Photoshop action to create silk + shadows (like fabric)


I am using my new Mac to design some fabric patterns. These will be custom-produced in silk material.

My questions:

  1. My designs are just simple 2D. But to better visualize the smooth 3D flow of silk, I would like to use Photoshop to automatically take a design and make it look silk-like. I have searched and searched, but ideas on these lines (e.g., ) are not meant to take a 2D design and make it silken.

  2. Beyond the silk-ing of my patterns, it would be lovely if I could make templates of fabric kept in certain light with shadows. Like if I had photographed a silken piece of square material but with furls and all. How the fabric would drape with shadows in the picture in the right places. I want to get this effect through Photoshop.

I would really appreciate any directions or pointers, or even specific suggestions on how to accomplish the above two.

Many Thanks!

Hi pkiula. Welcome to SitePoint. :slight_smile:

This is not my area, but a quick Google dug up this YouTube vid, which may or may not be of use. (Unfortunately the first 20 seconds are taken up with annoying self promotion. O well.)


Thanks so much ralph. i have seen so many good posts here and sitepoint comes up in google searches, so good to finally sign up :slight_smile:

i had actually found that video, and despite his sleepy voice, i did try those steps, but that doesn’t make my existing 2D design into a silken feel. i think for his starting point – those random cloudy lines – it works.

Any other ideas? Or perhaps a tweak of his procedure?


Forgive my ignorance, but I’m not really sure what you mean by your ‘design’. What sort of image are you wanting to make look more silky? (I probably won’t be able to answer your question, but at least I may help to clarify what you need so that someone else can give a better answer. :slight_smile: )

Presume a square with just alternating blue and white lines. That’s simple pattern. I now want to make it look like a silken fabric with blue and white stripes.

Hope this is clear?

Yep, much clearer. As I say, not my area, but Ps does have some nice distortion features that may be useful for this, such as Edit > Transform Path > Warp.