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Make text jump off the page with an embroidered effect

Added on Thursday 14th of April 2011 08:21 am EST


Adobe Photoshop CS2/CS3/CS4/CS5

Operating Systems:

Macintosh, Microsoft Windows


Designing text that resembles embroidery is a great way to make an image seem real to the touch, and you needn’t resort to scanning in the real thing or paying for a third-party plug-in to produce it. All that’s required is a simple pattern and a few other readily available tools in Photoshop.


To sew some text of your own, we’ll have you:

  Define a simple pattern you’ll use for the basis of the stitches.

  Add a sense of touch to the text with the Texturizer filter.

  Create the illusion of depth with the Bevel And Emboss layer style.



You can simulate a lot of things in Photoshop, fabric being one of them. But how realistic would that fabric look if you just plunked some ordinary-looking text down on it? Surely, you can do better than that. In this article, we’ll show you how to design text so that, as shown in Figure A, it looks like you stitched it right into the background!




Create a pattern

The first step is to create a new pattern. You’ll use this pattern to create the stitching text effect in another Photoshop document.


To create a new pattern:

1.  Launch Photoshop and choose File > New, or press [command]N ([Ctrl]N in Windows), to open the New dialog box.

2.  Name the document Stitch or something equally obvious.

3.  Set the image size to 2 pixels wide by 10 pixels high, with a resolution of 300 pixels/inch (ppi). Choose RGB Color from the Color Mode pop-up menu.

4.  Choose White from the Background Contents pop-up menu. Then, click OK.

5.  Press [command]0 ([Ctrl]0 in Windows) to magnify the view of your canvas.

6.  Press D to set the foreground color to black.

7.  Select the Pencil tool from the Tools panel and choose Hard Round 3 Pixels via the Brush Preset picker on the tool Options bar.

8.  Click the Pencil tool once on the upper half of your canvas to create the effect shown in Figure B.

9.  Choose Edit > Define Pattern and click OK in the resulting dialog box.

10.  Choose File > Save As and save your document as a TIFF or Photoshop file. Close the file without quitting the application.





Gather your materials

Now you can use your pattern to transform some ordinary text into a special embroidery effect. As always, this starts with creating a new document. In this document, you’ll first type the text you want to enhance.


To set up a new document:

1.  Choose File > New to create a new document.

2.  Name the document something like Stitched text, and set the image size to 4.5 inches wide by 3 inches high, with a resolution of 300 ppi.

3.  Choose RGB Color from the Color Mode pop-up menu.

4.  Select White from the Background Contents pop-up menu.

5.  Click OK to create the document.


To type some text for the effect:

1.  Select the Horizontal Type tool from the Tools panel.

2.  Click an insertion point on the canvas and type the word Stitch.

3.  Press [command]A ([Ctrl]A in Windows) to highlight the text, and choose Impact (or a similar font) from the Font pop-up menu on the tool Options bar. Also on the tool Options bar, change the font size to 110 points.

4.  Click the Set The Text Color box on the tool Options bar to open the Color Picker and set the text color. Then, click OK.

5.  Select the Move tool from the Tools panel and drag the text to the center of your canvas. In doing this, you also commit to the changes you made to the text in the previous steps.


Choose a fabric

The Texturizer filter enables you to give your text a cloth-like appearance. In order to apply a filter to a text layer, though, you must first rasterize (or simplify) the text layer.


To add texture to your text:

1.  [control]-click (right-click in Windows) on the text layer (not the thumbnail) in the Layers panel (Window > Layers) and choose Rasterize Type from the context menu.

2.  Cho...


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