Autumn leaves wallpaper effects

Tips about how I made the Autumn leaves wallpaper (see wallpaper).

Autumn leaves - making of - Step 1

This wallpaper has been made with custom-created brush. To start, we need a leaf. Here is a leaf I found in Interned. You can also bring a leaf from the street and scan it :-)


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 2

Crop leaf image as necessary, desaturate (Ctrl-Shift-U).


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 3

Invert (Ctrl-I) and adjust layers (Ctrl-L) to increase contrast.


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 4

Use Magic Wand (W) to remove white background.


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 5

Go to Edit menu – Define Brush preset.


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 6

Now, when brush is ready, create new document (it will be our wallpaper). Fill it with solid color.
 


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 7

Create new layer, select Brush tool (B) and in Window menu, open Brushes tool window. Select our new brush, then go to Brush Tip Shape and increase Spacing to some 500-600%.


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 8

Then, enable Shape Dynamics, and increase Size Jitter, Minimum diameter and Angle Jitter.


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 9

Then, with black brush, make some chaotic strokes to put some leaves nere and there. It is important that leaves are not overlapped.


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 10

Now we have some black leaves, but I want brown ones. To fix that, use Magic Wand to select empty area of layer with leaves…


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 11

..then invert selection (Ctrl-Shift-I), create new layer, and fill selection with brown color.
 


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 12

…and then move this new layer BELOW the original layer with leaves. To finish, change blend mode of layer with black leaves to Soft light or Screen (whatever looks better). Merge down (Ctrl-E) to combine these 2 layers into one.


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 13

Apply the following layer effects:
- Outer glow: blend mode = multiply, color = dark brown, size = 6-7px;
- Inntr glow: blend mode = multiply, color = light brown, size = 20-25px;
- bevel and emboss: style = inner bevel, size = 1, highlight blend mode = color dodge, highlight color = light brown, shadow opacity = 0 (not needed)


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 14

Create new layer, and repeat all steps to create more leaves….


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 15

… and again, and again!


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 16

To make image more interesting, when you finish a layer with leaves, adjust Hue and Lightness (Ctrl-U) slightly, to make leaves more red or darker… or more green and lighter…


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 17

..repeat until entire image is filled.


 


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 18

Now merge all layers (Ctrl-Shift-E), it is a good idea to save a copy of PSD file before that. For resulting single layer, open layer effects, and add Gradient overlay:
- blend mode = linear burn;
- opacity = about 20%;
- gradient = white to black (reversed);
- style = radial;
- scale = maximum.

This will give us nice fading effect, where image is darkened at the edges.

Autumn leaves - making of - Step 19

I thought it is nice touch to add subtle water drops to the image. Here is how to create them: make new document, pretty small (100×60 pixels as example). fill with grey.


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 20

Go to Filters – Noise – Add noise, apply very big noise (200%).


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 21

Here goes tricky part:
- switch to quick mask (Q)
- repeat noise effect (Ctrl-F)
- turn off quick mask (Q)
- delete selection (Del).


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 22

Repeat previous step again…


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 23

..and again, until black dots are not too close to each other.


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 24

Resize image to match the size of our wallpaper (for me it was about 1000%).
 


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 25

Create new layer, fill with white, move white layer BELOW layer with black dots, then merge all layers (Ctrl-Shift-E).


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 26

Go to effects – Blur – Gaussian blur, apply blur with about 3-4 pixels.


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 27

Open Levels (Ctrl-L) and adjust them carefully so that dots are sharpened and rounded. For me, the best result is 144 and 161.


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 28

Remove white. You might know how to do it from my previous tutorials, so in short:
- select all (Ctrl-A)
- copy (Ctrl-C)
- turn on quick mask (Q)
- paste (Ctrl-V)
- turn off quick mask (Q)
- remove selection (Del)
- make layer black (Ctrl-U, set Lightness to -100%).


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 29

Now copy black dots to our wallpaper, and invert (Ctrl-I) to make dots white.
 


Autumn leaves - making of - Step 30

Apply the following layer effects:
- blend mode = multiply;
- drop shadow: distance = 1px, size = 2-3px
- inner glow: size = 1px; color = yellow
- bevel and emboss: size = 3px, both colors are white (highlight and shadow), highlight opacity = 25%, shadow mode = overlay, shadow opacity = 75%.

These effects will make our dots look like waterdrops.
That’s all! Hope you’ll find it useful!

Autumn leaves wallpaper (see wallpaper).

Author: Vlad Gerasimov
URL:    http://www.vladstudio.com

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