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Dirty Pictures Support

If you’re looking for help with Totally Rad Dirty Pictures, our image texture plugin, this is the place to be. Click on a topic below to get answers.

Instructions | Dirty Pictures


Installing Dirty Pictures in Windows is usually as easy as double-clicking the installer .exe file and following the on-screen prompts.  However, if you’re having issues, check out the Dirty Pictures Windows Installation Trouble page.


On the Mac, you’ll need to do a couple things to get Dirty Pictures installed.  Double-click the .dmg file you downloaded from your link to mount the installation volume.  Next, double click on the installer package in the Dirty Pictures installer disk image.  Follow the prompts and you should be on your way.

If you’re having trouble, check out the Dirty Pictures Mac Installation Trouble page.

So you’ve got Photoshop open, and you have a photo open as well.  Head on over to the Filter menu, and click on the Dirty Pictures menu item at the bottom.

Dirty Pictures DOES NOT appear in the actions palette, as it’s not an action.  Don’t bother looking for it there.  You will be sad.

One of Dirty Pictures’ most useful features is the ability to visually compare all your textures in the Texture Library. Clicking the Pick Your Texture button from the main window will bring up your Texture Library. Depending on the resolution of your display, you will see up to 8 textures at a time, and can navigate through the pages of texures with the Next and Previous buttons in the top left of the Texture Library.

You can choose the texture you want to apply in one of two ways – the most direct is to select one from the drop-down list in the middle of the Dirty Pictures window (right above all the texture settings).  Textures you tag as a Favorite will appear first in the list, followed by everything else.  Once you make a selection, the texture will be applied to the photo you’re working on.

You can also select a texture from a grid of thumbnail previews by clicking on the Pick Your Texture button at the top of the window.  This button brings up your Texture Library, which you can use to visually browse all the available textures.  Clicking on a texture thumbnail from this screen applies the selected texture, and brings you back to the main screen where you can tweak settings or confirm your choice.

The texture you select will be automatically rotated, cropped, and resized to fit into the photo you’re working on. You do, however, have control over two parameters that have a dramatic impact on the result you get. In the Texture Options section of the main window, you can change the blending mode and the opacity of the texture layer. The Opacity slider simply controls how strong the effect of the texture is. The Blending Mode list allows you to select a different blending mode for the texture layer. Different textures work better with certain blending modes, and a particular blending mode will produce different results with each texture / photo combination. If that sounds vague and confusing, it’s because there is somewhat of a black art to blending modes in general, but there’s no wrong way to do things, so feel free to experiment!

You can choose to preview the textures with one of several different sources. You can either view the texture by itself (the default), the texture as it would look applied to the current image, or the texture as it would look with one of the preset custom images. Use the “Preview With” drop-down-list at the top of the Texture Library to choose how you’d like to preview the textures in the grid.

Choosing the current image from the drop down list will cause Dirty Pictures to generate a preview for each texture in your library, one page at a time. This takes a few seconds, but gives you the most accurate preview of how the tones and details of the textures will interact with the actual photo you’re working on.

The custom image presets are useful in that they allow you to see the textures applied to actual photos, but since the preview images are cached, they only need to be generated once. Browsing your texture library with the custom images is therefore a lot faster than with the preview source set to the current image, and it can often give you just as good an idea of what the texture will look like.

You can also use the Favorites star to tag textures you like for easy access. Hitting Cancel will return you to the main window without selecting a texture.

If you find a blending mode and opacity for a particular texture that you like better than the default, you can save those settings as the new default by clicking the Save Settings button. Your saved opacity and blending mode settings will automatically be set for that particular texture the next time that texture is selected.

If you mess up a texture’s settings, and want get back to the original settings that we here at Totally Rad HQ prefer, hit the Restore Defaults button. Everything in the Dirty Pictures texture library comes with a backup of the original settings that can be restored by pressing that button. Think of it as an escape hatch.

You can tag the textures you’re most fond of as a favorite. Your favorite textures will then appear at the beginning of the drop-down texture list, and be on the first pages of your texture library. To make a texture a favorite, click the star icon next to the texture name. In the main window, the star is to the left of the drop-down texture list. In the Texture Library, it’s to the right of the texture name. A yellow star indicates that you’ve tagged that texture as a favorite, and a grayed-out star means that it’s not.

You can add your own textures to the library of textures available to you in Dirty Pictures. At the top of the Options window, click on the Manage Texture Folders button. You can add a new folder full of textures to the library by clicking the Add button and selecting the folder that contains textures. Any tiff or jpeg files in the folder you select will be added to the library. You can also give the folder a nickname, which is a good idea if you have many texture sources. The folder’s name will be used as a default.

Dirty Pictures will prompt to generate preview files for the textures you add. It’s a good idea to go ahead and let Dirty Pictures make previews, because they are needed by the Texture Library window to display texture thumbnails. You can skip it now, but it will just make viewing slower later on.

You can also remove textures from the library if you wish by selecting the folder you wish to remove from the list and clicking the Remove button. The actual textures won’t be deleted from your disk, but you won’t be able to access them in Dirty Pictures unless you add it again later on.

The textures in the Dirty Pictures Library, included with Dirty Pictures, all have texture-specific settings already saved, but if you add your own textures to the library, we’ll need to know how you want them to be applied. You can set a default blending mode and opacity for textures that don’t have saved settings via the sliders in the Options window. Once you save the settings for a texture, these settings will be overridden for that particular texture. Anytime you change these settings, you’ll be prompted to generate new previews for textures that are affected.

The default setting is Hard Light and 50% Opacity. If you have a favorite starting point for applying textures, you can use your own settings instead.

Dirty Pictures comes with five generic preview images that you can use to preview a texture’s effect before selecting one from the Texture Library window. However, you can set your own custom preview images instead if you’d like. There are five custom preview images available to you, and for each one you can select a new file to use, and give it your own nickname. View the current image for each custom image slot with the View button.

Part of making textures work in a photo is being able to control how present the texture’s detail is in particular areas of the image. Dirty Pictures, by default, will set up your image with a separate layer, which you can use to withhold the “gritty” parts of the texture in areas where you don’t want it to apply.

The Create Masks checkbox controls whether a separate layer and mask will be created to help control the texture. If you just want the texture by itself, uncheck this box, otherwise, leave it checked.

Dirty Pictures can configure the layer mask in one of two ways – either you paint white onto the mask to remove the texture, or you paint black to remove the texture. The default is to paint white, as the rest of the Totally Rad products use that convention, but if you think that’s backwards, and an abomination, then you can choose to have black be the color you paint to remove the gritty parts of the texture.

Here are some other random tidbits that you might find interesting if you want to know just what the hell Dirty Pictures is doing under the hood.

How was it made?

Dirty Pictures was written in Javascript, via reference to the Javascript SDKs included with Photoshop. There are about 2600 lines of code in the v0.8 beta that’s current as I write this. Javascript in Photoshop gives all the automation capability that actions provide, plus file I/O, user interface functions, and most importantly, the ability to do different things in different circumstances (conditional logic). Unlike a full-blown Photoshop plugin, it doesn’t requires any machine-specific compiled code, which is less stuff for me to mess up, and it means that we only need one actual code base.

Thanks to Adobe for writing the Extendscript Toolkit, and to PS-Scripts.com for being a badass resource for getting over specific hurdles. Also to xbytor, who I haven’t had any personal contact with, but who writes and shares a ton of Photoshop code. The wisdom shared on the net made many of the little features in this program possible, as many of them rely on hacking the stuff that Adobe provided us with, or on using undocumented features.

Where are all the files?

On the Mac, all the Dirty Pictures files are stored in /Library/Application Support/Totally Rad Dirty Pictures.  Don’t go changing anything in there.  You’ll just mess it up.  However, if you’re looking for the actual jpg files in the Dirty Pictures library, either because you’re curious, or because you want to be a dick and upload them to bittorrent or something… there they are.

The actual dirtypictures.jsx file, the one that runs everything, is a link from the file in /Library/Application Support/Totally Rad Dirty Pictures/Dirty Pictures Support Files to the scripts directory in your Photoshop install.  It’s created at install time.  Moving the actual file to the Photoshop scripts directory works, too, but it’s messier to install / uninstall, especially if you have multiple versions of Photoshop running (if you’re geeky like me).

On the PC, the files are found in a subdirectory of %APPDATA% (an environment variable used by Windows to find certain stuff).  On XP, that’s typically C:\Documents and Settings\{username}\Application Data, and in Vista, it’s typically C:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming.  We make a Totally Rad Dirty Pictures folder in that folder and put our stuff there.  In Vista, this whole folder tree is hidden by default, though you can get there by typing %APPDATA% into the location bar of Windows Explorer, or typing cd %APPDATA% into a command prompt.  Confusing, huh?  Better off just buying a Mac ;).

On Windows, we also copy the actual dirtypictures.jsx file to the Photoshop/scripts directory (usually c:/Program Files/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CS4/Presets/Scripts)

How are the masks configured?

Since people really liked being able to pick apart the Totally Rad Actions to see how they work, and since that isn’t really possible with scripts, here’s a quick explanation of how you’d set things up Dirty Pictures style, without the script (for pure acdemic reasons)

  1. Open up your texure file, copy it, and paste it into the photo you’re working on.
  2. Rotate and scale your texture file so that it completely covers the photos you want it to apply to, with the minimal amount of scaling.  As a geek aside, early development versions of Dirty Pictures included options for configuring rotation (in 90 deg incerements or auto), and whether to preserve the aspect ratio of the texture.
  3. Duplicate the texture layer, while the blending mode and opacity are still normal and 100%.
  4. Clip that layer to the original texture layer with alt+cmd+g (alt+ctl+g on the PC).  This means that the topmost layer will only affect the layer below it.
  5. Blur the duplicated, clipped layer (Gaussian Blur, 100px)
  6. Add a layer mask (optionally inverting it by holding alt while clicking the mask icon) to the duplicated, clipped layer.
  7. Change the blending mode and opacity of the original texture layer (the lower one) to the settings you want.
  8. Go back to the layer mask on the top layer and use that to pull the texture out of the areas you don’t want texture on.

That’s sorta the solution we came up with for having a texture in a photo, and allowing you control over where the more detailed, prominent texture details showed up, while still allowing the general color and tone shifts of the texture to work all over.  I didn’t think it was a particular stroke of genius, because I’m admittedly ignorant in most cases as to how other people do things, and this seemed like the inevitable way to do it… but it seems like a revelation to many, so I thought I’d share, in case someone can learn from it.

Why aren’t all of the blending modes available?

Because I couldn’t find any situations in which the excluded ones actually produced a result anyone would want with the textures in our library. If you really, really want a particular blending mode available that isn’t there, let us know at the support site (link on the right).

Who can we thank for the bitchin’ texture names?

Gotta give credit where credit’s due… back in July, 2009, we held a contest on Twitter, where our tweeples could submit their favorite stripper name, and we’d name the textures after the best of the bunch.  One astute follower pointed out that strippers have one name (i.e. “Candy”), while porn stars have two (i.e. “Sugar Houston”).  Having never really been much of a connoisseur of either, I can’t speak to the veracity of that claim, but since anyone with enough knowledge to even begin to make the distinction probably knows better than I, we’ll accept their observation prima facie.  In either case, we only meant to have good, clean fun, and to come up with some memorable names for our creation; I hope we’ve accomplished both.

The names of the textures in the set, and the Twitter follower responsible for christening them so, are:

Anything Else?

A few other miscellaneous thank-yous are in order:

  • Scott Gunnells was a huge help tracking down a couple of bugs in v1.0 that I had missed.
  • Andrea Roberts for helping to get some early Windows installer issues sorted out
  • Jessica Claire gave some great feedback on the early (like pre-alpha) versions of the program
  • Chenin Boutwell had to live with me and still be a loving wife while I was developing this thing (love ya!)

Troubleshooting | Dirty Pictures

If Dirty Pictures is causing you problems by crashing Photoshop CS5, stopping in the middle of operations, freezing, or any other such shenannigans, the solution seems to be to re-install Photoshop CS5.  While we don’t have any official confirmation of exactly what’s happening, my gut is that there’s something goofy with CS5’s Javascript implementation, which is what Dirty Pictures runs on.  Several users have reported instability and errors with Dirty Pictures and CS5, and in most cases, re-installing Photoshop CS5 seems to magically fix it.  Seems like voodoo to me, but it also seems to work.

The bottom line is that, in computer-geek terms, Dirty Pictures is interpreted, rather than compiled code.  It’s technically a Photoshop script, not a plugin, even though it appears in the Filter menu along with other plugins.  It doesn’t actually have any direct access to the machine’s hardware, and so it really should be theoretically possible to crash Photoshop from Dirty Pictures.  If crashes are happening, it must BY DEFINITION be due to some bug in Adobe’s Javascript interpreter.  Since CS5 was a major re-write (at least for the Mac, moving from Carbon to Cocoa and 32-bit to 64-bit), this isn’t completely surprising, and we’ll cut them some slack, since it seems to be pretty intermittent :)

Long story short, though – re-install CS5 if you’re having issues.  And please let us know if you’re having problems, and if re-installation fixes the issue.  Thanks!

PS – this seems to only be a CS5 issue.  CS3 and CS4 should be pretty rock solid with Dirty Pictures at this point, and if you’re having issues with either of those, then we want to know so we can fix it!

Dirty Pictures’ textures are all tagged with the sRGB color space.  You can use them on images in other color spaces like Adobe RGB or Prophoto RGB, but the textures will need to be converted into your working space.  By default, if you are set up with a working RGB space other than sRGB, Photoshop should prompt you every time you do anything to a texture within Dirty Pictures.  To make Photoshop stop bugging you, follow these steps:

  1. Open up your Color Preferences window (CMD-Shift-K on the Mac, Ctrl-Shift-K on the PC).
  2. Make sure that “Convert To Working RGB” is selected for the RGB color management policy, and that Ask When Opening and Ask When Pasting is unchecked
  3. The next time you open Dirty Pictures and select a texture, you might be prompted to confirm the profile conversion.  Check “Don’t Show Again” so Photoshop, not surprisingly, won’t ask you again :)

Bear in mind that these changes will affect the behavior of Photoshop with regard to color management for ALL documents.  These aren’t bad changes, necessarily, but you probably shouldn’t mess with this stuff unless you know what you’re doing with color management.  Then again, if you DON’T know what you’re doing with color management, you probably shouldn’t be using Adobe RGB or Prophoto RGB either (despite what that Photoshop guru said at that seminar that one time).

As of 9/29/09, our online store lets you access all your past purchases for download. Simply

* Go to www.gettotallyrad.com/store
* Click on My Account in the top-left
* Login using the username and password you created when you placed your order.
* While you’re logged in, click the Completed Orders link and you should be able to access downloads for all the products you’ve purchased. The downloads available from your order history are the latest version of each product.

Trouble Logging In?

You can use the Forgot Password link to have your password emailed to you.

If you made your purchase before 9/29/09, you can still use the Forgot Password link to have your password emailed to you. We automatically generated a random one for you, and you can change it once you’re logged in.

If you can’t remember what email you used, or you’re having other login trouble, then please email Totally Rad Support and we’ll look into the situation. We’ll need any information you can furnish about your order. Other emails you commonly use, different names that you might have placed the order under, your phone number, a receipt – anything at all can help. It’s also useful for us to know if you purchased your product at a tradeshow or other event.

If you login and don’t see all of your orders, then it’s likely you’ve used two different email addresses in the past. Email us at Totally Rad Support and we’ll combine your account history under the email you’d like to use.

If you’ve installed Dirty Pictures, restarted Photoshop, and still don’t see the plugin listed under the filter menu, then you’ll have to get your hands dirty a bit. All that’s required is copying a file to the Photoshop Scripts directory, but the location of those two things can vary based on your system configuration.

First, locate dirtypictures.jsx on your hard drive. In Windows, dirtypictures.jsx is located at %APPDATA%\Totally Rad\Dirty Pictures.  You can either enter that into the address bar of Explorer, or navigate there yourself.  Typically, in Vista this will be c:\Users\<your user name\AppData\Roaming\Totally Rad\Dirty Pictures (Which is hidden by default, thanks Microsoft!)   In XP, c:\Documents and Settings\<your user name>\Application Data\Totally Rad\Dirty Pictures.

This little video shows you how to perform the manual copy in Windows

If you’ve installed Dirty Pictures, restarted Photoshop, and still don’t see the plugin listed under the filter menu, then you’ll have to get your hands dirty a bit.  All that’s required is copying a file to the Photoshop Scripts directory, but the location of those two things  can vary based on your system configuration.

First, locate dirtypictures.jsx on your hard drive.  Typically, it’s located in /Library/Application Support/Totally Rad/Dirty Pictures/dirtypictures.jsx.

Next, copy dirtypictures.jsx over to the Photoshop scripts directory for any Photoshop installations you have.  Those are typically at /Applications/Adobe Photoshop <version>/Presets/Scripts.  Make sure to put it into the Presets/Scripts directory and not the Scripting directory.  There is a difference.

Restart Photoshop, and Dirty Pictures should now appear in your Filter menu.  If not, contact us and we’ll see what’s up!

This video walks you through the process for Max OS X

Still can’t find the answers you’re looking for? Drop us a line and we’ll lend a hand!