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This effect looks really hard to achieve, doesn't it? But actually it's deceptively simple. All we need to do is add a layer mask to our type layer and then do something with that layer mask. I don't want to steal my thunder by telling you what that is right away, but without the layer mask the type looks like that. Let's see how we can do this. So I have the type on a picture. Bear in mind this isn't always going to work. It works well here, because we have a black and white image that has very high contrast.
So I'm going to turn off my type layer, come to my Background layer, go to my Channels panel, Command+Click or Ctrl +Click on my RGB channel to load the luminosity channel for that layer. Then I'll turn my type layer back on and I'll make that active selection into a layer mask. So that's going to obscure it because we're essentially using the image to mask the whole layer. How I got here was the first thing I tried was experimenting with the contrast of this, but I found that wasn't really working very well.
Because if we look at the layer mask, there is too much black and black is going to conceal. We need more white. So what I'm going to do is I'm just going to invert the values of the layer mask, Command+I. So this is great as far as it goes except that the branches where they overlap the type are losing some of their definition. So it's now that we can look on the contrast of the layer mask. I'm going to press Command+L and Ctrl+L and what I want to do is these are very sort of light grays.
So if I get my gray point slider and move this to the right, I'm going to bring back some of the definition. Look what happens when I move the left; we lose the definition. Move to the right, we bring the definition back. And I'll also get that black point slider and bring that over a bit too. So very simply, very quickly we're able to make these letters looks like they're actually embedded within the branches of this tree, just using a very simple trick with a layer mask.
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