advanced photoshop

How to transform text into detailed black and white type effects, part 2

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Tips & Tutorials, by Anna-lisa Saywell

Part 2 in a tutorial on how to combine various stock elements to transform basic text into black and white type effects


Follow part 1 of this tutorial

Thanks go out to Teddy Soegiarto for this tutorial. See more of his work at www.theycallmeteddy.com

Step 11

You now need to find some splash images. You can download them from shutterstock.com, for example ID 108597824 and 90187525.Convert them to black and white, adjust the contrast level (Image>Adjustments>Level or Cmd/Ctrl+L) until the colour looks solid. After that, drag to the canvas and combine them with the text. In this step, we combined them with the letter ‘R’. You want to make the type’s shape look like it is splashing out.

Step 12

Let’s check what we have already done so far until this step and keep in mind that we need to keep every single aspect balanced. Do extra clean-up to your cut-out images, readjust the black and white contrast levels and arrange the overall layout. For the next step, we will focus on smaller details to  bring the scene to life. Textures and brush effects will help a lot in the progress.

Step 13

Open water.jpg, make a selection of the water using channel masking, drag and arrange it above the first ‘R’ of ‘Perfection’. Set the layer blending mode to Luminosity. Duplicate the layer and arrange it on the  ‘R’ of ‘Imperfection’. Set the layer to Vivid Light. We can erase some distracting parts of the water that do not fit the type. Open water2.jpg, make a selection using channel masking and arrange the water above the ‘H’ from ‘Within’. Set the layer blending mode to Hard Light

Step 14

Now we will edit the water images using the Warp tool. You can access this by going to Edit>Transform>Warp. This  tool can help us to control the flow and shape of the water images. The tool is very flexible; we can play and experiment with the image shapes by adjusting the path points that consist of lines and handles. Each corner has control points and handles, which are similar to the control handles used by the Pen tool.

Step 15

Our next step is to add some abstract and grunge effects to the type using splatters. Let’s load some splatter brushes to your Brush palette. You can get these from fudgegraphics.com, bittbox.com or mediamilitia.com. You also can use your own splatter brush resource. Pick a black and dark grey colour from your colour palette and try to experiment with creating new layers. Arrange them at the edge of the typeface and some of them near your stock images.

 Step 16

In the previous step, we only focused on dark splatters; most of them are black and dark grey. Now we will add  different paint splatters in white and light grey. These splatters will make the scene looks brighter and give more dimension to the image. Use  splatter shapes with long drips or noise looks to give a unique, abstract effect to your scene. Big splat shapes can also be used to add alternative looks.

Step 17

Take a little time to think about your image story and concept theme. We need to add more stock imagery to expand the image, the point being to develop the concept deeper. In this step, we will add some flying paper planes, a curly ornament, some flames effects and transparent clouds from any free stock site. You can use your own stocks to make your fantasy scene come alive. Use different layer blending modes, as these can help to make everything mix.

Step 18

Next we need to add an extra touch to our plain canvas. Open paper1.jpg or paper2.jpg and drag them above your white background layer. Convert to black and white and adjust the contrast levels. Use a Selective Color adjustment layer (Image>Adjustments>Selective Color) and activate the Absolute method. Control the percentage of Black at ‘Neutrals’ – ‘White’ – ‘Black’ colour options to get a solid black and white texture. Textures can support our concept visually and they will help to build depth and atmosphere in our final image.

Step 19

Fantasy and magical scenes  usually contain sparkling and glowing lights. We will add some into the image. Load galaxy brush (galaxy.abr) to your Brush palette. Pick a white colour and paint your scene with this brush. For smaller details, you can use a standard small soft round brush. Ctrl/right-click your Lights layer and choose Blending Options. Activate the Outer Glow layer style with blend mode Hard Light – Opacity: 75% – Anti Aliased checked – Range: 65%. This option will make your lights glow more.

Step 20

At this final step, you need to analyse and review everything from the first step through to the last ones. Check everything that needed to be changed is added. Give a deeper dimension to your image by placing shadows behind each layer of your elements (Ctrl/right-click on the layer, choose Blending Option, check Drop Shadow menu and adjust Opacity to around 60-70% Multiply). For the finishing touch, add and set a new Levels adjustment layer on top of all the layers to control the overall contrast.