Wonder how people create those tileable photo textures? Whether you’re using it to create desktop wallpapers or website backgrounds, you’ll find it easy to do with this Photoshop tutorial. Read this tutorial to learn how you can manipulate your photo to make it seamless/tileable.

Final Results Preview

Metal Panel Texture

Tutorial Resources

Step 1

Open a photo that you want to turn into a texture. The easiest photos to use are the ones with the least lines, lens distortion, tilt, and differentiating colors. Here’s the photo that we’ll be using for this tutorial. Download the image and use it to follow this tutorial.

Metal Panel Texture

Step 2

First, we need to get rid of the barrel distortion and vignette. You can do this quickly and easily with the Lens Correction tool (Filter > Lens Correction). Your photo should have its original camera metadata for this to work its best. In the Lens Correction tool, Photoshop should auto-detect the settings and apply the correction for you. If it doesn’t work out, go into the Custom tab and adjust the settings manually.

Lens Correction

Here’s our image with the lens correction applied. It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough – we can fix the settings later.

Metal Panel Texture

Step 3

If your texture has lines that stretches from one side to the other, like the vertical lines in our photo, you’ll need to use the Adaptive Wide Angle filter to align them so that they are perfectly horizontal/vertical. In the dropdown menu, select Perspective as the correction method. While holding down the Shift key, draw correction lines over any lines in the photos. Ensure that they match perfectly. Click OK when you’re done.

Step 4

Select the Crop tool. In the options bar, checkmark the “Delete Cropped Pixels” option.

Crop the transparent areas out of the frame.

Step 5

Go to Image > Canvas Size. Set the width and height to 200 percent, anchor to top-right, then click OK.

You should now have a lot of area to work with. We’ll be extending the texture to cover these areas which will make your image dimensions around 4x larger.

Step 6

Duplicate the layer (Ctrl/Cmd+J) then go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal. Use the Move tool to move the image to the top-right corner.

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7 responses to “Quick Tip: Easily Create Seamless Photo Textures You can Tile”

  1. Antonia Avatar

    Hey Denny,

    thanks for your tutorial. It seems really nice! I am relatively new to photoshop and currently learning/using CS5 and I cannot find the Adaptive Wide Angle Filter that you used in Step 3. My Google research told me it’s a new thing in CS6 :(!!

    Is there any way to do the same thing in CS5?

    Thank you!!!

    1. Photoshop Tutorials Editor Avatar
      Photoshop Tutorials Editor

      Unfortunately that filter is only in Photoshop CS6 or CC :(

      You can try adding some guides and using the transform tools to skew it but it might not work on every image.

  2. Sarsour Avatar

    Best tutorial for tiling/seamless textures I’ve seen so far!

  3. Raj Avatar

    Not so interesting.

  4. beloumi55@yahoo.fr Avatar

    this was really cool guys, keep doing it

  5. Issac Avatar

    Cool trick and good results.
    It looks awesome in your photo, but the problem is lighting. Because your photo is flat, you don’t run into this problem. Try it with a texture that’s more 3D and you will see the lighting get flipped.

    There are GIMP plugins that can do this like “make seamless” or “texturizer” but they don’t enlarge your texture like this way. In the 3D world, there’s a lot more texture making programs but too expensive for the casual designers.

    TLDR; This tutorial is best for flat surfaces. On 3D surfaces with sharp shadows/light, it won’t work. But nonetheless, this is the best I’ve seen for flat surfaces.

    1. Photoshop Tutorials Editor Avatar
      Photoshop Tutorials Editor

      Great comment! Thanks for the tip!

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