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Stone Wall

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2. Create a mask

Click once on the thumbnail of the Texture layer to make it the active layer; the layer is now the active layer and the eye icon Eye Iconin front of this layer has returned, making the layer visible again.
Click on the Add layer mask icon Add Layer Maskat the bottom of the layers palette to add a mask to this layer.
Hold down the Alt key (Option key on the Mac) and click once on the mask thumbail in the layers palette; the mask will now we completely visible in your document window, which turned white.

Select the pencil tool Pencil Toolin your tool bar. If you can't see it; click on the Brush Tool Brush Tool in the layers palette and wait until a tiny window opens that contains both pencil and brush tool.

Click on the button marked with A in the option bar to open the brush preset picker window.
Select a Master Diameter of 8 (B) and make sure that the opacity is set too 100% (C) . Click again on the button marked with A to close the brush preset picker window:

Pencil Options


Make sure that the foreground color is set to black (press the letter D on your keyboard to reset fore- and background color to black & white and/or press X to switch the fore -and background color if you have to):Foreground Color Black

Now we're going to draw the following mask:


Start by drawing 5 (or more, depending on the size of the image you're working on) horizontal lines.
To make sure that these lines are perfectly straight, you have to do the following; click once in the location where you want to start the line, hold down the shift key and then move your cursor to the other side of the image and release the shift key.

It's recommended to place your cursor outside the canvas before you draw a line...

Outside Canvas

...to avoid that your line starts (or ends) like this (with a round edge):


To be able to start outside the canvas you need to zoom out a few times until you can see the canvas.
Zoom out by:

  • Selecting the Zoom tool Zoom Tooland clicking a few times inside the document window while holding down the Alt key (Option key on the Mac)
  • Rolling your mouse wheel forward (if you have one)

After you're done drawing the horizontal lines, start drawing the vertical lines and again make sure that they are straight by holding down the shift key before moving the mouse cursor. Avoid crossing the horizontal lines like this:


Press Ctrl + Z (Command + Z on the Mac) if this happens to undo the stroke. Zoom in if you have a hard time to stop at the right moment.

When your done drawing the mask and with the layer mask still active, double click on the Zoom tool Zoom Toolin the toolbar to view the image at 100%, which is important if you want to have an accurate view on your image.

Go to the menu and select Filter / Noise / Median...
Enter a value of 6 for the Radius and click OK.


The purpose of this filter is give the stones of our wall rounded corners.

Now click on the thumbnail of our wall in the Texture layer to make our wall visible in our document window.
The wall will look something like this:

Texture with Mask

3. Use layer styles to add depth to the stones

Click on the Add a layer style icon Layer Styleat the bottom of your layers palette and select Drop Shadow ...
The default values that I changed (marked with red) are:
  • Opacity: 55%
  • Distance: 8 px
  • Size: 0 px

Normally there shouldn't be any need to change the other values as long as your Photoshop version is using the same default values (double check). Make sure that you don't click on OK yet after you've entered the correct values.

Drop Shadow


The next effect that we need to change is the Inner Shadow effect, so select it in your Layer Style window:

Select Inner Shadow

Important: make sure when you want to change any layer style that you click on its name (marked with the red arrow) and not inside the box in front of the name. The reason is that clicking on the name instead of the box opens the related window, clicking inside doesn't close the current window and you risk changing the values of the wrong effect.

Important: make sure that the first thing you do now is turning off Use Global Light (see next screenshot) or you mess up the settings for the Drop Shadow effect.

The other default values that I changed (marked with red) are:

  • Opacity: 16%
  • Angle: -41
  • Distance: 15 px
  • Size: 5 px

Also the same story with the Drop Shadow effect; normally there shouldn't be any need to change the other values as long as your Photoshop version is using the same default values (double check).

Inner Shadow


The last effect that we need to change is the Bevel and Emboss effect, so select it in your Layer Style window:

Bevel and Emboss

The default values that I changed (marked with red) are:

  • Depth: 70%
  • Size: 10 px
  • Highlight Mode: Overlay
  • Opacity (Highlight Mode): 100%

Bevel and Emboss


Continue by clicking on the area marked with red called Blending Options (A), empty the box that reads Transparency Shapes Layer (B) and click ok OK (C)

Blending Options


You might wonder why you had to uncheck the Transparency Shapes Layer option. To understand the reason look at the following screenshot that was taken of the bottom left corner of our document window with the Transparency Shapes Layer option selected:

Transparency Shapes Layer ON

Notice that the Bevel and Emboss effect was not only applied to the stones, but also to the edges of the layer, which is something we don't want of course and we can solve this by unchecking this option.

Move with your mouse over the next image to notice the difference:


Transparency Shapes Layer ON

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