121. Add Thought Bubbles to a Photo
Before You Begin
110 About the Toolbox
120 About Drawing Shapes
You can use small variations on basic shapes to add interest to any photo. For example, you could use circles and ellipses to add cartoon-style text balloons and thought bubbles to a picture. Even easier, you could delve into the Custom Shape tool's Smithsonian-scale shape inventory and find some talking-style balloons you can use or readily adapt.
The trick here is to draw a shape large enough for the text you want your subject to "say." Then you can adjust the shape's dimensions and orientation so that the small bubbles point to the subject. Finally, add text over your talking balloon shape, and apply a drop shadow or some other layer effect to give the balloon some substance. Voila! Your subject is talking to you.
Select a Thought Balloon
Open an image in the Editor in Standard Edit mode and save it in Photoshop (*.psd) format. In the Layers palette, select the image layer. The shape layer you're about to create will appear above this layer in the Layers palette, which will make the "thought balloon" sit on top of your image.
In the Toolbox, select the Custom Shape tool. In the Options bar, click the small arrow on the right edge of the Shape window. The menu that opens includes a long list of shape libraries from which you can choose. Near the bottom of this list, select Talk Bubbles. A library of cartoon balloons opens. For a typical thought bubble, select Thought 1. To apply white bubbles, open the Color drop-down list in the Options bar and select white.
Apply the Balloon
Click and drag in the picture to draw a rectangle where you want the balloon to appear. The balloon appears on its own new layer called Shape 1.
If you need to move or resize the balloon, select the Move tool. The balloon appears in a bounding box with adjustment handles around its edges. Use these handles to adjust the balloon so that it fits neatly within the picture.
You probably will have to adjust the balloon somewhat to fit the picture. For example, the bubbles may point away from the subject instead of toward it. Make sure that the Shape 1 layer is selected in the Layers palette. From the main menu, select Image, Rotate, Flip Layer Horizontal to flip the orientation of the bubbles.
Add Some Dimension Again, make sure that the shape layer is selected in the Layers palette. In the Options bar, click the small arrow to the right of the Styles window. From the menu of types of styles that opens, select the library you'd like to apply. In this case, one of the Drop Shadows might do the job. After selecting that library, choose a shadow from the samples that appear. The shadow is applied to everything on the selected shape layer.
Whether in champagne or a picture, bubbles should not be flat. In the Custom Shape tool's Options bar, the Styles drop-down list offers a host of options for adding bevels, shadows, glows, and other ways to add dimension to a shape.
Add Some Text
Select the Text tool from the Toolbox. Select a typeface and size, and make sure that the color is different from that of the balloon. Click in the large bubble and type the text you want to attribute to the subject. If necessary, you can select the text and apply a different type size to make a good fit. You also can use the Move tool to center the text in the bubble.