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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Photoshop Actions
Design

How to Create a Photo to Art Text Effect Photoshop Action

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:MediumLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a Photoshop action to transform a photo to an art text effect. I will explain everything in so much detail that everyone can create it, even those who have just opened Photoshop for the first time.

The photo effect shown above is the one I will show you how to create in this tutorial. If you would like to create the even more advanced typography Photoshop effect shown below, using just a single click and in only a few minutes, then check out my Typography 7 Photoshop Action.

action final result

What You'll Need

To recreate the design above, you will need the following resources:

1. How to Start Creating an Action

Step 1

First, open the photo that you want to work with. To open your photo, go to File > Open, choose your photo, and click Open. Now, before we get started, just check a couple of things:

  1. Your photo should be in RGB Color mode, 8 Bits/Channel. To check this, go to Image > Mode.
  2. For best results, your photo size should be 2000–4000 px wide/high. To check this, go to Image > Image Size.
  3. Your photo should be the Background layer. If it is not, go to Layer > New > Background from Layer.
checking image mode and size

Step 2

Now go to Window > Actions, and in the Actions panel, click on the menu icon in the top right-hand corner, choose New Set to create a new set, and name it Typography. Then, click on the same menu icon again, choose New Action to create a new action, and name it Typography.

creating new action

2. How to Select the Subject

Step 1

In this section, we are going to create a base that determines the subject in our photo. Choose the Quick Selection Tool (W) and select the background of the photo. Use the Shift-Alt buttons on your keyboard to add or subtract some areas from the selection. After you've made a perfect selection, press Control-Shift-I on your keyboard to invert the selection.

making selection

Step 2

Now go to Select > Modify > Smooth and set the Sample Radius to 5 px. Then, go to Select > Modify > Contract and set Contract By to 2 px. After that, go to Select > Modify > Feather and set the Feather Radius to 2 px as shown below:

modifying-selection

Step 3

Go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer and name it Base.

creating new layer

Step 4

Now set the foreground color to any color that you like. Then, go to Edit > Fill and set Contents to Foreground Color, Mode to Normal, and Opacity to 100%.

filling layer

Step 5

Press Control-D on your keyboard to deselect the selection and hide the Base layer. Then, select the Background layer, go to Image > Adjustments > Shadows/Highlights and set the Shadows to 35% and the Highlights to 0%.

adjusting shadows and highlights

Step 6

Now Control-click on the Base layer thumbnail to make a selection of this layer. Then, press Control-J on your keyboard to create a new layer using the selection and name this new layer Subject_1.

creating new layer

3. How to Create the Background

Step 1

In this section we are going to create the background. Select the Background layer, go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color to create a new solid color fill layer, name it Background Color, and choose the color #f2f2f2.

creating new fill layer

Step 2

Now Right-click on this layer, choose Blending Options, check Gradient Overlay, and use the settings below:

adding layer style

4. How to Create the Text

Step 1

In this section, we are going to create the text. Hide the Subject_1 layer and choose the Horizontal Type Tool (T). Then, set the font to Montserrat, font style to Black, font size to 80 px, alignment to Center, and color to #000000. In the Character panel, check the All Caps option. After that, click and drag anywhere inside the canvas to create a text box and go to Type > Paste Lorem Ipsum to paste some random text. Feel free to use your own text and font settings.

creating new text layer

Step 2

Now Double-click on this layer thumbnail and transform the Text Box as shown below:

transforming text box

Step 3

Choose the Horizontal Type Tool (T), and click on the end of the paragraph. Go to Type > Paste Lorem Ipsum and repeat this step until you've covered the whole canvas with text. Again, you can use your own text—just make sure it covers the whole canvas.

adding text

Step 4

Now name this layer Text.

naming layer

5. How to Create the Subject From the Text

Step 1

In this section, we are going to create the subject from the text. Hide the Text layer and select and show the Subject_1 layer. Then, press Control-J on your keyboard to duplicate this layer and drag the new layer just below the Subject_1 layer in the Layers panel. Name this layer Subject_2.

duplicating layer

Step 2

Now press Control-J on your keyboard to duplicate this layer and drag the new layer just below the Subject_2 layer in the Layers panel. Name this layer Subject_3.

duplicating layer

Step 3

Hide all the layers except the Subject_3 layer. Then, press Control-Shift-U on your keyboard to desaturate this layer. After that, go to Image > Auto Tone and then Image > Auto Contrast to make some auto-corrections to the layer's tone and contrast.

desaturating layer

Step 4

Now go to Select > Color Range and set Select to Shadows, Fuzziness to 20%, and Range to 65.

making selection

Step 5

Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection to add a layer mask that reveals the selected area of the layer.

adding layer mask

Step 6

Now Control-click on this layer thumbnail to make a selection of this layer. Then, select the thumbnail of this layer and set the foreground color to #000000. After that, go to Edit > Fill and set Contents to Foreground Color, Mode to Normal, and Opacity to 100% as shown below:

filling layer

Step 7

Press Control-D on your keyboard to deselect the selection. Then, change the Opacity of this layer to 50%.

changing opacity

Step 8

Now hide this layer, and select and show the Subject_2 layer. Then, press Control-Shift-U on your keyboard to desaturate this layer. After that, go to Image > Auto Tone and then Image > Auto Contrast to make some auto-corrections to the layer's tone and contrast.

desaturating layer

Step 9

Go to Select > Color Range and set Select to Midtones, Fuzziness to 40%, and Range to 105 and 150.

making selection

Step 10

Now go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection to add a layer mask that reveals the selected area of the layer.

adding layer mask

Step 11

Now Control-click on the layer thumbnail to make a selection of this layer. Then, select the thumbnail of this layer and set the foreground color to #000000. After that, go to Edit > Fill and set Contents to Foreground Color, Mode to Normal, and Opacity to 100% as shown below:

filling layer

Step 12

Change the Opacity of this layer to 10%.

changing opacity

Step 13

Now hide this layer, and select and show the Subject_3 layer. Then, press Control-Shift-U on your keyboard to desaturate this layer. After that, go to Image > Auto Tone and then Image > Auto Contrast to make some auto-corrections to the layer's tone and contrast.

desaturating layer

Step 14

Go to Filter > Other > High Pass and set the Radius to 30 px.

adding high pass filter

Step 15

Now change the Blending Mode of this layer to Hard Light. Then, show the Subject_2, Subject_3, Background Color, and Background layers.

changing blending mode

Step 16

Select the Text layer, and go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All to add a layer mask that reveals the whole layer. Then, go to Image > Apply Image and use the settings below:

adding layer mask

Step 17

Now press Control-I on your keyboard to invert the layer mask. Then, show the Text layer and hide the Subject_1, Subject_2, and Subject_3 layers.

inverting layer mask

Step 18

Choose the Horizontal Type Tool (T) and click anywhere over the text. Then, press Control-A on your keyboard to select all text and, on the Character panel, set the Leading to 60 and the Tracking to -60.

adjusting character

6. How to Make the Final Adjustments

Step 1

In this section, we are going to make some final adjustments to the design. Select the Background layer and press Control-J on your keyboard to duplicate it. Then, drag this new layer just above the Text layer in the Layers panel.

duplicating layer

Step 2

Now Control-click on the Text layer thumbnail to make a selection of this layer. Then, go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection to add a layer mask that reveals the selected area of the layer.

adding layer mask

Step 3

Change the Blending Mode of this layer to Color and name it Text Color.

changing blending mode

Step 4

Now press D on your keyboard to reset the swatches. Then, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map to create a new gradient map adjustment layer and name it Overall Contrast.

creating new adjustment layer

Step 5

Change the Blending Mode of this layer to Soft Light.

changing blending mode

Step 6

Now press Control-Alt-Shift-E on your keyboard to make a screenshot, and then press Control-Shift-U to desaturate this layer. Then, go to Filter > Other > High Pass and set the Radius to 2 px.

adding high pass filter

Step 7

Change the Blending Mode of this layer to Hard Light and name it Overall Sharpening.

changing blending mode

You Made It!

Congratulations, you have succeeded! You have now learned how to create a typography photo effect Photoshop action to start making amazing Photoshop portrait effects from your photos. Here is our final result:

final result

If you would like to create the even more advanced typography Photoshop effect shown below, using just a single click and in only a few minutes, then check out my Typography 7 Photoshop Action.

With this action, you can create amazing, professional text effects from your photos with no work at all! Simply fill in your subject with a color and just play the action. It’s really that simple! The action will do all the work for you, leaving you fully layered and customizable results that you can further modify.

The text is a fully editable text layer—you can make any changes you want. You can use your own text or change the font, the text color, and much more!

The action comes with a detailed video tutorial that demonstrates how to use the action and customize the results to get the most out of the effect.

action final result

You may also want to check out these tutorials on creating typography dispersion image effects, typography Photoshop portrait actions, a logo with text design, a GTA text effect action, or maybe on creating some other Photoshop text effects, fun filters, Photoshop photo filters, and photo art effects. Here is a good start:


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