CreativePro’s original feature on filling text with images has been hugely popular since it was published back in 2009. Ten years later, it’s time for a fresh take – and there’s a new way of doing it with Photoshop CC 2019.
Step 1: Choose an image
This image of a surfer is free to download, courtesy of pixabay – and you can download it here. It’s an ideal background image.
Step 2: Add your text
Choose a bold, ideally sans serif font. Thin fonts won’t work nearly as well, as you won’t be able to see enough of the background through them. Here, I’ve added the word SURF in Acumin Condensed Black.
Step 3: Tighten it up
To avoid getting big gaps between the letters, it’s worth bringing them close together. With the Type tool, click between each pair of letters and use the shortcut alt + left cursor key to bring the letters towards each other.
Step 4: Move the background
Double-click the background layer to turn it into a regular layer, then drag it above the type layer. Choose Layer > Create Clipping Mask, or use the shortcut Command Option G / Ctrl Alt G. Here’s how the Layers Panel should now look – that little arrow to the left of the background shows it’s using the type as a clipping mask.
Step 5: The result
Here’s how it looks: the background will only show up where it overlaps the text.
Step 6: Add a new background
That checkerboard background appeared when you turned the original background into a regular layer. Make a new layer, and choose Layer > New > Background from Layer. This will give you a new white background. But the surfer is positioned a little awkwardly.
Step 7: Move the background
You can move the surfer layer independently of the text, and it will move inside it. Here, I’ve moved it so that the surfer is fully visible inside the letter R.
Step 8: A different approach
In this version, we’re going to make a word stand up on top of the background. This image of a forest comes from Wikipedia, and you can download it here.
Step 9: Add your text
As before, create your text in a bold sans serif font. Position it towards the top of the image.
Step 10: Add a blank area
Make a new layer beneath the text layer, and sketch out a rectangle with the Rectangular Marquee tool, covering all the text. Press D to make your foreground and background colors the default black and white, then use Command Backspace / Ctrl Backspace to fill the selection with the background color.
Step 11: Duplicate the background
Select the background layer and use Command J / Ctrl J to duplicate it to a new layer. Drag it to the top of the layers stack, above the Type layer, then use Command Option G / Ctrl Alt G to use the type layer as a clipping mask.
Step 12: The result
The top of the forest now blends into the lettering, with the bottom part fully visible below it.
Step 13: The Photoshop CC approach
Photoshop CC 2019 has a new and easier way of producing this technique. We’ll use this image of London from Wikipedia, which you can download here.
Step 14: Add your text
Add the text as before. I’ve set the word London so that the ascender of the ‘d’ lines up with the clock tower.
Step 15: Make a frame
Select the text layer, and choose Layer > New > Convert to Frame. As it’s a text layer, it will use the text as its name.
Step 16: The frame layer
Here’s how the frame layer looks: you can just make out the text as blue outlines.
Step 17: Put the background in the frame
Double-click the background layer to make it into a regular layer, and Photoshop will automatically put it into the frame. Your Layers Panel will now show just one layer.
Step 18: The result
Here’s how it looks: the background is now incorporated within the text layer. You’ll see a thick gray border around the layer when it’s selected, but that won’t appear when you choose a different layer or save the file.
Step 19: Moving the content around
The layer consists of two parts: the frame and the content. If you select the frame, on the left, then you’ll move the type along with its contents. But if you select the contents, on the right, then you can move (and scale) the background inside the type.Tags