I'd like to add the below leather pattern effect to the bookmark I have made below that:

enter image description here

enter image description here

The bookmark is simply white pixels with some layer effects added. How do I "drain" the texture of colour so that I can define it as a pattern and add it as a pattern overlay? Currently it "blackens" everything when I do so, and reducing its opacity has the simultaneous effect of reducing the texture effect...

Also, in cases like this, should one change the scale of the image before defining the pattern, or simply do so when adding as a patttern overlay?


Thank you all for the detailed answers - they're all great. I still must be doing something wrong, however, as I keep getting the following result only (with a Pattern Overlay... Normal Blend Mode, but lighter ones do not produce any noticeable result):

enter image description here

To be clear this is pixel data, not a vector image. I'm not really sure what's going wrong? Having said that, I just converted it to a smart object and the pattern overly began applying fine. Since the image is already rasterized, what's the change that I need to make in order to allow the pattern overlay to display correctly

  • The Blend mode for the Pattern Overlay should be set to Overlay one of the others in that group, but it appears there is another problem at work here. Could you upload a copy of the file that is not displaying correctly, so I may take a closer look?
    – Mr.Wizard
    Mar 30, 2013 at 9:23

3 Answers 3


Rather than using Screen blend mode I recommend making the average color in the texture 50% gray, and using Overlay, Soft Light, etc., which will allow the texture to both lighten and darken rather than merely one or the other, as with Screen or Multiply.

To do this you can use the Other > High Pass filter. A larger radius setting will preserve larger features, but all will cause the "background" of the texture to be 50% gray.

Here is your texture after a 250px high pass:

250px HP

Here it is in Overlay mode on top of the bookmark:

enter image description here


Once you've overlaid the texture as a pattern change the blend mode on the pattern overlay window – screen will make all black become transparent and white remain visible which I think is what you're asking for. You may want to try some other blend modes such as lighten or overlay which can also be useful.

In terms of scaling the pattern I'd try it with the pattern overlay window as this leaves more flexibility. If it looks like a poor repeat around the edge you may need to go back to your original texture and and resize/refine it

  • Thank for this. Unfortunately, I just tried those blend modes you mentioned (in the Pattern Overlay window), but all of the "lightening" blend modes do not produce any noticeable difference! Only with the darkening ones, strangely... Could there be a difference in the stacking order of pattern overlays, for example? I can't figure this one out :/ Mar 27, 2013 at 11:28
  • the lighten modes only work if the layer with the mode applied has a pixel with a "lighter value" (lighter grey value) than the pixel below it. The inverse is true with darken. So you can manipulate the texture by inverting the colors or adjusting the levels. If you move the white point in the levels further left, you will get more whites in the crackle texture: the current image is mostly grey and black.
    – horatio
    Mar 27, 2013 at 13:57

Try using the Screen blend mode. Here's what I got by combining your two images using it (after scaling the texture down by 50%, since your bookmark is kind of small compared to the texture):

Bookmark with leather texture applied using Screen blend mode

(I did this in the GIMP, since I don't have Photoshop, but the Screen mode should work the same way in both.)

The result is a little lighter than your original bookmark, which is only to be expected since Screen is a lightening mode. You can tune the lightness of the result by adjusting the color levels of the texture layer and/or of the background.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.