184. Bend Text
Before You Begin
183 Add a Text Caption or Label
171 "Melt" an Image
Typically when you add text to an image, it is aligned on a straight line, either vertically or horizontally on the image. However, using the Warp Text option, you can bend the text to fit a shape, creating a different effect. In the Warp Text dialog box, you select one of several bending shapes, and the text is distorted to fit that shape. Each of these bending shapes can be applied either horizontally or vertically to the text. For example, if you select the Arc style and then the Horizontal radio button, the text is bent like a rainbow, with a fat arc on top, and a narrow arc below. Choose the Vertical option instead, and warp shape is rotated 90 degrees. The text is now bent like a fan, with its fattest arc on the left and its smallest arc on the right.
Using the Warp Text option, you can warp vector text. You can also distort or skew vector text using the Move tool. See 99 Move, Resize, Skew, or Distort a Layer.
If you've converted the text to raster data (simplified the text layer), you can warp it manually using the Liquify filter. See 171 "Melt" an Image.
You can warp text when you first create it if you prefer. Just type your text and click the Create Warped Text button (the arc with a bent T over it) at the right end of the Options bar to display the Warp Text dialog box.
You can customize the way the text bends even more using the Bend, Horizontal Distortion, and Vertical Distortion options on the Warp Text dialog box. The Bend option controls the direction and severity of any curves. Adjust the warp shape both horizontally and vertically using the Horizontal Distortion and Vertical Distortion options.
Select Text Layer
Open an image in the Editor in Standard Edit mode and save it in Photoshop (*.psd) format. Select the text layer you want to warp in the Layers palette.
Open Warp Text Dialog Box
Choose Layer, Type, Warp Text to display the Warp Text dialog box.
Select Text Bending Options To change the direction and the amount of bend in the text, drag the Bend slider. The further away from the center point, the more bend you get. To reverse the direction of the bend (the place where the highest point of the arcs occur), drag the slider in the opposite direction.
From the Style drop-down list in the Warp Text dialog box, select a warp shape. The text on the layer is bent to fill this shape. A preview of how the text will look displays in the Editor window.
To rotate the warp shape 90 degrees to the left, click the Vertical radio button. To rotate it back, click the Horizontal button. Typically, when warping horizontal text, choose the Horizontal option; when warping vertical text, choose the Vertical option instead. However, "going against the grain" by choosing the opposite option can create some interesting effects.
To twist the text horizontally, drag the Horizontal Distortion slider. Again, the distortion gets more severe the further away from the center point you drag. To reverse the direction of the distortion, drag the slider in the opposite direction.
To twist the text vertically, drag the Vertical Distortion slider. To increase the distortion, drag the slider away from the center point. To reverse the direction of the distortion, drag the slider in the opposite direction.
Watch the text in the image window; when you have the desired settings, click OK to close the Warp Text dialog box and apply the settings to the selected text. The layer thumbnail for the text layer changes to display the Warp Text icon (an arc with a twisted T over it). This icon helps remind you that warping has been applied to the text layer.
You can remove the Warp Text settings from the text by opening the Warp Text dialog box and selecting None from the Style drop-down list.
You can change the location of the text on the image while the Warp Text dialog box is open. To move the text, click it and drag it to the new location.
View the Results
When you're satisfied with the image, save the PSD file. Then merge the layers together and resave the result in JPEG or TIFF format, leaving your PSD image unflattened so that you can return at a later time and make different adjustments if you want.
In this example, I wanted to make my text wrap around the top of the fireworks. To do this, I decided to use the Arc style with a Bend of about 53%. I also had to move the text down after I applied the style. To accomplish this, after warping the text, I selected the Move tool in the Toolbox and dragged the text down to the desired location on my image.
One thing to keep in mind, even though you have altered the look of your text by bending it, the text is still editable. For example, you can select the text and change it to say something else, change the font size, and so on.