Creating cool text layers with smart objects in Photoshop

One advantage that certain vector based programs like illustrator has always had over Photoshop is the ability to do a lot of cool stuff with text. I have dabbled in Illustrator over the years but really am a rookie with this application and always prefer to use Photoshop since i’ve used it forever and it’s quick and easy for me. With the default text tool you can create text in a vertical or horizontal orientation but did you know you can also create text and warp it in any custom fashion?. In today’s tutorial i’ll walk through a quick tip on how to convert text into a smart object so you can tweak it any way you need to.

I’ll be using Photoshop CS6 for this demo and although it’s not the perfect example show you how to put some curved text into the sky on this image. Where this does come in handy for me in real life is for wedding albums where I want to add some text into part of an image and a straight line just won’t work.

When you create a text layer you always have the ability to go into the Edit –> Transform –> Warp menu item to do some preset edits to your text like Arc, Arch, Flag and many more. However many times you will want to have a custom shape to the text. To do this start with creating a normal text layer in Photoshop.

Next right click on the text layer and select Convert to smart object. This will allow us to create a custom transform for the text layer along with a few other nice benefits. After you convert this into a smart object you can go to Edit –> Transform –> Warp and select custom from the warp settings.

This will allow you to fully customize the warp of the text by dragging the end points around. You can even create a cool 3d style wrapping feel to it by moving one of the corners down so the text appears to be peeling like its coming off the page.

And since this is a smart object just double click on the text layer to open up the text in a new window. Edit the text in any way and save. Viola your text is updated and still keeps the custom shape that you created!

Really quick, easy and gives you full control over the shape of your text in Photoshop! Check back tomorrow for another really fun tip with customizing text in Photoshop. Also if you ever have a question on Photoshop, Lightroom or anything photography related just leave a comment below and lets chat.

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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