Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Establishing a worthy grunge background, part of Photoshop CS5 Extended One-on-One: 3D Type Effects.
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In this chapter, I'll show you how to make 3D grunge type, specifically the variety that you're seeing onscreen. Now, I don't pretend that this is the only approach to grunge. In fact, I dare say any filthy type effect ultimately qualifies as grunge. So consider this one of the many possible expressions. I'm going to switch over to this file and that's called Mercy.psd. It's found inside the O4_grunge folder. Now, the text inside this file is set in the font Poplar, which you may or may not have on your machine. So I've gone ahead and included an editable version of the type, as well as that same type converted to a shape layer. But before we start extruding the type in Repousse, I've got a big problem with this background. I'll go ahead and turn off the mercy layer so that we can focus on the background, which is this layer at the bottom of the stack that's called wall.
And on balance, it looks great. This is a photograph from the Fotolia Image Library, by the way, about which you can learn more at fotolia.com/deke. But it doesn't look nearly dark and gritty enough for the effect that I'm trying to pull off. And the reason I'm starting with the background is because it really informs the rest of the effect. If you don't get that background right, then it's hard to get into the spirit of the thing. So with the wall layer selected, go up to the Layers panel flyout menu, and choose Convert to Smart Object. Or if you loaded Dekekeys, you can press Control+Comma; Command+Comma on the Mac. That way we can apply a nondestructive filtering effect to the image.
That filter effect is located here under the Image menu, then you go to the Adjustments, and you choose Shadows/ Highlights, and that will bring up the Shadows Highlights dialog box. Now, we need to be able to see all of the options that are available to us, so go ahead and turn on the Show More Options check box. It's a filtering effect, by the way, meaning that it goes in, and it looks for edges inside of the image, which are rapid transitions between highlights and shadows. And along the way, it allows you to brighten the shadows, and darken the highlights. So, you're exaggerating the degree of difference between the luminance levels inside the image.
We're going to start it off with the Highlights, and I'm going to take that Amount value way up by pressing Shift+ up arrow, and ultimately I'm going to take the value up to 80%. And then I want to some degree or other effect all of the luminance levels inside the image. So I'm going to increase the Tonal Width value all the way to 100%, and you can see that we're darkening the image overall. Now, we're darkening the brightest colors the most; we're darkening the darkest colors just a little bit. The Radius value allows you to expand the effect, so that you don't end up with unnatural haloes.
Go ahead and select that value, and let's take it all the way up to 200 pixels. All right; now let's visit the Shadows value. Now, I want to deepen the shadows across the board, so I'm going to increase that Tonal Width value all the way to 100% as well. So we're really stressing out the image at this point. Then I'm going to take that Amount value down, because I don't want to effect the Shadows nearly as much as the Highlights. Ultimately I arrived at a value of 15%. A Radius of 30 pixels is just fine for these shadows. Next I'm going to drop down to the Midtone Contrast value, and I'm going to take it up as well, and in this case I was pretty happy with a value of 65.
Now, the Color Correction option allows you to either increase or decrease the Saturation in order to compensate for the effect. Photoshop goes ahead and turns the saturation up by default. I'm going to take this value down to -50, and once you've established the values that you see on the screen, go ahead and click on the OK button in order to apply that effect. All right, now to give you a sense of what we've accomplished here, I'll go ahead and turn the Smart Filters off. So that's the before version of the image; way to bright and happy for grunge. And if I turn the eyeball back on, that's the after effect.
Now, just to conserve space, I'm gong to right-click on the white filter mask, and choose Delete Filter Mask, and that just gives us more room to work here inside the Layers panel. All right; so armed with this grittier, filthier background, we're now ready to take on 3D grunge type, starting in the next exercise.
- Smearing colors across letters
- Creating drop-and-splatter effects
- Tracing character outlines with smart filters
- Rotating, positioning, and scaling words
- Quickly (and accurately) masking 3D letters
- Assigning complex, high-quality bevels
- Matching 3D type to a photographic scene
- Adding a crack to a grunge letter
- Making a 3D pillow inflation
- Simulating worn fabric with soft noise
- Making blocky type using depth maps
- Carving recessed type in a tree
- Creating a sunken extrusion
- Bending 3D text as a Smart Object