Recolouring a wood texture with `Blend If`
(Before reading this tutorial you should read the 'Blend If' tutorial. It explains in much more detail how the Blend If function works)
Anyone making textures will have to create wood textures sooner or later. The stock of a weapon, the floor of a room: wood is everywhere.
Many times the wood you need is not in the right colour, or the texture doesn't have a completely even colour. But if you use Hue & Saturation on the texture you end up with a texture that looks very flat.
Here is a texture that I've modified so it has some ugly colour variations.
If I apply a Hue and Saturation adjustment layer the image looks like this:
As you can see the recolouring doesn't look bad, but it lacks the colour depth of real wood. The whole image is monochromatic, there is only one shade of brown in the recoloured image.
To recolour the image properly the first thing I do is to desaturate the image completely, and apply a High Pass filter. The High Pass filter will smooth out the image so the lightness os more or less the same in the entire image.
Now I apply a Hue & Saturation adjustment layer to the image with the following settings:
This will recolour the image so that the 'Midtones' have the right colour.
I want the darker colours in the image to have a different colour. I've created another Hue & Saturation adjustment layer which makes the image less saturated and red/purple in colour:
Now I use the 'Blend If' function to make this Hue and Saturation show only in the darker portions of the image:
To be able to split the slider you need to hold the ALT key. For more information read the 'blend If' tutorial which explains this technique in detail.
Here is the result:
To change the lighter portions of the image I do more or less the same, first I create a Hue & Saturation adjustment layer that desaturates the image:
Then I blend it so it only changes the lightest portion of the image:
Here is the end result side by side with a plain recolouring:
As you can see the difference is subtle, but very important for getting 'depth' in your textures. Ofcourse you can apply this technique to many other things, basically anytime you want to recolour only a lighter or darker portion of an image.
In some cases getting the right colour with the adjustment layer is very tricky. What you can do is find another wood texture with the colours you like and sample the colours from this texture. You can then recolour your texture by filling a new layer with this colour and setting the layer blending mode to 'Color'.
Here are some more colour variations, all of them created with the same technique:
Copyright 2007 - Marcel Vijfwinkel