Today, I show you how to create brushed-metal text in Photoshop. I’d tell you more, but lynda.com content curator Colleen Wheeler did such a brilliant job of it that I figure I’ll just turn you over to her:
This week’s free Deke’s Techniques falls into my favorite category of effects: those that create something from nothing. In this case, the "something" is elegant, cool, weighty letters that appear to be made of brushed stainless steel. The "nothing" is a window full of black pixels (to which you apply a couple of Photoshop filters to make a pattern), a few text and shape layers, some layer effects, and a couple of very important blend modes.
Deke starts by applying noise and blur filters to a base layer of solid black, and then defining it as a pattern. Once you return to your text and shapes, it’s a matter of applying layer effects (variations on Drop Shadow, Gradient Overlay, Bevel & Emboss, and Pattern Overlay using the aforementioned pattern). Once you get them applied to one layer, you can Alt-drag (or Option-drag) them to the others to duplicate them, and then tweak to taste.
Inspired by yesterday’s official announcement of CS6, and a desire not to disturb Deke for source files when he’s in the both recording a new course, I decided to try the technique on my own:
I happened to use the Photoshop CS6 Public Beta for my experiment, and during the process I subconsciously stumbled on one of the quietly awesome new features in CS6. Because "six" is my theme today, I decided to make six hexagonal shapes to serve as "bolts" in my composition. I wasn’t quite sure where I wanted them to go, so I left each one on a separate layer and grouped the layers together. When it came time to apply the effect, without thinking I just Option-dragged (or, you know, Alt-dragged) the layer effects onto the entire group, expecting it to apply to each layer. Which it did (!), as you can see here in this view of the Layers panel:
It suddenly dawned on me that this kind of process used to be way more tedious. The ability to apply styles to an entire layer group is in fact new to CS6. Adobe calls these "so obvious it always should have worked this way" improvements JDIs (as in Just Do It). And I for one am glad they did.
Meanwhile, if stainless steel isn’t to your taste, Deke’s got an exclusive movie for members of lynda.com on creating a coppery cousin to this effect.
And Deke will be back next week with another free technique.
Just the other day, I was asking the Adobe folks if JDI is really what they want to call these minor improvements, given that it’s a Nike trademark and all. And here Colleen comes up with a better acronym: SOIASHWTW. Sure, it’s long and impossible to pronounce, but it scores high points for accuracy.