Heres a really easy way to replicate the “linen” look that Apple uses throughout their stuff (Lion’s Mission Control background). Just by using the Noise and Motion Blur filter you can come up with a really cool looking effect.

Step 1

In Photoshop create a new document. Fill the background layer with #aeb6ba. Create four new layers fill the bottom two with white and the remaining two with black.

Heres what layers you should have:


Step 2

Select Layer 1 (Bottom white layer). Go to Filter->Noise->Add Noise…. Use these settings or play around with something you like.


Repeat this process for each of the layers but change the Amount Percentage each time. Heres what I did:

  • Layer 2 – 70%
  • Layer 3 – 65%
  • Layer 4 – 55%


When reapplying Add Noise you can use the keyboard short cut: Cmd+Option+F to bring up the filter dialog again but allowing you to edit its options (Unlike Cmd+F which reapplies the filter with the same settings as last used)

Step 3

Now we get to make it actually look like something besides a couple layers filled with noise!

Starting in Layer 1 go to Filter->Blur->Motion Blur… change Angle to 0 and distance to 70 pixels (Again this is all preference, play around with it and see what you like best! It doesn’t hurt to explore a little bit).

Select Layer 2 bring up Motion Blur (Cmd+Option+F) change Angle to 90 degrees and distance to 75

Step 4

Repeat Step 3 but do it on Layer 3 and Layer 4 and changing the Distance a little bit.

NOTE: Make Layer 3 0 Angle and Layer 4′s Angle be 90

Step 5

Change Layer 3 and Layer 4‘s Layer Properties to Screen

Finally change Layer 1 and Layer 2‘s Layer Properties to Multiply


You might notice that the edges of your document look a little funny if this is the case just crop it down so they are gone.

Other than that, you’re done! That was a incredibly simple way to create a pretty cool looking effect! You can always play around with the background color to change the color of your “Linen”.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and learned a few things! If you have any questions feel free to email me or comment below and I will try my best to respond.

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