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In Photoshop CS5 Essential Training, author Michael Ninness demonstrates how to produce the highest quality images with fantastic detail in the shortest amount of time, using a combination of Photoshop CS5, Adobe Bridge, and Camera Raw. This course shows the most efficient ways to perform common editing tasks, including noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, retouching, and combining multiple images. Along the way, Michael shares the secrets of non-destructive editing, utilizing and mastering Adobe Bridge, Camera Raw, layers, adjustment layers, blending modes, layer masks, and much more. Exercise files are included with the course.
One of the more fun things you can do with Type in Photoshop is actually warp it. Here I have a Text layer inside my Layers panel. You can turn it on and off, so it's nothing special, nothing up my sleeves, just regular text. I'm going to go ahead and put it in the Free Transform mode. That's Command+T, or Ctrl+T on Windows. And what that does is it puts a bounding box for normally just scaling, or rotating, or stretching your text, so to speak. But once you're in the Free Transform mode, right here is this little button in the Options bar called Warp.
You are switching from Transform mode to Warp mode. Let's go ahead and click that button, and once you do that, that gives you the ability to warp your text into interesting shapes. Right now, the default warp is None, so if you look at the Options bar, it says None here. But if I click on the word None, I've got several different distortion shapes or warp shapes to start from. I'm going to go ahead and choose let's say, Arch, and you'll see once you choose one of those particular built-in shapes, you can reposition your text by clicking in the middle of it and dragging it where you want it, and there'll be a handle somewhere on this warped shape that you can click and drag to manipulate how much the warp is actually occurring.
So, you can warp it up really far or down really far. It's really up to you. And this just gives you a very flexible way to customize that warp. Now you can choose a different shape. One of the ones I like is Flag. It just gives you a little bit of a wavy feeling. Again, that one single handle on the shape gives you the ability to control how much is being warped,. And then once you get it the way you want it, you just simply press the Enter Key, and your warp text has been modified and applied. Now what I love about this is that the text is still text, which means I can still edit it.
This is really a non-destructive effect that's been added to the Type layer. If you take a look at the thumbnail, it shows you that it's been warped text instead of just regular text. If I press the T on my keyboard to switch to the Type tool, I can simply click anywhere in that Type layer and still select the text, still edit it and change the text. Let's go, "Wow!" How cool is that? And to apply that change, we'll just press the Enter key. So, warping is non-destructive. You'll notice that there is a slightly different way to actually enter in the Text warped mode, but I don't actually prefer it.
I prefer the way I showed you first. But just for the case of being comprehensive, if you look in the Options bar at the top, when I'm in the Type tool, one of the Type options in the Option bar is that same Warp Text icon. If I go ahead and click that, that brings up the same set of features that I showed you earlier in the Warp transfer mode. But the reason I like it is that it's a dialog box. So, I have the same options here. I can choose Wave, or Fish, or Rise, or whatever warp shape I want, but I miss not having that direct handle on the actual artwork itself where I could click and drag to change the warp.
So, I don't actually like this method. Instead, I'm going to go ahead and hit Cancel and find that when you want to warp your text, it's actually easier just to do Free Transform, Command+T, Ctrl+T on Windows and use the Warp mode button in the Options bar instead to change you from Free Transform mode to Warp mode. And now you've got that handle I was talking about where you can just directly manipulate the object directly, instead of playing around with sliders or edit fields in a dialog box. Once you get it back the way you want it, press the Enter Key, and you've got a cool non-destructive warped type.
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