How To Place Text Behind An Object In Photoshop
In this tutorial, I show you how to easily place text behind an object in a photo with Photoshop! This effect is used everywhere you look, from magazine covers to movie posters, and usually involves placing some text behind a person’s head. As we’ll see, creating the effect in Photoshop is easy. All it takes is an image, some text, a quick selection and a layer mask! Let’s see how it works.
Here’s what the final “text behind object” effect will look like when we’re done:
How To Place Text Behind An Object
For this tutorial, I’m using Photoshop CC but every step is compatible with Photoshop CS6.
Step 1: Open your image
Start by opening the image where you want to add some text. I’ll use this image that I downloaded from Adobe Stock. I’m going to place some of my text behind the football player:
Layers panel, we see that I’ve already added some text, and I’ve added a drop shadow just to make the text easier to see. I’ll turn the text on in the document by clicking the Type layer’s visibility icon:
” alt=”Adding text in front of the object” width=”702″ height=”445″ data-lazy-src=”https://pe-images.s3.amazonaws.com/photo-effects/cc/text-behind-object/text-front-of-image.jpg” />
Adding the text.
Step 3: Duplicate the Background layer
Back in the Layers panel, the image is sitting on the Background layer. Click on the Background layer to select it:
” alt=”Choosing the New Layer via Copy command from the Layer menu in Photoshop” width=”241″ height=”120″ data-lazy-src=”https://pe-images.s3.amazonaws.com/photo-effects/cc/text-behind-object/photoshop-new-layer-via-copy.png” />
Going to Layer > New > Layer via Copy.
A copy of the Background layer appears between the original Background layer and the Type layer:
” alt=”Dragging the Background copy layer above the Type layer in the Layers panel” width=”274″ height=”256″ data-lazy-src=”https://pe-images.s3.amazonaws.com/photo-effects/cc/text-behind-object/drag-layer.png” />
Dragging the “Background copy” layer above the text.
When a highlight bar appears above the Type layer, release your mouse button to drop the layer into place. This will temporarily hide your text from view:
selection tools to choose from, but in most cases, the Quick Selection Tool is the easiest. I’ll choose it from the Toolbar:
Quick Selection Tool to select the areas you need. In my case, I want my text to appear behind the player’s head and part of his jersey, and also behind his arms and the football, so I’ll click and drag inside all of these areas to select them. If the Quick Selection Tool selects an area outside of your subject, press and hold the Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) key on your keyboard, and then click and drag inside the area to deselect it. You’ll usually need to go back and forth between selecting and deselecting areas with the Quick Selection Tool until your selection looks good:
Quick Mask mode by pressing the letter Q on my keyboard. In Quick Mask mode, the areas around the selection appear as a red, or rubylith, overlay. And here we see that I’ve selected only the areas that will appear in front of the text. I’ll press Q on my keyboard once again to exit out of Quick Mask mode:
Step 7: Refine the selection with Select and Mask
In most cases, your initial selection will suffer from rough, jagged edges. To smooth them out, click the Select and Mask button in the Options Bar. Note that Select and Mask is only available in Photoshop CC. If you’re using Photoshop CS6, you’ll want to click the Refine Edge button. Refine Edge offers most of the same controls for refining selections as Select and Mask:
” alt=”Changing the View Mode in Select and Mask in Photoshop” width=”358″ height=”227″ data-lazy-src=”https://pe-images.s3.amazonaws.com/photo-effects/cc/text-behind-object/select-and-mask-view-mode.png” />
Changing the View Mode.
Change the view to On Layers:
” alt=”Previewing how the object looks in front of the text in Select and Mask” width=”704″ height=”446″ data-lazy-src=”https://pe-images.s3.amazonaws.com/photo-effects/cc/text-behind-object/previewing-selection-with-text.jpg” />
Previewing the selection with the text visible behind it.
A closer look
But if I zoom in for a closer look, we find some rough edges, especially around the glove and also around the helmet:
” alt=”Increasing the Smooth value in Select and Mask” width=”359″ height=”206″ data-lazy-src=”https://pe-images.s3.amazonaws.com/photo-effects/cc/text-behind-object/selectandmask-smooth-slider.png” />
Smoothing out the jagged edges.
And now those same areas look much better:
Select Subject in Photoshop CC 2018 and my Selecting Hair with Refine Edge tutorials.
Step 8: Output the selection as a layer mask
Now that we’ve cleaned up the selection, the final step is to output the selection back into Photoshop as a layer mask. In the Output Settings area, change the Output To option to Layer Mask, and then click OK:
” alt=”Photoshop converted the selection into a layer mask” width=”274″ height=”219″ data-lazy-src=”https://pe-images.s3.amazonaws.com/photo-effects/cc/text-behind-object/photoshop-layer-mask.png” />
Photoshop converted the selection into a layer mask.
And in the document window, we see the final effect with our text sitting nicely behind our subject:
Photo Effects section for more Photoshop effects tutorials!