Using Light and Shade to Bring Text to Life
The best book I've ever read on drawing is one called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. After reading it, I'm still pretty bad at drawing, but I did learn a lot about light and shade. In this tutorial we are going to take some very basic principles of light and shade to make a rather impressive-looking text effect. So before we start the tutorial, here is a little diagram about how light might hit an object. Here we have a square object in the middle with light coming from the top left. We begin the tutorial by drawing a subtle Linear Gradient from dark grey to darker grey. Now we place some text. Next Ctrl-click the text layer and create a new layer above it. Set your foreground color to Black (you can do this by pressing the letter 'D' on your keyboard which restores the defaults). Now Ctrl-click the text layer again and create a new layer beneath the text layer. Here's what you should now have. Next duplicate the shadow layer, hold Shift and move it down and right again.