Learn about combining transparency and texture for an authentic letterpress look.
- [Instructor] In this movie, I'd like to show you how we can make this typographic composition a whole lot more interesting by incorporating transparency and texture. The first thing I want to do is apply a displacement to the type, so that the edges of the type's shape are roughened according to the paper background on which they are sitting, so I have saved separately a grayscale version of this paper file, and that will be my displacement map.
I'm going to apply this in two passes. First of all, to the numero uno, and then to the number one, and the reason I'm doing that is so that it affects the edges of all of the type. If I were to make this all into a single smart object, then where the type overlaps the large number one, those edges would not be affected. So, I'll select these two layers, and then convert to smart object.
I'll come to the filter menu to distort, displace, and I'm going to use a value of 10 for the horizontal and vertical scale. You will, of course, when working on a different file, need to adjust these values accordingly, and I'll come to that grayscale version of the paper. That's my displacement map, and if we zoom in, we can see that the edges are just ever so slightly roughened.
I'm going to do the same thing, now, with the number one. I'll convert it to a smart object, and in this case, I can just duplicate the smart filter that I've applied already. So, I can, holding down my Option or Alt key, drag the smart filter onto that second smart object. Now, I'd like to select both of these and change the blending mode. Change the blending mode from normal to multiply, and then we get some really interesting interaction of the colors.
For some added authenticity, I'd like to add some layer effects, and I'm adding these separately for the same reason that I explained before. I want an inner shadow, and these are going to be very subtle, and an inner glow. When I do this, it remembers the settings that I had chosen, and in both cases, I'm using a color of black and a blend mode of multiply. I have a fairly low opacity for both, and I'm just adjusting the size as necessary.
Now, I'm currently working on the numero uno text. Let's just zoom in a bit so that we can see what this is doing. If we look at the edges of the letters, we can see that the inner shadow is just darkening those ever so slightly, and the inner glow is essentially doing the same thing, but around the whole letter shapes. So, having done that there, I'm now going to duplicate those layer effects onto the other layer, and I can just hold down my Option or Alt key and drag from the fx badge onto the number one layer.
As a finishing touch, I would like to blur the edges of the type, which still seem a little bit too sharp to me, so I'm going to select my two type layers and make them into a group by pressing Command or Control + G, and then duplicating that group by pressing Command or Control + J. Now, I'll open up the copy of that group, and for each of the layers in there, I'll come to my filter menu and to blur, and to Gaussian blur, and I'm going to apply a value of eight pixels.
Once again, I can just duplicate that filter by holding down Option or Alt and dragging it onto the layer beneath. Now, in addition to creating a more intense color, you see that when we turn this group off and then back on again, it's intensifying the color. The Gaussian blur that is applied to it is slightly blurring the edges of the type and making it look like the color is bleeding into the background of the paper.
So, those are some effective techniques involving transparency and texture that we can use on our typographic compositions.
- Illustrating a concept
- Modifying letterforms
- Creating distressed text with a displacement map
- Creating effects such as smoky or fiery type
- Painting type with custom brushes
- Creating print-inspired type effects
- Working with multilayered type
- Creating a type portrait
- Creating nostalgic type treatments