Photoshop Fundamentals: Create a Wet Type Effect

Dateline: June 25, 2007
Version: Adobe Photoshop CS2

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Here’s a Photoshop effect that will surely spill over into a creative look for type. You’ll dip into Photoshop’s very capable Brush tool to create random paint spots. After a little Ripple distortion, you’ll use the handy Smudge tool and drag the type to smear it with a finger-painted look. Dabbing a smudge here and a splatter there, you can create designs with a realistic wet-ink look. This paint drip effect is gaining popularity and can turn drab type into an attention-grabber.
Begin by downloading wettype.psd, then launch Photoshop and open the image. Press D to set Default colors (black foreground, white background). Press F7 to show the Layers palette. Click the Create New Layer button. Click the Visibility icon (eye) next to Layer 1 to hide it.
Select the Brush tool (B). Use the options in the resulting Options bar (below, left). Paint a few random spots similar to ours shown (left).
Choose Filter > Distort > Ripple. Use the options in the resulting Ripple dialog box and click OK.
Select the Smudge tool (R). Use the options in the resulting Options bar. Click-drag on the spots and push out some of the edges to create random spatters. Select the Brush tool (B). Using a smaller brush size, add some more spots to complete the effect.
In the Layers palette, click the Visibility square next to Layer 1 to reveal it. Using the Move tool (V), position the spatter on the type. Drag Layer 2 to the Create New Layer button to duplicate it. Continue placing duplicate spatters around the type, resizing and rotating them to your liking until it looks similar to ours, shown at left.
In the Layers palette, click the Create New Layer button. Select the Brush tool (B). In the resulting Options bar, choose the Hard Round 19 pixels brush and draw a long wavy line near the “R” as shown to create a ‘drip.’
Choose Edit > Transform > Warp. Click on the adjustment points and drag them to warp the drip to your liking and press Return.
Drag Layer 3 to the Create New Layer button to duplicate it. Continue placing duplicate drips around the type, resizing them to your liking until it looks similar to ours shown at left.
Use the type to create an ad or poster as shown in our example at left.

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