Wood textures! You can never have enough of them! Well in this tutorial I’ll show you how I go about making quick and easy wood grain in
. The process is highly customizable and can be kept as a template using Smart Objects.
Create a new document 1000 x 1000 pixels at 72 ppi.
In the Layers panel double-click the Background layer to unlock it. You can also do this by dragging the lock icon into the Trash.
With ‘Layer 0’ selected go to Filter > Render > Fibers. Input the settings below. It’s important to get this even and not blotchy so hit the ‘Randomize’ button till you get a result similar to the one below.
Now go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur and dial in these settings. Hit OK.
Now press Command+T (Ctrl+T on a PC) to invoke the ‘Free Transform’ function. Holding Option (Alt on PC) scale the layer vertically by 200%.
Press Command+A (Ctrl+A on a PC) to Select All and choose Image > Crop. This will erase the stretched pixels outside the document bounds.
This is the strange part. Choose Filter > Sketch > Chrome. This might seem a weird effect to be using for wood but it produces a nice organic grainy texture. Here are the settings I’ve used. This will come out different every time so you’ll need to experiment.
We’re now going to stretch the layer 200% again just like Step 5 to elongate the grain effect.
Once this is done press Command+J (Ctrl+J on a PC) to jump the layer. This effectively duplicates it in the layer panel.
With the copied layer selected go to Filter > Stylize > Emboss. This will add a feeling of height to the grain effect. These are the settings I used.
You may want to try inverting this layer once you’ve applied the effect by going to Image > Adjustments > Invert. This can produce a different look by inverting the emboss effect.
Once you’re happy set the Opacity of the layer to around 60% and change its Blend Mode to Linear Light.
All we need to do now is make some color adjustments to our original layer. I’m going to do this by adding three Adjustment layers on to of our original. From the Adjustments panel (CS4 and above) choose Curves (you’ll need to click the back button to get back to the chooser) then Levels and finally Hue & Saturation.
Make sure they are stacked in this order.
Here are my settings for the various layers. The Curves and Levels provide contrast to the grain layer. You can play with these for different effects.
The Hue & Saturation is set to ‘Colorize’ and I’ve applied a dark brownish hue.
Once you're happy select all the layers in the layers panel and convert them into a ‘Smart Object’. You can do this by going to Layer > Smart Objects > Convert To Smart Object or Ctrl (Right PC) clicking on the selected layers in the Layer panel and choosing Convert To Smart Object.
This is much better than merging the layers (Command+E (Ctrl+E on a PC) as you can always go back and change the effect later by double clicking the Smart Object thumbnail and editing it.
All you need to do now is to create some Text or a Shape Layer and drag it below the new Smart Object. Just hover your mouse over the line that separates the layers while holding Option (Alt on PC) and click to make a Clipping Mask.
I’ve also created a background layer too.
Now just add some Layer Styles to the Text by clicking the ‘FX’ button in the Layer Panel. Here’s my setting for a nice sharp bevel. I’ve also added a slight Drop Shadow too.
That’s it! The beauty is that the type is still live so you can experiment with fonts and font size too.
The look is quite stylized but is great for graphic / web design / background elements as well as texturing 3D objects as the greyscale images inside the Smart Object can easily be converted to Bump/Specular maps!