Make Money with Photoshop

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Do you want to know how it's done? Learn how to use Photoshop the easy way!

Knockout Text Through Layers
in Photoshop

"Punching" text or a shape through to a lower layer in Photoshop is pretty simple. To visualize what exactly this is, think of two sheets of paper. A black one on the bottom and a white one on the top. Let's say you took a hole punch and put a hole in the white paper that is on top. Now you would see a white piece of paper with a black hole in it. We can create this same effect using the "knockout" feature in Photoshop.

The first thing you will want to decide is what image or graphic you want to see through your knockout. This needs to be the background. To change an existing layer to a background layer, first selct the layer and then choose Layer/New/Background from the menu bar. Whenever you open an image, it sould default as a background layer.

I will start with this picture.

Next we will create something to "punch" through. I am going to use a standard hard round paintbrush and a shade of blue to create a wave type of effect. Make sure to create a new layer for this.

This is what I came up with.

This layer looks a bit drab, so let's ad a little spice to it. Choose Layer/Layer Style/Blending Options. I have used the settings as shown below.

That's better. Now we have something to work with. We will now need to select text to add on top of this layer. Use whatever text you like. I am going to use Comic Sans MS. A bolder style of text will work best here. The word "Summer" seemed appropriate for this picture.

Now we need to "punch" the text through to the background layer. Again choose Layer/Layer Style/Blending Options from the menu bar. Select deep knockout and set the fill opacity to 0.

Now we can see through to the background. The nature of this picture however makes it a little hard to read. This will be different with each picture you try to use the Photoshop knockout feature with.

We can overcome this by adding a little stroke color around the word to bring it out a bit. Again using the blending options window, I chose the color black and brought the opacity down to 54%.

And this is what we end up with. Photoshop really makes this sort of thing quite easy.