Cutout Text Effect in Photoshop Elements

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Start with a New Document

Start with a New Document

Here's how to create a 3D cutout text effect with Photoshop Elements. This effect makes text appear as though it is punched out of a surface. In this tutorial you will work with layers, the horizontal type selection tool, and layer style effects.

Start with a New document using the "Web" preset. New> Blank File> Web minimum.

Editor's Note: This tutorial also works the current version of Photoshop Elements- Photoshop Elements 15

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Create a New Solid Fill Layer

Create a New Solid Fill Layer

Create a new layer solid color fill layer from the adjustment layer button on the layers palette.

Choose white for the new layer color.

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Make a Type Selection

Make a Type Selection

Select the Horizontal Type Mask tool by clicking the Text tool and then clicking the type mask tool in the toolbox, which revels additional type tools.

Click inside the document and type some text. The text will show as white on a pink background because this is really a type selection we are creating and the masked area is shown with a red overlay.

Highlight over the text to select it, then choose a bold font and a large font size (around 150 pixels).

When you are happy with the type selection, click the green checkmark to apply it. The red overlay will become a "marching ants" marquee.

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Delete the Type Selection

Delete the Type Selection
Press delete on the keyboard to "punch out" the text selection from the top layer, then Deselect (ctrl-D).
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Apply a Drop Shadow

Apply a Drop Shadow

Go to the Effects palette (Window > Effects if it is not showing) and click the second icon for layer styles, then set the menu to show drop shadows.

Double click on the drop shadow style "low" to apply it.

If you can't find the drop shadow style, try Layer> Layer Style>Style Settings and select Drop Shadow. When the dialog box opens set a lighting Angle as well as Size, Distance and Opacity for the Drop Shadow. When finished click OK.

The objective of a Drop Shadow is to show elevation. In this case, the shadow will be used to give the text an Embossed effect. In either case, subtly should be your goal. Just keep in miind the higher the object casting the shadow is above a surface.the larger and fainter (Opacity) it is on the edges.

This technique is remarkably similar to one you would use in Photoshop.

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Customize the Effect Style

Customize the Effect Style

You can stop here or you can double click on the FX icon on the layers palette to customize the drop shadow appearance. You may want to change the lighting angle, or size, distance and opacity of the shadow.

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Change the Background Color

Change the Background Color
If desired, fill the background with another color by clicking it in the layers palette and going to Edit > Fill or using the paint bucket tool.