Create an Awesome Grass Texture in Photoshop

Grass TextureThis is the fourth and final installment of my series on creating textures in Photoshop. If you missed the first three, they were creating: Water Texture, Wood Texture and Stone Texture. This tutorial will combine much of what we learned about in the first three installments, we will also go over some new techniques, and add some finishing touches that pull the whole look together.

Onward, to the Tutorial…

  1. Bring up Photoshop and create a new document at a size that you like. I used 500px by 500px
  2. The first thing we need to do is make a dirt background to show through from underneath the grass we will create. Set your foreground and background colors to black and white. A shortcut for this is to restore Photoshop’s color defaults by pressing ‘d’ on your keyboard
  3. Colors

  4. Rename the background layer you are working on, call it dirt, or something applicable. (We will be using a couple layers in this tutorial so this will help organize things.
  5. Dirt Layer

  6. Go to the toolbar at the top and click filter->render->clouds. This will give us a nice base to work from.
  7. Clouds

  8. Add some noise and interest to our dirt. Click filter->noise->add noise. Change the amount to 44%, the distribution to gaussian and make sure monochromatic is checked on. (All these types of settings are merely suggestions, it’s by tweaking these settings, that you will really begin to get a grasp on Photoshop filters.)
  9. Noise Filter - Dirt

  10. Add a gaussian blur to the dirt layer. Click filter->blur->gaussian blur. Set the radius to 0.9 pixels.
  11. Gaussian Blur

  12. Let’s add one more filter to this dirt layer. Click filter->brush strokes->splatter. Set the spray radius to 21 and the smoothness to 2.
  13. Splatter Filter

  14. Now we need to give the dirt layer it’s color. Click image->adjustments->hue/saturation. Make sure to check preview and colorize. Then change the setting to a nice brown. I used: Hue: 49, Saturation: 29, Lightness: -38. Click OK.
  15. Hue Saturation for Dirt Layer

  16. OK, we are now finished with the dirt layer. That gives us a nice texture and color underneath the grass we are about to create. Let’s start on the grass. Create a new layer and name it “Grass.”
  17. Change your background color to a grassy color green, I used, #52782F. Hit ‘ctrl, backspace’ to fill your current layer (Grass) with the green color you selected.
  18. Add some noise to your new grass layer. Click filer->add noise->noise. Choose 30% for the amount, gaussian for the distribution, and check monchromatic. Click OK.
  19. Grass Noise

  20. Blur the grass layer. Click filter->blur->gaussian blur. Change the radius to 0.9 pixels, click OK.
  21. Gaussian Blur for Grass Layer

  22. We are getting closer, but it still doesn’t look a whole lot like any grass I’ve ever seen. We can use a couple of wind filters to lengthen the grass and simulate the look of blades. Click filter->stylize->wind, and change the settings to: method, stagger and direction, from the right. Click OK.
  23. Wind Filter for Grass Layer

  24. That looks a little better, but grass doesn’t grow all in one direction. So we need to add a little more direction and interest to our layer. First click image->rotate canvas->90 CW. Click OK.
  25. We are going to repeat the last two steps now, but go in the opposite direction. So go to filter->stylize->wind again and choose stagger, from the left. Click OK.
  26. Now flip the image so the grass looks verticle. Click image->rotate canvas->90 CCW. Below is what I’ve got so far…
  27. Grass Before Dirt

  28. I think this grass could use a little more contrast. Change the levels by clicking image->adjustments->levels. Drag the white and black sliders towards the middle till you get the variance you are after. Click OK.
  29. Grass Levels

  30. This is already a pretty useful grass texture, but we are going to take this tutorial a bit further. If all you need is the grass, you may want to jump down to the steps on masking to reveal some of the dirt layer underneath. Otherwise, stick with these steps to add some lines to our field of grass to make it look like a football field. First off create a new layer, make sure you add it to the top of the layers (ie above Dirt and Grass), and name this layer Lines.
  31. Grab the brush tool (‘b’ is your keyboard shortcut). Open up you brushes palette, window->brushes. Locate and click on your watercolor loaded brush 63 (shown in the image below). This is a cool Photoshop brush with some rough edges.
  32. Watercolor Loaded Brush

  33. Change your foreground color to white. Start somewhere in the bottom left and click and drag toward the right side. You may have to try a couple times (if you are like me) to get a straight enough line. If you mess up just hit ‘ctrl, z’ on the keyboard to undo the brush stroke you drew.
  34. Grass With Line

  35. Use the same brush but scale the width down to about 45 pixels, either by pressing the ‘[‘ on the keyboard or locating the size options in the properties box at the top for brushes. Make a line perpendicular to the first line you drew, going from that line to the bottom right hand corner.
  36. Grass With Lines

  37. Add noise to the lines. Click filter->noise->add noise. I used 11% for the amount.
  38. We should make the lines look like they are painted into the grass so we are going to add a subtle inner shadow. Double-click next to the name in the layer palette (if you are following along it should be lines), this will bring up the layer style dialog box. Check inner shadow and change the opacity to 60, the distance to 4 and the size to 4. Click OK.
  39. Inner Shadow

  40. The lines are starting to make sense on the field, but let’s try to blend them even more so. Change the opacity to 90 and the fill to 95.
  41. Opacity and Fill

  42. Now we are going to put the 50 yard marker on the field. Click on the text tool and in the properties for the text tool at the top of the screen, change your font to a stencil type font. I used ‘stencil std’ but you can use whatever you think works best. Just a quick side note, their are many really good free font sites out there, one of my favorites is Change the font size to something like 72 (we can adjust the size later) and the color to white. Now click anywhere on the field itself with the text tool still selected. This will create a new layer at the top of the layers for us. Now type 50.
  43. Hit ‘ctrl, t’ on the keyboard to bring up the free transform tools. Hover over the middle of the 50 and click and drag it into the correct area. Then resize it to your liking by clicking and dragging any of the corners out (if you’d like to keep the proportions hold shift down while you drag). Finally, rotate the angle to the way you’d like. Hover over a corner until you get a double arrow with an arch for the curser, then click and drag.
  44. 50 Free Transform

  45. Convert the 50 layer to a smart object by right clicking (ctrl click on the mac) on the layer and selecting convert to smart object. This will allow us to handle this layer just like the others, in this case we need to add a filter. Keep in mind that once you convert a text layer to a smart object you lose the ability to change the text.
  46. Smart Object

  47. Now we add the same amount of noise to this layer as we did with the lines. Because the last filter we used was noise, all we have to do is click filter->add noise
  48. Next up, we need to put the inner shadow on the 50 layer. Right click on the Lines layer and choose copy layer style. Then right click on the 50 layer and choose paste layer style. This will copy and paste the same layer style properties to the 50.
  49. Copy Paste Layer Style

  50. That looks pretty cool, but their are a couple more things we can do. First off, we still have a dirt layer underneath, that we’d like some part of showing through. Let’s put all the layers besides the ‘Dirt’ on their own. Click on the 50 layer, then with the shift key held down click on the grass layer to highlight everything but the dirt layer. On the keyboard hit ‘ctrl, shift, alt, e’. This will place all these layers on top by itself. Rename this layer ‘Field’. Then hide 50, Lines and Grass layers by clicking on the eyeball icons near each one. All that should be showing now is ‘Field’ and ‘Dirt’.
  51. Layers

  52. Add a layer mask to the ‘Field’ layer, by clicking the mask icon at the bottom of the layers palette.
  53. Layer Mask

  54. Now we will paint on the layer mask to reveal some of the dirt layer underneath. Change the foreground color to black. (Black reveals and white hides).
  55. Grab the brush tool again and open up your brushes window. Now click on the small arrow shown below to reveal all your brushes you have. Grab your favorite grunge brush set and click OK. If you don’t have grunge brushes, you can play around with what may work. However, I would suggest you head on over to bittbox, deviantart or brusheezy to find some grunge brushes you can use, they will come in handy often. Then place the brushes into your Photoshop brushes for use, you can learn some more about that and creating your own in this article.
  56. Load Brushes

  57. Now that you have a grunge brush you like begin painting black on the mask of the ‘Field’ layer to reveal the dirt layer underneath. Subtle dabs here and there work best, don’t overdo it, however if you do, you can always paint white back on the layer mask (which is the joy of using them :))
  58. Field with Grunge

  59. Their is one more thing I did on mine to help the overall feel of a field with lights, and that is a nice lighting effect. Click back to the field layer, not the mask, and click filter->render->lighting effects. The defaults for spotlight aren’t bad, but play around with the sliders and the spotlight thumbnail on the left side. When you like the preview click ok. Below are the settings I used.
  60. Lighing Effects for Field

That’s pretty much it. I finished my field off by playing with the levels to increase the contrast and cropping the image to make it more horizontal. I hope this gives you a good idea of the power of filters in Photoshop. Below is my finished field.

Grass Tutorial Finished

About the Author

Andrew is a primary contributer for MyInkBlog. He is a full time web developer for Niagara University. When he's not working there, he's a blogger, twitter'er, wordpress'er, silverstripe advocate, blessed father and husband.

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  • Halofreakanoid

    Wowzers this is a badass grass effect.

  • Syed Ali Raza Rizvi

    A very good and useful tutorial.very easy …quick

    Thanks for such a nice tutorial

  • Vijay Parmar

    I am very much impressed to see all the detail you give. I used to make grass only by using the grass brush, but your tutorial is very different. I appreciate your wonderful work and tutorial. Thank you very much

    Vijay Parmar

  • Timmermann

    Very nice effect. I will give it a try on the weekend – thank you :)

  • Andy

    I’m not entirely sure why you’ve given a shadow to the white layers..

    Is the paint embevelled into the grass when it’s painted on?


  • admin

    I used the shadows on the lines to help with depth and character, I tried to keep it subtle, however it’s a fair point that the lines would not be at a level below the top of the grass blades. That step very well could be omitted.

  • Tahseen


    Awesome Tut!

    Simply Love it

    Here’s my Try!!

  • Leigh

    Cool Tutorial! Mine came out pretty close to yours! Anyway I have a hint to draw straight lines with the paintbrush tool.

    Select the brush you want and click the beginning point of the line. Then hold down the Shift key and click again at the point where you want to end the line. This will draw a straight line with the paintbrush tool. Hope that makes sense.(learned that trick on another tutorial)

    Thanks again.

  • admin

    I should know that :) Thanks for the tip.

  • Shoar

    Hey thanks alot for this I really like this

  • Andre

    Wow, that look pretty cool, thx for it.

  • http://cgtutorials nasim

    Ecellent!! detail steps given are really very helpful. Thanks alot!!!!

  • http://notavailable domfr30

    Congratulations and much thanks, this is the best grass effect I’ve ever seen and really well explained. Awesome !

  • renata

    very well written!!

    very nice too.

  • Zim

    Nice tutorial!

  • fatnic

    Great tutorial. Love the finished article!

  • lalabell

    omg, nice tuto, really great

  • Eli

    Very nice & realistic outcome. Good job!

  • jorge

    a very nice tutorial, tnks so much!!!!

  • Tyler

    Great tut except for the white lines..
    They shouldn’t need the shadow and should have just been overlayed on the grass bg.

  • amit


  • Abhisek

    Awesome! thanks. I never thought it can be made from scratch

  • sanya

    I have one problem with this…..everything starts good,but …under the field image-adjustments– hue/saturation IS NOT AVAILIBLE
    How can I turn on it?????
    This is very very nice tutorials

  • Andrew Houle


    The most likely reason this option is disabled is that your document is in grayscale. Try clicking Image->Mode->RGB Color. I hope this helps.

  • sanya

    Hey Andrew, thank you very much.It works…:))))))))))

    Have a great day or night wherever you are….

  • http://- BEGINNAH:D

    sadly, i did the horrible misstake to remove my lines and after that the 50, cause i tought it would be too much to do if i would keep them.
    So now, i’d geuss i have to make it over again:(
    btw,nice tutorials.

    I’ll test this one and more tomorrow,good night:D

  • Andrew Houle

    Hi Beginnah,
    Sorry to hear you have to start again. (We’ve all been there). Glad you like the tutorials!

  • http://- BEGINNAH:D

    Wihoo!Done it now:DD
    Ended up pretty nice, altough i messed up the lightning effects a bit.

  • Buck Wilson

    Super happy with this tutorial. Interesting the effect that rotating the canvas and re-blasting it with wind. Not really what I expected to happen at all!

    Here’s my application of this tutorial (a new blog layout) mixed with some other textures :

    Thanks so much!

  • Andrew Houle

    Hi Buck,

    I love the concept of using the grass texture as a web background. Glad you put the tutorial to good use!

  • Jared Stenzel

    That is pretty cool! I don’t know what purpose I’d have in actually knowing how to make grass in photoshop, but it’s still fun to play with. Nice tutorial!

  • Bindu

    A very good & Interesting Tutorial.I Enjoyed it.

  • ed3

    Very nice tutorial. And VERY good explained!

  • http://nil bilijazeera

    will try it out when am free.but i must say its nice.

  • 4

    Great tutorial! This tutorial is explained incredibly well which makes it easy. I wish more tutorials are like this… Thanks

  • jsm

    I’m enjoying your tutorials, but I do have one problem. I’m using PSP Pro X2 and I don’t have a filter selection to do the wind, blur, clouds, and noise effects. Luckily, I located the noise and blur effects. Then wind effect I’ve found is under artistic effects, but it is not the same. I was wondering if you’ve had an alternative to the cloud and wind for X2 users.

  • Andrew Houle

    A quick thanks to everyone who commented and enjoyed the tutorial.

    JSM, I don’t have PSP Pro installed on any of my computers, so unfortunately I can’t be much help. If anyone reading this has an idea of a sub for the cloud and wind effects please post a comment.

  • jsm

    Thanks, eventhough it’s a different program, I am able to get a nice looking texture from the technics you show. I just can’t get the quality I see in your pictures. I hate to go out and buy another program right now. I’ve made 3 of my own textures now, by starting out with your technics then I experiment from there. Thanks again.

  • jo

    Thanks for this! I was desperately looking for a good aerial image of a football field, but couldn’t find anything that would work. Great job, and very thorough and easy to understand instructions!

  • jo

    Here’s my finished product – you saved my butt! The ad I’m making is going to be ugly (thanks, client) but I love the techniques you taught me.

  • Andrew Houle

    Hi Jo,
    No problem! I’m glad you found a cool use for this. The field looks great! I also had someone use this technique to make grass in a picture of a real estate listing she had. Good stuff!

  • wspinaczka

    nice tutorial, thanks so much!

  • saurabh

    nice tutorial man… i hv learned a lot from this.. keep it up !

  • Anand Deep Singh

    Awesome Effects dear

  • samueljakobb

    wow, this is great,
    i really like this effect.
    the tutorial is so easy to follow
    awesome job :)

  • Titch

    If you want straight lines with the brush then click once where you want your brush line to start.. let go of the mouse button, move the mouse to where you want your line to end.. and holding Shift, click the mouse once again, and it will draw you a nice straight line :)

    Here’s my effort anyway.. cheers for the tut!



    Totally amazing and fantastic! One of the best tuts I’ve seen around!

  • TuanAnh

    oh my god, Awesome !!
    Thats what im looking for

  • beatz

    how about some soil/dirt to go with that grass do you have a tut for that

  • Andrew Houle

    @beatz the first few steps of this tut are about making a dirt background. I would add a little more if that was all I was making, but it should give you a nice starting point.

  • diÅŸ hekimi

    Thanks,this beuty share.

  • juan

    just the grass effect is so great!

  • gary perera

    great work will be usefull in many games for the beginners. i ll give 4/5

  • chris

    This is so cool, it’s bookmark worthy.

  • Thendenze

    Very very good tootorial.

  • Bhawani

    wow, this is great,

  • J. Nunn

    Wow this is by far the best Grass tutorial I’ve ever seen–thanks for the nice work.

  • themisfit

    This is sweet, I wish I would have found this site earlier, so much great stuff. I never new you could make this kind of thing.

  • http://gmail vasanth

    its very nice wonderfull grassfull

  • Dennis

    Great tutorial for a beginning photoshopper like me…

    Only missed the required dpi (300?) and color mode (RGB/CMYK) in the beginning!

    Anyone knows how to be able to make this into a pattern that connects seamless in bigger area’s?



  • Andrew Houle

    @Dennis – Check out “How to Seamlessly Tile a Background” for help with that:

  • Dennis

    Ahh tnx very much!

    I’m doin urban planning drawings and they are going to be very nice!

    Greetz from Rotterdam!

  • Mike

    Great tutorial! Thanks (:

  • Zinuedign

    nice, really nice!

  • Giang

    Great, thanks!

  • Curt

    You have received a lot of ‘thanks’ comments from June 2008 until this month of April 2009 and this doesn’t seem to stop. Another 2 months and it’s the 1st anniversary for all the ‘thanks’ and comments for this tutorial. So here’s another thanks from me… Good job.

  • niinjin

    AWESOME DUDE @w@ thats like maaagic

  • corey

    Thanks a lot for this awesome tutorial! its really going to help me!

  • Jeff

    I know everyone has said it already, but thank you for the tutorial. I never realized the power of the filters within Photoshop. I’m probably still wasting Master Collection CS4, but this makes me feel a little more productive.

    Thought you might like this one. Tiles for an upcoming website: Grass and dirt with stone edging

    Thanks again

  • Andrew Houle

    @Jeff – Nice work, thanks for sharing!

  • Pedro

    wow, great! Thanks!

  • Stenionet

    Here is what I did:

    I do not know if it is realistic. But it is beautiful.

  • Andrew Houle

    @Stenionet – Cool rendering, thanks for sharing :)

  • Zander

    I love it..! I’m using it for a Halo 2 map. Thanks a bunch!

  • andrew sonners

    nice tutorial! helpful! keep it up! cheers from greece!

  • Nimai

    Sweet tut, i’ll use it for an overgrowth level i’m making

  • anonymous

    awesome just what i was looking for!

  • Lucinda_Online

    Great Post!

  • Joe 2987

    Great tutorial. I’ve found that adding some extra wind with different rotations makes a nice random look.

    I intended on using this just for a grass texture for a game, but I’m thinking about using it for other things as well. It looks great with a little specularity and normal mapping in games.

  • Paul

    I enjoeyd this tutorial, I am programming a game and I am going to use this technique, thank you very much,.

  • YouAre

    Hey very nice Tut.. in the end you could add a new layer where you dodge and burn a little bit!

  • NReing

    Simple but very beautiful!

  • ZeroGrafics

    Wow this is an extremely creative design! And a very good use of filters. :P Thanks so much for sharing!! ~ZeroGrafics

  • Avery

    Very nice introduction,thank you.

  • Dominique

    Awesome tutorial, thanks. I’ll be letting my students know about this one and put it with my faves on my blog.
    .-= Dominique´s last blog ..Branding and Corporate Identity Guidelines =-.

  • Nardyello

    WOW! Fantastic! At first I thought this was a picture of an actually grass field.

    Very realistic. Great results.

    And thank you for sharing! :D

  • Tuts King

    Wow! Very cool.

  • Elpidio Garza


    .-= Elpidio Garza´s last blog ..Publicidad de Las Vegas – Chinchilli Day =-.

  • Greg

    I’ve found the tutorial extremely easy to follow, but I’m not getting quite the same effect on my final product. I’m using CS1.

    I seem to be going off track around step 10 – ctrl backspace doesn’t seem to be a key command for CS1, so I’m manually going into the Layer menu and selecting “Solid Color…” under Fill Layer. Does this affect the end product at all? It looks OK, just a bit muddy and with much shorter/less defined blades of “grass.”

    I appreciate any help.

  • Matt

    Some little things regarding the line drawing section…
    1) I found it easier to draw the yard lines straight-on (running vertically & horizontally…I even added a few hash-marks) using guidelines to keep everything the proper distance. Once it looks the way I want it, I rotate the whole layer to the angle desired (saves a lot of time trying to get the yard lines to be perpendicular & parallel to each other).

    2) You could just as easily merge the text layer to the lines layer…THEN make all the overlay options (noise & shadow options). That saves the trouble of having to do it all twice.

    3) For a bit more realism, the yardline should bisect the number, with “5” on one side & “0” on the other. Doesn’t matter one way or the other….just looks more like an actual field.

    Great job! I’m going to use this to create a background for my College Football Fantasy League this year.

  • Kalyani

    this is fantastic

  • Philbo

    Cool toot dude … I wish I’d seen this a month ago, it would have saved me a whole world of grief!!

  • clippingimages

    Nice and handy tutorial on creating textures in Photoshop. This tutorial so easy to learn and implement , Thnak

  • Web Tasarım Grafik Tasarım

    this, very thank you..

    Your site full professional and very beautiful…

  • Kaitie

    This was a very educational tutorial. For once, I found it easy to follow and I actually understood why certain things were done. Thanks for the learning! Kudos.

  • Cameron

    what font did you use for the “50?”

  • Cameron

    Nevermind, I see it

  • http://simonepwhoto/om/blog SWP

    WOW, that is a cool tutorial.

  • prabhu

    very nice work

  • mohshinobi

    thank you
    it really help me a lot . like other user said its magic
    best of tuto

  • Stone Deft

    OMG OMG OMG Andrew Houle you look great !! tnx for this, I really need this for my 3d landscape model. Keep ti coming

  • Brus

    I have only to say GREAT TUTORIAL!
    thanx for sharing :)

  • Will

    Thanks so much for this tutorial. Let me show you what I created with your inspiration:



  • how to fix xbox 360

    Excellent post. A must read for anyone that uses photoshop regularly

  • Volkan

    Nice tutorial, thanks

  • Olivier

    Excellent , Brilliant, simple …. If all the tuto were like this one !!!
    100000 thanks

  • Dave

    This is the best grass tutorial I’ve seen that looks like grass. Thanks!

  • PsdDude

    Excellent! One of the best…the tehnique for grass texture is great!

  • lin

    hey thanks for the tutorial XD
    execelent!! and very helpful
    keep it the good work =)

  • rod rodriguez

    cool tutorial, I’ve been looking for some realistic grass tuts and I’m very grateful for this… thanks…

  • Gerald

    In step #10 I had to use ALT not CTRL to fill the grass layer with green. Is that a typo in the instructions or is my Photoshop program acting weird?

  • Aaron

    Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing. =)

  • Ammar

    great tutorial with good explanation and steps easy to follow.
    really, thanks a lot.