Solution

Fill the background layer of your document with a brown color. We're going to add a Noise filter as we did when we created a brushed metal background earlier. Select Filter > Noise > Add Noise. In the dialog box that appears, set the amount to 65% or thereabouts for a higher contrast, and check the Monochromatic option, as shown at right.

Adding motion blur

Adding noise

Adding motion blur

Adding noise

Bring up the Motion Blur dialog box by selecting Filter > Blur > Motion Blur. Set the Angle to 0° and the Distance to about 80 pixels.

The next few steps can be altered, depending on the type of wood effect that you're looking for. I'm going to use the Hue/Saturation and Levels commands to brighten the wood and give it a rich hue.

Select Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation or use the shortcut Ctrl-U (Command-U on a Mac) to bring up the Hue/Saturation dialog box. Increase the Saturation to an amount that works for you—I used a value of 48.

Increased saturation

Increasing the saturation

The colors of my wood-grain now look brighter, as shown here.

Increased saturation

TIP Subtle Beauty

If you're creating an image that you want to tile, you might not want the repeating background to be too obvious. Bear this in mind when you're applying effects. For example, if you use the Bloat Tool to create a "knot" in the wood, the frequency of the repeated knot would hinder the authenticity of your wood-grain background. I'd recommend sticking with more subtle effects.

Next, select Image > Adjustments > Levels or press Ctrl-L (Command-L). Increase the contrast by dragging the black and white sliders towards the center, as shown at right.

Here comes the fun part! Select Filter > Liquify. The Liquify filter dialog has several settings that you can use to achieve different effects, as shown below. Select a tool and experiment with it by clicking and dragging, or holding your cursor over the texture.

Adjusting the levels

Forward Warp Turbulence

Clockwise Twirl

Liquify (woodhg. psd p 100%)

Forward Warp Turbulence

Clockwise Twirl

Turbulent Jitter: 50 |v| Reconstruct Mode:

Mask Options

1^1 Show Image Q Show Mesh

Mesh Size: j Medium

0 Show Mask

Brush Size: 55 Q

Brush Density: 50

Brush Pressure: 100 v Brush Rate:

Turbulent Jitter: 50 |v| Reconstruct Mode:

Mode: Revert

I Restore All I

Mask Options

1^1 Show Image Q Show Mesh

Mesh Size: j Medium

Mesh Color: Gray

0 Show Mask

Mask Color: Red

Use: | All Layers

Mode: | In Front Opacity: 150

Using the Liquify filter

Next, crop the image to remove the edges that were not blurred, as shown below.

Cropping the image

Duplicate the layer and apply the offset filter, as described in the solution for "Making a Seamless Tiling Background." Then, apply a layer mask to the offset layer, as shown at right. Using the Brush Tool (b), select a soft-edged brush and paint in black along the middle of the image mask to hide the seam. Blend the offset layer with the background layer by painting in different shades of gray. This example shows my layer mask results (in green).

Export your completed wood-grain texture using Save For Web. , and you're done! The example overleaf shows what my image looks like when it's tiled on a web page.

Applying a layer mask
Seamless wood-grain background

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