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Realistic Rock in Photoshop Tutorial

Step 1

Create a new RGB Image of you desired size.

In the channels panel click on new Channel. It will become alpha 1.

Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 12.57.28 PM
Step 2

Press “D” To reset the foreground and background colors. Filter>Render>Clouds

Step 3

This is what you will see in alpha 1.


Still in the Channels panel, click on the RGB thumbnail.

Step 4

Switch to the layers panel

I have found that filling with 50% gray helps produce a more even rock texture.

Press Shift+Delete (Shift+Backspace on Mac) for the fill dialog. Choose 50% gray for contents. (For a more metallic effect, leave white instead of changing to gray)


Step 5

Filter>Render>Lighting effects.

You will need to experiment with some settings, but here are the essentials

Set light to Infinite

Select Alpha 1 from texture

Choose something for the color, in this case an orange.

Change the height to get more or less texture.

Grab the on-screen widget and drag around for different angles and intensity.

Click ok

Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 1.02.37 PM

Step 6

Instant rock.


Step 7

For some variation: Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer

Reduce the saturation for an interesting look

Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 1.03.53 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 1.04.01 PM

Or turn on the colorize option and try something more colorful

Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 1.04.48 PM

Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 1.04.40 PM

As always, please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts. Also. let me know what kinds of tutorials you would like to see in the future.

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4 responses to “Realistic Rock in Photoshop Tutorial”

  1. Looks like a cool tutorial but I’m not getting past step 4. I’m using Windows 8 and CS6 and things aren’t the same as in this tut.

  2. Lighting Effects is grayed out on Step 5. I use CS6 on Windows 7. I did the Channels part, then, the fill layer. When I go to Filter>Render>Lighting Effects, it is not possible to click on it. Help, please? Thank you!

  3. Having trouble getting this to work. I’m using PS CS4 (if that matters.) First, Shift->Delete doesn’t bring up the Fill dialog. I need to Ctl->A and then get to it manually through the Edit menu. That’s where I’m stuck. After I’ve done the fill operation, I got to Filter->Render, only to discover that Lighting Effects (and Lens Flare) are both disabled. I’ve tried both with the window selected (Ctl->A) and not (Ctl->D). Any suggestions?

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