Try using a displacement map.
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*** JJ says, a Displacement Map.
First you need to construct the map. That means black where you want a concave curve, and white for convex, and that is best done with the Pen tool.
Duplicate the map layer to a new document and blur it. I have placed a grey background behind it so you can see the white, but you don't need that. Save this layer as Digger Map.psd
Then add the text, and Free Transform roughly to shape. It has to be made a Smart Object in order to warp it.
Select the text layer and go Filter > Distort > Displace and use lowish values (5,5 )
You'll get something like this. Note the two map layers are turned off (see next section)
We need to add some depth, so copy the original map layer, and set one to Multiply, and the other to Screen. Adjust opacity to suite.
I'm actually wondering if it work to use the map twice. Once with 5,5, and then again with -5,-5 to distort the text in the right direction on the left.
Well it kind of worked, but got a bit complicated. The masking is a bit fiddly, and you need to relocate the two layers and then recombine them as a nested Smart Object so you can clip the shadow and highlight layers. Probably not worth the trouble.
[EDIT] I've been looking at this some more, and I think the distortion is definitely more accurate doing it two goes using negative values on the left. That's a new trick for me, so I have got something out of this thread for myself.
Great job Trevor....
Thank you very much for your help!
However, after a google search and search through photoshop, I don't know how to jot down black as well as white anchor points?
As well, I think didn't explain well enough; I need my text to actually follow these lines (not the wavy contours of the back of the excavator):
OK. BTW, I think we are in different time zones which is making it a long time between answers, but we know what you want to do now.
Make your text layer and size it to fill the box you have made.
Make the text layer a Smart Object (right click). This is necessary so you can warp the text.
Start the Free Transform (Ctrl T) and drag the corner handles, while holding down the Ctrl key, to fit your box, but don't click to finish the Transform yet.
Click on the Warp button in the Options Bar (green highlight), and use the drop-down (red highlight) and choose Arch.
The text will bend more than you need, so drag the centre handle (cyan highlight) to fit you guide box.
Click to OK.
There's a better way to make your dotted stroke.
- Instead of drawing the rounded rectangle with the Pen tool, use the Rounded Rectangle Shape tool (cyan highlight) and in the properties panel move the radius as far as it will go to make the ends into semicircles
- Make the Fill black, and the stroke white. Adjust the Stroke size to match the size of the dots.
- To the right of the Fill, use the style drop-down (red highlight) and choose dotted line.
- Click on More Options, and in the resulting panel change Align to Outside.
- Adjust the space with the Gap setting if required.
- If your dots are the wrong size, go back to the Stroke slider and adjust.
That all worked perfectly. Thanks guys!!
Well, I still cannot get the text to curve correctly over the excavator.
This is as close as I could get with the 'inflate' warp function:
It still doesn't look correct. So, I am curious if there's a way to follow these lines that I have drawn with the pen?
If there's no tool for such a function, its ok, I just wanted to at least try my best to make it look right!