Create your own brushes in Photoshop: Rust

Rust is a terribly beautiful oxidation of iron elements. The fact of life is that our life is filled with iron and machines. Time and moisture take their toll, and even the most ambitious machines tend to collapse. For digital artists who focus on photo manipulation, rust is a sure way to add realistic grunge texture and realism to their paintings.

In this short lesson we will create metal rust and we will not wait until nature does it for us!

1. Create effect in practice

There are several different methods for creating rust, but this method is quick, easy, and safe. This method involves the use of chemicals, so do not forget to take precautions!

Step 1

First, collect the materials. You will need:

  • A small sheet of metal. Sheet metal can be found in the hardware store, and it will be quite inexpensive. The easiest way to make sure that the sheet is made of metal or not is to bring a magnet to it!
  • Metal brush
  • Clean brush
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Salt

Step 2

Usually metal sheets are sold already coated to protect against rust. Therefore, we need to remove this coating! You can use a cleaning agent to remove the gloss from the surface of the material, but it’s cheaper and easier to just use a hard metal brush! The brush will also add a bit of texture to the metal surface, which ultimately gives the final effect a more realistic look.

Step 3

Pour hydrogen peroxide into a small cup and apply a large brush of liquid to a metal surface with a brush.

Step 4

Next, add a little salt in a small puddle of hydrogen peroxide. Spread the salt over the surface with a brush.

Step 5

Now just wait! The reaction should begin almost immediately. Hydrogen peroxide oxygen will quickly begin to oxidize iron. You can see rust bubbles and foam in real time. This is quite interesting! The longer you keep the mortar on the surface, the more intense the rust effect will be.

2. Create Brushes

Be careful when you remove the chemical solution from a metal surface, as most of the colored oxidation will still be in solution, creating a stain. Rust will appear within the first 10 to 15 minutes, but if you want the solution to dry, then it will take more time.

Step 1

Digitize the texture. Depending on how dry and crispy the texture of your rust is, you can take a picture of the texture instead of scanning. The complexity of the photo lies in the reflective metal surface, for this you need to create a uniform illumination.

Step 2

Open the image with the rust texture in Photoshop and then go Image – Correction – Levels (Image> Adjustment> Levels (Ctrl + L)). Make sure the edges of the sliders are exactly on the edges of the histogram. Thus, we will be sure that the bright pixels will be completely white, and the dark pixels will be completely black.

Step 3

Now go to the tab Channels (Channels). Clicking on each color channel, pay attention to the channel that has the greatest contrast between the rust effect and the background. For this image, it was Blue channel (Blue Channel). Next, go Selection – Select All (Select> Select All (Ctrl + A)), and then go Editing – Copy (Edit> Copy (Ctrl + C)).

Step 4

Click composite again. RGB channel (RGB channel) and further, we return to the tab Layers (Layers). Then we go Editing – Paste (Edit> Paste (Ctrl + V)) to paste the copied blue channel as a new layer.

Step 5

Choose a tool Clarifier (Dodge Tool (O)), install a large soft round brush. In the settings of this tool, set Range (Range) on Sveta (Highlights), and the value Exposure (Exposure) at 10%. Using this tool, lighten the areas along the edges, and also remove uneven background lighting.

Step 6

Switch to the tool Brush (Brush Tool (B)) and using a large soft round brush in white, paint over the edges of the image so that the edges are completely white. Also paint over any unwanted marks you see on the texture.

Step 7

So, the image is ready so that we create a brush! Let’s go Editing – Define a brush (Edit> Define Brush Preset). Name the new brush, and then click ‘OK’ to add the new brush to the standard brush set.

3. You can use my brushes.

I strongly recommend that you complete this lesson and create your own brushes. This is not a very difficult task, and it will be incredibly useful for you. Enhancing your skills in creating visual effects, from practical classes to subsequent digitization, you will discover new opportunities for your digital work. But if you do not have the time or opportunity to create your own brushes, then you can use my brushes in your works!

Download Rust brushes from the link at the beginning of this tutorial. Next, go Editing – Manage Sets (Edit> Presets> Preset Manager), in the drop-down box Type of set (Preset Type), select the option Brushes (Brushes). Next, click Download (Load) and in the window that appears, select the installation file Rust.abr.

So you add 6 brushes to your standard brush set.

Thank you for being with me. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.

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