PowerPoint Backgrounds With Photoshop: Reticulation Effects
Learn how to create PowerPoint Backgrounds in Photoshop With Reticulation effects.
Author: Geetesh Bajaj
Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint
Creating slide backgrounds for use in PowerPoint is something that can use a little help from Photoshop. That's because Photoshop has an amazing repertoire of tricks that makes creating backgrounds easy. One thing you need to understand before even opening PowerPoint or Photoshop is that your slide backgrounds need to remain in the "background" -- that means you have to say goodbye to complicated, busy, and colorful backgrounds. A background graphic needs to be clean, it needs to use fewer colors, and it certainly needs to be understated. One of the effects in Photoshop called Reticulation lets you achieve all these objectives.
In olden days, Reticulation was the process of crafting metal by inducing heat through a torch - ending up with metal which is patterned into ridges, textures and emboss effects. Nowadays, of course only artists and craftsmen use the Reticulation process as most metal is machine made. Photoshop's Reticulation filter tries to emulate this amazing effect.
Do note that we have no recommendations for any specific version of Photoshop for this tutorial – we did however use Photoshop CS6 for the screen shots you see on this page:
- Make sure you use the
template for creating PowerPoint slide backgrounds. Then choose the File | Place menu
option to place any picture within Photoshop as a separate layer, as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Image opened within Photoshop
- Press the D shortcut key in Photoshop to change the Foreground and
Background colors to Black and White respectively (see the swatches highlighted in
red within Figure 2, below). These swatches are found at the lower
part of the Tools palette in Photoshop. Note that the Foreground swatch is now active.
Figure 2: Foreground and Background swatches
- Now, choose the Eyedropper tool within the Tools palette, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3.
Figure 3: Eyedropper tool
- This will change the cursor to an Eyedropper (see Figure 4, below). Since the Foreground
swatch is active, you will change the Foreground color. To do so, find any area in your picture that you want to
use as part of your slide background, and click on it with the Eyedropper tool, as shown in
Figure 4, below.
Figure 4: Click with the Eyedropper to establish the Foreground color
- You will see that the Foreground color has now changed, as shown in Figure 5, below
(compare with Figure 2, earlier on this page)
Figure 5: Foreground color chosen
- Click the Swap Colors icon, as shown highlighted in red
within Figure 6, below.
Figure 6: Swap Colors icon
- You will now see that the Foreground and Background colors have swapped -- and that White is now the
Foreground color, as shown in Figure 7.
Figure 7: Swatch color swapped
- Similarly change the Foreground color again by using the Eyedropper tool, as explained previously on this
page. This time, use a color that's not too different than the color you chose previously. We ended up with two
similar colors, as shown in Figure 8, below.
Figure 8: New Foreground and Background colors
- Thereafter, access the Filter | Filter Gallery menu option. This opens the
Filter Gallery dialog box, as shown in Figure 9. Here select the
Sketch option, as shown highlighted in red within
Figure 9: Filter Gallery dialog box
- Within the Sketch category, click on the Reticulation effect, as shown
highlighted in red within Figure 10.
Figure 10: Reticulation effect
As soon as the Reticulation effect is selected you'll get the parameters (shown highlighted in green within Figure 10) and also a live preview (shown highlighted in blue within Figure 10).
- Within the parameter section keep your Foreground and Background level options at a value of zero, as shown
in Figure 11.
Figure 11: Reticulation effect parameters changed
- 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. Once done click the OK button to apply the
filter. We now end up with an image which is like a dense watermark of the image we started with, as shown in
Figure 12 (compare with Figure 1 shown earlier on this page).
Figure 12: Reticulation effect applied
- Make sure to save the picture under a different name. You can also use Photoshop's Save as Web option, as explained towards the end in our Creating Slide Backgrounds in Photoshop for PowerPoint tutorial.
See Also: Photoshop TIFFs for PowerPoint