Can Black Studio Backgrounds of Glamour Shots be Texturized?

A good rule of thumb when texturizing images is to use a dark texture on a dark image, and a light texture on a light image. It is commonly thought that the danger when attempting to texturize a black or near-black area (such as a black studio background) is that the texture gets overwhelmed by the black, and becomes invisible. This all depends on the layer blend mode of the texture layer though. Most texturized photographs that I have seen are landscapes or still life, which are generally restricted to the Multiply, Darken, Overlay and Soft Light layer blend modes, which do not render over-the-top-colors.

With a glamour shot, we have more artistic license, since we a dealing with a solid background behind the model. Here is an example of Andrelica in front of a black velvet studio background:

Beginning image of Andrelica.

Beginning image of Andrelica.

Over the top of this image, a dark texture from Sarah Gardner named Tapestry was added:

The texture named Tapestry by Sarah Gardner.

The texture named Tapestry by Sarah Gardner.

Photoshop's Eyedropper was used to sample the color in the middle of this texture; this becomes the new Foreground Color. I have seen three ways to remove the texture from the model. One is to paint over the model using the Foreground Color sampled from the texture, either on a new blank layer clipped to the texture layer or on the texture itself. A second method is to use a feathered Lasso Tool on the texture to make a rough selection of the model, then blur the selected area. The third way is my favorite: use the Direct Selection Tool to make a selection of the model, then, on a new blank layer clipped to the texture layer below, fill the selection with the Foreground Color sampled from the texture.

What is interesting is that with the texture layer's blending mode set to Saturation, there was almost no need to do this. There is some texture on the bottom of her jumpsuit, however:

The black background and the bottom of the jumpsuit have been texturized by the Saturation blend mode.

The black background and the bottom of the jumpsuit have been texturized by the Saturation blend mode.

On a new blank layer clipped to the texture layer below, the selection of Andrelica was filled with the Foreground Color sampled from the texture. This removed the texture from her jumpsuit:

Andrelica's jumpsuit is now devoid of texture.

Andrelica's jumpsuit is now devoid of texture.

Next I added a Curves adjustment layer and clipped it as well to the layer below. I raised the midpoint of the curve to brighten the background a bit:

The texturized background is now a little brighter.

The texturized background is now a little brighter.

Observe that the density (brightness) of the texture has been maintained over Andrelica. You can stop here, but what if you want to return Andrelica to her original coloration?

It is quite easy to do. Simply add a white mask to the texture layer. With this mask selected, Command-click (PC: Control-click) on the thumbnail of the layer above the texture layer. This results in re-activating the selection of Andrelica, so you again see the "marching ants." Fill this selection with black, and this is the result:

A textured black background with Andrelica's original coloring restored.

A textured black background with Andrelica's original coloring restored.

This easy technique takes no skill, since using the Direct Selection tool is fast and easy. Here is the look of Photoshop's final layer stack: