Articles, Blog

Photoshop Tutorial: Wood Brand! How to Burn an Image into Wood

August 30, 2019

Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV.
I’m going to show you how to burn or brand images into wood. This tutorial is an update to one I did quite awhile ago on an earlier version of Photoshop. I provided this logo design and wood texture background, so you can follow along. The file is located in the
video description or project files. Keep in mind, the appearance of your finished wood
burn effect will look differently depending on the wood texture you use. For example,
if the wood is smoother, darker and has a different color than this one, your wood burn
effect will also be smoother, darker have a different color. The example I’ll use in
this video will be this logo I designed, however, if you want to use your own text, open your Type Tool and make sure your foreground and background colors are black and white, respectively. If they’re not, press “D” on your keyboard or click this icon. Choose a font, make its
size relatively large and type out your text. You can reposition it with your Move Tool. Make a copy of your text by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + J and then Ctrl-click or Cmd-click
on the New Layer icon to make a new layer below the text copy. Fill it with white by
pressing Ctrl or Cmd + Delete. Click the thumbnail of the text copy to make it active and press
Ctrl or Cmd + E to merge it with the white layer below it. If you start with a black
image on a white background, go to Select and “Color Range”. Choose “Shadows”. This makes a selection of the black shape. Press Ctrl or Cmd + J to cut and copy the black image from the white background. Drag Layer 1 to the top of the Layers panel. Whether you’re using the black and white image I provided
or typing in your own text, the layers in both examples are essentially the same. Layer
1 is a black image on a white background, Layer 2 is a black image on a transparent
background and the bottom layer is the wood texture, itself. The next steps will be exactly the same for
both examples. Ctrl-click or Cmd-click on the thumbnail of the cutout image to make
a selection of its shape again. Go to Select, Modify and Expand. Expand the selection 1 pixel. We’ll fill it with black and since black is the foreground color, press Alt or Option
+ Delete. To deselect it, press Ctrl or Cmd + D. Invert Layer 1 by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + I. Go to Filter, Stylize and Wind. Make the Method: Wind and the Direction will be either ticked “From the Right” or “Left”. Whichever is ticked is fine. Click OK and
press Ctrl of Cmd + F twice, to apply this filter, twice more. Go back to Filter, Stylize
and Wind and this time, tick the opposite Direction that was ticked earlier. Click OK and apply the filter twice more by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + F, twice. Press Ctrl or Cmd + I to invert it and go to Filter, Blur and Gaussian Blur. Blur it 1 pixel. Open Levels by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + L. Make your Output Black: 72. Click off the eyeball next to the middle layer
to hide the layer. With the top layer still active, change its Blend Mode to “Color Burn” and reduce its opacity to 60%. Click the Click the New Layer icon to make a new layer. Ctrl-click or Cmd-click on the thumbnail of the cutout black image or your original text to make
a selection of its shape. Go to Select, Modify and Feather. Feather it 2 pixels. We’ll fill the selection with black and since black is the foreground color, press Alt or Option
+ Delete. To deselect it, press Ctrl or Cmd +D. Reduce the Fill to 40%. The reason we
chose Fill instead of Opacity is because we’re going to add layer styles to this layer. Reducing
the Fill lowers the opacity of the layer, but it doesn’t effect the layer styles that
we’ll be adding to the layer. If we chose to reduce the opacity instead of Fill, it
would also reduce the opacity of the layer styles. Double-click on the thumbnail of the
top layer to open the Layer Style window. Click “Bevel & Emboss”. Make the Style: Outer
Bevel, keep the Technique: Smooth and make the Depth: 50%. The Direction is Up and make
the Size: 20 pixels. Uncheck Global Light. Make the Angle: 130 degrees and the Altitude: 48 degrees. Reduce the Highlight’s opacity to 0%, make the Shadow mode: Linear Burn and
reduce the Shadow’s opacity to 22%. Click “Inner Shadow”. Change its Blend Mode to “Linear Burn” and reduce its opacity to 10%. Uncheck “Global Light” and make the Angle: 147 degrees. Keep the Distance: 5 pixels and make the Size: 50 pixels. Then, click OK. This is Marty from
Blue Lightning TV. Thanks for watching!


  • Reply beachlover34698 (Leslie) September 27, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    you are so knowledgeable,,,Thank you so much
    Have a great day
    I do not have photoshop but I can appreciate your talent and enjoy watching your videos,
    have a nice evening

  • Reply Ger Prz September 27, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    Thank you Marty, Your presentations are so consistent, it's impressive. What is the possibility of you doing a series on video presentations? I would love to learn how to master the art of conveying a complex process as well as you do in so little time. Do you script and storyboard your presentations? What tools do you use to make them and how long do they take to produce?
    Glad I found you, Great Stuff!!  

  • Reply mdrproductionz September 28, 2014 at 12:32 am

    Marty, you have an very easy to listen to and captivating voice sir. Great tutorials.

  • Reply Brenda Vawter September 28, 2014 at 3:49 am

    i love your videos, they're so helpful! do you have anything similar to this..with a wood background but the text made to look like paint? or do you have something similar that I could adapt? i need to make a logo for a house painter :/

  • Reply Pistol Panda September 28, 2014 at 5:01 am

    Marty I love you

  • Reply peter frohmann September 28, 2014 at 6:00 am

    It's another great one Thanks 

  • Reply peter frohmann September 28, 2014 at 6:05 am

    I wonder, can you think one day to make a simple animated pendulum tutorial? It could be interesting. Only an idea!

  • Reply Dragon377 September 28, 2014 at 6:54 am

    Marty thank you very much for your video! As always, they are concise, easy-to-follow and have great results! I'm wondering if you would do some photo (beauty) retouch videos about how to make a photo look better or remove flaws on the skin etc. Thank you!

  • Reply Raistlin Majere September 28, 2014 at 7:02 am

    Best youtube photoshop channel 🙂

  • Reply françois francois September 28, 2014 at 9:37 am

    bravo merci

  • Reply Adilong September 28, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Please can u make pop out avatar's logo please.

  • Reply jamal cd September 28, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    very nice.thank you

  • Reply Al Moss Mossi September 28, 2014 at 5:55 pm

     Awesome and beautiful tutorial ! Marty is good to have you back. keep on D

  • Reply DjClimamusic September 29, 2014 at 4:47 am

    Another great video tutorial..thanks Blue Lightning TV

  • Reply Zohair Saeed October 11, 2014 at 12:24 am

    Thank you 
    I have learned many things from you and I who follows you

  • Reply Salah Qwqw October 12, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    You are a wonderful human being and your explanation is clear

  • Reply James Gowan October 16, 2014 at 5:42 am

    Excellent stuff. I don't know when I'll need this but when I do, I'll be back to see it again! Great!

  • Reply Spencer Doyle October 25, 2014 at 6:45 am

    Easily the best tutorials out there.  Thanks so much!

  • Reply sleepingrose70 October 26, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Here is my result. I made an image with a hint on this tutorials and did it. Thanks!

  • Reply lpedreros October 29, 2014 at 12:07 am

    Very clear tutorial. Thank you.

  • Reply Crystal December 18, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    Just what I needed. Thanks!

  • Reply Jeremy Geatches February 9, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    If you choose a different piece of wood and its lighter you can add a final step:  choose the upper most layer and do a color overlay (This is another style, on the layer, in addition to the Bevel and emboss and the inner shadow already on this layer) and choose red then drop the opacity of the red to around 11%. Play with the opacity and the color to get a final "desired" affect. see here

  • Reply Kendra Shedenhelm February 23, 2015 at 1:53 am

    This video was awesome! I used it to complete an assignment for a class, and it looks great!

  • Reply Dns22 February 27, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    How can I make a logo like yours?

  • Reply Will Cain March 5, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    This was very helpful, thank you so much for posting this. 

  • Reply Uppercat Productions March 5, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    an amazing channel helps me with photoshoping  a lot

  • Reply Koray BAKIR March 18, 2015 at 11:38 pm


  • Reply Scorptac April 3, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Would this work on Elements 11?

  • Reply Jill Devereaux April 27, 2015 at 12:00 am

    This was great!  Thanks so much!  Can't wait to check out more effects at Blue Lightening TV.

  • Reply Michael Hein May 6, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    Very great, thanks!

  • Reply 9000writer June 19, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Step by step and easy to follow. Subscribed!

  • Reply Joe Tabback June 25, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    Solid tutorial. Exactly what I needed to know for a client who wanted their logo to look like a cattle brand. Really appreciate you posting this up.

  • Reply Edreih Aldana July 3, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    Solid tutorial, thanks a bunch!

  • Reply it's ur boi September 5, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    f u den

  • Reply Dan Eckstein September 11, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    Awesome Tutorial Thank You!

  • Reply hopelessly jaded October 12, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    THANK YOU!!!

  • Reply Iveta Upeniece October 16, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Marty, you are the best…Thank you

  • Reply wuv03 November 3, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Such a great and helpful video. You really know how to do these kind of things. I'm a graphic designer myself, but sometimes I just want to check out some videos to see if I can update my knowledge or if I'm missing some cool stuff. You'r vids are great for beginners or advanced.

  • Reply James Hawke November 30, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    This was the best Photoshop tutorial I've EVER seen! Amazing job!

  • Reply Rusty Shackleford December 4, 2015 at 6:17 am

    I thought this was a video on actually burning an image into real wood.

  • Reply Filippos Dizen December 17, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    That a great video.

  • Reply Modesta Lacefield February 5, 2016 at 7:56 am

    If you want to make woodworking just use woodprix handbooks

  • Reply Jenny Ko February 9, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Thank you very much for sharing
    for me it only work with text, when i work with black and white image, it disappear when i change to 'colour burn'…


  • Reply Carla Giubergia February 18, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    thank you so much!!! works great and i lern a lot…

  • Reply Christopher Hendrix-Buxton February 18, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    Thank you 4 sharing.

  • Reply Heisenbenn Gaming February 22, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Awesome tutorial as always from you guys!

  • Reply Stockers February 23, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Great video, such a useful technique to learn to use in Photoshop!

  • Reply lifeasmeg March 16, 2016 at 12:56 am

    I have a flat bed printer and would love to use this technique to print on actual piece of timber. Is there a way of making this technique without actually having to have the timber background layer in photo, so my printer prints the text with the burn effect only?

  • Reply Puntang Master March 16, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    i tried to do word burn on Photoshop and ended up in a 11 person orgy, thanks a lot. smh

  • Reply BurntCds March 25, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Just Subbed from your Amazing Tutorial!

  • Reply omar omar March 30, 2016 at 9:08 am

    يا له من فيديو ممل بسسسسسسسسس

  • Reply Capitán Lejander April 13, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Excellent tutorial. Loved your explanation on the use of Fill instead of Opacity.

  • Reply sunnyday May 6, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    How did you make that own logo of yours?

  • Reply SinRyze May 7, 2016 at 9:43 am

    I love you

  • Reply Sarita Shoemaker May 12, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    What a great video! I'll be checking into more of your teaching. It is MUCH easier than any other instructional video I've seen. Thank you!

  • Reply Bigby Wizzle May 29, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Great, clear tutorial. Excellent pacing. Thanks 🙂

  • Reply PIXYBoy79 July 10, 2016 at 2:02 am

    man, your video is insanely good, well done thank you 🙂

  • Reply Possesive July 13, 2016 at 11:34 am


  • Reply Cody A August 8, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    I have Adobe Photoshop CC build 2015-5.0 and I don't have an "Inner shadow" in the layer styles? Any help would be appreciated! 🙂

  • Reply Solo Sisas August 29, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Thank you so much for this 🙂

  • Reply carisep September 3, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Thank you! This is amazing

  • Reply Richard Molewa September 11, 2016 at 8:22 am

    I see the text psd file. Where is the wood?

  • Reply chilipepper2929 September 12, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    I'm not very good at using PhotoShop just yet, but I want to create something that I can add additional text to later. Could I just add additional text to the same layer, and the wood burn effect will automatically get applied, or would I need to apply all of these effects each time I add additional text to the document?

  • Reply Amsterdam Araújo September 20, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    Nice job! Thank you

  • Reply Charlie Cross October 4, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Thanks for this! I appreciate showing the keyboard shortcuts each time as well.

  • Reply Thiago Alcântara October 18, 2016 at 2:15 am

    Nice!! Thanks!

  • Reply Chelsea Wilkins November 8, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    Thanks Marty! Clear and concise.

  • Reply Αλέξανδρος Βλάχος November 8, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    if i want yellow/gold color inside, what should i do? i have a dark green wood background

  • Reply MellowJelly November 27, 2016 at 6:50 am

    For anybody with Photoshop CC, CTRL+F to repeat the wind effect is now CTRL+ALT+F by default 🙂

  • Reply Universe News Today December 1, 2016 at 7:25 am

    Can you make video about this. Thank so much

  • Reply Ang Armanta December 16, 2016 at 3:26 am

    Omg thank you for making this video, you saved my life. HAHAHA hope to see more 😀

  • Reply Ana Carolina Andrade Damasceno January 9, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    For those who think the text is ending up too distorted: Skip the expansion and gaussian blur. Also, you can do the wind thing only once.

  • Reply chris1232123 February 3, 2017 at 10:32 am

    Great video, but what was the purpose of the steps from 4:55 onwards? I think it looked better before this.

  • Reply Bill Watters March 2, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    Hi BL Terrific tut, I tried the earlier one but my CC version didn't completely match. I started with a black logo and it remained black throughout. I was looking – hoping – for that attractive burnt wood color. I note your wood layer is distinctly reddish whereas mine is my own worktable top, a sort of driftwood gray with black shadows and knots. But the logo just looks black. I tried painting a different color but it just doesn't look good.

  • Reply Chiefin Mina March 12, 2017 at 1:50 am

    I really thought he was going to transfer this image and burn it onto wood. Great tutorial nonetheless.

  • Reply Daniela Fusillo March 30, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    amazing tutorial as usual! thank you very much

  • Reply Tanmo April 6, 2017 at 8:17 am

    I need to know how to do this on toast!

  • Reply Michael Taylor April 12, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    Very nice, I used this today and also learned a ton of great shortcuts!

  • Reply sebastian brosche April 13, 2017 at 10:33 am

    this is the best tutorial ever for every category of life

  • Reply jessiexayy April 24, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    great tutorial!
    however everytime I go to invert my logo – instead of white its a weird mauve colour and it doesnt show up well on the wood..

  • Reply Luca Zizioli June 9, 2017 at 6:36 am

    Thank you!! Great Tutorial!!!

  • Reply C. E. Smith June 13, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    I am having issues with my project. I am unable to click on "Modify"….
    It is not highlighted as an option to use. What can I do?

  • Reply Jason Delisle June 20, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    Thank you Marty for the great tutorial, Do you happen to have suggestions for another tutorial for the animation you did at the very end? Thanks!

  • Reply Pombero Oz August 23, 2017 at 5:54 am

    Very cool!!!! Im gonna work with laser engraver and i will need to make a lot of previews before do the real work.. Thank you very much!!! Sorry for my english

  • Reply American Made! August 27, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    Just found your tutorials with this one. I was hoping it was how to use my cnc machine to make a real wood burn. 🙂 but very cool none the less. I love the style of the logo. Do you do logos for company's?

  • Reply GOON THA TOON October 12, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    Marty you my dawg. Been following you for the longest.

  • Reply Chef Sherlock October 21, 2017 at 12:45 am

    wonderful thank you xx 🙂

  • Reply issaavedra October 25, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    Wow, 10/10 tutorial

  • Reply Kat Crawford December 7, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    Great tutorial, exactly what I was looking for!!

  • Reply Shannon Johnson December 22, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    I'm experimenting to adapt this process to render a burn effect logo resulting in a transparent-background (PNG) image to place, scale, & step-and-repeat over any wood background image in an Adobe Indesign document.

    The process in the tutorial "almost" gives me what I'd like to achieve (simply by eliminating the wood background layer and exporting to PNG), but the logo-with-white-background layer (which seems critical in achieving the desired "Wind" filter effect) results in a TRANSLUCENT white background in the final image. Applying the "Wind" filter to the logo with a transparent background doesn't result in a satisfactory effect but, otherwise, does yield a transparent background if the white-background layer is eliminated from the process. Maybe I'm missing a simple solution that's obvious … but, yeah, I'm missing it … Can anyone nudge me in the right direction?

    UPDATE: I figured out a successful adaptation of the process, albeit a bit more time-consuming. Since the "right" and "left" Wind Filter only creates the effect "into" the interior of the logo when applying the filter on the transparent-background logo, I used the Smudge Tool to manually render a "burn-flare-singe" effect "away" from the edges of the logo where no Wind Effect was rendered (I did this AFTER the Gaussian Blur step).

    From there, I followed most of the other tutorial's recommended steps (with some having little or no noticeable effect once I varied from the tutorial with the transparent-background logo only, and with my specific logo).

    Then, I exported to a transparent-background PNG, placed the image in Indesign, then applied (and experimented with various) bevel/emboss effects and layer transparency settings to achieve exactly the results I was looking for!

    The result is a PNG file that isn't much to look at on it's own … but looks amazing once placed over a background in Indesign (with additional effects work applied in Indesign).

    This PNG image can simply be placed over any background in Indesign … and then can be stepped and repeated … scaled (scalable DOWN from 100% — so I recommend that you be sure to render a larger/higher-resolution image than you anticipate needing) … repositioned … all without re-rendering in Photoshop for different backgrounds, positions, sizes (relative to background), etc.

  • Reply GSFXMentor January 3, 2018 at 7:00 am

    Thank you for this tutorial

  • Reply G Macarty March 31, 2018 at 3:24 am

    omg very good tutorial! Thank you!

  • Reply Mikeology May 31, 2018 at 2:16 am

    I was looking for a video on how to actually burn something onto wood physically, and I ended up watching this entire video cause it's pretty good.

  • Reply Paul Judson June 8, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    mine is reversed

  • Reply skatoOrg June 12, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    Great job Marty, loved all the hot keys you taught along with this tutorial. It wasn't exactly what I was looking to learn but those extra work arounds kept me there until the end!

  • Reply Cat Yanez June 13, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    This was an awesome tutorial. Thank you so much!

  • Reply love peace & happy June 22, 2018 at 8:51 am

    Thank you so much for very good tutorials, Can you help me how rotate text like this tutorial???

  • Reply Nathan September 5, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Fantastic! Thank you!

  • Reply HobbitDD December 22, 2018 at 5:38 pm


  • Reply PLUGSBY June 15, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    I only listen to Marty. Marteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey!

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