In this AwesomePhotoshop tutorial, i’m going to show you how to create a cool looking colorful Plexi text effect. Throughout this tutorial we’ll create letters separately, getting some help from the Actions. Have Fun.

Here is the Final Image
Before we start let’s 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
Let’s start by creating a new document which is 900 x 900 pixels at a resolution of 300 pixels/inch, make sure Color Mode is set to RGB and name the document "A". In this tutorial we’ll create each letter in a different document

The First Letter
Fill the Background Layer with 55% gray. Get the Type Tool and type "A". Set font to a favorite of yours, i’m gonna use Bauhaus 93 font and gonna set font size to 200 pt. Set Text Color to 40% gray. Rename the layer as "Text", this will be important later

Create the Other Documents
As i said, we’ll create the letters one by one, and in different documents. Now go to Image > Duplicate, name the new document "W" and hit OK. Double click the "A" layer thumbnail and change the text to "W". Go to Image > Duplicate once more and name the new document "E". Double click the "W" layer thumbnail and change the text to"E"
and i set the Font size to 205pt for that one, because letter E is a little smaller in this font.

Go back to "A.psd" document. Because we’ll create the letters separately, recording what we’re doing for the first one using the Actions Palette is a good idea. Then we’ll play the action back for the other letters. Open the Actions Palette by going to Window > Actions. Open the Actions Palette Menu and choose New Set. Name the set "Glassy Text" and hit OK. Click the Create New Action button, name the action "Glassy" and hit Record
. The first thing we’ll do is to duplicate the "Text" layer and name it "Shadow". We’re going to need this layer later so make it invisible for now and drag it below the "Text" layer in the Layers Palette.

Rotate and Scale
Select the "Text" layer in the Layers Palette. Hit Command+T (Ctrl +T for Windows) and set the Rotation to 30 degrees and apply by hitting the Commit Transform button or double clicking inside the selection. Now hit Command+T again and set Vertical Scale to 60% and apply

Apply Gradient
Apply a Gradient Overlay Layer Style and use these settings: Gradient => Black, White, Blend Mode => Normal, Opacity => 50%, Style => Linear, Angle => 90 and Scale => 130

Organize Layers
Duplicate the "Text" layer, create a new layer on top and name it "Extrude". Select both "Extrude" and "Text copy" layer and merge them. Duplicate the merged "Extrude" layer and name it "Bottom"

Command-click the "Extrude" layer thumbnail to load the selection. Select this layer on the Layers Palette
as well. Make sure the Move Tool is selected in the Toolbox and holding down the Alt key press down arrow 75 times [make sure zoom is set to 100%, go to View > Actual Pixels to make it 100%] to extrude the text and deselect.

Bottom and Top
Duplicate the "Bottom" layer and name it "Top". Go back to "Bottom" layer, set Blend Mode to Multiply. Move the "Bottom" layer 75 pixels down (make sure the Move Tool is selected, holding down the Shift key, pressing the Down Arrow key will move it down 10 pixels, so do the math :)) and set Layer Opacity at 75%. Set Layer Opacity for the "Top" layer 90%

Add Some Color
Select "Top", "Bottom" and "Extrude" layers in the Layers Palette and hit Command+E to merge them. Name the merged layer "A1". Apply a Gradient Overlay Layer Style to "A1" layer using these settings: Gradient => Spectrum, Blend Mode => Overlay, Opacity => 30%, Angle => -180 degrees and Scale => 150%
What People Said About This Post:
  1. mimi


  2. Brilliant!!!!!

    I made it 100% and got it!.

    Y eso que casi no é inglés.

    Buen tutorial.

  3. Shortee

    Please update the ACTION FILE to CS5. I messed up and cant continue with this AMAZING project because of it.

  4. caitty

    this was terrible directions,
    i didnt under stand anything.
    redo theese directions, wow

  5. @Caitty
    wow… if you truly didn’t understand ‘ANYTHING’, I suggest working on the basics of Photoshop first, then try tutorials such as these.

    Of course, the original date of this is May 5 so maybe they have updated the steps…either way, 1. don’t ever publicly admit your ignorance because maybe you just had a bad day and didn’t get it, but now forum people won’t care… you’ve established your level and 2. lighten up the tone and be thankful other people put up stuff for others to learn.

  6. Pshh

    Kelly, you’re so gay for caring that much

  7. kain

    i couldnt do it i tried like 20 times and i couldnt

  8. Kamar


  9. kanch

    hi ya.. its really fantastic. can please tell me how to bring the metal effect for the gradient in the reflection part.?

  10. ge®ge

    awesome !! very nice tutorial on text effects.

  11. Ahsen

    Hi,I am kinda lost here.”Fill the Background Layer with 55% gray. Get the Type Tool and type “A”. Set font to a favorite of yours, i’m gonna use Bauhaus 93 font and gonna set font size to 200 pt. Set Text Color to 40% gray. Rename the layer as “Text”, this will be important later.”.

    I filled the document with 55% gray.Then typed an A with 40% gray.But i don’t see the A like i see in

    I can only see the A if i turn off the background layer.

    • HelpingHand

      The way he phrases “55% gray” is a little confusing, it would make a lot more sense to me if he said “45% Black” instead. That’s a much more usable number to place in a field.

      That aside though, I think your problem may just be that the text layer is below the background layer. If it’s not, then make sure that you actually change the color of your text rather then just the foreground color or even just the color of the text to follow the letter you already have.

      Make sure the text is highlighted (not just the text layer, but the actual text it’s self) and then change the color in the dialogue.

      Hope that was helpful.

  12. ozan

    Dostum helalim var 10numara tutoriallar hazirliyorsun.
    thanks for brillant tuts.

  13. Very useful and the outcome is also great. Thanks

  14. Wow terrific blog post! Awesome tutorial man. It�s nuts how many exceptional tutorials you guys publish. Love your work. Thanks!

  15. Hector Matias



  16. Goth

    I didntn do step 5 page 3, I saw it is text A
    Sorry because my language English is bad

  17. kaber

    So I worked through the tut and I just couldn’t get that extrude function to work.

    Finally figured it out so I thought I’d post it here for anyone having trouble.

    The key is simply this. take your source layer, duplicate it. take the source file (or dup, it don’t matter) and make sure it’s your bottom layer. Drag the object down to where you want your object base to start. Select the object and then hold ALT+UP ARROW.

    seemed to make the extruding easier.

  18. alfanshuri

    mantap.. *cool!

  19. Mehrdad

    Nicely explained. Very simple and beautiful. You guys are “AWESOME”

  20. only problem i have is getting the action to apply to the other letters. all kinds of warning pop up such as missing layer, no selection, etc. not sure where i went wrong. even downloaded the action file to make sure i didnt mess up any action.

    • never mind i figured it out. lol. great great tutorial. easy to follow and very nice outcome. i dont know why beginners feel the need to bash these more advanced tutorials because they cannot follow them. its advance level was set for a reason. go back to basics.

  21. Anton

    Please, give me thr PSD sourse for download.

  22. Yostin

    i dont understand how they get the reflection effect. mine still looks like the gradient they have with the mask. i tried some layer modes. not sure. it sucks cause thats what really makes this effect cool.

  23. Haley

    Awesome tutorial, after a few tries I got it right. I had messed up the action file but I did it over again and got it the second time. Please put more up! I love learning skills from these great tutorials!

  24. Pink Panther


    I completed the project several times and had the exact same problem with all three scripts I made, the text doesn’t change to the letters accordingly. Each letter comes out to be the “A”.

    I’m using CS5, any help would be appreciated. The end result looks amazing, I just wish the script would change the letters and not keep the “A” for every one.

    Thanks for putting the tutorial up, I enjoyed it.

  25. dbegraphics

    Thanks! the BEST tutorial I’ve done so far….it came out wonderfully

  26. ruchirao

    hi. thk u. the result is astounding…keep the good work of uploading more such tutorials :)

  27. kestrelmc

    Awesome! Beautiful!

    My only problem was that I think I got confused with parts of the shifting of the letter up and down. You know, the “press the down arrow 75 times” part. I can count! But maybe I am missing understanding – do you have to select the layer? or do that Ctrl-click thing on the thumbnail?

    And then sometimes, my CS4 thought I wanted to repeat the previous action – not move something, even though the Move tool was selected. Weird.

    And then, if I used the “Shift” with the “Alt” and arrow keys, you know, to move something 10 at a time ….. I would get a new letter ‘layer’ at every 10 moves, then filled in edges (apparently) with every single arrow key move. This screwed up my whole thing a bit and especially when it came time to move the “reflection” – the white letter – so I just used mouse drag to position it.

    Otherwise: Beautiful. Thanks so much.


    Hi Everyone,

    I love this tutorial so far, but I am have one problem that I cannot seem to address my self. In step 16 the author says to create a “Near Shadow” layer and hit D to make the foreground color black. In the example, the letter is literally filled with black. Is this only for example to represent the fill, or should the letter actually fill with black?

    I have CS5 and this action does not work for me and I have tried everything to fill the layer with black.

    Thank you for your input or help.

  29. Charles Tran

    Simply wonderful and beautifully done. Thank you for sharing your expertise. Kudos.

  30. Gracias por el aporte… estuvo fantástico el resultado

  31. pat

    Hi, so I got the first letter right. I’m using a mac cs5 photoshop. I did the action on the next letter like your tutorial said but it said it couldn’t find the other layers. Help?

  32. Anas

    Action is not peforming on any other text other than “A” i tried “N”,”S”&”A” again,
    but the action was applicable to “A” only….Any Suggestions
    Great work Though

  33. Ishiru

    Okay so, i made the whole tutorial, and my created letter is fine. But, when I tried your script, it didn’t work because you didn’t rename yours layers copied on a commun name. So, my french version of Photoshop couldn’t find some files …

    But great job, and thx for your tutorials.

  34. great tutorial thanks! Love the affect

  35. designerd

    Excellent tut. Now i am applying this same effect to so many different shapes, I love this stuff…..

  36. Hej,

    great stuff loved it!
    But had some problems, action didn’t work properly. all other letters changed into first letter, also several times window pop up saying: “…… effect is curently not awailable”. What is up with that?


  37. MT

    I’ve tried this at least 6 times and I’ve always failed, but now I finally succeeded!!

  38. jap

    nice.i like it..!!

  39. Roshni

    your tutorial is very fantastic it’s very useful for student of multimedia student.

Leave a Reply

PSAwesome | 2010. All rights reserved.
Any redistribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form or in any other language is prohibited.