Take a look though my "Never Stop Learning" weekly posts & more. You'll be able to see me try out techniques that are new to me, keep my chops up on techniques I've learned through the years, and talk about adjustments I'm making to my workflow to become more efficient/proficient with the Adobe Creative Suite, major focus on Photoshop and Illustrator.
I finished this off with some color overlays and blend modes from the contrast group.
2 things I realized right off the bat, Blend Modes is a HUGE topic and Displacement Maps are as effective as they are Old School =D
The first time I used one was in Photoshop 5 and today I’m using Photoshop 13. I never really looked too much into them. I learned one recipe from a tutorial and never looked back. Now I have a better understanding of them and I’m sure I’ll put them to better use.
Original image of some brick wall near my job.
To save on file size, I added a layer adjustment but left the sliders at 0 then I set it to the Liner Light blend mode. That gave the wall some contrast. Above it I added a blue layer fill and set the blend mode to Hue to cool it down some.
The text above has a gel layer style with the Displace filter added to the wall. I was trying to make it look like the gel is distorting your view of the wall beneath it.
In this version I applied a luminance mask so it looks set into the wall but the edges were still clean. Adding a displacement effect to the text gave me a realistic finish to my text.