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Video:Adobe Photoshop Sand Effect

with Isaac Brody

Use Adobe Photoshop to create text with a sand-like texture, using the same displacement effect design pros use to blend text or objects seamlessly into picture backgrounds.See Transcript

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Transcript:Adobe Photoshop Sand Effect

Hi, I'm Isaac Brody for About.com Computing.

Today I'll teach you how to use displacement maps to seamlessly blend text and objects into backgrounds. Displacement maps are a useful tool for helping to wrap text or objects into backgrounds.

Sand Texture

I've already opened Photoshop and I'll start by opening a texture to use for displacement. So I'll click File, open, and select my texture. This is a picture I took of sand. You can use anything you want to displace text, but keep in mind that a picture with a lot of random objects won't displace properly.

Setting your Texture Contrast

To get started I'm going to create a displacement map from this image. To do this I'm going to click on the Channels palette and click on each individual channel until I find the one with the most contrast. The channel with the most contrast will give me the best displacement map. For this image the blue channel has the best contrast. Next I'll make a document from this channel by right clicking on the channel, ctrl click on the mac, and selecting duplicate channel. This brings up the duplicate channel box.

Under Destination, Document, select new. Click OK. This creates an untitled file.

Blur Effect

Go to Filter, Blur, and select Gaussian Blur. I'll blur the image about .5 and hit OK.

Combining your Layers

Now I'll save this as a file named displacement by going to File, Save As and naming it displacement. Close the file and go back to your original file. Under channels click the top RGB channel to activate all the channels, and then click on the layers tab to bring up your layer palette.

Entering Text

Now select the, Type tool and pick a point in the middle of your picture to write out a word.

I'll type out the word SAND. Don't worry about the color, we can change it later. Now we re ready to displace the word. Make sure your text layer is selected and go to Filter, Distort, Displace. Photoshop pops up a warning that you're about to Rasterize the text, click, OK.

Using Displacement Map

Now a box pops up asking us to choose our displacement map. Go to the directory where you saved your displacement file, select it, and click open.

Final Touches

Our text file has been displaced with the files texture, but it doesn't blend in seamlessly. To help it blend in I'll change the blending mode on the text layer to overlay. The blend is much better, but still a little harsh. Lower the opacity on the text layer a little to help blend the text. I'll lower mine to about 70. And that's it. We've managed to realistically displace our text to blend it into a background.

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