Given a PSD, is there a way to figure out how a certain background was created? The PSD is here: http://www.piotrkwiatkowski.co.uk/freebies/ui-kit.zip I’m using Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 on Mac.

Here’s a portion of the background in question:

enter image description here

It looks like a solid color plus some noise. I can’t figure out how to decipher what the background was when created, and it appears to be a “pixel layer”. It doesn’t appear to have any layer styles.

Is there a general way to inspect a layer like this in Photoshop to figure out how it was created?

2 Answers 2


It's not possible to know what was done on the way. Just like you can not know where a ball has been by inspecting its surface. You can however use many ways to try to deduce this but therees no general process.

Tough in this case its probably just using Filter → Noise → Add Noise... should do the same thing.


You can never know exactly how a rasterized layer was created. But you can always make some details better visible. You could for example use Levels.

enter image description here

enter image description here

You will notice that the dark gray base color is actually a dark gray-blue. The structures in the noise and the little dots of different colors indicate that the Gaussian Distribution might have been used without the Monochromatic option.

But all of this is speculative and none of this is really important if you know how to reproduce an almost identical result.

  • 2
    Very nice answer!
    – Yisela
    Nov 28, 2014 at 10:52

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