Alibony Lessons for Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, and Digital Photography

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Photoshop Elements: Aged Textured Paper

Adobe® Photoshop® Elements 6

August 15, 2008

In this lesson, learn how to make an aged textured paper that is highly customizable. You can easily change the color, texture and highlights in the paper.

The process described below can form the basis of an infinite variety of textured papers. For more variations on this process, see the following lessons:

Multicolor Textured Paper
Embossed Textured Paper
Patterned Textured Paper

Aged Textured Paper Layers Used in Paper
Aged textured paper Layers palette

To make aged textured paper:

  1. From the File menu, select New, then Blank File. Enter the dimensions you want for your paper and click OK.
  2. From the Edit menu, select Fill Layer and fill the background layer with 50% Gray.

    Fill Layer dialogue
  3. In the Layers palette, add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer above the background layer. You can later change your paper color easily by editing the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. In the Hue/Saturation dialogue box, check Colorize and select a soft tan color as shown below:

    Hue/Saturation dialogue Background color
  4. Create a texture layer of clouds above the Hue/Saturation Layer:

    1. In the Layers palette, click the Create a new layer icon.
    2. Press D to set the foreground and background colors to the default of black foreground and white background.
    3. From the Filter menu, select Render, then Clouds. Press Ctrl+F to run the filter again until you get a cloud pattern you like.
    4. From the Filter menu, select Stylize, then Emboss. In the Emboss dialogue box, enter a percentage between 150-500%. Click OK.

      Emboss dialogue
  5. In the Layers palette, set the blend mode of the cloud layer to Soft Light. The paper is now colored and textured.

    Soft Light blend mode
  6. Add a Pattern adjustment layer above the cloud layer:

    1. In the Layers palette, select the cloud layer.
    2. Click the Create adjustment layer icon and select Pattern.
    3. In the Pattern Fill dialogue, click the arrow to the right of the pattern thumbnail to select a pattern. In this example, the pattern used is Gouache Light on Watercolor in the Artist Surfaces group.

      Pattern fill selection
    4. Click OK.
  7. In the Layers palette, set the blend mode of the pattern layer to Soft Light and set the opacity to 75%. The pattern is now applied to the textured paper.

    Pattern applied
  8. Add a Dodge and Burn layer at the top of the layer stack to add contrast to the paper by darkening (burn) the edges and lightening (dodge) sections of the paper:

    1. In the Layers palette, click the Create a new layer icon.
    2. From the Edit menu, select Fill Layer and fill the background layer with 50% Gray.
    3. Set the blend mode of this layer to Overlay. You can now see the textured paper on the layers below.
    4. Press D to set the foreground and background colors to the default of black foreground and white background.
    5. Using a large soft brush with the opacity set to 30% or less, paint with black on the 50% Gray layer to darken the edges of the paper. Paint with white to add highlights.
    6. If you make mistakes you can correct them by painting with black and white on this Dodge and Burn layer. The following image shows the result of burning and dodging:
    Aged textured paper
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Updated on July 31, 2013