In this short tutorial I will show you how to create a mosaic type effect using random photographs and a bold font. All you need are some pretty photos you can get from anywhere and creativity. This is really easy to do but you can get some very impressive results if your put your creative mind to work.
The only thing you need for this tutorial is a bold font and a bunch of photos, the more colorful the better. I used the Quasoid font because the characters are split in several parts and that allowed me to use a different photo for each part. You can use a single photo per letter if you want but if you use multiple ones you will end up with a more colorful result. The secondary font that I used is the Kaine font.
I also used a concrete texture background which you can download for free: http://mdpratt.deviantart.com/art/Concrete-Wall-3-88667709
First we will create the background where our text will sit. Create a new document in Photoshop 1920×1200 (I used a wallpaper format). Leave the background layer as is and add a Gradient Fill layer using the settings shown in the image below.
Ppaste the concrete texture above the gradient which will be your background. You should scale it down to fit the size of your document and get more of the concrete details to be visble. Change it’s blend mode to Overlay and desaturate it with Shift+Ctrl+U.
This is where fun starts. Type your desired text (I used the quasoid font). Make sure your text is big enough to allow some details to be seen once you add the pieces of the photos on the next step. I also added some effects to the text. On the image above you can see that I added a hard Drop Shadow.
The technique of adding the mosaic photos is really simple. Just download a bunch of photos, it’s ok if they are not really hi res but make sure they are good quality.
We are going to make one letter at a time and create a group for each letter because there will be multiple layers for each letter. After creating the group, load the text selection with Ctrl+Click on the text layer thumbnail and add a layer mask. Now, all layers inside that group will only be shown over the text because of the layer mask. Another option is to use Clipping Masks.
Now paste the part of the photo over the letter or part of it you want to cover on a new layer inside the group. Since we have multiple parts on each letter we will have a new layer for each part. See image below.
When your done with one latter, create a new group and just copy the layer mask from the first group and repeat the process. You can use parts of an image on multiple layers just make sure they are from different areas otherwise it will be obvious you used the same image. It’s a really simple process but maybe just a bit time consuming.
The drop shadow you created on Step 3 helps to create a 3D effect which will be more visible after you create a softer shadow. Duplicate the text layer, change it’s color tu pure black, rasterize it and apply some Gaussian Blur I used 6 pixels of blur.
There you have it. You can create some really cool looking mosaic effects using this technique. You can play with colors and abstract photos. Try adding Bevel&Emboss or other effects to your text and create new looks. Hope you liked this tutorial. Feel free to share it, you will help my site a lot. Below you have a link to download the PSD File of this tutorial.