My process tends to be experimental and intuitive, and does not hold a certain form. If you're a beginner in Photoshop, this might be hard to follow. However, there are several steps I can generlize on how I'd create a texture:
-First, create a clean material.
-Overlay additional textures to add color or value effects.
-Pixel push some nice highlights, and you're done.
Simple enough eh? let us begin.
This is a random texture from CGTextures that I used for this demo. Clck for full (medium) res.
I cropped a part of the above photo (flipped it, even) and aligned it as my starting point. The horizontal thing is measured at 25% of the image from the top.
I continue to devide the image into quarters according to which I align the sewer holes and melting rust. I use the Stamp tool to move stuff from the original image into this. If you wish, you can include elements from other textures in your depository.
Clean It Up
Once the base is set, 2 things need to be smoothed out: First, the little darker holes that mark the main area are Stamped with the tool set on lighten, giving the surface a cleaner look. Second, the areas of higher value are blended in to improve tile unremarkability..
By zooming out, or having a test map' of high resolution on the side, you can keep track of how your texture would look when alinged many times. Be sure it looks consistent, with no remarkable areas.
At this point I also offset the image horizonally x256 and stamp the seam line. It is important to do this early on, at this set-up stage, before we mount details on it.
Finally, I changed the hue subtly less pipi yellow and more earthy red.
Adding Textures - With a Difference!
This is where experimentation begins. I select a random texture and try to see how to combine it successfully with the image. In this scenario, I've chosen this texture, also from CGTextures. Click it for full-res.
Difference is your best friend for happy accidents: add a texture, set it on difference and start playing with it: change opacity, alter value and colors (Ctrl-U), invert it (Ctrl-I), see what happens. The results are very unpredictable but often very cool. It is my main source of acheiving weird stuff.
First, on a low opacity difference, it accentuates the grey (white) cracks, desaturating those areas. The result also turns the yellow areas in-between to strong red, so to normalize it: copy-merge (Ctrl-Shift-C) into a new layer and change the colors (Ctrl-U) by selecting the Red color channel and taking it towards the yellow. Do as you see fit. The result should give cool color seperation!
I hide the cool color result, and experiment more with the cracky texture, this time inverting it, still on low opacity difference, The result is even better; subtle value change with little color effect, so we can use the colors from the previous experiment to accentuate the value details obtained in this one: put the cool color version on top and set it on Hue in low opacity.
Texture #2 - Insanity Proves Beneficial!
Next comes this random stone texture from Mayang Textures, which was used for psychedelic color manipulation. Click it for full-res.
The difference setting surprised again: when the color is altered to crazy purple and set on low-opacity difference, the result is very interesting. I decide to go with it.
Clean you feet!
After applying the purple texture, the bottom of the image becomes more noticeably seperated, so I want to blend it in better: a rough lasso to select the lower areas, feather (Ctrl-D) for smoothness and copy to its own layer.
The darker areas are more red so I Ctrl-U and select the Red color channel, then yellow it and lighten it. Some more hue / saturation tweaks and I get a spiffy yellow growth down there. Might have to call the doc.
Pixel Boogie it!
That's right, you know the move. If you don't - check out the pixel boogy tutorial.
I add the greyscale boogied layer and overlay it for crispness. Copy merged, apply the unsharpens and tweak the color and contrast.
Pixel Pushing and Highlights
At this point it's pretty much done. I Stamp the dark areas on Lighten setting to remove the harsh darks, sourcing from anywhere on the image. I paint some blue to compliment the purple hue we've established and pixel push highlights and definitions. Just a few in the main focal point areas, or evenly spread on your image should do the trick. There's no way around this - manual work - at least at the very end - is required.
The final image below has some additional color tweaks and final clean-ups. That's it!
A Summery Summary
- Use as few sources of overlays as possible. This will increase readabiility and keep the image clean.
- Difference is a great effect. Play with opacity / values / colors to get a useful result.
- Even if a result looks not useful, copy-merged it and tweak it, try and find a way to make use of it.
If you have any questions fee free to contact me.
Coming soon >>> How to Tweak <<< and the broadway musical >>> My Pixel is too Fat <<<