How to Stylize and Warp Type in Photoshop Elements 9 Images
12 of 12 in Series: The Essentials of Creating Artistic Effects in Photoshop Elements 9
You can warp, distort, enhance, and stylize your type in Photoshop Elements. If you’re not careful, your creative typography can outshine your image. If you’ve tried your hand at creating a type mask, you know that Elements is capable of much more than just throwing a few black letters at the bottom of your image.
Adjusting type opacity in Elements
Layers are a digital version of the old analog transparency sheets. You can change element opacity on layers to let the underlying layer show through in varying degrees. This is also possible on a type layer.
To change the opacity of a type layer, simply select the layer on the Layers panel, click the arrow to the right of the Opacity percentage, and drag the slider. The lower the percentage, the less opaque the type (and the more the underlying layer shows through).
Applying filters to type in Elements
One of the most interesting things you can do with type in Elements is apply special effects, such as filters. You can make type look like it’s on fire, underwater, or on the move. The only caveat is that type has to be simplified first before a filter can be applied. Be sure to do all your text editing before you get to the filtering stage.
Applying the filter is as easy as selecting the simplified type layer on the Layers panel and choosing a filter from the Filter menu.
Painting type with color and gradients in Elements
Changing the color of text is as easy as highlighting it and selecting a color from the Color Picker. But what if you want to do something a little less conventional, such as apply random brush strokes of paint across the type? Again, as with applying filters to text, the only criterion is that the type has to be simplified first. After that’s done, select a color, grab the Brush tool with settings of your choice, and paint.
If you want the color or gradient to be confined to the type area, select the text by either Ctrl-clicking (cmd-clicking on a Mac) the layer containing the text or locking the layer’s transparency on the Layers panel.
You can also apply a gradient to your type. Here are the steps to follow after simplifying your type:
Select the Gradient tool from the Tools panel.
On the Options bar, click the down-pointing arrow next to the Gradient Picker to access the Gradient Picker drop-down panel.
Choose your desired gradient.
Position your gradient cursor on the text where you want your gradient to start; drag to where you want your gradient to end.
Don’t like the results? Drag again until you get the look you want. Remember that you can drag at any angle and to any length, even outside your type.
Warping type in Elements
The best part about the distortions you apply with the Warp feature is that the text remains fully editable. This feature is fun and easy to use. Click the Create Warped Text button near the far-right end of the Options bar. (It’s the T with a curved line below it.) This action opens the Warp Text dialog box, where you find a vast array of distortions on the Style pop-up menu with descriptive names such as Bulge, Inflate, and Squeeze.
After selecting a warp style, you can adjust the orientation, amount of bend, and degree of distortion by dragging the sliders. The Bend setting affects the amount of warp, and the Horizontal and Vertical Distortions apply perspective to that warp. You can also view the results while you adjust.
You can also use the Transform command, such as scale and skew, to manipulate text.