Sep, 2009

How to Create Furry Text in Photoshop

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In this tutorial we’ll be creating furry text using layer masks and some shadow effects for a 3D look. Its pretty simple and fun  to create and looks pretty cool. You can use this effect to learn new techniques in photoshop ,add to your portfolio or simply for fun. Let’s begin.

Final Image Preview Above.

Time to complete: 1-2 hrs

Resources used:Tiresias Signfont , Hair /Fur brushes, Fur – Bittbox

Thankyou to the artists who provided these ,please remember to follow these artists rules and credit them where appropriate.

Introduction : How to Create Furry Text in Photoshop

The fur will be created using layer masks which are easy to master once youve practiced them a few times . The reason I chose the theme and lettering is because of an up coming event called 350 which is a global summit and charity aiming to expand awareness of global warming .

The PSD file is available for download free at the end.

Step 1

To start open a  Photoshop document at  1000 x 1000 rgb and 300 ppi ,you can use a larger size if you want to print this or use it as a wallpaper.

Step 2

Prepare the background by creating a radial gradient from light to dark green. The first stop we use is set to (#003300) and last to (#022100)    Drag form the centre outwards holding down shift you should have a lighter centre.

Step 3

Now we’ll create the claws – go to custom shape tool by right clicking the rectangle tool. Set it to fill pixels then choose the dog print (about the ninth shape along the top, if you don’t have them click the small triangle in a circle in the shape menu and select animals) .choosing-dog-print-shape-menu

Keep the color on 003300(the lighter color from the gradient we just made) and holding shift to constrain proportions click and drag out some paws of different sizes. Make sure you create each one on a new layer so you can rotate them. Holding down alt select each paw and drag a copy to the left and down so it looks like the paw prints of a walking dog . Using auto select layer here is helpful.

Step 5

Rotate each one so they are at different angles- remember to rotate them to the same angle as the paw they are paired with.


Step 6

Now we’ll add depth to the background. What would a tutorial be without layers styles? Here we will add some depth to the paws and create the effect they have made an impression on the background. Double click on the right hand side of a paw layer to bring up layer styles and enter the amounts shown below.

layers styles settings paws

Step 7

When done, hold down alt and drag the layer style to all the other paw layers.


Step 8

Select all the paw layers using shift and hit ctrl + G to group them then rename the group paws. The layers styles and layers are all separate, which is a good non destructive way of working, if we feel like moving or resizing a paw later or even changing the layer style this is easily possible.


Step 9

Now we have the background ready with the paws and we can begin with the main text effect which is a little more fun. For the main text first download this blocky font ,Tiresias Signfont and install it in your fonts file (if you’ve never done this before this is explained nicely on the font site). The good thing about this font is its used for sign systems and works well with the effect we are creating.

Step 10

With the font installed type out 350 which I chose because it’s ‘the number that leading scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide—measured in “Parts Per Million” in our atmosphere. 350 PPM—it’s the number humanity needs to get back to as soon as possible to avoid runaway climate change.’ To find out more info visit the charity 350 http://www.350.org/understanding-350#2 Use 129.56 pt for the size and place text slightly above the middle.


Step 11

Next thing download the first fur from Bittbox ,thanks to Caleb and Jay for this one.

Step 12

Resize the fur so it covers one letter with enough space for the effect around the edges ,around 100 pixels will do nicely.


Step 13

Rotate the fur and remember to resize past the edges of the numbers by around 100 pixels.


Step 14

Drag the text layer on top of all the fur layers so your document looks like this.


Step 15

Next we’ll turn the layer visibility off and ctrl + click the text layer to select the text.


Step 16

Now we’ll cut out the text in the fur by adding a layer mask to each fur layer. So with the text selection still active make sure the right layer is active and add a layer mask. Do this for each fur layer, your layers palette should resemble these images:


and your document should look like this:

step-16-end-ofStep 17

Deselect the text with  ctrl + D . So you should have 3 layers of fur with a layer mask on each.


Step 18

Now is a good time to save your work.Coolness. Now we can make the fur letters furry with a white brush. Choose a suitable brush, I found texture 5 from assorted brushes worked very nicely.

step18Step 19

With white as your foreground color and a suitable brush, go around the edges of the letters creating the effect that the fur is going over the edge. Make sure you are working on the layer mask. You basically want to get rid of any sharp edges completely. The great thing about working with layer masks is that if you make a mistake you can easily swap the colors and cover up the brush strokes.19

Step 20

Start with a smaller sized brush around 20 pixels Download these brushes from deviant art thanks to ‘keep waiting’ for these.  Try out different fur brushes I found fur1 worked very well to produce a light fur effect.


Step 21

Rotate brushes you use for each edge by going to the brush panel and brush tip shape .Try and keep the angle the same as the direction of the fur for consistency.

21Step 22

Get rid of the edges by making them fuzzy, then build up fur whilst rotating the brush.


Step 23

Vary the size and angle of the brush until the letters looks furry.Keep adding fur to the edges use the veining feather brush from the Faux finish set and add shape dynamics with these settings and scattering with these settings. You should be able to build up a good fur effect with this brush.

Shape Dynamics

Shape Dynamics




Step 24

Try the brush without scattering or shape dynamics and alter the angle according to the side of the number and the direction of the fur and use lots of single clicks ­.


Step 25

We’ll now put some larger brush strokes down 50 pixels is a good size.25-stepio

Step 26

When your ready and all the fur is added to the text merge all 3 fur layers by duplicating them and pressing ctrl + E. If everything went according to plan you will have something close to this:25-finlai

Step 27

Add these 2 layer styles, bevel and emboss and Drop shadow to this new layer – with these settings. The shadow adds a slight 3d effect to the text.


Bevel and Emboss


Drop Shadow

Step 28

Next create a new layer below the fur layer and ctrl click the fur layer and fill it with a very dark green .Nudge it with the arrow keys down 9 times and right 9 times. Then reduce the opacity to 63%.

28-shadowStep 29

Duplicate the shadow layer by pressing ctrl + J ,now we’ll use the motion blur set to 120 ,to match the global light and other shadows and distance at 42. Holding down shift nudge this layer down once and to the right once .


Step 30

Duplicate the previous layer holding shift nudge it nudge twice to the right and twice down then reduce the opacity to 18 % and the shadow and 3d effect is done.Happy Days – Fur Efect Photoshop is nearly made


Step 31

Select the three shadow layers and the text layer together using shift and then hit ctrl + T to free transform, then resize the letters and shadows to 73 % of their original size.You can see the percent change at the top below the menu ,pressing the ‘Maintain Aspect Ratio’ button will constrain the proportions.


Step 32

Now we’ll add some extra text  use the fornt we downloaded before - Tiresias Signfont .Set it to bold at 18 points  then type out ‘GLOBAL WARMING’ using this color : # 436605.Were nearly all done now : )   Finally we’ll add this layer style to add a letterpress effect, because global warming awareness is trendy too.

Inner Shadow

Inner Shadow

To Conclude:


We are all done, I hope you enjoyed this Fur Effect Photoshop tut as much as I enjoyed creating it ,if you enjoyed it too and would like to see more please subscribe via RSS or make a comment, because we love feedback.

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Free PSD

The PSD file is available for download free from here.

Mediafire Download (15.7 mb Zip File)


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27 thoughts on “How to Create Furry Text in Photoshop

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention How to Create Furry Text in Photoshop | Digital Art Empire -- Topsy.com

  2. digerati

    Nice tutorial. Stuck by step 16 though. I don't understand how to “cut out” the text to create that layer mask. When I click the New Layer Mask it doesn't make a copy of that number, it's just a blank white square in the layers.


  3. Digital Art Empire

    digerati in step 16 to cut out the text – make sure the text is selected by ctrl the text layer -
    then select the first fur layer (the selection around the text will still be active ) now add a layer mask (the small circle in a square at the bottom of the layers panel). This will cut out the text .

    Then select the next fur layer – the selections around the text still active and hit layer mask .then for the third fur .

    you can get to layer mask through the menu
    get back yo me if you need more assistance and tx for feed back : )


  4. digerati

    Thanks so much for the help – that worked :)

    I have big huge gaps in my Photoshop chops – this was one of them. Looking forward to working through more tutorials – what a fantastic resource!


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  13. Kristina Jabaay

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  18. Legz

    Got stuck on Step 18. Where do I get Assorted Brushes, particularly Texture 5. I’m sorry if I’m being stupid here.


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