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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.

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Step 2: Making the Texture

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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.


Step 3:

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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.

Step 4:

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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

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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.

Step 6:

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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

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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.

Step 8:

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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.

Step 9:

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Let´s repeat the step 7, here i show you how to use the Warp Transformation.

Step 10:

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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

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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.

Step 12:

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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.

Step 13:

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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.

Step 14:

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Press Ctrl+u to open the Hue/Saturation window and configure the hue, saturation and lightness to match the branch with the bamboo.

Step 15:

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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.

Step 16:

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Now create a new layer called Details, and select a texturized brush with a very big size and use it on the bamboo.

Step 17:

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Press on the bamboo layer thumbnail to select it, invert the selection and delete the excess.

Step 18:

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Open the Hue/Saturation Window and colorize the details with a green tone.

Step 19:

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Reduce the deatails layer fill to 66%.

Step 20: The Leaf

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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.

Step 21:

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Put the leaf texture over the leaf and hide it, then open the Hue/Saturation Window to colorize the leaf with green.

Step 22:

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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.

Step 23:

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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.

Step 24:

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We will duplicate the leaf and use transformation to change the leaf form, and use the Dodge Tool for add some shine.

Step 25:

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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

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Then we will duplicate the bamboo and rotate the duplicates changing the size, to create the “bamboo forest”.

Step 27:

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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”.

Step 28:

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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.

Step 29:

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Let´s create an adjustment layer of curves over the “back folder”, where we will decrease the light, obscuring the back of the scene.

Step 30:

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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.

Step 31:

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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.

Step 32:

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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%.

Final Result:

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Download the Source Files


  1. Add point Subtract point
    PSD Box (1 Point) February 1, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    that was soo cool. I can’t believe you made that with the Noise filter.
    Yet another proof that with the simplest of filters you can make truly wonderful things.

    I love how you made the junctions and the leaves. really nice tut.

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    arunbaisla (1 Point) January 20, 2011 at 4:24 am

    grate job done….. very nice.

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  3. Add point Subtract point

    i cnt understand step 7 can u explain to me hw to get 2 segment?

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  4. Add point Subtract point

    Dude very nice work…. keep on

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  5. Add point Subtract point

    lovely……very nice one…kep up the good work high :-)

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  6. Add point Subtract point

    Very cool. Helped me get a better understanding of the dodge and burn tools!

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  7. Add point Subtract point

    Thanks – very creative, nice work

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  8. Add point Subtract point
    lookie (1 Point) August 28, 2010 at 1:54 am

    cool. that great idea, man. I like it. simple but creative

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  9. Add point Subtract point
    Childmonster (1 Point) August 27, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    The final looks very nice

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  10. Add point Subtract point
    amol sathe (1 Point) August 24, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Hiram Elias super coooooooooool tut;but can u plzzzzz help with effects tutorial in 3d max
    i have completed 3d & photoshop diploma

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  11. Add point Subtract point
    C.Blond (1 Point) August 23, 2010 at 7:41 am

    I was just looking for a inspiration and found this! Thank you for this tutorial it makes my day…:) I´ll leave a link to the picture when i´m finished.

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  12. Add point Subtract point
    RabiD Son (1 Point) August 9, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    nice tutorial! But the location of the branchs was setting wrong!

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  13. Add point Subtract point
    roneybalack (1 Point) August 8, 2010 at 3:41 am

    In this photoshop tutorial we will learn to design a clean website layout. … This photoshop tutorial show you how to design a very beautiful and shining …
    thanks.. find more best tutorials here

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  14. Add point Subtract point

    What font did you use for “Bamboo in adobe photoshop”? The font looks real nice.

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  15. Add point Subtract point
    Sasha (1 Point) July 19, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Thanks))) i did it, and i like picture i’ve made in a one attempt only)))

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  16. Add point Subtract point
    Adrianne (1 Point) July 13, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Suuuper coool todoo!!!
    gracias!!! me enkantoo aprendeeerss!!! y I LOB photoshop n_n

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  17. Add point Subtract point

    great!! :D
    thank’s for share..

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  18. Add point Subtract point
    Warren Jerzyszek (1 Point) June 23, 2010 at 4:04 am

    Interesting tutorial, I cant imagine I would ever need to make my own bamboo but sunni is right, it makes a great tutorial for texture building in 3d rendering programs like Maya or 3D studio max.

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    Gebel Scarduzio (1 Point) June 19, 2010 at 5:24 pm is a graphic designing website. photoshop tutorials.

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  20. Add point Subtract point

    great thank for this tut…

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  21. Add point Subtract point

    i want to photoshop tutorial

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  22. Add point Subtract point
    Design Hippo (1 Point) June 14, 2010 at 3:55 am

    Great tutorial. Nice and easy step by step with great results. Thanks

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  23. Add point Subtract point
    canny (1 Point) June 11, 2010 at 8:38 am

    good!!! so good!!!!!

    oh… so gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood!!

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  24. Add point Subtract point
    ahmed (1 Point) May 14, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Very nice and cool abis…. but very dificuly

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  25. Add point Subtract point
    sunil (1 Point) May 14, 2010 at 5:54 am

    really nice its help for me to create texture for maya…eeeeeeeee thank uuuuuuuu

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  26. Add point Subtract point
    sunil (1 Point) May 14, 2010 at 5:54 am

    really nice its hlpe for me to create texture for maya…eeeeeeeee thank uuuuuuuu

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  27. Add point Subtract point
    Laurence Grammon (1 Point) May 13, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    There are a few things I had to search in the screenies for, and it was pretty annoying. Especially because the text is after the screenies. I’d only advise to change that order and to list out everything in text, rather than having us do a step then go back to fix a tiny detail we only realize after the text doesn’t work.

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  28. Add point Subtract point
    ergdegdeg (1 Point) May 12, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Very interesting and good tutorial, however, I’m wondering why we are supposed to set the resolution to 300 dpi. This has absolutely no effect on graphics to be displayed on screens only.

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  29. Add point Subtract point
    Juri (1 Point) May 11, 2010 at 2:22 am

    Thanks for a really great tutorial!

    Detailed and easy to follow!

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  30. Add point Subtract point
    création sites internet (1 Point) May 10, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Thanks for this tutorial. Very realistic.

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  31. Add point Subtract point
    Jen Oliver (1 Point) May 9, 2010 at 7:08 am

    Oh I love this effect – really great design. Thanks for the tutorial! I’m sure this’ll keep me busy for a while. :)

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  32. Add point Subtract point
    fred (1 Point) May 7, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    niezly pomysl :)

    kartki bożonarodzeniowe

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  33. Add point Subtract point
    böcek ilaçlama (1 Point) May 7, 2010 at 7:09 am

    nice!! but maybe you should add more bamboo leaves to make it more realistic.

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  34. Add point Subtract point
    blog ala newbie (1 Point) May 7, 2010 at 5:57 am

    a very good explanation, thank’s brother :D

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  35. Add point Subtract point

    Really great tut… Thanks alot

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  36. Add point Subtract point
    ViNo (1 Point) May 6, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    So very Realistic :) Great Tut.. :) thanks

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  37. Add point Subtract point
    mhelries (1 Point) May 5, 2010 at 9:45 am

    nice!! but maybe you should add more bamboo leaves to make it more realistic.

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  38. Add point Subtract point
    Stark (1 Point) May 5, 2010 at 7:45 am

    what about STEP 11…It’s gotta be something wrong with picture. Please fix it!

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  39. Add point Subtract point
    PsdDude (1 Point) May 4, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Great ! Really detailed tutorial and what a beautiful result !

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  40. Add point Subtract point
    Johnson Koh (1 Point) May 4, 2010 at 3:27 am

    Original and creative! Like the idea that everything is done from scratch in Photoshop.

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  41. Add point Subtract point
    Belisma web (1 Point) April 30, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Very beautiful tutorial!

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  42. Add point Subtract point
    edwardo (1 Point) April 29, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Step 14: The branch of the bamboo looks like asuper real 3d!!!! Awesome tutorial.. as ever :D

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  43. Add point Subtract point
    Abubaker (1 Point) April 28, 2010 at 11:57 pm


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  44. Add point Subtract point

    I normally do bamboo in AutoDesk Maya. After seeing this tutorial, you came up with a good way to make good bamboo textures. Nice!

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  45. Add point Subtract point

    Thank you for this Tutorial.

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  46. Add point Subtract point
    Joseph (1 Point) April 27, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Great work… everything thing is really detailed :)

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  47. Add point Subtract point
    Jae Xavier (1 Point) April 26, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    I normally do bamboo in AutoDesk Maya. After seeing this tutorial, you came up with a good way to make good bamboo textures. Nice!

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  48. Add point Subtract point
    D.VIJAY ANAND (1 Point) April 26, 2010 at 8:38 am


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  49. Add point Subtract point

    Great work… everything thing is really detailed :)

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  50. Add point Subtract point
    p1i3c1h (1 Point) April 25, 2010 at 5:28 am

    Thank you for this Tutorial.

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  51. Add point Subtract point
    Tutorial Lounge (1 Point) April 25, 2010 at 4:01 am

    you did excellent bamboo design with amazing techniques which you sharing in this beautiful tutorial.

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  52. Add point Subtract point
    inspirationfeed (1 Point) April 24, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Nice, tutorial great stuff.

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  53. Add point Subtract point
    Web Risorsa (1 Point) April 24, 2010 at 5:10 am

    Very nice explanation… It’s really awesome work…

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  54. Add point Subtract point
    AEVION (1 Point) April 23, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    WOW! I thought that that bamboo was real at first glance, and until I read the title, I still thought it was. Only thing I think could use a little improvement would be the leaves.

    Haha, when I was looking at image putting two stocks together, I was reminded of bones (without the joints of course). Anatomy classes are starting to rub off on me. The tutorial was well done… great job mate!

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  55. Add point Subtract point
    Nisha singh (1 Point) April 23, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Amazing, Brilliant tutorial, i like it Hiram Elias

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  56. Add point Subtract point
    Paweł P. (1 Point) April 23, 2010 at 4:33 am

    It’s a realy Tutorial Bliss! Good work,
    good ending efect! Best regards.

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  57. Add point Subtract point
    Frinley (1 Point) April 23, 2010 at 4:03 am

    hey this is really cool, i like it going to try now! thank you

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  58. Add point Subtract point
    Frinley (1 Point) April 23, 2010 at 4:02 am

    hey this is realy cool, i like it going to try now! thank you

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  59. Add point Subtract point
    rainbow (1 Point) April 23, 2010 at 2:42 am

    This is amazing, very eye catching, i would love to do some designs with these. Thanks.

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  60. Add point Subtract point
    valeria (1 Point) April 22, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    hi! humm someone know the name of the icons used for the share section in every post? and where i can download them?

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  61. Add point Subtract point
    lava360blog (1 Point) April 22, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    great tutorial. the resuly looks very natural. thanks for share

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  62. Add point Subtract point

    i am impressed as the others. real neat.

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  63. Add point Subtract point
    Simeon (1 Point) April 22, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Great tut. I’m amazed at what one can do with photoshop. I’m even more amazed that you thought it up and made an easy to understand tut for making bamboo. I’ll try this one out for sure. thanks.

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  64. Add point Subtract point

    Its hard to believe there is no stock photos to start with that you did everything right down to the leaves.

    Can’t wait to try this!

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  65. Add point Subtract point

    Outstanding and clearly written. Thanks!

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  66. Add point Subtract point
    PhotoShop Tutorials (1 Point) April 22, 2010 at 10:12 am

    thanks for sharing this tutorial with us. it a nice tutorial eevn a dumb one can easily make it by using photoshop.

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  67. Add point Subtract point
    Meline (1 Point) April 21, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    nice tutorial thanks for sharing,amazing!

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  68. Add point Subtract point
    Soujanya (1 Point) April 21, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    This tutorial is just awesome.

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  69. Add point Subtract point
    Daniel (1 Point) April 21, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Great tutorial. keep it up dude.

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  70. Add point Subtract point

    I did tuts in bahasa tooo.. BUT this is totally awesome! You got it very detail!

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  71. Add point Subtract point

    good tutorial….lovely work

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  72. Add point Subtract point

    The idea is great, so is the technique but the tutorial was written with little care for grammar or spelling. Step 12 doesn’t have a name and lots of things are misspelt. But not bad. =)

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  73. Add point Subtract point
    Shawn Ramsey (1 Point) April 21, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Excellent tutorial! The most original I’ve seen in a while. Great work Hiram!

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  74. Add point Subtract point
    Chris Mower (1 Point) April 21, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Whoa… you did a great job and make it look so easy too! I’m going to be giving this one a try. You’re step-by-step instructions seem like they’ll be rather easy to follow.


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    Diana Eftaiha (1 Point) April 21, 2010 at 9:39 am

    brilliant tutorials. thanks for sharing

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  76. Add point Subtract point
    Bert Johnson (2 Points) April 21, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Nicely Done! This is the first tut I’ve seen in a long while that I’ve been impressed by..

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