This will show you how I made the rusty gears or the Steampunk picture, as well as other ways to use the same texture file.
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This tutorial explains how I did the rusty metal look in the steampunk picture featured above for the gears (and I also used it on Cole's main steam powered arm thogh it's pretty faint here) , using what is probably my favourite texture of all time; a rusty metal patch, that I have used time and time again in all sorts of pictures!
Here's the master texture picture that I use, you'll probably be hitting the right click button about now so I'll wait until done....*twiddles thumbs for a bit :+P *
Ahh, you're back. So let's continue with how I have used it on this picture.
From the cropped screenshot below you'll see that I filled the gears and such with a very dark reddish-brown, almost to the black scale and the gear to the right with a pale orange.
Next, on a new layer, paint in various light and dark shades of a beige-orange colour. They can be almnost any pattern but you might to take regard to your light sources while you're at it. You can always go back and fix the areas later if you need to.
Now to use the texture. Open the master metal picture you saved back at the beginning and SELECT ALL, then go to EDIT and DEFINE PATTERN. This will make your texture available within the EDIT-FILL-PATTERN option. Select the entire layer that you just painted in as beige-orange (SELECT-ALL then hit the right and left arrow keys quickly in succession.) create a new layer and go to EDIT-FILL-PATTERN and hit OK. This will fill the entire selection.
Now change the layer mode to "SATURATION" in the layers dialog palette. It will make the rusty metal texture look really washed out but that's ok.
Now, make a new layer again and repeat the previous step by filling the rusty metal texture pattern in once again. But this time, set the layer mode to "HARD LIGHT".
And there you have it!... ta dahh! Nice, rusty, beat up looking gears! You can adjust the brightness/contrast of the layers to suit if necessary.