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Retro Text Effect Adobe Photoshop Tutorial

Adobe Photoshop over on my spoon graphics website I recently published a couple of illustrator tutorials and resources based around retro type effects you know the popular styles with basic 3d appearances and decorative effects like inset faces so I thought I’d also experiment with this style in the dhobi Photoshop see how similar effects can be made both applications of their strengths is easy to create the full 3d styling illustrator while retaining live type whereas Photoshop is far more powerful at creating realistic gradients and shading in today’s tutorial I’ll show you how to create this great-looking text effect it’s made using a mix of layer styles and some clever Photoshop techniques but the best part is it also makes use of smart objects to non-destructively create the effect meaning the original type element can still be updated to change the wording so begin by opening up Adobe Photoshop and create a new document I’m going for a document size of 2000 by 1200 pixels fill the background with a color of your choice do something that will complement the color scheme of your type I’m going for a pale green of 6 for 8 f7f use the command and backspace shortcut to fill the canvas click the new layer icon at the bottom of the layers panel let’s select the brush tool configure the tip to 0 hardness and a large size of around 1,800 use the X key shortcut to flip the foreground and background colors around so you’re painting with white end of a highlight in the top center of the canvas reduce the opacity of this layer to 30% to leave a Sol spotlight effect select the type tool and lay out the text of your choice the front trace doesn’t really matter too much as long as it’s somewhat retro-themed I’m going with a font named MB Empire from my collection but we’ll click the layer to open up the layer style options add a gradient overlay then change the gradient swatches to a dark to light pinky red I’m using the colors b7 1 B 2 e 2 F 4 9 5 B E right-click the layer and choose convert to smart object this will preserve the editable text within it so changing the wording later we’ll also update all instances of this smart object double-click the layer to add a whole new set of styles to this smart object begin with a stroke using the settings seven pixels for the size positioned inside and a really light pink color such as FF II for e4 apply an inner shadow next change the blending mode to linear burn then uncheck the use global light option and then to 120 degrees is the angle in the distance to 15 and the size to 30 pixels move the opacity slider to around 50% add an inner glow effect next change these settings to linear burn using black in 220 pixels for the side then reduce the opacity to around 15% click OK to apply these styles to see how the Korean inset effect next we’ll create a simple pattern to overlay over the text face create a new document 3 by 6 pixels use the command + + shortcut to zoom right into the document as far as you can go and select the top half of the canvas using the marquee tool hit the command + backspace shortcut to fill this area with black go to the Edit menu and choose define pattern give it a recognizable name such as 3 pixel line pattern then close the document back in the main working document double click the layer again to add another layer style this time select pattern overlay and choose the newly created three pixel line pattern from the drop-down choose the blending mode to multiply to render the white portion invisible leaving just the black lines then reduce the opacity to 10% it was subtle pattern across the text space right click on the Smart Objects layer and choose duplicate layer given a name of 3d drag this layer below the retro text layer and right-click and choose clear layer Styles double click the layer add a fresh set of styles starting with a bevel & emboss effect click the reset to default button at the bottom of the panel leave it with these basic settings add a color overlay and choose a contrasting color to the text face I’m using a mid blue of 4a 8 for 9f this 3d layer is currently hidden below the main text phase but you can toggle off the visibility of the layer above it check what it looks like the next part of this tutorial makes use of a clever photoshop trick known as transform again or step and repeat for some reason my photoshop sometimes glitches out when it’s applied to a smart object so I’ll show you a workaround that I’ve been using rather than apply the transformation effect to the smart object I’ll duplicate the layer and choose rasterize from the right-click menu the first part of the step-and-repeat technique is to use the shortcut command L&T or ctrl + c on windows to set a transformation in this case it’s simply nudging the effect left and upwards using the cursor keys once this transformation has been applied with the Enter key or the little tick icon in the top toolbar the shortcut command alt shift + T or transform again while also creating a new layer with the result now the transformation is saved in Photoshop smeii delete those rasterized layers and use the command alt shift + t shortcut on the smart object where it previously glitched out it now works perfectly fine repeatedly press the shortcut 40 times to produce a three-dimensional effect but basic bevel and emboss effect is built upon with each new layer to form a really cool 3d block appearance select the move tool and click and drag the top face into alignment and Shift + click from the top 3d layer to the bottom 3d layer in the layers panel and hit command + G to create groups keep everything organized double-click the top 3d duplicate layer and add a drop shadow effect change the blending mode to soft light uncheck the global light option and enter 135 degrees which sends the shadow in a downwards 45 degree angle and change the settings to 20 distance and 30 size reduce the opacity to around 80% scroll down to the last 3d layer at the bottom of the layers panel right click and select duplicate layer give this one the name shadow drag this layer out of the 3d group so it sits below the other layers right click and choose clear layer Styles double click the layer and add a color overlay using a really dark blue such as 0 6 0 b-17 head to filter blur and motion blur and configure the settings to 45 degrees with a distance of 50 duplicate and rasterize the layer in order to set up the transform again technique without everything glitching down this time use the command alt + t shortcut and nudge the layer down and left then hit enter press the command alt shift + t shortcut to start the transform again process but delete those temporary rasterized layers and activate the shadow smart object instead use that command alt shift + t shortcut 60 times to create a long drop shadow effect by the way you can easily keep camp by simply looking at the layer copy numbers in the layers panel to make this shading more realistic will fade the out by adjusting the opacity of the layers gradually select the first shadow layer then hold the shift key and click shadow copy 20 to select all the layers in between reduce the opacity to 5% select layer 21 up to layer 40 reduce the opacity of these layers to 3% finally select layers 41 to 60 and reduce the opacity to just 1% select all the layers from 60 right down to the original and group them together retro effects like this always look great with a bit of grain create a new layer at the top of the layer stack go to edit and fill then change the drop-down menu to 50% gray head to filter noise and add noise then enter 3% with the Gaussian and monochromatic options checked jaison’s layers blending mode to overlay to allow the noise to interact with the layers below it this graininess also does a great job of smoothing out the gradients to avoid any banding what’s really cool about this technique of using our subjects is it gives you the ability to go back and edit the wording of the text without having to update those hundreds of layers individually double-click the smart subjects thumbnail of the first text layer to edit its contents you can use the crop tool to enlarge the canvas area to give you more room and you can edit the word in and even change the fun once you’re done go to file and save then close this PSB file to return back to the main document you’ll see all the effects have been automatically updated and applied to the new smart object contents so if you have fun making use of this text effect within your designs there’s also loads more close game possibilities to experiment with create unique retro textiles.

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