Solution

Create a new layer and fill it with a background color of your choice. In this example I've chosen a dusky rose color (#da9082).

Now create another new document that we can use as a temporary document to create a custom brush. With black as the foreground color, select the Brush Tool (b) and use a small, hard-edged brush to paint a few curvy lines (my artistic skills are displayed in this example). This shape will be the base for our custom brush.

Hiding the seam using a layer mask

paper background. Too easy!

Creating a brush preset

Select your masterpiece using Ctrl-A (Command-A on a Mac) and create your custom brush by selecting Edit > Define Brush Preset, as shown in this example. Give it a name in the dialog box that appears, and click OK.

Creating a brush preset

We don't need the temporary document any more, so you can close it (there's no need to save your changes). Back in your original document, select the Brush Tool (b) and scroll down the list of brush types in the options bar until you find your brush. Click on it to select it, as shown at right.

Selecting your custom brush

Open the Brushes palette and select Shape Dynamics. Increase the Size Jitter and the Angle Jitter to 100%.

Open the Brushes palette and select Shape Dynamics. Increase the Size Jitter and the Angle Jitter to 100%.

Increasing the Size and Angle Jitter

Next, click on Scattering. Adjust the settings to let your brush run wild. The example at right shows mine doing all sorts of acrobatics!

I Brushes i

Brush Presets

Brush Tip Shape 0 Shape Dynamics El Scattering

□ Color Dynamics 0Dther Dynamics S"

□ Airbrush fa H Smoothing fi'

□ Protect Texture fa

Control: | Off

Control: [off

Running wild with the Scattering options

Adjusting the Opacity and Flow Jitter

Running wild with the Scattering options

Finally, select Other Dynamics and, as shown on the left, increase the Opacity Jitter and Flow Jitter until you like what you see.

Right, let's paint! Set the foreground color to white. Create a new layer and paint on it using your custom brush (you'll probably only need to click a couple of times, rather than dragging the mouse around) to add some white lines as I did in the example shown here.

the image at left.

Happily painting away

Painting with the custom brush If you like, paint on a few more strokes using different colors. I've added some yellow and magenta in the image at left.

Happily painting away

Next, choose the Dune Grass brush from the list of brush styles as shown in the example overleaf. Set the diameter of the brush to suit your texture (mine is set at 30px).

TIP Loading and Saving Brushes

If the Dune Grass brush doesn't appear on the brush list, you can restore the default Photoshop brushes by clicking on the small arrow at the top-right of the brush list and selecting Reset Brushes. This action will replace any custom brushes you've created, so before you do this, make sure you've saved your brushes using Save Brushes from the same menu.

Set your foreground color to white and create a new layer. Click and drag the mouse back and forth until you've painted over the entire image, as shown below.

Using the Dune Grass brush

Lower the opacity of the dune grass layer to 20% or thereabouts, and adjust the opacity on your custom brush layer if you need to. You now have a rice-paper texture!

Adjusting the opacity of the layers

To turn it into a seamless tiling background, merge the three layers together, duplicate the merged layer, and apply the Offset filter (we've covered all these procedures in the solution for "Making a Seamless Tiling Background" earlier in the chapter). Hide the seams using the Clone Stamp Tool (5). Add a

Using the Offset filter and Brush Tool to hide the seams final flourish by using your custom brush to add a few more white or colored lines.

The example above (right) shows the seams that were created in my image with the Offset filter. The image in the foreground shows the areas I cloned in purple, and my new brush strokes.

And we're done! Our rice-paper background is ready for tiling.

Final rice-paper background image

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