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How to make a Typographic, Retro, Space Face

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Read Time: 6 min

In this tutorial, I will show you how to make a typographic face by using simple techniques. Using the Brush Tool and experimenting with light, you will get this amazing Typographic Space Face that looks like it's created by letters and an amazing explosion. Let's get started!

Final Image Preview

Take a look at the image we'll be creating. You can view the final image preview below or view a larger version here.

Step 1

First of all, I want to make clear that the image with the face that I'm using here, is an personal image of my self, Face Image. I would recommend you to get this image for this tutorial, for you to follow me step by step, also you can use any other image you like. It will be easier for you to choose an image that has a Black Background, in order to use this effect in a similar way.

In this tutorial, Im also using a brush set, that I found really useful. You can find it on Deviantart or from obsidiandawn.com. I also used a stock image of Fireworks that helped me to get the effect of an explosion. Before you get the Brush Set and the Fireworks image, please do not forget to credit the Artists.

Step 2

After you downloaded all the needed material, it's time for us to start. Open the Face Image, press Alt + Double-click on the layer so you can Unlock it. Rename the layer "Face." Now you have to create a New Layer by pressing Command + Shift + N, below this one and fill it with Solid Black, rename the layer "Background."

Step 3

Go to Brush Tool (B), select one of the brushes from the set you downloaded before. I recommend you select one that has more letters. In this case, I used number 22. Before you apply the brush, be sure you create a new layer using Command + Shit + N, then select the new layer so the brush will apply on it. Also for the brush size, the Master Diameter has to be set for the maximum, which in this case is 2500 px. Later after you got the idea, you can play more with the brush sizes.

Step 4

Now it's time to work a bit more, select the "Layer 1", hold Control Key, Command-click on the layer "Layer 1," you will see that all the letters of the brush are selected.

Select the Layer called "Face," be sure the letters are still selected, and copy the selected pixels from the layer, then paste. You will see an automatic layer is created below "Layer 1" and layer "Face." I call that layer "Cameleon" because it has the same colors as the Image. You have to Delete "Layer 1," or you won't see any difference. If you hide the layer "Face," you will see that the letters become the same as the Face Image.

Step 5

In Step 3 and Step 4, I explain how the letters from the brush are colored as the image of the face. You now need to repeat those steps as many times as needed until the face becomes clear. In this case, I repeated the steps eight times, and I got the image below as the result.

Don't forget to group all the layers (Layer > New > Group). Rename the group "Letters" and then select all the layers, drag them and drop them into the Group.

Step 6

To make more clear that the letters are overlapping each other, you need to apply shadow on them. Select one of the layers that is inside the Group "Letters." Double-click on it and choose Blending Options, then set the Drop Shadow with a Blend Mode of Multiply, Opacity 90%, Angle 30, Distance 8px, and Size 5px.

By applying this on one layer, you can copy this effect by Right-clicking on that layer and choose Copy Layer Style. Select all the layers that are inside the group, then Right-click again in one of them and choose Paste Layer Style. You will see that all the layers get this shadow.

Step 7

Everything now is done. This was the whole trick. Now it needs only the retro colors and the explosion effect to finish the design.

Create two layers (Command + Shift + N), call them "Blue" and "Orange." Fill the "Blue" layer with (#080d4c) and fill the "Orange" layer with (#ffc600).

The Opacity of the "Blue" layer has to be 50 %, and the Blend Mode, Lighten. The Opacity of the "Orange" layer has to be 6%, and the Blend Mode, Lighter Color. Be sure that the "Blue" layer is on top.

Step 8

Now we'll make the lights. Select the Brush Tool (B), choose a normal brush Circle with a Master Diameter of 150 px. Choose two colors (#00fffc) and (#00ff4e) for the lines.

Create a new layer (Command + Shift + N), and start to draw with the brush from the upper-left corner to the right-lower corner, as I did in the image below.

Step 9

Select the layer with the lines you drew. Go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur. Be sure the Angle is -45 degrees, and the distance is 998 px.

Step 10

This time go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. The Radius has to be 124px. After you've applied the Blur, go on the Blending Mode of the layer and change it from Normal to Lighten, also reduce the Opacity to 50%.

Step 11

Create a New Layer. Choose the Brush Tool that we used before to draw the lines, and draw something similar to the image below with this color: #ff0066.

Step 12

Now go Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Be sure you have selected the rough layer, the one with Pink Light. And be sure the Radius is in Max 250.0 px. Go to the Blend Mode of the same layer and change the Mode to Screen.

Step 13

Now open the image with the Fireworks that you downloaded in the beginning. Go to Hue/Saturations (Command + U), and change the Hue to -98. You see that the color of the image changed into a Pink. Press Command + A to select all the pixels of the image, Copy the Image, and then go to our project and Paste it there. As you see, a new layer is created. Rotate the image as shown in the second image below.

Step 14

Change the Blend Mode of the image to Linear Dodge.

Step 15

Create a new layer (Command + Shift + N). fill it with Solid Black, go to Filter > Render > Lens Flare, and set the Brightness to 89%. Also, choose 35 mm prime, and try to move the light in the same place as shown below.

Step 16

Go to the blend mode of this layer, and from Normal Mode change it to Screen. Also, by moving and rotating the image, you can get something similar to that shown below.


Now save this project, and after you get the finished image you can play with the Brightness and the Contrast until you are satisfied with the result.

I Hope you learned something new and had fun. You can view the final image below or view a larger version here.

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