Image-based Typography in Photoshop

Wonder how an image is turned into texts? Using texts with varying fonts, sizes, colors and opacity into an image or to your photo is something you’ll enjoy with such amazing results! With simple steps, you can turn your photo into a colorful stuff, done in Photoshop.

Preview

Preview

Step 1. Open photo in Photoshop

Image below is a picture of Scarlett Johansson and can be can be found here. You may use your own photo if you prefer to.

Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson

Step 2. Creating the shadows

What we are trying to do here is to make a dark contrast out of the photo so that the texts that we’ll be typing on will be effective as we apply layer mask into it. That will follow in the next couple of steps.

To do this, go to Select>Color Range… then select Shadows. As a result, a selection of the dark parts is loaded and you can see kind of running ants on the photo. Now, press Ctrl+J to create a layer (Layer 1) for this.

Shadows

Shadows

Shadows Layer

Shadows Layer

Step 3. Midtones

There are areas where it’s not totally black nor white, they are gray actually, and we will include it along with the shadows that we earlier made. This is so because as as we type the texts later, the effect will be lighter in opacity compared to that of the shadows (which is black), and that will give an added highlight to the image outcome.

So, go back to your background layer, then like as we did to the previous step, but this time select Midtones. When done, press Ctrl+J to create its own layer (Layer 2).

s3a-horz

Step 4. Shadow Fill

Activate Layer 1, then go to Edit>Fill… and select Black. Ba sure to check Transparency. You’ll notice that the shadows is enhanced and now more pronounced.

Fill Dialog Box

Fill Dialog Box

Fill Result

Fill Result

Step 5. Midtones Fill

Ok, like we did to Shadows, we’ll fill the midtones layer also but, this time, fill it with 50% gray. To do this, be sure to activate Layer 2 (midtones layer) first.

Gray Fill

Gray Fill

Gray Fill Result

Gray Fill Result

Step 6. Creating Text Brushes

We now need to create text brushes as we will be using in the next step. So, meantime, we’ll leave our work temporarily and create a new document. The size of the document is not that important really because we can adjust anytime the brush size as we go along. But to minimize, small size is better.

New Document

New Document

So, after a blank document is done, type the text that you want, preferably short. After this, go to Edit>Define Brush Preset…

Text and Brush Name

Text and Brush Name

Text Layer

Text Layer

Make plenty of text brushes, one at a time, with different font style and sizes. The more is better (and merrier!).

Step 7. Brushing Time!

Before we start the fun, create a new layer first above all the layers. This will serve as our brushing area.

Brush Layer

Brush Layer

Now, go grab your Brush Tool and select Brush. Click Brush Tip and adjust the Size and Spacing. Drag left or right to adjust. Brush all over the photo. It’s okay if not all filled with text brushes as that will be fixed later.

Brush Settings

Brush Settings

Step 8. White fill layer

Create a new layer below the topmost layer. Fill this with white (with white set to FG, click Alt+Backspace).

White Layer

White Layer

Step 9. Copy and Paste Merged Shadows and Midtones

Hide layers 3 and 4. Activate layer 2, select and copy (Ctrl+A then Ctrl+C).Unhide layers 3 and 4 now, then make a layer mask on Layer 3 (that one filled with texts).

Paste the copied layer (eg, Layer 2) into the layer mask by pressing Alt+Click. Hold Ctrl then press V, D, I simultaneously.

Ctrl+V

Ctrl+V

Ctrl+D

Ctrl+D

Ctrl+I

Ctrl+I

Step 10. More brushing

As mentioned earlier, we’ll fix the text brush area by applying more brushes until fully filled or contented. But first, click layer mask thumbnail (not the mask, but the one filled with text brushes). Okay, go on and brush more to the image as you wish. Give particular attention to the eyes and edges of the model.

Here’s how it should look like after rebrushing:

Rebrushing

Rebrushing

Step 11. Finishing touches

Enhance your work by applying Curves and/or Levels, Color fill, hue/saturation or maybe gradient overlay to make your product colorful and even more interesting.

Here’s how I came up:

Final Image

Final Image

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