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by Wendi Elizabeth Martha Scarth


Displacement Map
Adobe Photoshop


Create, Save And Apply Displacement Maps - Name Onto Silk
 Suitable for Adobe Photoshop CS, CS2, CS3, CS4, CS5, CS6, & CC
Skill Level - Intermediate Plus

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This tutorial demonstrates how to create, save, then apply a Displacement Map - and how to utilise Advanced Blending. To work along, you are welcome to download the Red Silk Start Image Here. Unzip the file, and open the images onto Photoshop’s workspace, ready to work with.

Understanding Layers
Advanced Blending Here
Understanding Blend Modes
Understand The Workspace And Palettes

Images will always react uniquely; therefore, when using your own, experiment with the settings I mention, and find what works best for you.

Undo and Navigation Steps
Two ways of undoing steps are from the top menu, Edit then Step Backwards. Alternatively, click a previous snapshot in the History Palette.

Navigate (zoom in and pan) your image using the Navigator Palette,

or the Zoom Tool.

Activate The Hand Tool by tapping the Spacebar, keeping the Spacebar pressed, pan your image in the usual way.

Open the red silk image onto Photoshop’s workspace.

Extend your image’s workspace by left-clicking and dragging out one of its corners.

Now, click the Channels tab - it is next to Layers. If you cannot see Channels - from the top menu, choose Window then click a tick before Channels. In the subsequent Channels palette, look for the colour that provides the best contrast, in this case - I have clicked the Blue Channel.


Then press Ctrl then A, to surround your image with a Selection Marquee.

Press Ctrl then C, to copy the image to Windows Clipboard.

Now press Ctrl then N. This opens a New document with identical dimensions to your silk image. Accept the default settings, then click OK.

Press Ctrl then V. This pastes the monochrome image into the New document, as illustrated below.

Working on the Duplicated Image: from the top menu, choose Image then Adjustments then choose Brightness/Contrast. And move just the Contrast slider to around +73.


Then, from the top menu, choose Filter then choose Blur then choose Gaussian Blur. From the subsequent dialogue box, set a Radius of 0.5 then click OK. This smoothes the harshness of the white.

Now, save this as a .PSD file. It must be a .PSD file - (File then Save As). 

Note: You will be retrieving this image later; therefore, save it to a memorable folder

Activate the red silk image, then press Ctrl then D to remove the Selection Marquee. 
Now, click the RGB tab (in Channels), to return it to full colour.

Then click the Layers tab.

And your image will now be full colour.

Activate the Horizontal Type Tool.

And set the attributes of your choice - I set the following.

Now, apply your type onto the red silk - as demonstrated below, then click the Commit tick - from the Type Tool’s Options Bar.

Centralise the type with the Move Tool.move red silkt too


From the top menu, choose Filter then choose Distort then choose Displace - click OK to the Rasterise Type? prompt. Now, in the subsequent Displace dialogue box, set the following attributes, then click OK.

If your type is has been displaced, excessively, Step Backwards, and reduce the Horizontal and Vertical Scale - to perhaps 8, or less.

From the subsequent Choose a displacement map dialogue box, locate the folder where you saved your .PSD file, earlier in this lesson; then left-click to highlight your file, and click Open.

Your type will change to the following.

Drag the Background Layer over the following Create a new layer. Then drag the Background copy Layer to the top of the Layers Stack.

Position your silk image as follows.

It is time for the important step. Therefore, double-left-click the Background copy Layer’s thumbnail.

Advanced Blending
And from the subsequent Layer Style dialogue box, change the Blend if tab to Red.

Now, press and keep pressed, your keyboard’s Alt key, and left-click the tiny icon circled below left. This places a black horizontal line through its centre - illustrated below-right - consequently splitting the icon into two.


Now, keeping the Alt key pressed: left-click and drag (to separate) the two halves, and move the left half towards the left. Keep an eye on your image, and you will see the type beginning to display.

Now, (keeping Alt pressed), grab the right-half, and move it to the left, also.

By moving both halves, (independently), you are looking to displace the type so it appears to fall between the folds of the red silk. The left half makes the silk appear to fall between the folds, and the right half fades the type. Position both halves to create a good balance of displacement and type opacity. I have chosen the following positions. 

When you are happy with the result, click OK.

Now, duplicate the Background copy Layer by dragging it over the Create a new layer icon, as you did in Chapter 14 . This changes the type’s Opacity, helping it to blend with the red silk.

Now, adjust the Opacity of this new duplicated layer (Background copy 2), until you like the look of your type.

Activate the type Layer.

Then from the top menu, choose Filter then choose Blur then choose Gaussian Blur. Play with the Radius setting to blend your type’s edges with the red silk - I set a Radius of 0.5.

Whilst working on the type Layer, remove any messy type with the Eraser Tool.


To finish, from the top menu, choose Layer then choose Flatten Image.

Congratulations, your blend is complete
and is ready to save.

Wendi E M Scarth.
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