How to create halftone textures in Photoshop

Halftone textures are great for giving your designs a retro feel. They're also really easy to make once you know how.

In today's tutorial I'm going to show you a technique that will enable you to create halftone versions of existing textures in just a matter of seconds. It doesn't matter whether the texture derived from a photograph, scanned image, or you've made it yourself using a set of Photoshop brushes, this technique will produce great results every time.

Start by opening the texture of your choice in Photoshop. I'm going to use this one from FreeStockTextures.com.

Once you've done that, desaturate the image (Shift+Cmd+U).

Follow this by opening the Levels window (Cmd+L).

The adjustments you make here will play a large part in determining how your final halftone texture will look. The size and density of the dots will vary depending on the brightness and contrast of the shades throughout your image. The lighter areas of your image will be made up of smaller dots spaced further apart, and the darker areas of your image will be made up of larger dots spaced closer together. This is what gives the illusion of tone. The more contrast, the more variation there will be in the size of the dots.

I want to keep my texture quite light, so I'm going to up the grey Input Levels, which will lower the contrast and increase the brightness simultaneously.

You'll probably need to do a bit of experimenting here in order to get the result you want, but adjusting the grey Input Levels is usually a good place to start.

Finally, go to Filter > Pixelate > Color Halftone. Set the Screen Angles of each Channel to 45 and the Max. Radius between 4 to 6 pixels, depending on how large you would like the dots to be.

Zoom in and you'll see that you now have a halftone version of your texture made up of thousands of tiny dots.

To apply this texture to one of your designs, simply paste it into the document containing your artwork, then change the layer's Blend Mode to Multiply. From there you can scale and position your texture accordingly.

You can also change the color of the dots from black to white by inverting the colors (Cmd+I) and setting the layer's Blend Mode to Screen.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

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