View Full Version : Grass in Photoshop

12-31-2008, 04:56 PM
This is a cool technique I picked up on the internet; I do not take credit, as it wasn't me who devised it. I did it in CS4, but I am pretty sure it could be done in older versions as well.

Start a new document - surprise, surprise. Size doesn't really matter. Open up a new layer, and fill it with brown, a nice dirt-brown.

Open up a new layer, and fill it with white this time. Now noise this up. Full effect (400%), uniform, and monochromatic. Now blur it a little bit. Slightly less than 1 pixel, 0.7 did it for me. Change the blend mode to multiply.

Now, a new layer, filled with white, same noise settings as the last one, and same blur. On second thought, you could probably just duplicate the first white layer. Blend mode normal.

New layer, filled with grass-green. Multiply. Merge it down with the second white, noisy one.

Filter-Stylize-Wind. Stagger from the left. Now rotate the image, 90 CW. Use the wind filter again. Same settings. Then rotate it back, 90 CCW. There you have a cool-looking grass. It could be used as a pattern for other purposes, using the Offset filter and the Clone Stamp tool quite easily.

Hope you like it, and as I said, it's not my technique to begin with. I just found it.

12-31-2008, 07:26 PM
Wow, that is nice! Here is what mine looks like.

12-31-2008, 07:45 PM
Yeah, I find it really cool. You can use it as a patter as well, and then it would look something like this. (20% scale, embossed and just some simple water to create some contrast)

Steel General
12-31-2008, 07:47 PM
@Asharad - That's pretty good, I'll have to give it a try sometime...Did you put a bevel on it? If you wanted to use it as a pattern you'd be better off without the bevel.

12-31-2008, 08:00 PM
I created a pattern of something like what Asharads result looked like, by offsetting by half the image size, then used the clone stamp tool to fill out the blanks. Then, Define Pattern. On the picture I've just painted in some green, used Pattern Overlay (multiply, 60% opacity), and then used a Bevel and emboss on it, to give it some distinction from the water. But the Bevel and Emboss has nothing to do with the pattern itself.

12-31-2008, 10:46 PM
That's pretty cool. I'm immediately wondering if I could use this to create a tree pattern for regional-style maps.

01-01-2009, 12:28 AM
There is a superb technique for trees that someone discovered on Cartotalk that involves a monochromatic noise filter and a bevel. It wouldn't match the scale of this grass, but it would be good for regional to wide local maps. I used the technique on the Mennin's Hallow map to good effect.

Here's the thread I found it in: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1139

01-01-2009, 07:30 AM
I was looking at the exact same tut over at photoshoplady the other day. I haven't tried it yet, but I will get on it.

01-01-2009, 11:20 AM
I haven't be able to produce trees that look as good as the tutorial. I'm not sure I'm following the directions correctly, as they get a bit confusing. It sounds like you need a pre-existing photo of a forest to get good results.

I really like this grass tutorial though. Very, very simple.

01-01-2009, 11:28 AM
The tut is a bit difficult to follow, but it does work, and you don't need a photo for it. If I remember when I get back home in a week or so, I'll try to elucidate it.

01-01-2009, 03:43 PM
Thank you for this tutorial. This is exactly what I was looking for for my map.

01-01-2009, 03:53 PM
OK, so I tried this and I'm wondering...what's the point of the useless brown layer and the useless first noise layer? They don't show through unless you change a blend mode. Is there a step missing?

01-01-2009, 04:00 PM
The tut is a bit difficult to follow, but it does work, and you don't need a photo for it. If I remember when I get back home in a week or so, I'll try to elucidate it.

That would be great!

01-01-2009, 05:10 PM
Great that someone found a use for it.

@Ascension: The dirt-layer and the noise belonging to it is there so that you can erase some grass and have dirt show through. I didn't think it looked good so I decided not to include that last step. When I took that decision, I didn't think of the fact that it would render the first steps useless. There you have the point of them atleast. Sorry for the trouble :p

01-01-2009, 07:49 PM
Gotcha. Duh, now I feel dumb; of course I do that a lot.

01-12-2009, 12:45 PM
Here's that forest texture tutorial I promised:


01-12-2009, 02:18 PM
Very nice texture, Midgard!

01-12-2009, 05:50 PM
Very, very good; and oh so simple - yet again Cartographers Guild come to the fore. Here is my effort of straight grass.


Instead of using clone brush and so on I increased the size of the image to 270 x 270 and cropped a 250 x 250 square out of the middle. Whether by luck or design, it is makes a good tile andI started to play.

When it was mentioned about the purpose of the brown dirt and first white noise layer being used for paths, I fiddles about and came up with this in about 5-10 minutes.


I live in an area of chalky sol so something like this seems 'right' to my mind. I erased a section of the grass layer with a 25 pixel feathered path through the grass. Then I lowered the size of the brush to 15 px and erased a similar path through the white layer which gave the dirt path a white chalky border.

I could possibly have used a path tool, though am not too sure about how that would look, but I think that would have left me with a path that was too neat. By doing it freehand I think it looks more natural.

I then applied an inner bevel; smooth with a -45 degree shading; global; at 32 degrees to provide shadow on the 'chalk' layer.

If using this grass for a tiling effect, then I can see how valuable this could be for this kind of terrain.

01-12-2009, 05:57 PM
I played around with this a bit last week and forgot to post this...What I liked about this is that on a larger scale, the results can be used as pine trees. I thought that was cool for those of us who do regional and world scale maps but the "grassiness" eluded me on the whole. Neat lil tip though.