to show you the effect, grab the brush and with black foreground colour selected, & paint a bit in the mask at 100% opacity and you'll notice that you can see the layer underneath ..

    then do a step backwards so the effect is cancelled ..  

    then if you make the brush say 20% opacity and do the same thing you'll notice that when you paint with the brush now,  you can still see some of the texture, but a bit of the underneath layer will show thru ..

    this sort of thing only takes a bit'v practice and playing around to get the effect you want ..


    you will need to change your brush size and opacity for different effects .. eg .. i use an extremely large brush sometimes, on very low opacity, to create a very minimal change to the original over a large area ..  then i might use a very small brush at opacity 100% to totally erase small areas .. the variety is endless &  also something that you'll pick up as you practice ..

    step 7 ..  then there's using more than one overlay/texture with different blending modes on each one, or the same blending mode, or wotever .. !!

    but that's another day ... !!..


    play around with different textures, blending modes & opacities and erasing bits in the layer using a mask ..

    i hope this info is helpful & any questions, or suggestions on how to make this easier to understand would be very welcome ..


    from roz .. :)



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