Texturing can be thought of as a simple type of compositing. When texturing, we usually find a single image and then apply multiple layers of other images to that single image. If you google and search around you’ll find multiple ways to open and combine images into layers. To make things easier, we’ve gathered a few key ways for you to quickly, and easily, open and combine images into layers so it doesn’t become too troublesome in Photoshop.
Introduction to the Texture Pack
The Photoshop Paper Texture Pack includes 230 handmade high-resolution textures designed to take your photography to the next level. To create the Photoshop textures we started with basic craft papers and physically crumpled them, scratched them, tore them, and even lit them on fire them to create unique and interesting textures which we then digitized into 20+ megapixel high-resolution files. Watch the video or read the article below to see what’s included in the Texture Pack Collection.
Note: While the SLR Lounge premium membership includes the exercise file(s) pertaining each particular tutorial in the Texture Pack, it does NOT include full download to the Texture Pack. This addon can be purchased in our store here.
Understanding How to Open and Combine Images into Layers
The typical way you would open an image to use as a texture on a Photoshop document is one at a time. Now, let’s say you’re in Lightroom, you would select the image and hit “CTRL+E” or “CMD+E” on a mac and the file would open right inside Photoshop.
Now the problem with this is that if you want to go back into Lightroom (or Bridge) to select another image to use it’ll open up in Photoshop as a separate file once again. With this, you’re going to have to basically go copy that file, close that file, and then paste it over your current image.
This is really cumbersome and tends to pile up as a chore if you’re adding a lot of different textures to a single image. So rather than doing that, there’s a few different ways to quickly open and combine images into layers.
Opening Images From Lightroom
Inside Lightroom you can select multiple files and open them all up in Photoshop as layers in a single file. Now, this technique can get a little complicated if you have a lot of different folders, but Lightroom will take files and batch load them into a single file inside Photoshop.
In Lightroom, to select the different files you need, all you need to do is hold “CTRL+Click” (“CMD+Click” on a mac) down while selecting the different items. This will add them to that selection group.
Then you are going to right-click on a selected item, go to “Edit In” and select the “Open as Layers in Photoshop” option.
Lightroom will basically do all the work for you and now you don’t have to do all the copying and pasting stuff as it will automatically do it for you. Here is a friendly tip as well, if you select your main image last and then right click then go to “Edit In” and select the “Open as Layers in Photoshop” option, it will be set as the bottom layer in Photoshop.
If you don’t do this, then your image layer might be somewhere in the middle or something, in which case you can just merely drag and drop it to the bottom layer. So, that’s a quick way from Lightroom to get multiple textures plus images opened at the same time as different layers inside Photoshop.
Opening Images and Combining In Photoshop
Now I will show you how to open and combine images into layers in Photoshop. In Photoshop we will go to the upper menu to click on “File”, then “Scripts”, then “Load Files into Stacks.” This will open up a new dialogue box titled “Load Layers”.
In this new dialogue box we will now browse for the files we need and load them in. The problem here though is that you can’t really see the images all that close. We could enlarge the size of the thumbnails to extra-large, but even then it’s not all that clear. This is also not a very resourceful way if you’re going to do this a lot as it can become quite tedious to search separately in every individual folder if you have your files in different places.
But I do want to show you how to do it. So, once we have all the files loaded in a stack, we can click “Ok” and Photoshop will now load each of these files into layers – just like how it would have if we used Lightroom.
Once again, we’re just going to drag the image layer down to the bottom and begin blending.
Opening Images From Bridge
Lastly we’ll show you how to do this from Bridge. Now, if you don’t have Lightroom this is what I typically use and even if you do, I would recommend using Bridge most of the time. Okay first I’m going to open up an image file into Photoshop. Let’s open up bridge and choose an image to open. Right click on that file and choose the “Open with Camera Raw” option.
This way it’ll take me to the camera raw first. With that I can make modifications to it. Now what I like to do from here is when I hold “Shift” down I get the “Open Object” dialogue button I click it and it’ll open as a smart object instead of just a regular layer inside of Photoshop.
The beautiful thing about this is that as a smart object we can double click on the object and it’ll bring up the camera raw dialogue box. If we had just opened it up as a layer we would not have that option. Since this is nondestructive editing, we can always come back and undo the changes we have made to the camera raw. That’s why I like to open it up as a smart object until I have everything set – then I could just rasterize it.
Now in a standard layer in Photoshop, since we don’t have that option, we have instead an option of a camera raw filter in Photoshop CC.
This option will give you a camera raw to work with, but it’s not really the raw you’re adjusting – you’re adjusting a jpeg version of the image. On the other hand, on the smart object we can adjust an actual raw file.
Alright, so that’s how we would open the raw, now let’s go back to Bridge and I’ll teach you how you can open up multiple smart objects into layers. Back inside Bridge let’s select an image and open it in camera raw.
We will now make a single tiny adjustment, say the exposure from 0.0 to 0.01. When we hit done will notice that a tiny icon has appeared on the upper right hand corner of the selection.
This is the camera raw icon and it means that this image has been modified in camera raw. We can now synchronize that modification across all the other images. We can do this by simply hitting “CTRL+A” or “CMD+A” then right clicking and finally choosing “Develop Settings” and “Previous Conversion”.
This will now take that previous conversion and apply it to all of the selected files. Now all of the textures have the camera raw icon and any of these that you drag and drop into your Photoshop document will automatically bring up the camera raw dialogue box when you bring them in.
Unfortunately Bridge does not have the option to select multiple files and load them into layers as we could in Lightroom.
So basically, when I work in Bridge I work with the camera raw icons to automatically get camera raw opened up. Then in Lightroom, I select all of my images then right-click “Edit In” and select the “Open as Layers in Photoshop” to open up all my images as layers in a single Photoshop document. And if I don’t have anything else, I can always use Photoshop to load all my images in a stack. Those are the ways I like to open and load with textures. We hope you all enjoyed this article. Please leave your thoughts below.
We hope you all enjoyed this article. These handmade Photoshop Paper Textures are for photographers and creative professionals of all levels. The Photoshop Paper Texture pack also includes step-by-step video tutorials to guide you along the way. We designed the Photoshop Paper Texture pack to be intuitive, and to be useful for all types of photography including:Wedding Photography, fine-art photography, newborn photography, landscape photography and much more. Learn more about the Photoshop Paper Texture Collection by clicking any of the links in this article.