In this tutorial l will show you how to utilize photoshops layer options to create an easy abstract/grunge background that is very popular for personal sites, wall papers, and even signature backgrounds. First off l'd like to point out that this is a re-write of a tutorial that was originally created for paintshop pro by a man named Brian Zimmer. This tutorial was made, with his complete consent. If you'd like to see the paintshop pro version of this tutorial, please visit his site: ZimmerTech.com. Trust me, he's got lots of great stuff to check out!
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This is a great way to create these backgrounds if you don't like to use/install 'brushes' in your copy of photoshop.
Start off by creating a new document that is 1000x1000 and fill the background with #FFFFFF (white).
Okay, the first thing you need to do is find some stock photos to use. I tend to use photos of rusty old pipes, constructions zones, large buildings during renovation. A good way to find them is to use google's image search. If you'd like to use the exact stock photos that l've used in this tutorial Download the Grunge Background Tutorial Pack.
Go ahead and open all of your images. If you're using the downloaded pack, unzip it and open all 7 images into photoshop.
Go ahead and pick any image, press CTRL + A to select everything, and CTRL + C to copy it.
Go to our main image (the empty 1000x1000 image we created for this tutorial). and press CNTRL + V to paste the image onto the page. Then press 'V' on your keyboard to get out the "move tool" and position the image anywhere on the stage.
Now go to one of the other images, press CTRL + A to select everything, and CTRL + C to copy it to the clip board.
Move on back to our working background file (the 1000x1000 image) and press CTRL + V to paste this image in.
This image should paste itself onto a new layer. Double check to make sure that it does.
go ahead and press 'V' to get out the "move tool" again and position the 2nd image somewhere on the canvas like l have here. Make sure that it is overlapping the previous image a little bit.
Repeat this process with each of the other images, you can use all 7, or you can use more... heck you can even use less if you want. Just make sure each image is on a layer all by itself. Here's what my image looks like after positioning all of the images l'm using.
okay, now for the fun part, we're going to adjust the layer settings, and layer opacity's of each of the layers to make a great blending effect.
You should have 8 total layers (if you're following along with me) and 1 of them (the very bottom layer) should be the background. Here's what my layers pallet looks like:
You don't HAVE to use these exact settings, these are just the settings that l used. I'd suggest using the same settings for the first time you make one of these abstract backgrounds, and then after you understand what's going on, and how it is done try experimenting with it to get totally different results.
So go ahead and select the very topmost layer.
Change the layer type to "Color Dodge" and drop the opacity down to 80 percent.
Next on the layer that's 2nd from the top. Change it's layer type to "Color Dodge" as well, and drop the opacity down to 65 percent.
The 3rd from the top layer, change it to "color dodge" and leave the opacity at 100 percent.
Change the 4th from the top to "Screen" and drop the opacity down to 62 percent.
The 5th from the top, leave it on "normal" but drop the opacity down to 66 percent.
6th from the top, leave it on "normal" drop the opacity down to 62 percent.
and the 7th from the top (last one), change it to "multiply" and drop the opacity down to 39 percent.
Next get back to the very top layer, and create a new layer.
Set your foreground color to: #0670D2, and fill the entire layer with this color, using the paint bucket tool.
Now change the layer style of this layer to "Color" and drop the opacity down to 70 percent.
and here's the result:
Here l just added a simple border, and and a few shapes here and there, to create a tech look.
I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and now understand the power of the layer styles, and opacity settings. They can be utilized to create some amazing effects. If you liked this tutorial, please check out the rest of our great tutorials!
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