How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

This tutorial was originally published in October 2013 as a Tuts+ Premium tutorial. It is now available free to view. Although this tutorial does not use the latest version of Adobe Photoshop, its techniques and process are still relevant.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

As we push further into autumn (in some parts of the world) many designers might be thinking about how to create autumn-inspired artwork for the projects they are working on. In this tutorial, we will show you how to create text made of hay using Photoshop’s 3D features as an aid. Let’s get started!
How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop
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Tutorial Assets

You will need to the following image to complete this tutorial. Please download it before you begin. If it is not available or if you would prefer not to pay for it, feel free to find an alternative.

1. How to Create the Basic Layers and Layout

Step 1

  • Open the downloaded field picture.
  • Go to Image > Image Size and change its parameters as shown in the picture below.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 2

Now you will bring in the original picture as a Smart Object. You need to do that to have one bigger hay bale in front of the picture later on.

  • Open Mini Bridge.
  • Navigate to the image file on your disk.
  • Grab it and drag it onto the canvas.
  • Change its name to “Harvest_final”.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 3

In thePaths panel, create a new Path and call it “hay bale”. Activate thePen Tool (P) and draw a shape around the hay bale. Create a Selection from this path by pressing the dashed circle [1]. Alternatively you can press Command and press on the Path thumbnail to make a selection from it.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 4

Press Command-J to create a New Layer. Call it “Hay bale 1”.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 5

Duplicate this layer twice (Command-J). Place them as in the screenshots, using theTransform Tool (Command-T). You will adjust their position later.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

2. How to Create 3D Typography

Step 1

Activate theType Tool and type “HARVEST” in the middle of the canvas. Set the type properties as in the screenshot.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 2

Press Command-T and transform the typography to fit better on the canvas. Then press theRight Mouse Button and choose New 3D Extrusion from Selected Layer.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 3

With Scene selected in the 3D palette, adjust the typography position using the 3D transform tools. Position the typography so that the margins on the left and right sides are equal.

  • Use the 3d transform tools to position the letters:
  • [1] Rotate will allow you to rotate the object on X, Y, and Z axes.
  • [2] Roll will allow you to rotate the object in screen space.
  • [3] Drag will allow you to move the object in all directions.
  • [4] Slide will bring the object closer or further away from you based on the XYZ axes of the currently selected object.
  • [5] Scale will make the selected object bigger or smaller.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 4

Set theEnvironment position as shown in the screenshot. You can type values in the appropriate fields to speed up the process.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 5

Set theCurrent View position as shown in the picture below.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 6

You can change theExtrusion Depth by selecting theMesh object in the3D panel.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 7

Select Light and in its Properties palette turn off Shadow [1]. Change the name of this layer to “HARVEST extrusion”.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 8

Duplicate the extruded text layer to simulate sunlight in the scene.

  • Duplicate the extruded text layer.
  • Change its name to “HARVEST shadow”.
  • Drag it below the “HARVEST extrusion” layer
  • Turn on Shadow and adjust its position by dragging the small light source [3].
  • Try to match the shadows’ direction in the picture.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 9

Now select theHARVEST extrusion layer and from the Right Click Menu choose Rasterize 3D.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

3. How to Adjust the Placement of the Hay Bales

Step 1

Select the “Harvest_final” layer [1] and turn off its visibility. Then select the “Hay bale 1” layer [2] and press Command-T to activate transform. Move it to the front of the letter “S” as shown in the picture.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 2

Select the “Hay bale 3” layer [1] and drag it below the “HARVEST extrusion” layer. Press Command-T to activate Free Transform. Move it behind the letter “T” as shown in the picture.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 3

Now select the “Hay bale 2” Layer and press Command-T to activate Free Transform. Move it to the front of the letter “H” as shown in the picture.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 4

Turn Off Visibility of the “HARVEST shadow” layer [1]. Then Duplicate the “Background” layer [2].

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 5

Activate theClone Stamp Tool (S) and paint with grass to hide the unnecessary part of the image [1].

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 6

Keep painting until the front is free of old hay bales.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 7

Select “Hay bale 2” layerandpaintwith theClone Stamp Tooluntil there are no seams between the bale and the rest of field.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 8

Select the “Hay bale 3” layer andpaintwith theClone Stamp Tooluntil there are no seams between the bale and the rest of field.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 9

Select the “Hay bale 1” layerandpaintwith theClone Stamp Tooluntil there are no seams between the bale and the rest of field.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

4. How to Create Textured Letters

Step 1

Select the “Harvest_final” smart object layer in theLayers panel and the “hay bale” path in the Path panel. Press the Dashed Circle [1] to make a Selection, and press Command-J twice to create new layers.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 2

Change the names of those layers to “Extrusion base” [1] and “Extrusion front” [2]. Make sure that Extrusion base is on top of the layers stack.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 3

Select the “HARVEST extrusion” layer, activate theWandTool (W),and click on the front of the HARVEST letters to create a Selection.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 4

Turn Off Visibility of the “HARVEST extrusion” and “Extrusion base” layers [1]. Select the “Front base” layer and activate theClone Stamp (S) layer.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 5

Start cloning the texture for the hay bale to the front of the letters.

  • Set Clone Scale to 80% [1]. This way you will get impression of perspective. Textures that are far away from you are smaller.
  • With left Alt selected, press in the middle of the hay bale to set theClone Source.
  • Start painting from the center of the letter “H”.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 6

Change theClone Source position until you paint the whole letter. Pay attention to the details. Clone the left side of the hay bale to the left side of the letter. This way you will have the impression of letters made from hay that is from a spiral shape.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 7

When you finish, the texture should look like this.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 8

Clone textures until you fill the letter “V” with hay texture. Then in theClone Source panel, change theClone Size to 65% [1]. The rest of the HARVEST typography is very far away from us, so the textures must be smaller.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 9

Again with left Alt selected, press in the middle of the hay bale to set the Clone Source and paint textures.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 10

Then make a Rectangular Selection (M) over the hay bale that was the clone source.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 11

Press Delete to get rid of unnecessary pixels.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 12

Turn on the Visibility of the “Extrusion base” layer, and drag it below the “Front base” layer. Then press Command and press on the “Harvest extrusion” layer thumbnail to create a selection.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 13

Now you will clone textures to the extrusion sides of the letters.

  • Select “Extrusion layer” [1].
  • Set Clone Scale to 80% [2]. To match the texture scale from previous steps.
  • With left Alt selected, press on the side of hay bale to set Clone Source.
  • Start painting the letter “H”.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 14

From time to time, change the clone source to match the texture flow from the original hay bale.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 15

Clone the texture to the rest of the letters.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 16

To create a sharp border in the letter “S/T”, make a Selection with theLassoTool (L) over thetop partof the”S” (see the picture), and Invert it by pressing Command-Shift-I. Work in close-up to fine-tune the texture.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 17

Now refine the texture on the letter “S” to match its shape. Strands of hay should follow the direction of the edge of the letter.

  • With thePolygonal Lasso (L) [1], make a selection over the bottom part of the letter “S”, and invert it by pressing Command-Shift-I.
  • Lock Transparency in the “Extrusion base” layer [2].
  • In theClone Source panel, change the angle of the clone to 180° [3].
  • Clone the texture to refine its look.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 18

Now Invert the selection once more by pressing Command-Shift-I [1], and then press Command-J to create a new layer from it. Call it “S end” [2].

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 19

Then make a Rectangular Selection (M) over the hay bale that was the clone source, and press Delete.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 20

Change the layer order as shown in the screenshot. Make groups for different parts of the typography. To quickly create a group, select the layer and press Command-G. Drag all typography layers below the “Hay bale 2” layer.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

5. How to Create the Shadows of the Letters

Step 1

Select the “Harvest_final” Smart object [1]. In thePaths panel, select the “hay bale” path and create a selection from this path. Hold down Command and press on the path thumbnail to make a selection from it.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 2

Press Command-J to make a new layer and call it “3D shadow”. Drag this layer above the “Typography” folder.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 3

Activate the Eraser Tool (E)and Delete the top half of the hay bale.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 4

Turn on Visibility of the “HARVEST shadow” layer to see where to clone shadow from the newly created fragment.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 5

Now press Command-J to Duplicate the layer [1] and drag it below “HARVEST shadow”. Then press Command-T to activate the Transform Tool and move it under the letter “A”.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 6

When you are happy with the position of your shadow, hold down Command and press the layer icon to make a selection from it [1]. Press Command-C to copy it.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 7

Press Command-V to Paste pixels to another layer, and activate theTransform Tool (Command-T). Place it under the letter “R”.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 8

Again Paste pixels and move this layer under letter “V”. Repeat this process until all letters have their shadows. You will refine them in the next steps.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 9

Select the “3d Shadow” layer and move it away from the letter to have a better view for cloning texture. Turn off the “HARVEST shadow” 3d object.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 10

With theEraserTool (E), erase any part that does not belong to the shadow on the ground. Do it for every letter.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 11

Select all the shadow layers and merge them into one layer. To do so, press Command-E with all layers selected [1]. Then, with the Eraser Tool (E), Delete unnecessary pixels [2] to start blending shadows into the ground.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 12

Now activate theClone Stamp Tool (S) and set the clone source to the hay bale part shown in the picture. Start painting shadows.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 13

Clone until you have realistic-looking edges of the shadow. Note that by cloning fragments from the picture, you are adding very nice, realistic details. Some of the strands of hay are sticking out more than others, and the shadow edge is fuzzy and uneven.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 14

Now with theRectangleTool (M), select the hay bale that you cloned from, and press Command-X to Cut it.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 15

Paste it above Typography and call this layer “Shadow top”.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 16

Now you will Clone strands of hay again. These strands are in front of the letters. So add them carefully try to mimic/copy the place where the hay is touching the stubble.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 17

Now with theRectangular Marquee Tool select the part that you used as clone source and Delete it.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 18

Zoom out to see if the shadow looks realistic. Your image should look like mine.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

6. How to Paint Stray Strands of Hay

Step 1

Open theBrush settings panel and change its Shape Dynamics to those shown on the screen. I use a pen tablet to paint, so my Control is set to Pen Pressure.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 2

Open theBrush settings panel and change its Color Dynamics. This way Photoshop will use the Foreground color on stroke start and the Background color on stroke end.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 3

Now change its Transfer to modulate theOpacity of a single stroke.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 4

Sample the Foreground and Background Color with theEyedropper Tool. Create a New Layer called “Strays”.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 5

Start to paint with the Brush Tool (B). Set its size to a small amount (2 pixels), and change from time to time to just 1 pixel to add variation to the painted strands. Lay strokes with the directions of hay on the textures, and add some strands that go in different directions. This way your letter will get a more realistic look.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 6

Now paint all the letters.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 7

You should end up with something like this.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 8

Now add another layer called “Strays back”. This time the layer should be below the Typography folder. Paint some strands to add life to the backs of the letters.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 9

Paint some more until all the letters are little bit “fur” covered.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 10

Now it is time to break the technical, straight look of the letters’ edges. Select the “Front base” layer, add a mask to it, and paint over the edges with a ragged stroke.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 11

The mask of this layer should look like the one shown in the picture. To show/hide the contents of the mask, hold left Alt and click on the mask thumbnail [1].

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 12

Now it is time to Mask the Extrusion part of the letters. Select the “Extrusion base” layer and Add a Mask to it and paint.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 13

Now it is time to add a new layer that will bring some sunlight to the letters. Create a New Layer and call it “sun blast”. Create aClipping Mask(to do that, press Alt and click on the line between the layers “Sun blast” and “Extrusion base”). Choose #AD8144 color and paint roughly on the sides of letters. It is important to have different transparency over each stroke.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 14

Add a Mask to the layer and paint strokes that imitate sunlight coming from behind the letters.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 15

Change theBlending Mode [1] to Soft Light. Now the letters have more golden sunlight on them.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

7. How to Add Additional Shadows on the Letters

Step 1

Create a new layer above the “S end” layer, and call it “S sh”. Create aClipping Mask(to do that, press Alt and click on the line between the layers). Change its Blending Mode to Multiply and paint gentle shadow.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 2

Add another layer and call it “S sh dark”, and change its Blending Mode to Multiply. Paint with darker brown to help ground the letter “S”.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 3

Now create a layer “Shadow Low” above the “Front base” layer, set itsBlending Mode to Multiply,and paint shadows. This time they have to blend between the letter shadow and the shadow on the ground.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 4

Create another shadow layer “T Sh” set to Multiply and make a selection with thePolygonal Lasso (L).

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 5

Paint shadow as shown in the picture. Do it with two to three strokes of different strength.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 6

Create another shadow layer “S Sh” set to Multiply, make a selection with thePolygonal Lasso (L), and paint gentle shadow.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 7

Create another shadow layer “S Sh” and make a selection. Fill it with brown color with theBucketTool (G).

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 8

Drop the selection, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set itsRadius to 4.8 Pixels.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 9

Set this layer Blending Mode to Multiply.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 10

Add another layer “S sh top” set to Multiply, make a selection with thePolygonal Lasso (L), and paint shadow.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 11

Add another layer “V sh” set to Multiply and paint shadow.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 12

Add another layer “R sh” set to Multiply and paint shadow.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 13

Add layer “A sh” set to Multiply and paint shadow.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 14

Add another layer “H sh” set to Multiply and paint shadow.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Step 15

Now you have a finished piece. You have created typography made from hay.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

Hay, That’s Awesome Work!

In this tutorial, I showed you how to create an autumn-themed text effect in Photoshop. In the process, I showed you how to create some 3D text in Photoshop and then use it as a guide to create a textured effect. I hope that you have learned something from this tutorial and can use the techniques demonstrated to create something amazing on your own.

How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop

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How to Create Stylized Hay Bale Typography in Adobe Photoshop