Wild text in Photoshop

In this lesson we will create a fun and realistic text effect in the form of animals.


(click on image to enlarge)

Necessary materials:

Step 1 – Creating a Document
Create a new 17×11 inch document in Photoshop with a resolution of 300 pixels / inch.

Step 2 – Background
First we have to create a simple background. I want the final version of the background to be light, but if you create it right away, it will be inconvenient to work with letters. So now we just fill the background layer with a gradient.
Unlock the background layer by double clicking on it and open the menu Layer style (Layer style) by double clicking on the layer again. Choose Gradient overlay (Overlap with gradient) and find in the list a gradient from black to white, an angle of 39 ° and an opacity of 70%.

Create a new layer above the background and use Paint bucket tool (Fill) (G) to fill it with black. Then go Filter – Noise – Add Noise (Filter – Noise – Add noise), use the amount (amount) 20%, activate the options Uniform (Uniform) and Monochromatic (Monochrome).

Move on Image – Adjustments – Invert (Image – Correction – Invert) (CTRL + I) and set the layer blending mode to Multiply.
Your background should look like this:

Step 3 – Creating Text
Activate Text tool (Text) (T) and write the first letter. We will edit each letter separately, transforming them with Repousse tool (Chasing). The font I use is called Hobo Std, the letter size is 380 pt (choose the size according to the size of your document).

Step 4. Arrange the text correctly, go 3D – Repousse – Text layer (3D – Embossing – Text Layer). Make sure you select Extrude, then rotate the 3D letter using the Rotate Text Mesh tool. The remaining parameters are left by default. 3D letters will be the basis for our illustration, so take care to place them correctly.

We make these manipulations with each letter. Each time, a little different perspective. Now you can not worry about the light source, we will fix this when we apply the texture.

Experiment with the location of each letter. As you can see below, I put the letter “L” before the letter “I” and “D” to give depth.

Each word is saved in a separate group to make it easier to work.

Step 5. We perform the same actions with another word. Don’t forget to experiment with the arrangement of the letters. Create a new group for each created word.

Now our image looks like this:

Step 6. Duplicate the folder with 3D letters and rasterize each copy of letters. To do this, click on each layer with the right mouse button and select Rasterize 3d (Rastrirovat 3D). If you want, you can leave the original 3D letters so that you can return to them if necessary.

Step 7. We will often use a clipping mask and adjustment layers, so I highly recommend creating a separate group for each letter.

Step 8 – Letter Preparation
To create the desired effect, we must isolate each side of the letter so that we can deform the texture according to the perspective of the letter. This process is a bit boring, but in the end we will get amazing realistic letters with the texture of animals.

Let’s start with the letter “W”. There are many ways in which you can isolate the sides of each letter. Right now we will use two methods, using Magic wand tool (Magic Wand) (W) and Pen tool (Feather) (P).

Activate Magic wand tool (Magic wand) (W) and click on the don from the letter sides. After selecting, create a new layer and fill the selection with white color (ALT + BACKSPACE). Rename the new layer to the name of the selected side. Side view, front view, etc.

Remove the selection (CTRL + D) and go back to the layer with the letter “W”, then select the new side with Magic wand tool (Magic Wand) (W), create a new layer and fill the selection with white. Repeat the process for each side.

You may need to adjust the parameter Tolerance (Tolerance) magic wand depending on the area allocated. If the tool creates the selection incorrectly, increase Tolerance until the tool selects the entire shape.
It is best to fill the selection with white color, as in the case of the appearance of non-filled areas, we will easily find them.
Isolating all sides of the letter, hide the 3D letter layer.

Step 9 – Texture Overlay
Load the texture of the leopard’s fur and drag it onto the working document. We need to duplicate it several times to fill out each form that the letter consists of. Each layer with a texture, we will convert to a clipping mask. Place the texture layer above the layer with the necessary part of the letter. Holding ALT, we click between the two layers to create a clipping mask.

Now, using transformation (CTRL + T), we deform the texture so that it repeats the perspective and location of the letter.

The best tool for warping is Warp (Deformation). Duplicate (CTRL + J) the texture with a clipping mask for each part of the text and transform them accordingly.

Texture deformation may take some time, but it’s actually easier than you think.
After you finish, your letter should look like this:

Step 10 – Shadows
Now we will apply shadows for each side of the letter to add depth and realism. Create a new layer above the texture layer, change its blending mode to Multiply and transform it into a clipping mask.

Take Brush tool (Brush) (B) with hardness (hardness) of 0% and approximately 150 px width, reduce the opacity of the brush to 30%, choose black. We define the light source in the image (in my case it is located on the top in the center of the canvas) and apply shadows with a brush, without forgetting about the light.

We work with a brush on each part of the letter.

Your result should look something like this:

Step 11 – Light
Having finished with the shadows, we must lighten the places where the light falls. To do this, create a new layer above the layer with shadows and transform it into a clipping mask.
In my case, I just added a light on the front of the letter. Set the blending mode to Overlay and, using the same brush as for the shadows, begin to paint in white.

Step 12 – Wool
Wool is very important, with its help we will give the image realism and add depth. Create a new layer above all layers in the group. This time it is not necessary to transform the layer into a clipping mask.

Take a tough round brush (B) approximately 3 px in size and with opacity of 100%. We need to create as many details as possible. In the brush options window (F5), make sure that Shape dynamics (Dynamics of the form) is active and set Size jitter (Size fluctuation) on Pen pressure (Pen pressure).

As you can see on the preview of the brush, thanks to the setting Pen pressure (Pen pressure) The brush fades out smoothly at the beginning and end. I use a graphic tablet to draw wool, so pressure dynamics will be better. If you do not have a tablet, you can always use the tool. Pen tool (Pen) to draw a thin outline, then create a stroke from it and duplicate it to fill the entire letter.

Hold ALT and click on the texture to sample the color with a pipette (starting with dark tones). We begin to draw short strokes around the border of the letter, repeating the direction of the wool on the texture.

As we draw, we change the color of the brush (from dark to light), without forgetting about the color of the texture, so that the result looks realistic.

Devote this enough time. By adding more details and color transitions, you get a more realistic result.
Finishing the edges of the letter, reduce the brush to 1 px. We take a sample of medium color and draw randomly on the hair with chaotic motions.

We continue to work with wool until we completely cover all the edges of the letter.

Step 13. Now we will add contrast to the image. If you are satisfied with the result of the previous step, you can duplicate the group with the letter “W” and merge the copy into one layer (CTRL + E), then apply Image – Adjustments – Brightness / Contrast (Image – Correction – Brightness / Contrast):

Step 14 – Tail
Small details in the form of a tail and eyes in this illustration will make the work more fun and give a very organic look.
On the original texture layer using Pen tool (Feather) (P) or Polygonal Lasso Tool (Rectangular lasso) (L) select the wavy area and copy it to a new layer of our working paper.

Now we have to add volume and shadow to the tail. Move on Layer – Layer Style – Bevel and Emboss (Layer – Layer Style – Chamfer and Emboss) and apply the following parameters:

These settings will add some shadows and light to the tail and add volume. You can also create a clipping layer and paint a shadow and light on it with a brush, as we did in the previous steps.

On the tail also need to draw wool. We use the same technique as for the letter.

You can also arrange layers with a tail in a separate group. It should be under the group with the letter so that the tail is at the back.

Step 15 – The Letter “I”
As we did before with the letter “W”, we need to isolate all sides of the letter “I”.

Drag the image with the zebra on the working paper. Using Pen tool (Feather) (P) or Polygonal Lasso Tool (Rectangular Lasso) (L), draw a large selection on the zebra skin and copy it to a new layer. This texture we will use for the letter “I”.

Using the clipping mask again, we transform the texture into a letter shape. Be careful not to overdo the transformation.

Having finished with the transformation, we can proceed to the light-and-shadow manipulations. Create a new layer above the texture, transform it into a clipping mask and apply shadows and light.

We also need to draw wool around the edges of the letter. This time the coat should be slightly shorter than on the “leopard” letter. Use a rigid round brush (B) about 2 px wide and use a pipette to take a sample of color.

Since the texture looks a bit flat, we will also draw wool inside the letter. To do this, use a brush of 1 px and 2 px.

Step 16. For detail letters go back to the original image with a zebra and select the mane. Use the feather parameter (shading) of the selection tool 3 px. Copy the selection to the main document.

We arrange the layer after the letter and draw more wool on the mane, as in the previous step. It should look like this:

Step 17 – Zebra Tail
On the image with a zebra, select the wavy area (try to make it different from the textures of the zebra that we have already used) and copy to a new layer. Place this layer above the letter layers.

Create a new layer and transform it into a clipping mask. Draw shadows and light using a soft round brush (B).

Apply Layer – Layer Style – Bevel and Emboss (Layer – Layer Style – Chamfer and emboss) to add volume to the tail (you can experiment with the parameters to achieve the best result).

On the new layer we draw wool. We also erase the edge of the tail near the mane.

Step 18. Create a new layer between groups “I” and “W”. On it we will draw a shadow falling on the letter “W” from “I”. Take a soft round brush about 200 px wide with an opacity of about 30% and draw over the letter.
This is where the shadow should be:

Step 19 – The Letter “L”
We start by isolating each side of the letter. Then we drag an image with a snake onto the working document, select the necessary skin area, as before, and copy it to a new layer.

Transform the texture into a clipping mask and transform it, trying to shape the letter. Experimenting with different positions, choosing the best. As you can see in the example below, I tried to make the texture continue on the other sides of the letter.

Such a texture will look very flat and unrealistic if you do not transform it correctly, in accordance with the perspective of the letter.

Add shadow and light, as we did before:

Step 20 – Snake Eye
Load the image with the snake’s eye and drag it onto the working document. Using Pen tool (Feather) (P), cut out the eye. We reflect it horizontally, transform it with the perspective of the letter and place it in the upper area of ​​the front of the letter.

Now we will use Dodge (Clarifier) ​​and Burn tool(Dimmer) (O) to add shadows and shadows. Take Burn tool (Fade) (O) and select a soft round brush about 30 px wide, set the instrument mode to Midtones and Exposure to 25%. Draw around dark areas to create eye shadows.

Then take Dodge tool (Lightening) (O) and doing the same to create light.

Step 21 – Detailing
Now we have a little more detail on the letter.
We take a rigid round brush (B) approximately 10 px wide and with an opacity of 100%. Select the layer with the part of the letter to which we applied the texture of the snake. Draw small bumps around the edges. You will see that the texture also affects them. If in some places the texture does not cover the tubercles, it can be transformed to close empty areas.

Step 22 – Shadows
Since this letter is located in front of the other two, we must create shadows from it. Create a new layer under the group with the letter “L” and use a soft round brush (B) black with low opacity to draw the shadows on the letters as we did in step 18.

This is how the layers panel should look like.

Step 23 – The Letter “D”
We start by creating parts of the letter on separate layers. We used to Magic wand tool (Magic wand) (W) to select the desired side, but now it may not work as we need. Therefore, at this stage we will use the tool Pen tool (Pen) (P) to draw the outline around the desired area and fill it with color.

It is better to work on letters with a large number of shadows and curves. Pen tool (Feather) (P).

Step 24 – Texturing
Upload an image with an elephant and apply to it Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast):

Now apply a clipping mask to each side of the letter, just as we did in the previous steps.

Be careful and take enough time to work with the texture, especially in rounded places.

When creating shadows on a texture, follow the original 3D letter so that everything is correct and accurate.

Step 25 – The Elephant’s Trunk
Drag the image with the head of an elephant on the working paper, reflect horizontally and using Pen tool (Feather) (P) cut the trunk.

The color of the image is too saturated and the trunk will not harmonize with the letter. Therefore, go to Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) (CTRL + U) and bleach it.

Now we need to get rid of the grass on the trunk. For this we use Clone stamp tool (Stamp) (S). Activate it and select a soft round brush; we hold down the ALT key, click on the trunk that we want to clone, then lightly navigate the grass. Each time clone in different places.

Using Dodge (Clarifier) ​​and Burn tool (Dimmer) (O), highlight the shadows and light in the image. Place the layer with the trunk over the layer with the letter texture.

Add a mask to the layer with the trunk by clicking the button Add layer mask (Add layer mask) at the bottom of the layers palette. Using a soft brush (B), we hide the edges of the trunk so that it smoothly passes to the letter.

Using Clone stamp tool (Stamp) (S) with a soft brush, clone the trunk on the letter.

Step 26 – Detailing
Using the same technique as in step 21, we create irregular edges with a hard brush. We do this on every part of the letter.

Step 27 – Hat
We load the image with the hat and drag it to the working document. Cut it and apply such parameters. Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast):

Place the hat over the elephant texture layer. Create a new layer above the hat layer and transform it into a clipping mask, then draw shadows and light, not forgetting the light source (you can also use Dodge (Clarifier) ​​and Burn tool (Dimmer) (O)).

When finished with the first word, your text should look something like this:

Now we are ready to create the next set of letters using the techniques described above. From now on, I will only dwell on the specific details of the new letters and skip the steps with isolating parts of the letters, shading and texturing.

Step 28 – The Letter “L”
For this letter we will use the image of a cat.

Overlay the texture and draw the wool as for the letter “W”.

Strokes should be long. Start drawing from the center. Do not forget about the color transitions.
Do not forget to add small details on the letters, in this case the tail (just like in step 14).

Step 29 – The Letter “I”
With this letter we do the same as with the first “I”, but this time the wool should not be redrawn, since the texture of the horse looks very good.

For the tail, I cut a part of the mane and placed it above the letter.

Then drew a little wool with long strokes.

Step 30 – The Letter “F”
The next letter is one of the most difficult, as it has many sides. Do not forget to use the original 3D letter in order to properly apply shadow and light. We load the image with a tiger and do everything the same as with the letter “W” and the second letter “I”.

Create a new layer between groups of letters to draw a shadow.

Step 31 – The Letter “E”
We load the image with the frog and perform the same actions as for the “snake” letter.

This is probably the most difficult letter for texturing, as it has many rounded sides. Therefore, pay more attention to it.

We draw jagged edges, as in step 21.

Step 32 – Language
Take Pen tool (Pen) (P) and draw a contour on a new layer, as in the example below. Fill it with a light red color.

Create a new layer and transform it into a clipping mask. Soft round brush draw shadow and light. From below, we also draw a shadow so that the language is in harmony with the letter.

Using Polygonal Lasso Tool (Rectangular lasso) (L), create a wavy selection in the language. Soft round brush (B) with low opacity (approximately 20%) of white color, carefully draw inside the selection. Just lightly draw around the edges to create a saliva effect.

Step 33 – Shadows
Create a new layer between layers “F” and “E” and draw a shadow falling on the letters.

The following word with all the textures and shadows should look something like this:

Step 34 Now we can hide the gradient layer created in step 2, leaving an almost white background with noise.

Step 35 – Shadow the text
Create a new layer above the layer with background noise and soft round brush (B) black and about 20% opacity draw a shadow under the text, focusing on the light source.

Step 36 – Final Correction
To finish the job, we’ll add a correction layer. Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast) to enhance the brightness, shadows and color saturation. Go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Brightness / Contrast (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Brightness / Contrast) and apply these parameters (this layer should be at the very top of the layers palette):

Now the text should look like this:


(click on image to enlarge)

Author: Edmar cisneros

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