Deke’s Techniques: Creating a grass text effect in Photoshop

Published by | Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

This week’s Deke’s Techniques continues the celebration of Spring that began last week with an exercise in creating type out of freshly cut turf. In last week’s episode, Deke showed you how to create leafy letters by using a Photoshop type layer as a mask. In this week’s free video, you’ll see how Deke renders type in freshly cut grass. Like last week’s leafy letters, this technique begins by using a Photoshop text layer as a mask for a grassy green photograph, and leverages the power of Refine Mask to ensure that the letters have appropriately rendered edges that do justice to the grass hedges of our masked image.

This week Deke also goes a little further to show you the nuances of working with grass on dirt, which requires anticipating how to lift the appropriate shadow color from the dirt that underlies the turf. A grass effect is particularly sensitive to the Refine Edge command, meaning that the letters tend to run together in an unfortunate way. To avoid this, Deke shows you how to split the layer mask into two parts in order to make sure the letters retain their separation. As a final step, if you are working with turf, you naturally need to embed a perfectly landed golf ball into your image. With careful application of the shadow, you can really sell this effect, as seen here:

Words with grass effect created in Photoshop.

See you back next week with another fresh technique from Deke!


Interested in more?
• The entire Deke’s Techniques weekly series on
• Courses by Deke McClelland on
• All Photoshop courses on

Suggested courses to watch next:
• Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
• Photoshop for Designers: Layer Effects
• Photoshop Masking & Compositing: Fundamentals
 Photoshop CS6 Beta Preview

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