In this Adobe Photoshop CS3 tutorial, learn how to create an old burnt piece of parchment paper by following just a few steps.
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In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to create a piece of old burnt parchment paper. So first of all, we need a new canvas. So go to file, new, and you could choose whatever size you like. I’m going to do 800 x 600 and make sure that the background is set to transparent. Click OK.
What we want to do now is we want to fill the background with black. So click on your foreground color, choose black from your color picker and then use your paintbrush tool to fill the background with black. Now, go up and select your marquee tool and we’re going to dry our sheet of paper now. And you want to leave a border on here because we’re going to have a black background for this. So leave a border about that size, smaller if you like, larger if you like. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It also doesn’t need to be centered. It is an old piece of paper so it can be slightly irregular.
What we’re going to do now is we’re gong to fill this with white. Try that one more time, make sure you choose your paint bucket tool and then fill that with white. And go ahead and do a CTRL D, so you don’t have anything selected at this point. Now, we’re going to get our rough edges so our paper looks torn. So to do that, go to filter and then brush strokes and then spatter. And then for your spray radius, you want to chose something probably between the 15 and 25 but you’re looking for nice torn edges now that aren’t too pixilated but they obviously want to be torn. I like to use 16. And then for smoothness, choose something like 7 to12. I’m going to change to 10 right now. We’re looking for a nice torn edge. We’re going to make this look even better later. So click on OK. And now you have your torn edge.
Now, you’re going to select your magic wand and you want to set your tolerance pretty low. I like mine set to 5. And make sure that you have these two options checked. Then go in and select your white area. And actually, what you’re going to do now is you’re going to go to select and then inverse and then press your delete key. That’s going to take the black away. So all that you’re left with now is your torn piece of paper. We’re going to do CTRL D on our keyboard to deselect that.
Now go over to your layer and we want to rename this layer, and I’m going to rename it paper. Then we’re going to create a new layer and you’re going to rename that background. And go ahead and move the background layer, just click and drag where it’s underneath your paper layer. Now for your background, you can choose whatever color you like. I’m going to choose black. I think that looks really good with this. Use your paint bucket tool and then simply fill the background. It looks very similar the way it did before but we can do some customizing to it.
So go ahead and select your paper layer then go back to your magic wand tool. Keep those same settings, click on your white area because we want to apply these changes just to our torn paper area. Now, click on your foreground color and you want to choose a color of parchment paper. Choose a light to medium color and this is really whatever color you think looks good. I’m going to go ahead and stick with d4cc87 for mine and click OK. And then your background color, click on your eyedropper tool to get that color back and then go to just a little bit darker here, and then click on OK. And so, you have a lighter color as the foreground and a darker color for your background color, and you can go back and modify those at the end if you end up not being happy. It’s a little bit hard to tell here how it’s going to look altogether.
So now, we’re going to go up top filter and we’re going to go to render and clouds. And that’s going to get our base of our parchment paper. Now to make this look even more like parchment paper, I’m going to go to filter and then texture and then grain. And for your intensity, you want to choose a pretty low intensity. If you get real high, it’s not going to look like parchment paper anymore. I am going to go with 4. And then for contrast, set that at 50% and then for grain type, you want to choose contrasty, that’s what looks the best with this. Click on OK. And now, you have your color of your parchment paper. Now you can see a little bit more the color that it’s going to be and I can see here that I’m not too happy with how light it looks. So instead of going back and redoing that, I’m going to actually just add a color overlay. So I’m going to double click on this and then I’m going to click on color overlay. And for my color, I’m going to choose normal here. And then for my blend mode, I’m going to actually go out and choose that darker color, just a base to start with and I’m going to make everything a little bit darker. Click OK.
For your opacity, this is where you want to bring it down and you could see over here in my parchment paper how I’m making that just a bit darker but I’m still getting that parchment paper look. I could even go a little bit more darker and then that way, I can lower the opacity even more. Click on OK. And I’m really happy with that parchment paper look.
So now, we got a one last layer that we need to develop and that’s our burnt layer. So I’m going to create a new layer down here. Keep that up at the top and we’re going to name this burn. So now, we want to go and we want to change our color to a darker brown. And you want to start a medium kind of brown color, something that’s darker than what you already have for sure though. Click OK. We want to click on our paint brush. We’re going to choose a pretty big paint brush here. I’m going to go with 100. Hardiness, keep it zero. You want it to be a soft brush. Again, you can mess with whatever other settings that you want to but I like to have just kind of the regular big soft brush here. So what you’re going to do now is you’re going to go around the edges and remember, you want to be irregular here. These are creating your burnt edges. You do not need to be perfect here. And if you feel you need to go back, then just go back a little bit and that’s fine because obviously, things don’t burn even so we want to get that looking pretty irregular.
So what you want to do now is we want to choose an even darker color. We want to go a step darker and we want to change our brush. I’m going to change it to 65 so it’s a little bit smaller. I’m going to go across here and I’m going to add this even darker edge. And then one more step, I’m going to turn and I’m going to get a very dark brown. You could even go black if you want here and I’m going to go to the soft 45 brush, and then I’m going to go and not all over but just in some parts, I’m going to add this final brush to make some of those edges look really burnt. And then do my CTRL D and that would deselect everything. If you’d like, you can lighten up that background so you can see your edges better, but that’s how you get an old burnt parchment paper in Photoshop.