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Photoshop Tutorial: Dark But Vivid Text Effect

In this tutorial we’re going to create a very simple text effect. A dark, colorful text effect. We will use the “the maple origins font” found at dafont.com.

Start by creating an empty file with a black background. Create a new layer and write something on it (White text). Rasterize and duplicate the layer. Now you should have the black background, layer 1 and layer 2 both with your text on them. Hide layer 2 and select layer 1:

Now go Layer -> Layer Style -> Gradient Overlay and create a Gradient like the image below using the Hex Values for colors as the ones below:

Apply the gradient and stay on the same layer. Now go to Filters -> Blur -> Motion Blur set the Angle to 0 (zero) and the Distance to 50 pixels. Apply the effect and duplicate the layer. You must end up with something like this:

and have the following layers:

Select the second layer from bottom (the one after the background) and go to Filters -> Distort – Waves and set the following values:

Note: The dimensions of my PSD is 500px X 300px and the Wave filter with these settings produce the following effect. You may have to experiment a little in order to get the same effect for higher dimensions.

Apply the effect, duplicate the layer and flip the new layer vertically. The result should be something like the image below:

Now, let’s reveal our top layer which is the white rasterized text and set it’s blend mode to Overlay. So, your layers now should be like that:

and your PSD should look like:

e are getting there. Having the top layer selected go Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> Hue/Saturation and press ok. Set the Hue value at +34, the Saturation value at +56 and leave the Lighting setting at zero. Press ok and you should have something like this:

Duplicate our top layer (white text) and set the Blend Mode to Overlay. By setting higher values to the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer we can get the following result.

And that’s it. My point in this tutorial is the smooth pastel colors that we used in the beginning which gave us more control of the Hue/Saturation values. It’s much easier for this kind of effects to go from soft colors to vivid ones rather the other way around.

62 comments

  1. Once I have completed the motion blur, and duplicated the layer.

    I try to do Filter/Distort/Wave but the ‘wave’ option is not available.

    Can someone please assist? :P I’m using CS4 for mac.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Wow, great dark vivid effect. I am pretty excited trying this out now that I forgot to read every detail of the tutorial posted. So I ended up doing it wrong. I am starting again now and hopefully I will be able to get this right now.

    I hope you’ll post more!

  3. Once I have completed the motion blur, and duplicated the layer.

    I try to do Filter/Distort/Wave but the ‘Distort’ option is not available.

    Can someone please assist? :P I’m using CS4 for mac.

    Thanks in advance.

  4. Pingback: Anonymous

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