Photoshop tutorial 02: How to create a Vintage Metal Plate effect

In this tutorial, we will take a look at several filters, and how to use them to change masks as needed. On that note, we will also look at a lot of masks.



All of the things that you will need are included in this tutorial. All of the brushes used are from the standard set available in Photoshop by default.


We'll use two textures (download them from our subscribers area) to give more realism to the plate.

Right now, we've got a flat, illustrated plate (you can download the original layout from HERE (1.06Mb) or use your own layout), so we need to give the letters a bit more depth.


1 - Text Bevels


First, we have to apply a bevel and emboss layer style on the main text of the plate. We also have to modify the pre-existing stoke. To do this, click on the “Henry old circus” thumbnail twice. This will open up the layer styles menu.



Check the highlight opacity and make sure to keep it low.


Take great care of the “shape burst” style in the stroke command (shape burst will basically let you apply a gradient along the shape). All the rest of the settings can be tweaked to your liking.


We'll now create a bevel style for the two other texts: “tutorial number 2” and “”. You'll see that the two layers are rasterised, but the effect works on vector shapes and text, as well.


Apply the same settings for both. You can create a new “style” if you have a lot of text that you need to change, though. To do this, just click on “new style” after applying the setting and then give it a name.



Again, check the highlight opacity and make sure it isn't too light!


2 - Create the Plate Bevel


Create a new layer, and stamp/merge all the layers onto it.


You must hide the background layer first, though, so that the background doesn't get included to the new layer.


Here are the shortcuts:

SHIFT+CTRL+ALT+N [SHIFT+COMMAND+OPTION+N] to create a new blank layer (that doesn't prompt you for details).

SHIFT+CTRL+ALT+E [SHIFT+COMMAND+OPTION+E] to merge all of the visible layers onto the highlighted layer.


Alternatively, you can also create a new layer by clicking on the icon instead and then clicking on the layers panel menu and choosing to merge all of the layers.


Double-click on this new layer to open the the layer styles menu.

Apply the settings as shown: (don't worry; you will still get to play with the settings later, as needed).



You can keep the “contour” opacity and range as default.

This is how it should look:



3 - Here Comes the First Texture


Take the file called “rust texture” and merge all of the layers by going to the layers palette menu and choosing merge visible SHIFT+CTRL+E [SHIFT+COMMAND+E]. Then, duplicate it and place it on top of the working file. Close the rust texture file, but do not save it, so you can keep the layers intact.



You will now have to create a mask to hide the rust from the plate, except from the borders and some stains in the middle.


To do this, start by creating a black mask attached to the layer. Then, highlight the layer and press ALT [OPTION], while clicking on the “add layer mask” icon at the bottom of the layers panel.


Set the layer to the “multiply” blending mode at 100% opacity.


Take a big “artist” brush at full opacity (our is the “chalk” one at 1000 pixels) and paint over it in white to reveal the middle of the plate. Lower the brush opacity and finish painting with some semi-transparent strokes to leave some stains on.


Then, mask over the background limits, because your rust texture will affect the entire canvas for now.


The easiest way to do this would be by taking some masks that are already made. You can get a ready-to-use shape attached with the “vintage-sign” group, for instance.


Re-use the mask this way:


- Open the “path” palette.

- Highlight the “vintage sign” vector mask.

- CTRL+CLICK on the thumbnail.

- Now that you have an active selection, invert it (SHIFT+CTRL+I [SHILFT+OPTION+I]).

- Go back to the layers palette and select the rust texture layer mask.

- Fill it with black.


The mask should look like the next screenshot:



The image still looks a bit too “clean”, though, so try to add some “chips” in the metal. Just add a new “solid colour” adjustment layer with a black mask and take a big hard brush without any smoothing. Then, “hit” the canvas to reveal some dots. Try different shapes, opacities and sizes to get your desired effect. Set your “solid colour” to a light shade after that (our is slightly peachy one).



4 - Create a Reflection and a Rough 3D Texture


Stamp the layers on a new layer again, like we did in step 2. Again, do not include the background. We will create a lighting effect on this new layer with a texture in relief using the texture channel feature in the filter. 


For now, let's create a new alpha channel.


Go to the channel palette and hit the “create new channel” icon at the bottom of it. Change the name to “bump texture”. With this all black channel highlighted, go to filter>filter gallery and add a film grain filter (in “artistic”). Then, add a new filter “layer” (see next image) and select the “fresco” filter. You should have 2 filters stacked on the same alpha channel now. Hit “OK” to proceed.



With the alpha channel still selected, go to filter>blur, and blur the texture a little bit (about 1 pixel).


Go back to your top layer in the layers palette and apply the lighting effect filter (filter >render >lighting effect), with the settings as shown below. You'll also have to drag the spotlight in the preview window to match the positioning as in the screenshot.



Look at the “Texture channel” section and take care to choose the “bump texture” from the drop down menu. Mask this layer as before to hide the effect from the background (re-using the “vintage” vector mask).


5 - The second Texture


Take FC02_Texture image (that you've previously downloaded from the subscribers area) and duplicate it in the working file before placing it on top of the layers stack. Mask the background as done before (you could resize the layer to fit the plate instead, if you want). Change the blending mode to “pin light” and lower the opacity.


Double click on the thumbnail to open the layer styles menu. Change the “blend if” to blue instead of “grey”. Move the sliders as shown below (click ALT [OPTION] while dragging the sliders to “separate” the two triangles). 


This option allows us to replace some of the blue (and blue only) with the image on top. If the plate was red, of course we should have chosen “red” instead of “blue”. This will make things far less tedious.



We are nearly done now. Although you could leave things “as is” at the moment, it might be preferable to blend the overall colour feel a little bit.


We can add a “color balance” layer with more yellow on the highlights, for example, or more yellow and red in the mid-tones, as well as more blue and cyan in the shadows.


We can now lighten the image and reduce the saturation a bit to make it a bit “older”, too. To do this, just use Levels, or curves, or “hue/ saturation” adjustment layer, as needed.


TaDaaaa! You've done it!






FONT USED to create the layout:



thanks for the tutorials

thank you very much for the photoshop tutorials! I want to learn how to make these retro labels for my scrapbook pages

Re: thanks for the tutorials

You're welcome Peggy! Glad to hear that, send us the result to we'd love to see them! :) ...and stay tuned....we're working on the next one! ;)

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