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Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Photoshop

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As we push further into autumn (in some parts of the world) many designers might be thinking about how to create autumn-inspired artwork for the projects they are working on. In this tutorial, we will show you how to create text made of hay using Photoshop's 3D features as an aid. Let's get started!


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Tutorial Assets

You will need to the following image to complete this tutorial. Please download it before you begin. If it is not available or if you would prefer not to pay for it, feel free to find an alternative.


1. Create Basic Layers and Layout

Step 1

  • Open downloaded field picture.
  • Go to Image-Image Size and change its all parameters like on the picture below.

Step 2

Now you will bring in original picture as a Smart object. You need to do that to have one bigger hay bale in front of the picture later on.

  • Open Mini Bridge.
  • Navigate to image file on your disk.
  • Grab it and drag it onto the canvas.
  • Change its name to "Harvest_final".

Step 3

In Paths palette create new path call it "hay bale". Activate Pen (P) tool and draw shape around hay bale. Create selection from this path by pressing dashed circle [1]. Alternatively you can press Command/Ctrl and press on Path thumbnail to make selection from it.


Step 4

Press Command/Ctrl + J to create new layer. Call it "Hay bale 1".


Step 5

Duplicate this layer two times, to do that press Command/Ctrl + J. Place them as on screen grabs using Transform (Command/Ctrl + T) tool. You will adjust they position later.



2. Create 3D Typography

Step 1

Activate Type tool and type HARVEST of the middle of canvas. Set type properties as on the screen grab.


Step 2

Press Command/Ctrl + T and transform typography to fit better on the canvas. Then press Right Mouse Button and choose New 3D Extrusion from Selected Layer.


Step 3

With Scene selected in 3D palette adjust typography position using 3d transform tools. Position typography this way that margins on left and right side are equal.

  • Use 3d transform tools to position letters:
  • [1] Rotate will allow you to rotate object on X,Y,Z axes.
  • [2] Roll will allow you to rotate object in screen space.
  • [3] Drag will allow you to move object in all directions.
  • [4] Slide will bring object closer or away from you based on XYZ axes of currently selected object.
  • [5] Scale will make selected object bigger or smaller.

Step 4

Set Environment position like on the screen grab. You can type values to appropriate fields to speed up process.


Step 5

Set Current View position like on picture below.


Step 6

You can change Extrusion Depth by selecting Mesh object in 3D palette.


Step 7

Select Light and in its Properties palette turn off Shadow [1]. Change name to this layer to "HARVEST extrusion".


Step 8

Duplicate extruded text layer to simulate sun light in the scene.

  • Duplicate extruded text layer.
  • Change its name to "HARVEST shadow".
  • Drag it below "HARVEST extrusion" layer
  • Turn on Shadow and adjust it position by dragging little light source [3].
  • Try to match shadows direction on the picture.

Step 9

Now select HARVEST extrusion layer and from the Right Click Menu choose Rasterize 3D.



3. Adjust Placement of Hay Bales

Step 1

Select "Harvest_final" layer [1] and turn off its visibility. Then select "Hay bale 1" layer [2] and press Command/Ctrl + T to activate transform. Move it to the front of letter "S" like on the picture.


Step 2

Select "Hay bale 3" layer [1] and drag it below "HARVEST extrusion" layer. Press Command/Ctrl + T to activate transform. Move it behind letter "T" like on the picture.


Step 3

Now select "Hay bale 2" Layer and press Command/Ctrl + T to activate transform. Move it to the front of letter "H" like on the picture.


Step 4

Turn off visibility of "HARVEST shadow" layer [1]. Then duplicate "Background" layer [2].


Step 5

Activate Clone Stamp tool (S) and paint with grass to hide unnecessary part of the image [1].


Step 6

Keep painting until front is free of old hay bales.


Step 7

Select "Hay bale 2" layer and with Clone Stamp tool paint until there is no seams between bale and the rest of field.


Step 8

Select "Hay bale 3" layer and with Clone Stamp tool paint until there is no seams between bale and the rest of field.


Step 9

Select "Hay bale 1" layer and with Clone Stamp tool paint until there is no seams between bale and the rest of field.



4. Create Textured Letters

Step 1

Select "Harvest_final" smart object layer in Layers palette and "hay bale" path in the Path palette. Press dashed circle [1] to make selection and press Command/Ctrl + J two times to create new layers.


Step 2

Change name of those layer to "Extrusion base" [1] and "Extrusion front" [2]. Make sure that Extrusion base is on top of layers stack.


Step 3

Select "HARVEST extrusion" layer and activate Wand (W) tool and click on front of the HARVEST letters to create selection.


Step 4

Turn off visibility of "HARVEST extrusion" and "Extrusion base" [1]. Select "Front base" layer and activate Clone Stamp (S) layer.


Step 5

Start cloning texture for hay bale to the front of the letters.

  • Set Clone Scale to 80% [1]. This way you will get impression of perspective. Textures that are far away from you are smaller.
  • With left ALT selected press in the middle of hay bale to set Clone Source.
  • Start painting from the center of the letter "H".


Step 6

Change Clone Source position until you will paint whole letter. Pay attention to the details and so on. Clone Left side of hay bale to left side of letter. This way you will have impression of letters made from hay that from spiral shape.




Step 7

When you finish, texture should look like this.


Step 8

Clone textures until you will fill letter "V" with hay texture. Then in Clone Source palette change Clone Size to 65% [1]. Rest of the HARVEST typography is much far away from us so textures must be smaller.


Step 9

Again with left ALT selected press in the middle of hay bale to set Clone Source and paint textures.




Step 10

Then make Rectangular Selection (M) over hay bale that was clone source.


Step 11

Press Delete to get rid of unnecessary pixels.


Step 12

Turn on visibility of "Extrusion base" layer and drag it below "Front base" layer. Then press Command/Ctrl and press on the "Harvest extrusion" layer thumbnail to create selection.



Step 13

Now you will clone textures to extrusion sides of the letters.

  • Select "Extrusion layer" [1].
  • Set Clone Scale to 80% [2]. To match textures scale from previews steps.
  • With left ALT selected press on the side of hay bale to set Clone Source.
  • Start painting letter "H".

Step 14

From time to time change clone source to match texture flow from original hay bale.



Step 15

Clone texture to the rest of the letters.


Step 16

To create sharp border in letter "S/T" make selection with Lasso (L) tool over the "S" top part (See the picture), and invert it by pressing Command/Ctrl + SHIFT + I and work in close-up to fine tune texture.


Step 17

Now refine texture on letter "S" to match it shape. Strands of hay should fallow direction of the edge of letter.

  • With Polygonal Lasso (L) [1] make selection over bottom part of letter "S" and invert it by pressing Command/Ctrl + SHIFT + I.
  • Lock Transparency in "Extrusion base" layer [2].
  • In Clone Source palette change change angle of the clone to 180° [3].
  • Clone texture to refine its look.

Step 18

Now Invert selection once more by pressing Command/Ctrl + SHIFT + I [1] and then press Command/Ctrl + J to create new layer from it. Call it "S end" [2].


Step 19

Then make Rectangular Selection (M) over hay bale that was clone source and press Delete.


Step 20

Change layer order like on the screen grab. Make groups for different parts of typography. To quickly create group select layer and press Command/Ctrl + G. Drag all typography layers below "Hay bale 2" layer.



5. Create Shadow of Letters

Step 1

Select "Harvest_final" Smart object [1]. In Paths palette select "hay bale" path and create selection from this path. Hold down Command/Ctrl and press on path thumbnail to make selection from it.


Step 2

Press Command/Ctrl + J to make new layer and call it "3D shadow". Drag this layer above "Typography" folder.


Step 3

Activate Eraser (E) tool and delete top half of the hay bale.


Step 4

Turn on visibility of "HARVEST shadow" layer to see where to clone shadow from newly created fragment.


Step 5

Now press Command/Ctrl + J to duplicate layer [1] and drag it below "HARVEST shadow". Then press Command/Ctrl + T to activate transform tool and move it under letter "A".


Step 6

When you are happy with position of your shadow hold down Command/Ctrl and press layer icon to make selection from it [1]. Press Command/Ctrl + C to copy it.


Step 7

Press Command/Ctrl + V to paste pixels to another layer and activate Transform Command/Ctrl + T tool. Place it under letter "R".


Step 8

Again paste pixels and move this layer under letter "V". Repeat this process until all letters will have their shadows. You will refine them in next steps.


Step 9

Select "3d Shadow" layer and move it away from letter to have better view for cloning texture. Turn off "HARVEST shadow" 3d object.


Step 10

With Eraser (E) tool erase any part that do not belong to shadow on the ground. Do it for every letters.


Step 11

Select all shadow layers and merge them into one layer. To do so press Command/Ctrl + E with all layer selected [1]. Then, with the Eraser (E) tool delete unnecessary pixels [2] to start blending shadows to the ground.


Step 12

Now activate Clone Stamp (S) tool and set clone source to hay bale part like on the picture and start painting shadows.


Step 13

Clone until you will have realistic looking edges of the shadow. Note that by cloning fragments from the picture you are adding very nice realistic details. Some of the strand of hay is sticking out more than others and shadow edge is fuzzy and uneven.



Step 14

Now with Rectangle (M) tool select hay bale that you cloned from and press Command/Ctrl + X to cut it.


Step 15

Paste it above Typography and call this layer "Shadow top".


Step 16

Now you will clone strands of hay again. These strands are in front of the letters. So add them carefully try to mimic/copy place where hay is touching stubble.


Step 17

Now with Rectangular Marquee tool select part that you used as clone source and delete it.


Step 18

Zoom out to see if the shadow looks realistic. Your image should look like mine.



6. Paint Stray Strands of Hay

Step 1

Open Brush setting palette and change its Shape Dynamics to shown on the screen. I use pen tablet to paint so my Control is set to Pen pressure.


Step 2

Open Brush setting palette and change its Color Dynamics. This way Photoshop will use Foreground color on stroke start and Background color on stroke end.


Step 3

Now change its Transfer to modulate Opacity of single stroke.


Step 4

Sample Foreground and Background color with Eyedropper Tool. Create new layer called "Strays".


Step 5

Start to paint with the Brush Tool (B). Set its size to small amount: 2 pixels and change from time to time to just 1 pixel to add variation to the painted strands. Lay strokes with the directions of hay on the textures and add some strays that go to different direction. This way your letter will get more realistic look.


Step 6

Now paint all the letters.


Step 7

You should end up with something like this.


Step 8

Now add another layer called "Strays back" this time layer should be below Typography folder. Paint some strands to add live to back side of letters.


Step 9

Paint some more until all letters are little bit "fur" covered.


Step 10

Now it is time to break technical straight look of the letters edges. Select "Front base" layer and add mask to it and paint over edges with ragged stroke.



Step 11

Mask of this layer should look like this one shown on the picture. To show/hide contents of the mask hold left ALT and click on the mask thumbnail [1].


Step 12

Now it is time to mask Extrusion part of the letters. Select "Extrusion base" layer and add mask to it and paint.



Step 13

Now it is time to add a new layer that will bring some sun light to letters. Create new layer and call it "sun blast". Create Clipping Mask, to do that press ALT and click on line between layer "Sun blast" and "Extrusion base". Choose #AD8144 color and paint roughly on the sides of letters it is important to have different transparency over each stroke.


Step 14

Add mask to layer and paint strokes that are imitate sun light coming from behind of the letters.


Step 15

Change Blending mode [1] to Soft Light. Now letters have more gold sun light on them.



7. Add Additional Shadows on Letters

Step 1

Create new layer above " S end" layer and call it "S sh". Create Clipping mask to do that press ALT and click on line between layers. Change its mode to Multiply and paint gentle shadow.


Step 2

Add another layer and call it "S sh dark", change its Blending Mode to Multiply. Paint with darker brown to help ground letter "S".


Step 3

Now create layer "Shadow Low" above "Front base" layer set it Blending Mode to Multiply and paint shadows this time they have to blend between letter shadow and shadow on the ground.


Step 4

Create another shadow layer "T Sh" set to Multiply and make selection with Polygonal Lasso (L).


Step 5

Paint shadow like on the picture. Do it with 2-3 strokes with different strength.


Step 6

Create another shadow layer "S Sh" set to Multiply and make selection with Polygonal Lasso (L) and paint gentle shadow.


Step 7

Create another shadow layer "S Sh" and make selection. Fill it with brown color with Bucket (G) tool.


Step 8

Drop selection and go to Filter-Blur-Gaussian Blur and set it Radius to 4,8 Pixels.


Step 9

Set this layer Blending Mode to Multiply.


Step 10

Add another layer "S sh top" set to multiply make selection with Polygonal Lasso (L) and paint shadow.


Step 11

Add another layer "V sh" set to multiply and paint shadow.


Step 12

Add another layer "R sh" set to multiply and paint shadow.


Step 13

Add layer "A sh" set to multiply and paint shadow.


Step 14

Add another layer "H sh" set to multiply and paint shadow.


Step 15

Now you have finished piece. You have created typography made from hay.



Conclusion

In this tutorial, we showed you how to create an autumn-themed text effect in Photoshop. In the process, we showed you how to create some 3D text in Photoshop and then use it as a guide to create a textured effect. We hope that you have learned something from this tutorial and can use the techniques demonstrated to create something amazing on your own.


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