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Charcoal Effect in Photoshop

By Nick Ustinov Before opening a new window, select the Background and Foreground you wish to use. In the sample, I used a Blue Background, and a Black Foreground. For starters, use two colors that contrast well together. (ie. Blue and Black, Red and Black.

Open a new window. Pick any size, RGB color, and before you hit OK, go down to the bottom of that window and click "Backround Color."

Now type your text, big, bold, and centered. Note, if you are using Photoshop 4.0 it will create a layer of your type. You must merge it down if you want this trick to work. Just hit Ctrl-E (Cmd-E on Mac).
1 Go to Image >Rotate >Arbitrary. Enter a value of 45 Degrees and click on Clockwise (CW). This will set up the image so we can apply "Wind" diagonally to it.

Go to Filter >Stylize >Wind. Method is "Wind", Direction is "Left". Hit Ok.

Now go back into the Wind filter and make the direction "Right."
2 To allow us to "Wind" the other diagonals of the image, go to Image, Rotate, 90 Degrees CW.

Repeat steps 5 and 6.

Go back to Image >Rotate >Arbitrary. Enter a value of 135 and CounterClockWise direction (CCW).
3 Your image will now look smaller. Use the CROP tool in the toolbar to isolate the image better. This tool looks like an Origami bird or something.

Now, select the "FILL" tool (Looks like a paintbucket) and fill around the outside of the image. (This is assuming, that you have not changed your colors in the process). And don't forget the centers of letters like P's, A's, lowercase e's, etc.

Most importantly, don't be afraid to try other filters. Weird and new color combinations are good! Try the Diffuse filter for a "Stencil/Paintbrush effect." After you get this far, try picking a totally new foreground color after step 10 and continuing. Don't forget to play with Image, Adjust, Hue/Saturation. Finally, click on "Colorize."

4

This article first appeared in November 1998.

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