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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Text Effects
Design

How to Create a Brushed Metal Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

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

This tutorial will guide you through creating a brushed metal text effect, using multiple layer styles and some textures. You'll get to work a bit with the text itself, and also use a smart object to warp the styled text but keep it editable, so it can be modified pretty quickly without the need to go over the steps again. Let's get started!

Tutorial Assets

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

1. Creating the Background

Step 1

Create a new 1000 x 600px document. Set the Foreground color to #6b6c81 and the Background color to #4a4b5f. Pick the Gradient Tool, choose the Foreground to Background gradient fill, and click the Radial Gradient icon.

Then, click and drag from the center of the document to one of the corners to create the background gradient.

Background Gradient

Step 2

Duplicate the Background layer and change the copy's Blend Mode to Multiply.

Duplicate Background and Change Blend Mode

Step 3

Click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose Levels.

Levels Adjustment Layer

Step 4

Change the Shadows value to 3 and the Gamma value to 0.91 to darken up the background a bit more.

Levels Values

2. Adding the Background Texture and Changing the Coloring

Step 1

Place the 0986 image on top of both Background layers, rename its layer to Texture, and change its Blend Mode to Overlay. Then resize it and move it around until you like how it looks.

Adding the Background Texture

Step 2

Click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose Hue/Saturation.

HueSaturation Adjustment Layer

Step 3

Change the Hue value to 152.

HueSaturation Values

3. Creating and Modifying the Text

Step 1

Create the text in All Caps using the font Paragon Black, the Size 200 pt, and the color #6c6d82.

Create the Text

Step 2

Next, we're going to adjust the Kerning (under Window > Character), which determines the space between the individual letters. As you can see, the letters are not spaced out equally, so what you'll need to do is click to place the mouse cursor between each pair of letters, then enter a Kerning value that makes the distance between the letters as similar as possible.

This is important because we're going to add a stroke later on, so if the kerning is not fixed, the stroke might overlap between some letters, and be too far away between others. You can actually do this step now, or after applying the stroke.

You'll need to try a couple of values until you get the result you like, but the values used here are:

  • T and O: 1
  • O and U: 4
  • U and G: -20
  • G and H: 3
Adjust the Kerning Values

Step 3

You should get neater-looking text now.

Text After Adjusting the Kerning

Step 4

To increase the space between the letters even more, change the Tracking value to 10.

Change the Tracking Value

Step 5

Duplicate the text layer three times, and change the third copy layer's Fill value to 0.

Duplicate the Text Layer

4. Styling the Original Text Layer

Double-click the original text layer to apply the following layer style:

Step 1

Add a Stroke with these settings:

  • Size: 7
  • Fill Type: Gradient
  • Angle: 90
  • Use the stove pipe 155b gradient fill.
Stroke

Step 2

Add a Drop Shadow with these settings:

  • Distance: 21
  • Size: 21
Drop Shadow

Step 3

This will add the stroke and the shadow. If you haven't adjusted the kerning yet, or think that you need to adjust it a bit more, now would be a good time since the stroke is applied to the text.

Text with Stroke and Shadow Applied

5. Styling the First Copy Text Layer

Double-click the first copy text layer to apply the following layer style:

Step 1

Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:

  • Style: Stroke Emboss
  • Technique: Chisel Hard
  • Size: 7
  • Gloss Contour: Rounded Steps
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
  • Highlight Mode: Vivid Light

This will not have any result until you add a Stroke effect, since the Stroke Emboss is applied only to a Stroke.

Bevel and Emboss

Step 2

Add a Contour with these settings:

  • Contour: Notched Slope
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
Contour

Step 3

Add a Stroke with these settings:

  • Size: 5
  • Fill Type: Gradient
  • Angle: 90
  • Use the stove pipe 60 gradient fill.

You can now see the effect of the Stroke Emboss.

Stroke

Step 4

This will create another layer of shiny stroke, with a more 3D look.

Second Layer of Stroke

6. Styling the Second Copy Text Layer

Double click the second copy text layer to apply the following layer style:

Step 1

Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:

  • Technique: Chisel Hard
  • Size: 3
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
Bevel and Emboss

Step 2

Add a Contour with these settings:

  • Contour: Cove - Deep
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
Contour

Step 3

Add an Inner Glow with these settings:

  • Noise: 9%
  • Color: #f5f4e5
  • Size: 21
Inner Glow

Step 4

Add a Gradient Overlay with these settings:

  • Use the stove pipe 30 gradient fill.
Gradient Overlay

Step 5

This will style the text. It looks OK right now, but can use another layer of styled text to add more depth and detailing.

First Layer of Styled Text

7. Styling the Third Copy Text Layer

Double-click the third copy text layer to apply the following layer style:

Step 1

Add a Gradient Overlay with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Vivid Light
  • Opacity: 52%
  • Style: Reflected
  • Check the Reverse box
  • Use the stove pipe 70 gradient fill.
Gradient Overlay

Step 2

Add a Pattern Overlay with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Multiply
  • Opacity: 60%
  • Pattern: Use the pattern shown below from the Whitewashed Grunge Textures pack.
Pattern Overlay

Step 3

This will make the effect look more interesting and realistic.

Second Layer of Styled Text

8. Brightening Up the Area Behind the Text

Step 1

Pick the Brush Tool, make sure that the Foreground color is still set to #6b6c81, create a new layer on top of the Texture layer, call it Light, and change its Blend Mode to Color Dodge.

Brush Tool and Light Layer

Step 2

Use quite a big, soft round tip to brighten up the area behind the text.

Adding Light Behind the Text

9. Converting the Text Layers into a Smart Object and Warping It

Step 1

Select all the text layers you have, then go to Filter > Convert for Smart Filters. This will place all the selected text layers in a smart object. You can double-click the smart object's thumbnail at any time to open the original text layers, and then modify them as you like.

The text layers will be opened in a separate document, so after you perform the changes needed, you'll need to save them (File > Save), then close the smart object's document (File > Close). The text will be updated in the original document automatically. So you won't need to re-create the effect for different text, but you might want to adjust the Light layer's content.

Converting the Text Layers into a Smart Object

Step 2

With the smart object layer selected, go to Edit > Transform > Warp.

Warp Text

Step 3

Choose Inflate from the Warp drop down menu in the Options bar, and then click and drag the control point slightly to modify the shape as you like, and tap the Return key to accept the changes.

Adjust the Warping

Step 4

You can go back to Edit > Transform > Warp to modify the result again when needed.

Warped Text

Congratulations! You're Done

In this tutorial, we used a radial gradient fill, a texture, and a couple of adjustment layers to create a grungy, dark background.

Then we created the text, and adjusted its Kerning and Tracking values to modify the spacing between the letters. Once we modified the text, we created three more copies of its layer.

Each copy of the text layers was then styled with a bunch of different effects and values in order to get the brushed metal final result.

We then used a soft brush to brighten up the area behind the text, and placed the text layers in a smart object, to finally warp the text and give it a more 3D look.

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

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