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Today’s advanced tutorial will teach you how to create a realistic stone text effect from scratch in Photoshop.
You’ll learn how to create a custom bump map, and how to use this technique to distort virtually any surface. Then you will combine Layer Styles to create an authentic ancient stone texture. Finally, we will explore few simple techniques for creating fast and realistic jungle vines with leaves.
Let’s get started!
This is the final image that we’ll be creating in this tutorial.
Open a new file (File > New) in Adobe Photoshop with the following settings. Save the file as “Stone Effect.psd”. During work remember to frequently press File > Save (Ctrl + S) to save and update the file.
Select the Type Tool (Or press T), then type the word “King”. I’m using Trajan Pro (Bold, 250 pt), which is coming with Adobe Photoshop CS5. I typed the letters as separate type layers and then resize and arranged them the way I want. For resize use Edit > Transform > Scale after targeting the Type layer.
Now select the Rectangular Marquee Tool. Then press Shift and drag a perfect square. Then use Edit > Free Transform to rotate and adjust the size of the square, so it will fit on top of the letter “i” of the word “King” nicely.
Now target the black square layer, press Shift and then click on all the type layers to select them. Then Right-click and select Merge Layers. So now the square layer and all the type layers are merged into a single layer.
Rename the merged layer to “King Text”. Now create a new blank layer (Ctrl + Shift + N) above “King Text” layer. Rename this layer to “Stone Bg” and fill with white color. We will create the stone textured background on this layer with the help of the Lighting Effects filter. But to produce effective result Lighting Effects filter needs a Bump map. In the next step we will create that bump map within an alpha channel.
Click on the Channels panel and then create a new alpha channel by clicking on create new channel button (third button from left) below the Channel Panel. Alpha channels are used for storing transparency information.
Bump Map is basically a grayscale image, where white depicts height and black depicts depth and 50% grey is neutral, i.e., neither height nor depth. Target the newly created alpha channel by clicking on it and from Filter > Render > Clouds. Clouds filter generate a random cloud pattern that varies between the current foreground and background color, each time you apply the filter. Apply the Clouds filter a couple more times until you get an even distribution of grey values. Rename the alpha channel to “Clouds”.
Now we apply the Difference Clouds filter on top of this cloud pattern to enhance it more. Difference Clouds blend the current foreground and background colors with the contents of the selected layer. Then Filter > Render > Difference Clouds. This will add more depth and contrast to the existing Cloud pattern. Apply a few more times until there is an interesting pattern. Rename the alpha channel to “Stone Bump Map”. Now the bump map for our stone surface is ready.
Now duplicate the previously created “Stone Bump Map” and rename it to “King Bump Map”.
Go back to the Layers panel and Ctrl-click on the “King” layer to load that text as a selection.
Come back to the Channels panel and target the “King Bump Map” alpha channel. Then Select > Modify > Feather and use 2 pixel as the Feather radius value.
Now Select the Brush tool (Press B) and white as the color. In the Option Bar click on the Brush Preset and select a soft brush. Then change the Blend Mode to Overlay. Change the Brush opacity to 50% and start painting within the selection. Slowly build up the desired look by painting again and again. Due to the Overlay selection mode within the selection white area will become more white and black or dark area will become darker.
This process will help us to define the aged look of the stone text.
Arindam Bhaduri is a designer and an Adobe Certified Instructor. He is currently teaching Communication Design in Kolkata, India.
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