In this quick tutorial, you will learn how to create an awesome shining text effect which has realistic, natural-looking metal texture in Photoshop using plain layer styles, simple blurring techniques and filters. 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 800 px with black as the background color.

Step 2: Add Text

Now add some text of any sci-fi,high-tech or futuristic style font, i am using the font CGF Locust Resistance which can be downloaded from DaFont, about the size of 300 pt of white color. The color of the text does not matter here since we are going to apply gradient overlay on it.

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

Apply these following layer styles to text.

Gradient Overlay

First apply the Gradient Overlay style for the text, with the default gradient available in Photoshop named Silver which resembles metal like gradient or you can create your own gradient if you want, please use the below image for your reference.


Next apply the Stroke style with White (#FFFFFF) as the color.

This is the effect so far with our text.

Step 4: Fragment the text

Next we are going to start applying the required filters for our effect. First of them is the Fragment filter which is a Pixelate categroy filter available in Photoshop. Before applying the filter we need to rasterize our text along with the layer effects. For that first duplicate the base_text layer, then create a new layer above it, select both the layers and merge them using Layer -> Merge Layers (Ctrl + E).

Now our layer is rasterized with the layer effects then we start applying filters on this layer. We can make multiple copies of this rasterized layer later to apply all the filters. Before that rename the layer with some identifiable name before applying a filter. For this layer we are naming it something like Fragments_filter.

Now go to Filter -> Pixelate -> Fragment. Repeat this step some 8-9 times for getting subtle fragments of our text.

Step 5:Motion Blur

Make one more copy of base_text layer, rasterize it like the previous step, rename it and then apply Motion blur in the horizontal direction using Filter -> Blur -> Motion Blur with the values Angle = 0, Distance = 999 and apply OK.

Duplicate this layer and apply Gaussian Blur using Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur with the valueRadius = 2 pixels and apply OK.

Step 6: Texturizer

The next filter we are going to apply is the Texturizer Filter. Before that make a duplicate of the base_text layer, rasterize it, rename it some thing like Texturizer_filter. Then go to Filter -> Texture -> Texturizer, apply the filter using the below settings: Texture = Sandstone, Scaling = 100%, Relief = 4, Light = Top.

After applying the filter our text will look like this.

Step 7: Ink Outlines Filter

The metal texture is getting ready for the text, but it still lacks some depth and sharpness so we need to apply one more filter called the Ink Outlines above the Texturizer filter. Now duplicate the texturizer layer, and go to Filter -> Brush Strokes -> Ink Outlines, use the following settings for this filter: Stroke length = 4, Dark Intensity = 20, Light Intensity = 10 and apply OK.

After applying the Ink Outlines filter on the duplicated texturizer layer, the text will have a look like this.

Duplicate this layer, change the Layer Blending Mode to Multiply and the Layer Opacity to 70%, to give still more depth to the texture.

Duplicate this layer one more time and apply Gaussian Blur by Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur with 10 as the radius and apply OK. Now our text will have blurred overlay in the middle portions , this is just to give some additional glare and flare for the metal texture.

Now change the Layer Blending Mode of this layer to Linear Dodge(Add) and change the Layer Opacity to 20% so that the glare won’t be disturbing the overall shine of the text.

Step 8: Color Overlay

Now its time to add some vibrance to the metal texture by adding some color overlays upon the various parts of the text. Create a new layer and name it something like color_overlay. Grab the Brush tool (B) from the Tool Box, choose a soft round brush with Diameter = 200 px, Hardness = 0% and choose the following colors to paint some soft spots upon the text. Pale Warm Brown # C8A46D and Pure Cyan # 00A9EC.

Paint some soft dabs here and there over the text like shown below.

Now change the Layer Blending Mode to Overlay and change the Layer Opacity to 75%. This will give a nice and subtle vibrant and colorful effect on the metal texture.

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 a snazzy text effect with realistic looking metal texture. There are certain things i want to mention here, please be liberal with the use of filters, choice of fonts , 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!