Brushed Metal Gradient in Photoshop

This is one of the easiest and quickest backgrounds out there, plus it looks great on buttons, type, etc.  One thing you have to remember is that because of the technique, there will be portions of the graphic (on the right and left side) that don’t look right.  I generally just make my file a bit larger than I need and trim it when I’m done.

Let’s Get Started

First off, open a new document to whatever size you want it to be.  I’m going to start with one that is 5.5 inches by 5 inches, 300 dpi and CMYK.

New Document window for Brushed Metal background
Open a New Document for your Brushed Metal Background

Pick whichever grays you want for a medium gradient, in other words don’t go for black and white, pick something on the light side of middle gray and a very light gray or white.  Now use your Gradient tool set for Foreground to Background.  Drag it at an angle for a bit more of a dramatic effect.

Drawn Gradient for Brushed Metal look
Gradient moving from Foreground to Background color

Next set it for Foreground to Transparent and drag in the opposite direction, in my case from bottom up to near the top third.  This will give you a gradient background that goes from darker to lighter and back to darker again.  Experiment to find what works best for you.

Gradient background
Completed gradient before texturing.

Now to add the filters.  Start by going to Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Set the Amount for something that will give you a reasonable textured pattern but not to the point that you lose your gradient. Set for Gaussian then click OK.

Add Noise Palette
This is how I generally have my Add Noise Palette set.

Once you have the Noise, go to Filter>Stylize>Wind, set for Wind and Left to Right.  Then repeat going Right to Left.  This step might be left out for a similar effect, this is just how I have always done it.

Wind Filter Palette
Filter - Stylize - Wind

Hit the Filter menu one more time.  Go to Filter>Blur>Motion Blur and make certain the angle is 0°.  Adjust the Distance slider so that your brushed pattern looks pretty good, then hit OK.

Motion Blur
Motion Blur settings.

Now just trim the right and left sides to get rid of the odd effect and you’re done!

Final Brushed Metal Background
Final Brushed Metal Background

Experimentation is always a great way to learn when it comes to Photoshop.  From here you can punch out Text, add bevels or whatever to dress up your project.


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