Have you ever needed to create type to look like it is rising out of plastic? Perhaps trying to duplicate a credit card look? Maybe you own a Latex/PVC clothing store, and just can’t seem to get that effect for your signage? Maybe you just want to make something different to make your graphics stand out. I created this tutorial on how to make the “plastic” look with Photoshop and text. You can experiment and create different looks, just by altering the steps I have provided below. The graphics may be slow loading on this page, but I wanted to give you good details in case you get lost.
First, you want to start in RGB mode, and create a new document. You will have to go to the CHANNELS window, or choose WINDOW-SHOW CHANNELS to get it to pop up. If you haven’t worked in channels before, you will have four existing channels. RGB, Red, Green and Blue. The RGB is all three channels combined. You want to create a new channel to create this effect. You need to click on the button on the channels window just to the left of the trash can icon. That will create a new channel. Next, you will want to set your color palate back to the default by simply hitting the letter D on the keyboard. The two swatches on your tool bar will return to black and white. You will then need to select your type tool and type in the text you want to type in. If it is not centered on the screen like you want it to, just select your MOVE tool (V on the keyboard) to center it on the screen. The text will have a scrolling marquee around the text, and if you want to smooth out the text so there are no hard lines, you simply choose MODIFY-SMOOTH and give it a value of about 3.
Then, you should now fill the selection with white. EDIT-FILL-BACKGROUND COLOR. You want to deselect your text by hitting CTRL-D or by going to SELECT-DESELECT. Next, apply FILTER-BLUR-GUASSIAN BLUR and give a value of about 2 or 3. Now, you will re-select your original selection by holding down the CTRL button and holding your mouse over the Alpha 1 layer on the channel window. You will notice your hand icon changes to a hand icon with a small box shape on top of it. Click once and your text will be selected. Next, you want to re-apply FILTER-BLUR-GUASSIAN BLUR but this time try to apply something heavier like 6 or 7, until you can start to see lights and darks like the image below. Then you will deselect CTRL-D or by going to SELECT-DESELECT
Now, you need to select what color you want your background to be. We chose green for our background to contrast with the melon.
You will want to click once on the RGB channel, and fill it with the color of your choiceEDIT-FILL-FOREGROUND COLOR. Now, the big step is to create a lighting effect that will create raised text. You will need to select FILTER-RENDER-LIGHTING EFFECTS I tried taking a screen shot, but Photoshop wouldn’t let me…so here are the settings I used(I will only mention the ones I changed), and you can experiment to get different effects. Remember, you have to be RGB to do this filter. We selected OMNI for the Light Type. We wanted a very plastic look to it, so we made the Intensity around 25, Gloss all the way to 100(Shiny) and material set to -100(Plastic). Switch the Texture to ALPHA 1 to apply it to your text, and the bottom bar is where you can experiment with height. I selected White is high, and chose height to be 34. Then you want to make sure circle in your preview surrounds ALL of the text, you can grab the dots around the circle and move them in/out. Then click okay. You should get a pretty groovy looking picture.
You can leave it as is, or change the color of the text. If you want to do that, resect your original channel as mentioned before by CTRL and clicking on the layer. Next, you will select IMAGE-ADJUST-HUE/SATURATION. Make sure you check “colorize” in the box, and select the color you want to change it to by moving up and down on the hue bar. You can adjust the other levels to get the color you want.
You can also select IMAGE-ADJUST-LEVELS if you want to darken or lighten the selection. After you are finished, deselect and you are set to go. If you would rather select the text and then move it to a different background like we did with our title, simply SELECT-MODIFY-EXPAND and give a value to fit your image, we used 5. We then pasted it onto a white background and put some other effects on it to give it a metallic look.
Try experimenting with different colors and lighting effects, you can come up with a million looks for your plastic text!
Author: Gina Hutchings
Copyright Lunar Media Inc
Chicago Web Design