Text Explosion Effect
To create an explosion effect around your text, follow these simple steps:
- Create a new document with the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+N (Win) / Command+N (Mac). Either way brings up Photoshop's New Document dialog box. Create your text - you can choose any 2 colours you like but high contrast colors such as black and white look best.
- Duplicate the text layer, CTRL/CMD J, move it below the original layer, rasterise the duplicated text layer - by right clicking on the layer and choosing rasterize layer.
- Filter > Distort > Polar Coordinates > Polar to Rectangular
- Image > Rotate Canvas > 90 CW
- Filter > stylise > wind > Right
- Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur
- Image > Rotate Canvas > 90 CCW
- Filter > Polar Coordinates > rectangular to polar
If you require more explosion, apply the wind filter twice as I did in the image above. If you add a hue/sat adjustment layer above the explosive effect layer, you can get a colour effect. Don't forget to check the colorise box otherwise u wont see the colour adjustment. Back to top
In this tutorial, it is probably easier to find an image with a section that you want to stand out from its background, that is easily selected.
- Using one of the selection tools, either the quick selection/magic wand or lasso tools (whichever works best) select the area you wish to remain coloured.
- Once area is selected, choose Refine Edge from the top menu and adjust for best selection, click ok, next go to the Select Menu, choose Inverse.
- Back to your layers palette, select Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer (the half filled circle at the bottom of your layers panel) and select Hue/Saturation.
- Slide the saturation level all the way to the left and play with the lightness slider until you have the desired effect. Thats all there is to it! Another nice touch is to apply the blending mode on your layers pallete to "Color".
Another variation to this effect, is if you want to change the colour of a certain part of your image, select it. Then adjustment layer > Hue/Saturation > select colorise and slide hue slider to preferred color or dont select the colourise check box and play around with sliders.
With the chocolate image I used a different method using the History Brush. An important note to make is that to use the history brush the image must be original, by that I mean it has not been changed in any way since you opened it, ie made smaller. All edits to the image have to be made after using the history brush.
Start by opening an image then Image > Adjustments > Black and White, play with the settings in this dialogue box or just choose ok. Next select the history brush from your tools pallete and paint back the areas of colour. I zoomed in on the chocolates and using the quick selection tool, selected the chocolate and then activated the history brush in my tools pallete and painted back in the color. If your using the history brush without a selection, remember to change the brush size on the fly by using the left and right brackets keys [ ].
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Step One - Creating the star background
- Create a new document to the dimensions that you require. My image is 500 x 500 px and has a black background.
- Next apply Filter > Noise > Add Noise, check the Monochromatic box, and Gaussian, my amount was 70.67%, click ok.
- Next apply Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur with a radius of 0.3 pixels, click ok.
- Next click on the "Create new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of your layers pallete (middle icon that looks like a half filled circle) and choose Levels. In your dialogue box, slide the black triangle on the left side to the right until you reach the desired effect, my settings were 138 - 1.00 - 229, click ok. Rename this layer to "Stars" and go to your top menu bar and choose Layers > Merge Visible.
- That's it for step one, if you would like to skip this step, you are welcome to use my star background. Right click on the image and choose "Save As".
Step Two - Creating the rays
- Create a new layer above your stars layer, and name it ray left, select the polygonal lasso tool, make sure you have some work room around your image and click outside the image at the bottom left and click again at an angle at the top, outside the image and click again across the top, then click down to the bottom again and click once more when you hover over your starting point. You should see a little circle next to the polygonal tool to indicate the close of the selection.
- Voila marching ants! Tip if you make a mistake with your clicks, you can press either the delete key (Mac) or the escape key (Win).
Step Three - Filling in the Selection
- Press the D key to reset the Foreground/Background colors to black and white.
- Press the X key to swap the color. White is now the foreground color. Choose the gradient tool (sometimes hidden under the paint bucket tool). Click on the gradient toolbar at the top to open the Gradient Editor, select the foreground to transparent option as shown. The 2nd one in from the top left. Make sure that you choose the linear gradient option. Click at the bottom of the ray selection, dragging to the top, then release the mouse. U now have one ray, cntrl or cmd D to deselect.
- Still on your "ray left" layer, we will make the edges of the rays which currently have hard edges, more realistic looking by applying the blur filter. So Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, I set my radius to 3.4, click ok.
- To add more beams, simply duplicate the layer, Cmd/Cntrl J or drag the ray layer onto the new layer icon at the bottom of your layers palette. With your move tool selected, Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal and nudge into position by either dragging it or using the arrow keys on your keyboard.
- You can add as many rays as you want using this method. Your image should look something like this:
- If your ray is not in the exact position or angle you want, go to Edit > Transform and adjust by using the adjustment handles. (I used the skew control)
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and have fun creating your own. Another way to create rays is to use the Light Beam Brushes found on the Link Page.
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This effect creates endless opportunities for great looking text. Another quick and easy technique for placing background images inside text.
- Firstly open your background image. Press D to get default black n white colours. Press X to swap their positions, ie white becomes the foreground colour and black becomes the background colour.
- Create new layer and press alt backspace (win) or option delete(mac) to fill your background with the foreground colour (in this case, white). Turn off the eyeball next to this layer.
- Create a new layer and type something. A font that is like Impact with straight edges and thick works best for this effect. Edit > Transform and make text as big as desired. Obviously the bigger you make the text, the more of the underlying background image you will see.
- Next go to your background layer and duplicate it (CMD/CNTRL J). Move the duplicated background layer above the text layer. Right click on duplicated copy layer and select create clipping mask. Next turn on your white fill layer by clicking on the eyeball and there you have it, your background is now inside your text.
- You can play around with the solid colour layer (in this case white) by selecting that layer, changing the foreground colour and pressing alt backspace (win) or option delete (mac). Enjoy! Back to top
20 Years Younger - Portraiture
This technique is a quick n easy way to blast away those wrinkles and blemishes and leave yourself with the skin of baby! This tip is by no means a full blown portraiture tutorial but for family pictures and the like, it's great fun!.
- Open your image (dont forget to Image>duplicate) and close the original.
- Double click your background layer and click ok to the new layer dialogue box. This changes the layer from being locked and names it Layer 0. Duplicate your background by pressing CTRL/CMD J, or by dragging the background layer onto the new layer icon at the bottom of your layers palette. You should now have 2 layers, layer 0 and layer 0 copy.
- Now go back to your original background layer (layer 0) and select Filter>Blur> Gaussian Blur. The amount of blur depends on how big your image is but make it so that you can see some details. This image of Helen Mirren that I downloaded from Google Images was 415 x 600 at 72 dpi and I used a blur of 2.3.
- Next go to your layer 0 copy, (top layer) and select the icon down the bottom of your layers palette that looks like a little camera, Add Layer Mask.
- Press D on your keyboard to acquire the default black and white foreground and background colours, select your paintbrush, lower the hardness to 0 and lower the opacity to approximately 50%. Zoom in on your subject so you can see what is going on. There is a saying in photoshop, that black reveals and white conceals when applied to masks. So if I paint with black what is happening is that I am revealing the layer underneath, i.e. the blur. You can re-size your brush on the fly by pressing the [ ] square bracket keys. Keep painting away until all the wrinkles and blemishes are softened, dont worry too much if you blur something you shouldn't have, we will fix that in the next step.
- Ok now to fix those areas with too much blur. Press the X key to swap the background white to the foreground and go over those areas that you want less blurred. You can play around with the opacity settings to get the effect you need and thats it! Back to top
Brushes - Doodle Art
I have found some incredible brushes that are free to download off the internet. If you like any of the design templates on my design page and would like to make your own, visit my link page to download your own set of brushes and get started. Enjoy! Back to top
Text Reflection Effect
This technique works well with high contrast colours, i.e. black n white, vibrant blues, reds, purples, greens set against pale versions of the colour you choose. For this tutorial:
- Create a new document with the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+N (Win) / Command+N (Mac) with any coloured background. The dimensions of your new file are relevant to how big you want the text to be, in the design page of this website, I have used 136 x 45px as my navigation buttons. For the image below I have used 400 x 140.
- Choose a font similar to Impact although most fonts work well with this technique, make sure the font size is roughly half the size of your background and select a colour and type your text. Click the green tick icon on the top toolbar to commit your edits. This puts your text on a layer above the background.
- With this type layer still selected, drag the layer onto the new layer icon at the bottom of the layers palette to duplicate the layer or CTRL J. Now you should have 3 layers, the background, the type layer and a type layer copy.
- Make sure you are on the top layer and choose your move tool, CTRL or CMD V, click on your text in the workspace document, keep your finger on the shift key and drag type layer down until it is just under the text. Holding shift constrains the proportions.
- Next go to your edit Menu and choose Transform> flip vertical.
- From here, all that's left to do, to make the reflection effect more realistic, is to make the upside-down text fade from top to bottom into transparency. For that, use a layer mask. To add a layer mask to the copied text layer, make sure you still have the copied text layer selected, then simply click on the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette.
- To make the text on this layer fade into transparency, all that is needed is to draw a black-to-white gradient on the layer mask. So select the gradient tool from the tools pallete or simply press G as the keyboard shortcut. Choose the black to white gradient, make sure you have the layer mask selected, not the layer itself. To draw the gradient, click inside the document roughly 3/4 of the way down towards the bottom of the upside down text. Then hold down your Shift key and drag up to the point where the upside down text meets the original text.
- Then in your layers palette, play with opacity until it looks like a reflection. I used about 50%.
- You can add drop shadows and other different effects like strokes or bevel and emboss. Of course drop shadows are not going to show up on a black background. You can even transform the reflection layer Edit>Transform>Skew to set the reflection at an angle from the text. Back to top
Classy Photo Frame
Pick a photo and select Image>Duplicate and close the original photo. Select the size you want for your photo by going to Image>Image Size and from this dialogue box, choose your dimensions (remember if its for print leave the resolution at 300 or 240 and if its for the internet set the resolution to 72). My image is 500 x 335px, resolution 72px.
The following instructions contain dimensions that are suitable for the size of my image and if your image is either smaller or larger .. you may need to alter the width of your borders.
Next select a light grey colour, (something like #bbbbbb) by clicking on your foreground colour.
Now we will put a light grey border around the image by clicking on Image>Canvas Size and add 4 pixels to the width and height.
Repeat this step for the black border .. Image>Canvas Size .. add 14 pixels to the width and height and select Black from the canvas extension colour at the bottom of the dialogue box .. select ok.
And once again for the white border .. Image>Canvas Size .. add 6 pixels to the height and width and choose "White" from the canvas extension colour at the bottom of the dialogue box .. select ok.
Our last canvas extension, we repeat the process .. Image>Canvas Size .. add 40 pixels to width and height, select Black from the canvas extension colour at the bottom of the dialogue box .. select ok and lastly Image>Canvas Size .. add 70 pixels to the height and select the middle box in the top row as shown in the diagram, click ok.
Press D (default colours), press X (swaps colours around)
For our last step, we add the text, I have chosen Trajan Pro .. the colour should be white .. I have selected "middle align". Place the cursor in the middle underneath the photo and type the name of your image.
Thats it, well done .. we now have a classy photo frame!
You can play around with border widths for different looks. Back to top
Quick and Easy Vintage Photo
Grab your photo, then Image>Duplicate .. close the original. Next CMD/CTRL J (duplicate layer). Here is my original (one of my babies).
Next on your duplicated layer (layer 1), press CTRL/CMD U to evoke the Hue/Saturation dialogue box, tick the Colorize checkbox, I used 40 for my Hue and 20 for my Saturation and I lowered the opacity to 63%.
Finally, duplicate your layer again (CTRL/CMD J), change your blending mode to Soft Light and adjust your opacity once again.
Play around with these settings to best suit the look of your photo. Here is my final result! I hope you enjoy this easy, quick way to turn your ordinary photos into something special with the vintage look. Back to top
Creating a Spiral 70's Disco Background
Create a new document with the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+N (Win) / Command+N (Mac). Either way brings up Photoshop's New Document dialog box. Enter the dimensions you need for your document. I started with a 500 x 500px white background.
- Next select your foreground/background colours. Create a new layer by clicking on the new layer icon at the bottom of your layers palette.
- Next select your gradient tool (sometimes its hiding under the paint bucket). Choose the linear gradient and starting from the bottom half way along, (in this case at the 250 px point) hold down the shift key to make a straight line and drag to the top of the document.
- Ok now from the top menu, choose filter>distort>wave, type in the following co-ordinates - minimum and maximum wavelengths must be the same, I used 57, amplitude 470 to 733, type is square and generators 5. Keep vertical and horizontal scale at 100%. Now you should see a snapshot of some vertical lines, click ok.
- Finally go to filter > distort > polar co-ordinates. Make sure you have the Rectangular to Polar check box selected, click ok. There you have it! Of course you can add text to this background or even an image, silhouettes look great! For great silhouette brushes visit my links page. Back to top
Creating Diamond Text
For this diamond text tutorial, visit my links page. I skipped the first few steps because I didn't want the background. I also didn't want the gold border, so I just applied a solid light grey stroke.
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