In this AwesomePhotoshop tutorial, i’m going to show you how to create an editable screen shot text effect. You can easily edit the text, you don’t need to repeat all steps from scratch, just double click the text layer and change it. This tutorial also has some good applications of Smart Objects. 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 CS4
Adobe Photoshop CS (step 7 won’t work)
Tutorial Time:
Difficulty Level: ★★★
Files to Download:

No files needed

Create a New Document
Lets start by creating a new document which is 900 x 600 pixels at a resolution of 300 pixels/inch, make sure Color Mode is set to RGB

Create the RGB Pattern
Fill the Background with Black. Get the Rounded Rectangle Tool. Set Mode to Shape Layers, set Radius to 4 pixels. Under Geometry Options set to Fixed Size and set Width to 7px, Height to 26px. Check Snap to Pixels. Now click on the canvas to create a rectangle. Double click the shape layer thumbnail and set color to #ff4c22. Get a Vertical Guide and snap it to the center of the rectangle. Hit Command+J to duplicate the layer, get the Move tool and nudge the layer 9 pixels right, then change color to #1283f9. Duplicate the layer again, nudge it 9 pixels right and set color to #79f95a. Repeat it once more and set color to #ff4c22. Get another vertical guide and snap it to the center of the last rectangle. Get the Rectangular Marquee Tool and make a selection like in the below image. Go to Edit > Define Pattern and name the pattern "RGB" and hit OK, then deselect.

Create the Text
Now you can delete all shape layers and clear the guides by going to View > Clear Guides. Get the Type Tool, set Text Color to any color and type your text. I used Futura Md BT, you can use any font of your choice and remember you can change the text and the font any time after we’re finished

Apply the Pattern
Create a new layer on top and name it "Pattern". Fill the layer with any color and apply a Pattern Overlay Layer Style using these settings: Blend Mode => Normal, Opacity => 100%, Pattern => RGB, Scale => 25%. Mask the "Pattern" layer by Alt-clicking the line between "Pattern" layer and the text layer. Now select both layers in the Layers Panel, go to Layer > Smart Objects > Convert to Smart Object. Name the Smart Object "Blur". Duplicate the "Blur" layer and name it "Text"

Smat Objects and Filters
Now we’ll apply some filters to our Smart Objects. You can think of smart objects as Layer Groups that you can apply filters on. When you double click a Smart Object Photoshop opens it in a new document window and after saving it all the changes will be updated in the main document. Another advantage of using Smart Objects is that you can change the parameters of filters you applied on them anytime. With the "Blur" layer selected go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply with a Radius of 20 pixels. Then Go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur and apply with an Angle of 90 degrees and a Distance of 50 pixels. Now apply a Pattern Overlay Layer Style and use these settings: Blend Mode => Overlay, Opacity => 75, Pattern => RGB, Scale =>25%

Smart Objects and Filters
Go to the "Text" layer in the Layers Panel. Go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur and apply with an Angle of 90 degrees and a Distance of 15 pixels. Add a Pattern Overlay and use the settings from the previous step:
Blend Mode => Overlay, Opacity => 75, Pattern => RGB, Scale =>25%

Nested Smart Objects
Select both Smart Object layers in the Layers Panel and turn them into another Smart Object by going to Layer > Smart Objects > Convert to Smart Object. Go to Edit > Transform > Perspective and tweak the perspective in anyway you want. I grabbed the top right corner and moved it upwards. If you’re using an earlier version of Photoshop than CS4 you can’t change the perspective of a Smart Object. So you can rasterize first. But the text will not be editable any longer, so you better duplicate the layer first just in case. Now if you want to change the text, size or font, here’s what you should do: First double-click the "Text" layer thumbnail, it will open the contents of the smart object in a new document window. In that document, double click any of the two smart objects and it will open in another document window, in which you can reach the text layer and you can change the text or text attributes. The thing you should not forget is to save the BOTH smart object documents

This is my final image, I duplicated the document and change the text, then i put all the text elements into one document. Convert them all into one Smart Object and applied a Distort transform and little Levels adjustments. Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and had fun making it.

Another Example
I’m sure you can get great results using different fonts, sizes and symbols. Here’s another example.
What People Said About This Post:
  1. Mongo

    Nicely done – thanks for sharing. Good explanation on smart objects too.

  2. Nice one! Dig it for its simplicity and authenticity.

  3. This is excellent Eren. I like the simplicity and the result is quite brilliant! No one could have explained it better… Great job!

  4. Cannot wait for your next tutorial. Being an electronics engineer, i think you have nailed it with the Integrated Chip design :)

    • Eren Göksel

      Thanks Richie,
      yes, an itegrated chip is on the way. it will be the next tut. i was just wondering how to call name it. micro or integrated?

  5. Very simple but WONDERFUL effect ;)
    really good job

    congratulation for the site :)

  6. Hugo Soares

    Great Result.
    Liked the Matrix reference, i actualy thought about the film as i saw the final image result.

  7. Chace Xiang

    Cool! through it I found more deep understanding about smart object~^^

  8. Ramalion

    Good job!
    Good explanation on smart objects.

  9. Good and solid tutorial. And good job sneaking a metrix reference in there ;)

  10. Peter

    SO much usefull m8..Thank you

  11. constanza

    muy útil, muchas gracias !!!

  12. very cool. i will it later.

  13. Eren Göksel

    i would like to thank you all, for your comments.

  14. Xavier

    I can not believe – Just on time !!!! perfect !!!

  15. Great solution. Good work. (Saved)

  16. Malakistiri

    Wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Rajkumar

    Wow very good explanation & wonderful effect

  18. Arijit

    Really awesome. I liked it very much!

  19. KARLA

    EXCELENT!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

  20. chillyweed

    wow amazing tuts!!!

  21. wow very nice tut, congratulations…

  22. russ

    Hi I am using cs2 and in step 2 I’m not able to select the pattern with the rectangle tool and define pattern. The option is there when the shapes are not selected but as soon as i use the Rectangular Marquee Tool and make a selection define pattern is not available It gives me the option to define shape and brush pattern. Can you please tell me what I’m doing wrong?

  23. Another great text effect, thanks for sharing :)

  24. KAYRIE


  25. maryam

    wooow .i love this site

  26. Excellent tutorial. I have followed the steps and they are both clear and precise every step of the way. My final outcome came out exactly the same apposed to some tutorials on the web where it doesn’t. I especially like that the text is fully editable, it took me a while to figure out getting the text to update in the front end but know iv got it I love it. Thanks again

  27. Slarty Bartfast

    Epic tut, thanks

  28. Hayley

    Nice tutorial. Could you please tell me after editing the text how you “put all the text elements into one document?”

    Thanks. :)

  29. Af

    Hello, great tutorial, but i need some help
    i cannot Define patern, as the option is not avialable
    i checked the feather is 0px, so idk what is going on :S

    Thnx in advance :)

  30. Excellent! It was exactly what I was looking … Thanks!

  31. Thank you, excellent work with smart objects.

  32. Danel

    Hola muy muy bueno el tutorial, demasiado bueno esta. Te lo agradesco. Lo que no entiendo es lo de la capa miniatura, no encuentro esa opcion :S

  33. Hah this is really cool.. I’ll save it for later ;) Thanks for sharing!

  34. Thank you for this tutorial, very good!

  35. Neru

    Great Tutorial
    Thank you So Much

  36. Lukas

    So simple, but a so cool effect! Thanks Dude!

  37. Ishiru

    Hello, and thanks for your work. I just have something to say. In your tutorial, you use ” red / blue / green / red ” for the shapes. But when I used this the colors of my final PSD aren’t so good. So you have to use ” green / red / blue / green.

  38. Thanks for this awesome tutorial, it really helped me a lot in creating my Timeline Cover Pic. :-)

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