Creating Textures

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Following up on my previous entry about textures, creating textures of your own is a pretty easy process.

Everything has texture, some subtle, some overt. In creating your own texture to apply to photographs, the easiest way is to simply take a photograph of something that has texture, itself. Items with repeating patterns work well, too. I’ve seen textures made of a square photograph of beach pebbles, the surface of pulpy hand-made paper, and fleur de lis patterns. Scan in your favorite stationary, or hand-draw floral patterns on paper and scan that in.

Here is a lovely example of texture made from a scan of sheet music:

Here is an example of texture created by photographing a linen towel:

Here is one made of a piece of hammered and scratched up metal:

You can also create textures by altering photographs in Photoshop to stylize them for better application as a texture. For instance, this is a photo I took in the Rose Test Garden in Portland, Oregon:

I opened it in Photoshop, then ran a Bas Relief filter (Filter/Sketch). I fiddled with the Curves (Image/Adjustments/Curves) to lighten it up a bit. This was the end result:

When applied to one of my pictures (here is the original) using the steps from my previous article, it came out like this (I rotated the texture canvas to align with the portrait layout of the photo, opacity at 33%):

Though, as the photo itself has a lot of texture, perhaps the “linen” texture from above – a finer and more consistent pattern – would look better:

Yes, I believe I like the second one better. It’s even at 100% opacity, so you can see the difference between applying a broad-patterned texture such as the roses, and a fine-patterned texture such as the linen.

Enjoy creating your own textures and experimenting with their applications. It has certainly afforded me several pleasant hours fiddling away at my laptop.

Photo credits (in order of appearance):
- “M&Ms Texture” by Tassieim on Flickr Creative Commons.
- “Linen, Texture” by AJawin on Flickr Creative Commons.
- “Texture, Hammered Metal” by AJawin on Flickr Creative Commons.
- “Oregon Rose Garden” by Laura Charon.
- “Rose Texture” by Laura Charon.
- “Stalk with Rose Texture” by Laura Charon.
- “Stalk with Linen Texture” by Laura Charon.

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