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In this course, author Nigel French shows how to use textures to create visual interest, heighten realism, and add dimension to Photoshop artwork. The course demonstrates how to apply multiple filters and paint in effects with layer masks, combine textures with images using layer blending modes, use brushes to paint in and accentuate texture, and create brush presets by sampling textures from photographs. The course also shows how to automate the application of textures with actions.
Let's see how we can create this authentic looking piece of distressed Type. So I'm just going to break this down for you first of all. We have a texture, on top of the texture, we have a TYPE layer, but the TYPE layer has got some stuff going on with it as you can see over here. It's a smart object and it's had a filter applied to it. And that is the Gaussian Blur filter. But before we get to that, let's look at this. We have the texture applied as a layer Mask to the Type. That's essential.
And then if I turn off the Smart Filters, we can see that what that's doing is it's blurring the edges of the Type. And I think you often see this technique applied without this additional detail. And that let's it down because while this looks good, the way is at the moment, it doesn't look particularly plausible because the edges of the Type are too sharp. We don't want to blur the whole Type because we want the Type to remain live and editable. So we convert it to a smart object, and then we can just blur it just the edges.
So I have a filter mask on the Smart Filter layer which is just blurring the edges of the Type. And in addition to that, I have a copy of the texture itself in a group and the blending mode that is set to Soft Light. This top layer is an optional extra, but I think it helps. So let's now switch to the starting point. And you may be tempted to say, well, that's an awful lot of work. Why don't we just make the Type Multiply? Well, you could, but it's not going to look very convincing.
So that's why we're not going to make it Multiply because it's not really going to work very well. Here's what we are going to do. Let's turn off the TYPE layer, come to the Background, switch to CHANNELS, Command+Click or Ctrl+Click on the RGB channel to load the Luminosity channel or the gray values for that layer. So I'm now going to turn my TYPE layer back on, and then I'm going to come and click on Add layer Mask. Now at the moment, that has subdued the Type too much.
And that's because we have too many gray values in there. I could use my Levels to work on this layer Mask. I just press Command+L or Ctrl+L to go to my Levels. But actually I'm going to use a heavier handed approach in this case which I think is going to work even better. So making sure that I'm clicked on to the layer Mask, I'm going to come to my Image menu, Adjustments, and to Threshold. Now Threshold is going to make that layer Mask all black or all white pixels.
And if I move this way, we're going to get more black; this way, and this is the way we want to go, we're going to get more white. So depending on just how distressed you want your Type to be, you can move your Threshold slider one way or the other. So when I click OK, if we now go and have a look at that layer Mask, you'll see that all of those pixels are either black or white. Okay. Now let's move on to blurring the edges of the Type.
First of all, what I need to do is I need to load the selection of the Type. So I'm going to Command+Click on the TYPE layer. It's already been converted to a smart object so that we can apply Smart Filters. But if you're working with Type that you haven't yet done that to, you can do it right there under the Filter menu. So next what I want to do is modify this selection, so I'm going to come to the Select menu and choose Modify, and then I'm going to choose Border.
Now how big you want your border to be is going to depend upon the resolution of your image. But I'm going to use a 20-pixel border. And that's going to give me a selection that looks like that. So my selection is growing by 10 pixels inside and 10 pixels outside my letter forms. With my selection active, I'm now going to come to the Filter menu and down to Blur and choose Gaussian Blur. And I'm going to blur it by, let's just do a little bit more than that, let's go to 5 pixels say.
So the effect is subtle, but I think very effective. If I turn off my Smart Filters, there are the sharp edges and I'm going to zoom in so that we might be able to see that a little bit better. Okay, so I'm at a very large view size now which is why it looks pixelated. But at 100%, this looks just great. If I turn off that Smart Filter layer, we can see we have sharp edges to the Type. Turn it on and that's going to blur those edges. As a final finishing touch, I selected the texture, I copied it Command+J or Ctrl+J. I dragged it up above and I set its Blending mode to Soft Light.
Now I could also perhaps make that grayscale and I had done that in the finished version, but actually I think I like it just fine the way it is with this layer still in color. But I could perhaps reduce the Opacity of it just to tone it down a bit. So there are two things that really make this work well. And that is the layer Mask with a Threshold adjustment on that layer Mask applied to the Type, and then some blurring to the edges of the Type.
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