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Design

Create "The Walking Dead" Inspired Grungy Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Layering textures and brushes can give detail and depth to simple designs, making them look more interesting. This tutorial will show you how to do that, with the help of some blur filters and simple layer styles, in order to create a nice grungy text effect in Adobe Photoshop.

Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial:

1. Creating the Background and Styling It

Step 1

Create a new 1920 x 1080 px document, set the Foreground color to #2a1e20 and the Background color to #1a0f13, then go to Filter > Render > Clouds, and duplicate the Background layer.

Clouds Filter

Step 2

Double-click the Background copy layer to apply the following layer style:

  • Opacity: 50%
  • Color: #d0fbc1
  • Size: 15
Inner Glow

Step 3

In the Gradient Overlay section, choose the following settings:

  • Blend Mode: Hue
  • Opacity: 70%
  • Angle: 107
  • Scale: 138%
  • Click the Gradient box to create the gradient

You can click the Opacity Stops at the top of the gradient bar or the Color Stops below it to modify their values. The gradient is created using the colors #016f6e to the left and #fee847 to the right, and the right Opacity Stop value is set to 0.

Gradient Overlay

Step 4

After applying the layer style, click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon on the Layers panel and choose Levels.

Levels

Step 5

Set the Shadows value to 8 and the Gamma value to 1.21. This will brighten up the corners and the edges a little bit.

Levels Values

2. Adding the Grunge Brushes to the Background

Step 1

Set the Foreground color to #2b1c1f, pick the Brush Tool (B), and choose one of the brush tips from the Dirty Grunge pack. Then create a new layer on top of all layers and change its Blend Mode to Screen.

Add the brush to the background, but make sure not to overwhelm it. You can add the brush to the corners and edges instead of filling the center. You can also use different tips from the pack if you like.

Grunge Brush Layer 1

Step 2

Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, and change the Radius to 2 to soften the result.

Grunge Brush Gaussian Blur

Step 3

Set the Foreground color to #857276, create a new layer on top of all layers, pick the Brush Tool, and choose the tip below from the Roughed Up Grunge Brushes pack.

That brush will be used to add some more grunge to the corners and at the bottom of the document. To do so, you'll need to rotate the brush and then flip it. Open the Brush panel (Window > Brush) to modify those settings.

Grunge Brush Layer 2

Step 4

The brush can be rotated by changing the Angle value under the Brush Tip Shape tab to 90.

Rotate Brush

Step 5

To flip the brush, check the Flip Y box. Use those options to add the brush to the background.

Flip Y

Step 6

Set the Foreground color to #121212, pick a big, soft, round tip, create a new layer on top of all layers, call it Center, and change its Opacity to 55%. Then add the big brush in the center of the document to darken up the area behind the text we're going to create later.

Center Brush

3. Adding the Texture and Finishing Off the Background

Step 1

Place the 7 texture image on top of all layers, resize it as needed, then rename its layer to BG Texture, and change its Blend Mode to Multiply.

Background Texture

Step 2

Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation, and change the Saturation value to -50.

Background Texture Saturation

Step 3

Set the Foreground color to #6e5f40, create a new layer on top of all layers, change its Blend Mode to Screen and its Opacity to 35%, then use some more big, soft, round brush tips to add a bit of a bright color to the bottom corners.

Corners Color Brush

Step 4

Create another new layer on top of all layers, change its Blend Mode to Screen and its Opacity to 65%. Use the brush tips below from the Monster Splatter Brush Set to add some splatter to the sides of the document.

You can flip the second brush by checking the Flip X box in the Brush panel to apply it to the right side. You can also move these brushes up and down later after adding the text if needed.

Sides Splatter Brushes

Step 5

Double-click the layer to apply a simple Inner Glow effect.

  • Blend Mode: Vivid Light
  • Opacity: 50%
  • Source: Center
  • Size: 7
Inner Glow

Step 6

Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, and change the Radius to 1.5.

Step 7

Select all the layers you have except for the original Background layer, then group them and name the group BG to keep things organized.

Group Background Layers

4. Creating the Text, Styling It, and Adding the Texture

Step 1

Create the text in All Caps using the font SI Font (or you can use Impact instead). The font color is #e6d5b5, the Size is 225 pt, and the Tracking value is set to -10.

The text at the top is optional, but it is created using the font Gill Sans MT Condensed, and the font Size 85 pt. You can use any other similar condensed font for that part as well.

Creating the Text

Step 2

Double-click each text layer to apply a simple Inner Glow effect.

  • Opacity: 30%
  • Color: #d5c09f
Inner Glow

Step 3

Select the text layer(s) you created, then go to Filter > Convert for Smart Filters, and rename the smart object's layer to Text, then duplicate it, and drag the copy below it.

This will help with applying non-destructive filters to the text, as well as keeping the text editable for any further changes.

Convert Text to Smart Object

Step 4

Place the grunge-background3.jpg image from the Grunge-Backgrounds pack on top of the original text layer, then right-click it and choose Create Clipping Mask.

Text Grunge Texture

Step 5

Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation, change the Hue to 4 and the Saturation to -30.

Text Grunge Textures HueSaturation

5. Darkening the Text

Step 1

Pick the Brush Tool, open the Brush panel (Window > Brush), pick a soft, round brush tip, and then modify its settings as shown below:

Brush Tip Shape

Brush Tip Shape

Shape Dynamics

Shape Dynamics

Color Dynamics

Color Dynamics

Transfer

Transfer

Step 2

Create a new layer on top of the grunge texture layer, call it Brush, change its Blend Mode to Multiply, right-click it and choose Create Clipping Mask, then set the Foreground color to #a5a196 and the Background color to #b8976c.

Now start painting the upper part of the text, and randomly inside it to create some darker spots along the top edges and inside the letters.

Darkening the Text

6. Adding the Grunge Inside and Around the Text

Step 1

Set the Foreground color to #fffada, create a New Layer and call it Splatter, create a Clipping Mask for it, change its Blend Mode to Screen and its Opacity to 70%, then pick the brush tip shown below from the Roughed Up Grunge Brushes pack.

Click as many times as needed to fill the text with the selected brush tip, but make sure not to click and drag.

Text Grunge Brush

Step 2

Command-click the Text layer's thumbnail to create a selection.

Create a Text Selection

Step 3

Make sure that the Splatter layer is selected, then press Command-J to duplicate the selection in a new layer.

Rename the duplicated layer to Horizontal and change its Blend Mode to Screen, then duplicate it and change the copy's name to Vertical.

Select the Horizontal layer, zoom in a bit, then hit the Left Arrow Key six times to move the brush 6 px to the left.

Move the Grunge Brush to the Edges

Step 4

Create a text-based selection again, then hit the Delete button to get rid of the part inside the text and keep the edges, and go to Select > Deselect.

Repeat the same steps to move the Vertical part 4 px upwards.

Refining the Grunge Edges

Step 5

Pick the Eraser Tool, choose a soft, round tip, and delete some parts of the horizontal and vertical edges you've just created.

Erase some Parts of the Grungy Edges

Step 6

Convert each of the Horizontal and Vertical layers to Smart Objects, and change their layers' Blend Modes to Screen.

Then select each smart object's layer, and go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, and change the Radius to 0.7.

Gaussian Blur the Grungy Edges

Step 7

If needed, you can change the Opacity values as well to create a subtler effect.

Adjusting the Grungy Edges Opacity Values

7. Finishing Touches

Step 1

Select the Text copy layer, then go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur, change the Angle to 90 and the Distance to 10.

Motion Blurring the Copy Text Layer

Step 2

Pick a 1 px hard round brush, and make sure that its Spacing value in the Brush panel is set to 1.

Spacing Value

Step 3

Create a new layer on top of all layers, call it Line, and set the Foreground color to #f26d7e.

Click once at the top of the left edge of the letter in the middle of your text, press and hold the Shift key, then click once more at the bottom.

Red Line

Step 4

Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, and change the Radius to 0.7.

Gaussian Blurring the Red Line

Congratulations! You're done.

In this tutorial, we used a couple of grunge brushes and a texture and layered them to build up a simple grungy background, then added some coloring.

We then created some text and converted into a smart object, added another grunge texture and brush, and used the brush to create some grungy outer edges around the text.

A couple of Gaussian and Motion Blur filters helped soften the effect, and finally we added a bright red line to one of the letters to finish off the effect.

It is all about building up the grungy effect using different textures and brushes, along with some color adjustments and different layer Blend Modes, as well as Blur filters to avoid any harsh lines.

Please feel free to leave your comments, suggestions, and outcomes below.

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