Dynamic images are a great way to add a texture overlay to a preview to make it more realistic.
With a dynamic image, you can add a png element on top of your preview to give it texture and shadow effects.

This is great to use on products where customers can upload their pictures if the surface where the picture is printed (or engraved, or embroidered) has an interesting texture.
On the left you can see a preview without texture, the uploaded image by the customer looks very flat. On the right you can see the same preview with a PNG overlay, the picture uploaded by the customer has the texture of the t-shirt giving it the proper effect of it being printed on the garment.

To add a texture overlay with a dynamic image

  1. Add a dynamic image by clicking add dynamic image
  2. While on position one click upload an image
  3. Browse for the file you want to use as a overlay
  4. Resize and reposition the dynamic image so it is placed correctly on top of the preview background
Important:
Since you are applying a transparent texture to the preview, the image you use needs to be a PNG with transparency.

 

Textures and background images:

Since using the texture overlays obviously adds more texture to the preview, we recommend removing some texture from the background image. One way to do it is to make the background image flat (solid color), so when the texture is applied it looks good and not over-texturized.
This is the background picture we used for the t-shirt example at the top:

Background picture



As you can see the picture is quite flat. We removed the texture from the t-shirt and made it solid white. All you can notice is the background and the shadow.
After we add the texture overlay it will look like this:


How to prepare PNGs to use as texture overlay

If you don't have a texture PNG for your product, here is a simple guide on how to create one and save it as a PNG.
Keep in mind you will need Photoshop or a similar photo editing software to achieve this.

1. Get a good clear image of your product that shows the texture

Having the right photos to work with is fundamental. We recommend using light photos, of white or lightly colored versions of the product.
In this case, we are going to use the following picture for a t-shirt.

Open the photograph on Photoshop to be able to edit it.

2. Crop the texture and copy

Grab the select tool and select the entire element that has the texture, in this case, we are going to select the entire t-shirt.


Once you have it selected, copy the selection.

3. Create a new black layer

Create a new layer, and paint it black (#00000)



4. Add a mask to that layer

Add a mask to that layer, by hitting the Add layer button

5. Paste texture inside the mask

On Mac Option + Click, on Windows Alt + Click, the layer mask to enter edit mode.
Once there paste the texture in place
(on Mac: Cmd + Shift + v  / on Windows: Ctrl + Shift + v)


Then clear selection (on Mac: Cmd + d / on Windows: Ctrl + d), and invert colors, so you'll get something like this.



Click anywhere on the screen to exit mask editing mode.

6. Adjust brightness and contrast to improve texture appearance

Select the layer's mask and adjust brightness and contrast to add or remove strength to the texture.
To better see how the texture will look, add a solid color background below, this will help you see the light and shadow effect the texture gives to any element that is below it.


Play around with the values until you find what looks better for your texture.
Increasing brightness will make the texture stronger (darker shadows) while reducing it will make the texture lighter. Decreasing contrast will darken the texture, increasing it will make lights and shadows crisper.

7. Save layer as PNG

Grab the texture layer you created, right-click it and hit quick export as PNG. This will create a transparent layer with the texture for you to use on your previews.
Tip:
You can also add non-transparent elements to the texture overlay, to cover parts of the design. The phone case example below is great to see this. In that case, the camera of the phone was added to the overlay, since on the preview it should always cover whatever picture the customer uploads to the phone case.

Examples of textures applied on previews

Here are some examples of great use of textures on previews

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