Tutorial: How to Equalize Textures in Photoshop

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Isn’t it a beautiful concept to make textures using DSLR cameras? It is, until you won’t place them on a big surfaces and hit tiling problems like uneven brightness, visible seams, color shifts etc. There are few tricks to deal with these problems though. One of them was recently showed here. It inspired me to write this post and show you how I prepare my textures before I make them tileable.

Personally I rarely use Photoshop to paint out tiling. Programs like Pixplant or Imagesynth let you make tileable textures automatically using seed images. Although it’s not a perfect solution for wood and other organics, it can save a lot of time. Basically, you can take few photos of a surface, import it and get a tileable output with just a few clicks. Theoretically it works with all “raw” photos but practically it’s better to invest more time and prepare them carefully before importing. Making them even in terms of color tone and overall brightness will pay off in the end.

I’d like to show you the way I equalize my seed images using layers in Photoshop. But firstly I have to admit that it’s based on this mini tutorial by Peter Guthrie. To be honest I just couldn’t grasp it fully so I started to mess around with layer blends and eventually developed my own technique. The goal was to minimize the amount of steps.

Step by Step

Bookmark Cgtextures.com if you haven’t done it yet :D
Open it in Photoshop
Duplicate Background layer [ Ctrl-J ]
Open Filter > Blur > Average…
Double click Background layer to change it into movable layer.
Move it to the top of the stack, change it’s opacity to 50% [ 5 ] and blending mode to Linear Light
Open Filter > Other > High Pass… and play with Radius parameter to control the effect
Usually Radius 100 works just fine but depending on the photo you might want to tweak it in the range of 50 – 150.
  1. Download Image 1 (Large) from this page
  2. Open it in Photoshop
  3. Duplicate Background layer [ Ctrl-J ]
  4. Open Filter > Blur > Average…
  5. Double click Background layer to change it into movable layer.
  6. Move it to the top of the stack, change it’s opacity to 50% [ 5 ] and blending mode to Linear Light
  7. Open Filter > Other > High Pass… and play with Radius parameter to control the effect

Note: If you’re using the latest Photoshop version you may need to click “Show All Menu Items” in order to access Average and High Pass…

Radius of 100 works just fine in most situations but you might want to tweak it in the range of 50 – 150 depending on image resolution and size of detail.

Actions

I use this trick a lot, 90% of my textures are equalized and as you imagine, it’s not very handy to go through all these steps each time I edit a seed image. Turns out you can easily automate the process using Actions, so now it’s a single clicker :D (link fixed).

Examples

example_01

wood

example_02

copper

example_03

cardboard

Cheers :)

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