Photoshop Tutorial Displacement Maps

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Information about Photoshop Tutorial Displacement Maps

Published on August 22, 2007

Author: tvawler


Photoshop Tutorial Displacement Maps email Skill level: Intermediate Duration: 5 minutes Requirements: Photoshop version 5 or higher Stage 01. Start by opening the file satin.bmp Click on the Channels tab and click on the channels red, green or blue until you find the one with the most contrast (the greatest variation from white to black). For this image it happens to be red. Stage 02. Right click on the red channel and select Duplicate Channel. In the dialog that appears, type map in the As and Name fields Next to Document, select New.

Stage 03. A new image will appear. We will be using this as our Displacement Map. To smooth the final output, let’s blur it slightly. Go to the Filter menu and select Blur, Gaussian Blur, and give it a value of 0.7 Click OK. Now save this image anywhere to your hard drive (to your desktop perhaps) and name it map. Once saved, close the image. Stage 04. In the Channels tab, click on RGB to show all the colours and then click the Layers tab. Now grab the Type tool, click on the image and start typing. Large, bold fonts will work best for this tutorial. Make sure your text fills most of the width of the image area. Click the Move tool to apply your type. Stage 05. In the Layers pallets you will notice a new layer which has the same name as the text you just typed. We need to rasterise this layer. Right click on the layer and select Rasterise Layer. (Tip: When text is rasterised, you can not edit it again without back tracking in the history.)

Stage 06. Now for the fun stuff. Go to the Filter menu and select Distort, and then Displace. You will see this dialog appear. Leave all the values as default and clock OK. You will then be prompted to open a file. Browse to the file you saved earlier (which is named map) and click Open. Stage 07. The displacement map has now been applied to the image. Note that the text is now displaced in a manner that it appears to be wrapping with the curves of the satin sheet. To complete the illusion, change the layer mode of the text layer (named Mike in my case) and select Overlay. Stage 08. Now drop the opacity down to about 70 (try different values for your own desired effect). If your final image looks something like this, then pat yourself on the back! You can use this method to apply displacement maps to just about anything. Here are a few examples…

Examples. Rust Planet Leopard spots Original Guy Image I used these 3 different images (small versions and original guy shown above) to make the displacement maps for the 3 different images on the following page…

This tutorial was produced by Michael Ott

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