When was the last time you went to an airport? While waiting, you might stumble into an interesting schedule display. Each character board is flipped to reveal the next character. That’s what we want to create here, a mechanical text display. We are going to use only Photoshop in this project. Let’s get started!
Step 1: Preparing Canvas
Start by making a new file for our text. Set its size to 1200 px × 800 px.
Add new Adjustment Layer Solid Color.
Set its color to #26282d. This is going to be background of the text display.
We want everything to be organized. One of the simple way to do this is placing elements in its own related set. While the adjustment layer is selected, hit Ctrl + G to place in a group layer. Double click its name to edit it.
Step 5: Start Designing Text Base
Add another group layer with name First Digit.
Add a rounded rectangle with color #141213. This is going the base of our text.
Double click the layer shape and then apply Bevel & Emboss and Gradient Overlay. For its settings, see screenshots below.
This is the result we have.
Add two rounded rectangles and a rectangle path into the previous shape. Set its mode to Subtract Front Shape.
Ctrl-click the shape layer we have just made to make new selection based on its shape.
Make new layer. Click Edit > Stroke. Set Width: 1 px, Color: #, and Location: Inside. Photoshop will make a 1 px line along the selection.
Remove selection by hitting Ctrl + D.
Hit Ctrl + Alt + G to convert layer into a Clipping Mask. Click Add layer mask icon in bottom of Layers panel to add layer mask. Fill layer mask with black by clicking D and then Ctrl + Delete. Activate Brush tool and then paint white to reveal some of the stroke line and add highlight into the layer shape.
We have just made strong highlight. Now, we want to make softer highlight. Make new layer. Ctrl-click the shape. Perform stroke command to add stroke line. Apply Gaussian Blur filter from menu Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur.
Add layer mask and then fill it with black. Paint layer mask with white to reveal softer highlight inside the layer shape. Convert the layer to Clipping Mask (Ctrl + Alt + G).
Add new layer and then paint white on top of the layer shape.
Select part of the highlight that stay inside the layer shape and then click Add layer mask icon.
Add another layer and then convert it to Clipping Mask. Paint black to add shadow inside the layer shape. Do this using regular Brush tool.
Reduce its layer Opacity.
Step 19: Adding Text
Add new text on top of the layer shape.
Hit Ctrl + Alt + G to convert it to Clipping Mask.
Convert the text to Smart Object. Right click it and select Convert to Smart Object.
Double click the text smart object to add Layer Style Gradient Overlay and Drop Shadow.
This is the text appearance in upper part of the display.
Now, we want to add lower part of the display. All you need to do is just replicate Step 8. But this time, subtract its lower part.
Add Bevel & Emboss, Inner Shadow, and Gradient Overlay with following settings.
Apply same highlight as the first upper part.