How to Carve Into Wood Effects in Photoshop

Written by spanner spencer
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How to Carve Into Wood Effects in Photoshop
By using layers, you can experiment without permanently altering the wood-effect background. (Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Photoshop is equipped with filters and blending options that allow you to emboss text or images. This creates the impression of depth around the text or image, adding a highlight to one side and a shadow to the other. By reversing the light direction and profile of the embossing filter, you can create the effect of carving, rather than embossing. The shadow and highlight exchange places, creating the impression that the text or image is physically lower than the background.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Wood-effect background image

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Launch Photoshop by clicking its icon on the desktop. Click the "File" menu at the top of the screen, followed by "Open," and select your wood-effect background image to load it into the workspace.

  2. 2

    Open the "Layer" menu, followed by "New," and select "Layer." This creates a new layer over the top of your background image, where the carving effects will take place.

  3. 3

    Enter text into the upper layer using the "Text" tool, or create an image using the drawing tools. Select the black swatch in the "Swatches" toolbar before typing or drawing to ensure the upper layer is black.

  4. 4

    Right-click the upper layer in the "Layers" toolbar and select "Blending Options" from the menu. Select the "Bevel and Emboss" section from the "Styles" column.

  5. 5

    Select "Inner Bevel" from the "Style" menu, and "Chisel Hard" from the "Technique" menu in the "Structure" section. Change the "Angle" setting to "-45" in the "Shading" section. This casts a light from underneath, giving the impression of carving rather than embossing. Click the "OK" button to continue.

  6. 6

    Select "Soft Light" from the upper layer's "Mode" menu. This allows the background wood-effect image to show through the body of the upper layer, while leaving the blending option visible and creating the impression of a wood carving.

Tips and warnings

  • Adjust the "Opacity" setting of the upper layer to further refine the depth and transparency of the carving effect.
  • Select "Save As" from the "File" menu to save your carving image to your computer.
  • If you save the image in a JPEG, GIF or PNG file format --- the most commonly used image formats for computers and the Internet --- the image will be flattened and the layers removed.

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