Topaz Texture Effects is not only a great way to add textures to your images, it’s also a great way to use those textures to tone your images.  Combined with other adjustments like edge blurs and light leaks, it’s easy to use Texture Effects to create virtually any feel.

Emotion is one of the best things about photography, it’s not just about capturing an image, but it’s also about capturing the passion of that moment. In this tutorial i’ll be using Texture Effects to accentuate the emotion in your images.

Learn how to accomplish the following in this tutorial:

  • Use Textures to give tone to your images.
  • Using the Border Adjustment to texture the edges of your images.
  • Using the light leak adjustment to enhance natural light sources in your image.
  • Saving an effect

Getting Started

Shlomit Wolf

For this demo i’ll be using this image by Shlomit Wolf, which you can download from his page here. This kid doesn’t only look bored, but he looks blue, and thats what we’re going to highlight in this tutorial. To get started

  1. Open Texture Effects as a standalone product.
  2. Texture Effects will immediately give you a preview of the featured presets inside of Topaz Texture Effects, which right off the bat would normally give you a great place to get started. We want to start from scratch so click the  Add Empty Preset New button  in the upper right hand corner. This will reset our image to have no adjustments or effects applied.

Basic Adjustment

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 2.06.35 PMThe first thing we need to do is get a bit more contrast so click the add-module-plus@2x darker Add Adjustment button and select Basic Adjustment. Then give the adjustment the following settings.

  • Brightness up to 0.38
  • Shadow down to -0.25

The rest of the settings you can leave alone.


Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 2.07.09 PMI’d like to darken up the edge to push the eye more towards the center of our image so for that we’ll add a Vignette Adjustment.

  • Crank the Strength up all the way to 1 to get a nice strong vignette.
  • Then roll the Size up to 0.85 to really accentuate the corners.
  • Take the Transition down to .14 to further increase the fade.
  • Move the Roundness all the way down to 0.

This should give us a nice vignette around the corners and sides of our image.


Edge Blur

To further move the eye towards our subject we’re going to add an Edge Blur, this will blur the edges of our photo around a mask that we place on the image. Once you apply the adjustment, click the Blur Shape button. You’ll notice that the default shape is a circle on the center of our image. Grab the handles on the mask and stretch the mask to cover the left edge and wrap around the boy’s jaw. Your mask should look like the image below.

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 4.12.55 PM

OScreen Shot 2015-10-29 at 2.07.23 PMnce you’ve got your mask where you’d like it give it the settings below:

  • The Blur seems a little strong so we’re going to turn it down a bit to 0.10
  • And the Transition is a little too noticeable so turn it up just a hare to make the transition over the mask to be a bit softer. Lets try 0.54.

Texture Tone

Now we come to the powerhouse of this effect, using the texture to tone the image. The texture adjustment has a lot of power and can be applied many times in many different ways to get a almost limitless combination of looks. But for the purposes of this tutorial we’re going to use one image texture to tone the whole image. So add a Texture Adjustment.

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 9.27.02 AMAs you can see there is a huge library of image textures you can apply, but rather than school through the whole list, lets narrow down our search a bit. We’re looking for an image that can apply a nice powerful grunge effect and has some striking color to help tone our images. So in the Texture Category dropdown, we’re going to select Heavy Grunge. Then scroll down towards the bottom of the list of included textures until you find a bright yellow texture with burnt orange edges. (see below)

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 2.07.41 PM

  • When you first apply the texture you may be saying, “Wait, this is the opposite of what i want?” You are exactly right, so the first thing we’re going to do is apply the Division blending mode.
  • Now that we have that nice tone coming in, we’d like it to be a little stronger, so move the Opacity up to 0.69.
  • I’d like to see a bit more overall color so lets take the Color Strength up to 0.28.
  • Then move the Color slider over to a nice orange at .05.


Light Leak 1

Look at that! We could stop here but i’d like to show you a way to add a bit more subtle effects to get just a bit more emotion out of the image. One of those is the use of light, so lets use Texture Effects to add light to your image by applying the Light Leak adjustment. You’ll notice again right away that Texture Effects comes with a huge library of Light Leaks included, no scouring the internet required.

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 9.28.00 AMAs you scroll through the list of light leaks you’ll notice that your image updates automatically to show the light leak you’re hovering over and how it will affect your image in real time. Again we’re going to use the categories to narrow down light leaks that fit the style we’re looking for. We want a bit of a diffused look along the top of our image just to simulate the light coming through the dirt and grunge that we have up there. So we’re going to select Diffused for the Light Leak category. About half way through the list you’ll see a leak that subtly covers a small portion of the top of the image (shown to left) select it to add it to your image.

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 2.08.06 PM

  • The effect is a bit more subtle than we’d like so lets turn up the Opacity of the leak just a bit to 0.69.
  • We’d like the color to match our texture so for Color select a nice blue at 0.61. Then turn the Color Strength up to 1.



The edges of the image look a little bright for our tastes. So lets use a border to subtly push that brightness in and give a bit of a textured edge.Add a Borders adjustment and again we can use the category selector to help narrow down our choices, so lets look into the Hazy category.

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 2.08.36 PMScroll down to the very last row on the left you’ll see a paper texture with a burnt edge. That should give us the look we want.

  • It’s a little too powerful on the left side of the image though so lets roll the Opacity back to 0.50.

Light Leak 2

The left side of the image has a lot of sunlight coming into it, and i’d like to make that a bit more apparent by changing adding a bit more light coming in from the window to give a different tone than the light in the room. So lets add another Light Leak adjustment, then we’ll choose the Sun Flare category to help narrow our options down.

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 2.08.58 PM

  • As you scroll down the list you’ll see one that looks like a flame coming in from the upper right. That matches our natural light source quite well. So lets choose that one.
  • Most of the settings are fine but the color needs a bit of adjusting, slide the Color Strength all the way to 1.
  • Then lets change the Color slider over to a nice orange at about .07 to subtly put that light right on the top of his head and face.

Split Tone

It’s still looking a bit too blue for me. so lets enhance a bit what out Light Leaks are doing and tone our highlights and shadows using a Split Tone adjustment.

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 2.06.51 PM

  • I like what the light leak is doing so lets make our highlights match. Turn your Highlight Saturation up to about 0.14
  • Lets also make our Highlight Hue about the same orange as the light leak above it at 0.05
  • While we’re here, lets turn your Shadow Saturation up a tiny bit to 0.05
  • Then lets make the shadows a little more contrasty with the highlights, I’m thinking a bit more purple so lets set the Shadow Hue to a dark blue/purple at 0.79.

Shlomit Wolf_after

There you have it, a beautifully textured and toned image. You don’t have to stop here though, if blue isn’t your color go back through your adjustments and pick a Hue/Color value that fits your tastes a bit more, you’ll still get to keep all the texture adjustments we’ve made.

Want to save the image as a preset? Once you’re happy with your adjustments, just click the Save button in the upper right hand corner.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 4.13.27 PM

  • Here you can enter a name for your effect.
  • Your effect will automatically be added to the My Effect category, you can also pick any relevant categories you feel it fits under, I recommend Lofi and Pop Grunge
  • Also pick any relevant search tags you feel fit the effect you’ve created. I chose Abstract and Street.
  • Then click Save, the effect will be saved under the “My Effects” category in the preset browser for you to apply anytime in the future, so if you’ve created an effect you love, be sure to save your effect to make applying and tweaking that look even easier.


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