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Old 08-10-2005, 05:09 AM   #1
taikara
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This advanced tutorial will teach you how to use channels and rendering to create a realistic glowy, plasticky text effect such as this:



Software used: Photoshop 7.0

Requirements:
  • Basic knowledge of Photoshop tools
  • An interesting font
  • At least a little patience
Note Before You Begin: This tutorial will have a few notes for each section, because this is an *extremely* tweaky effect, and some details can really mess up the outcome. Please read the notes!! As always, I have also provided the "My Result" links at each relevant step to give you a guideline to figure things out if you're unsure of whether it's turning out correctly.

Most importantly, if your result doesn't turn out nicely, don't give up! It took me quite a few tries to developing my technique at producing various plasticky effects. If you're really having trouble, PM me before giving up, and I'll do my best to help you figure out what's going wrong.

Step 1:

First, open a new file. I suggest the following settings:



Important Note: The file size should be larger than the actual size you wish the text to be - this is important, because unless you plan to use huge text in your image, you will have to do the effect in a larger size, then resize it down to the desired size once you're done.

Otherwise, it will just look like crapola, trust me.

Step 2:

Select your font and type your desired text into the canvas.

Important Note: It's best to select a font that doesn't have too many "little details." Script-like fonts work really well, but so do chunky block fonts. Just make sure it's not a font that is super-skinny or contains grungy dots or lines. You can try my font if you're unsure, I believe it's standard - Matura MT Script Capitals.

When you're done, press and hold Ctrl+click on your text layer (or go to Select > Load Selection manually)

My Result

Step 3:

Create a new layer. Select the layer, then fill the selection area with white. Do not deselect.

Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and make your settings like so:



Repeat, but replace the 9 with a 6.
Repeat, but replace the 6 with a 3.
Repeat, but replace the 3 with a 1.

Important Note: Dependent on the thickness of the font, you may have to tweak the numbers of each Gaussian Blur you perform in order to achieve a nice result. For thicker fonts, use higher numbers. For thinner fonts, use smaller numbers. You should try to end your Gaussian Blur on a 1. For example, it may go 62:1 for a smaller font, or 15:71 for a larger font. The smaller the number you start out with in this step, the less likely it will turn out well, but the larger it gets, the less it will matter.

My Result

Step 4:

In the Layers tab menu, set the blending mode for the newly Gaussed white layer to Color Dodge:



Go to Layer > Layer Style > Blending Mode (or, double click the Gaussed layer to bring up the menu).

Leave everything alone, but in the Advanced Blending options, look at the R G B check boxes:



Deselect one or more of these checkboxes until you acheive a desireable glowy effect.

My Result

Step 5:

Go to Select > Save Selection. Set the pop-up menu like so:



This will create a new channel named "plastic."

Then, click on the Channels tab in the side menu to see your new channel listed:



When you select the channel, it will look like this:



Yes, pretty plain. And now, it's time to Gauss again.

Only this time, start with 6.

Repeat, but change it to 3.
Repeat, but change it to 1.

My Result

When you're done, you can click on the "RGB" channel to pull up your full color version again.

Step 6:

Click on the "Layers" tab, and create a new layer. This time, fill the selection area with black.

Gaussian blur repetition again, with 61.

When you're done, set the blending mode to Screen:



It'll disappear, so I won't bother posting my result.

Step 7:

Go to Filter > Render > Lighting Effects, and set up the options like this (make sure you're applying the filter to the black layer):



Click OK, and we're almost done. I promise.

My Result

Step 8:

To really get that shiny plastic effect, go to Image > Adjustment > Curves and make the line look like this:



*whew*

Your end result should look something like this:



Important Note:

To make it useable, go to Layer > Merge Visible. Do not use "Flatten Image," it'll kill the transparency, which you need to preserve to resize and paste it nicely into your project.

Resize the image for your project, and paste it in. Unfortunately, the more you resize, the more it'll lose it's sharpness, but it'll still look nice and plasticky.

Go to Layer > Layer Style > Outer Glow and tweak the settings to give it a nice outline.

Or, just play around til you're happy.

But here's how it will basically look when resized:



*passes out*

I knew there was a reason I was dreading this... that was a monster tutorial to prepare :P

Enjoy
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Old 08-10-2005, 06:12 AM   #2
taikara
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And, sorry for the double post, but just for the heck of it:





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Old 08-10-2005, 09:18 AM   #3
Tom Henrik
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Whoah!

That plasticfantastic one look brilliant! How long did it take to make it?
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Old 08-10-2005, 09:27 AM   #4
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Nice Tutorial Tai.

The plastic text won't really go with my style of graphics but I'll give it a go when I get some time.
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Old 08-10-2005, 09:29 AM   #5
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This is now my favourite photoshop effect. Not that I had one before.
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Old 08-10-2005, 10:10 AM   #6
Tom Henrik
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Here's my try. I added a Drop Shadow for effects

Unfortunately, I suck at resizing in PS so I have to include the full pic
(But I think that the font I used would be too invisible if I tried resizing. I don't have any cool fonts )
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Old 08-10-2005, 11:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tom Henrik@Oct 8 2005, 12:10 PM
I don't have any cool fonts )
Download some fonts here, Tom! 1001+ free fonts k:
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Old 08-10-2005, 02:10 PM   #8
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What a website! I used to have loads of fonts before I had to reformat. No I've just got the LucasArts ones like Grim Fandango.
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Old 08-10-2005, 02:16 PM   #9
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www.dafont.com is pretty good for fonts.

Nice image you made there Tom
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Old 08-10-2005, 03:02 PM   #10
taikara
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tom Henrik@Oct 8 2005, 09:18 AM
Whoah!

That plasticfantastic one look brilliant! How long did it take to make it?
It took about 10 minutes :angel:



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