Here I’ll demonstrate on a picture of a rusty bit of metal how you can emboss an object using any font (or custom symbol) of your choice while maintaining the original texture in the area that is altered.
The embossing effect is a similar process as engraving and start from the same point, changing direction towards the middle of the step by step sequence, so we're covering engraving in a different article here.
Step 1 Open your image and duplicate the Background layer, renaming it to ‘Text’. You do this by right-clicking the Background layer and selecting ‘duplicate’ and then right-clicking the new layer and selecting ‘Rename’.
Step 2 Select the text tool (it looks like a letter A on the toolbar) and set the size, font and style of your text in the toolbar. These settings depend entirely on what you are doing and the style you are after, so have a look and see what takes your fancy.
Step 3 Left-click your image in the Text layer and a new box will appear for you to enter your word. Once you’ve written everything correctly press ‘Apply’ and it should appear on your image.
Step 4 If you’re working with a large image, chances are even on size 72 your writing will look tiny, so we need to transform it to not only remedy the size, but also to create perspective so that it will look like it is actually on the surface. Select the Picker tool (‘K’) and click on your writing. Drag your writing down to where you want it and then drag out a corner until it is about the right size. T
hen, hold shift and drag the vertical you want to be nearest downwards (upwards if it is in the lower part of an image or the surface goes that way). This should Shear your image to follow the lines of the image better, now you just need to add perspective. Hold the Control key whilst grasping one of the nearer corners and drag the tag up and down to make one end bigger than the other, adding to the depth cues within the image.
Step 5 Use the Magic Wand to select your text, then open Selections>Load/Save Selection>Save Selection to Disk. In the new window that opens enter a meaningful name for the selection and press ‘Save’ before continuing.
Step 6 Press the Eye icon next to the thumbnail of the layer actually containing your writing (probably called Vector 1) to hide it for the time being. This is just here as a precaution from here on, as all we needed it for really was a selection. Now the process differs depending on what you are doing; embossing or engraving.
It's at this stage you could either go down an embossing or engraving route. We're doing embossing in this technique, but we have another article here that explains how to engrave.
Step 7 Whilst keeping the text selection active, move to the layer you created when you duplicated the Background layer earlier. Open Effects>3D Effects>Inner Bevel. You can use the left-hand box to determine the shape of the bevel; I’m using a rounded one to create a rounded appearance that should help with blending the text into the surface.
Then determine how deep, reflective and smooth you want your drop to appear, the ambience setting determines the ambient lighting of your selection, so it will brighten your image. You can also customise the direction the light is coming from using the angle setting, the intensity of the light, which is self-explanatory, and the elevation of the light source in the ‘sky’.
This basically means you can control where the light source is in an almost 3-dimensional manner; with the angle and elevation controlling its position and the intensity simulating its brightness/proximity. Play around and see what you can come up with.
Step 8 Deselect your text using Control and ‘D’ and have a look at it. It will almost definitely look tacked on at this stage, so what we want to do is blend the edges so it looks more like it is part of the image. To do this we will use a Mask layer; right click the Text layer and then select New Mask Layer>Show All. In the Mask layer that opens up use a black Brush with the hardness set to zero to fade the clear edges; just touch them with the edge of the brush until they are softer rather than completely eradicated.
There you have it an embossed piece of text. Now if you want to try out engraved text, follow this tutorial.