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Gritty Pipelines

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Date Added: 6th May 2010
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Fig. 01

Another texture tutorial. You may want to visit the Dirty Texture Tutorial before doing this one. I'm working in Photoshop 7, although there shouldn't be any problems following these steps in other versions of PS. I also recommended you read up on "Offsetting". I do not cover this in the tutorial, but it is crucial for making a tiling texture. (oh yeah, and I'm aware that the image file names don't necessarily match up with the image letters I've assigned to them

Step 1

Open a blank document. I made mine 512x512 but you can work at 256x256 if you like. Fill the background with a low-saturated color. I used a greyish tone.


Step 2

Now we're going to build up our basic background. I do this by combining elements from other images into my grey base. In this case, I'm lifting texture from a photo of rusting, peeling paint (shown below). Using the Healing Tool, Alt-Click the area where you want to "lift" texture from. Begin painting over your neutral base. The Healing Tool combines the two together, but alters the color to match where the texture is being pasted. If you're using an earlier version of Photoshop, you may use the Rubber Stamp tool - although it will not make the color changes for you. If you look at Image B, the first circle on the left side shows how the Healer Tool will copy texture. I found these colors to be much too harsh, so I've gone over and desaturated it with the Sponge Tool. You can see the results of this in the second circle. To mute the intensity of the texture even further, I've painted over the top of it with the grey background color. Just take a few textured brushes and splotch it around a bit. If you like, you may use the brushes I've done. Download them here.

As you may have already guessed, you can see the results of this in the third circle of Image B. To view the entire texture so far, click the thumbnail for Image C

Healing Tool
Sponge Tool

A - Click to Enlarge
B - Click to Enlarge
C - Click to Enlarge

Step 3

The base texture is coming along, but isn't as even as it should be. To help bring it all together, I've taken another image (broken glass, Image A) and pasted it onto another layer above the base. Select your blending mode from the dropdown menu. The mode you select may vary from texture to texture, depending on the effect you want. I've also lowered the opacity of this layer significantly. You'll notice that things still aren't even throughout the picture, for instance the leaves in the glass are too obvious. This is an easy fix. Just go over the top of these places with either the Healing or the Rubber Stamp tool to clean it up. You don't want any areas to stand out too much, otherwise when you tile the image it will look terrible. That brings me to another point! I always have an HTML file with the background set as my texture so I can see how well it tiles. If you're not sure how to do this, do a Google search - unfortunately this is not an HTML tutorial. ;) For the finished look, click on Image B

Dropdown Menu


Step 4

Now that we have a good wall to build on, we'll start adding our pipelines. You can add one big fat pipe, 20 tiny pipes, or a few various sized pipes like I've done. It makes no difference. Working on a new layer, use the Rectangular Marquee Tool and make a series of selections across your image. To make more than one selection at a time, hold down the Shift key every time you click and drag. After selecting a color slightly lighter than your background, go up to edit -> fill -> foreground color

Marquee Tool


continued on next page >

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