How do you recreate the effect as seen in this picture through Photoshop? I'm talking about the grainy texture...


I tried using noise filter and played with layer blends, but the result is less than what I'd expected it to be like:


I've been sitting up all night trying to figure this out and all I can think now is "GRAAAAIIIINS"

3 Answers 3


That's not really an effect, it's just dithering with a very limited color palette. Here's an example I just created using it, and the instructions on how to apply this "effect" are just below that.

enter image description here

How to apply it...

Get your picture into Photoshop, and go to Image > Mode > Indexed Color... via the main menu. In the Indexed Color dialog box that appears, set the Palette to "Custom" which will bring up the Color Table dialog box where you can select color swatches to be used for your image. You can click a tile to add a color and Ctrl-click on Windows (probably Cmd-click on Mac) to remove a tile. To create an image similar to the questioner's example, I'd try using three or so colors. In my own example I used black, white, magenta, and a yellow-ish color. Choose your colors and click Ok. Now set the Dither option to "Diffusion" and you can play with the Amount percentage to get the exact look you want. Click Ok and you're done.

Applied to a block of 50% gray...

enter image description here

  • The first one looks to be some other dithering pattern, not "diffusion".
    – e100
    Dec 5, 2011 at 10:45
  • 1
    The thing is, different colors and palettes create slightly different dot patterns. Even so, there are definite similarities between the OP example and the one I posted. E.g., Compare lower right corner purple area of mine to the lower left corner red area of OP, or the tile floor of OP to the brown shirt of color of mine. The colors are different but the dot patterns are almost identical. I'm pretty confident that it's diffusion.
    – Alexei
    Dec 5, 2011 at 21:32
  • Actually now I'm sure it's diffusion, and most likely the Floyd–Steinberg dithering algorithm, which according to the interwebs is supposed to produce a black/white checkerboard from a block of 50% gray, due to certain fractions it uses in its computation. I dithered such a block of gray, and the result is above, zoomed in for clarity.
    – Alexei
    Dec 5, 2011 at 21:59
  • @Alexei Hey! That's it! Thank you! I didn't get any email alerts about the responses even though I signed up for them notifications, weird...Anyways, glad I decided to check out the site...I learned something new here, Cheers and Merry Christmas everyone! :D
    – jklm313
    Dec 25, 2011 at 14:37
  • BTW props for using Faye's pic!!! :}
    – jklm313
    Dec 25, 2011 at 14:52

Try using two layers, one for the noise and one for the image.

Start with a gray background and play with the layer effects (overlay, hard light, etc) and the Splatter Filter (under Filter>Brush Strokes, for randomness).

Mess with the layer opacity, and/or add a blur (~10-15%) to your noise layer to decrease the intensity of noise and smooth out the noise, respectively.

  • I tried every possible combination with the layers. But @alexei's got the solution. Cheers for the help.
    – jklm313
    Dec 25, 2011 at 14:40

There are so many effects applied on this pic, I applied some of photoshop filters just to match this style, I dont know whether they are useful or not for you but they can make similar output which you can use....

You can apply halftone filter also,in the last i have mentioned some tutorials please see them..

In First image example I applied patchwork this goes bit similar to your image.( Open image in new window for clarity )

enter image description here

In second image example I used Texturizer it also goes similar with your image in this you can change appearance setting from drop down, They all give different output..you can try and match if you need something from there....( Open image in new window for clarity )

enter image description here

In this image example I first applied grain than i reduced this layer opacity, this also goes with your image, you can try hue and saturation and many more effects on this layer to pop out the background though i just tried a bit to show you...( Open image in new window for clarity )

enter image description here

This effect can also achieved with the help of halftone effects :

  1. Halftone effect
  2. Halftone and bitmap effects

Hope this will help a bit...

  • To the down voters whats wrong if i am giving other options to get the same result???
    – Jack
    Dec 5, 2011 at 9:08
  • Thanks for the help! But @alexei's got the answer! Cheers :)
    – jklm313
    Dec 25, 2011 at 14:40

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