Since I wrote my original post on texture layers and ICM I have tried an alternate approach that I thought I’d share.
It’s not exactly a revolutionary discovery, it’s more of a shortcut when processing and use of several texture layers with different blend modes. Normally when I process in Photoshop I do a lot of fine tuning, global and local adjustments before I start experimenting with textures.
One day I thought to myself, what if I work with the textures as the first step and then, if necessary, proceed with my normal workflow ? What if I try using several layers, trying different blend modes and pay more attention to the opacity ?
I did and I have to say that it opened new horizons. The process is basically the same as the one described in my previous post with the exception that I try different blend modes and carefully adjust the opacity. Overlay, Multiply and Soft Light are the ones is use.
The difference between this and my normal approach is that even if a texture when first applied doesn’t seem to work at all, I take the time to try different blend modes and adjust the opacity. You’d be surprised how a well balanced opacity adjustment can make a texture go from not working at all to a very pleasing result.
In some cases it only gets you started in the quest for your vision, this is were several texture layers come in. The key here is to recognize that a particular texture might not work at all on its own but in combination with others, make all the difference. I’m talking transforming your image from something you wouldn’t dream of using to your new favourite piece.