Dark Wallpaper Tutorial

Dark Wallpaper Tutorial

Welcome to yet another wallpaper tutorial in Photoshop. In this tutorial you will learn how to make a dark and minimalist wallpaper. You will need to know how to work with selections and with layer masks and also how to work with clipping masks. Enjoy

Resources needed

Video walk through

Step 1

Create a blank document 1920×1080. You can remove the default Background channel if you want. Create a Gradient Fill layer (Layer>New Fill Layer>Gradient) and choose a Radial Gradient using the settings shown in the picture below.

Step 2

In this step you will create the two horizontal metallic shapes. In order to make it easier for you, I decided to create a custom shape because it’s not easy to reproduce the rounded angles.

So, download the custom shape and draw it as in the image below. Hold down the Shift key while you draw it so that you maintain the aspect ratio. Create the bottom shape by duplicating the first one and flipping it vertically.

Step 3

Create a new layer between the background and the shapes. Open the metal mesh patterns and paint on the new layer with the metal pattern shown below. I used a Pattern Fill layer because I always want to be able to change things whenever I want.

This metal patter must only be visible on the top and bottom part of the wallpaper, on the middle we will add another texture.

Set the blend mode of the metal mesh pattern to Soft Light.

Step 4

Now let’s make the texture in the middle part of the wallpaper. Create a new layer and fill it with black. Than go to Filter>Noise>Add noise and add 100% noise Monochromatic.
Now create a layer mask and hide the top and bottom parts as shown in the image below.

Apply a Gaussian Blur of 0,4 pixels and set the layer’s blend mode to Overlay and Opacity to 20%.

Step 5

This step might be a bit more difficult for some users. You must create the holes on the shapes you created on Step 3. You need a custom brush for that so create a new document 300×300 pixels.

Create a selection 17 pixels wide and 210 pixels high and fill it with black. Save that as a brush from Edit>Define Brush Preset.

Go back to the wallpaper and select the top shape. Create a layer mask for it and select the brush you just saved. Now you must customize this brush. Press F5 t open the brushes window and increase the Spacing to 170%.

Create a new layer above the top shape and paint a straight line using the custom brush. You can paint straight lines by pressing the Shift key while you draw. See image below.

The lines that you see on the image below are only used to create a layer mask so the color doesn’t matter. (I painted the white lines below the shape not on top so that you can see the shape better)

Step 6

Now we will create the layer mask using the lines you painted on the previous step. Ctrl+Click the custom shape’s vector layer to select it’s edges and then invert the selection with Shift+Ctrl+i or from Select>Inverse. With the inverted selection, go to the layer where you painted the vertical lines and press delete to get rid of the excess.

We are almost there. All we need is a bit of margin. Load the edges of the custom shape again and go to Select>Modify>Contract and Contract the selection by 10 pixels. After you contract the selection, invert the selection and press delete. See image below. Remeber that the vertical lines must be on a separate layer.

Step 7

We are almost ready to make the layer mask. Ctrl+Click the thumbnail of the layer that contains the vertical lines to select their edges.

Once the selection is loaded, you can hide the layer and go to Select>Modify>Smooth and set the Sample Radius to 3 pixels. With the selection still loaded, select the layer mask and fill the selection with black to create the holes.

If you’re happy with the result you can delete the layer with the vertical lines.

Now do the same on the other shape. You can simply duplicate the layer mask and flip it vertically. Hold down the Alt key while you click and drag the layer mask to the other shape. Before you flip it vertically you must unlink it first otherwise you will flip the entire shape.

Step 8

Now you have to style these shapes and give them a metallic look. To create the brushed metal effect use the classic technique of the noise and motion blur.

Create a new clipping mask layer add 100% Monochromatic noise and then apply Motion Blur with Angle 0 degrees. Set the blend mode to Overlay.

Next add some lights and shadows using a metallic gradient. I used the default metallic gradients that come with Photoshop. Set the blend mode of the gradient to Multiply.

Step 9

Now apply some layer styles to to create a nice 3D effect. Apply Drop Shadow and Bevel & Emboss using the settings shown in the image below.

You should get something like this. Notice the highlights on the top edges.

Repeat the step for the other shape but when you get to the bevel & emboss set the Angle to -85 degrees so that the highlights appear on the bottom edges not on the top.

This is how the bottom shape should look like.

Step 10

Now that the base of the wallpaper is ready, you can add some color. I simply added the letters X and Y and applyed tome styles. The text font used is Ethnocentric.

Step 11

The styles that I applied to the text is a bit complex so instead of posting screenshots, I decided to give them to you. Download them and apply them directly.

Step 12

In order to make the letters look a bit better you can cast a light with the same color as the letter on a new layer below the letters themselves.

Use a big soft brush and paint with a single stroke like show in the image below. Then, change the Blend Mode to Color Dodge.

Step 13

As a final detail I added 3 smooth triangle shapes in the middle each with a different color. I just want to show you how to make those shapes. Select the Polygon Tool (U) and from the top options bar change Sides to 3. Click the arrow located to the right of the custom shapes icon and choose Smooth Corners.

Then draw your shapes and apply the styles from the same file.

You reached the end of the tutorial. Thanks for reading and I hope you liked it. If you have any questions post a comment.

Final result


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