How to Use Displacement Maps in Photoshop

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Learn how to use displacement maps in today’s episode and help this rad granny out by adding the Phlearn logo to her hat!

You will need two elements for this technique:
-Logo or some sort of design
-Image to place the design on

To start, transform your logo onto the image. You can hold Cntl/Cmd + T, right click, and select Warp to really hone in on the correct angles and perspective. Next, go to Channels and find the one that has the most contrast (this is often the blue). Then, right click on that channel. Select New under the Document Menu. Title it appropriately and hit OK. Now, go to File – Save As, and save it as a PSD. This document is now your displacement map.

Back to the original image we go! Select RGB in the Channels tab so that all of them are selected. Now, go back to the layer tab. While on your logo layer, go to Filter – Distort – Displace. Set the horizontal and vertical scale to 10. It will ask you to load your displacement map, which is the other document that we just saved out. It will automatically start to integrate the texture into the logo!

Amazing quick tip: If you press the logo above the layers next to the word “Lock,” anything you do will ONLY affect the pixels on that layer. You can think of it as a mask for your logo! This is called Locking the Transparency.

Feel free to play around! Try filling the logo with a color and then experimenting with blend modes. In this case, we chose to use Overlay.


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