How to create scratchy textures using Photoshop gradients Tutorial

Creating Scratchy textures tutorial

Initial setup of Photoshop gradients for scratchy textures

There are, of course, infinite ways of creating scratchy textures - this is just one possible approach by using noise gradients. Setup the noise for this tutorial via the GRD tool found in the PS toolbox. Select the GRD tool and double click on the current preset in the top option bar (it is on the left at the top when using the tool). Set the type to noise and set the roughness to 100%. If you want to make the lines a little less intense then set the roughness to less than 100%. Set the color model to HSB and then set the S (saturation) to 0 and check the restrict colors. Click ok. To create streaks or lines coming from a central point (for the scratchy effect) set the type to "angle" (via the top option bar) and set the opacity to 25% so you will be able to see the underlying gradients after repeat applications.

 

Application of the scratchy texture using Photoshop gradient

The image below shows just a few applications of the preset. Apply the origin of the preset in different locations in the document. This can be repeated and repeated to create ever more scratches and complexity.

 

scratchy texture

 

You can also, if you wish, add some blurring by using the filter blur gaussian blur tool in between applications of the tool Again, repeat until you are happy with the number of lines applied. At this point, the artwork looks pretty scratchy already

 

Difference cloud for the scratchy texture

Apply a difference cloud via the filter menu render and difference cloud - adds a nice randomness to the already random scratchiness. The difference cloud returns some color back to the design so to remove the color, use the image menu adjustments and black and white filter

 

Black and white and scratchy textures

I generally always use the presets with the black and white adjustments and just running through the presets you can see quite a difference in generated scratchy textures - all are black and white but not all black and white conversions are the same

 

Color burn and scratchy texture

Before applying the difference cloud, you can also continue to apply more scratchy lines via the gradient tool but instead of using lighten or normal to apply the gradients, use the 'color burn' mode. This creates some truly intense dark lines in repeat applications of the tool

 

color burn and scratchy texture

 

Again, apply the difference cloud filter and then also use the black and white tool to return the design to a standard black and white texture (a step you don't need to apply if you have the foreground and background color set to black and white). Many variations can be created for the artwork just by using different black and white adjustments.

 

Add scratchy texture to an image

This can be applied as a background with the original image above the design. To see the texture, either set the opacity for the top layer to something less than 100% or use blending modes such as "hard light" or "lighten" or "vivid light" or "soft light" etc. Or have the texture on top of the original image and set the blending modes or opacity as required.

 

dark

 

Use scratchy texture as pattern source

It can also be just used as a pattern via the edit menu define pattern command. Once saved to the patterns panel, open any design and then use that as a layer and apply a layer effect (Volume ia the Photoshop layer effect command) and bevel with texture set - the pattern being used as pattern source for the texture (surely that should be texture source) and setting the scale / depth as required.

 

Use noise as a brush source or perhaps via fill layer

Instead of using the noise gradient as a texture, you can use the noise gradient (repeat applies as before in different locations) to create a new texture brush. Use the edit menu define brush command to save the brush. Apply the brush to the image using different apply modes such as the one below (vivid light apply mode as well as some normal apply modes). Useful for creating dark horror like designs in seconds. The color of the brush stroke is set to black (foreground color). You can also use the noise effect via fil layers and add multiple layers via the fill content menu command using the same approach of roughness set to 100% and angle type and opacity set to less than 50% and using blending modes such as color burn to combine the layers of the content

 

brushes

 

The item below uses fill content layers using the same approach of the noise and HSB model and saturation and using vivid light / overlay etc blending modes for the layers

 

vivid