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Adobe Photoshop: A Really “Cool” Type Effect

By Mike Meyer, Former Photoshop Student

Let’s say you are making a holiday card and you want to add a little snow to your text for a wintery feeling.
Adobe Photoshop: Snowy text.

  1. Open an existing image or create a new document and type in some text.
  2. Highlight the text and set your typeface, style, size and color in the Options bar. (I’m choosing a cool color to convey that chilly feeling.)
    Adobe Photoshop
  3. With the Type layer selected, choose Layer > Layer Style > Drop Shadow. You can play with the Drop Shadow structure (opacity, angle, distance, spread and size) until you achieve the effect you are looking for, but don’t choose OK yet.
    Adobe Photoshop: Set Drop Shadow attributes.
  4. Click the words “Bevel & Emboss” in the style category list on the left. Pick your favorite style and/or structure settings and now you can click OK.
    Adobe Photoshop: Set Bevel and Emboss attributes.
  5. Create a new layer for the snow with Layer > New > Layer. I called mine “The Snow”. Make sure it is on top of the Type layer in the Layers panel.
    Adobe Photoshop: Add a new layer over the Type layer.
  6. Press the letter D on the keyboard to reset the default colors, and then press X to reverse the colors so that White is the foreground color.
    Adobe Photoshop: Set white as the foreground color.
  7. Select the Brush tool from the Toolbox, and pick the following options from the Options bar: Brush: Dry Brush Tip Light Flow; Opacity: 70%; Flow: 60%.
    Adobe Photoshop: Select the Brush options.
  8. Open the Brushes panel with Window > Brushes and make the following changes to soften the look of the snow:
    1. In the Scattering category list on the left, change the Scatter slider to about 400%.
      Adobe Photoshop: Scatter options in the Brushes panel.
    2. In the Dual Brush category, select the Sampled Tip 60 Brush.
      Adobe Photoshop: Add the Dual Brush setting.
  9. To add the snow press your mouse button down and drag over the letters. Don’t worry about the snow overlapping the background.
    Adobe Photoshop: Adding the snow.
  10. Add a little depth to the snow by adding a Bevel and Emboss layer style (Layer > Layer Style > Bevel and Emboss).
    Adobe Photoshop: Add Bevel and Emboss to the snow.
  11. Wow! The snow looks great over the text, but it’s a bit messy in the background. Let’s clip the snow to the Type layer:
    1. Select “The Snow” layer.
    2. Layer > Create Clipping Mask (the arrow to the left of The Snow layer indicates that the pixels on the top layer are clipped to the lower layer).
      Adobe Photoshop: The arrow in front of the layer thumbnail indicates a clipping group.

Brrrr. Just looking at it makes me feel cold.

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