To fill an area of an image with the swirling texture of marble, you can use a photograph of the real thing or "mine" your own in Adobe Photoshop CS5. By creating your own, you can control the colour and details of your faux finish so it suits your purposes precisely. You might think the complex texture of a marble surface would require lots of steps and a long sequence of Photoshop filters and effects. Actually, you can get great results from a simple filter that's been in Photoshop for a long time, one you might not have found useful before.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Launch Photoshop. Choose "New" from the "File" menu and create a new document in RGB mode. Set the file dimensions and resolution to match the needs of the project for which you're creating your texture.
Press the "D" key on your keyboard to set the foreground and background colours to black and white. Press the "X" key to set white as the foreground colour.
Press the "G" key on your keyboard to switch to the "Paint Bucket" tool. You may need to press "Shift-G" to get to this tool instead of the "Gradient Editor" tool.
Click in the file area to fill your document's default "Background" layer. If you have default transparency turned on, its checkerboard pattern will disappear as your file area becomes solid white. If you've turned off default transparency, press the "F8" key to bring up the "Info" panel, place your cursor over the file area and verify that the RGB colour values all read "255."
Choose "Difference Clouds" from the "Render" submenu of the "Filter" menu. Click the "OK" button to apply the filter.
Apply the "Difference Clouds" filter repeatedly by pressing "Ctrl-F" (Windows) or "Cmd-F" (Mac) to repeat the last filter you ran. Stop applying the "Difference Clouds" filter when you are pleased with the appearance of your marble texture.
Press "F7" to open the "Layers" panel if it is not on screen. Hold down the "Alt" key (Windows) or "Option" key (Mac) and click on the "Create new fill or adjustment layer" button at the bottom of the "Layers" panel. Choose "Gradient Map" as the adjustment layer type. Set the "Mode" pop-up menu to "Color" and click "OK."
Choose a gradient by clicking on the triangle at the right edge of the "Gradient Map" dialogue box, or click on the bar-shaped gradient area to open the "Gradient Editor." In this editing interface, you can design your own gradient, starting and ending at the colours you prefer.
Click "OK" when you are happy with the gradient you've chosen or designed. The dialogue box closes and your marble texture now appears in colour.
Save your file as an Adobe Photoshop document -- in .psd format -- by choosing "Save As" from the "File" menu, specifying a file location and distinctive file name, and setting the file type pop-up menu to "Photoshop." Click "OK" to save your file.
Tips and warnings
- Flatten your marble texture document before you use it in another Photoshop document or a page layout file. Save the flattened file under another name as a TIFF.
- For a quick variation on the marble texture you made, change the gradient colour you applied or flip the document horizontally or vertically in the "Transform" submenu of the "Edit" menu to make the texture look different.
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