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This article was written on 19 Apr 2011, and is filled under Design, Tutorial.

Tutorial: Camouflage

This Tutorial is a little intense with all the steps, but creates a sweet 4 colour Camouflage pattern in Photoshop.Note: If you’re on a PC use Control for the shortcuts instead of Apple Command.

1. Create a new document – 500 pixles wide by 500 pixels long containing only a transparent layer.

2. Start by going to the channels palette.
– Create a new channel.
– Now run Mezzotint, Filter-> Pixelate-> Mezzotint [Settings = “Coarse Dots”]
– Then Crytallize, Filter-> Pixelate-> Crystallize [Settings = 15]
– Now a Blur, Filter-> Blur-> Gaussian Blur [Settings = 14 pixels]
– Run Levels (Command + L). Input Levels should be [23, 1, 25] – leave everything else the same.
– Levels again. Input Levels should be [168, 1, 178]

3. You should have what’s starting to look like a basic Camouflage pattern. The next steps build and expand on that.
– Command+click on the Channel and select the Inverse (Command + Shift + I).
– Now run the Mezzontint filter again [Settings = Medium Strokes]
– Next, Gaussian blur again [Settings = 4]
– Then run Levels again. Input Levels should be set to [0, 1, 44]
– Next add Motion Blur, Filter->Blur->Motion Blur. [Settings: Angle=0, Distance=30]
– Levels again. Input levels should be [85, 1, 87]
– Deselect (Command + D)
– Run Gaussian Blur again [Settings = 3 pixels]
– Finally, run Levels once more. Input Levels [123, 1, 150]. You should have something like this:

4. Do this 3 more times on 3 new channels. It may be smart to create an action of it to save some time. In the end we need 4 new alpha channels with these funky squiggly things on them. (Alpha1, Alpha2, Alpha3, Alpha4). Here is a picture of what my channel pallette looks like.

5. Now that you have 4 channels with the funky squiggly things on them go to your layers pallette and Edit->Fill the first layer with this color [R:132 G:131 B:74]. When you select ‘Color’ it should give you the option to input the RGB value.
– Create a new layer on top of that layer and call it ‘Camo1′. Then goto your channels pallette and Command+click on the first Alpha channel (Alpha1) to load your selection.
– Then go to your layers pallette. On the ‘Camo1′ layer, Fill the selection with the color [R:127 G:108 B:31].

– Then go back to the channel pallette and Command+click on the second Alpha channel (Alpha2) to select that pattern. Now Command+Alt+click on Alpha channel 1 to subtract channel 1 from your selection.
– With this selection go to your layers pallette and Fill a new layer ‘Camo2′ with this color [R:130 G:144 B:65].
– Next go back to the channels pallette and Command+click on alpha channel 3 then Command+Alt+click on channel 2. Again go back to the layers pallette and Fill a new layer ‘Camo3′ with Black. You’ll notice now the colors start to overlap.
– Finally, go to the channels pallette again and do the same thing, Command+click on alpha channel 4, Command+Alt+click on channel 3, go to the layers pallette and fill a new layer ‘Camo4′ selection with this color [R:189 G:184 B:162].
– Now deselect (Command + D) and you’re done. Here is the finished version.

Now you can edit the colors individually or try a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer to get some wild combinations.  BAPE anyone?

Adapted from a great tutorial by Optic Nurve.

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