PowerPoint Backgrounds with Photoshop: Reticulation Effects
Reviewed: Geetesh Bajaj
Last Updated: February 27th 2009
See Also: Photoshop TIFFs for PowerPoint
Before You Begin
I'm sure all of you would first like to know what reticulation means: reticulation is a process of crafting metal by inducing heat through a torch - ending up with metal which is patterned into ridges, textures and emboss effects. Photoshop comes with a Reticulation filter which tries to emulate the effect.
Photoshop does have a learning curve - but if you follow all instructions on this page, you can easily create reticulated backgrounds for PowerPoint within Photoshop. However, this article does assume some familiarity with the Photoshop interface.
You can find links to Photoshop resources at Indezine's Photoshop page.
I'm using Photoshop LE for this tutorial - you can use almost all these steps to replicate the tutorial in Photoshop 5, 5.5 or 6 or even in PhotoDeluxe since the filter set in all these applications is similar.
I've also used the surface texture effects in Corel Painter for this tutorial - but you could leave out that step if you don't have access to Painter. Nevertheless, if you are serious about creating graphics, you could never go wrong buying Painter!
Open any picture in Photoshop - this could be a digital camera snap, a stock picture or a scanned one. It doesn't matter - we just need something to start with!
I've opened a picture in Photoshop - you can view the screenshot here:
Resize the image to 800 x 600 pixels using the Image -> Image Size... dialog box. You will have to deselect the 'Constrain Proportions' option.
We'll need to choose two colours from the picture using the Eyedropper tool - one for the foreground colour and the other for the background colour.
Choose the Eyedropper from the Tools palette and click on a chosen colour in the image. The colour thus clicked is displayed as the foreground colour in the tools palette.
Within the tools palette, click the swap colours arrow on the top right of the colour swatches.
Now click on any other chosen colour with the Eyedropper tool to choose a second colour. Try to choose colours that would look good in combination with each other. Also, avoid using very bright or fluorescent colours.
Now is the time to reticulate our image!
Access the Reticulation filter dialog box from the Filter menu in Photoshop through Filter -> Sketch -> Reticulation...
As displayed in the screenshot here, keep your black and white level options at a value of zero.
Experiment with the density values anywhere between 1 and 5 - you could try going a little higher - but for all practical purposes, 5 should be sufficient. Click 'OK' to apply the filter. We now end up with an image which is like a watermark of the image we started with.
Save the picture under a different name. If you are following the next optional step of tweaking the image in Painter, then you can close the image.
If you don't have access to Corel Painter, you can skip this step.
Open the saved picture in Painter and choose Effects -> Surface Control -> Apply Surface Texture... - the 'Apply Surface Texture' dialog box will open.
Set the values to match as under:
Using: Image Luminance
Let other values remain at their default. Choose 'OK', save the image and exit Painter. Open it again in Photoshop and proceed to the next step.
In Photoshop, choose Filter -> Render -> Lighting Effects. You could tweak as desired. I used the following values:
You're done. We just finished creating a reticulated background.