Create text from autumn leaves in Photoshop

Autumn is a beautiful season with fresh air and bright colors. In this tutorial, I will show you how using a pair of leaf images, textures, adjustment layers, and light effect to create a bright text from autumn leaves!

OK. Let’s get started!

Note: After downloading a set of gradients, use CSP True SkyGradients.grd.

The final result:

1. Create Background

Step 1

Create a new document 1600 x 1031 px. Open Asphalt texture. Move the asphalt texture onto our working paper, placing it on top of the layer with the background. Name the asphalt texture layer “Background texture”. Apply scaling to the specified texture as needed.

Step 2

Double-click the “Background Texture” layer to apply the layer style. Color overlay (Color Overlay). Apply the following settings for this layer style:

  • Colour (Color): # 5f4f31
  • Blend mode (Blend Mode): Multiplication (Multiply)
  • Opacity (Opacity): 50%

In this way, we darkened the texture and enhanced the colors.

Step 3

Open the Dirt texture. Move this texture to our working paper. Place the dirt texture on top of the “Background texture” layer, apply scaling if necessary, and also name this layer “Background texture overlap”. Change the blending mode for the dirt texture layer to Multiplication (Multiply) and also reduce the degree Opacity (Opacity) up to 30%.

2. Create Text

Step 1

Type in capital letters. Font Archivo Narrow Bold. We use this text only as a sample, so set the rest of the settings depending on your text.

The size (Size) font 550 pt, value Tracking (Tracking) 50.

3. Add Leaves

Step 1

First, select the leaves that you will use to create the effect, and then add the selected leaves to the working document.

Leaves should be added through the command File – Post (File> Place) instead of leaf duplication. Apply scaling to each leaf you add at your discretion.

Step 2

Double click on the leaf layer to apply the layer style. Shadow (Drop Shadow). Apply the following settings for this layer style:

  • Colour (Color): # 3d2d0b
  • Blend mode (Blend Mode): Multiplication (Multiply)
  • Opacity (Opacity): 35%
  • Bias (Distance): 6
  • The size (Size): 3

Step 3

So, we have added a simple shadow to the leaf. Now, right-click on the leaf layer and in the appeared window select the option Copy layer style (Copy Layer Style).

Step 4

Add more leaves. Select the layers with leaves, then click on the selected layers with leaves and in the appeared window select the option Paste style layer (Paste Layer Style) to apply layer style Shadow (Drop Shadow) to all layers with leaves.

4. Duplicate Leaves

Step 1

Choose a tool Move (Move Tool), put a tick in the box Auto selection (Auto Select) in the settings of this tool.

Next, what you need to do is hold the (Alt) key, click on the image of the leaf that you want to duplicate, hold down the mouse button, shift the image, and then release the button.

After duplicating each leaf, press the keys (Ctrl + T) to activate the tool Free transformation (Free Transform Tool) to scale, rotate, and duplicate leaves in the right places.

You can also flip the leaves horizontally or vertically, let’s go Editing – Transformation – Flip (Edit> Transform> Flip) to create diversity.

Repeat all actions until you close the entire text with different leaves, you can also scatter individual leaves around the text.

Step 2

This process of creating an effect is a little time consuming, but as you add leaves, it will be much easier for you.

Once you are satisfied with the result, group all the layers with leaves into one “Leaves” group, and then turn off the visibility of the text layer by clicking on the eye next to the layer thumbnail.

Step 3

You can also change the direction of the leaves to get a more dynamic result.

5. Add Texture to the Leaves

Step 1

Duplicate the “Overlay Background Texture” layer, place a duplicate layer on top of the “Leaves” group, and then change the blending mode for this duplicate layer to Linear dimmer (Linear Burn), and also reduce the value Opacity (Opacity) up to 5%. So we add a delicate texture to the leaves.

Step 2

Click icon Create a new adjustment or fill layer (Create new fill or adjustment layer) at the bottom of the layers panel and in the appeared menu select the option Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation).

Step 3

Change the value Saturation (Saturation) at -10.

6. Add a Vignette Texture and Gradient Map.

Step 1

Open the grunge texture. Move this texture to our working paper, placing it on top of all other layers. Name this layer with the grunge texture “Vignette Texture”, apply scaling if necessary. Change the blending mode for the layer with the grunge texture to Multiplication (Multiply).

Step 2

Add another adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) on top of all layers. Click icon Attach to layer (Clip to layer) and then decrease the value. Color tone (Hue) to -37.

Step 3

Add adjustment layer Gradient map (Gradient Map), apply the gradient, which is shown in the screenshot below, put a tick in the box Dithering (Dither) and then change the blending mode to Soft light (Soft Light), and also reduce the value Opacity (Opacity) up to 50%.

7. Create Smart Object

Step 1

Let’s go Selection – All (Select> all) and then go Editing – Copy merged data (Edit> Copy Merged), and further Editing – Paste (Edit> Paste).

Step 2

Place the merged layer on top of all other layers, name this layer “Light Effects”, and then go Filter – Convert to Smart Filters (Filter> Convert for Smart Filters).

8. Apply Light Effects Filter.

Step 1

Next, go Filter – Rendering – Lighting Effects (Filter> Render> Lighting Effects), select the type of lighting Spotlight (Spot Light).

Install the ellipse as shown in the screenshot below. You need the light to come from the top left corner and go to the bottom right corner.

Step 2

Apply the following settings in the panel Properties (Properties):

  • Colour (Color): RGB (255, 251, 235)
  • Intensity (Intensity): 23
  • Centre illumination (Hotspot): 60
  • Toning (Colorize): RGB (255, 249, 231)
  • Exposition (Exposure): 0
  • Gloss (Gloss): -17
  • Metal (Metallic): -50
  • Wednesday (Ambience): 19
  • Texture (Texture): Red (Red)
  • Height (Height) (for each channel): one

Thus, we have added a beautiful lighting effect, which slightly details our created effect.

9. Add Water Texture

Step 1

Open the texture of water. Move this texture to our working paper, placing it on top of all other layers. Name the water texture layer “Water Texture”. Change the blending mode for this water texture layer to Soft light (Soft Light), and also reduce the value Opacity (Opacity) up to 50%.

Step 2

Next, add an adjustment layer. Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) on top of all layers. Click icon Attach to layer (Clip to layer) and then decrease the value. Saturation (Saturation) to -31.

Thus, we added the feeling of rainy weather / humid atmosphere to the final result. You can play with different textures and settings to get other results.

Congratulations! We have completed the lesson!

In this tutorial, we used a couple of textures, including effects, to create an asphalt background.

Next, we created the text as a template and proceeded to add, duplicate, scale, rotate the leaves throughout the text.

Then we added a couple more textures and adjustment layers, and also applied the Lighting Effects filter to enhance the final result.

Finally, we added a water texture to give the image a more realistic and autumn look.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

The final result:

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