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Knowledge Center: Graphic Design

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Transform Ho-Hum Images with Photoshop

This whitepaper is one in a series of helpful how-to's from PrintingForLess.com, America's Print Shop. The paper introduces you to easy yet powerful treatments for images that would benefit from a little jazzing up.
Fill Text with Images
A picture's worth a thousand words. And when your words are a picture, it's worth a million! Here's how to make it happen quickly and easily using Photoshop's clipping masks. clipping masks

Step 1

Open a landscape photo with definite color. Avoid something with too much of one solid color in one area, or with the same color as the background of the page you'll eventually be placing the word on. Something like Figure 1 (© iStockphoto.com / konradlew) is a good candidate for this technique. fill text with images
Select Photoshop's Text tool and click somewhere in the photo. This will create a new text layer. Type in the text you want the image to show through (Figure 2). If necessary, change the font size to something larger by either selecting the text and changing the size on the Options palette, or by clicking-and-dragging a corner of the text with the Move tool. (Make sure Show Transform Controls is selected up in the Options palette). For manual resizing, hold Shift to maintain proportion, and press Enter to apply changes.
fill text with an image Change the typeface to a strong, thick font. I chose Impact. Next, double-click the Background layer to convert it to a normal layer. Name it something -- I've called mine Layer 0 -- and press OK (Figure 3).

Step 2

image filled text In the Layers palette, click-and-drag Layer 0 above the text layer. Carefully hover your cursor in between the two layers in the Layers palette and press Option (PC: Alt). The cursor should turn into a different icon, with two circles. Click once. Your text should now contain the pixels of the photo, but the shape of the text (Figure 4).
If you don't like which part the photo shows through the letters, select the Move tool and click-and-drag the text layer around the canvas.
Now it's time to save your image. If you save the file as a JPEG, Photoshop adds a white background. To preserve the transparency, save the file as a transparent GIF. To preview what a background will look like with the text, click Add New Layer on the Layers palette, and click and drag the new layer to the bottom. Then, click the Foreground color and select a color for the background, such as white. Press Option-Delete (PC: Alt-Backspace) to fill that layer with the color.

Step 3

Let's try something slightly different example. For this example, I've used an image by David Freund, ©iStockphoto.com (Figure 5).
Now you'll add three text layers separately. Select Photoshop's Text tool, click in the photo, and enter the word "Ocean." Resize the text as desired.
image within text
adding an image in text
text filled image in photoshop
Option-Click (PC: Alt-Click) to duplicate the text and then select the Text tool to change the text to "Surf". Option/Alt-Click again to change the text to "Sea". Position the words as you see in Figure 6, then select all the text layers in the Layers palette and go to Layer > Merge Layers (or press Cmd-E (PC: Ctrl-E).
Double-click the photo layer to make it a normal layer. Click-and-drag the merged text layer below the photo layer. Option-Click (Alt-Click) with the cursor in between the two layers. Add a white layer as you see in Figure 7, or keep the background transparent.

Step 4

You can also add text with a clipping mask to part of a design, as I did in Figure 8 using a photo by Henk Badenhorst (© iStockphoto.com).
add text with clipping mask
using a clipping mask
Create the clipping mask the same way you did for the first two examples, but also duplicate the photo layer by pressing Cmd-J (PC: Ctrl-J) after selecting it in the Layers palette. Then, drag that new copy of the photo layer to the background, and select the area for the text to show by clicking-and-dragging around that area with the Marquee Selection tool. type with image Finally, press Delete (PC: Backspace) to delete those pixels. You may want to drag a guide from the top ruler to see where the selection should be while temporarily turning the visibility of the copied photo layer off to see where the text begins.
Figure 9 is one more example to spark your own creativity, this time using an image by Josef Volavka (©iStockphoto.com).
You can also fill type with artwork using InDesign and QuarkXPress and get similar results. For tutorials, see http://www.creativepro.com/article/indesign-how-fill-typewith- artwork (InDesign) and http://www.creativepro.com/article/quark-how-to-fill-type-with-artwork-in-quarkxpress (QuarkXPress).
Turn Color Photos into Duotones
You can transform one photograph into a wide variety of duotones. This makes it look more like an illustration, which can be a plus when your original photo is not of the highest quality. As a plus, a duotone's simple color scheme can be easier to coordinate with an overall design.

Step 1

before customization Download a higher resolution copy of Figure 1 by clicking on the image then saving it to your computer by right clicking on it. Name that file "before.jpg". This photo is in the public domain because it's from the United States Army's image database. Open "before.jpg" in Photoshop and go to Image > Adjustments > Threshold.
Click and drag on the Threshold's bottom slider to adjust its levels (Figure 2). The farther you move the slider to the left, the whiter the image will be. The farther you move it to the right, the blacker the image will be. The key to a successful duotone is to have a good balance between the dark and light pixels. You want the important parts of the photo to show, and good detail and balance between the two tones. Set this image's level to 151 and click OK. threshold adjustment in phototshop

Step 2

Now that you have a black-and-white duotone look, let's add some color. Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation.
The hue/saturation dialog has three settings to adjust: hue, saturation, and lightness. To preview the effect the settings will have, check the Preview box. Next, check the Colorize box.
Now, let's create a duotone with white as the background. For this example, adjust the Hue to 100, the Saturation slider to 50, and the Lightness slider to +40. Click OK (Figure 3). saturation adjustment in photoshop
When you're trying this technique on other images, drag the sliders right and left and watch the results. Moving the Hue slider changes colors. Dragging the Lightness slider to the left lightens the color, and dragging the Saturation slider to the left increases saturation. Save the image (File > Save As) and name it "green.jpg." Close that file.

Step 3

Now let's make another duotone, this time with a black background. Close "before.jpg" without saving, then reopen it.
Go to Image > Adjustments > Threshold and adjust the slider to 155. Click OK. Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation again. Check the Preview and Colorize boxes by clicking on them. Set the values to Hue=40, Saturation=63, and Lightness=-47 (Figure 4). Click OK. Name this image "brown.jpg" and keep it open.
colorizing in photoshop
adjusting color range in photoshop
photoshop adjustment

Step 4

Let's say you want a duotone made out of two color hues, instead of one color plus black or white. Easy! Open "green.jpg," the file you created earlier in this tutorial. You should have two open files that look like Figure 5. Click on "brown.jpg" to make it active and go to Select > Color Range. Hover your mouse over the brown area and click to sample it with the Color Range's eyedropper tool. Click OK.
Go to Edit > Copy or press Cmd-C (PC: Ctrl-C) to copy the selected pixels. Open the "green.jpg" file and go to Edit > Paste or Cmd-V (PC: Ctrl-V) to paste the pixels. You'll notice that there are some white pixels you'll want to make green or brown (Figure 6). The white pixels are there because the two images have slightly different ranges.
Click the eye icon next to the Background layer (the green pixels) in the Layers palette to turn off its transparency. Then turn the transparency for the Background layer back on by clicking its eye icon in Photoshop' Layers palette. Select the Eyedropper tool from the toolbox.
Select the Background layer in the Layers palette by clicking on it. Click somewhere on the green to sample the green color. You can now turn off the transparency of the Background layer by clicking its eye icon in the Layers palette. Click the New Layer icon on the bottom of the Layers palette to insert a new layer, Layer 2, in between the Background layer and Layer 1.
Press Option-Backspace (PC: Alt-Backspace) to fill the new layer with the green color in the foreground (Figure 7). Now you have a green-and-brown duotone. Save it as "duotone.jpg."
using layers pallette
hue adjustment in photoshop
You can adjust the hue, saturation, and lightness by going to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation again (Figure 8). However, Photoshop won't give you a black/ color hue or white/color hue combination; instead, it will rely on the relationship between the two hues used.

This whitepaper is based on materials written by Chad Neuman for CreativePro.com.
Also see the Preparing Photos for Print Projects whitepaper.

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