Displacement Mapping in Adobe Photoshop can give your text a new, dynamic appearance. It makes it appear like a “part” of the image. Follow this guide to learn how to use this technique.
Step 1: Make a displacement map
Before adding the text you wish to blend in, you need to make a displacement map that we will use later.
- Open your picture in Photoshop.
- Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur.
- Set the Radius to 1.0 Pixels, and click OK.
- Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation and click OK. You can also click on the Hue/Saturation icon under the “Adjustments” tab.
- Bring the Saturation all the way to the left by moving the small white arrow. You can also adjust the value of Saturation to -100.
- Go to File > Save As.
- Name your file and click Save. For example, we named it “Displacement Map”.
- Close the file in Photoshop by pressing the small X beside its name.
Step 2: Add your text
Once the displacement map has been made, you can add your text. First, open the original picture in Photoshop again, then follow these steps:
- Click on the Horizontal Type tool.
- Click anywhere on the image, and type your text.
- Once your text is added, right-click on the text layer in the Layers tab.
- Select Convert to Smart Object.
Step 3: Use the Displace Tool
It is time to apply the displacement map to your text.
- Go to Filter > Distort > Displace.
- You can leave these options at their default values. Click OK.
- Locate the previously saved displacement map file, select it and click Open.
Step 4: Adjust the appearance of your image
If you are unhappy with how your text looks, here are some tips for making it look more realistic.
- To adjust the appearance of the Displacement Map, set the Fill to 0 and double-click on the Layer.
- In the Layer Style, click Color Overlay, and choose the color by clicking the color rectangle.
- In Blend Mode, choose Linear Burn.
- Click Bevel & Emboss. Change the “Style” to Emboss and make the direction Down.
- Set the Angle to –45 degrees to match the shadows in the picture. The correct angle can be different in your case.
- To soften the look, set the “Highlight Mode” to Linear Dodge and the “Shadow Mode” to Linear Burn.
- Then, set their Opacity to 20%.
- Finally, click OK. Our text is looking much more realistic now!