Text Portrait Effect Photoshop Tutorial

Hello everyone this is Chris from Spoon Graphics back with another video tutorial for Adobe Photoshop Today we're going to create a clever text portrait effect where a passage of text bends and warps to form the contours of the subject's face

This effect is particularly powerful when used to present famous speeches by depicting the orator with their own words It could also be used to produce artwork of musicians and their song lyrics, writers and stories, poets and their poems, or any other popular figure who is remembered for their words The process uses just a small selection of Photoshop's tools, with the Displace filter and a clipping mask being the key ingredients to making the effect But first, thank you to Envato Elements for sponsoring this video Begin by opening your chosen portrait image in Adobe Photoshop After browsing through some lists of the greatest speeches of all time, I chose to base my example on Sir Winston Churchill, whose portrait is freely downloadable as a Wikimedia Commons image Trim the picture to size using the Crop tool, so the subject's head fills the canvas

This particular image is already black and white, but if you're working with a colour image, apply a Black and White adjustment layer to convert it The greater the contrast between the dark and light areas, the more the text will bend around the contours of the face Add a Brightness and Contrast adjustment layer and bring up the contrast Select the original image layer in the Layers panel, then go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur Enter 10px

This will allow the subsequent displacement map to smoothly deform the text without any harsh kinks Go to File > Save As and save a copy of the PSD with the name map, or displacement map, or Untitled 1 somewhere on your system you'll be able to find again The Gaussian Blur isn't needed from now on, so use the CMD, or CTRL on Windows, ALT and Z shortcut for Step Backward to Undo it Next we need to gather the text that will be overlaid on the portrait It's worth copying and pasting the prose into a text editor to delete any spacing between the paragraphs, to form one big wall of text

Back in Photoshop, use the Text tool to draw a text box over the entire canvas Paste in the wording and begin setting up its appearance If your passage of text isn't long enough to cover the subject, simply paste in duplicates, it won't be noticeably once it's warped and deformed Firstly set the paragraph style to justify to remove the ragged alignment so it completely fills the document without any gaps Also make sure the Hyphenate option is unchecked so words break onto a new line rather than being split apart

The font choice is entirely your preference, but I'm using a nice heavy geometric sans named Avenir Next in Bold Checking the All Caps option makes every character the same height, which helps fill up the space Different effects can be achieved with larger or smaller text, the larger the text the more legible the wording will be, whereas the smaller the text the more clear the portrait image will be I'm using a tiny 25pt font size and leading so there's roughly the same gap between the letters as there is between each line

To produce the desired effect, add a displace filter from under the Filter > Distort > Displace menu Choose to convert the text layer to a Smart Object in the process, which will preserve the editability of the text element within it, should you want to alter it later OK the default settings for now, then navigate to the displacement map PSD we saved earlier The passage of text has been warped and deformed around the contours of the subject's face, based on the greyscale tones of the image If you notice the words are being deformed a little too much, you can double click the Displace filter under the Smart Object and reduce the scale values

Click and drag the portrait layer above the text, then make it a clipping mask by holding the ALT key while clicking between the layers To fully see the effect in action, create a new layer and drag it to the bottom of the layer stack Fill this layer with black using the Fill menu, or the ALT+Backspace shortcut The portrait image is now only visible through the letters of the text, which combined with the displacement filter, gives the artwork a sense of depth that brings it to life Since we created a Smart Object out of the text element, you can edit its contents to make any necessary adjustments

One such modification might be to extend the sides of the text passage beyond the edges of the document so the words flow into the document, rather than start along the straight edge Save and close this Smart Object file to see your changes are updated in the main document The final result is a detailed text portrait effect where the person's face is made out of words that bend and flow around the contours From a distance the effect just looks like an interesting pattern, but up close it becomes intriguing to read the tiny words that construct the image So if you enjoyed this tutorial or learnt any new tricks a thumbs up to help recommend the video would be really appreciated

Subscribe to the Spoon Graphics YouTube Channel to stick around for more of my content, and head over to my Spoon Graphics website to bag yourself some free design resources As always thank you very much for watching, and I'll see you in the next one

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