Photoshop Tutorials

Tutorial 8: Plastic Effect
What you'll start with: What you'll end up with:

I learnt this method from Scott Kelby's excellent Photoshop 6 Down and Dirty Tricks (New Riders Publishing).  Note that it also works with objects.

1. Load Photoshop and fill your background with any color of your liking by pressing 'Alt' and 'Backspace'.  Now change your foreground color back to white and insert some text.

2. Change Normal which appears under the Layers tab in the Layers box to Overlay.  Then go to Layer, Rasterize, Type and add a Drop Shadow to your text (now an object) by going to Layer, Layer Style, Drop Shadow.  Change the Size of the shadow to 8.

3. Hold down 'Ctrl' and click on the top layer (the one with your object) to select.  Go to  Select, Modify, Expand.  Enter 2 and click OK.  Finally, click the 'Marquee' button in the toolbox (or press 'M') and move your selection one tap to the right and one tap downwards (using you keyboard arrow keys).

4. Go to Edit, Copy Merged.  And then Edit, Paste.  A new layer will be formed.  Now, go to Layer, Layer Style, Bevel and Emboss.  Choose a Depth of 300%, a Size of 6 and a Softness of 6.  Then go to Filter, Artistic, Plastic Wrap.  Accept the default values of 15, 9 and 7 for Highlight Strength, Detail and Smoothness.  Finally go to Edit, Fade Plastic Wrap, choose an Opacity of 80% and click OK.

4. Add a shadow to your layer (Layer, Layer Style, Drop Shadow) and finally sharpen the whole thing by going to Filter, Sharpen, Sharpen More.

5. Make sure your background color is set to white below the toolbox, then select your Background layer (the one at the bottom) and press 'Ctrl' and 'A' to select all pixels.  Then press Backspace to remove your background.