Digital Lettering: Designing 3D Type and Texture | Jeff Rogers | Skillshare

Digital Lettering: Designing 3D Type and Texture

Jeff Rogers, Lettersmith

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10 Lessons (1h 24m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Selecting Your Font & Creating Blends

    • 3. Playing with Dimension

    • 4. Photoshop I: Sketching & Layout

    • 5. Photoshop II: Digitizing

    • 6. Photoshop III: Adding Dimension

    • 7. Photoshop IV: Adding Details

    • 8. Photoshop V: Color & Finishing Touches

    • 9. Photoshop VI: Wrapping Up

    • 10. Explore Design on Skillshare


About This Class

Join designer and illustrator Jeff Rogers for a 70-minute class on designing dimensional type. In this fun and practical class, you'll dive into the essentials of working with typography in your digital illustration work — starting with selecting the right font, and then building it up with color, texture, and dimension.

Throughout bite-sized lessons, Jeff designs an original postcard to show dimensional type in action. Along the way, he also shares his most useful Photoshop and Illustrator tips to make your process smooth and second nature.

You'll walk away from this class with an organized, smart, and efficient approach to working with typography, a great sense for what works visually, and how to create that aesthetic in your own work.

This class is perfect for illustrators and designers looking to hone their typography skills. From customizing fonts for a new project to incorporating type into existing illustrations, use this class to master dimension and color that can take your work to the next level.


1. Introduction: Hey, everybody, welcome. It's Jeff Rogers here. I'm going to give you a little intro on this dimensional type class. Basically what I do for living is a lot of this kind of work. I did a class awhile back on, specifically, painting type and doing some techniques for that. If you haven't seen that, that might be interesting for you, but for this class, I wanted to focus in on more digital techniques. For me, personally, I still see it as a form of painting. So you might hear me refer to it as digital painting. But basically, we're just going to walk through the process of building this piece that you're looking at. It's going to go from this to this. I'm just going to walk you through the process of how I get something like this done, and what the processes are that I've developed over the last several years. Hopefully, there's something in here that can be helpful and beneficial to you in your own work. We're going to start out by really keeping things practical, looking at some different font choices that work well with this sort of dimensional look. We're going to go into Illustrator, do some sketches in a sketch book and then go into Illustrator and design this very layout. Just going through the process of how these decisions or how I make these decisions. Without further ado, this is quite a process, so let's get cracking. Thanks for stopping by. Over and out. 2. Selecting Your Font & Creating Blends: I want to start out by offering some suggestions on fonts. Just to get started, a lot of times I'll use fonts in work. Other times I'll just go ahead and draw the letters if I need to conform to a certain shape or there's an idea that I want to try to get across, or make interesting, some ligatures, or etc. I'll just draw the letters, but a lot of times I'll start with a font. I'm suggesting some of these fonts because they all have a certain quality that I'll talk about in just a second. But when I do draw the letters, I always want to have a letter that's pretty simple as far as the width. A lot of these fonts that I've suggested do that. If we zoom in here, I can show you what I mean. The widths of the letters are consistent. If you get too fussy with the actual type style like a serif font or something where the line width varies, it just gets a little bit complicated when you start adding a bunch of dimensionality and shading, and shadows, and texture. I want to always try to keep these letter forms really straightforward and really simple. One thing that you'll notice with these is that the width of the letter form is pretty consistent. All these have that quality. Then having some sharp edges to play with shadowing and stuff, I like this font for that. Also, I zoom back out here, this Home Room is really nice. It really looks like a sign. I see a lot of signs of this. Same, it seems this is always rounded on the outside and then squared in the middle. Something that is interesting about that is if you think about signs, which is where I base a lot of the aesthetic qualities of my work, they're made by hand. I'm not going to get a lot of fancy line widths, it's going to be a pretty simple letter form. It works out because it's a lot easier to read too. Anyway, these are just some suggestions on some fonts as a starting point. I'm going to be using fonts for this piece actually as opposed to draw into now. Starting out here, I've got Adobe Illustrator document open. For this, it's this postcard size. What now I want to do is I'm going to create the title of the course. The words dimensional type are going to be the heroes set in this big blocky style. I'm going to start out by selecting a font. Let's, grab CactusBold. If this was a real projects, I would have misspelled this word. It was an actual client work, seem to always misspell everything, embedded that. Let's track that way out. Awesome. I like to track out words like this because when you put an angle on it, some dimensionality on it, then it just flattens the letter up. You need some breathing room and in between the letters. That's something just to experiment with though. Now, I do type. This is a shorter word so I want it to be very large and in charge. Let's do Nexa Slab. I like this one. This one I want it to be a little tighter. It's got these nice angles. It's going to look awesome when we start going into all the angles and shadows and everything. If we wanted to just create some dimensionality on this right here, these are the steps. It's pretty simple. I'm going to select these, let's go ahead and group these. We can keep things nice and clean in the layers. Now the idea here is that we want the face of the letter, and then we want the sides, and then a shadow. So that's basically three parts. With the process of making the dimensionality, you need this face to be its own path. It's a matter of just separating out all the paths and applying some blends to that. Let's make it happen. We're going to copy this Command C, and we're going to do faced in front which is Command F. We'll do that twice, Command F, Command F, and see the layers. They have three. The top one is going to be the face so you want that because you want to be able to control things like the color. Let me remain with the color. Then these two will make up the sides. We want to grab the bottom layer and use arrow keys to nudge out that angle. It's to see what we're doing. I'd like to go and just change the color of this top layer to something, maybe it's orange. The next thing is you select both of these. I like to work in the layers. Obviously, I'm over here clicking. It's hard to grab and select stuff over here, especially when it's still live type. I like to just come over here and you clicking out past the circle, and I'm holding down shift to select the multiple layers. So hold down Shift, select those two back layers. Now I'm going up here to Object, I'm going to Blend and then Make, and boom, like magic. If you've worked with Blend before, you know the joy and the power to blend. Sometimes it'll default to this, I need to select Blend again here, "Cancel", select, double-click the "Blend Tool". I think sometimes we'll default to this smooth color and then you get this something, it's not great. You want it to be like this. Now what's happening here? I always choose a big number, like 300 or something. Let's zoom in and see what's happening. You zoom into that angle and you can see all of the 30 levels for the easily and it looks not grade. So you want to pixelated almost. The more steps you do, the more that is going to just smooth ride out. It's tricky though because you don't want to do too many, because then it is a little bit hard on a computer, but 300 seems tough for me to do the job. If you zoom way in, you can see all the little stair steps, but zoom back out. That's the process. The next step is the shadow, and it's the same once you get the way you like it. The beautiful thing about the Blend is, if you don't like this angle, you can get in here and tweak and change it. Once you get the Blend gone because it might look a little bit different. Another thing I like to do is say this word is bigger and I want the size to be a little bit thicker, so I'm going to have to go in here and grab just this back layer, and then I can manipulate that some more. Awesome. For the shadow, it's the same process. Let's move this whole thing up. You're going to make a blend. But the blend is going to come from where basically the type is touching the wall, if you will. Again, we're just looking at signs and things out in the real world as inspiration for how this stuff looks, and that's where the shadow comes from is where the letter hits the wall. You select this back, most layer, this one is right behind the face. You want to grab that, hold down option, click that layer, pull it out from the blend so you're making a copy. Now I want to pull that behind. It's in the very back and go ahead, and change the color to a light gray. Now I'm going to do that same process, I'm going to copy and paste in front. So Command C, Command F, select, hold down Shift, select that layer, so both layer selected. Actually, let's move it first, nudge that down. I always like to have my shadow go in the opposite direction of the letters going to the right, like the shadow to go to the left. Let's try that and select hold on Shift, select the Layer, Object, Blend. Since we already specify that 300 steps, it should retain the same specs for future blends. So that's nice. Anyway, so that's the steps and then you can go through here. Because like the blend, you can change the color and all kinds of fun stuff. That's designed something here using these steps. I like this, but I think there's more that we can do to push it. So let's look at some other options. 3. Playing with Dimension: Now, let's refine the design. I always start with pencil and paper, I've done a few little quick sketches in my super cool preprinted thumbnails, newsprints, sketchbooks, that I get from Muji. I don't end up trying to get a lot of detail on these things. It's just a great way to get a bunch of ideas out really quickly. You don't waste time in Illustrator pushing things around and et cetera. I start here, but I like this design for this project. We're going to do something like this. Going back to our Illustrator file, it's got a new layer. I'm going to start over here because I'm not going to try to manipulate this into the angle because if I start doing that all the angles are going to be weird. I like to get the face of the type design first and then build the dimensionality and shadows, et cetera, off of that so that everything looks correct. Copy, I'm just going to copy this font so I can use this and turn this off. Select Layer 6, command V. I'm going to pull this over. Basically, to get that angle, I'm going to grab this Free Transform Tool. Something interesting if you do something and design like this, you just pull it up, see how it looks stretched horizontally. That's not good. You can tell because this width and this width are different, this is wider. You want them to be the same. If you think about, we go outside and look at a sign, we're recreating the look of being underneath it to the right of it. Always pull it up and then pull in. This looks more correct. Again, so you just go out and look at stuff, you'll be able to notice things like that and use it when you're building this kind of thing. It's pretty good. Let's make our blends again. I'm going to command C and then paste in front twice, one, two. Then I'm going to go ahead and change the color of this to black. I'm going to grab this bottom layer, nudge out that, and I want the word "TYPE" to be longer than or deeper, I guess, than this top word. So I'm going to go in here and select the "DIMENSIONAL" being careful to match that angle, kind of just eyeballing it. Now I'm going to select both of these, actually, first I'm just going to go since I know I'm going to have a shadow, I'm going to grab this and just copy paste in front twice again. Now these two back ones are my shadow, so I'm going to change that to gray. Select the back most layer and nudge holding down shift and using the arrow keys. I'm going to just make my blends, Object, Blend, Make and I'm just going to check to make sure that this is still the same Specified Steps, 302. I spent a little bit of time finessing this thing and adding in some of the other type. Couple of things I wanted to say though are, I like to try to be as intentional with this stuff as I can be trying to avoid certain things like before, my shadow was placed like, see if I can recreate it, like this, see if I can drop. There's these weird little spaces in between the letters and it just doesn't look great. So I move that, you know, same for this edge. It was barely at the edge, so I moved it a little bit more. Anyway, just so there's everything's as intentional as it can. It's like doing, it neither needs to be really far away from this, and when you get those little slivers of gaps and those kinds of things, It's just what I try to avoid. But these, I just laid out and this is Cactus again and this is Nanami. Lay these out and then change the angle with this Free Transform Tool to match the angle of this type. One thing I want to do is, since this word is so thick, I think it'd be nice to have a little bit of an edge to it. So let's go in and add that, get my layers here. I'm going to do is, just want to add a border. This will make more sense when we get into Photoshop. But just to create the shape to work from copy, paste in front, and then I'm going to change this to Stroke. Then just change color so I can see, go into my Stroke. I'm going to Create Outline so I can change this to go on the inside. I'm just going to make this a little thicker, and it's cool because when we're doing this, if we bring into Photoshop, you want to be a little thinner or whatever, well then we have it here to grab it and start over. Anyway, let's start with this and see what happens. 4. Photoshop I: Sketching & Layout: What I'm going to do now is start moving all of these elements over into Photoshop in different layers. The reason that I do this is so that I can have freedom to manipulate each piece of this separately. Select all of this and drag it over. It would be really hard to manipulate it. I think of this as digital painting, almost. The layers in Photoshop's just a powerful way to keep everything separate and to be able to mess with individual elements. I always like to work backwards. So I'm going to grab the shadow blend first. Just copy that over to a blank document that I've created here. Let's go ahead and paste as a smart object just in case we need to scale it up then we won't lose anything. It sometimes takes a while, I guess because it's got to render all of the 300 steps of little pixels. Go back here and grab the sides next. Copy, paste the smart object. Grab the face next. This shouldn't take very long. Boom. I'll just go ahead and grab everything. Grab all of this other type. Anyway, we're going to just basically line everything back up. It looks like I've got snap on. Usually, that'll get me pretty close, and so I always just like to zoom way in and make sure that the pixels are lining up. Looks pretty good. Let's do this. Go ahead and rasterize this layer. This is the fun part. The first thing I started with is differentiating the lights and darks on the sides of the letters. I'm just going to turn this way down for now. There's a million different ways that you can do this. I like doing it this way just because it feels like mosaic painting to me. If I do everything by hand, I think it just retains a level of authenticity, freshness, as opposed to creating a 3D object in Illustrator or something. Thus it so darn satisfying to spend all this time then have something that you watch it come to life. Basically, I'll take this Polygon Lasso and just start to define. What I want to do is separate the bottoms and the sides, and make those two different colors. Because if the shadows come in like this the light source is going to be up here. The sides are going to be lighter than the bottoms. Let's do this the right way, let's use the Pen tool and start making our selections like this, just making paths. I'm just defining those areas, tops and bottoms. Click, click, click. I'm going to click all these out. That usually takes a little bit of time, just a few minutes there, but in the end, it's worth it. The other good thing about the Pen tool is you can go back in here and redefine some things like this. This is a little bit too low, I think. I'm just going to bump this up. Let's go in here and create a selection from all these paths by holding down Command and clicking. I'm just going to save this path as "Under 1". Loaded as a selection and then make a new layer above the dimensional sides layer and I'm going to fill with another color. Just pick anything you can change it later. Then do Option, Delete to fill with the foreground color. Then you're going to constrain those shapes to what you already had. So basically, hold down Option, and then you hover in between those layers. Whenever active pixels are in this layer and in layer 2, the pixels that are constrained will only be live in those active pixels. That's a terrible way to explain it but you see what it does. It's like another way of making a mask. We use this all the time. It's great because you can still move this layer around if you want to. See we don't want to this time. But I'm going to switch out these two colors. I'm going to make this bottom darker than the side. Another trick that I always use is locking the transparent pixels so I can change colors easily. That's what this lock transparent pixel button is. So I'm going to lock. It's going to go ahead and lock all of those. I don't want to add any more pixels to any of this. Maybe I'll just pick the same red and just swap out those colors. I'm going to do Option, Delete and then I'm going to hit "D" to make my colors black and white again. I'm going to do Option, Delete on this layer. You can start to see how things are shaping up. I'm going to go ahead and define these curves. What I'm going to do is create a mask. Again, there's a lot of different ways you can do this too, but I'm just going to mask out, and get a really soft brush, change the size. Make it really soft like this. Then I'm just going to make sure it's black. Then I'm just going to be careful not to hit this, it's a little bit tricky. I'm just going to paint. Looks pretty good. Same with this. See I'm locking this so I'm just going to drag a selection really quick so I don't mess up this one. I'm going to brush. There we go. Let's do all these. I want to keep them around the same area of the curve. But again, I liked the fact that things are varied because it shows that it was made by hand. A lot of times people ask on these digital pieces if they're painted. They can't really tell the difference, which to me is awesome. It's like a sign that I did it right. Work on this P. It's pretty good. I think that's all my curves. There was this little area here where there's two undersides that connect right here. I want to separate those just a little bit. First, I want to separate this out. My thinking here is that this underneath here would be the darkest thing. If I'm going to change anything is probably going to be this here because it's going to be reflecting some light off of the more light side. I'm going to go back and get a really big brush and start to knock out just the very edge of that side just so it's separated a little bit. The next thing I want to do is darken up some of these areas to make it even more realistic like the inside of this D. Actually, I want to straight line. I want to hold down Shift and then click here and I'm going hold down Shift and bring this up like that. There we go, it looks pretty good. Unlike the insides of the M, this would be darker. It looks like I'm going to have to constrain this too. It's really just painting till things look interesting. I'll probably just keep doing this as I work until things look good. See how it's starting to look. More and more realistic the more work I put in. 5. Photoshop II: Digitizing: I want to show you now how to create this inset effect with this type within Photoshop here. I like using this effect if I'm going to put bulbs or neon inside of a letter form, but easy just to just do it and show you what I mean rather than try to explain it. I made a little bit of an error here that's an easy fix, but basically I turn these layers off. You see on this layer I have this border along with the yellow part, and I need those to be separate layers. Basically, I'm just going to use the Magic Wand. I'll make sure my contiguous is unchecked, so I get everything that's red. Then I'm going to cut and paste in front. So that's Command Shift V. Just to make sure that it's all one color, I'm going to lock the transparent pixels, hold down I to get my Eyedropper, and then hit "Option", "Delete" to fill. Every pin I note now that every pixel is that red color because my transparent pixels are locked, and I just filled. I want to do the same thing with this one, so I'm going to hold down I, do Option, Delete, just to make sure everything's consistent. Here, I need to separate this out too because I want this to be a separate from the other word. I'm going to Cut, and then Paste, and Place. I'm going to start naming these layers like a good boy. TYPE face, and this is TYPE lip and this is DIM face. Basically, what I want to do is to make this look like it's not back, so I want to just grab it, and move it. I mean you can already start to see how it's going to get there. You can move this and get it to where you want it. Maybe like, how is that? How does that look? That looks pretty good. Then we're going to go through the process of just almost like a sign painter, just filling in all of these little triangles. Because this right now is just a hole, and if you turn off everything else, you would see that, that was just a hole. It would be nice if you could get some pixels there quickly. I'm going to do that. What I'm going to do is move that back. I'm going to hold down Command and grab that. The selection of both the inside and the outside. I'm going to create a new layer, and I'm going to fill with a color. I'm going to pick this and then change it a little bit. Then I'm going to fill with foreground color. I'm going to knock this back again. See now I've got a shape that's already there. You don't have to worry about that hole. A lot of this is just trial and error as you are working on it. You'll see things and have to solve these kind of problems, but that's what I love about these processes. You'll run into these hurdles, then you come up with a way to solve it and it makes the piece look a little bit different. As I'm doing this now I want to make sure that this angle is close to this angle, and it looks pretty good. I'm not going to get too fussy about it. Now the way that I like to do this, is just knock and just basically erase this face part, so I can go back in and just burn the shadows, because again, this is the bottom. This is going to be darker than this. I'm going to go and do that too. I'm just going to hit "Delete". I think I got everything, hopefully. I'm going to go back in here. I think I really need to save this one, so I'm just going to convert it and delete. Again, I'm pulling command and clicking the path to turn it into a selection and you select that. It's looking pretty good. Now we're going to do that same process that we did with the outside, and make a selection, and create a new layer, so that we can have control over the bottom and the side basically. Here we go. We do the same thing, create a new layer, which I already did. Maybe just black, hit "D" and fill, deselect. Then I want to constrain this to this color here, so I'm going to hold down Option, and moved it underneath this face layer, right on top of the sides layer, and I'm going to hold down Option, constrain those so that it's like we did before. It's a time consuming process, but the results, I think are worth the time. I think that looks pretty good. I do want to make this because it's an angle. I want that to be a little bit darker, so I'm going to change this way down and just paint that in. It's a little bit darker. Just for funsies, I'm going to make this a little bit lighter. Again, I'm just going to eyeball that and will tweak this color later. You get the idea. I am going to change the color of this now because I want this, all the inside to be pretty light. Sometimes the way I do this, and everybody has their own process, but I'll just get the hue saturation, by hitting Command Hue and I'll colorize, and then control and just grab a color from here, and then I can just slide things around. I like this process because then you can see it in context. Again, I'm going to probably change all these colors a little bit later, but I just wanted to be a little bit closer so I can see maybe something like that. Stop fiddling with it. That's looking pretty cool. The main concern here is just making sure that it's legible. What's happening is this is getting a little thin. Like when you really look at just that yellow color, I want this whole thing to seem really light. I'm going to fix that right now. Kind of see my process here which is going to lighten that up. Maybe it's like this. Let's do a quick levels. Really fine tune later, but, okay, see that's starting to look better already. Maybe it's way subtle. It's better instead of cutting into this light area now, if it's all light then it retains that weight that I want. 6. Photoshop III: Adding Dimension: All right. This is looking pretty cool. Again, I'm just creating this as I go and trying to explain what I'm doing. It's not super specific, this process. It's just trying stuff and seeing what happens. I've done some much practicing and experimentation with this stuff. I have this little process that I'm explaining now, so this is a stream of consciousness, so hopefully, it makes sense. But the next thing I want to do is start to add some texture because I just can't help myself. I love the look of type with a little bit of texture. It just makes it feel warm and more realistic. I'm going to do that with adding some noise. I'm going to turn those off for now. I'm going to select this side's layer. I'm just going to go to Filter, Noise, Add Noise. Here, I like Gaussian, monochromatic noise. You can see I like this too, that you can in real-time see the preview. That's a little bit too much. I want it to be pretty subtle. I usually stick with less than 10. Just to be non-destructive here, I'm going go ahead and take what I've got so far. Group and copy that and ungroup that. Now I have what I have so far just in case I need to go back now that I'm starting to add texture and stuff. I'm going to turn that off. Now let's go back and add some noise. Now that I have these layers saved, I'm going to go ahead and just merge this down, Command E. Now that's one layer. Actually, I'm going to go back and do that first before I add noise. Trial and error. Add Noise. I'm going to do something else now. I don't want this to be fully black because I want some texture to show up, and when it's black, it's there but. So I'm going to go back yet again and I'm going to open my levels and I'm just going to take some black out of that. It comes this gray. Actually, I'm going to do it a different way. See, trial and error. It's a beautiful thing. I'm going to do it like this. I'm going to take this down so I can have more control of the color. I'm going to make it like a dark red. How that? Cool. Now I'm going to merge, Command E. Add Noise. There we go. Okay, so that's pretty cool. Now I'm going to take this, I'm going to constrain the pixels just for kicks. Now I'm going to use the Burn tool to go in there and make these shadows a little bit more dramatic. I've got Midtones selected. It's going to do different things depending on which of these are modes you have it on. So I'll just stick with midtone and just see what happens, I want a big soft brush. I'm just going to start painting in. It's not really affecting this. I am going to undo this, but if I have highlights. Okay, so that really affects that. What about shadows? That doesn't do much. Let's undo, undo, undo. Let's turn it to highlights. It makes that a little bit muddy. Let's just keep it on midtones. I'm just going to go in here and paint haphazardly. What I'm trying to do is just create some different tonalities within these sides. My thinking is that it's going to be darker, closer to where the wall is, unlike in-between these areas. So I'm just going to go in and make those a little darker. Now here's another opportunity to separate these. I have separated here and I missed this. So another way to do that is to just go in here and separate this out and then burn this. See that the other thing that the noise does is it helps to define the shadow. The Burn tool looks more interesting when there's some noise in this width. That makes any sense at all? So keep painting that. It's going to be dark right in there. This in here is going to be darker right next to the wall. That was a mistake. I didn't necessarily want that right there to be darker. I'm going to leave it because why not? Sometimes I just leave stuff like that and call them happy mistakes. Because later on as I keep working on this, it might turn into something interesting. I liked when these bottoms are darker, so I'm just going to go and hit those maybe in the back even more so they're really dark right next to the wall. Yeah, it's looking cool. It's not a super defined thing, it's just like trying stuff. It's like painting, right? I don't know, you might have seen I did another class on painting type and to me, there's just so many overlaps with this stuff. Anyway, I'm just going to keep going. That's a little too much, I'm going to go back up there. Looking good. This is one of my favorite parts because that's when things start looking really realistic and you can go in. I don't know, it's a very satisfying process, I guess. At least to me, it is. I want to define this part a little bit more. I'm just going to burn that cool and all of this inside of here would be really dark. I make sound effects sometimes, it's fine, don't worry about them. This in here, behind this E. Again, this little gap is annoying me. I might just get rid of it. I'm going to use the Rubber Stamp tool and I'm going to select this area. Just paint this in here to fill that. It's a little gap in. That's cool. I'm going to do the same thing to the insides. 7. Photoshop IV: Adding Details: Moving on to the phase here. I'm going to work on the dimensional word first. This one seemed a little bit more complicated. I'm going to go through that same process, I am going to add some noise. The good thing is it retains the whatever number you used last, and that's helpful in this situation because then you get the same grain going on. I like it to be consistent if it's like way different. I don't know. It doesn't look as right to me. Anyway, let's go click Ok. All I'm going to do here is if I'm thinking about this, so the light is coming from up here and hitting this at this angle. If it's above the type, then theoretically the tops are going to be little bit lighter. What I'm going to do is go in and hit this with the Dodge tool and get a great big brush and just see what happens if I do this. It wasn't much of an effect. To try to get a little bit more happening, I'll hit the bottom with a burn. That's cool. Just to get like a subtle gradation. Starting to get muddy but color wise, so I'm going to go back later and tweak those colors. But I want to do these two at the same time if I'm going to mess with the color because I want them to be the same tone. Let's go and add some noise to these two. I usually just do Command + F just to apply the last filter. Command + F, I'm just going to put noise and all these lip. I am going to do that same thing to the back. I didn't even name it. That is why you name things so you can find them. Let's change shadow. That's better. If you check this protect tones, it usually should help retain the tone a little bit better. I just don't like it when it starts to turn gray, which happens sometimes. I'm going to go ahead just to get some variation. I'm going to burn. Sometimes the colors, they don't really do anything. Let me try. I guess because it's not reading any shadows in that tone, so turn this down to mid tones or might not be on the right layer. I am on the right layer. Again thinking about light coming from this side, I'm just guessing that it's going to be darker around this side. The main thing is that it's just like some variation within the different tones. You see that color is weird. Let's see mid tone. I have to hit that few more times. I like that. Let's see. Let's turn the exposure down. It's all about just painting the stuff. I keep saying the same thing. That's supposed to be lighter so let's hit this and this. I want this to be subtle. It's looking cool. Again maybe on this lip, I might want to make the top a little bit lighter. I don't know if this is going to do anything, it's already really light. What it usually does is just take the noise grain out a little bit and just affects those lighter grains of noise. This is looking good. This is weird right now. Maybe I can go in and colorize. Do hue saturation Command + U and colorize this just to keep it all the same tone. It's looking better already, maybe a little darker. Let's go and mess with the color on the dimensional face. I'm going to hue saturation Command + U again and colorize. It should bring up that saturation. I'll move this around a little bit. Again, it's like I might want to change this whole color scheme and just to try something which I might do a little bit later. But this is looking okay to me. Next thing I might do is change the background, start messing with the background color just to see what could happen. I'll just fill with white command, option delete, and do a hue saturation Command + U. Then here I can just mess with color. These are my colors, man. That's where I always go. It's this complimentary color scheme. I don't know for some reason everything that I do is like this red, orange and like an aqua, greenish blue. But it looks good. I'm going to turn this back up and hit Multiply. See that's starting to look cool. 8. Photoshop V: Color & Finishing Touches: Now, there's a bunch of stuff you can do with this shadow to make it look more realistic. A little trick that I have figured out is the idea that I want the shadow closer to the letter to be darker than it is out at the edge. You could leave it like this and I think it look cool. There's something really nice and graphic about this look. But if you want to take it a step further, this is what I do. I basically want to just to grab a selection. I'm going to grab the sides here, hold Command and click to grab the selection. Actually, what I'm going do is grab a selection that's going to give me a blur to where I can affect the pixels that are just right around here. I think the better selection would be the face. [inaudible] hold down Command and click this, and then I'm going to grab that one too and then I'll move this selection down to here. Then I'm going to refine this edge, and it's up to you which one of these you like. It doesn't really matter. All I really want to do is Feather this out and make it really soft and I'm going to make it a little bit wider. That's too much. Let's try this. See what that gets us. I want to move this again over. That's not going to be like super realistic. It's just going to give you a little bit of, and this T it's like the dimensional part is at the right spot, but since this one is a little bit longer, it's not right. It's just not right. The only way I can fix that is do a Quick Mask and just move it in the Quick Mask Mode. I hit "Q" and hey, that looks cool. Then I'm just going to grab this little area and move this where I want it. It was like right outside of that, right there. Deselect and grab my brush and here we go. Just hold down Shift to do the straight lines. That's not working. No way. Just going to paint over this. Paint. I'm going to hit "Q" and get back out of Quick Mask. With that selection, I'm just going to mess with the levels. I'm going to do Command L, just make those little bit darker, surely subtly. Then it's like we want it to be a little bit farther out, so let's try to mess with that selection a little bit more, do another Feather. Maybe go more dramatic like that. It's cool though. Let's look at that again. Looks like there's a spotlight on it or something. Anyway. Let's do that same thing, Levels. Yeah, it's cool. Now, it's a little darker around right at the edge, which to me it seems more realistic. I'm going to kick that back. It's a little bit, takes them in the darks out. It's a little bit less. It looks like it's floating. I'm going to give it one more, and do this one more thing. I'm going to be separately so I don't have to move. Let's give it a little hard shadow, right here. Let's make another layer, just fill this with black just to make it look like it's right up against the wall, maybe there's a little gap. It anchors a little bit so I'm going to blur this just a little bit. I'll go to "Filter", "Blur", "Gaussian Blur", let's try to move that. Hey, if we did this, that's cool too, but let's keep it tight. Great. That's neat little effect. Let's do the same thing to this. Let's do this separately. Let's knock this like this, use my arrow keys, and I can move this later but make a new layer, fill it black, deselect, new Command F, since we just did that blur, and then we move it there. That's nice. Then I want to blur the outer edges of this. Again, if you turn all this off, it's just a shape. Here it looks cool by itself. Anyway, I always do that. It's just a shape, so you have to finagle a little bit these edges. There might be some different ways of doing that, grabbing a selection from one of these other layers, like we did this part or you might just want to paint in a selection. That may be what I want to do. I'm going hit "Q" to get into my Quick Mask Mode and then we grab the brush and make it nice and soft. I'm going to turn the opacity down. I'm going to start just painting in these edges. Basically, I'm painting a selection. I'm going to go back and then erase where it's overlapping the TYPE part of the word. You erase this. Again, we've got that annoying spacing thing. Just going to paint in this area. Really like that. Here we go. I like this too, because if you just guess on what could be happening, I guess the shadow would be more blurry at the edges and invent a way to look for that instead of making it exactly what it would be. I don't know. It makes it more interesting if it's coming from your mind, rather than exactly from a piece of reference which it definitely start there. Start with your reference and then you make decisions based on that. Let's see if this works, if we do a Gaussian Blur. Gaussian, weird word. That's doing something. It's cool. I like it. Let's keep it. Let's turn on this back on. My last trick that I like to do on this stuff is my friend, the underutilized Shadow/Highlights adjustment. I pretty much use this on every single thing that I do. I can't really explain it. You just going to have to mess with it to see what it does. Basically, it affects the midtones of certain layer. The first thing I always do is start out with this midtone adjustment and I just slide this around and just see what it does. It just kind of see it. It just does weird things and the color is not really doing anything since it's gray. Then these affecting the highlights and the shadows. It looks pretty good. If you use this, maybe turn that, it looks good. Dramatic like that. Let's do the same thing with this. First, let's group to call the shadow because there's multiple layers that make up those shadows. Let's see what this does to the red sides. Not really liking that. I was hoping that the bottoms would get darker may be if I slide these around, that's better. See what that looks like before. Then, really curious as to how this shadow highlight is going to affect this here. I want to affect all of the faces the same. I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to rename this layer down here as Orig. I do this sometimes just to keep my old stuff in case I need this whole non-destructive thing, faces. I'm going to hold down Option and drag a copy of that into the orig folder and then I'm going to flatten all of this by doing Command E. Then I'm going to do Image, Adjustments, Shadow/ Highlights, and move this over here. Let's see. At the moment I'm not really loving. Well, actually that's cool. Let's move this up. Yeah, that's looking cool. It just makes this a little bit more dramatic. It's getting brown, so I want to make sure it's still yellow, orange. I'm going to make that adjustment, maybe do one more levels, tweak to make it pop a little bit more. I just said make it pop. Wow. Hate it when people say that. The next thing I do is just go ahead and flatten both of these. Is your mind blown? I'll drag these to the orig, and hey, how about we save this? Yeah, important before we lose everything. 9. Photoshop VI: Wrapping Up: This is starting to look pretty good. Now, it's just about adding some finishing touches and going in and seeing what kind of details you can add. Then the next trick is try not to go too far because there is a level where you could go too far, and I'm going to try something now that might be too much, but I'm going to geek out on the realistic stuff here. What I'm seeing is if this was an actual sign and there is an actual shadow coming off of this actual type. Then this shadow would be overlapping this side of this letter a little bit, and it would be affecting this here too. What I'm going to do now is create a selection to where I can just basically bump the levels of those areas a little darker so that it appears as though the shadow is really hitting the sides of these letters. I'm going to do that in fast motion now. Let's bring those levels up because we knew that works pretty well. Let's just see what happens. Pretty cool. I want just to go and burn this a little bit more of the shadows and the bottoms to anything. It's doing some. Should we make that a little bit more dramatic than in the bottoms? It should be a little bit darker. These two. I went in and put the shadows in on the word type, the weird side shadows that may or may not be necessary, but I like them. I did it. The next thing to do is, I'd like to add a little bit of texture to this. I've pulled in some texture files and I've got this big library of scanned paper textures and stuff that I'll use. I'm going to use this one. I like ones that have a little bit of a vignette or gradation to them like this. It goes from light to dark. I'm going to see about putting this one on top of the type. I'm going to constrain it only non option and then doing a multiply. I'm going to toggle this on and off just to see what it's doing and I make sure I like it. I can turn down levels a little bit so it's not as prominent and I'll turn down the opacity. It's given me a little bit of variation and texture on the letter forms, so I'll keep that. I also have this literally a scan of mild scanning bed. It got pretty old. I never write that scanner anymore. But if you just multiply this, maybe this should move down below the shadow so it's just on there. Then there's a couple of other ones, this, and this. They're just nice vignette textures. I'll pull in a bunch of different kinds of things and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't like this. I just want to try to multiply, still want to get that green color that I've got. I might do a hue saturation and just pull this. It looks cool already. It looks nice. I might add some noise to this too just to retain that level of texture. Yeah, cool. I now want to get this other type to meld and blend in. It's nice that the shadows are affecting it. I want to see if this can overlap a little bit. I might get a brush and turn the opacity down way lower. Nice soft and then make sure I have the right brush. That's nice. Let's pull some of that in so it blends in a little bit better. I'm thinking the stark white is cool. Let's just see if some of these words were different color. I can change things up easily. Hierarchy speaking, you want to keep this smaller type pretty simple if there's a lot going on with a big headline or something. I shy away from doing too much fancy stuff with the smaller type. Well, let's just for fun these. Just to see what happens if this is something and that's cool. Maybe all of these could be that color. That needs to be darker. We want to make that darker. It's cool. I wonder if this was also their color, dark. We should make this a little bigger. Well, that's base, groups or mask is not going to let us do that. That's cool like that. That's nice and helps the Skillshare and my name pop out a little bit. Well, just for fun. Let's see if the whole thing is that color, it might be better and multiplied. That's cool though. What if this was darker down there in the shadows? That's cool though. Let's do that. Let's maybe make this a little darker too. I like it. Let's put some noise. See, it's just making a little bit more simple. Just all the same color and knocking it back to dark, match the dark background, I think. You see how this really stands out a lot more than if we can go back here. A few things in the history. See the difference. It really comes forward when this stuff is dark. That's a good little experiment. I want to come in and burn a little bit of this now that we have some texture. Just to give it a little bit of variation and maybe we'll dodge to the top. Then I also pulled in this border, which I'm not sure if I'm going to use now. Let's try to make it the same as the type. Multiply that. I'm going to add some noise to this, and then mess with the tones up here a little bit. Bring this. Again, it's just like painting. Cool. There's always more you can do, but let's call it a day. All right. Well, let's call this done and call it a day and flatten this thing and save it and lose all of our layers, just kidding. I don't know how big this file is. It's probably pretty big, so get a hard drive. I don't know what I'm saying. Thanks for joining me and look forward to seeing all your amazing projects come in later. 10. Explore Design on Skillshare: way.