How To Create Unique Wood Texture in Photoshop CC 2014 (Plus Free Action)

How To Create Unique Wood Texture in Photoshop CC 2014 (Plus Free Action)

In this post, I will guide you through step by step tutorial how to create unique wood texture. This is one of many ways to accomplish this task, by the way. Along the way, I have recorded action which is fully automated and you will end up with a wood texture just by playing action, but I recommend you to play around with some dialog's which will open and to try to get even better result.

How to use Wood Texture action

As already mentioned, it is fully automated action and you can just watch what is happening on your screen. However, I recommend you to play around, at least in Liquify dialog for the purpose to achieve more unique and even better result.

Your task, while the action is playing, will be to adjust the Opacity for the Brush Tool then to resume playing action. When the dialog with info that you should adjust Opacity appears, click OK and set the Brush Tool to Soft Round, 250px, then set Opacity from the Options bar to 10%. Lastly, click Play selection button in the Actions panel (that's what I meant by resume playing action).
Steps to set Brush options
Steps to set options and resume playing action:
  1. Set Soft Round brush, Size 250px
  2. Change Opacity from the Options bar to 10%
  3. Click Play selection button in the Actions panel

If you want more control and to darken and lighten tones on your own, then simply exclude Use Brush steps by unchecking checkmark on the left side of  the step or command name (that's why I wrote an entire mini course dedicated to actions so I do not have to repeat the same thing over and over again).

Download action
Here is the download link for the action.

Load action
After downloading action, load it in Photoshop from File > Open > navigate to Wood.atn and double click on it.

Use action
Display Actions panel from Window > Actions, select Wood Texture action then click on Play selection button and follow instructions whenever they appear (you must change Brush size and the Brush opacity, everything else is optional). Action can be used in Photoshop CS6 and later. I am mentioning this, although I have said goodbye to compatibility issues since Creative Cloud is introduced.
Play action: Wood Texture

Step by step instructions to create Wood texture

I will very briefly describe the steps to create wood texture, you have action so why to bother with too many details.

Step 1 Create a new document
I am using 500x500px dimensions in action. New documents can be created from File > New, for precision.

Step 2 Fill layer with 50% Gray
The second step is to fill newly created and the only layer (Background) with 50% Gray from Edit > Fill > 50% Gray. By the way, we could skip this extra step since New dialog offers to fill Background layer with the color of choice.

Step 3 Filter Gallery > Grain
The third step is to go to Filter > Filter Gallery and to use Grain filter. Use low Intensity and Contrast plus set the Grain Type to: Vertical.

Step 4 Motion Blur
The purpose of this step is to smooth things out. I am using Angle: 90 and Distance: 25 Pixels in this case. Angle should follow the vertical lines in our texture.

Step 5 Image Size
To smooth things or grain, even more, we will use Image Size dialog. In this case, I have enlarged the image to the dimensions: 1500x1500px.

Step 6 Add some variations in tones
In this step, you should add some variety by painting dark and light tones using the Brush Tool. Use low Opacity for the Brush Tool: 10-15% and paint vertical lines from top to bottom. You can change blending modes while painting, but that's not an ultimate requirement.

Step 7 Add waves and knots in Liquify filter
The next step is to visit Liquify filter and to be creative. Use Forward Warp Tool, Bloat Tool and optionally Twirl Clockwise Tool to make unique texture. Vary brush size and keep the other settings to low (Density, Pressure, and Rate).
Liquify dialog when creating wood texture

Step 8 Make a new layer and fill it with color then change blending mode
After creating the texture you should colorize it. Create a layer above the layer with texture and fill it with color. Use brownish (between red and yellow) as a starting point. Lastly, change blending mode for a layer with color and play around with blending modes. You can always change the color on a layer with color from Edit > Fill and using the couple other ways like Paint Bucket or Alt/Opt + Delete keyboard shortcut.

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