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Deke's Techniques is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.
In this movie, I am going to show you how to create this heavy metal text effect that you see here. This technique is a little more involved than the other ones, but it's well worth the effort. I am going to start off in this document where I have some white text set against that hammered metal background. I am going to press Shift+Tab to bring up my Layers panel, and for the moment, I'm going to the turn off the text layer. We are going to create a repeating pattern that's going to serve as the wire mesh inside of the letters. So go ahead and switch to the Rectangle tool down here toward the bottom of the toolbox. Then click this down-pointing arrowhead up here in the options bar, turn on Fixed Size, and I want you to set both the Width and Height values to 50 pixels apiece.
Then press the Enter key, or the Return key on the Mac, to accept that change. Press the D key and then the X key in order to establish white as the foreground color and click anywhere inside the image in order to create a new rectangle. Now, this is a vector-based shape. Let's go ahead and rename it by double -clicking on its name and calling it "square" here inside the Layers panel. The next step is to switch to the Line tool, which you do from the options bar. So go ahead and click on that guy and then change the Weight value to 12 pixels. Then I want you to make sure that this first icon is selected.
Notice it says, "Create new shape layer." Drop down to the image window once again and drag above one of the corners to below one of the corners, like so. You want to make sure that you're tracing exactly across the corners of the square. Press the Shift key in order to constrain the angle of your drag to exactly diagonal, like so. Now, you are initially going to get a white line, so what I would like you to do is double-click on the white thumbnail that's associated with your new shape layer, which we might as well go ahead and rename lines, like so. Then double-click on its thumbnail.
That will bring up the Color Picker dialog box and change the color to black by dragging down to the bottom-left corner. Click OK in order except that modification. This time we want to add another line to this existing shape layer, so go up to the options bar and click on the second icon to the right of the Weight value that says Add to shape area. Go ahead and click that guy and then drag from an opposite corner to another opposite corner like so, and press the Shift key as you do so in order to constrain the angle of your drag to exactly diagonal. So you want to get those lines as lined up as possible. All right.
The next thing to do is to go back over here to the Layers panel and Ctrl+Click or Command+Click on the vector mask for square. That will go ahead and convert that square shape to a selection outline, like so. The next thing you need to do just to get everything right, you need to go ahead and click on some layer that's not a vector-based shape layer. So I am clicking on my blackness Smart Object, and I will go up here to the Edit menu, and I will choose to Define Pattern. Let's go ahead and name this new pattern "wires", and then click OK. Now you can go ahead and hide both those shape layers-- we don't need them anymore--and press Ctrl+D, or Command+D on the Mac, to deselect the image.
Turn on your type layer if you're working along with me. Click on that type layer to make it active. Then drop down here to the fx icon. Click on it and choose Stroke, because we need to add a big, thick stroke to our letters. And I want that stroke to be black, so make sure the color is set to black. The Size value should be 10 pixels and the Position, instead of Outside, should be Center. Now I want to turn on Pattern Overlays, so go ahead and click on it. And for the Pattern option, click the down-pointing arrowhead and choose that pattern you just created, which in my case is called wires, and you will get this effect right here that's way too big. But notice the lines more or less mesh up with each other-- not exactly, but it's going to work out good enough for us.
I will change the Scale value from 100% to 25%. Then click OK in order to accept that change. Now, we need to convert what we're seeing to a selection outline. Let me show you how that works. I am going to turn back on my square layer, the one that's filled with white, and I'm been a Shift+Click on that vector mask thumbnail right there in order to turn the vector mask off. What that does is it creates a field of white in back of my letters. Now I am going to switch over to the Channels panel, and I am going to Ctrl+Click or Command+Click on RGB. In order to load everything that's white as a selection, everything that's black is deselected.
That's exactly the opposite of what I want. So go up to the Select menu and choose the Inverse command. Now, I've selected everything that's black and deselected everything that's white. Switch back to the Layers panel and turn off that white later, the one that's called square, and turn off your text layer. We are now going to create a new layer by pressing Ctrl+Shift+N-- Command+Shift+N on the Mac. I am going to call this guy "outlines" and click OK. Now we are going to fill the selection-- you don't want to deselect this area yet-- fill the selection with black, and in my case black is my background color, so I will press Ctrl+Backspace, or Command+ Delete on the Mac, in order to fill the selection.
Press Ctrl+D, or Command+D on the Mac, in order to deselect the image. Now, we are going to add a trio of layer effects. Click the fx icon down here at the bottom of the Layers panel. Choose Bevel and Emboss. And here's the settings I want to you apply. All these options are fine as is: that is, Style, Inner Bevel Techniques, Smooth, Depth, 100%; Those are default settings. Direction can be Up. I am going to change the Size value to 2 pixels, so we are taking that down quite a bit. My Angle value is 120 degrees by default and Altitude is 30 degrees. So it's exactly what I want.
I am not concerned about the Gloss Contour. In fact, all I am going to do is raise the opacity for both the Highlight mode and the Shadow mode to 100%. They're white and black by default. Screen and Multiply, as well. That's exactly what I want. Now I am going to switch over to the Drop Shadow, and I'm going to increase its Opacity value to 100%. Black is default, so that's fine, too. The Blend Mode is set to Multiply, which is what I want. An Angle value of 120 degree is fine. Distance should be 10 pixels. Spread should be 0, and Size should be 10 pixels as well.
Then finally I'm going to add a little bit of rust effect by switching to Pattern Overlay, and I am going to click the down-pointing arrowhead next to Pattern, and I'm going to choose Rusted Metal. If you don't see Rusted Metal, then you need to click this right arrow icon and choose Patterns in order to load the Patterns library. But I can see mine, so I will just go ahead and click on it to select it. Notice it gives us this kind of over-the-top rusty effect. That's a little too much for my taste, So I am going to change the Blend Mode from Normal to Overlay. Then I'm going to reduce the Opacity value to 50%. Now you might look at this and say, "Well, that's weird Deke, because you just got rid of the effect entirely.
All we're seeing is black now." Well, click OK in order to accept that modification. Then let's change the Fill value right there to 0%. That way we are not seeing any of the black fill associated with this layer; we are only seeing the layer effects and nothing more. Now, I want to bolster those strokes, so I need to reload the stroke from that original text layer. So I'm going to turn off my outlines layer for a moment. I am going to turn on that type layer once again and turn on the white later, which is called square with the layer mask turned off, and then I am also going to turn off its pattern overlay.
So we're just seeing the stroke. Switch over to the Channels panel, Ctrl+Click or Command+Click on RGB. Actually, you can Ctrl+Click or Command+Click on any of the channels. That will go ahead and select the wide area, deselect the black: exactly the opposite of what we want. So go to the Select menu and choose Inverse. Now we are selecting the black stroke, deselecting the background. Switch back to Layers, turn off your type layer, turn off that layer of white, turn back on the outlines layer. Make sure it's selected, because we want to create the new layer on top of it.
Press Ctrl+Shift+N, or Command+Shift +N on the Mac, to make a new layer. We will name this guy "border" and click OK. Now press Ctrl+Backspace, or Command+ Delete on the Mac, in order to fill the selection with black, because black, in my case at least, is the background color. Press Ctrl+D, or Command+D on the Mac, to deselect that image, and now I want you Alt+Drag or Option+Drag the fx that's next to the outlines layer onto the border layer in order to copy all of those effects. Reduce the Fill Opacity value to 0% like so and then turn off Pattern Overlay, because we don't need more rust added to this effect.
You end up getting this final heavy metal text. I am going to press the F key a couple of times, and there we have it, created using a combination of a custom pattern, in order to create this wire mesh inside of the letters, as well as loading the stroke and the pattern effect from the Channels panel, filling those selections with black, and then applying a variety of layer effects with the Fill Opacity value set to 0.
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