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