Can you show me how to put text on a slanted back­ground?

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Your Questions Answered -

Paul Ro­cas­tle, US

Paul Cana­van replies

Pho­to­shop’s Trans­form tools are ideal for chang­ing the shape of ob­jects. Dis­tort is my favourite be­cause it en­ables you to eas­ily al­ter the per­spec­tive of an im­age to fit any sur­face. The first step to get­ting your writ­ing on to an ob­ject in your paint­ing is to ac­tu­ally cre­ate the writ­ing it­self. For this ques­tion I draw an alien lan­guage di­rectly onto the can­vas in a new layer us­ing a Hard brush, with­out wor­ry­ing about the per­spec­tive. I use re­peated sym­bols to make it feel a lit­tle more like a real lan­guage and keep the di­men­sions to roughly those of the obelisk if it were fac­ing me.

Once I’ve fin­ished, I go to Edit/Trans­form/Dis­tort and move the points to match the cor­ners of the obelisk, then press Re­turn to ap­ply the trans­for­ma­tion. Once in place, I can make it feel a lit­tle more at home by click­ing Layer>Layer Style>Bevel & Em­boss and play with the set­tings. In this ex­am­ple I use an in­ner bevel set to Chisel Hard and then al­ter the an­gle so that the light comes in from the top left.

The glow­ing let­ters can be achieved ei­ther by sim­ply paint­ing over my newly beveled layer. Or, for a more com­pli­cated but ac­cu­rate ap­proach, by Ctrl+click­ing the text layer (this se­lects only the let­ters), cre­ate a new layer above this and draw into the se­lec­tion with a Soft brush.

March 2015

Paint­ing the writ­ing flat be­fore trans­form­ing it saves me a lot of time, as op­posed to draw­ing it into per­spec­tive by hand.

Align the points to the cor­ners of the ob­ject you want to trans­form. You can use a per­spec­tive grid to help with larger ob­jects.

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