Join Nigel French for an in-depth discussion in this video Combining type and shape, part of Photoshop for Designers: Type Effects.
This is the first of two movies playing on this theme of Wolf in Sheep's Clothing and this interpretation is the more literal of the two. To be honest with you, I'm not entirely sure it works but I think it brings up some interesting points which is why I'm going to show it to you anyway. So let's just breakdown what we have, starting before we get to the finished folder, we have a background field of brown and then in the finished folder I have this silhouette shape of the sheep. I have the sheep itself to which is applied a layer mask which I'm now going to disable and that layer mask is in the shape of the type.
And then we also have a Layer Effect applied to that. So I'm now going to turn off the finished layer and we'll come to the beginning layer, and here we have a type and a sheep. You'll see that the Opacity of the type is set to 50%, and the reason I've done that is just so that I can position it and see where it falls relative to the eye because I want the eye showing through. So having positioned it, what I'm going to do next is come and make the silhouette layer.
Now I have a pre-prepared Alpha Channel, which I'm going to load, and this was created just by making the selection of the inverse of the sheep. And I'm now going to come and create a new layer below the sheep layer. If I want a layer below my currently targeted layer, hold down the Command or the Ctrl key and I'm going to fill that layer with my dark brown which just happens to be my foreground color. But if it's not, I could click on my Color Picker and these are the values that I'm going to use, 22, 18, 13, all subject to change of course.
I will now fill that with the color and if we turn off the sheep layer above, that's what we get. And I'm now going to deselect, actually leaving the sheep out of the equation, it makes me wonder if I should just stop right here because I think this is probably more effective the way it is than with the actual wool in the shape of the letters. But since that was the point of this movie, I will press on regardless and we can decide at the end which version we want to use.
So I'm going to turn on this layer. I will turn off the Type layer but I will activate the Type as a selection, Command or Ctrl and then click on the Type layer, and then with the sheep layer as my active layer, I will make that into a layer mask, so that it looks like that. Now, just to refine this, the problem at the moment is that the shapes of the letters are all very crisp, so I want to round them off a bit, make them a bit less machine-made and a bit more wooly.
So, I'm going to press my B key to choose my Brush and I'm going to choose a brush with a Hardness of 100% and then making sure that white is my foreground color. I'll just press the D key to restore my foreground background colors to black and white. And I'm now going to paint on that Layer Mask. So as I'm doing this I'm just sort of picking up a thread in the wool following that and seeing where it takes me.
If I go too far, I'll switch to black and then paint back over it to restore it to the way it was. And I'm changing the size of my brush as necessary. Okay, now that I've made my types sufficiently blobby, I'm going to apply an Inner Shadow to that layer. I'll come and right-click to the right of the Layer name and we'll add an Inner Shadow and I want to quite substantially increase the Size of it and the Distance.
So if we turn that off and then turn it back on again, that's what the Inner Shadow is doing. And finally, just as a finishing touch, I would like to even out the tonal values on the wool itself. It's a bit too bright over on this side. So, I'm going to add a layer's Adjustment Layer and as I choose it I'm going to hold down the Option or Alt key so that I get the option to make it into a Clipping Mask so that it's only affecting the layer beneath. And I need to just turn that off because it's in the way of what I actually want to see.
I'm going to move my Middle slider to the right and I'll move my Black Point also a bit to the right. So I'm making that a lot darker. I know that it's getting too dark now on the left-hand side, but that's okay because what I'm going to do next is come in and work on the layer mask that comes with the Adjustment Layer and I'll do that with a gradient. I want to make sure that I have my default colors, black and white.
And the gradient I'm going to choose is Foreground to Transparent and the Type is going to be Linear and in this case since I want to protect the left-hand side of image, I'm going to drag with my gradient about so far. And I may also choose to just drag up a fraction as well. So let's just turn off that level, so we can see what that's doing. That's just giving the whole thing a bit more presence and making the right-hand side a bit more contrasty.
And there is our finished result. As I say, I'm not totally sold on it but I think it does bring out some interesting points. In the next movie, I'm going to try another interpretation applying an entirely different approach.
- Illustrating with shape layers, layer masks, and clipping masks
- Modifying letterforms
- Using a displacement map
- Illustrating words
- Creating effects such as smoky or fiery type
- Working with brushes and type
- Warping text
- Using a Vanishing Point grid
- Incorporating repetition and pattern
- Layering type