I want to fuck this graphic up. Really make it my bitch, you know?
April 17, 2006 11:48 PM   Subscribe

What's a good way to add a 'distressed' look to a graphic? i.e. if I was screen printing and wanted to make a graphic look old and worn out, like a worn out t-shirt.

I'm trying to do this with a layer mask, and I have Photoshop and Illustrator (and 3d studio max) on hand. here is a sort-of example. here is another.

I've been trying clouds/curves/difference clouds/curves/noise/brightness-contrast but it's just not doing much for me.
posted by Paris Hilton to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Cameron Molls' That Wicked Worn Look
posted by nathan_teske at 11:59 PM on April 17, 2006


The Machine Wash filters are very nice and have several worn textures. They are not free, though.
posted by clearlydemon at 12:20 AM on April 18, 2006


Print it out, wrinkle it up, copy it a few times on a xerox machine, then scan it back in.
Sometimes the real thing is so much better than trying to fake it all.

You can also take a picture of something with a great worn out texture, like a rusty can and use it in Photoshop as a texture in the layers panel.
posted by idiotfactory at 12:28 AM on April 18, 2006


I've been trying clouds/curves/difference clouds/curves/noise/brightness-contrast but it's just not doing much for me.

If that's what you've been doing to the layer mask to knock out portions of the image, don't. There are two keys to doing the worn thing well: distress everything by hand and study examples. You'll note the Cameron Moll technique linked above is almost entirely manual labour, with a little bit of blur and sharpen involved. Of course, there are shortcuts: grunge brushes, for example. Try to stay away from things like noise; often it's just too uniform to affect the image in any meaningful way. Get comfortable with your brush tool, and don't be afraid to dive into the Brush Dynamics dialog and explore the various options.

Studying the thing you are trying to emulate is also really useful. The single most helpful thing I did when I was trying to create realistic looking stickers in Photoshop was getting my hands on actual stickers that had been on walls, books, poles, etc. for a while and noting the types and patterns of wear on them. Things look worn for a reason; screen prints wear out differently from transfers, for example, and both will wear differently depending on whether the fabric was washed a bunch of times or some other pattern of wear (say, an old t-shirt used as a rag). Figuring out what that looks like is half the battle when attempting to emulate it. So dig out your old t-shirts and take a close look.

I should mention that the first example you linked to looks incredibly fake. Screen prints don't generally fade to white.
posted by chrominance at 12:34 AM on April 18, 2006


Its called pulling paint.
First you need to download some textures.
mayang.com is always a good place to start. find something grungy looking
-Stick the texture over the top of your image as a new layer.
-desaturate it, play around with brightness and contrast if you want.
-select->colour range and click somewhere on the image, press ok.
-now, keeping your selection, hide the texture layer so youve flicked back to your original image.
-now press delete to eat away at the image.

Just play around with different texture images, combinations until you get what you want. You can also set up a grungy textured custom brush and use with the eraser tool to eat away at specific parts of the image.
posted by phyle at 12:36 AM on April 18, 2006


Here is a link to an overview of a DVGarage tutorial which might explain it better. Its all based on the textures you use.
posted by phyle at 12:43 AM on April 18, 2006


make your own decroded layer by maxing out the contrast and greyscaling an image of cracked paint or cracked dried up lake bed
posted by roboto at 12:53 AM on April 18, 2006


Those mayang.com shots are awsome.
posted by Paris Hilton at 1:50 AM on April 18, 2006


what phyle said - although, what you want to do instead of deleting is to create a layer mask. It allows for more flexibility later on down the road, and you can always delete the mask if you screw up.
posted by the theory of revolution at 5:30 AM on April 18, 2006


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