How to Create a Quick, Glamorous Light-Bulb Text Effect in Adobe InDesign

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

Ever wanted to see your name up in lights? With this super-quick typography tutorial, you can! 

This type effect can be adapted to any size or word, and would make a great addition to social media images, posters, or flyers. We’ll be creating the effect in Adobe InDesign using the program’s handy Effects panel, and it only takes ten minutes to do. 

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

You can find lots of fantastic fonts for creating your type effects over on GraphicRiver and Envato Elements

1. How to Create a Night-Time Backdrop For Your Effect

Step 1

Open up InDesign and go to File > New > Document. You can create the type effect at any size you wish, but here I’m going to set up an A3 landscape page with the Intent set to Print

new document

Once you’ve set up the specs for your document, go ahead and click OK

Expand the Layers panel (Window > Layers) and double-click on the Layer 1 name. In the Options window, change the name to Background and click OK.

background layer

Step 2

Expand the Swatches panel (Window > Color > Swatches) and choose New Color Swatch from the panel’s drop-down menu.

Name the swatch Background Light, and set the Type to Process and Mode to CMYK. Set the levels to C=53 M=44 Y=55 K=37, and click Add and then OK.

swatch options

Create a second new CMYK swatch, naming it Background Dark and setting the levels to C=79 M=69 Y=61 K=88.

swatch options

Step 3

Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and drag across the whole page, before setting the Fill of the rectangle to Background Light from the Swatches panel. 

light rectangle

Create a second rectangle over the top of the first, extending the left and right sides past the edge of the page by about a quarter on each side. Set the Fill to Background Dark.

dark rectangle

With the top, darker rectangle selected, go to Object > Effects > Gradient Feather. Choose Radial from the Type drop-down menu and ensure the gradient extends from lighter at the center to darker towards the outer edges. 

gradient feather

2. How to Format Your Typography

Step 1

Head back to the Layers panel and lock the Background layer. Click on the Create New Layer button at the bottom of the panel to create a second layer, and double-click to rename it Typography

typography

Step 2

Use the Type Tool (T) to create a text frame in the center of the page. Type in the text you want to apply the lit-up effect to; here I’ve gone for ‘LIGHT’, setting it in All Caps for extra impact. 

This effect tends to work best with simple, clean sans serif fonts. Here I’ve used Acre, and I’ve used the Character panel (Window > Type & Tables > Character) to increase the Font Size to around 200 pt, as well as increasing the Tracking to 150 to space out the letters a little. 

From the Swatches panel, set the main text color to Background Light. Then click on the text Stroke Color square (which you would usually not need to use for text), and set this to Background Dark.

swatches

Step 3

With the text frame selected, go to Object > Effects > Drop Shadow. Increase the Opacity of the shadow to 75%, Spread to 10%, and add a little Noise too. 

Click on the color square next to the Mode menu to open the Effect Color window, and choose Background Light, before clicking OK

drop shadow

Click on Bevel and Emboss in the Effects panel’s left-hand menu. Set the Style to Inner Bevel and Technique to Smooth. Increase the Opacity of the Highlight to about 50% and the Shadow Opacity to about 30%. Click OK to exit the window. 

bevel and emboss
light text

3. How to Light Up Your Text

Step 1

Lock the Typography layer and create a new layer above, Light

light layer

Create a new CMYK swatch called Orange, with the values C=8 M=49 Y=79 K=1.

orange swatch

Step 2

Select the Ellipse Tool (L) and, while holding Shift, drag to create a small circle which is around the width of the stem of one of the letters. 

Set the circle’s Fill to [Paper], and position it over the top of your first letter, as shown below.

circle white

With the circle selected, go to Object > Effects > Outer Glow. Set the Mode to Hard Light, the Effect Color to Orange, and the Opacity to 100%. Increase the Spread to around 50%, before clicking OK

outer glow

Step 3

Edit > Copy and Edit > Paste the circle repeatedly, positioning each ‘lightbulb’ along the stem of the letter and spacing them as evenly as you can. 

pasted circle

Continue to Paste groups of circles, using them to fill in all the letters, creating a complete lit-up effect. 

final effect

Conclusion: Your Finished Text Effect

Your type effect’s looking fantastic—awesome job! Now you’re ready to incorporate it into another layout, or simply enjoy it on its own. 

You can find more perfect fonts for creating type effects over on GraphicRiver and Envato Elements

final effect

Hungry for more super-quick text effects? Check out these InDesign Quick Tip typography tutorials:

How to Create a Fake Glass Window Action in Adobe Photoshop

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In this tutorial you will learn how to create an amazing fake window
effect.

At the end of the tutorial, you’ll have an action which will automate the entire process with a single click.

I’ll try to explain everything in much detail so that everyone can follow along, even if this is your first time with Photoshop.

If you want to create a fake window effect in a single click and you do not have time or not want to create your own actions, you may be interested in this fake window action from my portfolio on GraphicRiver. With it, you can add an awesome fake window effect to your own image in just a few seconds.

Banner

What You’ll Need

To make this action we need two pictures, one base image and another one that will be reflected in our fake window. For the main image, we will use the following picture by Ryan Holloway, which you can find at Unsplash.

You can use any photo, but for an optimal result, it is preferable that the image has a dark background. Therefore, interior photos work very well for this effect.

Main Image

For the reflected image, we can use any kind of picture, preferably urban landscapes or skylines. In our case, we are going to use this photo of a cityscape by Free-Photos, which you can find on Pixabay.

Cityscape

1. How to Add a Brush to Photoshop

Step 1

Go to Edit > Presets > Preset Manager… In the Preset Manager window, select Preset Type: Brushes and click Load…

Browse and select the FakeWindow.atn file that came with the downloadable attachment. Then, click Done.

Preset Manager

Step 2

Select the Brush Tool (B). Make sure both Opacity and Flow are set to 100%.

Brush Bar

2. How to Set Up Your Document

Step 1

First, open the photo that you want to work with. To open your photo, go to File > Open, choose your photo, and click Open. Your photo should be the Background layer. If it is not, go to Layer > New > Background from Layer.

From BG

Step 2

Place the cityscape picture above the main image; for our action, name the new layer reflection. To place the image in the right place, we can change the Blending Mode to Overlay.

Place Reflection

Step 3

Add a New Layer above the reflection layer. Name the new layer area.

Now choose the Brush Tool (B), pick a soft brush, adjust the size of the brush, and brush over your main subject. You can use any color; it doesn’t matter.

Area Layer

3. How to Create the Action

Once our images are placed, we are ready to start recording our action. We’ll put it in a separate set for easier management.

Step 1 

Go to Window > Actions or press F9 on the keyboard to open up the Actions panel. Then, click the Create new set icon, name the set Fake Windows Action, and click OK. We’ll place the action inside this set.

New set

Step 2

Click the Create new action icon and name it Fake Window. Click Record to start recording all the subsequent steps in Photoshop.

From this point onwards, everything you do will be recorded, so please be careful and keep an eye on the Actions panel. If you make a mistake, click the Stop playing/recording icon, and Delete the unnecessary step from the Fake Window action. Then click the Begin recording icon again to continue.

New action

4. How to Start Recording the Action

Step 1

Hide the area layer by toggling the eyeball icon off. Then, press D on the keyboard to reset swatches.

Hide area

Step 2

With the area layer selected, right-click on the layer thumbnail, and hit Select Pixels. Then select the Background layer and press Control-J to Copy the selection into a New Layer.

Select Pixels

Go to Layer > Rename Layer… to rename the new layer BGblur, and drop the opacity to about 30%.

Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur…, enter Radius: 5 Pixels and click OK.

Gaussian Blur

Step 3

Select the reflection layer, and create a copy of the current layer using Layer > Duplicate Layer (Control-J). Go to Layer > Rename Layer… and rename the duplicated layer as reflection1

Change the Blending Mode of the reflection1 layer to Lighten and drop the opacity to 40%Hide the original reflection layer.

Reflection1 Layer

Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur…, enter Radius: 10 Pixels and click OK.

Gaussian 2

Step 4

Now go to Layer > Duplicate Layer (Control-J) to duplicate the reflection1 layer. Change the Blending Mode to Multiply and drop the opacity to about 30%. Go to Layer > Rename Layer… and rename the duplicated layer as reflection2.

reflection2 layer

Step 5

Now let’s add some texture to our fake window. Go to Layer > New > Layer… to add a new layer and name the new layer as Dirt. Go to Select > All (Control-A).

Select the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M). Then, right-click on the image and select Make Work Path…. Enter Tolerance: 0.5 pixels and click OK. Now choose the Brush Tool (B) and select the dirtglass1 brush.

Dirtglass1 brush

Press D on the keyboard to reset swatches. Then, press X on the keyboard to switch swatches and set your Foreground Color as White.  Press P on the keyboard to select the Pen ToolRight-click on the image and select Stroke Path…. and click OK.

Stroke Path

Now, right-click on the image and select Delete Path.

Dirt Stroke

Change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and drop the opacity to about 50%.

Dirt layer opacity

Step 6

Select the reflection2 layer, hold Shift, and select the reflection1 layer.

Press Control-G to Group the layers. Go to Layer > Rename Group… and rename it as Reflections.

Reflections group

Step 7

Hide the Reflections group and dirt layer.

Select Channels panel, right-click on blue channel and select Duplicate Channel…

Duplicate blue channel

Go to Image > Adjustments > Levels… (Control-L) to bring up the Levels adjustments window. Change the Highlight level to 217 and Shadow level to 61 and click OK.

Levels

Select the blue copy channel, press Control, and click on the layer thumbnail.

Blue copy selection

Step 8

Show the RGB channel and hide the blue copy channel.

Return to the Layers panel; we are going to use this selection to create a layer mask for the Reflections group.

Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection. Press Control-I to Invert the layer mask color. Show the Reflections group and the Dirt layer.

Reflections Mask

5. Finish Recording the Action

Finally, we have our action finished. Hence, in the Actions panel, hit the Stop button to stop the recording.

Stop Action

You’re Done!

Now that you have your own Fake Window action, you can easily create stunning images in seconds.

I hope that you’ve learned something useful for your future projects.

Final Result

If you would like to create an effect as shown below, using a single click in just a few seconds, then check out my Fake Window Photoshop Action.

Action Link

How to Create a Tasty Bagel Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

Follow
this tutorial and learn how to create a bagel text effect in Adobe
Illustrator. 

We will start with the text and make a few
adjustments to get the individual letters. After that, you will learn
to create the bagel texture and add shading and highlights to make
this text effect as realistic as possible. 

Next, we will create and
save the Poppy Seeds Scatter Brush and use it to add the seeds on the
letters and around the letters in the background. This sounds fun, so
let’s begin!

If
you are hungry for more text effects or vector foods in general, head
over to GraphicRiver and you will surely find what you are looking
for there. 

Tutorial
Assets

To
complete the tutorial, you will need the following assets:

1. How
to Open a New Document 

Launch
Illustrator
and
go to
File
> New
to
open a blank document. Type a name for your file, set up the
dimensions, and then select
Pixels
as
Units
and
RGB
as
Color
Mode
.
Make sure that
Align
New Objects to Pixel Grid
is
not checked.

Next,
go to
Edit
> Preferences > General
and
set the
Keyboard
Increment
to
1
px
and, while there, go to Units
to
make sure they are set as in the following image. I usually work with
these settings, and they will help you throughout the drawing process.

how to open new illustrator document

2. How
to Prepare the Text

Step
1

Grab
the Type Tool (T) and write “BAGEL” on your artboard using the
font Pleasantly Plump, size of 140 pt (1).

Now,
use the Selection Tool (V) to select the piece of text and drag the
bounding box upwards in order to make the text a little taller (2).

how to type the bagel text

Step
2

While
the text stays selected, choose Expand and Ungroup from the Object
menu to get the individual letter shapes. Select only the letters “B
and “A”, go to Object > Compound Path > Release, and after
that, delete the three small ellipses that make up the holes.

how to modify the bagel text

3. How
to Create the Bagel Texture

Step
1

Fill
the letters with a light shade of brown and then add a New Fill in
the Appearance panel above the first. Use a warm shade of brown for
the second Fill; then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path and
apply an Offset of -10 px.

how to color the bagel letters

Step
2

Keep
the letters selected, and also keep the second Fill attribute selected
in the Appearance panel, and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner
Glow
. Apply the settings shown on the left side for the letters “B
and “A”, and apply the settings shown on the right side for the
letters “G”, “E”, and “L”.

how to apply inner glow to bagel letters

Step
3

With
the letters selected and also the second Fill attribute selected, go to Effect
> Blur > Gaussian Blur
and apply a Radius of 3 px.

how to apply blur to bagel letters

Step
4

With the letters still selected, add a New Fill at the top of the
Appearance panel and use the color indicated. Go to Effect >
Texture > Texturizer
and apply the settings shown; then set the
Blending Mode to Overlay and reduce the Opacity to 30%

how to apply texture to bagel letters

Step
5

Let’s
add some highlights on the edges. Take the Pen Tool (P) and draw two
or three paths on each letter, following the edges. Give them a 3 pt
light yellow Stroke and choose the Width Profile 2 in the Stroke
panel. When you are done, apply a 1.5 px Gaussian Blur for all of
them. 

how to create highlight edges on bagel letters

4. How
to Create the Holes 

Step
1

Take
the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw two small shapes of about 16 x 14
px
on the letter “B” and one shape on the letter “A” as the
holes. Select white as the fill color and a 6 pt Stroke using pale
yellow. Also, press the Align Stroke to Outside option in the Stroke
panel. Next, go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply a
Radius of 4 px for all of them.

how to draw the bagel holes

Step 2

Now, select the existing Stroke attribute
and choose Duplicate Item from the fly-out menu of the
Appearance panel. As a result, you will get a second Fill attribute at
the top. Keep the same settings and just reduce the Stroke Weight
from 6 pt to 3 pt

how to add strokes to bagel holes

5. How
to Mask the Letters

Step
1

Select
the shape of the letter “B” along with the two holes and then
Copy and Paste in Place (Shift-Control-V) in order to get copies of
them. After that, remove all existing appearances for the copies
(stroke-none, fill-none). Just for visual reasons, in the image below
I gave them a simple stroke, but you don’t have to.

While
the copy of the letter “B” and the copies of the holes are
selected, go to Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8) in
order to get a new “B” shape.

Repeat
the same thing for the letter “A”. For the letters “G”, “E”, and “L”, just make a copy of the original letters in front of
everything, and don’t forget to remove the existing appearances.

how to make copies of bagel letters

Step
2

Now,
take the Selection Tool (V) and drag a selection over the letter “B
in order to select everything including the copy from the previous
step that should be in front, and set to stroke-none and fill-none. Go
to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Control-7).

Repeat
the same thing for the other letters, and you will get clean edges.

how to mask the bagel letters

6. How
to Add Shading and Highlights to the Letters 

Step
1

Use
the Pen Tool (P) to draw a few shapes on each letter as shown in the
following image. Fill them with brown and then apply a 4 px Gaussian
Blur
. Reduce the Opacity to 35%. This will create the appearance of
browned crusts on our bagel letters. 

how to create browned areas on bagel letters

Step
2

To
add some shine, first take the Pen Tool (P) and draw two or three
short curved paths on each letter, mainly on the upper right side.
Stroke these paths with the Black Blend Art Brush 100×3 (info below).
Keep the Stroke Weight at 1 pt and use the color indicated. When you
are done, apply a 1.2 px Gaussian Blur to all of them.

I
have an entire tutorial dedicated to Blend Brushes and how useful
they are: 
How to Create a Set of Multi-Use, Blend Brushes. You can find more information about the Black Blend Art Brush
100×3
used here, how to create it, and how to save it in your Brushes
panel. I use these Blend Brushes all the time in my drawings, and you
should definitely have them in your library, always ready to use.

how to add shine on bagel letters

7. How
to Create the Poppy Seeds Scatter Brush

Step
1

Grab
the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw a 21 x 31 px ellipse filled with gray
(1). Copy and Paste in Front (Control-F) this ellipse and change the
fill color to black and, after that, draw a small ellipse in the
center filled with white (2). 

Now, select the black and white ellipse
and go to Object > Blend > Blend Options. Choose 10 Specified
Steps
, and then go back to Object > Blend > Make
(Alt-Control-B)
. Set the resulting blend group to Blending Mode
Overlay
(3).

how to draw a poppy seed

Step
2

Select
all the shapes that make up the poppy seed and drag them into the
Brushes panel. Choose New Scatter Brush and hit OK. In the Scatter
Brush Options
window, just type a name for your brush and leave the
settings as they are for the moment. 

how to save a poppy seeds scatter brush

8. How
to Use the Poppy Seeds Scatter Brush

Step
1

Take
the Pencil Tool (N) and draw a random spiral path on each letter, as shown in the following image. Stroke these paths with the Poppy Seeds
Scatter Brush
and reduce the Stroke Weight to 0.75 pt. Open the
Stroke Options window from the Appearance panel and play with the
Size, Spacing, Scatter, and Rotation settings in order to get a
realistic look.

how to apply the poppy seeds scatter brush on bagel letters

These
are the settings that I’ve used. Also, change the Rotation relative
to Path

how to change settings for poppy seeds scatter brush

Step
2

When
you are happy with your poppy seeds, select all the paths and choose
Expand Appearance from the Object menu. Now, focus on the letter “A
for example and double click on the group of poppy seeds to enter the
Isolation Mode

At this point you will be able to select the poppy
seeds individually and delete the ones that fall over the edge of the
letter (1). Once the area around the letter is clean, you can press
the Back one level arrow until you exit Isolation Mode (2).

Repeat
the same thing for the rest of the groups of poppy seeds on the other
letters, and you can see the final result in the image below (3).

how to clean up poppy seeds around the bagel letters

Step
3

Select
all the groups of poppy seeds and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop
Shadow
. Apply the settings shown and hit OK.

how to create shadow for poppy seeds

Step
4

If
you want to add more poppy seeds in some areas for a more realistic
look, use the Pencil Tool (N) or the Pen Tool (P) to draw one or two
extra paths on each letter as shown in the following image. Stroke these
paths with the Poppy Seeds Scatter Brush and reduce the Stroke Weight
to 0.75 pt again. 

After that, open the Stroke Options window and play
mainly with the Scatter settings because the poppy seeds should be
closer to the path this time.

how to add more poppy seeds on bagel letters

These
are the settings that I’ve used:

how to change settings for poppy seeds Scatter brush

Step
5

Here
is a before (1) and after (2) image. Now we have more poppy seeds on
the bagel letters. 

before and after image of bagel letters with poppy seeds

9. How
to Create the Shadow

In this step, you need the shapes that you used to mask the letters
earlier in the tutorial, so select those shapes and Copy and Paste in
Place (Shift-Control-V)
in order to get copies of them. Move these
copies of the letters in a new layer behind the text effect. Now, go
to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow and apply this effect four
times.

how to create shadow for bagel letters

Here
are the settings for the four Drop Shadow effects in order:

how to apply drop shadow effects for bagel letters

10. How
to Add Extra Poppy Seeds

Step
1

You
can add extra poppy seeds around the letters, but this is optional and
part of the background. Use the Pencil Tool (N) to draw a random path
over the letters as shown in the following image, and move it to a new
layer behind the shadows. Stroke it with the Poppy Seeds Scatter
Brush
, reduce the Stroke Weight to 0.75 pt, and change the brush
settings as you did before.

how to add extra poppy seeds behind bagel letters

Step
2

When
you are happy with the result, select this path and choose Expand
Appearance
from the Object menu. Now, enter Isolation Mode and
clean up some of the areas where there are too many poppy seeds
overlapping or you just don’t like where they sit. Exit Isolation
Mode
when you are done. 

how to clean up extra poppy seeds around bagel letters

Step
3

The
final thing is to select the group of poppy seeds in the background
and apply a Drop Shadow effect. 

how to create shadow for extra poppy seeds around bagel letters

Congratulations!
You’re Done

This
is the final image of the bagel text effect. I hope this tutorial was
fun, and if you decide to recreate this text effect, don’t forget to
share an image with us. I would love to see it. 

bagel text effect final image

How to Create a Colored Pencil Sketch Effect Action in Adobe Photoshop

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In this tutorial you will learn how to turn your photos into amazing and advanced, unfinished colored pencil sketches.

I will explain everything in so much detail that everyone can create it, even those who have just opened Photoshop for the first time.

The effect shown above is the one I will show you how to create here in this tutorial. If you would like to create the effects shown below, a sketch with a wet dripping oil paint and 3D pop-out effect, just using a single click and in just a few minutes, then check out my Wet Paint Photoshop Action.

Action final results

What You’ll Need

To recreate the design above, you will need the following photo:

1. How to Get Started

First, open the photo that you want to work with. To open your photo, go to File > Open, choose your photo, and click Open. Now, before we get started, just check a couple of things:

  1. Your photo should be in RGB Color mode, 8 Bits/Channel. To check this, go to Image > Mode.
  2. For best results, your photo size should be 1500–3500 px wide/high. To check this, go to Image > Image Size.
  3. Your photo should be the Background layer. If it is not, go to Layer > New > Background from Layer.
Checking image mode and image size

2. How to Create Brushes

Step 1

In this section, we are going to create a few sketch brushes we’ll need. Take a pencil and paper and draw one shading scribble and three basic scribbles. Then scan the scribbles that you drew. 

If you have drawn each scribble on a separate sheet of paper then you should have four scanned scribble files now. If not, then using some of the selection tools in Photoshop, select each scribble, and move it to a separate file so you have four files. Here are the scribbles that I drew.

Creating scribbles

Step 2

You don’t have to replicate my scribbles of course—draw them uniquely. But what is important is that you have one shading scribble, and three basic scribbles. Also, the basic scribbles should be drawn sharply and have similar density to the scribbles I drew. As you’ll draw unique scribbles there will be density difference, but if you draw them so they are noticeably drawn much thicker or sparsely, your sketch effect may appear too thick or the reverse. Now open the shading scribble scan first, go to Edit > Define Brush to define this scribble as a brush, and name it Temp Brush 1.

Defining the brush named Temp Brush 1

Step 3

Open the first basic scribble scan, go to Edit > Define Brush to define this scribble as a brush, and name it Temp Brush 2.

Defining the brush named Temp Brush 2

Step 4

Now open the second basic scribble scan, go to Edit > Define Brush to define this scribble as a brush, and name it Temp Brush 3.

Defining the brush named Temp Brush 3

Step 5

Open the latest scribble scan, go to Edit > Define Brush to define this scribble as a brush, and name it Temp Brush 4.

Defining the brush named Temp Brush 4

Step 6

Now that we have defined our brushes, we need to adjust their settings and then define them again as new brushes. Press B on your keyboard, Right-click anywhere inside the canvas, select the Temp Brush 1 brush, and hit Enter. Then go to Window > Brush and inside the Brush window use the settings below:

Changing the settings of Temp Brush 1

Step 7

To define this brush with new settings as a new brush, click on the top right icon in the bottom right corner of the Brush panel, and name it Sketch_Brush_1.

Defining the brush named Sketch_Brush_1

Step 8

Now press B on your keyboard, Right-click anywhere inside the canvas, select the Temp Brush 2 brush, and hit Enter. Then go to Window > Brush and inside the Brush window use the settings below:

Changing the settings of Temp Brush 2

Step 9

To define this brush with new settings as a new brush, click on the top right icon in the bottom right corner of the Brush panel, and name it Sketch_Brush_2.

Defining the brush named Sketch_Brush_2

Step 10

Now press B on your keyboard, Right-click anywhere inside the canvas, select the Temp Brush 3 brush, and hit Enter. Then go to Window > Brush and inside the Brush window use the settings below:

Changing the settings of Temp Brush 3

Step 11

To define this brush with new settings as a new brush, click on the top right icon in the bottom right corner of the Brush panel, and name it Sketch_Brush_3.

Defining the brush named Sketch_Brush_3

Step 12

Now press B on your keyboard, Right-click anywhere inside the canvas, select the Temp Brush 4 brush, and hit Enter. Then go to Window > Brush and inside the Brush window use the settings below:

Changing the settings of Temp Brush 4

Step 13

To define this brush with new settings as a new brush, click on the top right icon in the bottom right corner of the Brush panel, and name it Sketch_Brush_4.

Defining a brush named Sketch_Brush_4

Step 14

Now we have our brushes ready. If you want, you can delete all temporary brushes we defined by Alt-Clicking on each of them.

Deleting temporary brushes

3. How to Create the Background

Step 1

To create the background, we are going to start by creating a solid color fill layer. Go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color to create a new solid color fill layer, name it Background Color, and choose the color #f2f2f2 as shown below:

Creating new solid color fill layer

Step 2

Now we are going to add some texture. Go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer, and name it Layer 1.

Creating new layer named Layer 1

Step 3

Press D on your keyboard to reset the swatches and go to Filter > Render > Clouds.

Adding filter render clouds to Layer 1

Step 4

Now go to Image > Adjustments > Threshold and set the Threshold Level to 128 as shown below:

Making threshold adjustment to Layer 1

Step 5

Go to Select > Color Range and using the Eyedropper Tool, select the white color by clicking anywhere over the white area in your photo, and set the Fuzziness to 40. Then go to Select > Modify > Smooth and set the Sample Radius to 20 px as shown below:

Creating a selection using color range from Background Texture layer

Step 6

Choose the Lasso Tool (L), Right-click anywhere inside the canvas, choose Make Work Path, and set the Tolerance to 2 px as shown below:

Making a working path

Step 7

Now go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer, and name it Background Texture.

Creating new layer named Background Texture

Step 8

Press D on your keyboard to reset the swatches, and then press B on your keyboard to select the Brush Tool (B). Right-click anywhere inside the canvas and, inside the brushes panel, select the brush that you have made named Sketch_Brush_1. Then select the Pen Tool (P), Right-click anywhere inside the canvas, choose Stroke Path, and set the Tool to Brush as shown below:

Stroking path on Background Texture layer

Step 9

Now, while the Pen Tool (P) is selected, Right-click anywhere inside the canvas and choose Delete Path. Then Right-click on Layer 1 and choose Delete Layer. Select layer Background Texture and drop its Opacity to 10%.

Deleting path Layer 1 and changing opacity of Background Texture layer

4. How to Create the Background Sketch

Step 1

In this section, we are going to turn the whole photo into an outline sketch. Select the Background layer, press Control-J on your keyboard to duplicate the Background layer, and then drag that new layer to the top of the layers in the Layers panel.

Duplicating Background layer

Step 2

Now go to Filter > Stylize > Glowing Edges. Set the Edge Width to 1 px, Edge Brightness to 5 px, and Smoothness to 15 px as shown below:

Adding stylize glowing edges filter to Background_Sketch_1 layer

Step 3

Press Control-Shift-U on your keyboard to desaturate the layer and then Control-I to invert the layer. Change the Blending Mode of this layer to Multiply, drop its Opacity to 24%, and name it Background_Sketch_1.

Changing blending mode and opacity of Background_Sketch_1 layer

Step 4

Select the Background layer, press Control-J on your keyboard to duplicate the Background layer again, and then drag that new layer just below the Background_Sketch_1 layer in the Layers panel.

Duplicating Background layer

Step 5

Now go to Filter > Sketch > Photocopy, and set the Detail to 3 px and the Darkness to 2 px as shown below:

Adding sketch photocopy filter to Background_Sketch_2 layer

Step 6

Change the Blending Mode of this layer to Multiply, drop its Opacity to 50%, and name it Background_Sketch_2.

Changing blending mode and opacity of Background_Sketch_2 layer

5. How to Create the Subject Sketch

Step 1

In this section, we are going to create a subject sketch that is actually a detailed part of the sketch. Select the top layer in the Layers panel, go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer, and name it Subject.

Creating new layer named Subject

Step 2

While the Subject layer is selected, hide all layers except the Subject and Background layers and fill in your subject with a color. 

You can do it in various ways. For example, you can create a selection of your subject using the Pen Tool (P), Magic Wand Tool (W), Lasso Tool (L) or some other tool, and then just fill the selection with a color. Or you can choose the Brush Tool (B) and brush over your photo using a hard or soft brush. It doesn’t matter what color you use. 

After you’ve finished, make all layers visible again.

Filling subject layer with a color

Step 3

Now Control-click on the Subject layer thumbnail to make a selection of the color fill and then hide the Subject layer. After that, select the Background layer and press Control-J to create a new layer using the selection. Drag this new layer just below the Subject layer.

Creating new layer using selection

Step 4

Now press Control-J on your keyboard twice more so that you have three subject layers.

Duplicating subject layer

Step 5

While the Layer 1 copy 2 is selected, go to Image > Adjustments > Threshold and set the Threshold Level to 128 as shown below:

Making threshold adjustment to Layer 1 copy 2

Step 6

Now select Layer 1 copy, go to Image > Adjustments > Threshold, and set the Threshold Level to 150. Then select Layer 1, go to Image > Adjustments > Threshold, and set the Threshold Level to 170 as shown below:

Making threshold adjustment to Layer 1 copy and Layer 1

Step 7

Select Layer 1 copy 2, hide all other layers except this one, go to Select > Color Range, and set the Select to Shadows, Fuzziness to 20%, and Range to 65 as shown below:

Creating a selection using color range from Layer 1 copy 2

Step 8

Now go to Select > Modify > Smooth and set the Sample Radius to 10 px. Then choose the Lasso Tool (L), Right-click anywhere inside the canvas, choose Make Work Path, and set the Tolerance to 2 px as shown below:

Smoothing selection and making work path

Step 9

Go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer, and name it Subject_Sketch_1.

Creating new layer named Subject_Sketch_1

Step 10

Press D on your keyboard to reset the swatches, and then press B on your keyboard to select the Brush Tool (B). Right-click anywhere inside the canvas and, inside the brushes panel, pick the brush that you have made named Sketch_Brush_2. Then choose the Pen Tool (P), Right-click anywhere inside the canvas, choose Stroke Path, and set the Tool to Brush as shown below:

Stroking path on Subject_Sketch_1 layer

Step 11

Now, while the Pen Tool (P) is selected, Right-click anywhere inside the canvas and choose Delete Path. Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All and hide this layer. Then select the layer mask of this layer, go to Image > Apply Image, and use the settings below:

Applying image on Subject_Sketch_1 layer

Step 12

Right-click on Layer 1 copy 2 and choose Delete Layer, and then select the Subject_Sketch_1 layer and show this layer. After that, click on the link icon between the layer thumbnail and the layer mask to unlink them, select the layer mask, and press Control-I on your keyboard to invert the layer mask.

Deleting Layer 1 copy 2 and inverting layer mask of Subject_Sketch_1 layer

Step 13

Now, while the layer mask is selected, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to 1 px as shown below:

Adding filter gaussian blur to layer mask of layer Subject_Sketch_1

Step 14

Hide the Subject_Sketch_1 layer, select the Layer 1 copy layer, and show this layer. Go to Select > Color Range and set the Select to Shadows, Fuzziness to 20%, and Range to 65 as shown below:

Creating a selection using color range from Layer 1 copy layer

Step 15

Now go to Select > Modify > Smooth and set the Sample Radius to 10 px. Then choose the Lasso Tool (L), Right-click anywhere inside the canvas, choose Make Work Path, and set the Tolerance to 2 px. After that, go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer, and name it Subject_Sketch_2.

Smoothing selection making work path and creating new layer

Step 16

Press D on your keyboard to reset the swatches, and then press B on your keyboard to select the Brush Tool (B). Right-click anywhere inside the canvas and, inside the brushes panel, pick the brush that you have made named Sketch_Brush_3. Then choose the Pen Tool (P), Right-click anywhere inside the canvas, choose Stroke Path, and set the Tool to Brush.

Stroking path on Subject_Sketch_2 layer

Step 17

Now, while the Pen Tool (P) is selected, Right-click anywhere inside the canvas and choose Delete Path. Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All and hide this layer. Then select the layer mask of this layer, and go to Image > Apply Image. After that, Right-click on the Layer 1 copy and choose Delete Layer. 

Then select the Subject_Sketch_2 layer and show this layer. After that, click on the link icon between the layer thumbnail and layer mask to unlink them, select the layer mask, and press Control-I on your keyboard to invert the layer mask.

Applying image deleting Layer 1 copy and inverting layer mask of Subject_Sketch_2 layer

Step 18

While the layer mask is selected, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to 1 px. Then hide the Subject_Sketch_2 layer, select the Layer 1, and show this layer. Go to Select > Color Range, and set the Select to Shadows, Fuzziness to 20%, and Range to 65 as shown below:

Creating a selection using color range from Layer 1 layer

Step 19

Now go to Select > Modify > Smooth and set the Sample Radius to 10 px. Then choose the Lasso Tool (L), Right-click anywhere inside the canvas, choose Make Work Path, and set the Tolerance to 2 px. After that, go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer, and name it Subject_Sketch_3.

Smoothing selection making work path and creating new layer

Step 20

Press D on your keyboard to reset the swatches, and then press B on your keyboard to select the Brush Tool (B). Right-click anywhere inside the canvas and, inside the brushes panel, pick the brush that you have made named Sketch_Brush_4. Then choose the Pen Tool (P), Right-click anywhere inside the canvas, choose Stroke Path, and set the Tool to Brush.

Stroking path on Subject_Sketch_3 layer

Step 21

Now, while the Pen Tool (P) is selected, Right-click anywhere inside the canvas and choose Delete Path. Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All and hide this layer. Then select the layer mask of this layer, and go to Image > Apply Image. 

After that, Right-click on Layer 1 and choose Delete Layer. Then select the Subject_Sketch_3 layer and make it visible. After that, click on the link icon between the layer thumbnail and the layer mask to unlink them, select the layer mask, and press Control-I on your keyboard to invert the layer mask.

Step 22

While the layer mask is selected, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to 1 px and make all layers visible except the Subject layer.

Adding filter gaussian blur to layer mask of layer Subject_Sketch_3

Step 23

Now select the Subject_Sketch_1 layer and change its Opacity to 60%. Then select the Subject_Sketch_2 layer and change its Opacity to 27%. And finally, select the Subject_Sketch_3 layer and change its Opacity to 50%.

Changing opacities of subject sketch layers

6. How to Reveal More Subject Details

Step 1

In this section, we are going to reveal more details of our subject. Control-click on the thumbnail of the Subject layer, select the Background layer, and press Control-J to create a new layer using the selection. Then drag this layer just below the Subject layer.

Creating new layer using selection

Step 2

Now go to Filter > Other > High Pass and set the Radius to 5 px as shown below:

Adding filter high pass to Layer 1 layer

Step 3

Press Control-Shift-U on your keyboard to desaturate this layer, and then go to Image > Adjustments > Levels, and drag the Shadow slider to 85 and the Brightness slider to 170 as shown below:

Making levels adjustment to Layer 1 layer

Step 4

Now Right-click on this layer, choose Blending Options, and then use the settings below:

Making blending changes to Subject_Sketch_Highlights layer

Step 5

Name this layer Subject_Sketch_Highlights, Control-click on the thumbnail of the Subject layer, select the Background layer, and press Control-J to create a new layer using the selection. Then drag this layer just below the Subject layer.

Creating new layer using selection

Step 6

Now go to Filter > Other > High Pass and set the Radius to 10 px as shown below:

Adding filter high pass to Layer 1 layer

Step 7

Press Control-Shift-U on your keyboard to desaturate this layer. Then change this layer Blending Mode to Overlay, drop its Opacity to 84%, and name it Subject_Sketch_Details_1.

Changing blending mode and opacity of Subject_Sketch_Details_1 layer

Step 8

Now Control-click on the thumbnail of the Subject layer, select the Background layer, and press Control-J to create a new layer using the selection. Then drag this layer just below the Subject_Sketch_Details_1 layer.

Creating new layer using selection

Step 9

Press Control-Shift-U on your keyboard to desaturate this layer. Then change this layer blending mode to Overlay, drop its Opacity to 63%, and name it Subject_Sketch_Details_2.

Changing blending mode and opacity of Subject_Sketch_Details_2 layer

Step 10

Now Right-click on this layer, choose Blending Options, and use the settings below.

Making blending changes to Subject_Sketch_Details_2 layer

7. How to Color the Sketch

Step 1

In this section, we are going to color some parts of the subject sketch. Control-click on the thumbnail of the Subject layer, select the Background layer, and press Control-J to create a new layer using the selection. Then drag this layer just below the Subject layer. Then change this layer blending mode to Color and name it Sketch Colour.

Creating a new layer using selection and changing blending mode

Step 2

Now Control-click on the thumbnail of the Subject layer to create a selection of it, and go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection to create a layer mask using selection. Then press D on your keyboard to reset the swatches, choose the Brush Tool (B), pick a soft brush and, while this layer mask is selected, brush over so that the layer mask looks as shown below:

Adding the layer mask to Layer 1 layer

8. How to Create the Color Look

Step 1

Finally, in this section, we are going to add a nice color look. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves to create a new curves adjustment layer and name it Color Look.

Creating new curves adjustment layer

Step 2

Double-click on this layer thumbnail and enter the following settings:

Changing settings of Color Look layer

You Made It!

Congratulations, you have succeeded! Here is our final result:

Final result

If you would like to create even more advanced sketch effects with a wet dripping oil paint and 3D pop-out shadow effect as shown below, just by using a single click and in a few minutes, then check out my Wet Paint Photoshop Action.

Action final results