How to Make Curtains in Photoshop

Written by amy dombrower
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How to Make Curtains in Photoshop
Create your own stage graphics using Photoshop effects. (Stage Curtains image by Darragh Tobin from

Using Adobe Photoshop's many filters, you can make different graphics and effects, even by starting from a blank slate. For instance, say you want to create a background of stage curtains. Curtains can be a fun effect for a backdrop for text, whether you're creating a print or web graphic. Set up the curtains using the "Fibers" filters and add realistic stage lighting. When you're done, add more effects if you desire.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Adobe Photoshop

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  1. 1

    Open a new document in Adobe Photoshop. Click "File" and then select "New." When the "New" dialogue box appears, set to a rectangular shape, such as 8 inches wide by 6 inches high. Make the background white. Click "OK."

  2. 2

    Click the "Create New Layer" icon on the bottom of the Layers palette to form a new layer.

  3. 3

    Select the "Rectangular Marquee Tool" from the Tools palette.

  4. 4

    Click and drag with your cursor to draw a rectangle on the canvas. It should span the full height of the document but have a narrow width. Draw this rectangle in the centre of the canvas.

  5. 5

    Press "Shift + Delete" to fill the rectangle. In the "Fill" dialogue box, select "50% Gray" under "Contents." Click "OK."

  6. 6

    Click the grey rectangle to deselect it. In the Layers palette, with the layer you created selected, click the "Lock Transparent Pixels" icon next to "Lock."

  7. 7

    Click the "Filter" menu. Under "Render," click "Fibers." This applies fibres to the grey rectangle you made. In the dialogue box, set the variance to about "10." Set the strength to "20." Click "Randomize" to change to look of the fibres. Click "OK."

  8. 8

    Press "Ctrl + T" ("Command + T" for Mac) or select "Edit," and choose "Free Transform." This will add a bounding box around the fibres so you can transform them. Grab the handle on each side of the box and drag it to the edge of the canvas, so that the fibres fill the screen. Press "Enter" to apply the transform.

  9. 9

    Click the "Filter" menu. Under "Blur," select "Motion Blur." In the dialogue box, change the angle to 90 and the distance to about 500 pixels. Click "OK." The graphic begins to look like curtains.

  10. 10

    Click "Ctrl" (or "Command" on a Mac) while select "Create New Layer" on the Layers palette. This will form a new layer below the current layer.

  11. 11

    Open the "Swatches" panel. Select the colour titled "Darker Red" (when you scroll over it), which is a realistic-looking curtain colour. You can choose whichever colour you like, however. Press "Alt + Delete" ("Option + Delete" for Mac). This will fill the selected layer with the colour.

  12. 12

    Select the fibres layer from the Layers palette. Click the drop-down menu that currently says "Normal." This is the blending mode option. Choose "Multiply." Now the graphic looks like stage curtains.

  13. 13

    Add some lighting effects to enhance the stage curtains. Click "Create New Layer" to a form a blank layer above the fibres. Click "Shift + Delete" to fill it with 50% grey.

  14. 14

    Click the "Filter" menu. Under "Render," click "Lighting Effects." In the dialogue box, grab the outer and inner points of the shape in the preview box to begin repositioning the light.

  15. 15

    Move the light in the upper right corner, and experiment with it by changing the intensity and focus. Click the light bulb icon below the preview. Click and drag to add another spotlight to the upper left corner. You can expand out the handles of each light to increase intensity or do it manually.

  16. 16

    Select the blending mode for the layer you're on. Choose "Overlay." This adds some beams of light coming in on the curtains.

  17. 17

    Click "File," and then "Save" to save the graphic.

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