Revisiting Photoshop 1 – Filling text with images

We are so busy designing and creating that we usually forget the bascis, those simple things we learned when we started designing.  I proposed myself to revisit one of those forgotten techniques every week and what better way re-learn them that sharing them with you, hoping that this process in combination with your already vast knowledge will take you to a new level of design.  Mixing the basics with the new techniques.

Today I will revisit the cool O’l Text Filling.  Photoshop help you create this effect in various ways and with various exciting results, filing your text with images can be fun a “new”.

Here’s how to do so quickly and easily.

 1.  Open a landscape photo (or your favorit filling picture) with definite color.  Try to avoid something with too much of one solid color in one area, or with the same color as the background of the page you’ll eventually be placing the word on.  The image below  is a good candidate for this technique.

2.  Select Photoshop’s Text tool and click somewhere in the photo, this will create a new text layer.  Type in your  text, the one you want the image to show through.  If necessary, change the font size to something larger by either selecting the text and changing the size on the Options palette, or by clicking-and-dragging a corner of the text with the Move tool.  For manual resizing, hold Shift to maintain proportion, and press Enter to apply changes (just in case you forgot this) :-).

3.  Change the typeface to a strong, thick font. I chose Impact.

4.  Next, double-click the Background layer to convert it to a normal layer. Name it something — I’ve called mine Layer 0 — and press OK.

5.  In the Layers palette, click-and-drag Layer 0 above the text layer.

6.  Carefully hover your cursor in between the two layers in the Layers palette and press Option (PC: Alt). The cursor should turn into a different icon, with two circles. Click once.

Your text should now contain the pixels of the photo, but the shape of the text.

Step 7
Select the Move tool and click-and-drag the text layer around the canvas. This lets you place the text so that the best part of the photo shows through.

8.  If you save the file as a JPEG, Photoshop adds a white background. To preserve the transparency, save the file as a transparent GIF. To preview what a background will look like with the text, click Add New Layer on the Layers palette, and click-and-drag the new layer to the bottom. Then, click the Foreground color and select a color for the background, such as white. Press Option-Delete (PC: Alt-Backspace) to fill that layer with the color.

9.  Let’s try something slightly different.

10.  Now you’ll add three text layers separately. Select Photoshop’s Text tool, click in the photo, and enter the word “Ocean.” Resize the text as desired.

Option-Click (PC: Alt-Click) to duplicate the text and then select the Text tool to change the text to “Surf”. Option/Alt-Click again to change the text to “Sea”. Position the words as you see below, then select all the text layers in the Layers palette and go to Layer > Merge Layers (or press Cmd-E (PC: Ctrl-E).

11.  Double-click the photo layer to make it a normal layer. Click-and-drag the merged text layer below the photo layer. Option-Click (Alt-Click) with the cursor in between the two layers. Add a white layer as you see below, or keep the background transparent.

12.  You can also add text with a clipping mask to part of a design, as in the example below.

Create the clipping mask the same way you did for the first two examples, but also duplicate the photo layer by pressing Cmd-J (PC: Ctrl-J) after selecting it in the Layers palette. Then, drag that new copy of the photo layer to the background, and select the area for the text to show by clicking-and-dragging around that area with the Marquee Selection tool. Finally, press Delete (PC: Backspace) to delete those pixels. You may want to drag a guide from the top ruler to see where the selection should be while temporarily turning the visibility of the copied photo layer off to see where the text begins.

13.  Just another example to spark your own creativity.

What about you?  What you will like to revisit in Photoshop?
8 replies
    • Daphne Lenti
      Daphne Lenti says:

      Focus, focus, focus and back to work!
      I want to go back to Photoshop basics and combine it with new media forms to create new designs. Glad you like it.

  1. Troy Christopher
    Troy Christopher says:

    Thanks for the great tips! I just started my photoshop class because I’m a graphic design major at Santa Fe University and I’m always looking for cool tutorials to improve my skills!

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