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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Text Effects
Design

How to Create a Leaf-Covered Text Effect Action in Adobe Photoshop

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:LongLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a very beautiful, natural-looking text effect, which we are going to record with a Photoshop action, so you will be able to apply the same effect to any font very quickly. Then, to make it look even better, we will add some branches and birds to the final result.

This text effect is part of Leaf Generator Photoshop Action.

Here are the features of the complete action:

  • Works with any font or shape.
  • Layer style and colors fully editable.
  • 300 and 72 dpi support.
  • Six different colors for you to choose from.
  • Works with CS5, CS6, and CC.
  • PSD with high-resolution branches and birds.
Leaf Generator promo
Leaf Generator Photoshop Action

Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used during this tutorial:

* The items marked with an asterisk are inside the zip file attached to this tutorial, edited and ready for use in this tutorial.

1. How to Create the Background

Step 1

Create a new document with these settings:

  • Name: Leaf Generator Tutorial
  • Dimensions: 850 x 553 px
  • Resolution: 72 dpi
  • Color Mode: RGB Color 8 bit
  • Background Contents: Custom #193333
Creating a new document

Step 2

Double-click on the Background layer and rename it to BG. Then Right-click on it and choose Convert to Smart Object.

Converting the BG layer to a Smart Object

Step 3

Go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise and use these settings:

  • Amount: 1.12%
  • Distribution: Gaussian
  • Monochromatic: On
Adding a noise filter

Step 4

Now double-click on the BG layer to open the Layer Style panel. Then apply an Inner Glow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Multiply
  • Opacity: 65%
  • Noise: 0%
  • Color: #102a50
  • Technique: Softer
  • Source: Edge
  • Choke: 26%
  • Size: 250 px
  • Contour: Linear
  • Anti-aliased: On
  • Range: 100%
  • Jitter: 0%

After that, click OK to close the Layer Style window.

Inner Glow Settings

2. How to Create the Styles

Step 1

For this step, we are going to use the pattern and brushes from the zip file attached to this tutorial. I created the pattern using this Ficus Pumila (Author: Khalid Mahmood) image. I made it seamless, removed some noise from it, removed some strong details, and altered its colors. The pattern inside the zip file is scaled down to 25% the original size, so it is perfect for this tutorial.

I created the brushes from scratch, and it is pretty easy to do. If you want to learn how to create brushes like that, go ahead and check this tutorial.

So, without further ado, let's continue.

Go to Edit > Preset > Preset Manager and select Patterns on the drop-down menu. Then click on Load... and install the Leaf Generator Texture (Inside the zip file). After that, select Brushes and load the Leaf Generator Brushes - Tutorial file (also inside the zip file). We are going to use the brushes later.

Installing the necessary files

Step 2

Pick the Horizontal Type Tool (T) and set the font to Kingthings Organica and font size to 287 pt. Then write leaf.

Horizontal Type Tool Settings

Step 3

Double-click on the text layer to open the Layer Style window. Then, add a Pattern Overlay with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Normal
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Pattern: Leaf Generator Texture
  • Scale: 100%
  • Link with Layer: On
Pattern Overlay settings

Step 4

Now add a Gradient Overlay with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Overlay
  • Opacity: 25%
  • Dither: Off
  • Gradient: Black, White
  • Reverse: Off
  • Align with Layer: On
  • Style: Linear
  • Angle: 90°
  • Scale: 100%
Gradient Overlay settings

Step 5

Add an Inner Glow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Linear Dodge (Add)
  • Opacity: 59%
  • Noise: 0%
  • Color: #acff62
  • Technique: Softer
  • Source: Edge
  • Choke: 0%
  • Size: 17 px
  • Contour: Linear
  • Anti-aliased: On
  • Range: 100%
  • Jitter: 0%
Inner Glow Settings

Step 6

Add an Inner Shadow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Hard Light
  • Color: #122d02
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Use Global Light: Off
  • Angle: -180°
  • Distance: 15 px
  • Choke: 0%
  • Size: 11 px
  • Contour: Linear
  • Anti-aliased: Off
  • Noise: 0%
Inner Shadow settings

Step 7

Add a Bevel & Emboss with these settings:

  • Style: Inner Bevel
  • Technique: Smooth
  • Depth: 178 %
  • Direction: Up
  • Size: 4 px
  • Soften: 6 px
  • Use Global Light: Off
  • Angle: -135°
  • Altitude: 32°
  • Gloss Contour: Rolling Slope - Descending
  • Anti-aliased: On
  • Highlight Mode: Screen
  • Highlight Color: #e1ff90
  • Highlight Opacity: 31%
  • Shadow Mode: Darken
  • Shadow Color: #000000
  • Shadow Opacity: 22%
Bevel  Emboss Settings

Step 8

Now click on New Style and save it as Leaves Small. Then, check the Include Layer Effect and Include Layer Blending Options boxes and click OK.

Saving the style

Step 9

Now deactivate the Inner Glow filter and edit the Inner Shadow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Hard Light
  • Color: #122d02
  • Opacity: 43%
  • Use Global Light: Off
  • Angle: -180°
  • Distance: 15 px
  • Choke: 0%
  • Size: 42 px
  • Contour: Linear
  • Anti-aliased: Off
  • Noise: 0%
Inner shadow Setings

Step 10

Save the style again by clicking on the New Style button, but name it Leaves Border Small this time. After that, click OK to close the Layer Style window.

Saving the second style

3. How to Create the Action

Step 1

Go to Window > Actions to open the Actions panel. Then click on the Create new set icon and name it Leaves Covered Effect. After that, click on the Create new action icon and name it Leaves Effect - Small. Then, click on Record to start recording the action.

Everything you do in Photoshop is being recorded, so be careful and follow the instructions carefully. If you make a mistake, click on the Stop recording icon, delete the mistake from the action panel, and resume the recording again.

Creating a new action

Step 2

Rename the text layer to Text BKP and set the text size to 287,5 pt. After that, press Control-A to select the entire document. Then, pick the Move Tool (V) and align the layer to the center of the document.

Aligning the text with the document

Step 3

Press Control-D to remove the selection. After that, press Control-J to duplicate the layer. Then, rename the copy to Text Base.

Renaming the new text layer

Step 4

Right-click on the Text Base layer and choose Rasterize Type. Then, go to Window > Styles to open the Styles panel. After that, click on the Leaves Small style to apply it to the rasterized layer.

Applying the style to the rasterized layer

Step 5

Pick the Brush Tool (B) and select the Leaves A brush. Then, Control-click on the thumbnail of the Text Base layer to create a selection around the text. After that, pick the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) and Right-click with it on the selection and choose Make Work Path. Create the Work Path with a Tolerance of 2.0 px.

Creating a work path

Step 6

Make sure to check that the brush Opacity and Fill are set to 100% for the next step.

Go to Window > Paths to open the Paths panel. After that, click on the little icon on the top-right corner of the panel and choose Stroke Path. Then select Brush on the Tool option, uncheck the Simulate pressure box, and click OK.

Stroking the path with the brush tool

Step 7

Now we are going to create another layer and apply a second stroke to it, making the edges of the text look more realistic.

Press Control-Shift-N to create a new layer, name it Leaves Border, and click OK. Then, hold Control and click on the thumbnail of the Text Base layer to create another selection. After that, pick the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) again and create another Work Path just as we did before.

Be careful to not select the Text Base layer on the Layers panel (the Leaves Border layer must be kept selected).

Creating another work path

Step 8

Pick the Brush Tool (B) again and select the Leaves B brush. Then, go to the Paths panel, Right-click on the Work Path, and choose Stroke Path just as we did before.

Stroking the work path with another brush

Step 9

Go to the Paths panel again and delete the Work Path. Then go to the Styles panel and click on the Leaves Border Small style to apply it to the border we just created.

Applying the second layer style

Step 10

Now we need to convert all the text layers to one Smart Object.

Hold the Control key and click to select the Text BKP, Text Base and Leaves Border layers. Then, Right-click on one of them and choose Convert to Smart Object. After that, rename the new Smart Object to Leaves.

Converting three layers into one Smart Object

Step 11

Now we need to add some shadows to the text.

Double-click on the Leaves layer to open the Layer Style window. Then, add a Drop Shadow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Multiply
  • Color: #000000
  • Opacity: 63%
  • Use Global Light: Off
  • Angle:
  • Distance: 5 px
  • Spread: 0%
  • Size: 9 px
  • Contour: Linear
  • Anti-aliased: On
  • Noise: 0%
  • Layer Knocks Out Drop Shadow: On
Drop Shadow Settings

Step 12

Add an Inner Shadow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Hard Light
  • Color: #000000
  • Opacity: 61%
  • Use Global Light: Off
  • Angle: 180°
  • Distance: 8 px
  • Choke: 0%
  • Size: 2 px
  • Contour: Linear
  • Anti-aliased: Off
  • Noise: 0%

Then click on OK to close the Layer Style window.

Inner Shadow settings

Step 13

Press Control-J to duplicate the current layer. Then rename the copy to Leaves Shadow, change its Fill Opacity to 0%, and send the layer backward (Arrange > Send Backward). After that, double-click on the Leaves Shadow layer to open the Layer Style panel again. Then, remove the Inner Shadow filter and edit the Drop Shadow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Multiply
  • Color: #000000
  • Opacity: 19%
  • Use Global Light: Off
  • Angle:
  • Distance: 15 px
  • Spread: 26%
  • Size: 7 px
  • Contour: Linear
  • Anti-aliased: On
  • Noise: 0%
  • Layer Knocks Out Drop Shadow: On
Drop Shadow settings

Step 14

Let's remove some noise from the texture.

Select the Leaves layer and go to Filter > Noise > Reduce Noise.

Use these settings:

  • Strength: 10
  • Preserve Details: 11%
  • Reduce Color Noise: 8%
  • Sharpen Details: 19%
  • Remove JPEG Artifact: Off
Reduce Noise Settings

Step 15

The leaves look a little bit blurry, so let's add a very subtle sharpen to it.

Go to Filter > Sharpen > Smart Sharpen and use these settings:

  • Amount: 66%
  • Radius: 0.5 px
  • Remove: Gaussian Blur
Smart Sharpen settings

Step 16

Now let's make the leaves a little bit greener. We are going to use a Gradient Map for that.

Select the Leaves layer and go to Window > Adjustments. Then click on the Create a new Gradient icon to create a new Gradient Map layer.

Creating a new Gradient Map layer

Step 17

Rename the Gradient Map layer to Leaf Colors and change its Opacity to 50%. After that, Right-click on the same layer and choose Create Clipping Mask. Then double-click on its thumbnail to open the Properties panel.

Opening the Properties panel

Step 18

Click on the gradient bar and edit it with these settings:

  • First Stop: #031000 Location: 5%
  • Second Stop: #054c2b Location: 26%
  • Third Stop: #106905 Location: 42%
  • Fourth Stop: #86ff5c Location: 87%

After that, go to the Actions panel and click on the Stop Recording icon to finish the action.

Creating a new gradient

4. Finishing the Composition

Step 1

Let's create a very simple shadow below the text.

Pick the Rounded Rectangle Tool (U) and create a black horizontal rectangle right below the Leaves Shadow layer.

Creating the rounded rectangle

Step 2

Right-click on the Rounded Rectangle layer and choose Convert to Smart Object. Then go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set it to 6 px. After that, set the Opacity of the Rounded Rectangle layer to 71%.

Adding a gaussian blur to the rectangle

Step 3

Now we are going to use the branches and birds from the zip file. I created these branches using the original Ficus Pumila image. I cut some leaves from it and drew the twigs. Then I put it all together and created the shadows of the branches using layer styles and a soft brush.

The birds are both from pixabay.com, and I had to edit them too. I removed the background and recreated some small parts of the birds that didn't exist on the original image (they were cut off from the image). Then I applied some lights and shadows using a layer style. These assets were scaled for this tutorial.

So go ahead and open the Birds and Branches - Small.psd file (zip file) and drag and drop the branches and birds to your document. After that, move the layers around and place them where you think it looks good.

In the example below, I've duplicated some branches (Control-J) and placed them at the edges of the letters. Then I moved the birds to the top of the word. 

Note that the layer of the bigger bird is placed below the Leaves Shadow layer. That's because it looks better if it has some leaves hiding its feet. You could use a branch to do that too—it's up to you.

Adding the branches and birds

Congratulations. You Are Done!

In this tutorial, you learned how to create a leaf-covered text effect using styles and brushes. 

First, we created two styles using a pattern, one for the interior and another for the borders of the text. Then we added brush strokes to the text and applied styles to them. After that, we merged all the layers and applied another style for the shadows, making the text look a little bit 3D. Then, we imported some branches and birds to the document finishing the composition.

Remember to check Leaf Generator Photoshop Action on GraphicRiver.

Leaf Generator promo
Leaf Generator Photoshop Action

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