Deke’s Techniques: Rendering a portrait in type with Photoshop

Published by | Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques movie, you’ll see how a portrait can literally be worth a thousand words. Well, several hundred at least. Deke demonstrates how to superimpose layers of text over a lovely face, creating an image that’s both literal and visceral at the same time.

Deke begins with this compelling photo from the Fotolia image library:

Then, using a combination of blend modes and almost automatically generated masks, he integrates three separate layers of text over the subject (and background) to create this effect that is simultaneously organic and literal:

Using the image to select itself is the key to creating the masks for this project. In other words, rather than tediously outlining key areas of the photograph in order to separate the eyes and the background, this technique uses some channel exploitation, the Color Range command, and Quick Mask mode to coax Photoshop into doing the masking work for you. This kind of skill can really help you mask your own images quickly and accurately without ever needing to trace around elements in your photos.

For lynda.com members, Deke also has two exclusive videos that provide variations on this technique. You can check them out in the Deke’s Techniques course in the Online Training Library®. And if you’d like to further hone your masking skills, be sure to check out Deke’s new Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Fundamentals course, in which you’ll get to know the entire tool set of masking features in Photoshop and find much more about coercing your images to mask themselves.

See you here again next week for more Deke’s Techniques.

Interested in more?
• The entire Deke’s Techniques collection
• Courses by Deke McClelland in the Online Training Library®
• All courses on Photoshop in the Online Training Library®

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