So I'm trying to create two brick variants from this reference: one light one (Spot A on the ref) which I already have and another version with darker bricks (Spot B on the ref):

enter image description here

Here's my light variant:

enter image description here

However I'm struggling to make a dark version from it, the results are just really bad or not working at all. Here are the things I've tried so far:

  • Playing with levels and curves;
  • Different color fill/duplicate texture overlays with different blend modes
  • Using a leveled black and white version of the texture as a mask on a color fill;
  • Combination of the above.

Any pointers or ideas how I could make a dark variant from that texture?


Your image is not the right representation of the sample you have.

On your reference image, the mortar is lighter than the brick, but in your image it is the inverse.

On section B you have more or less the same mortar color but darker bricks so you notice more the difference.

This probably can be solved using a different texture. Masking the mortar will not work because it is clearly a shadowed zone.

But if the ratio mortar-brick is not that important, let's understand now how darkening works using curves.

The trick would be darkening the image while maintaining the light areas (mortar) more or less the same lightness.

Doing this with curves will increase the contrast, but also will saturate the color more and that is probably what is not working on your tests, probably making your images reddish.

So besides using curves (B, I lowered a central point on the middle) you need to desaturate the result (C).

enter image description here

| improve this answer | |
  • Instead of desaturating the result, you could apply the curves adjustment with the Luminosity blend mode. – Wolff Jul 19 at 16:22
  • Yeap. There are many ways to do it. What I wanted to point is the saturation issue. – Rafael Jul 19 at 16:26

In the photograph, the bricks aren't really a different colour. It's just that they're in the shadows, and so that part of the image is slightly less exposed.

So, with that in mind, perhaps try this method:

  1. Convert the image layer to a Smart Object (Right click on the layer name, and choose Convert to Smart Object)
  2. Do Filter > Camera RAW Filter
  3. Adjust the Exposure and Colour Temperature sliders until you get a match.

If you need one version of the bricks to have some darker bricks, then I think you might want to consider using the Burn tool to darken some manually.

| improve this answer | |
  • Well, they are indeed darker. The ratio between the mortar and the bricks is higher on B. – Rafael Jul 19 at 15:53
  • @Rafael sorry I was comparing the light image to the one in the shadows, not the bricks with the dark mortar. If that's what the OP is looking for it might require some kind of manual dodging/burning. – Billy Kerr Jul 19 at 15:54
  • But it is a good idea though. :o) – Rafael Jul 19 at 15:56

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