Texturing of Old Paper

For one of my projects I had to draw 7 absolutely different old paper textures. During my search of proper paper material I came up to the idea that I would rather just draw it myself rather than to spend all the time looking through library archives.

Step 1

Lets start with setting up our work space. We need some grey background and 1 centered layer filled with 224/224/224 RGB.

Step 2

Duplicate that centered layer and fill it with mostly a bright color of old paper you are going for. Add some dirty spots here and there then make it dirty looking with "Clone Stamp Tool"..

Step 3

Create 2 more layers. 1 for adding mildly black areas and another one for strongly burned lines to draw cross on the paper. Make it "Color Burn" style in "Blending Options".

Step 4

We keep adding layers to make the paper older and older. Add one more layer for wet stains. No special style for that. Just playing with opacity of your black brush. 24% was fine for me.

Step 5

Now it is time to add some volume to our sheet. It can be easily done with drawing some white areas.

Step 6

This paper is too boring isn't it? Some strong color will help us. Create another new layer with "Color Burn" style in "Blending Options" (as we did in "Step 3").

Step 7

The owner of it was really clumsy person... ouch he dropped it right in mud! Lets create a new layer for this mud. No styles this time but it is really important to use proper brush now. If you have your own it is just great.

Step 8

Another one burned layer that we will use to start defining the contour and we are ready for the next stage. Merge all the layers we've drawn (except the grey background and 224/224/224 RGB layer).

Step 9

Now we have only one layer that is really easy to work with. Lets process with defining the contour a bit more. "General Blending" should be "Normal" this time but "Inner Glow" should have "Color Burn" blend mode with some dark color. A little bit of noise would look nice as well. And of course it would be great to tear our sheet a bit also. Just use small and sharp eraser for it.

Step 10

Duplicate the only one layer we have and play with "Inner Glow" of it. Just look at the result when you eraser it in some places.

Step 11

Create burned style layer to define the torn areas. "Color Burn" for "General Blending" and the same for "Outer Glow.

Step 12

It is time for some stains. Duplicate burned style layer and clear it. Then go to "General Blending" and replace "Color Burn" with "Pin Light". Try the brush now. It is better to draw with a dark grey color and an irregular brush.

Step 13

No work without scratches of course. Duplicate burned style layer that we created in "Step 11" and clear it. Then go to layer style and replace "Color Burn" in "General Blending" with "Normal". Now we can use white color and small brush to add some scratches. Scratch paper in burned areas just for a nice look or near the torn edges to define the thickness of paper.

Step 14

Create a new layer and draw some color variation on our sheet. I used green color in the corners but it is only my vision for old paper. It definitely has some variation. Then play with opacity of it.

Step 15

Now we should go back to our first 224/224/224 RGB layer and draw something on it.

Step 16

Blend this layer with our paper. It should be "Darken" in "Blend Mode" Then duplicate this layer and "Select 224/224/224 RGB Color" and delete it. Blend it with "Color Burn", add a little bit of noise to the sheet and your old paper texture is complete. Look at the result below.

PS: It will be easy to make an alpha channel for opacity. Just select the main paper layer and fill it with white color.

Hope my tutorial was helpful for you!
Thanks for reading,
Den Fox

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