The Golden Key: Wooden textures and…successful photoshopping

Seeing as manipulating images of wood grains wasn’t producing pretty results, I decided to create my own wood grains. I just had to figure out how to do that.

We had to present ‘tips’ on photoshop to our class anyway so I watched a bunch of videos of creating wood grains. There were many different methods (some started with rendering clouds to get varying/natural looking shades, others used a motion blur at the end to get fine grains). One thing that was common in all was that all seemed to use the fibers filter and liquify.


I’d already practiced with liquify when working with the door grains, but I hadn’t discovered the “advanced” settings. To me it just meant that I got extra tools to play with on the left hand side (twist and smooth etc).

I thought saving and loading meshes would be useful for me as well (I thought it would save the way you liquified your image), but I couldn’t get that to work. Whenever I loaded a saved mesh, it seemed to magnify/exaggerate the amount of liquifying I had done.

Anyway, the tutorials helped me produce some pretty neat textures:

And the push left tool was really cool ^ I figured that what it did was basically push all the pixels on your brush strokes path to the left of that path (so if I made a stroke from the top to the bottom, the pixels would be pushed to the right edge of the image).creatinggraintexture2

Some parts were more convincing than others. When I used the bloating tool (the right part) to make the knots, it looked more real than when I overdid the  twist tool (left part)::creatinggraintexture4

I figured that changing the colours of the foreground and background changes the way the fibres turn out: creatinggraintexture6


This shows the difference between adding an extra layer that has a layer full of grayscale noise that has been motion blurred at 90degrees (creating fine, vertical specks)::


^ Without the layer of specks


^ With it

Began experimenting with the textures I created to get the blue snowy look I had tried in my very first experiments:

creatinggraintexture9 creatinggraintexture10 creatinggraintexture11 ^ Altering the lighter colour slightly (making it darker) made it look less ‘fake’. As ‘less fake’ as photoshopped blue wood can look.

Again tried warping and liquifying these things (I experimented with the extent to which I warped, how exaggerated or subtle it looked [using varying brush pressures]):creatinggraintexture14 creatinggraintexture15 creatinggraintexture16 creatinggraintexture17 creatinggraintexture18 creatinggraintexture19 creatinggraintexture20

Since I felt like I had a lot of practice with the liquify tool by now, I went back to my door grains: warpdoorgrain14

^ Pushing the pixels “outside” the keyhole, inwards warpdoorgrain16 ^ Still haven’t used the bloat tool. warpdoorgrain19

Used the push left tool ‘inside’ the key hole to ‘bloat’ the round shape. It certainly looked better than the previous experiments with the photgraphs, but it still isn’t exactly the most visually appealing thing I’ve created.


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