Does anybody know a tutorial for designing the OS X Mountain Lion background pattern? I am referring to this commonly used background pattern:

enter image description here

1 Answer 1


It'll take some tweaking to get the result you want, but you can achieve something similar using the Crosshatch filter:

Step 1: Start a new document with a layer filled the color of your choice

Step 1

Step 2: Create a new layer, fill it with black, add noise with Filter -> Noise -> Add Noise...

Step 2

Step 3: Add a Cross Hatch filter to the noise: Filter -> Brush Strokes -> Crosshatch...

Step 3

Step 4: Set the blending mode of that layer to Screen and reduce the opacity to about 40%

Step 4

Step 5: Rotate the crosshatch layer by 45° and then crop

Step 5



Some fine tuning: I added a Gaussian Blur to make the crosshatches a little less harsh.

If you're alright with it not tiling nicely then you can add a gradient to the base color layer.

Result 2

  • Thanks John. One question: how would one know what tools should be used and what needs to be done to achieve a desired effect? Experience? Playing with lots of tools/filters? Are there any helpful books? Commented Dec 21, 2012 at 5:59
  • A combination of experience and playing with the filters. I've never tried making this before, but I recognized that the "brushed aluminum" looked similar to the effect the Crosshatch filter produces. From there I fiddled with the settings until it looked similar to the sample.
    – JohnB
    Commented Dec 21, 2012 at 6:03
  • I got the same effect using motion blur with a high pixel setting. More than one way to skin a cat :) Commented Dec 23, 2012 at 17:57

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