You should bookmark this article for when you need a carbon fiber texture for your design projects.
But what is carbon fiber?
Just like you may have thought, carbon fiber is, actually, fiber made of carbon. However, these fibers are nothing more than a base.
What you’ll commonly see referred to as carbon fiber is actually a material that consists of extremely thin filaments of carbon atoms.
When heat-bonded together with a plastic polymer resin, or by pressure, or in a vacuum, you get a very strong, and very lightweight material.
Examples of carbon fiber textures
High Res Dark Carbon Fiber Texture
Cold Carbon Texture
Art Carbon Texture
Nano Carbon Texture
Black Carbon Texture
Abs Carbon Texture
PSD Carbon Texture
Photoshop Carbon Texture
Colorful Carbon Texture
Plain Carbon Texture
Aluminium Carbon Texture
Desktop Carbon Texture
Colored Carbon Texture
10 Free Vector Carbon Fiber patterns
Grey and Black Carbon Fiber Texture
Carbon Fiber Background
Psd Carbon Fiber Pattern Background
Free Seamless Carbon Fiber Texture
7 Tileable Metal & Carbon Fiber Textures
Dark metal mesh background
Abstract metallic background
Carbon fiber background
Graphic Carbon Texture
Tiled Carbon Texture
Carbon Texture Pack
Dark Carbon Textures
Fibre Carbon Texture
Cold Carbon Wallpaper Texture
Subtle Carbon Fiber Pattern for Photoshop
Carbon Fiber Photoshop Patterns
Like a rattan chair, a beaver dam, or cloth, you’ll find that carbon fiber’s strength comes from the weave. You get a more durable composite when you use a more complex weave. Imagine a wire screen, that’s interwoven with another one, but at an angle, and another one at an angle that’s a bit different, and so on. Each wire in each screen is made of carbon fiber strands.
Now, when you drench this mesh of screens in liquid plastic, and then heat them or press them until the material bonds together, you will find that the angle of the weave, and the resin that was used, determines the overall composite’s strength. Most commonly, the resin is epoxy, but you’ll also find polyurethane, thermoplastic, polyester or vinyl ester as well.
And, as an alternative, you may cast a mold, and apply carbon fibers over it. The composite is then allowed to cure, often with a vacuum process. The mold is what is used to get the desired shape, and a seamless carbon fiber texture. This is the process that is preferred for forms that aren’t complicated, and needed on demand.
The material actually has a fairly wide range of applications, mostly because it can be formed at various densities, and pretty much limitless shapes and sizes. You’ll often find it shaped into fabric, tubing, cloth, but you can also custom-form it into a number of composite parts and pieces.
What are some common uses?
- Bicycle frames
- High-end car components
- Shoe soles
- Fishing rods
- Baseball bats
- Laptop and smartphone protective cases
What are some of the more exotic uses?
- The gas and oil industry
- The aerospace and aeronautics industries
- UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles)
- Formula 1 race cars
Some might argue that carbon fiber’s possibilities are actually only limited by the manufacturer’s imagination, and demand. Therefore, you can now find carbon fiber in:
- Musical instruments
- Buildings’ structural elements
- Blades of a wind turbine
The basic carbon fiber texture
Basic carbon fiber textures are actually very easy to create, and you’ll get that real carbon texture in no time. You can use this if you want to make a carbon fiber background, or just want that carbon fiber pattern for something. Now, you will find plenty of tutorials on the internet, so we won’t bother breaking new ground.
The important thing is to pick up the basic principles that are used in the more advanced stages. The main things to keep an eye out for are:
- Use dark gradients for a subtle, yet convincing light source
- Don’t get too fancy, you can get very far with very little
- Keep the document as small as possible
Let’s start things off by making a 4×4 document in Adobe Photoshop. Now, create a new layout from a 2x4px selection of the background. On this layer, add a basic gradient. The gradient should run from the bottom, to the top, and go from black (#000000) at the bottom, to dark grey (#4f4f4f) at the top.
This is the gradient we’ll use as the foundation for the carbon fiber, and this is where you can come back if you want to change the final product’s outcome.
Next, take a 1x4px selection of the gradient layer, with the Rectangular Marquee tool, and make a new layer via cut. Set this second layer’s opacity to 92%. If you’re wondering why, we’ll be making extremely subtle variations in the grey-tones, in order to end up with a believable light source.
Obviously, there is no true light source, and we can’t really make one without a massive image, which actually defeats the point of a web pattern. However, small changes in the shading will make the eye think there is actually depth.
Now, merge the two 1x4px layers together, and use the marquee tool to take a 2×2 selection of the new layer’s top. Next, swap the ordering of the two 2x2px tiles, from top to bottom, and vice versa. Now you have a complete pattern. Just save it to your pattern library by using the Edit menu’s Define Pattern tool.
Name it however you want, and you can now see it whenever you use the Pattern Overlay library. Since we now have a basic carbon fiber texture, we can move on, and see how to create some modification on this idea.
Modifying the basic texture
Manipulating the carbon fiber texture is pretty easy, and we’ll use the same process for a fiber texture that’s a bit higher. We’ll skip the repetitive things that we mentioned in the last step, and only the new techniques will be highlighted.
This time, start with a 8x8px document. In the first pattern, we made a single gradient for the whole left side. And, because we had a fairly small document (4×4), it couldn’t really handle any more detail. However, in the second version, we’re going to be a bit more meticulous. Start by adding a 4×4 rectangle to your document, and add another one for the bottom space.
Next, we’ll need to add a pretty subtle gradient to that bottom square. The bottom left region is dark, almost black, so using a very dark gradient is recommended. Repeat this step for the top 4×4 layer, but with a light gradient this time. Duplicate both layers, and swap the squares to the opposite corners of the document.
Now that you have a basic pattern, you can add a level of customization. Go to the Layers menu, add a New Adjustment Layer, and choose Levels.
This lets you mess with the brightness and contrast of the pattern, and once you’re done, just use Define Pattern, and you’re good to go. Note that when you’re using the Define Pattern tool, you can’t have the adjustment layer selected. Photoshop won’t let you do this.
Ending thoughts on using a carbon fiber texture
Now you have a good carbon fiber texture article!
This process can be used and manipulated if you want to end up with custom variations.
You can try different document sizes, as well as adding colors or adjusting the gradient’s contrast. Do anything you can think of, to end up with some pretty unique effects.
If you liked this article with carbon fiber texture examples, you should check out these as well:
Published at Tue, 23 Jan 2018 12:00:43 +0000