This is a pattern I've seen used in multiple places and I've always loved it:

enter image description here

This site also uses it as a background texture, as well as this one.

It's sort of like a fingerprint/wood texture. I want to make something similar and I've considered drawing it out and throwing it in illustrator or something, but is there an easier way? Maybe like a combination of filters in Photoshop?

  • Note that all 3 examples are different effects. The first is a line drawing of wood grain. The second is a layered topographic map (similar, but different) and the last is a line drawing using a more painterly style/stroke/brush.
    – DA01
    Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 18:11

4 Answers 4


Actually I figured out a simple way to do it (just as I thought!).

Of course you can stretch/smooth things out as desired, but here's the BASIC process if anyone is interested:

Render Clouds....


Posterize.... (I did 20)


Filter>>Find edges

find edges

Using same basic process as above with a motion blur before posterizing and finding edges:

enter image description here

  • 4
    No offense, but that looks far more like a topographical map than it does wood.
    – Scott
    Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 17:47
  • @Scott I never specified it as wood. Someone edited my question. Although my example does look a little bit like a typographical map, I was really only looking for a method to create the lines. Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 18:15
  • @Kudla69 I edited the title adding "wood" based on [my perception of] the first image, because "How to recreate this effect" is not very descriptive as a title. I just corrected it. We try to add as much information as possible so it's easier to find doing a search. The good thing is: You can always re-edit (there is an Edit button right under your question).
    – Yisela
    Commented Jul 23, 2013 at 20:25

The first one looks like it is a wood texture with some contrast lightened on the lines and then a red color mask possibly red gradient mask put on top. Shouldn't take more than a few minutes to make.

The second one is probably made in illustrator. Possibly traced from a piece of wood or just randomly made with the pen tool. For the colored part at the top it would then probably be brought as individual layers into photoshop to add the shadow and subtle noise texture to it.

To do in illustrator aside from just going at it freely or tracing wood, you could also make it by drawing a curve. Then drawing a smaller curve / oval. And using the blend tool. Then mix it up with other shapes and fine-tuning. Offsetting is also your friend.


It's a line drawing of 'grain' lines. Easier to draw in a vector tool such as Adobe Illustrator.

That said, it's also incredibly trendy right now and you can find this as stock art easy enough:




All you need to do to achieve a wood grain texture as shown in the first image on this post is to stretch the rendered artwork in any one direction without constraining proportions. Give it a try & tada! -Nick

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.