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Chapter 14. Type and Background Effects > Photo-realistic Effects

Photo-realistic Effects

We are now moving away from layer styles (where text is editable) and entering the fascinating world of filters (where the text is not editable). I've accepted this tradeoff; the upside of losing the editing flexibility is the chance to create an infinite variety of type effects by using Photoshop's filters (there are about 100 of them).

Here's a quick tour of how filters affect your text. Once you've applied a filter, your text will be rasterized, which will remove its editability and transform it from object-based to pixel-based text. After rasterizing a Type layer, you're no longer limited to using layer styles and warping, so you'll be able to achieve more radical results. The steps used to create these effects may not always seem logical, but stick with me until you see the result. I came up with them after many hours of experimentation. If you would like to create your own type effects, I suggest you start by getting a basic understanding of what each of the filters in Photoshop does. Each one applies its own unique brand of magic, and once you're on familiar terms with the filters, you might be able to think of the perfect filter to enhance the end result. The way I got used to the filters was to commit to experimenting with one side menu each day (Distort, Pixelate, and so on). I did this day after day until I could actually predict the result I'd get from most of the filters. Now I can create some interesting effects without having to go through the time-consuming task of randomly applying filters.


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