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Custom Wood Texture in Adobe Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you a simple, yet creative, technique that results in a realistic wood texture. This tutorial was written for anyone with a basic understanding of Photoshop.

The Final Image

This is what we will be creating:

Wood Texture: Final Image

Step 1: Setting Up the Document

Create a new Photoshop Document (File>New) to be 1500 x 1500px.

Document Setup

Step 2: Adding Background Color

Select a dark brown color and Fill the canvas with it. For this image, I used #5a3222.

Add background

Step 3: Adding a New Layer

Create a new layer and name it ‘Grain’. Before we do anything to this layer, make sure your colors are reset to black and white.

Grain Layer

Step 4: Rendering Clouds

Add some clouds to this layer by going to Filter>Render>Clouds.

Clouds Menu

Your image should resemble the following:

Clouds

Step 5: Stretching It Out

Transform (Cmd/Ctrl+T) the height of the ‘Grain’ layer by 600%.

Stretch Clouds

Step 6: Blurring It Up

Add a strong Motion Blur (Filter>Blur>Motion Blur) to the ‘Grain’ layer. I used a setting of 236px

Motion Blur Menu

Your image should now look like this:

Motion Blur

Step 7: Posterizing Magic

This next step is what makes this texture possible. Go to Image>Adjustments>Posterize and set it to 25 Levels. You can see that our image has some good separations that we will use to create wood grain.

Posterize Menu
Posterize

Step 8: Making the Grain

To get the wood grain to show, go to Filter>Stylize>Find Edges.

Find Edges Menu

You’ll notice that we have a pattern that resembles wood grain, but it’s not quite there yet. Let’s darken this layer by adjusting its Levels (Ctrl/Cmd+L) :

Darken Edges

Step 9: Adding Noise

We want to add some texture to the grain (as well as break it up). To do this, go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise and set the Amount to 65%.

Noise

Step 10: Blurring the Lines

Next, go to Filter>Blur>Motion Blur and give it the following settings:

Blurred Grain

Step 11: Setting Up for Depth

This next step is optional, but if you want to add some depth to the wood grain, then we need to set it up now. Go ahead and make a copy of the ‘Grain’ layer and rename it to ‘Specularity’ (this will become our specularity map). Position the layer as shown below (you can hide this layer since we wont need it just yet):

Copying Layers

Specularity:

Those who have used 3D software will recognize this word. It simply refers to a specific kind of highlight—usually a very focused spot of light on an object. A Specularity map is just an image that defines where the specular highlights go.

Step 12: Finishing up the Wood

Set the Blending Mode of the ‘Grain’ layer to Multiply. At this point, you have a finished wood texture. However, we can continue from here and add some depth to the wood grain using the ‘Specularity’ layer.

Finished Wood Polished

Step 13: Working with Specularity

Now, let’s start to refine the ‘Specularity’ layer. First, hide the ‘Grain’ layer and make the ‘Specularity’ layer visible

Reversing Layers

Step 14: Refining the Specularity Map

We need to Invert (Ctrl/Cmd+I) the ‘Specularity’ layer. Once this is done, bring up the Levels (Ctrl/Cmd+L) and adjust them as follows (the result will be our specularity map):

Specularity Map

Step 15: Applying the Specularity Map

Change the Blending Mode to ‘Screen’ and set this layer’s Opacity to 10%. Go ahead to unhide the ‘Grain’ layer.

Screen Specularity

Step 16: The Final Adjustment

To fully get the effect of the specularity map, nudge the ‘Specularity’ layer down and right a few pixels. This effect is subtle, but worth it!

Screen Specularity

Step 17: Finishing the Texture

If you want, you can add some color variation to your texture by selecting the ‘Background’ layer and using the Dodge and Burn tools as shown:

Burn and Dodge

Your final image should resemble the following:

Finished Wood Rough

Feel free to adjust the color of the ‘Background’ layer to acheive the wood coloring of your choice.

Wood Color Option

53 Comments

  1. Add point Subtract point

    excellent tutorial for wood texture

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  2. Add point Subtract point

    this works surprisingly well… wow.

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  3. Add point Subtract point

    The post is written in very a good manner and it entails many useful information for me. I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post.cheap jordans

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  4. Add point Subtract point

    I have seen this blog,its really nice to read and has more informative information..
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  5. Add point Subtract point

    yeah the blog is good and others also reply good..

    thanks!!

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  6. Add point Subtract point

    Thank you so much for this. I’ve wanted to learn how to do this type of wood texture for a long time. Your tutorial is so clear and to the point.
    Awesome job.

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  7. Add point Subtract point
    sarah beth (0 Points) October 6, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    I realllly love this tutorial!! Thank you so much!
    The only thing I did differently was add the noise background on a separate layer so that the deep grooves/wood grain wouldn’t be blurred.
    Love it!! Thanks!!

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  8. Add point Subtract point
    jonnyrose (0 Points) October 4, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    hello nice blog and its very interesting, and help ful to others to…

    The information given above is very nice which is use to be a graphic designer. It is very difficult task to be performed for. Thanks for your great stuffs of information provided for us in this article. I would like to appreciate your work.
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  9. Add point Subtract point
    DesignMango (1 Point) October 4, 2010 at 4:32 am

    Great texture, this could be used in loads of different ways! Thanks

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  10. Add point Subtract point

    Nice post seems interesting to me and fits everyone expertise thanks for sharing it here.
    As this post can be helpul also in near future..

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  11. Add point Subtract point
    Photoshop Friends (1 Point) September 27, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    thanks for sharing this great tutorial..! i love coming across sites that integrate wood into their designs :)

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  12. Add point Subtract point

    Good tut, would be better if you could tile it seemlessly

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    • Add point Subtract point
      Stephen G. Petrany (1 Point) September 27, 2010 at 10:40 am

      Bill,

      It is possible to make this texture tile. I did not explain this since I was trying to keep this tutorial as simple as possible.

      Basically, since the foundation of the texture is essentially the Cloud Filter (which naturally tiles at 256, 512, 1024, and so on…) you can do some creative document setup with some additional tweaking to ensure your texture will tile seamlessly.

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  13. Add point Subtract point
    facebook (1 Point) September 25, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Thanks for sharing. As always, I look forward to your future posts.

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  14. Add point Subtract point

    nice tutorial.

    Seen quite a few tutorials on creating wood effect in photoshop but this has to be one of the most efficient.

    good work

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  15. Add point Subtract point
    PhotoShop Tutorials (1 Point) September 21, 2010 at 5:43 am

    Nice tutorials, good work. Thank you for share…

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  16. Add point Subtract point

    I like it! There are indeed many tutorials on how to create a wood texture but this is really good. Thanks!

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  17. Add point Subtract point

    like the attention to small details…
    texture are avaliable to download..?

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  18. Add point Subtract point
    Tutorial Lounge (1 Point) September 15, 2010 at 7:48 am

    excellent work in this tutorial.

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  19. Add point Subtract point
    Web Designers (1 Point) September 14, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    This is great, thanks!

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  20. Add point Subtract point

    Amazing post…I love it. Thank you very much.

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  21. Add point Subtract point

    I was creating wood texture for some time ago and think this is the most complet tut i’ve found. really useful :)

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  22. Add point Subtract point
    Auds Velasco (1 Point) September 9, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    This is excellent.. What I have in mind for a design.

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  23. Add point Subtract point
    linkid.ru (1 Point) September 9, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Tutorials Adobe Photoshop online video

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  24. Add point Subtract point

    Its a good article,I have tried in one of my client website.

    http://onlinescraps.net/

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  25. Add point Subtract point
    Caroline (1 Point) September 9, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Thanks. This is great. Exact what I need.

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  26. Add point Subtract point
    Yuva Designs (1 Point) September 8, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Great Tutorial.
    Thanks
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  27. Add point Subtract point
    Adrian Grossett (1 Point) September 8, 2010 at 4:27 am

    Excellent tutorial I agree – well explained and easy to understand. Photoshop has unlimited features and it great to know how to create this wood texture using your tutorial – as you never know when this will be required when creating a clients website – definitely bookmarking this one. Thanks

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  28. Add point Subtract point
    Warren Jerzyszek (1 Point) September 8, 2010 at 4:00 am

    Hey nice tutorial on how to create custom wood textures in Photoshop. It’s a great outcome with a really simple, easy to follow step-by-step tutorial. I would like to see more texture tutorials like this maybe with a seamless texture if you have the strength!

    Thanks for sharing. As always, I look forward to your future posts.

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  29. Add point Subtract point
    Adobe Photoshop CS5 (1 Point) September 7, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    A lot clearer and to the point than most similar tutorials I’ve come across.
    Great job.

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  30. Add point Subtract point
    TheShadow (1 Point) September 7, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Nice and easy tutorial.well done

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  31. Add point Subtract point

    Nice and easy to follow tutorial. Thanks :)

    Hot Free Grunge Textures for Excellent Design – http://www.cruzine.com/2010/08/16/free-grunge-textures/

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  32. Add point Subtract point
    Excelbud (1 Point) September 7, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Nice effect. Neat tutorial.

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  33. Add point Subtract point

    Awesome tutorial. Very easy to follow. I have never done something like this in Photoshop. Today, it’s the first time I did it. :D

    Thanks tutorial9 and Stephen.

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  34. Add point Subtract point
    Cornelia Mladenova (1 Point) September 7, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Thanks a lot for this tutorial. For me It is the best of all tuts on how to create wood texture :):)

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  35. Add point Subtract point

    I’d been looking for a way to create a more realistic wood effect without using a plug-in. Thanks!

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  36. Add point Subtract point
    Jordy666sic (1 Point) September 7, 2010 at 9:32 am

    So way to basic.. There are ten million tutorials online how to make wood textures. Come on Tut9, you got to separate this website from the rest!

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