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Grunge style layer tutorial

Takui Neko shares his Photoshop blending skills

|  Adobe Photoshop
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Words and Pictures ©Takui Neko 2004.

Grunge style layer tutorialGrunge style layer tutorialFirst you need a picture, the one that will be the main picture of your composition. I used a portrait. Nudes are also interesting subjects for this technique.

1 Place the picture in a new layer in PS.

2 Next, we want to add a texture to it, any texture will work, but normally I prefer rocks, old walls or recycled paper, since they give interesting effects when blended.

In this case I used this one.

Grunge style layer tutorial
Grunge style layer tutorial
3 Then make a new layer and paste the texture on it, resize as need it, in this case I put it like so

4 Then I set the Blending Mode to "Overlay" Notice the line in the face made by the "Texture" layer.

Grunge style layer tutorial

5 We fix that by making a layer mask and then use the gradient tool.

Grunge style layer tutorial

Grunge style layer tutorial

Grunge style layer tutorial  

So the image looks like this
Grunge style layer tutorial
6 Then I add a third layer for coloring. Note how the blend mode of the layer is set to "Soft Light"

7 Then I merge all the layers, add a new texture (if you need textures you can find some here, but I recommend you make your own, in this case I used one from the Internet. :P) and have the Blending Mode as "Hard Light".

I used the Layer Mask/Gradient Tool technique to erase the spots that did not look as I wanted over the face (but using the Radial Gradient this time) Like so...


Grunge style layer tutorial

8 And then the Layer Mask/Gradient Tool technique (and merge layers afterwards)

You could continue this process with different textures and blending modes forever, as many as your creativity tells you, but in this case we will keep it simple and will start adding some details.

Grunge style layer tutorial

9 Here is when you will need to get a hold of some PS Brushes, or make them yourself which is always better. To make them you will need either a texture, a picture of some old document or anything that can give details to the image.

To make the brushes: Open an Image with some interesting detail, make a selection on the detail and then go to Edit >Define Brush Preset. And you are set! For example:

Grunge style layer tutorial

Grunge style layer tutorial
10 For the next steps I will use an old document in JPG format and some brushes.
Grunge style layer tutorial
The document
Grunge style layer tutorial


Then make a new layer and paste it. Move, contract or expand the document as you see fit and then set the Blending Mode to "Linear Burn". Like so...
Then some Brushes.
Grunge style layer tutorial
Note that the brushes are in grayscale, even if made them from a colored selection, but you can change the color like with any other brush. In this case I will sample colors from the image as it is now to keep color coherency. Like so...
(notice that each brush stamp is made in a new layer, just in case you want to change colors or move or edit in any way).

And that is it!

Later you can add some more patterns, textures, play with the Burn or Dodge Tool , to darken or brighten some areas of your image, etc...

I hope this small tutorial can be of help for those wishing to experiment on this style of digital manipulation.

Grunge style layer tutorial

About the Author
Gaspar Cabrera a.k.a Takui Neko has a web site here. If you enjoyed this tutorial and would like to contact him here's his email address: Takui Neko
Grunge style layer tutorial
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