Making a logo, text or other images appear burnt in to wood is pretty straightforward with Photoshop. We will mostly be using layer blending options so there will be no intricate layer arrangements and complicated filters, etc. YAY :)!
Choose your logo and background
The first thing you need to know is that this only works with single colour logos that have a transparent background. We will also need an image of the wood texture we will be engraving. I used the same texture I used at the end of my business card mock up tutorial.
First we place the wood texture and make it a smart object by right clicking the layer and selecting “convert to smart object”.
Now free transform the background (edit/free transform). Rotate the background a bit to the right.
Right click on the background, select “distort” and slant the top left corner to create the illusion of perspective. We are done with our background.
Create a new layer and place your logo design in it. Again… Convert it to a smart object and position it the same way we did with the background.
Make it look burnt
When your logo is in place the fun begins. Double click the layer of the logo. A panel with layer blending options will pop up. From now on you can just copy the settings from the images bellow. I wrote out what I did so you would understand why I did it.
The first thing we set is the fill opacity. Set it to 0%. The logo will disappear. Don’t worry that’s suppose to happen.
Next up is the colour overlay. Set the blend mode to “colour burn” and change the colour to black. Change the opacity to anything between 55% and 65%. This will make the logo reappear but it will look like a dark burn mark on the wood.
Now we need to add a bit of depth to the burn so it won’t look so flat. For this we’ll change the inner shadow settings. Set the blend mode to “multiply” and change the colour to black. The opacity should be set to around 80%. The angle should be set according to perspective (mine happens to be 120 degrees). Remember this setting because you’ll use the same number in all other instances.
Set the distance to about 2-3px, the choke to 0% and size to 4-6px. Again these settings depend on the depth you wish to create and the size of your canvas.
Now let’s give the thing even more depth. Let’s set the drop shadow. This won’t really add a shadow but a light reflection. Set the blend mode to “colour dodge” and a white colour. The opacity should be 100%. Set the same angle as with all other settings, the distance to 1px, spread to 0% and size to 1px.
Our logo already looks like it’s burned in to the wood. But there are a couple of details that can make it even better. Usually when you burn something in to wood the edges of the contour are darker than the middle. We can do this with the stroke setting.
Set the stroke size from 1-2px. Position it outside and set the blend mode to “normal”. Opacity should be anywhere from 5-10%. Set the stroke to black.
The last thing we’ll add is an outer glow. I know what you are probably thinking. Why a glow? Actually the glow won’t be a glow of light but it will make the wood seem darker anywhere where the logo is burned in to the surface. This usually appears when burning wood. Because of the surrounding heat the wood near the burnt surface turns darker.
Set the outer glow blend mode to “colour burn”, the opacity to about 70% and the noise to 0%. For the colour use a lighter grey (I used #b1b1b1). Set the technique to “softer”, the spread to 0% and size to about 20px. Under quality set the range to 50%.
And that’s it. We are done :).
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