by January 5, 2004 0 comments

You can make loads of text effects in Photoshop. Here you’ll learn about some of them such as clipping layers and metallic

Image in the text — Clipping Layers
What will you do if you had an image with lot of details and wanted to add text in it without hiding any of the detail? It can be trickier if the text size you want to use is small, as it will get lost in the image’s details. Here, you will add text to an image that shows fireworks. You will use the layer feature in Photoshop called ‘clipping groups’. In a clipping group, the layer at the
bottom of a group of layers acts as a mask for the layers above it. Let’s see how to use them.

Open a new file with a white background and import an image that you want to use. In our case it was an image of a bridge with fireworks exploding over it. With so many streaks of fireworks, it was difficult to make the text visible without hiding the effect of fireworks. 

Use the text tool and write the text that you need, eg ‘The festival of lights’ in our case. Now, duplicate the fireworks (image) layer and place the duplicated copy over the text layer. The arrangement of layers should be similar to the one shown in the picture. 

Click on the fireworks layer and reduce its transparency to 30%. You may not be able to see the changes as its duplicate on top hides the layer. You can close the fireworks copy layer by clicking on the eye icon alongside and later turn it on to preview the effect.

Now you are ready to clip. Move the mouse pointer between the text layer and the ‘fireworks copy’ layer. At this instant, press and hold the Alt button on the keyboard. The mouse cursor will change into two circles. Click on the partition, and you will see the image peeping out of the text as shown in the picture. You can optionally give an outline to the text to make it more prominent.

You may think that this effect can also be done by using transparency and masks, so what’s the big deal with clipping layers? The deal is that the text always remains editable, and you don’t need to make any other adjustment once you edit the text. 
Let’s get a bit more adventurous and learn making a metallic chrome effect in the text.

Metallic Chrome
Metallic text is very popular among designers. Everybody has his own way of making it. Some use filters, others use a texture map, and many use channels. With this tutorial, you will not only learn to make metallic text, but also learn how to use channels and other filters in Photoshop.

Open a new file with RGB color, white background that is 800X600 pixels in size.

Use a similar font as shown in the screenshot at about 72 points and gray color (Red: 70, Green: 70, Blue: 70). Remember to use a thick font in a large size for this kind of an effect. Once done with the effect, you can resize the result to avoid the jaggedness around the edges of the font.

Press Ctrl and click on the font layer to select its outline. Now, click on the channels palette (Window>Channels). Then, click on the new channel button to create a new channel. As soon as you do that, the screen will turn black with the selection still active. Select white as the foreground color and press Ctrl + Backspace to fill the selection with white.

The final image after making the metallic chrome effect

Now create a bump map in the channel using Gaussian Blur. This will help to create the metallic text. Do the Gaussian Blur four-five times, depending upon the size and thickness of the text. Apply Gaussian Blur with decreasing factor. Apply it using Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. We applied it five times with a radius of 15, 7.5, 3.8, 1.9 and 1. It should look like the image in picture.

Go back to the layers palette and deselect the text. Rasterize it by right clicking and selecting Rasterize layer. Now apply lighting effects to the text. Select Filter>Render>Lighting effects. Use the options as shown in the screenshot. Remember to use the texture channel as Alpha 1 (the channel you created in step 3). This will give the basic metallic feel to the text. But it would still not look metallic enough.

Use curves to make it look a bit more metallic. Press Ctrl + M and use the curves as shown in the screenshot. This will make it look like absolute metal.

In the final step give it a 1-2 pixel stroke (Edit>Stroke) after selecting the text again (Ctrl+Click on the layer). Finally press Ctrl+U to change the hue of the whole text to blue to give it a reflective look. Using layer effects, give the text a drop shadow to increase the depth in the image. 

There are loads of text effects possible using the default tools of Photoshop. If you know other exciting one like the ones, do let us know.

Geetaj Channana

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