In this AwesomePhotoshop tutorial, i’m going to show you how to create this cool text effect using a basic distortion filter. This is an 12 step easy to follow tutorial. Have fun.

Here is the Final Image
Before we start lets see the final image we’ll create through out this tutorial. You can download the layered PSD document here.

Before You Start | Tutorial Details:
Software Used: Adobe Photoshop
Tutorial Time:
Difficulty Level: ★★★★
Files to Download:

No files needed

Create a New Document
Lets start by creating a new document which is 800 x 800 pixels at a resolution of 300 pixels/inch, make sure Color Mode is set to RGB
.

Prepare the Guide
Fill the Background layer with 80% Gray. Create a new layer and name it "Guide". Get the Gradient Tool, pick Black, White gradient, fill the layer with a Linear Gradient like in the below image
.

Prepare the Guide
Go to
Filter > Distort > ZigZag and use these settings: Amount => 20, Ridges => 15, Style => Out From Center. Now apply the filter with same settings ten times more, by pressing Command+F ten times. Now you can see some circles. Actually we will not be using this layer in our effect, but it will be very useful as a guide and show us how our letters will look like at the end.

First Letter
Get the Type Tool. I’m using Bauhaus 93 font, size set to 72 pt. Type your first letter "A". Place it like in the below image, or you can place it somewhere else to achieve different effects. The guiding circles will tell you something about the final result. Now apply a Gradient Overlay Layer Style and use these settings:
Blend Mode => Normal, Opacity => 100%, Gradient => Spectrum, Style => Linear, Angle => 180. Duplicate the layer twice and change the text to "W" and "E". Make "W" and "E" layers invisible for now and go to "A" layer. Now we should merge the layer style. Create a new layer above the "A" text layer and name it "A". Select both "A" layers and hit Command + E to merge.

First Letter
Go to
Filter > Distort > ZigZag and use the previous settings. Hit Command+F 8 times to repeat the filter, and now your first letter is ready .

Second Letter
Turn "A" layer invisible for now and go to "W" layer and make it visible. I moved the "W" layer a few pixels right to get the right look, remember a few pixels can make a difference, and you can place the letter anywhere on the canvas and get different results, but don’t drag them near the corners, outside the circles. We need to merge the layer style again, so create a new layer above the "W" layer and name it "W". Select both "W" layers and hit Command+E to merge. Then just Press Command+F 8 times to apply the last used filter. Now we finished with the second letter
.

Third Letter
Turn "W" layer invisible for now and go to "E" layer and make it visible. Place the layer like in the below image. We need to merge the layer style again, so create a new layer above the "E" layer and name it "E". Select both "E" layers and hit Command+E to merge. Again hit Command+F 8 times to apply the last used filter. Now we finished with the third letter. You can keep repeating these steps if you’re working on a longer text, placing the letters different places each time
.

Shift Colors
OK. Now delete "Guide" layer, make all letters visible and place them properly. Select the "W" layer and hit Command+U and set Hue to 45 to shift the gradient colors. Repeat it for the "E" layer with Hue set to 10. Now select all letter layers and merge them by hitting Command+E. Name the merged layer "AWE"
.

Soften Edges
As you may have noticed, the edges of the text is not clear enough. Now we’ll handle it. Command-click the "AWE" layer to load the selection, go to Channels Palette and create a new channel. Fill the selection with white. Hit Command+D to deselect. Go to
Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply with a Radius of 3 pixels. Hit Command+L to bring up the Levels dialog and set Shadow Input Level to 150 and Highlight Input Level to 180 to have clean smooth edges. Command-click the "Alpha 1" channel to load the selection.

Soften Edges
Go back to "AWE" layer in the Layers Palette, go to
Select > Inverse and clear the selection to get rid of the ugly edges and deselect by hitting Command+D.

Create the Shadows
Now duplicate the "AWE" layer and name it "Shadows". Hit "D" to set Foreground and Background color to default: Black and White. Go to
Filter > Sketch > Photocopy and use these settings: Detail => 3, Darkness => 6. Set Blend Mode to Multiply and Opacity at 40%. Get the Brush Tool, set Foreground Color to White, set Diameter to 10px and Hardness to 0. Paint the unwanted dark lines.

Color Effect
Now duplicate the "AWE" layer and name it "Color". Make sure Foreground and Background colors are still set to Black and White. Go to
Filter > Render > Difference Clouds. Set Layer Blend Mode to Color. Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply with a Radius of 35 pixels. Alt-click on the line between "AWE" and "Color" layers to mask the "Color" layer.

Congratulations
I added a Drop Shadow to “AWE” layer, and this is the final image. Hope you liked this tutorial and had fun making it.

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What People Said About This Post:
  1. Victor

    #Now we should merge the layer style. Create a new layer above the “A” text layer and name it “A”. Select both “A” layers and hit Command + E to merge.#

    I tried to do in such way using CS2, CS3 & CS4, but new layer didn’t want to merge with “A” text layer at all. But when I created new layer beyond “A” text layer, it worked perfectly!

    • Eren Göksel

      Victor,
      i tried merging a text layer and a regular layer in two different ways.
      1- Selecting both layers to merge: it worked no matter which one is above.
      2- Selecting the one above only and hitting Command+E;
      a- if the regular layer is above, it didn’t work.
      b- if the text layer is above (this looks like you described) it worked.
      Thanks.

    • Dylan

      Right click and rasterize the Text layer first.


  2. A very effective way to create such a text effect. Throw in some lens flares and a space background, you have an awesome Retro futuristic look :)

    Great work!

  3. complain0r

    It’s so awesome it makes the text unreadable


  4. Awesome text effect. I can’t read the text but still it’s an awesome text!


  5. Victor,
    i tried merging a text layer and a regular layer in two different ways.
    1- Selecting both layers to merge: it worked no matter which one is above.
    2- Selecting the one above only and hitting Command+E;
    a- if the regular layer is above, it didn’t work.
    b- if the text layer is above (this looks like you described) it worked.
    Thanks.


  6. thanks for this nice tutorial will try it!)


  7. This is a very unique tutorial, never seen anything like it! I did it but changed the colors around a bit instead of all rainbow. Still, great tutorial and good website!


  8. I am impressed what you can do with photoshop.Great post.

  9. Toya

    this would be a good tutorial it you could actually read the text. otherwise, the only thing i can see using it for is maybe for background objects or something in a composite but definitely not as a title or anything.

  10. Pascal

    Great tutorial! Love it!
    I’m trying to make a logo like this and use the ‘Metal-Look’ u used in the ‘Metal Text Under 12 O’clock Spot Light’. Can’t seem to do it right!

    Do you have any tips?

    Love the website!

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