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    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2011
    Thought I'd start a new discussion about background textures. I've never really dealt with them but would like to, and so would like to harvest your digital minds.

    Where do you get paper textures from?
    Do you create your own by scanning?
    What is the best resolution to use?
    What's thre best image transparency to use?
    Any other tidbits of info you can throw in my direction?

    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2011
    I don't really use paper textures much, but when I do I like to do my own. I've got a bunch of textures I made with different brush effects & washes that I use every now and then. I'd say scan pretty high res (600 & up), so you can scale them and use different bits.
    I like to experiment too. Scan different cards and papers, different cloths and materials. Create patterns with old brushes, cotton wool, toothbrushes, fingers. I spent a few hours one day wandering around the house and yard with a camera taking shots of things to use as textures. Wood, bark, concrete, brick, moss, sky, whatever might come in handy.
    When you say transparency, do you mean like the blending modes in photoshop? Multiply, screen, etc. I just play around with them until I find something I like. It's all to do with the position of the dark and light values in the images, so they each have their uses, depending on what you want to bring out and what you want to fade away.
    • CommentAuthorALE
    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2011 edited
    Just to add to Seb's (really good) advice: Multiply, Screen, Overlay, Soft Light and Color are the blend modes you'll find yourself using most often. Experimentation can lead to interesting results, but also understanding what the modes do (multiply "burns in", screen lightens, Overlay is a contrast effect, etc). As for transparency (if your meaning layer transparency?), that's a variable thing. If your layering several textures on top of each other I've found it best to go for very low opacity settings (10-25 percent) combined with blend modes this can yield some pleasing results.

    I don't actually make a lot of my own textures via scanner, though I should start, but Photoshop and Painter are useful here. I like to grab interesting sections from images of things like stone, peeling; water stained walls, rust, etc and turn them into brushes which you can then use to lay down all sorts of interesting textural tidbits. Photoshop's brush engine is 5 kinds of awesome for this, and google is your friend when plumbing the depths.

    Painter ships with "papers"; textures that mimic real artistic surfaces like watercolor paper and cotton canvases, which allows for some neat effects if you're rocking a wacom.

    And finally, as I am a graphic designer, I don't make anything*, I repurpose other people's cool shit for my own cool shit:

    *yes I'm being facetious.
    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2011
    You can have a lot of fun with a heavy hot press watercolour paper, and some good paint that'll sediment a bit. I like mixing a bright red with a prussian blue, you get very interesting pools of colour and sediment.
    Scan that in and as ALE and Seb say, start playing with those blend layers... have fun! :)
  1.  (10045.5)
    adding fill layers and gradients under textures and dropping the opacity is something i like to do with backgrounds
  2.  (10045.6)
    One of my favorite things to do to get distressed textures:
    1:Open the top of a copy machine don't put anything down, hit copy. It should print out a pure black sheet. Do this as many times as you like.
    2:Grab an X-acto, old tooth brush, white out/white ink and masking tape.
    3:Destroy and alter as much as you like. Use the X-acto to scratch and tear the toner off of the paper, the masking tape will give you some weird lines, especially if you mess up putting it on. Spritz the paper with the white out and toothbrush, ETC.
    4:Scan in at 600 PPI
    5:Drop the image onto a new layer in photoshop and mess around with blend modes and transparency.
    • CommentTimeJul 21st 2011
    Some great advice here guys thanks!

    (by transparency I did mean blending modes and layer transparency in PS)
    • CommentAuthorJigsy Q
    • CommentTimeJul 21st 2011
    I love to experiment. Most recently I've been toying with hi-res satellite images of deserts, mountains, etc. Out of their normal context (and with a little blending and tweaking) those textures can pass for a lot of different surfaces.