Tutorial: Getting the Most out of Textures

Admit it: sometimes you forget about textures. Effects, overlays, and touch up features have your attention 24/7. Basic edits and frames are there when you need them. But do you regularly go to the Textures tab and exult in the glory that is full-photo transformation? Well, Textures just brought its A game to earn your love. We’ve got some texture tools to tell you about.

In this tutorial, we’re going to show you how to make everyone drool over your profile pic with our electrifying, light-tastic photo textures. Play along at home in our photo editor.

1. Crop your image

screen shot showing crop feature

Open your photo in the Editor, click on the Basic Edits tab and then click Crop. Choose “Square” for your profile picture. Drag the resize corners and move the square to set the area of the image you want to keep. Profile photos can be as big as you want, because most sites will automatically resize your profile pic smaller.

2. Open the Textures tab

controls that appear when "Effect" and "Move" buttons are clicked

Click on the Textures tab and choose a set of textures you like. When you open any set, you’ll see there are now two buttons below your texture images: “Effect” and “Move.” When “Effect” is selected, controls for changing the appearance of your texture appear below. When “Move” is selected, controls for changing the position and size of your texture appear below.

3. Size and move textures

image showing sizing and moving a texture

First, let’s resize the texture we’ve selected. Click the “Move” button and you’ll see a white outline around your image which lets you know you can move the texture. Click on the texture and drag to move it.

Use the “Size” slider to increase the size of the texture. This gives you more room to move the texture and control its position on your image. You can also try flipping and rotating the texture too.

Note: You need to increase the size before you can move Metal, Smudge, and Papyrus textures.

4. Erase areas you don’t want

Screen shot of paintbrush controls for erasing parts of texture

It’s lookin’ good, but a texture over your face is so 1983 — you need to erase! Go back to the effect mode by clicking the “Effect” button and open the paint palette (if it isn’t already open) by clicking the paintbrush button. Be sure the “Original” setting is selected in the paint palette. Click and drag to erase the texture where you don’t want it to appear.

Tip: If you have perfectionist issues like some of us (ahem!) you might want to try a smaller brush size or change the brush hardness to clean up those pesky edges. Don’t forget you can zoom in.

Extra Tip: If you’re a bit messy in your erasing, click on the “Undo” button in the toolbar above your image or click on the “Effect” button in the paint palette and start painting back the texture where you want it.

5. Play more using the same erasures

different light textures applied to the same erasures

Did you know that when you erase, PicMonkey remembers where you’ve erased? Really, it’s true — it’s like a mask! Say you decide you want to move that texture around just a bit more, make it bigger or even try another image in that texture set; you can easily do that without having to erase again.

6. Adjust saturation

screen shot of saturation controls and three different looks achieved by adjusting them

Oh, but there’s more! To give you even more flexibility, you can now increase or decrease the saturation of your texture using the “Saturation” slider under the “Effect” button.

7.  Layer on more textures

image of four different texture treatments on a profile pic

Have fun layering textures on top of each other. Don’t be shy about experimenting. Play with fading, erasing, and if you really want to dive in, change your blend mode.

Tip: Many textures like Space and Edifice offer a great way to change the background behind you. Apply your texture and erase the texture over your face. Then change the blend mode to “Normal” and set the fade to 0.

8. Save and update your profile pic

final profile pic with textures added

Voila! Welcome to Radville. Population: you.

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  • Cindy

    All the new goodies are simply awesome! I make printable Harry Potter calendars every month and all these new effects are really going to make them even more ‘magical’! Thanks PicMonkey for continuing to make this place better and better.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/katiemacavoy Katie Maloney MacAvoy

    Totally rad. Thanks guys. xo

  • http://gravatar.com/girlonaglide juli

    I <3 u.

  • Aundrea

    I LOVE PICMONKEY!! Can you please look into something similiar to photoshops pixel blend??

  • http://pictwins.blogg.se Hilma

    When will picmonkey come to appstore?

    • http://PicMonkey.com PicMonkey

      He keeps on strapping on his backpack and lacing up the serious hiking shoes, but somehow doesn’t get all the way to Cupertino. We’ll keep at him. One day!

      • Kate Bramhall

        Why Do You Have Everything (Mostly Everything) As Pro Theres Really F+Good Effects But I Can’t Use Them Because You Need Be A Pro :(

  • Adriel

    I love all the stuff you are adding, but please find a way for us to be able to upload more than one photo at a time…. PLEASE

    • http://PicMonkey.com PicMonkey

      Heard ya, Adriel! We’ve got it on the list. Thx for stopping by.

      • Paula

        can’t wait!

  • Melissa

    Love you guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep adding more stuff!!

  • http://www.theorganicartist.com the organic artist

    I LOVE YOU and so appreciate all the goodies! You guys are the best! ( said with streaking lights and stars flashing in the background) Wooo- Hoooooo!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Sphinx.YS Yasiris Sánchez Moya

    Cool Monkey! Love uuuuuuuu!

  • Naomi

    I think i will really enjoy using the textures, thanks so much for the update.

  • http://www.facebook.com/GrfxDziner Doug Cook

    These are simply incredible. Thank you so much for the awesome treasures :)

  • https://sites.google.com/site/vamp1967tutorials/ Carolyn Foster

    Thank you so much for the new effects! These are fantastic! I love all the tools and ways to use them. :)

  • http://gravatar.com/elenanikolova Elena

    Hi guys I have a question.

    I registered with you for the year and still trying to find my way around, really cool stuff.

    Only thing is do I have to upload my own photos every time or do you have a stock photos that can be used?

    Thank you

    • http://PicMonkey.com PicMonkey

      Hi Elena. If you’re just noodling around, we always have a stock image that goes with whatever we’re promoting on the home page. Any of the squares that promote an effect will load that effect with a sample photo when you click on them. Also, Collage always loads with a handful of photos. Just click “Create a collage” button on the top bar of home page.

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    • http://PicMonkey.com PicMonkey

      Hey, love your blog! And you’re in for a happy surprise when we release the next version of Collage, sister. Stay tuned.

  • deb

    I’m joining in the applause! Yea PicMonkey! Whoo-hoo!

  • http://PicMonkey.com PicMonkey

    Shout out to ALL Y’ALL! Thanks so much for all the pos-o feedback. You have no idea how much it keeps us going. We gotta, gotta, gotta keep making new stuff because we’re addicted to you!

  • http://ask.fm Gimena

    quiero editar sin que me digan que conbran por eso COMO HAGO? que sea gratiss

  • Alishia

    Hi, I see there is a way to make snow appear in pictures but I can’t seem to find rain? Where should I look for it? Thanks.

    • http://PicMonkey.com PicMonkey

      Hi Alishia. Go to the Textures tab, click Water, and you’ll see six options. The far right one on the top row is rain.

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