In today’s tutorial, I want to show you how to make a realistic gold foil texture in Photoshop. As you probably know, Photoshop is my favorite design software because you can make a lot of interesting textures just by playing with colors and filters.
I don’t use metallic textures in my designs very often, but when I do, it’s usually a texture made by another designer. It always seemed like a very complicated process and I never bothered with it. That is until I decided to play with Photoshop filters and realized that it’s a very simple process. Here’s how you can do it too:
How to create a simple gold foil texture in Photoshop
To start, launch Photoshop and create a square canvas. My settings are 6×6 inches at 75ppi and in RGB colors since I don’t want to print the file and I like to start with a white background.
This texture looks great for digital products, but if you want to use them for print you should apply real foil.
Double click on your foreground color and set it to your favorite mustard/gold. I use a bright gold color that has the HEX code #eece1a. Change the background color to a dark gold or brown. I use #262000.
Now go to Filter > Render > Clouds. Your background will change to a cloudy light and dark gold background that will be the base of our gold foil texture.
Go to Filter > Add Noise and add a small amount of noise. I like to use 5% and uniform distribution, but this is something you can experiment with. Or you can even skip this step, although a small amount of noise will make it look more realistic and that’s what we want.
The last step is to go to Filter > Filter Gallery > Distort. You can use the Glass or Ocean Ripple filter to create your gold foil. For this tutorial, I’m using the Glass filter. You can tweak the distortion, smoothness, and scaling until you have a nice gold foil.
If your final texture is too dark you can change the Brightness and Contrast using an Adjustment layer. You can open your Adjustments panel from Window > Adjustments and click on Brightness. I set the brightness to 50 and the contrast to 10. This makes it so much shinier.
To use the texture, select the gold foil and the brightness layer from the Layers panel, right-click on them and choose Merge Layers from the menu. Don’t forget to save it so you can use it in the future.
How to create a seamless gold foil pattern
This texture is perfect for small items, but if you want to use it on a larger artwork you should save it as a pattern. But first, we will have to transform it into a seamless pattern.
With your gold foil layer selected, go to Filter > Other > Offset. Move the vertical and horizontal arrow until you see a cross or divide the height and width of your canvas by two and enter the value.
My canvas is 432x432px, so I will enter 216px for both areas.
This is my least favorite part of this tutorial. Select the Clone Stamp Tool (S) and use a soft brush. The size is not that important and you might need to change it.
Using the Clone Stamp Tool, cover the edges that are visible in the middle of your artwork. You should select areas that are similar to the ones you want to cover by pressing the Alt key and then drawing over the edges. This will probably take a bit of time, but it’s not very difficult.
This is my final result.
To create a pattern, go to Edit > Define Pattern and name your pattern.
Now you can use this pattern over and over again.
How to recolor you patterns
If you want to use other colors, the first thing you have to do is create a silver foil. To do that, go to Adjustments and click on Hue/Saturation. Toggle the Saturation all the way to the left.
Add a Brightness/Contrast layer over it and increase the brightness to make the silver texture lighter. When you are done, select the base layer and the adjustment layers and merge them. Don’t forget to save your texture.
Let’s change the silver texture to a rose gold texture. Duplicate the silver texture so you won’t lose it and add an empty layer above it by pressing Shift+Ctrl+N. Change the foreground color to the color you want to use. I’m using #fabeb4. Fill the empty layer with color using the Paint Bucket Tool.
Change the Blend Mode to Color. You can also use Multiply for a darker color or Opacity if you want a lighter color. Select the color and foil layers and merge them. Then save your new texture.
You can create as many textures as you like with this technique.
How to add gold foil to text
Before I end this tutorial, I want to show you how to add the gold foil texture to text using a clipping mask.
Using the Type Tool, enter your text. I’m using the Sea Salt font. You can do this with any font you like, but it looks better with a bolder font.
Move your gold foil layer above the text layer. With your gold foil layer selected, go to Layers > Create Clipping Mask (Ctrl+Alt+G).
Now you can create your very own gold foil texture in Photoshop and you can use any color you want! If you want to create more complex textures, you can use the gold foil we created and add other filters to it.
Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions or if there are any tutorials you are interested in!