Adding textures to photos is a great way to add drama and create artistic photos. Texture overlays can provide new color tones, vignetting, and rich texture to photos. The process of adding textures is really quite simple. In this video tutorial, I’ll show you how to add both a color and a black and white texture to your photos. The textures I’m using in this video are free to download and are currently available to the Michelle Kane Photography Facebook fans. Once the Epoch Texture Freebie is retired from Facebook, you can download it from the Freebies page here on the website.
How to Customize a Texture.
Going a step further, I’m going to show you how you can customize a texture color to better match the look and feel of your images. If you have a texture that you like, but the color doesn’t match your photo, it’s easy to change the hue, saturation and luminosity of the texture to fit your needs using the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer in Photoshop.
1. Select a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. In CS4 and higher, you can find this under the Adjustments Tab. In Photoshop CS3 and below, you will need to click the half black/half white circle icon at the bottom of the layers palette.
2. You need to clip the new Hue/Saturation layer into the texture. To do so, select the Hue/Saturation layer in the layers palette and then click the drop down arrow on the palette to open the contextual menu. Select Create Clipping Mask.
3. You can also use the keyboard shortcut for this command. To do so, simply hover your mouse on the line between the Hue/Sat layer and the texture layer in the layers palette while holding down the ALT or OPTION key. The cursor turns to an arrow with an intersecting circle. Click the mouse. The downward pointing arrow on the Hue/Sat layer indicates that the Hue/Sat layer is now clipped into the texture layer.
But what does “clipped into” mean? When an adjustment layer is clipped into another layer, it means that the adjustments that you make on the clipped layer (Hue/Sat layer) will only affect the direct layer below. So in the case of a texture layer over a photograph layer, by clipping the Hue/Sat layer into the texture layer, it will only change the hue and saturation of the texture, while not altering the colors of the layers below the texture, such as the original photograph. Using clipping masks with adjustment layers such as hue/sat, curves, levels, etc. is a great way to make sure those adjustments only affect the direct layer below. This gives you great control over where you place your effects. If you own my HeARTy Photoshop Actions, you will see clipping masks used all throughout my actions.
4. Now that you have a Hue/Sat. layer clipped into the texture layer, you can use the sliders on the hue/sat panel to adjust the hue, saturation and luminosity (lightness) of the texture. You will notice that the Hue/Sat adjustment panel is set to the master color channel setting by default. This means the adjustments will affect the hue (color) as a whole. You can open the master channel up to select individual hues: reds, yellow, greens, cyans, blues, magentas. If you are looking to change just the red hues in the image, you would select the red channel and then make your adjustments with the sliders.
5. You can also check the Colorize setting. This will place a single color over the entire texture. Use the colorize selection if you are altering the color of a black and white texture.
Here is how the Charlotte texture from the Epoch Texture Sampler Set looks normally.
Here’s the same texture after applying a clipped Hue/Sat layer and making adjustments to the individual hues. Now, this formerly pinkish texture will work with a cooler toned image. The warmth has been altered to a cool, blue/purple hue.