text portrait effect

In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to create a text portrait effect in Photoshop. Like we added a transparent text to an image, we’ll now give the illusion that the picture shown is being created by a text. Here’s the effect we’ll be creating:

text portrait effect

For the text portrait effect tutorial, you’ll need:

  • Any Photoshop version should work (I used CS4)

Step 1

Open the picture you want to use. You should probably save a copy of the picture since we’ll be cropping it.

text portrait effect original

Select the Rectangular Marquee tool and make a selection around the man’s face.

 text portrait effect rectangular marquee tool

Now, select Image > Crop.

 text portrait effect crop

Step 2

Click on the New Layer icon to add a new layer.

 text portrait effect new layer

 new layer result

Fill it with the color black by going to Edit > Fill and using the following settings.


 fill result

Step 3

Select the Type tool and make a text frame that covers the whole document area. Now, choose the font and its size. It’s preferable to keep the font size small so as to keep as much detail intact as possible.


We’ll be writing the text in white, so if your color is set to something else, click on the color swatch and select the color white.

 font color

Now, add your text. I’ll be adding the standard lorem ispum.


Step 4

With the text layer selected, click on the Layer Mask icon.

 layer mask

 layer mask result

Now, select the background layer, press Command+A (Macs) / Ctrl+A (Windows), and then press Command+C (Macs) / Ctrl+C (Windows) to copy the photo. Then, option-click (Macs) / alt-click (Windows) on the text layer’s mask thumbnail.

 select layer mask

Now, paste the photo by pressing Command+V (Macs) / Ctrl+V (Windows).


Again, option-click (Macs) / alt-click (Windows) on the text layer’s mask thumbnail.

 exit layer mask

Deselect the selection by pressing Command+D (Macs) / Ctrl+D (Windows).


Step 5

If you like the results, you can skip the following steps. But if you want the photo to be a little brighter, duplicate the text layer by pressing Command+J (Macs) / Ctrl+J (Windows).


 duplicate result

If you want the image to be much brighter, duplicate the text layer again. If you find the image to be a little too bright, lower the opacity of the top layer.


And the text portrait effect tutorial is complete!

 text portrait effect