Monday, January 19, 2009

Painting Text onto Wood

Using a displacement map in Photoshop can create some really cool effects. Today, we'll use a displacement map to make some text appear as if it is painted onto wood. There are many different surfaces you can use for this. Brick works well also. With a quick Google search you can find many different textures and surfaces to use.

Let's start by importing our wood image into Photoshop. Double click on the background layer in the layers palette and turn the background into a layer and name it wood.

Painting Text onto Wood image 1 Painting Text onto Wood image 2

Next select the type tool and create your text on top of the wood layer. I'm using a maroon color #6f0202. Use a thick font such as Impact. Give the text a slight tilt by typing ctrl + t which will bring up the transform tool:

Painting Text onto Wood image 3 Painting Text onto Wood image 4

In the layers palette, right click on the wood layer and duplicate it. Drag the copy below the wood layer and type shift + ctrl + u to desaturate it. Alternatively, you can desaturate by going to Image>Adjustments>Desaturate .

Painting Text onto Wood image 5

Copy this new desaturated layer to a new grayscale document. This will be the displacement map. We have to apply a Gaussian blur to the displacement map (grayscale document we just created) to soften the wood or else the edges of the text will appear too grainy. Apply a Guassian blur by going to filter>blur>guassian blur. If you're using the wood image I supplied, set the radius to 1.5

Painting Text onto Wood image 6

Otherwise you'll have to experiment. The amount of blur depends on the image you use and how busy the surface texture is. Save the document as displace.psd. Note: Photoshop uses the .psd format for displacement images.

Back on the original document, select the text layer and go to filter>distort>displace. It asks you to rasterize the text, select OK. When the displace window pops up, change horizontal and vertical scale to 20 and click OK.

Painting Text onto Wood image 7

A "choose displacement map" window appears. Select the displace.psd we just created. Back in the layers palette change the blend mode of the text layer to hard light and set the opacity to about 70% and your finished.

Painting Text onto Wood Tutorial: Final Result

For a more weathered effect, set the blend mode to overlay and adjust the opacity to about 60%.

Painting Text onto Wood image 9