White Papers & Texture

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White Papers & Texture

I didn't think this was exactly a software specific question, but a design-specific question. I would appreciate any advice, opinions, examples, etc. anyone has to offer.

I have the hardest time finding happiness in creating a white/off-white/cream colored papered with texture. A solid paper is ok because the texture is pretty obvious using an overlay. But what do you do with a patterned paper? Especially a patterned paper with high contrast colors (like dark gray or navy or red)? I want the pattern to blend with the texture as well as the background so it doesn't look disconnected, but it seems that if I add the texture overlay after merging the pattern and background, then the background gets blown out with highlights and you can't see any of the texture. At 100% it seems barely visible. If I add the texture first to the background and THEN throw the pattern on top I have to use a multiply or linear burn to get it blend into the texture as it should. Problem with that is the dark colors become much darker than I would like.

I may just be driving myself crazy with this, but it is seriously driving me crazy. Every time I go to work on one like that I end up throwing it out cuz it just doesn't work for me. I've seen some really nice white/off-white patterned and textured papers around the web that I love and just can't seem to get it with the methods I've been using.

Anybody have any tips or tricks? How do you get a white patterned textured paper that you're happy with? Oh - and without a grunge effect. I'm looking for a clean textured paper look. Thanks. smiley

Yes, making textures looking even in different colors, and show up in black and white are challenges to every designer.

I´ll assume, on my answer, that you´re using a photoshop, because I really don´t know how to do it in any other program.

There are two interesting ways of doing this: The first, but not always useful, is to put on the bottom layer, the texture, on the second layer, the color, set as "overlay". If the texture don´t catch the color in the way you want you either duplicate the color two or three times, or change the levels or brightness/contrast of your texture.

The second (which is the one I most use) is, first, apply the texture to the whole paper, as you usually do, and, zoomed to 100%, check in which colors it don´t appear properly. Then, copy the texture, put it right below the color where the texture seems faded, and clip it (use "create clipping mask"). if it´s still not even, you can duplicate it again till it´s ok...

Sometimes the texture needs other kinds of balance to show better, even using this method, like desaturate, change levels, contrast, etc. And what is necessary changes from paper to paper. Sometimes I use lots of time till become satisfied with the way a texture is showing up....

I do mine a couple of ways, but the easiest way, the way I do it the most, is I take whatever texture I'm using, usually its a greyscale texture paper, I duplicate it, then I go to levels and push the slider almost all the way to the left to make it the whitest I can get it without it losing its texture look, then its usually really light almost whitish grey, then I go to hue/saturation and just hit "colorize", it will give it more of an offwhite, very light cream white hue, instead of greyish...you can play with it till you get the off-white look that you like, and it will still have texture. After that, I n ow have my "off-white" texture, and my greyscale texture. They are the same texture, so when I am making papers, I use the greyscale part as an overlay for any "color" part, and clip the "off-white" texture to any "white" part of the pattern....Then if I ever need more texture on any part, I'll duplicate the greyacale texture and overlay it on that particular part (even if its the off-white texture) and change the opacity to whatever I need it to be. I works really well, and I always have an "off-white" paper to make other things with, such as strokes for stickers when making sticker layer styles, so the texture is the same for the sticker and the white part around the sticker:) If that makes sense....

Those are great tips. I never even thought of clipping a texture copy to the color/pattern layer. Duh! lol! I kept getting stuck in trying to blend the pattern/color into the texture layer which was on top of the white. OK - now I have some things to try. Tomorrow. Time for games with the kids tonight. Thank you so much ladies. smiley

Great idea Sheila, I need to try it!

Thanks for the great tips Sheila, I tried this last night and it works like a charm. I can't believe I never thought of lowering the levels - I just skipped the grey textures and looked for white ones. This has tripled my stash, woohoo!