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Create a Crack - viewed times

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This Photoshop tutorial shows how to create a crack in a stone texture. You will learn how to create a crack with variable thickness and you'll create shadows and highlight without using a layer style. We will also explain how a layer set/group can be used to our advantage.


1. Adding the crack (highlight)

In this Photoshop tutorial we're going to use the following image:



You can save this image in Windows on your hard drive by right clicking on it and selecting Save Picture As...
(I don't own a Mac, so I don't know what the procedure is on a Mac).

Select the Pencil tool Pencil Toolin the tool bar and choose a master diameter of 1 px by opening the Brush Preset picker window in the option bar:

Brush Preset picker

Create a new layer by clicking on the Create a new layer icon New Layer at the bottom of your layers palette and rename it to White crack by double clicking on its name in the layers palette.

Press the letter D on your keyboard to make the fore- and background color black and white.
Press the letter X on your keyboard to switch the fore- and background color; the foreground color is now white:

Foreground color white

We're now going to draw the crack.
While holding down the left mouse key start in the top/left corner and draw a crack over a distance that's about 1/5 of the final size of the crack. Once you've reached that point, release the mouse button but don't(!) move the mouse, press the right bracket key ] on your keyboard once, to increase the master diameter of the pencil with 1 pixel and continue where you left off. Stop at 2/5 of the total length of the crack, release the mouse key again, press the right bracket key ] to increase the diameter another 1 pixel and continue drawing the crack.
At 3/5 of the distance you continue by using the bracket key [ instead to decrease the diameter to 2 pixels and you repeat this again at 4/5 so that you draw the last part of the crack with a diameter of 1 pixel.

The result could be something like this:

White Crack

Make sure that you draw a random line with some sharp corners, a few bends and some straight parts.

At this point the beginning and ending of the crack stops too abrupt. We're going to fix that by using a mask.

Add a mask to this layer by clicking on the Add layer mask iconLayer Maskat the bottom of the layers palette.

At that moment the mask is the active area (notice the double border and the mask icon Mask active in front of the layer (A)), so any further edits will take place on this mask only:

Layers palette

Grab the brush tool Brush Toolin the tool bar and select a soft brush with a diameter of 40 in the option bar:

Brush Settings

Set the opacity of this brush in the option bar to 25%:


Make sure that your foreground color is black: Foreground color

Now paint with black over the edges of the crack to make them fade (more transparent).

Use the following before & after rollover image as a guideline:


Crack without mask


Continue by changing the blending mode to overlay in the layers palette and select an opacity of 75% (see screenshot on next page) .

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