In this tutorial, we will focus on creating a passport, as found in a secret agent’s tool kit. By introducing highlights and some lighting effects, we can turn bland looking text and emblems into those similar to that of hot stamping.
Open and import an image of a leather texture which would work as the passport’s cover.
Refine its edges to make them rounded.
Ctrl + click on the cover’s thumbnail and fill it with a color of your choice.
Then, go to Edit > Fade Fill, and select Color at the drop down box. This will change the blend mode of filled color to ‘Color’.
Add some emboss effect to the cover.
Next, select a pale yellow color and type out text similar to as below.
Apply the following layer styles to the text.
Since hot stamping creates a very faint deboss effect, we are going to add in some highlights to the edge of the text. At this point, we have to decide which direction will the light source be from in order to be able to place the highlights correctly. Imagine a torch or a table lamp shining from above, roughly from the location as shown.
Make a selection of the text.
Invert the selection.
Nudge the selection 1px left, and 2 px down.
Then, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves, and apply settings similar to as below. Clip this adjustment layer to the text layer (Alt + click between the layers), so that it only affects the text.
Next up, we are going to create a coat of arms, or the emblem of this country. I’ve extracted different elements from various EPS files, and imported into my workspace. All of these elements require some adjustments before we can use them.
Let’s start off with this angel statue.
Go to Image > Adjustments > Threshold and apply these settings.
Erase its original wings.
Fill the new wing with black and place it at the back of the statue. Merge them, and drag the blending slider to remove the whites. Create a new layer, select the angel layer and merge them together in order to flatten them.
Moving on to the horse.
Remove the grays and whites by dragging the blending slider in Blending Options.
The same goes for the banner. Desaturate, remove the whites and flatten the layer.
The last element would be the crucifix.
Transform the crucifix to straighten its angle a little. Drag out the guides lines to aid you in your judgment.
Erase the sides.
We now have all the elements ready. Be sure that they don’t have any white filled within them, or the effects applied over the next few steps would not work.
Duplicate the angel and horse layers. Transform and arrange these elements as you see fit. I came up with something like this.
Erase the end bits of the scroll as we’re going to place some text there. We can now merge all of the elements together into one single layer, ‘Emblem’.
Reveal the text and the cover.
Copy the layer style from the text layer and apply it on ‘Emblem’.
Transform it to the size that you want.
Create text similar to as below (again, paste the same layer style).
Warp the text.
We should have something like this now.
With the ‘Cover’ layer selected, erase the rounded edges.
Add in another texture below the passport. It will work as a table.
Prepare an image of an envelope.
Remove unwanted elements with the Patch Tool.
Place it above the table, and adjust its brightness/contrast.
Add in a stamp mark on the envelope.
And a prop newspaper.
We can add in an image of 2 people shaking hands.
a) Import the image.
b) Select an area 5px beyond each side of the photograph.
c) Create a new layer and fill it with white. Move the layer beneath the photograph layer.
d) Desaturate it a little.
e) Adjust contrast.
f) Place it above the newspaper, but below the passport.
We’re going to make use of the ‘WANTED’ space of the newspaper clipping by inserting a figure or a face.
a) Place it within the frame of the ‘WANTED’ column.
b) Add in some noise.
c) Match the contrast of the face with that of the newspaper, first with neutrals in Selective Color.
d) And then with blacks.
e) Finally, change its color to match the newspaper. I sampled the color of the column, brushed the image with the selected color, and faded it off as ‘Color’ blend mode.
f) The result.
Next, add in a gun. Apply some drop shadow to it.
Adjust the contrast of the gun.
Enable drop shadow on the passport as well.
Duplicate all the layers and merge them into one, as we’re going to apply some lighting effects to it.
Go to Filter > Render > Lighting Effects and apply settings similar to as below.
This is what we’ll get.
The finishing touches include adding more shine to the gold hot stamping on the passport. Create a new layer and drag a radial gradient.
Change its blend mode to Screen.
Next, get the selection of the text and the emblem (from the unmerged layer earlier) and go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection.
Since the shine layer is on top, be sure to carry out more masking to eradicate excessive shine.
Just give it a little more contrast and adjust the color balance, and we’re done!
We can always improvise by further tweaking the image to attain a different look and feel. Here’s my alternate version.