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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.
Hi! This is Deke McClelland. Welcome to Deke's Techniques. Today, I am going to show you how to create molten type inside of Photoshop. So notice that the centers of these letters are nice and dark and toasted and burnt, and then the outsides are still on fire and smoldering, and we have these little ripples going on through the letters as well. This is accomplished using a combination of four layer effects. I placed that inside of a Smart Object, then apply two applications of the Ripple filter and another of Bas Relief, which is one that you don't get to apply to text very often.
This is an approach that's equally applicable to hot type and neon type and any other kind of type where the outside of the letters are bright and the inside is dark. I am going to show you how to create this effect starting right now. Over the course of the next couple of movies, I am going to show you how to create text that looks like it's on fire, just absolutely caught up in some kind of inferno. But before we add the flames, I need to show you how to create the hot embers of type, these guys right there. So it almost appears like we have a very hot, rippling neon effect.
What's interesting about both of these effects, by the way, both of these techniques involve live editable type. So you can actually edit that type if you want to, without getting your fingers burned. I am going to switch to this rather nondescript document here, the usual white text against the black background. And I am going to press Shift+Tab to bring up my right side panels. I do have a layer of editable text, and we are going to start things off by adding a few layers effect, and then we will add a trio of Smart Filters. So step one is to go down to the fx icon and choose Color Overlay, and I am going to change the color by clicking on the color swatch. And I am going to change the H, S, and B values to 30 for Hue, and then Saturation and Brightness are both 100%. Click OK.
That's it. We now have orange text. Now I am going to turn on the Inner Glow effect, and I am going to change to color by clicking on the color swatch, and I am going to enter these values: a Hue value of 50, a Saturation value of 100%, and a Brightness value of 100% as well. Then I will go ahead and click OK. We want to raise that Opacity value to 100%, and I am going to switch to screen to the hottest of the brightening mode, which is Linear Dodge (Add), and I am going to raise the size value just a couple of clicks to 7 pixels. Now I am going to turn on the Outer Glow effect, change its color, by clicking on the color swatch, to a Hue value of 15% which is an orangish red, sort of a scarlet color.
Raise the Saturation value to 100%. Brightness should be 100% as well. Click OK. I am going to take the Opacity value to 100%, and I want the size value to be 10 pixels as well. Next, we want to introduce a little bit of darkening inside the center of the letter. I am going to do that using the Satin effect. So I will turn on Satin. Multiply is fine Most of these default settings are fine. The Contour should be set to Gaussian as it is. However, I need to change that color. So I will click on the color swatch, and I will go ahead and dial in a dark scarlet this time.
So a Hue of 15, Saturation of 100%, Brightness of 50%. Click OK. Take the Opacity value up to 100%, and then you can go ahead and drag around inside the letters if you want to, in order to create a custom Satin effect. Notice how things are changing on the fly for me. Or you can just dial in the settings that I came up with, which were an Angle value of 90 degrees, a Distance of 6, and then a Size value of 13 pixels, and that's it for the layer effect. Go ahead and click Ok in order to accept that modification.
So, this is what my original letters looked like; they were white. This is what they look like subject to that handful of layer effects. Now that's a pretty cool neon effect. In a lot of ways it's not strictly speaking neon, but it has that sort of quality to it. However, the letters do not look like they are stressed, like some sort of heat is attacking them. In order to create that effect, we have to apply a few filters. Well, if you want to apply filters to editable text, then you need to convert that text to a Smart Object by right-clicking on the text layer and choosing Convert to Smart Object.
Now, the text is inside a protective container. We can apply as many nondestructive filters as we like, starting with--I am going to go up to the Filter menu--and I will choose Ripple command, and I am going to switch my Size to Large. I believe it's Medium by default. I will switch it up to Large, and then I am going to take the Amount value down to 15%. So we have just a little bit, as you can see here, a little bit of wiggle associate with these letters. Then I will click OK. Now, I want to add a little bit of additional ripple as well, so I will go up to the Filter menu and choose that very first command, Ripple, or I could press Ctrl+F--Command+F on the Mac.
I will drag my characters upwards, so I can see what I am doing. I will change the Size value to Medium this time around, and I am going to increase the Amount value to 50%. So we get this sort of effect here, a little more ripple going on, and the ripple is designed to introduce sort of that smoke effect when the hot air is refracting the light. That's the kind of effect we are going for here. Click OK in order to accept that modification. Now, notice to the right of the word Ripple there is little settings icon, this double slider icon. Go ahead and double-click on the top one of the two in order to bring up the Blending Options dialog box, and I want to reduce the Opacity to 50%.
So we get a 50-50 mix of our two ripple effects. The Mode should remain normal, by the way. Click OK and then I want to apply one more filter. But before I do, I will press the D key, just to confirm that I have the default foreground and background. Black for foreground, white for background. Then go up to the Filter menu, choose the Sketch command, and I want you to choose the very first filter in the list, Bas Relief. The default settings are fine. I believe these are them, by the way, a Detail value of 13, a Smoothness value of 3.
Let's go ahead and change the lighting from Bottom to Top, to really make it look as if we are lighting from the bottom upward. However, that's what this filter calls Top, so, fair enough. Click OK in order to accept that effect, and we end up getting something that looks kind of like we have rendered the letters in steel. That's not what I want, so I will go over to the Settings icon, the double slider. Double-click on it. That brings up the Blending Options dialog box. I am going to switch that Mode from Normal to Overlay like so in order to produce this effect here, and click OK.
Then we don't need the Filter mask, so just to tidy things up, I will right-click on that Filter mask thumbnail and choose Delete Filter mask, and that is the effect, folks. I will go ahead and press the F key a couple of times. That's how you create a hot, fire-y, glowing effect inside of Photoshop using a combination of layer effects and Smart Filters. In the next movie, I am going to show you how to light this type on fire using real flames.
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