Paper Textures Tutorial: Adding fake folds to your design in a jiffy with the folded paper texture packs
Hello Zine readers! Simon from Studio Ace of Spade here today. I just wanted to let you know that my folded paper texture packs, volume I and volume II are now available on the Arsenal! I hope you enjoy this textures tutorial, teaching you to add fake folds to your designs in a jiffy with the folded paper texture packs!
What’s in the packs?
Glad you asked. Each pack contains a series of 12 textures each. The textures are roughly 4740 x 6320px @ 600 dpi.
The pack is centered around folded and crumpled paper, from a simple vertical and horizontal folds all the way to crazy crumpled and over-folded paper. Check these examples below:
These should cover a decent chunk of your folded and crumpled paper emulation needs.
How to use these textures
Just like the photocopy noise textures I released a few weeks back, the textures are black and white, which dictates some of the workflow to follow. This awesome post about blending modes I found on PhotoBlogStop gives us this information about the Screen blending mode:
Screen: Similar to the Lighten blend mode, but brighter and removes more of the dark pixels, and results in smoother transitions. Works somewhat like the Multiply blend mode, in that it multiplies the light pixels (instead of the dark pixels like the Multiply blend mode does). As an analogy, imagine the selected layer and each of the underlying layers as being 35mm slides, and each slide being placed in a separate projector (one slide for each projector), then all of the projectors are turned on and pointed at the same projector screen…this is the effect of the Screen blend mode. This is a great mode for making blacks disappear while keeping the whites, and for making glow effects.
Keeping this information in mind, here are a few ways to use the textures.
Add the texture within your layer stack
The scenario: you just want to add paper folds as the finishing touch to your print.
Here’s the finished file for the piece I did for the demo of my metal dumpster texture pack.
In order to give this piece an extra “vintage movie poster” feel, I’ll simply add folded-paper-textures-volume-01-sbh-001.jpg from the folded paper texture pack volume I to the top of my layer stack.
Once that’s done, simply change the blending mode to Screen, and you’ll have some fake folds in your poster!
If the effect is too strong, you simply have to play with the layer’s opacity slider to make the effect more or less subtle. Below is the same texture at 50% opacity instead of 100%.
The scenario: you want to use some of the more exotic textures as part of your design itself.
There are some less conventional folds in the packs. For instance, in volume II, there’s this burst-like thing (folded-paper-textures-volume-02-sbh-006.jpg):
This is the file of the piece I did for the photocopy noise texture pack:
While this might be a bit corny, I’d like to use the burst-like folds behind the design (and the silhouette in particular) to create some divine rays of some kind. Let’s start by placing the texture at the bottom of my Design layer group.
Composition wise, I think it could be more interesting if the rays were coming from behind the head of the silhouette.
Now, we simply have to use the Screen blending mode to our advantage again, so we can see the background effects of the piece again.
Since the effect is still a hair too strong, I simply decided to lower the opacity of the texture layer to 25%, and we get something much more subtle.
Paste the textures in a layer mask
Using these black and white textures in layer mask is super easy, because you can get a very quick sense of how they’ll impact the content of that mask. If we look at the more crumpled type of paper textures, we find things like that (in volume I, folded-paper-textures-volume-01-sbh-007.jpg):
This would be perfect to emulate a very worn print. Let’s have another look at the Road Hog tee design pack by OK Pants (more info about that here, on the Arsenal). It’s just got a background effect set up, just like at the start of the tutorial I wrote about my metal dumpster texture pack.
I want to emulate a worn look for the piece, just like if the piece had been heavily scratched. It’s simple to do. Let’s start by adding a layer mask to our design. Simply highlight the layer you want to add a mask to, and click the Add layer mask button at the bottom of your layer palette.
Make sure the layer and the mask aren’t linked together (click on the chain link between the layer and mask thumbnails), so we’ll be able to resize and move the content of each independently of each other.
Once these two steps have been taken care of, open your texture, copy it, and paste it into the layer mask. Simply ALT/OPTION+CLICK the layer mask’s thumbnail in the layer palette to access its content to do so. Resize the texture so it fills the whole canvas. Even though the files are super high-resolution, don’t hesitate to sharpen things up a bit (you can use Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen a couple of times). Sharpening the texture will also bring out the fold pattern more.
Once you’re done, click the layer thumbnail again to admire your result… And realize that obviously, the effect is too intense. Simply switch back to the layer mask content view, and make the edits needed to the texture.
First, let’s invert it (CTRL/CMD+I).
The result is much nicer.
From there, using the level palette (CTRL/CMD+L), you could make the effect stronger:
Or you could do it much softer, too:
I’m sure there are a few more ways to use these creatively, but that’s what I wanted to show you today. I hope you enjoyed going through the short how-tos as much as I had fun writing them. As usual, you should ask your questions in the comments below or by tweeting at me. And obviously, you should purchase the texture packs so you’ll never have to worry about how to add folds to your designs again!