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Outback Photo Handbook: Workflow Basics

Using Texture Blending Templates

essay by Uwe Steinmueller

Manage the Digital Workflow



"You know, the last time a Photoshop tool made me do a double take and stare in amazement is when I first tried EasyS a few years back. I just tried out EasyDS and I was wowed yet again. Such a simple interface, yet the results are fantastic! I'm not talking about a subtle difference here, I did an A/B comparison and what I thought was sharp turned out to be pretty blurry :) And EasyDS does this without the usual ugly artifacts. Great job! P.S. Before trying to use exotic sharpening plugins or raw converters, photographers really need to look into your sharpening plugins. Their images will look better and they'll save a bundle." - Robert G. June 2009




We often want to get the same kind of look to a series of images. In this case creating new blends always from scratch is a waste of time. This article explains how to create and use Texture Blending templates.

You need to own the following scripts:

Creating a Texture Blending Template

We used this dune image:

and this texture:

Then just create a blend with our Texture Blending script:

Blended image

The layer stack you see was created by the DOPF017 Texture Blending script. We tuned then the settings and added the "Blurred Layer 2" (second layer from the bottom) with the TextureAddBlurLayer script (comes as part of the DOPF024 Texture Blending Tuning Kit). The "Blurred Layer 2" is required if we want to use the same layer stack as a template.

The image with the complete layer stack gets saved as a PSD of TIFF file. From now on the image can be used as a Texture Blending Template.

Using the Texture Blending Template

First we select our new image (the one we want to blend):

Now we open the template image and select the bottom layer (with the main image). Remember all Texture Blending scripts require you to have exactly two images open in Photoshop (CS3-CS5).

Template with bottom layer selected

By using the TextureResize and TextureReplace scripts from DOPF024 you can replace the main image in the template.

Note: One of the extra scripts "TextureResizeReplace" does it in one step (actually calling both scripts for you). We like it as simple as possible.

After these scripts did their work we get the new image:

Template got applied to new image

After we applied the template we usually fine tune our texture blending settings. This is much faster and more consistent than starting from scratch.

What about the Metadata

In principle our image is ready. There is one issues though. The image created with the template will have all the metadata (e.g. EXIF) from the original image used to create the template and this can be quite confusing.

We found a solution that helps to minimize the problem. The second extra script is called "TextureCopyBlended". It performs the following operations:

  • Makes a copy of the newly blended and fine tuned image
  • Flattens the content
  • Adds this as a new top layer onto the original new image

Blended layer on top of the original image

In this case we lose the layer stack information for future fine tuning but it is also not hard to recreate the result from the template. On the other side all the meta information is correct.

Sample Gallery as a Result of using Templates


Texture Blending Templates have proven to to save some work if you want to reuse previous blending settings.

We spend a lot of time to help making the workflow efficient by creating new scripts. In this case the two new scripts even come for free.

Happy Blending!


Manage the Digital Workflow




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