How to create a sensational and sparkling Gothic Text effect in Photoshop

By Rajasegar Chandiran on December 27th, 2011

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a sparkling and blazing Gothic text that seems to appear like Medieval age style golden typography effect in Photoshop using very simple and effective techniques. We will play with some layer styles and filters to create our text in a very quick time, the steps are much easier to follow, this tutorial requires no user expertise, even a beginner can learn with ease and create some stunning text effects based on this.

Before going into the tutorial, let us see how the final image will look like.

Step 1:New Document

Create a new document of size 1600 by 1200 px with black as the background color.

Step 2: Add Text

The choice of font is the most important ingredient in our recipe, we need a Gothic style or Medieval style font which perfectly establishes our basic requirement for the tutorial. Now add some text of any Gothic style or Middle Age style font, i am using the font BlackLetter which can be downloaded from DaFont, about the size of 300px of color #fa8132, this color suits well for our glittering and sparkling metal or you can choose any other subtle or dark orange color for the text.

Note: This text layer is the base for our design, so henceforth in the tutorial, we will be mentioning this layer as base_text.

Position the text in the center of the document , aligning both the horizontal and vertical centers with respect to the background layer.

Step 3: Layer Styles for the text

Now add the following layer styles to the text layer. These layer styles make up the basic type effect for our design with a solid outer bevel.

Bevel and Emboss


This is the effect so far, after applying the above Layer styles…

Step 4: Duplicate and apply Motion Blur

Before applying the Motion Blur we are going to rasterize our text layer along with the layer effects, in order to do that, first duplicate our text layer and create a new layer above it, select both the new layers and the duplicated text layer, merge them using Layers -> Merge Layers or simply press Ctrl + E (Cmd + E for Mac users). Don’t forget to rename the merged layer as the original “motion_blur”. Now our text is ready to be blurred.

To achieve the perfect motion blur effect on our text, we will be applying the Motion Blur at three levels:

  1. First Level or Base Level, Vertical Blur with Angle = 90 and Distance = 500
  2. Second Level or Middle Level, Vertical Blur with Angle = 90 and Distance = 100
  3. Third Level or Top Level, Horizontal Blur with Angle = 0 and Distance = 999 ( this is further followed with the Wave Distortion Filter)

Go to Filter -> Blur-> Motion Blur, give 90 to Angle , 500 to Distance and apply OK.

Now this is the effect so far with the text.

Duplicate the base_text layer again and rasterize it, move it to the top of the Layers Panel, then apply Motion Blur with the following settings: Angle = 90, Distance = 100

Duplicate the base_text layer one more time and rasterize, move it to the top, then apply Motion Blur with the following settings: Angle = 0, Distance = 999

Then go to Filter -> Distort -> Wave, apply this Wave filter on the same layer with the settings shown as below. This effect is just to create a smoke like glare and glow , distorted like a wave around the text which will in turn give a subtle blazing effect on the text.

Now the text looks like this.

Step 5: Gaussian Blur

We need one more blur for our type, we just need a subtle glow on the text at this stage, so we will be utilizing our simple Gaussian Blur for the same. Now Duplicate the base_text layer and rasterize, move it to the top, apply Gaussian Blur by choosing Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur with the Radius as 10.

Now the text will look like this, the design looks somewhat too blurry at the moment, don’t worry we will be finally merging the layers and adjust the layer blending modes later to get the perfect look.

Step 6: Creating jagged edges along the outer part of the text

It’s now time to add some polishing touch to our text and its edges, since they don’t seem to be natural and worn out, instead they are looking uniform and boring, so to spice it up a little bit, we are going to randomly adjust the outer bevel portion by giving them a ripple effect.

Duplicate the base_text layer and rasterize, move it to the top, rename it some thing like ripple_effect since we will be duplicating this layer two more times later in the tutorial, so it is a good practice to name the layers appropriately. Go to Filter -> Distort -> Ripple, give 100% to the Amount and choose Medium as the Size and apply OK.

Change the blending mode of this layer to Darken

Duplicate this ripple_effect layer, and change the blending mode to Linear Dodge(Add).

Step 7: Adding Glitter

The text is getting to look better at this stage, but still it is not great since it lacks the glitter and shine which it should have at the first place. So in order to make it glitter and shine, we will be using our Reticulation filter to and overlay it to achieve the final effect.

Now Duplicate the ripple_effect layer, go to Filter -> Sketch -> Reticulation, use the following settings:
Density = 12, Foreground Level = 40, Background Level = 5 and apply OK.

Now this is the effect after applying the Reticulation filter on the duplicated ripple_effect.

Change the blending mode of this layer to Color Dodge.

Now the outer portion or the borders of the text looks stunning, but inside and the middle portions look somewhat gloomy and dark, we need to put some light over it, for that grab the Brush (B) tool, select a soft round brush with white as the color, and size = 50px and 0% hardness. Now paint lightly over the inner an middle portions of the text where we need some light, use the below image for your reference.

After painting the white light, change the blending mode of the layer to Overlay, now our text is highlighted a little and we got the required sparkle on it.

Step 8: Finishing touch

Our design is almost ready, still if you feel the effect needs a little more strength, Select all the layers and group them using Layer -> Group Layers ( Ctrl + G) . Then duplicate the group by right-clicking on the group and select Duplicate Group, select the group and merge it using Layer -> Merge Group (Ctrl + E) .

Change the blending mode of this layer to Soft Light and thus we get the stunning sparkling Gothic text effect at last.

This is how our final output will look like, please also take a look at how the layers are stacked against each other and arrange the same in the order given below for good looking final result.

Finally here is our final image with sensational sparkling Gothic look text effect. There are certain things i want to mention here, please be liberal with the use of layer styles, and also experiment with the settings while applying filters to get accurate and effective results.

We’re finished! Hopefully you’ve picked up a few new techniques and had fun while doing so. Please share any of your personal creations in the comments for others to see!

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