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SharpFold

This tutorial will explain how to create a sharp fold text effect, by converting the Text layer into a Shape layer, adding and moving a couple of anchor points, and using a simple Gradient Fill with different Blend Modes.

The Final Result

Tutorial Details

  • Software Used : Photoshop
  • Version : CS5 Extended
  • Time : 1:00 – 1:45

Resources

Step 1

Create a new 1024 x 768 px document. Set the Foreground color to #dbdbdb, and the Background color to #bcbcbc, then, create a Radial Gradient from the center of the document to one of the corners.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 1

Create the text using the color #7b7b7b. The font used is Magnum and the Size is 250 pt.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 1

Duplicate the text layer, and change the copy’s font color to #c91544. Make the original text layer invisible (click the eye icon next to it).

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 1

Right click the copy text layer and choose Convert to Shape.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 1

This will convert the Text layer to a Shape layer. The thumbnail to the left is the Fill color, and you can double click it to change the color anytime you want to. The thumbnail to the right is the Layer Mask, and it shows the shape of the path that defines what’s visible on the layer.

* Make sure to click the Layer Mask before modifying the path.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 1

Step 2

Pick the Direct Selection Tool. This is the tool we will be using to move any points on the path.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 2

Click and drag to select the anchor points of the first letter.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 2

The anchor points are the points that control the path. Adding, deleting, or moving any of them will change the shape of the path. Try to add the folds where there aren’t many really close anchor points.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 2

Pick the Add Anchor Point Tool to start adding the fold’s anchor points. Each fold will need 3 anchor points on each side. The ones to the right and left are where the fold begins and ends (yellow highlight), and the ones in the middle control the actual fold (blue highlight).

Click to add the 6 anchor points on each side. Don’t worry about aligning the points perfectly, you can even leave different spaces between the anchor points to create a more tilted fold.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 2

Pick the Direct Selection Tool once again, click and drag to select the anchor points in the middle (or Shift + click them).

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 2

Use the Up arrow key (the Move Tool (V) should be selected) to move the selected anchor points slightly upwards.

When creating the Horizontal folds, you should move the fold to the Right instead.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 2

Repeat the same steps to create more folds wherever you want.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 2

Step 3

Create two new layers on top of all layers, and call them Light and Dark. We will be using them to add the gradients to the sides of the fold.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 3

Set the Light layer’s Blend Mode to Soft Light and its Opacity to 30%.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 3

Set the Dark layer’s Blend Mode to Multiply.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 3

Step 4

Ctrl/Cmd and click the Shape Layer Mask’s thumbnail to create a selection.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 4

Pick the Polygonal Lasso Tool and click the Intersect with Selection icon in the Options bar.

Next, create a selection that intersects with the right half (side) of the fold.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 4

Make sure that the Dark layer is selected.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 4

Pick the Gradient Tool, and click the Linear Gradient icon in the Options bar. With the Foreground color set to #dbdbdb, choose the Foreground to Transparent gradient, and fill the selection starting from the middle of the fold.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 4

The Multiply Blend Mode set previously will make the gradient look like a shadow covering the selected area.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 4

Select the shape once again (Ctrl/Cmd + click the thumbnail), and use the Polygonal Lasso Tool to create a selection that intersects with the left half of the fold.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 4

Select the Light layer this time, then fill the selection with the gradient.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 4

This will brighten the left side of the fold a little bit.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 4

Note: Try not to include the areas separated by corners in the selection, and avoid dragging the Gradient outside the selection as well.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 4

Doing so will result in hard disconnected gradient fills.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 4

Just make sure that the selected areas are contiguous, and that the gradients end near the edge of the selection.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 4

This will make the gradient fills look more smooth and realistic.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 4

Do the same for all the remaining folds. Remember, the parts bending up should be lighter, and the ones going down should be darker. Simply, apply the Gradient fills clockwise to all the folds.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 4

Step 5

Make the original text layer visible.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 5

Right click the original text layer and choose Rasterize Type.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 5

This will reasterize the text layer, which means you will not be able to modify the text anymore. You can use Smart Objects instead if you like.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 5

Go to Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur, and set the Radius to 2.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 5

Set the rasterized text layer’s Blend Mode to Multiply. Pick the Move Tool, and use the Arrow Keys to move the text a little bit downwards and to the right, in order to create a simple shadow.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 5

Step 6

Double click the Shape layer to add a simple Gradient Overlay:

– Gradient Overlay

  • Blend Mode : Soft Light
  • Opacity : 60%
  • Style : Reflected
  • Click the Gradient box to create the gradient
Sharp Fold Text Effect step 6

The Gradient used is a very simple one. Click each one of the Color Stops (at the bottom of the Gradient bar), then click the Color box below, and set the colors to #ffffff and #000000.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 6

Now, click each one of the Opacity Stops (at the top of the Gradient bar) to set the Opacity values to 0 and 100%.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 6

This will add a nice gradient to the text.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 6

Finally, place the Grungy seamless tiling cement texture on top of all layers, and change its layer’s Blend Mode to Soft Light.

Sharp Fold Text Effect step 6

That’s it!

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