This tutorial is about making a textured red background and using Photoshop’s Shape Tool to add a design element. You can download the sample PSD file from the link at the bottom of the tutorial.
We begin with a blank canvas and then add a plain red background of color – #780000
Add a NEW LAYER
Using the Custom Shape Tool (U), choose a shape to use as our design element. I chose this nuclear symbol because it looks kind of neat. If you don’t have lots of things to choose from, you can load in a few more libraries by clicking on that little arrow icon in the top right and then choosing Load Shapes.
Add a NEW LAYER
So now I have my shape. Note that when drawing the shape, you want to make sure that you are actually drawing a shape and not just making a path or making a shape with path. You can change this setting in the top tool bar when you have the shape tool selected. You’ll see three icons: one for paths, one for paths with fill, and one just for filling pixels (that’s the one you want).
Also I’ve used white, but it doesn’t really matter as we are going to go over it in a second with something else.
Now flat color backgrounds look a bit crappy, so we’ll add a Radial Gradient. To do this, first make sure your foreground color and background color are set. I chose:
#830506 – Foreground Color
#370000 – Background Color
Now select the Gradient Tool and then click on Radial Gradient in the top left of the toolbar and draw a radial gradient starting from the center out.
With radial gradients (and gradients in general), it’s always a good idea to keep the color differential subtle.
To start to get some texture, duplicate your gradient layer and go to Filters > Render > Fibers and use the default settings. Make sure you have your red colors still selected, as it makes a difference with the output.
Set the Opacity to 30%
Now Duplicate the layer with the Fibers and hit Ctrl-T for the Transform Tool. Hold down Shift and rotate the layer 90 degrees.
Then place it down again. This will give a bit more texture.
To heighten the gradient/light effect, in a new layer select a big fat soft brush and using black – #000000 – just add a bit of black around the edges so that it gets really dark around there.