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How to create a vibrant and futuristic style text effect in Photoshop

By Rajasegar Chandiran on December 22nd, 2011

In this tutorial, we will show you how to create a colorful and futuristic style text effect in Photoshop using simple glow effects, motion blurring and stylish fonts and abstract stock images with some simple techniques. We will make use of some layer styles and lots of filters to create our text and finally some stock images as textures to polish our design, the steps are much easier to follow, this tutorial requires no user expertise, even a first timer in Photoshop can create superb typography designs based on this.

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

Materials Needed:

Step 1:New Document

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

Step 2: Add Text

Now add some text of the font Viper Squadron which can be downloaded from DaFont, about the size of 300px of any color (since we are going to set the Fill to 0 anyway, the color of the text does not matter). Make sure to rename this layer as “base_text” because we will be duplicating this particular layer many times, later in the tutorial for applying filters and textures to achieve the final effect.

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

Before applying the following layer style for the text layer, set the Fill to 0% for the layer.

Step 3: Layer Styles for the text

Now add the following layer styles to the text layer.

Inner Glow

Add an Inner Glow layer style with White #FFFFF as the color with the following settings.

Step 4: Motion Blur

Now we are going to add Motion Blur the text by duplicating the original layer and then rasterizing the same.

Rasterizing the layer with Layer styles

Before applying the Motion blur effect we are going to rasterize our text layer along with the layer effects, in order to do that, first duplicate our text layer called base_text, move it to the top of the Layers Panel and rename it something like “motion_blur”, create a new layer above the motion_blur layer, select both the new layer 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 distorted.

Go to Filter -> Blur-> Motion Blur, give 200 to Distance and 0 as the Angle and apply OK.

After applying Motion Blur , the text will look like this.

Step 5: Add Gaussian Blur

Now we are going to add a little Gaussain blur to our text to give some glow, for that duplicate the “base_text” layer , move it to the top of the Layers Panel and rename it as gaussian_blur. Rasterize this layer using the technique mentioned in Step 4

Apply a Guassian Blur of about 20px.

After adding Gaussian Blur the text will look something like this.

Step 6: Halftone Effect

Once again duplicate the base_text layer, move it to the top, rename this layer, rasterize it and then apply the Halftone effect on this layer.

Go to Filter -> Sketch -> Halftone Pattern , apply this filter using the settings: Size = 1, Contrast = 50, Pattern Type = Dot.

Now this is the effect so far with the text.

Step 7: Apply Fragment Filter

Prepare the text for applying the Fragment filter, duplicate the base_text layer, move it to the top, rename this layer, rasterize it and then apply the Fragment effect on this layer.

Go to Filter -> Pixelate -> Fragment. Repeat this effect again about 2-3 times to get the text fragmented which will give a nice distorted effect on the text.

Step 8: Adding Color Overlay

Now our text is great but it lacks some vibrance, so now it’s time to add some colors to it. Create a new layer at the top, name it color_overlay.

Grab the Brush Tool (B), select a soft round brush of 0% hardness and 200px diameter.

Pick the colors Cyan (#00FFFF) and Magenta (#FF00FF) and brush some soft spots randomly over the text here and there, you can use the below image for reference.

Change the blending mode of the layer to Overlay.

This is the effect with so far.

Step 9: Adding Abstract Stock Texture

Our design is almost ready for the final step, now grab the stock image from Abstract Stock Image from sxc.hu by marchecco. Thanks to Marchecco for providing such quality and wonderful stock for us.

Resize the image to fit into our canvas and change the blending mode of the layer to Multiply.

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 for good looking final result.

Some Enhancements

Our design is ready now, if you want to enhance the quality of the image and effects, you can sharpen the final output a little using standard Sharpen filters available in Photoshop. We have used the Reduce Noise and Smart Sharpen filters to get the final image for the tutorial.

Flatten the image by Layer -> Flatten Image (you can also duplicate the document if you want to retain the original for later refinements by Image -> Duplicate and then flatten it to apply enhancement filters.)

Reduce Noise

Smart Sharpen

Finally here is our final image with vibrant and awesome looking Futuristic text effect. There are certain things i want to mention here, please be liberal with the use of stock images, different sizes, different textures, having a wide variety of stocks used will improve the quality of the output, 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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