Image and Text Hybrid | Part 2

Okay, so this is inspired by our lovely artificial turf field.  I was up watching the soccer game, not that long ago and was thinking about how cool it would be to have letters made out of turf.  That, and some sweet advertisements I’ve been seeing around.  Either way, this is a way to mash-up the text and images inside PS.

I thought we’d make something nifty.  I didn’t have a better word.  Sorry.

Make a new canvas, the same size as last time – 8×10 inches at 200 dpi.

Find an image to start with – I pulled this grass image from a wiki, but you can search for a stock grass image, or use the following links for your work.  Copy and bring it into Photoshop as a new layer.

Next, select the type tool and start your word – I chose the word “nifty” so I started with an “n”.  Make sure it is on top of your layers so you can see it in your workspace.

Make sure that the letter fits within the boundaries of your grass image.

Now, when you’re happy with the placement, rasterize your type by right-clicking on the type layer, and selecting “rasterize type”.

Now, select your rasterized letter with the magic wand tool.  If you have negative space in your letter, or multiple pieces (lowercase “i”, “j”, etc.), make sure you select the entire letter.  You can make multiple selections by holding the shift key while selecting.

When selected, you’ll have the “marching ants” around the letter, like below.

Deselect the layer with the letter on it, and select the grass layer with the selection still intact.

Now, quick mask your selection, using the button at the bottom of your toolbar.

Now, select your brush tool to be about the size of a blade of grass.  This might take some experimenting to find the right size.  This works best with a hard-edged brush tool.

Zoom in, and start to remove your mask following the blades of grass.  White will remove the mask, and black will paint on the mask.

This is a slow process, that is made a little faster by the use of a pen and tablet.  Work at the letter with the brush tool all around it.

When you are finished, turn off the quick-mask, and you’ll have the marching ants around your selection.  You want to invert your selection using the command [Crtl + Shift + I].

Delete your inverted selection, and you’ll have the following:

Now, you have your first letter.  Using the Dodge and Burn tools available in your toolbox, I dodged the upper half and burned a bit of the lower half of the letter to give it some definition.

Now, double-click the layer with the grass letter, and bring up your Layer Style menu.  I put a drop shadow beneath the letter, and changed the colour to a natural greenish-brown colour to mimic the colour of earth.

And then you get this!

Now, repeat all these steps for each letter.  I do this letter by letter because I can save intermittantly, as this is a long-ish process.  When you are finished…

Align all your letters, and apply the same drop shadow to each letter (easily copied by holding the alt key while dragging the Layer FX to the other layers).  Crop your image.  Finito!

After you are finished your grass word, you can choose another texture or material to make this out of… here’s how I selected small pebbles in quick mask mode.

I also went in to remove some stones as well, with the black (to paint back on the mask)

Turning off quick mask gave me my selection…

Inverting my selection and deleting the rest of the stones gave me a better idea of what I was going to end up with…

And again, I dodged and burned to give a little more interest in the stones, and then did a small drop shadow as well.  Looks pretty cool!


Create a word/image using a small, cohesive pattern (grass, stones, candy) to create a word out of.  The word has to be at least five letters long.  Print out your finished work.

Due Friday, Oct 7.