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How to Create Bamboo in Adobe Photoshop
In this tutorial you will learn how to draw semi-realistic bamboo in Adobe Photoshop—perfect for textures and backgrounds.
Step 1: Creating a New Document
Create a new document with 800 on 600 pixels, resolution 300 dpi and a transparent background.
Step 2: Making the Texture
For texture, we do a selection with the Rectangular Marquee tool and fill it with black. After that, go to Filter> Noise> Add Noise and set to 70%, Gaussian, Monochromatic.
Then go to Filter> Blur> Motion Blur and set to the Angle of 0, Distance: 62 pixels. Thus we have the texture of bamboo fiber, now press Ctrl + T and reduce the height only slightly, to compress the fibers.
As you can see we have two layers, one with the texture and the second empty.
Let’s hide the texture layer and make a rectangular selection in the base layer, with the same size as the texture, for wich we press Ctrl + Click on the thumbnail of the texture layer. Once the selection is made, fill it with black, and open the window of Hue / Saturation by pressing Ctrl + U, we choose a green color and press OK.
Now show the texture layer and set the layer blending mode to Hard Light and then merge the layers with Ctrl + Shift + E. Press Ctrl + T to change the shape of the texture, right click on the transform area, and select Warp. With this tool, we give to the texture, the curves of bamboo.
Step 5: Volume
Now let’s use the Burn tool to add shadows in the lower side of the rod, we have to configure the tool with low exposure and a medium hardness, for me it is more convenient to use a large size in the tool.
After adding the shadows, let’s add the lights to get the volume. Select the Dodge tool and use it in the top side of the bamboo, with low exposure.
Step 7: Intesection
Once we have the texture and the basic form we´ll do the intersection. We will begin reducing the size of the bamboo cane by pressing Ctrl + T, and doubled it to obtain two segments, we will drag one on each other and select the tip of the rod above.
Once we have the selection, press Ctrl + T to transform and right-click on the selection, select Warp and try to make the curves of the bamboo, if the texture is broken in the process, we can use the Clone Stamp tool to repair.
Now we will simulate the shadow, so we will use the Burn tool to make the shadows, as seen in the image, and then use the Dodge tool for the lights.
Let´s repeat the step 7, here i show you how to use the Warp Transformation.
As we did before, we add the lights and shadows, this operation must be repeat in both tips of each cane.
Step 11: The Branchs
To draw the branch, we will use the pen tool and then convert the path to selection, fill it with black, let’s create a new layer where you draw a black rectangle. Go to Filter> Noise> Add Noise and then go to Filter> Blur> Motion Blur, as we did before to create the texture of the fibers.
Now we select the texture, press Ctrl+T, select Warp Transformation and put it on the branch shape, press Enter and change the branch texture layer blending mode to Hard Light. Press Ctrl+Click on the branch thumbnail to select the branch shape, invert the selection pressing Ctrl+Shift+i and delete the excess. Then merge the branch layer width the branch texture layer with Ctrl + Shift + E.
Let´s add the volume to the branch using the Burn Tool and the Dodge Tool as we did with the cane. Also we have to use this technique on the bamboo to simulate the branch shadow.
Press Ctrl+u to open the Hue/Saturation window and configure the hue, saturation and lightness to match the branch with the bamboo.
Now let´s draw the second segment of the branch, use the Pen Tool to draw and fill it with black, use the Hue/Saturation Window to colorize it with a green tone and then, add the volume with the Burn Tool and the Dodge Tool.
Now create a new layer called Details, and select a texturized brush with a very big size and use it on the bamboo.
Press on the bamboo layer thumbnail to select it, invert the selection and delete the excess.
Open the Hue/Saturation Window and colorize the details with a green tone.
Reduce the deatails layer fill to 66%.
Step 20: The Leaf
Now let´s create two layers called leaf and leaf texture, using the Pen Tool we will draw the leaf and with the Rectangular Marquee Tool let´s do the texture as we did before for the bamboo and the branch.
Put the leaf texture over the leaf and hide it, then open the Hue/Saturation Window to colorize the leaf with green.
Now display the leaf texture layer, change the layer blending mode to Hard Light and reduce the fill to 47%. Press Ctrl+T, choose the Warp transformation mode as steps before and adjust the fibers to the leaf form, then delete the excess.
Before we merge the leaf texture layer and the leaf layer, with the leaf texture layer selected press Ctrl+m to open the Curves Window, for add contrast.
We will duplicate the leaf and use transformation to change the leaf form, and use the Dodge Tool for add some shine.
To create the background, we will create a new folder called “On Focus”, and we put in the folder, the bamboo, the branch and the leaf. Then we create a new layer called BG, where using the Gradient Editor, we choose a gradient from green to black, and we apply it with the radial gradient tool.
Step 26: The Bamboo Forest
Then we will duplicate the bamboo and rotate the duplicates changing the size, to create the “bamboo forest”.
After that let´s crate a new folder called “Back” where we will copy the bamboo and duplicate it decreasing the size to make a back layer of forest, then go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur, with a radius of 1,4 pixels and we apply it to every layer of the “back folder”.
Now we create a new folder called “Front” where we will repeat the step before, but this time we increase the size of the bamboo, and we will add a gaussian blur with a radius of 3,8 pixels. In these tree steps, we have simulated a camera view.
Let´s create an adjustment layer of curves over the “back folder”, where we will decrease the light, obscuring the back of the scene.
Now we will select all the layers in the “Front Folder”, hold Ctrl while selecting to add the selections, all the canes in the front must to be selected when you add a curves adjustment layer, this way photoshop will create a mask in the layer, you have to be sure the adjustment layer affects only the bamboo in the front folder, if not, you have to invert the selection in the mask. In this adjustment layer, we will increase the light.
Let´s add a curves adjustment layer, go to the curves panel and press on the hand button, this button allows you to manually choose a light point on the image and drag up with the mouse to increase the curve, and then choose a shadow point and drag down to decrease the shadows and add contrast to the image.
Finally we create a new layer called “spot” and fill it with black, choose the Elliptical Marquee Tool and make a elliptical selection, then press the right button and select Feather option and write 30 pixels, press ok and then press delete, and finally we decrease the opacity of the spot layer to 43%.