Wednesday, January 12, 2011

100 Styles 8 - Gradients - Wood

Wood grain effect (Click the image to see it bigger)

Today it's all about the Inner Glow filter, at least for the main effect, which consists of two shapes, each with an Inner Glow layer style applied to them, one with a gradient and another without. Read on for more info on how it (and the background for that matter) was done as well as to be able to download the style file to experiment with yourself.
The wood grain effect
Inner Glow effect settings (Click the image to see it bigger)

The gradient is the main actor here, it's what transforms this fairly ordinary glow effect into a wood grain effect, thereby making it more versatile than e.g. a Gradient Overlay would (doesn't make much of a difference on a circle though as you can use a Radial gradient on the latter to get more or less the same effect, but for other shapes you have more flexibility with an Inner Glow). To get a more realistic result make the gradient more detailed. To control where the gradient begins/ends you can use the Range and Size controls, the Range controls the outer edge, the Size the inner (it is an Inner Glow after all). Using the Overlay Blend Mode allows this greyscale gradient to affect the colors of a non-greyscale image.

The log

The 3D effect of the log itself is also accomplished with the help of an Inner Glow, though without a gradient in this case.

Inner Glow effect settings (Click the image to see it bigger)

The important settings here are the Blend Mode, the Opacity and the Size (and to a lesser degree the color, I say lesser degree because it would work with most darker shades/colors, unless they're not too far away from the main color, i.e. a purple wouldn't work very well in this case, but it would work fine if it was a purple plastic cylinder you tried to simulate). The Blend Mode is set to Multiply making the Inner Glow darken the existing color, therefore interacting with it rather than just putting a new color above it as e.g. the Normal Blend Mode would do. The Size controls how much of the box that is covered by the glow, and the Opacity makes sure the effect isn't too overwhelming.

A few words about the background

The background is a layer, filled with a blue color, a layer style using the same gradient as above but in a Gradient Overlay, with the Style set to Radial, and also a Color Overlay in Overlay Blend Mode (the latter is probably not needed, it's more of a leftover from my experimenting, but complements the color of the layer and the effect well, so I decided to leave it).

Note: I've only included the style for the effect, if the description above isn't enough for you to be able to achieve a similar background please tell me and I can explain it more/supply the Layer Style.

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