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ATPM 3.05
May 1997




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Art Department

by Jamal Ghandour,


Backgrounds have become a trend these days, we see them everywhere from webpages to advertisement designs. I was asked by one of our dear readers to do a column on backgrounds. I thought this was a good idea because many people want to do nice background designs but have a very limited budget.

This month I will show you how to make a “Silk” background using only Photoshop’s innate abilities. Of course, you can save yourself some trouble and spend good money on a commercially available background. But, for those of you out there who don’t have spare money, or simply prefer to do custom made backgrounds, here is how to do it!

Silk Background:

1) First, open a new document (Found: File>New) and enter the desired dimensions. In this case, any dimensions will do. However, make sure your mode is RGB (Alhough, depending on your needs, you might choose to do this in CMYK mode).

Tip: If you intend to use this background on a web page (or other monitor screen-based media), choose a resolution of 72 dpi (dots per inch).

2) Selected the Brush tool, and stroke the page as shown in Fig.1

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Figure 1

3) Select the “Blur more” filter (Found: Filters>Blur>Blur more). You might need to use more than one pass for this filter, depending on the resolution you choose from the palette. Fig.2 shows the desired Blur amount.

[art3 graphic]

Figure 2

4) Select the “Twirl” filter (Found: Filters>Distort>Twirl). Again, you may need two passes to acheive the effect you want. Fig.3 shows the document after applying twirl.

[art4 graphic]

Figure 3

5) Select the “Emboss” filter (Found: Filters>Stylize>Emboss). Here, you might try fiddling about with the inputs until you get something that looks like Fig.4.

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Figure 4

6) The next step is colouring. Go to the “Variations” window (Found: Image>Adjust>Variations)and click on the colours until you get the desired one. Fig.5 Shows the variation window.

[art6 graphic]

Figure 5

There you have it, a geniune Silk background with no scanning and no cost! The best part is that it will be unique to you, because no one will ever match your own personal strokes.

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If you have patience and some time, you can make more types of backgrounds by experimenting in Photoshop. Please send in your suggestions for columns. If I get enough demand, who knows? I might dedicate another column to designing a more advanced Background!

[apple graphic] Copyright © 1997 Jamal Ghandour, Jamal Ghandour, is a “Senior Graphic Designer” and “Computer Section Manager” at CSS & GREY(Kuwait). He also works as “Creative Art Director” at Swiftel international communications.

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Reader Comments (2)

anonymous · November 25, 2001 - 10:11 EST #1
That is great! I have been looking for a good silk tutorial for quite some time. I have found several tutorials, but none as simple and truly realistic as this one. Thanks again!
anonymous · November 14, 2003 - 09:32 EST #2
Thanks! I think this is an awesome tutorial. I would love to get an advanced background tutorial to this. I appreciate this very much! Simple and viable!

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