Set your document's foreground color to black and its background color to white. Create a new layer above the background layer and select Filter > Render > Clouds. Photoshop will use your foreground and background colors to create a cloud pattern. The filter's random, so you get a different effect each time, but your clouds should look something like the ones shown here.

Creating clouds using the clouds filter

Open the Channels palette. At the bottom of the palette, click on the Create new channel button, as shown below. This will create a new channel called Alpha 1.

Creating a new channel

Select Filter > Render > Difference Clouds. This will produce an effect similar to the one created using the cloud filter earlier. Now, press Ctrl-F (Command-F) to repeat the last filter command. Your clouds will intensify. Continue pressing Ctrl-F (Command-F) until you've got something similar to the example shown here, where the proportions of light and dark tones are almost equal.

Applying the Difference Clouds filter to the alpha channel

Reset your view by selecting the Layers palette and clicking on the clouds layer. Select Filter > Render > Lighting Effects and apply the following settings:

Light type: Directional Intensity: 14 Gloss: 0 Material: 0 Exposure: 5 Ambiance: 10 Texture Channel: Alpha 1 Height: 85

Adding lighting effects

Look at the preview in the dialog box and experiment with some of the settings to see how they affect your image. When you're happy with the way your image looks, click OK. Mine now looks like the example shown on the right.

Applying the offset filter

Results of lighting effects

Applying the offset filter

Results of lighting effects

Apply the Offset filter that we used in the solution for "Making a Seamless Tiling Background" at the beginning of the chapter to turn your image into—you guessed it—a seamless tiling background!

I used "special dimensions" (as discussed in the introduction to this chapter) for this document, so the result is practically seamless. My only concern is a very faint line across the center of the image. I'm going to use the Clone Stamp Tool (5) with a hard-edged brush to tidy it up.

Using the Clone Stamp Tool

All done! As you can see in the example above, I didn't have to clone too much to hide the seam. The example below shows my final image.

Final rough stone image

NOTE A Different Look

With this technique, there's a lot of room for variety. Something you might want to try is using the Noise filter (Filter > Noise > Add Noise) to add noise to the alpha channel before applying the Difference clouds filter. A large amount of noise will give your image a more "pebbly" texture. This example shows an image I created using this technique.

Noisy stones

Here we can see this image used on a web page.

Tiling image used in a web page
Understanding Adobe Photoshop Features You Will Use

Understanding Adobe Photoshop Features You Will Use

Adobe Photoshop can be a complex tool only because you can do so much with it, however for in this video series, we're going to keep it as simple as possible. In fact, in this video you'll see an overview of the few tools and Adobe Photoshop features we will use. When you see this video, you'll see how you can do so much with so few features, but you'll learn how to use them in depth in the future videos.

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