We combine typography and photos in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will tell you how to combine typography and photo to create an interesting 3D effect. You have probably met posters or advertisements with a similar effect, and recreating it is not as difficult as it may seem.

Ready? Class, then let’s get started!

Note: Some images are missing from the source of the lesson. In the archive you will find an alternative version of the materials for the lesson.

1. What you need

To create this photo effect, you will need to carefully select the photo and font. This effect is achieved by separating the parts of the image from the background, and it will be easier to do with such a photo, in which there are several successive layers of perspective. The urban landscape photo is perfect, as some buildings will be closer to the photographer, while others will be gradually removed.

Download the photos, and then download and install the font Bebas Neue. You will also need Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign (if desired, you can complete the effect in Adobe Photoshop).

2. Outline design

The first step in creating a 3D effect is to outline a design with the same scales and text settings that you will use directly in the work itself. This way, you will be able to clearly identify which parts of the photo you will need to cut to put in front of the letters.

Step 1

Open Melbourne’s photo in Adobe Photoshop.

Step 2

In the layers panel, duplicate the background layer and rename the duplicate to Original cityscape (Original Cityscape).

Step 3

Click Image> Image Rotation (Image> Image Rotation) and select 90 ° CW (90 ° c. S.)

Step 4

Choose a tool Type (Text) (T), and then click and drag on the canvas to create a text area. Type ‘MEL’. Open the panel Character (Symbol) (Window> Character (Window> Symbol)) and change the font to Bebas Neue, Bold style, size 535 pt, tracking 40. Change the color to white.

Try to place the resulting text in the same way as I am in the image below.

Step 5

Copy and paste the text area, placing it as shown below, and change the text to ‘BOU’.

Step 6

Reinsert the text layer and change the text to ‘RNE’. Arrange the text as shown in the image below.

Step 7

Create a new folder in the layers panel, name it Typography (Typography) and drag all text layers to a folder.

And then secure the folder (translator’s note: to do this, click to the right of the folder in the layers panel).

Step 8

Click File> Print (File> Print) to print a copy of the image. It is not necessary to print the entire image, only the part on which the text is present.

Step 9

Then take out a pencil and shade those parts of the text where it covers buildings. The bottom line is that buildings can peek to the left of the letters, partially interrupting them and creating a “layered” 3D effect.

Look for parts of the image that allow you to wrap the letters around large buildings, as I did with the letters O and U.

This will be a kind of “map” of the image to which you can resort if necessary. Perhaps, having started work in Photoshop, you decide to retreat a little from it, but it will still be very convenient to have it on hand. Put this image near the computer as a hint.

3. Create a Photoshop cut effect

Step 1

Return to the document in Photoshop. Zoom in on the image so that you can clearly see the details in the part where the ‘MEL’ text is located.

Take a look at the letter ‘M’, and what you are going to cut. You need to clearly understand what part of the photo you want to bring to the fore. Next, turn off folder visibility Typography (Typography) on the layers panel.

Step 2

Take the tool Polygonal lasso (Polygonal lasso) (L) and select the area with the buildings that you want to place in front of the letter ‘M’, trying to select buildings as close to the edges as possible. When the area is highlighted, click on the button. Refine edge (Refine edge) on the control panel.

Step 3

Tick ​​the box Smart radius (Smart radius) and move the slider a little so that the outline of the selection comes as close as possible to the edge of the buildings. The edge of the fragment should be as close to the silhouette of the building as possible. If necessary, move the slider Shift edge (Shift edge) add a little Smooth (Smoothing) (about 1) and Feather (Feathering) (about 0.2).

Note: on the parameter setting screenshot Refine edge (Specify edge)

  • Radius(Radius) 0.2 pixel
  • Smooth (Smoothing) 1
  • Feather(Feather) 0.2 pixels
  • Contrast (Contrast) 0
  • Shift Edge (Shift edge) +27
  • Output to (Output in): Selection (Highlighting)

You can also use the tools. Erase refinements (Erase update) and Refine edge (Refine Edge) to make the selection as perfect as possible.

Step 4

When you are happy with the result, click OK. Click Control-C (Windows) or Command-C (Mac) to copy the selection, and then Control-V (Windows) or Command-V (Mac) to paste it into a new layer.

Placing this layer above the group Typography (Typography) and turning on its visibility, you can see how the building has moved forward and now partially closes the ‘M’ letter.

Step 5

Now, repeat the process with the next building scheduled for your printout. Turn off group visibility Typography (Typography) and click on the layer Original cityscape (Original Cityscape) to continue working on it.

With the tool Lasso (Lasso) (L) select a part of the next building, and then click again Refine edge (Specify edge). Depending on the level of contrast, in different parts of the photo, you may need to apply slightly different settings Radius (Radius), Smooth (Smoothing), Feather (Feathering) and Shift edge (Shift edge) in order to highlight the silhouette of the building in the best way.

Note: on the parameter setting screenshot Refine edge (Specify edge)

  • Radius(Radius) 4.1 pixels
  • Smooth (Smoothing) 1
  • Feather(Feathering) 0
  • Contrast (Contrast) 0
  • Shift Edge (Shift edge) -15
  • Output to (Output in): Selection (Highlighting)

Step 6

Copy and paste the selection to a new layer, and then lift this layer above the group Typography (Typography). You may notice that the area I selected is slightly too big …

… so I just take the tool Lasso (Lasso) (L), select the area that I want to get rid of, and click Delete.

Step 7

To make the edges of the cut sections clearer and tidier, first click on the layer you are going to work with on the layers panel, and then using the tool Lasso (Lasso) (L) select the areas outside the buildings and press Delete.

Step 8

If you notice some carved buildings that were not so easy to isolate, but something is wrong with them, you can try using the function Color range (Color range) (Select> Color Range (Select> Color Range)) to click on certain tones, like, for example, this pinkish tint at the edges of the building, and select them.

Refine the selection in the opened window Color range (Color Range), click OK, and then click Delete to delete the selected area. You can also click on the button. Refine edge (Clarify the edge), as before, to clarify even better the edge.

Note: on the parameter setting screenshot Refine edge (Specify edge)

  • Radius(Radius) 1.5 pixels
  • Smooth (Smoothing) 0
  • Feather(Feathering) 0
  • Contrast (Contrast) 0
  • Shift Edge (Shift edge) +38
  • Output to (Output in): Selection (Highlighting)

Step 9

To make the effect seem truly three-dimensional, we will need to add a light shadow to each cut out fragment. To do this, click on the layer with the inserted building, and then double click on the layer to open the window Layer style (Layer style).

Note: on the screenshot of the Layer Style settings

Drop shadow (Shadow)

  • Blend Mode (Overlay mode): Multiply (Multiplication)
  • Opacity (Opacity) 47% \
  • Angle (Angle) 129
  • Distance (Offset) 5 px.
  • Spread (Swipe) 2%
  • Size (The size) 9 pixels
  • Noise (Noise) 0%

In the menu on the left, select the line Drop shadow (Shadow). Lower the opacity to about 45% and adjust the angle of the shadow so that it falls on a white letter.

Change parameters Distance (Bias), Spread (Swipe) and Size (Size) so that the shadow is very light, and then click OK.

Note: on the screenshot of the Layer Style settings

Drop shadow (Shadow)

  • Blend Mode (Overlay mode): Multiply (Multiplication)
  • Opacity (Opacity) 22% \
  • Angle (Angle) -131
  • Distance (Offset) 11 pixels.
  • Spread (Swipe) 6%
  • Size (The size) 16px
  • Noise (Noise) 0%

Repeat and on another layer with an insert, adding a light Drop shadow (Shadow).

Uncheck the item Use Global Light (Global Illumination) – this will allow you to be more flexible in terms of choosing the direction in which the shadow will fall.

Note: on the screenshot of the Layer Style settings

Drop shadow (Shadow)

  • Blend Mode (Overlay mode): Multiply (Multiplication)
  • Opacity (Opacity) 47% \
  • Angle (Angle) 120
  • Distance (Offset) 6 px.
  • Spread (Swipe) 2%
  • Size (The size) 9 pixels
  • Noise (Noise) 0%

You can see how the effect begins to gradually form.

Step 10

Continue to work, highlighting fragments of the image with the tool Lasso (Lasso) (L) and functions Refine edge (Specify edge).

Note: on the parameter setting screenshot Refine edge (Specify edge)

  • Radius(Radius) 2 pixels
  • Smooth (Smoothing) 2
  • Feather(Feathering) 0
  • Contrast (Contrast) 0
  • Shift Edge (Shift edge) -11
  • Output to (Output in): Selection (Highlighting)

Step 11

Insert selected areas into new layers, and then remove the extra parts of the inserted fragments.

Step 12

For each piece, add a layer style. Drop shadow (Shadow).

Note: on the screenshot of the Layer Style settings

Drop shadow (Shadow)

  • Blend Mode (Overlay mode): Multiply (Multiplication)
  • Opacity (Opacity) 44% \
  • Angle (Angle) 104
  • Distance (Offset) 6 px.
  • Spread (Swipe) 4%
  • Size (The size) 10px
  • Noise (Noise) 0%

Step 13

In the same way, pull out the most detailed parts of buildings, such as the spiers and towers.

Note: on the parameter setting screenshot Refine edge (Specify edge)

  • Radius(Radius) 3.6 pixels
  • Smooth (Smoothing) 4
  • Feather(Feathering) 0
  • Contrast (Contrast) 0
  • Shift Edge (Shift edge) -2
  • Output to (Output in): Selection (Highlighting)

Note: on the screenshot of the Layer Style settings

Drop shadow (Shadow)

  • Blend Mode (Overlay mode): Multiply (Multiplication)
  • Opacity (Opacity) 30%
  • Angle (Angle) 177
  • Distance (Offset) 9 px.
  • Spread (Swipe) 0%
  • Size (The size) 10px
  • Noise (Noise) 0%

Do not forget to use the printout, as a hint to which sections should be cut, in order to wrap the letters O and U around buildings.

Step 14

We continue to work on the image and proceed to the letters ‘RNE’.

We apply the same method – select, copy, paste, delete the excess, add a shadow.

Note: on the screenshot of the Layer Style settings

Drop shadow (Shadow)

  • Blend Mode (Overlay mode): Multiply (Multiplication)
  • Opacity (Opacity) 35% \
  • Angle (Angle) -145
  • Distance (Offset) 6 px.
  • Spread (Swipe) 6%
  • Size (The size) 21px
  • Noise (Noise) 0%

When you are finished working on the image and are satisfied with the result, click File> Save As (File> Save As). Save the image in PSD format.

4. Enhance poster design in InDesign

Once you create your 3D image, you can use it in a variety of projects. In this case, we will try to move the image to InDesign and create a tourist poster.

Step 1

Minimize Photoshop and open InDesign.

Click File> New> Document (File> New> Document). Leave the Intent parameter (Method) set to Print (Print) and Number of Pages (Number of pages) by 1. Uncheck the box Facing pages (Reversal).

Choose A3 format, add 15mm margins from all sides. Also add Bleed (Release for bleed) in 5 mm. Click OK.

Step 2

Expand the layers panel (Window> Layers (Window> Layers)) and double click on the layer Layer 1 (Layer 1) to rename it to Graphics (Graphics). Create a second new layer and name it. Border (The border).

Step 3

Lock the layer Border (Border) and click on the layer Graphics (Graphics).

Choose a tool Rectangle Frame (Rectangular frame) (F) and drag on the page to create an image frame that extends all the way to the bleed lines.

File> Place (File> Place), select your saved PSD file and click Open (Open). Let the image fill the frame, the text will be approximately in the center.

Step 4

Take the tool Type (Text) (T) and drag on the page to create a small text frame above the letters ‘EL’, closer to the upper left corner of the page.

Enter ‘Visit’(VISIT), and either from the symbol panel (Window> Type Tables> Character (Window> Text and Tables> Symbol), or from the control panel located at the top, change the font to Bebas Neue in Regular style, size 45 pt, tracking 100, text color – [Paper] ([Paper])

Step 5

Open the panel Swatches (Samples) (Window> Color> Swatches (Window> Color> Samples)) and click on the button for creating a new sample in its lower part. Change the colors of the images as follows: C = 20 M = 54 Y = 80 K = 9, and then click OK.

Step 6

Copy and paste the frame with the text ‘VISIT’, placing it under the letters ‘RN’. Change text to ‘THIS SUMMER’(THIS SUMMER), slightly reduce the font size and change the text color to your new pattern.

Step 7

Use the tool Line (Line) (\) to add straight horizontal lines to the right of the word ‘VISIT’ and to the left of ‘THIS SUMMER’, putting them off the edge of the page. Change the stroke color of the top line to [Paper] ([Paper]), and the bottom – on your new orange color.

Step 8

Go back to the layers panel and lock the layer. Graphics (Graphics). Unlock layer Border (The border).

Step 9

Take the tool Rectangle (Rectangle) (M) and create a shape on the page that would be cozy relative to the line of the fields. Change the stroke color to [Paper] ([Paper]).

Then click Object> Corner Options (Object> Corner Options) and add a 2 mm rounded corner to each of the corners of the rectangle.

Step 10

Then click Object> Effects> Transparency (Object> Effects> Transparency) and reduce Opacity (Opacity) shapes up to 55%.

Step 11

With the tool Scissors (Scissors) (C) Cut the rectangle and remove its sections so that only the upper left and lower right remain.

That’s all! The poster is finished and it looks awesome! Great job!

All that remains is to prepare the file for printing.

Step 12

Click File> Export (File> Export). Select Adobe PDF (Print) (Adobe PDF Print version) from the Format drop-down menu.

From the menu Adobe PDF Preset (Adobe PDF Style) At the top of the window, select [Press quality] ([Printing quality]).

In the menu on the left, click on the option Marks and Bleeds (Tags and release for bleed), and then select All Printer’s Marks (All typographical tags) and Use Document’s Bleed Settings (Use the settings of the document).

Click OK to create a fully printable document! You can send it straight to the printers!

Conclusion: your finished 3D poster

Great job – you created a dramatic 3D effect, aligning the text with a photograph of the cityscape, and it turned out just amazing.

This is a very effective technique to make advertising, posters and other media more dramatic and interesting. Let’s briefly recall the basic steps of combining text with a photo:

  • Carefully select a photo to combine with the text. “Layered” photos with lots of details, such as cityscapes, are best suited. The font should be powerful enough to stand out in the photo, and simple – the thinnest pieces are most easily wrapped around buildings.
  • Outline the design before starting editing. Add text on photos in photoshop and print the image. Using a pen or pencil to determine the places that need to be cut.
  • Gradually cut out the parts of the photo, copying each selected area to a new layer.
  • Enhance your design by eliminating jagged edges and adding a slight shadow to enhance 3D. effect.
  • Save the image and import it into InDesign, to finalize the design (or modify it in Photoshop).

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