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Texture Mapping

Textures can be an excellent way to add great amounts of detail to an interface (or any other form of art) very quickly.  When used intelligently, they can imbue your creations with a life and energy hard to achieve using filters alone.  There are, of course, many ways to apply textures to your interfaces, but this is my method...

Step 1: Create a new document and populate it with two new layers.  For the time being, I'm gonna use a white background, with an object layer on top.  I'm not going to go into detail on how I made this shape, but its simply two ovals joined together at 45 degree angles, anti-aliased, and with a plastic effect applied.  You can, of course, use your own interface shapes as long as there is some sort of 3D effect or shading to build upon.

Step 2: Lets get the ball rolling.  Select your object layer and change the layer blending mode in the layer palette from normal to multiply - this will let it show through any layers beneath.  Now create a new layer between the object and background layers, load up a texture, and fill the new layer with your texture.

NB.  You can find textures all over the web - just go looking. You can buys CDs full of them from Marlin & Dosch if you want professional quality.

Step 3: We don't want the texture filling the whole design, of course, so a little trimming is in order.  Hold CTRL and click your shape layer to form a new selection around your object.  Now pick Select > Inverse from the menu, make sure the texture layer is selected in the layers palette, and press delete on the keyboard to trim the excess.   If you used a custom shape and it doesn't show through well, try putting the texture on top of the shape instead (but still make sure the top layer is set to multiply).

Step 4: For more exaggerated effects, consider stacking textures on top of each other.  This way you can manage some effects (especially metal) a lot better than by using a single texture alone.  Most of all, just play around and see what you can come up with.  The little butterfly on the right is hardly realistic, but took only a couple of minutes to design, and looks kinda cute in my opinion.  :)

There are, of course, many more blending modes apart from multiply selectable from the layers palette.   Each mode has its own unique uses and characteristics, although you'll definitely find yourself using a few more often than the others. Have fun experimenting!

- Tutorial written by Man1c M0g

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Last 5 User Comments

User:  DanielM (#47548)
Date: Wed Jan 23, 2008. 23:43:36

Post #1 of 1

I follwed the tutorial step by step and recorded them as a action Now one click and I am done Thanks Regards danielm

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