Photoshop Backgrounds

The number of Photoshop backgrounds that can be made is absolutely limitless.

Never buy them; it's a waste of money.
Don't bother downloading them free from the net, because it is so easy to make most of them yourself. Also, making your own Photoshop backgrounds is more fun and they can be highly personalized for your specific purpose. In addition, it increases knowledge of Photoshop's facilities.

If you are good with a brush or airbrush then there is another way to create your own backgrounds.

How to make Photoshop backgrounds is described on this page. Once the ball is really rolling, you should be able to expand and find your own methods. 

Many filters will work directly on a plain background, either a white or light grey.
All these mini-tutorials start with a page of the same size.

  • In Photoshop, go to Control + N / Command + N.
  • Set a Width of 1200 pixels, which is 4 inches or 100mm.
  • Set a Height of 1200 pixels, which is 4 inches or 100mm.
  • Set a Resolution of 300ppi.
  • Color Mode: RGB Color.
  • Background Contents: White.

Background 1

pattern 1
  • Start with the new background as described.
  • Go to Filter > Artistic > Sponge.
  • This example uses the following settings:
    Brush Size 3
    Definition 17
    Smoothness 7
  • Colour can be added. Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation.
  • Check the Colorize box.
  • Adjust the Hue and Saturation sliders to give a suitable colour.

Background 2 

pattern 2
  • Start with the new background.
  • Here we need a grey background. 
    Click on the Foreground colour in the toolbox to open the Color Picker. Whatever colours are showing, the left edge of the large box is always grey. Click near the top left edge to choose a light grey. Click OK.
  • Fill the background with the grey by using Alt + Backspace.
  • Go to Filter > Artistic > Film Grain.
  • Move all 3 sliders over to the right. Click OK.
    If it is too strong, it can be toned down.
  • At the bottom of the Layers palette, click on the Create a new layer icon.
  • Go to Edit > Fill > Use: White. OK.
  • Hold Alt and in the Layers palette, double-click on the Backgroundlayer to turn it into a normal layer.
  • Drag Layer 1 to below Layer 0.
  • Click on Layer 0 to make it active.
  • The top of the Layers palette has an Opacity field. Change the setting to 50%. The shortcut here is usually number key 5.
  • Via the arrow in the top right corner of the Layers palette, choose Flatten Image.

Background 3 

pattern 3
  • This Photoshop background needs to start with a grey starts create a grey background as above.
  • Go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise.
  • Set Amount to 20,
    Select Uniform and Monochromatic. OK.

    The more the noise, the heavier the texture will be. 
  • Go to Filter > Brush Strokes > Crosshatch
    Stroke Length 25
    Sharpness 6
    Stength 2

    The result looks like woven material.

Also in the Brush Stroke filters, Dark Strokes and Sumi-e will work; maybe with reduced opacity over a white layer. 

Background 4 

pattern 4
  • Noise can be used to make a subtle paper background. Start with a white background.
  • Go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise.
  • Set an Amount of 30.
    Select Uniform and Monochromatic. OK.
  • Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set a Radius of 2. OK

pattern blur

Background 5

A brushed stainless steel background can be very effective. It's used as the surround for this site.

Photoshop In A Day will show you how.

Background 6 

pattern 5
  • Start with a light grey background.
  • Go to Filter > Pixelate > Color Halftone.
    Choose a Radius of 40.
    Leave all the other settings at whatever they happen to be. OK.

    Playing around with the other numbers will give different results.

Background 7

pattern 6

Filter > Pixelate > Pointillize will work on a white but it is more effective on a light grey. 

Background 8

pattern 7
  • Start with a white background.
  • Press D for the default colours in the toolbox.
  • Go to Filter > Render > Clouds.
  • If you are not happy with that particular smokey pattern, repeat the filter with Ctrl + F / Cmd + F.
  • The filter will use any colours which are in the toolbox.
  • Difference Clouds applies Difference mode to the layer.

An effective lightning can be created with this filter. If you can work out how, treat yourself to an extra cream cake, otherwise the answer can be found in Photoshop In A Day . 

Background 9

pattern 8
  • Start with a white background.
  • Click on the Foreground colour in the toolbox.
    In the Color Picker, choose a light blue. OK.
  • Have white as the background colour.
  • Press G for the Gradient tool.
  • In the top options bar, select the Diamond Gradient.
  • Also in the options bar, set Mode to Difference.
  • Drag the cursor over a small portion of the background.
  • Drag the cursor over a different portion of the background.
    The colour will reverse on each occasion.
  • Drag the cursor over the background as many times as you fancy.

All the Gradient variations can be used to make Photoshop backgrounds.

It might just be white at the bottom merging into a dark colour at the top, drawn with the Linear Gradient; or it might be like the shape on the right, drawn with the Radial Gradient to show a bit of depth and distance. 

Background 10

pattern 9
  • Start with a white background.

The Filter > Sketch menu can create some effects on a plain background; such as, Conte crayonNote paperReticulation and Water paper.

The example on the right is Note paper

Background 11

concentric circles

Under Filter > Sketch, Halftone Pattern gives a choice of effects.

The sample on the right uses Circle.
Photoshop backgrounds can also be created with the Dot and Line options. 

Background 12 

pattern 10

Filter > Texture gives a number of good options from a basic Grain to Mosaic tiles and Texturizer with Brick.

Here are a couple more home-made efforts.
The one on the left is from a piece of fibrous paper which was scanned.
The background on the right was Photoshop generated. 

pattern 11

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Photoshop Backgrounds - 2


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