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Creating Camouflage
Create your own camouflage using Photoshop's Cloud filter.
By Ryan Foss

This tutorial explores the methods to make quick and easy camouflage, similar to the image on the right.

This image was created in under 15 minutes, and once you understand the process, you can achieve entirely different and unique camouflage images in minutes.

seamless camo sample

First off, it should be said that there are plenty of options out there for making quick camouflage textures. There is a freeware application called, of all things, Camouflage, made by VanDerLee (http://www.v-d-l.com). Additionally, you could go to DigitalThread and download some simple actions to make several different camouflage textures. But this isn’t about plug-ins and actions (though actions can be a valuable teaching tool); this is about doing it yourself and learning right? So lets make a simple, typical army green, seamless camouflage texture.

Let’s start out with a new RGB image 512 by 512 pixels. Leaving the background layer alone, create a new layer. Making sure the foreground/background colors are black and white (Shift-D), apply the Clouds filter (Filter > Render > Clouds) to the new layer.

black/white photoshop colors +
Filter > Render > Clouds
= photoshop render clouds

I want a more detailed camouflage so lets used the Difference Clouds filter a few times.

photoshop render clouds + black/white photoshop colors +
Filter > Render > Difference Clouds
(applied 5 times)
= difference clouds

Now blur the clouds a little using the Gausian Blur filter, 10 pixels is good at this resolution.

Here's the basic premise: we are going to select a value of gray and make everything above it black, and everything below it white. We’ll do this using the Brightness/Contrast controls. First set the Contrast to +100, and then adjust the Brightness to something like +15. (Similar effects can be achieved with levels or curves functions.)

photoshop brightness +15, contrast +100 = render clouds made cow like pattern

Now you should have a two-tone image, black and white area resembling a cow-like texture. Using the magic select, select the white areas and delete. Only the black should remain (note, background color maybe white so the delete may not be apparent).

Since we used a Gausian blur, we will want to fix the seams. Its assumed that you know how to do this, but if you need a hint, we explain a few ways in our The Versatility of Photoshop's Render Clouds tutorial. Just in case, try Filter > Other > Offset and use, in this case, offsets of 256.

Create 2 new layers and repeat the process above so that you have a total of 3 layers with similar cow-like patterns.

I bet you know where this is going. Now we'll color the camouflage.

125, 110, 75
125, 110, 75
50, 60, 25
50, 60, 25
70, 50, 15
70, 50, 15
0, 0, 0
0, 0, 0
Some recommended army camouflage colors.

Add another layer and paint the background Tan. Now, on each layer, replace the black with Green and Brown colors and leave one black. Reorder the layers as you see fit. FYI, a good way to replace the black is to use the Select Layer Transparency option, then use the paint bucket to fill in the selection.






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