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How to Create a Cheese Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

This tutorial will show you how to create a cheese text effect using Photoshop’s layer styles, filters, and brushes. 

This text effect is based on Cheese Text – Photoshop Action from Envato Market.
The Action transforms any text or shape into a cheese with just one click.

Action preview
Cheese Text – Photoshop Action

Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used during this tutorial:

1. How to Set the Background

Open Adobe Photoshop, go to File > New, and set the Width to 850 px, Height to 500 px, and Resolution to 72 Pixels/Inch.

Now go to File > Place Embedded… and select the image Various crusty bread and buns.jpg. Rotate and scale up the image to fit your document, and then hit Enter to place it.

Set the background

2. How to Install the Brush and the Action

Step 1

Go to Edit > Presets > Preset Manager… In the Preset Type, select Brushes, and then click Load… and choose Cheese-brush.abr.

Install the brush

Step 2

To install the action which will be used later in this tutorial, go to File > Open and select Layer Duplicator.atn. To check if the action is loaded, go to Window > Actions, and you should see the Layer duplicator folder there.

Install the action

3. How to Create the Text Layer

Pick the Type Tool (T), choose the Poplar Std font and set the Size to 241 pt, and then write “CHEESE”. Then go to Type > Warp Text, set the Style to Arc and Bend to 7%, and hit OK. Finally, go to Layer > Smart Objects > Convert to Smart Object.

Type the text

4. How to Create the Outer Holes of the Cheese

Step 1

Go to Layer > New > Layer, name it outer holes, and hit OK. Then hold down the Control key and click on the thumbnail of the “CHEESE” layer to make a selection. Go to Window > Paths and click the Make work path from selection button at the bottom of the Paths panel.

Create a workpath

Step 2

Now go to Window > Brushes and select the Cheese-holes brush, and then while the “outer holes” layer is selected, Right-click on the Work Path layer in your Paths panel and select Stroke Path… from the menu. Select Tool: Brush, uncheck the Simulate Pressure button, and click OK.

Stroke a path

Step 3

Hold down the Control key and click on the thumbnail of the “outer holes” layer to make a selection, and then select the “CHEESE” layer and go to Layer > Layer Mask > Hide Selection. Then delete the “outer holes” layer.

Mask a text layer

5. How to Style the Text Layer

Step 1

Select the layer “CHEESE” and then double-click this layer to apply the following layer style:

Add a Gradient Overlay with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Normal
  • Check the Dither box
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Style: Linear 
  • Angle: 90º
  • Click on the Gradient and set these stops:
  • Color stop with Color #feca50 on Location: 6%
  • Color stop with Color #fdc542 on Location: 39%
  • Color stop with Color #ffd269 on Location: 82%
  • Color stop with Color #feca50 on Location: 100%

Click OK.

Add a gradient overlay

Step 2

Go to Filter > Distort > ZigZag… and use these settings:

  • Amount: 2
  • Ridges: 5
  • Style: Pond Ripples

Click OK, and then go to Layer > Smart Objects > Convert to Smart Object.

Add a zigzag filter

6. How to Create the 3D Effect

Step 1

The 3D effect is created by duplicating the text layer, then moving it down by 1 px and sending the layer backward. It is repeated 15 times and, to save your time, I’ve created an automated action which will do these steps for you.

To play the action, select the “CHEESE” layer and go to Window > Actions, select the Layer Duplicator folder and collapse it, and then select the Make 15 layers action and click the Play button at the bottom of your Actions panel.

Play the action

Step 2

After the action is done, duplicate the “cheese-3D” layer (Layer > Duplicate Layer…)  and name it as shadow, and then send it backward (Layer > Arrange > Send Backward).

Duplicate the layer

7. How to Style the 3D Text Layer

Select the “cheese-3D” layer, and then double-click this layer to apply the following layer style:

Step 1

Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:

  • Style: Inner Bevel
  • Technique: Smooth
  • Depth: 594%
  • Direction: Up
  • Size: 8 px
  • Soften: 12 px
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: -79º
  • Altitude: 37º
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
  • Highlight Mode: Screen with color #ffffff  and Opacity: 38%
  • Shadow Mode: Soft Light with color #000000 and Opacity: 24%
Add a bevel and emboss

Step 2

Add an Inner Shadow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Color Burn
  • Color: #000000
  • Opacity: 27%
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: -90º
  • Distance: 3 px
  • Choke: 0%
  • Size: 8 px
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
Add an inner shadow

Step 3

Add a Gradient Overlay with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Multiply
  • Check the Dither box
  • Opacity: 40%
  • Style: Angle
  • Angle:
  • Scale: 150%
  • Click on the Gradient and set these stops:
  • Color stop with Color #fbaf3a on Location: 0%
  • Color stop with Color #fdc747 on Location: 20%
  • Color stop with Color #fbaf3a on Location: 47%
  • Color stop with Color #fdc747 on Location: 75%
  • Color stop with Color #fbaf3a on Location: 100%
Add a gradient overlay

Step 4

Add a Drop Shadow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Multiply
  • Pick the color #dca423
  • Opacity: 60%
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: 86°
  • Distance: 1 px
  • Spread: 0%
  • Size: 1 px
  • Check the Anti-aliased box

Hit OK to apply all changes.

Add a drop shadow

8. How to Style the Main Text Layer and the Shadow

Step 1

Select the “CHEESE” layer, and then double-click this layer to add an Inner Shadow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Linear dodge (Add)
  • Color: #ffffff
  • Opacity: 4%
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: -90º
  • Distance: 2 px
  • Choke: 0%
  • Size: 3 px
  • Check the Anti-aliased box

Hit OK to apply all changes.

Add an inner shadow

Step 2

Select the “shadow” layer and then double-click this layer to apply the following layer style:

Set the Blending Options:

  • Fill Opacity: 0%
Set the blending options

Step 3

Add a Drop Shadow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Multiply
  • Pick the color #000000
  • Opacity: 20%
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: 90°
  • Distance: 3 px
  • Spread: 0%
  • Size: 6 px
  • Check the Anti-aliased box

Hit OK to apply all changes.

Add a drop shadow

This is the result with all of the layer styles applied.

Layer styles applied

9. How to Create Layers for the Brush

Step 1

Go to Layer > New > Layer, name the layer “big holes” and click OK, and then hold down the Control key and click on the thumbnail of the “cheese-3D” layer to make a selection. Select the “big holes” layer and go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection.

Create a new layer

Step 2

Duplicate the “big holes” layer (Layer > Duplicate Layer…), name it “small holes“, and click OK.

Duplicate a layer

10. How to Create the Cheese Holes

Step 1

Select the “big holes” layer, and then go to Window > Brushes, select the Cheese-holes brush, set its Size to 50 px, and make a few big dots over the cheese text. The color of the brush isn’t important.

Brush the area with big brush

Step 2

Select the “small holes” layer, and then go to Window > Brushes, select the Cheese-holes brush, set its Size to 14 px, and make some dots over the cheese text. Then change the brush Size to 6 px and make many small dots all over the text. The color of the brush isn’t important.

Brush the area with small brush

11. How to Style the Big Cheese Holes

Select the “big holes” layer and then double-click this layer to apply the following layer style:

Step 1

Set the Blending Options:

  • Check the Layer Mask Hides Effects box.
Set the blending options

Step 2

Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:

  • Style: Inner Bevel
  • Technique: Smooth
  • Depth: 115%
  • Direction: Up
  • Size: 9 px
  • Soften: 8 px
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: -111º
  • Altitude: 42º
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
  • Highlight Mode: Linear Dodge (Add) with color #ffffff  and Opacity: 14%
  • Shadow Mode: Soft Light with color #000000 and Opacity: 54%
Add a bevel and emboss

Step 3

Add a Color Overlay with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Normal
  • Color: #fcc14e
Add a color overlay

Step 4

Add an Outer Glow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Overlay
  • Opacity: 23%
  • Color: #ffffff
  • Technique: Softer
  • Spread: 0%
  • Size: 7 px
  • Check the Anti-aliased box

Hit OK to apply the changes.

Add an outer glow

This is the result with the layer style applied.

Result with styled brush

12. How to Style the Small Cheese Holes

Select the “small holes” layer, and then double-click this layer to apply the following layer style:

Step 1

Set the Blending Options:

  • Check the Layer Mask Hides Effects box
Set the blending options

Step 2

Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:

  • Style: Inner Bevel
  • Technique: Smooth
  • Depth: 594%
  • Direction: Up
  • Size: 3 px
  • Soften: 5 px
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: -104º
  • Altitude: 48º
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
  • Highlight Mode: Linear Dodge (Add) with color #ffffff  and Opacity: 0%
  • Shadow Mode: Soft Light with color #000000 and Opacity: 63%
Add a bevel and emboss

Step 3

Add an Inner Shadow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Linear Dodge (Add)
  • Color: #ffffff
  • Opacity: 13%
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: -90º
  • Distance: 1 px
  • Choke: 0%
  • Size: 0 px
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
Add an inner shadow

Step 4

Add a Color Overlay with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Normal
  • Color: #fcc14e

Hit OK to apply the changes.

Add a color overlay

Congratulations! You’re Done!

In this tutorial, you learned how to use layer styles, filters and brushes to create a cheese text effect in Adobe
Photoshop.

We started by creating our text, and then we used more layers for the 3D effect. Then we styled our text layers, and finally we added and styled brushes to create cheese holes.

Final result

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. Please feel free to leave your
comments, suggestions, and outcomes below. This text effect we just
created is inspired by Cheese Text – Photoshop Action from Envato Market, which will automatically apply the cheese effect to any text or shape.