Tutorial by Andrew Fairclough
Music by Psüche



Your Distress Press kit contains two main components.

  1. A set of Photoshop actions that combines multiple filters with advanced masking techniques to roughen the edges of your artwork.

  2. A set of precision brushes for adding a variety of authentic textures with control over texture size and placement.



Before starting this tutorial, be sure to install your actions and brushes following the instructions provided in your download package. 



Ideal Artwork Size:

Distress Press works best on artwork that is at least 2500px on the longest side. The higher your image resolution, the greater control you will have over your edge distressing effects. 

Image Mode:

8 Bit - RGB only. The Distress Press action set is not compatible with 16 Bit, 32 Bit or CMYK image modes.

Layer Setup:

The Distress Press actions work on one separated color at a time only. The actions will not be effective on flattened layers or where two or more colors are merged onto one layer.

See below for correct layer setup


PART 01.

How to use your Distress Press actions to roughen the edges of your artwork.

Watch the video below to learn how to create custom distressing effects with complete control of the process from start to finish. We'll also demonstrate the use of the automated presets for instant results. 

Viewing in fullscreen recommended.

Get interactive guidance:

We recommend running the custom action labelled 'With Instructions' the first few times you use Distress Press to get interactive prompts that guide you through each step.

You'll also find detailed descriptions of the Distress Press action's functions in the User Guide included in your download package. 

PART 02.

Adding texture to your artwork with the Distress Press brush set.

Now that you've roughened the edges of your artwork using the Distress Press actions, let's complete the effect by adding texture with your Distress Press brushes. 

In the video below we'll show you how to simulate faded ink and printing inconsistencies by combining multiple brushes in a targeted way. 


Fine tuning your brushes:

Each brush group includes four presets with the embedded texture pre-scaled in small, medium, large and extra-large sizes. If you find the need to fine-tune a brushes texture scale follow the steps below. 

  1. Select the brush you want to edit
  2. Open the Brush Settings panel (Window > Brush Settings)
  3. Go to the Texture tab then adjust the texture scale slider





High Contrast VS Natural

Your high contrast speckle, grunge and grain brushes are perfect for simulating distressing effects common to screen printed and photocopied art whilst the softer, natural style brushes (indicated by 'Natural' in the brush name), are great for creating subtle letterpress and woodtype effects.

Texture Targeting

Your Distress Press brushes are designed for precision texturing. Try targeting specific areas and avoid flooding your artwork with texture from edge to edge. This helps your texture effects look more natural and reflect the kind of wear-and-tear that occurs to printed ephemera in the analog world.  

Practice restraint

We've combined multiple brushes in our example videos to demonstrate how to create variety in your texture effects. Sometimes less is more though, so don't be afraid to keep things simple with just one or two well-chosen brushes. 

Match edge distressing with textures

As a general rule, fine-detailed edge distressing works well with fine-detailed texture, whilst larger textures compliment less detailed edge distressing.

Try experimenting with different combinations of edge distressing and brush textures. As shown below, you can create a huge variety of effects just by tweaking the level of detail in your edge distressing and matching with different brushes. 



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