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Making a Photoshop Brush Part II: Texture Brushes

A long, long time ago I wrote a detailed tutorial on how to make a Photoshop brush. Today, I want to show how to make a texture brush. It's one of my favorite ways to add texture to a design, without the need to mess with merging images and blending modes on top of that. Let's get started.

Making a Photoshop Brush Part II: Texture Brushes

Start with a cool texture image.

Making a Photoshop Brush Part II: Texture Brushes

Making a Photoshop Brush Part II: Texture Brushes

The Setup

If you want to make a large brush, the maximum size is 2500 pixels (height or width, either one) Also, if you are running CS1 or earlier, your max size is probably 1000px. So with that said, you can create your file. Then place your image and get it positioned.

The Secret of Brush Making:

Our next step is to convert our image to black and white. Why? Because when making a brush, Photoshop treats pure white as 100% transparent, and pure black as 100% opaque. This is great because it means we don't have to do any clipping and the images we use to make brushes can be very complex and still turn out decent.

Making a Photoshop Brush Part II: Texture Brushes

Convert to Black & White

There are multiple ways to convert to black and white but I like to either add an adjustment layer or simply go to Image > Adjustments > Black and White.

Making a Photoshop Brush Part II: Texture Brushes

Make your adjustments until you're happy with your image. (doesn't have to be perfect)

Making a Photoshop Brush Part II: Texture Brushes

Making a Photoshop Brush Part II: Texture Brushes

Additional Adjustments

Next, you have a lot of adjustment options, but I find the tweaking the “Levels” usually gets the job done. (Image > Adjustments > Levels) or CMND/CTRL + L.

Making a Photoshop Brush Part II: Texture Brushes

Making a Photoshop Brush Part II: Texture Brushes

Final Step:

Once your happy with your image simply go to the Edit menu and select “Define Brush Preset.”

Making a Photoshop Brush Part II: Texture Brushes

Name the brush if you want and then click “Ok.”

Done!

Now you have a brand new texture brush in your brushes palette. And you can do things like go from this:

Making a Photoshop Brush Part II: Texture Brushes

To this in a single click:

Making a Photoshop Brush Part II: Texture Brushes

It's not a complicated process, but I've found texture brushes to be the most useful in my toolset. Hopefully you can too. Oh, and don't forget to save your brushes from the brush palette menu or you'll lose all your hard work!

Making a Photoshop Brush Part II: Texture Brushes

I'm the editor-in-chief of Bittbox.com. I'm a designer and developer by day, and a writer and musician when the feeling strikes. I enjoy vintage advertisements and puzzles with an absurd amount of pieces. Follow me on Twitter.

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