How to Turn Photos into Textures in Photoshop

Are you tired of using the same old textures for your digital designs? Do you want to add more depth and uniqueness to your artworks? Look no further! In this blog, we will uncover the secrets of turning photos into textures using Photoshop. Textures are a crucial element in design, whether it’s for graphics, web design, or digital art. They can elevate your work and give it a more realistic and tactile feel. With Photoshop’s powerful tools and techniques, you can easily transform any photo into a stunning texture in just a few steps. So, let’s dive in and unlock the potential of your photographs!

How to Turn Photos into Textures in Photoshop


Hey there and welcome to phlearn! My name is Aaron Nace and today we’re going to show you how to turn different photos into textures in Photoshop. We will guide you through making these textures visible over the whole photo or just the background. You’ll also learn how to change and invert colors and how to clone out any areas that you don’t want visible in your texture.

Choosing Textures

Here we are in Photoshop, and we have three different textures that we’re going to apply to our image. To get some variation, we’ve sourced all of these textures from, a stock image website. Simply type “textures” into the search bar, and you’ll find a wide range of free textures available.

Applying Textures

To apply the textures, we will start by using the move tool. Click and drag each texture over the main photo of your subject. Then, hit the “F” key for full-screen view. Each photo will require a slightly different treatment.

Changing Blend Modes

The key to turning these photos into textures is changing the blend mode. To make this process easier, we have a couple of keyboard shortcuts. Press “V” for the move tool and hold down the Shift key while pressing the plus and minus keys. This will allow you to scroll through the different blending modes and see how they affect your image. In most cases, the “Soft Light” and “Overlay” blending modes will be the most effective.

Adjusting Opacity

You can also adjust the opacity using the move tool. Press “V” and then use the number keys 1-9. For example, pressing 5 will set the opacity to 50%. Pressing 1 will set it to 10%, and pressing 0 will set it back to 100%.

Positioning and Scaling

To reposition and scale the texture, use the Ctrl or Cmd + T shortcut. By holding Shift, you can rotate the texture in 15-degree increments. To stretch or shrink the texture, hold the Alt or Option key while dragging the corners. Experiment until you achieve the desired look.

Controlling Texture Visibility

If you want the texture to be visible only in the background and not over your subject, temporarily make the texture layer invisible. Click on the background layer, go to the “Select” menu, and choose “Select Subject”. Then, click back on the texture layer thumbnail. Click on the layer mask icon and press Ctrl or Cmd + I to invert the mask. Now, the texture will only be visible in the background.

Refining the Texture Effect

If you find that certain areas have too strong of a texture effect, you can use the clone stamp tool to reduce texture in those areas. Press “S” for the clone stamp tool and make sure the “Sample” option is set to “Current Layer”. Alt + click to sample an area, and then paint over the distracting parts of the texture. This technique is highly effective for achieving a clean and polished look.

Adding Drama with Levels Adjustment

To add drama to a different texture, start by selecting it and pressing Ctrl or Cmd + T to transform it. Rotate and resize the texture to your liking. Then, use the same blend mode technique as before, scrolling through the options with Shift + plus and minus keys. If you like the “Screen” blend mode, but want a more dramatic effect, convert the texture layer into a smart object. Right-click on the layer and choose “Convert to Smart Object”. Change the blend mode back to “Screen” and go to the “Image” menu, choose “Adjustments”, and then “Levels”. Adjust the darks and mid-tones to control the visibility of the texture. The advantage of using a smart object is that you can easily change the levels adjustment later if needed.

Flipping and Inverting the Effect

For further customization, you can flip the texture horizontally or vertically. Right-click on the texture layer and choose “Flip Horizontal” or “Flip Vertical”. Additionally, you can invert the entire effect by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + I. Try different blend modes like “Multiply” with the inverted effect to achieve various results.

In Conclusion

Turning photos into textures in Photoshop can add depth and visual interest to your images. By adjusting blend modes, opacity, and utilizing tools like layer masks and smart filters, you have full control over how the textures interact with your subject. Experiment with different textures and techniques to create unique and captivating visuals.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Turn Photos into Textures in Photoshop

1. What is Photoshop?

Photoshop is a powerful image editing software developed by Adobe. It allows users to manipulate and enhance images using various tools and features.

2. How can I turn photos into textures in Photoshop?

To turn photos into textures in Photoshop, you can follow these steps:

  1. Open your desired photo in Photoshop.
  2. Convert the photo to a Smart Object by right-clicking on the layer and selecting “Convert to Smart Object”.
  3. Go to the “Filter” menu and select “Filter Gallery”.
  4. Experiment with different filters and effects under the “Texture” category to achieve the desired texture effect.
  5. Adjust the settings of the chosen filter to customize the texture according to your preference.
  6. Click “OK” to apply the texture effect to your photo.

3. Can I use any type of photo to create textures?

Yes, you can use any type of photo to create textures. However, it’s recommended to use high-resolution photos with good quality and details for better texture results.

4. Are there any alternative methods besides using filters?

Yes, besides using filters, you can also create textures in Photoshop by utilizing various tools and techniques such as blending modes, layer adjustments, brushes, and masks. These methods provide more control and flexibility over the texture creation process.

5. Can I apply textures to specific areas of my photo?

Yes, you can apply textures to specific areas of your photo by using layer masks. To do this, create a new layer and apply the texture effect to it. Then, use a layer mask to selectively reveal or hide the texture in desired areas of your photo.

I hope you find useful my article How to Turn Photos into Textures in Photoshop, I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

If you need help with anything join the community or do not hesitate to contact me.

Best of luck! and follow your passion.

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