Sunday, November 14, 2010

Make a carbon fiber texture in photoshop CS5

Today I decided to share a quick easy way to make a carbon fiber texture in Photoshop. I first had to use this texture for a Power Point layout job I did for a web hosting company, and had found it was very useful for other projects.

PLEASE NOTE: I'm working on a mac so all key commands are for mac.

Lets start by making a new file...

We want to make it 8px wide by 16px high.
Once out new document opens, click the zoom tool (Z key) and along the top tool bar select fit screen.

That should make our document a little easier to work with.

Now select your pencil tool (B key). If you do not see the pencil tool on your tool bar click and hold on the paint brush button, a drop down will appear where you can select the pencil tool... Or just press, Shift + B.

Next, click the brush preset picker drop down box in the top tool bar, if you don't have square brushes loaded, load them now.

To load the square brushes, click the small arrow in the top right corner of the preset drop down box. A menu will appear, select Square Brushes. Click append.

When the brushes are added select the size 4 square brush
To finish up your preparation turn on snapping... View-> Snap (Command + Shift + ;

Designing the pattern
Lets get started...
For this texture you will need only 4 colors. I used:

#222222 - Dark grey
#444444 - Dark mid grey
#888888 - Mid grey
#aaaaaa -  Light grey

For those who don't know about hexadecimal color codes don't worry, just note that the color codes above are entered at the bottom of color picker window (see following pictures)

Now... here is the pattern (this is why we are using the 4px square pencil brush)
First the #222222 in the top left

#888888 in the top right

The next row is #aaaaaa on the left

And #444444 on the right 

The next four squares are just a mirror image of the first four squares
 #888888 on the left

#222222 on the right

Next line, #444444 on the left

#aaaaaa on the right.

Now you make this your pattern. Select Edit > Define Pattern.

A dialog box will appear asking you to name your patter, I chose "Carbon Fiber"

And that's it all there is to making the pattern.

Using the pattern

To use your pattern select the layer you want to use the pattern on and open the "Layer Properties" dialog box (double click the layer).
From the style list select Pattern Overlay.

In the pattern overlay select the "Carbon Fiber" pattern we created from the pattern drop down box.

You can adjust the pattern by using the scale slider below the drop down box, or you can change the opacity of the pattern to show whats underneath, like in the gradient example at the top of this post


That's it! Thanks for reading, I'll post more soon! Let me know what you think and check out my website at

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