Saturday, January 9, 2010

GIMP Tutorial: Making Stone, Wood, or Fossil Textures From Scratch

I found this stone texture tutorial for Photoshop CS2  and decided to convert it for GIMP use. For the most part, they are very similar, with minor differences.

Step 1:

Open any size drawing,  with a white background. Go to Filters - Render - Clouds - Difference Clouds and select the following settings as shown below:

Step 2: 

Grab these cloud brushes from Kerovin's DeviantArt site. Grunge or splatter brushes do not work well with making stone texture, but big puffy clouds do. (Grunge and splatter brushes actually mimic concrete-like textures, so if that's something that interests you, now you know).

Step 3:

Once you upload the cloud brushes into your .gimp-2.6/brushes folder and refresh the brush dialog, pick any of the brushes and scale it so that the brush (I used brush number 003) is at least 1/3rd the size of your image, and lightly dab the cloud brush across the top of your difference clouds render. (See the image below:)

Step 4:

Filters - Distort - Emboss using these settings:

Step 5:

Colors - Levels using the settings as shown:

Using the Auto button made it way too dark for me, so I wanted lighter settings, as you see above. Tinker with the settings until it suits you. You should get something similar to this image:

Step 6:

The final step is Colors - Colorize using these settings as shown:

And your finished product should look similar to this:

Not bad for a GIMP comparison, although I would like to find a brush similar to the one used in the Photoshop tutorial. I'll keep looking until I find one that's very close to it. In the meantime, keep practicing using different brushes to see how their effects vary. Grunge brushes make pretty realistic concrete effects.

You can even download some fossil brushes and make a faux fossil record texture image, like shown:

 Or faux wood textures, using similar wood brushes:

Or you can make scale like textures, using a combination of patterns and gradients (to see more examples and find the gradient tutorial click here to go to GIMP Talk). Texture sample below:

Here is the pattern, with my profound thanks to both Rob A., for the pattern itself,  and to Photocomix for being creative and industrious in using this pattern with gradient effects.

To learn more about dotting, stippling, and hedcut substitutions, read Rob A's post on how he used this pattern here.

With a little more tweaking you can get better results than my examples above, since the examples were just to give you an idea of how they can be used.


  1. Thanks, this tutorial was really useful! I used it here and linked back to your blog so that others could use this awesome resource. Hope that's ok :-)

  2. Really helpful. Was wondering how to do this for ages. Thanks!


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