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How to Create Animated Star Wars Perspective text effect in Photoshop tutorial

In this Photoshop tutorial, I’m going to show you how to create the title to Star Wars. We are going to make the perspective text and actually animate it, so that it moves just like at the beginning of all the Star Wars movies. We are going to do all of this in Photoshop CS6 or Photoshop CC. If you have an earlier version of Photoshop, you can still make the text effect, but you will need CS6 or CC to make the animation.

I have also included the PSD that you can download for free at the end of this tutorial. PhotoshopCAFE: doing what other tutorial sites don’t 🙂 Enjoy!

Step 1 – Creating the Text with the Star Wars font

Start with a new blank document. Set the background color to black.

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Step 2

We are going to create some paragraph text.

Click the type tool

Choose bright yellow as the color. The font used on Star Wars is Franklin Gothic.

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Step 3

Now, we will create a body of text. To create paragraph text, click and drag a box around the area where you want the text to go.

Either type, or paste in some text.

Here is the nonsense text used in this block, if you want to, just cut and paste it…

Episode whatever of PhotoshopCAFE tuts
How to make Star Wars Style animated crawling text in perspective. Oh yeah! And I’m going to show you how to make it move just like the beginning of Star Wars. This is a Photoshop tutorial you really don’t want to miss, because no one else has done this before. Sure, a few have created a still version, but this is the first one to be animated and look like the real thing. Check it out on our youtube channel, PhotoshopCAFE and on our website: We also have a ton of free Photoshop tutorials and new ones all the time. This one is by Colin Smith, founder of PhotoshopCAFE .com. Thanks for watching.

star wars intro text photoshop tutorial-03

Step 4

We now want to add some perspective to the text. You will notice that you can’t add perspective to a paragraph of text without rasterizing it. Or can you? I have figured out a sneaky way of doing it, that is the key to this technique working. (I thank my days as a Flash designer for figuring out this kind of stuff).

Right click on the text’s Thumbnail in the Layers panel and choose “Convert to Smart Object”

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Step 5. making the Star Wars Perspective text

Now, we can transform this smart object.

With the text Smart Object active in the Layers panel, Press Cmd/Ctrl+T for free transform

Right Click and choose Perspective.

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Step 6

Drag the top corner in to make a perspective shape.

Press enter to apply.

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Step 7

We have now made an image of the Star wars perspective text effect. This is where other tutorials end (Hopefully, Youtubers won’t rip off this tutorial, like they have a lot of my other tutorials, so sad). But this is where we kick it up a gear. We are going to make it move!

Animating the Star Wars Intro Perspective text in Photoshop CS6 or CC.

You can use any version of Photoshop to get to where we are right now, but you will need CS6 or CC to animate it.

Step 8

Open the timeline from the Window>Timeline menu if it’s not visible.

Right in the middle of the Timeline, you will see a button that says “Create Video Timeline.” Go ahead and click it

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Step 9

You will now see a timeline appear in Photoshop.

I know you are tempted to try and animate things right now, but resist the urge. You won’t get a decent result animating it on this timeline.

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Step 10

This is where the magic of a nested animation comes in handy. (I wrote a book on this kind of stuff in Flash  (How to Wow With Flash) and I can adapt these techniques to work in Photoshop.

Find our Smart Object with the text and double click the thumbnail

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Step 11

You will notice that a new document opens with the contents of the smart object displayed. This is where we are going to do our animation.

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Step 12

Go to the timeline and click the arrow on the left of the track name, to reveal the animation options.

Click the stopwatch icon to the left of the word Transform. This will create a yellow diamond which is an animation keyframe.

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Step 13

On the document window, drag the text down to the bottom of the screen.

(Tip: Hold down the shift key as you drag to constrain the movement to a vertical alignment). We are setting the beginning of the animation

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Step 14

Now for the end

Move the playhead to the end of the timeline, by dragging it.

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Step 15

Drag the text all the way up (while holding down the Shift key). We are moving it to the end position of the animation.

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Step 16

You will notice that another animation keyframe is automatically created.

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Step 17

If you press the play button in the timeline (Or press the spacebar) you will notice that the text now animates from the bottom to the top of the window.

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Step 18

Now for the magic!

Press Cmd/Ctrl+S to save the document (contents of smart object).

Close this window and go back to your starting document where you first created the text.

Press the spacebar / play button in the timeline

You will now see the star wars effect working!

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I don’t know about you, but I think this is pretty cool.

How to export photoshop animation as a video

If you want to export this as a video do this:

Choose File>Render Video

Select Folder (name the video and select where you want it to be saved to)

Choose H.264 as the format

Preset: High Quality

Then press render

The video will now be created in the folder you chose. Be patient, it may take a while

If you are making a video from 3D in Photoshop, see instructions here

I have done a lot of experimenting with video and animation in Photoshop and had the huge honor of presenting some of my techniques for Adobe at their world headquarters (several times), as well as at Adobe Max (the Adobe World Conference).

If you want to get deeper into what you can do in Photoshop with Video and animation check out the 2 premium videos that I have created. Video in Photoshop will get your feet wet and teach you the range of things you can do in Photoshop (perfect for a beginner). Then check out Making Movies in Photoshop, which picks up where Photoshop and Video leaves of. I have also written a book, Video in Photoshop with Peachpit Press that you can find at bookstores.

Thanks so much for checking out this tutorial!
Download the PSD here

Add a comment! See you at the CAFE

Colin Smith

psvideo  video_PS_tn


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2 responses to “How to Create Animated Star Wars Perspective text effect in Photoshop tutorial”

  1. That was flippin’ awesome! I had seen Corey Barker do a snow falling tut that gave a similar effect. But, the Smart Object idea is GREAT! Love it!

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