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Design

How to Create an Aquaman-Inspired Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:LongLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

This tutorial will show you how to use layer styles, textures, brushes, with a bunch of tools and adjustments to create a text effect inspired by the Aquaman movie poster. Let's get started!

This text effect was inspired by the many Layer Styles available on GraphicRiver.

Tutorial Assets

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

1. How to Create a Background

Step 1

Create a new 3000 x 2071 px document, click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, and choose Gradient.

Create the gradient fill using the Colors #297f82 to the left, #1a3344 in the middle, and #0d1018 to the right.

Change the Style to Radial, and click-drag the center of the gradient to place it at the top of the document.

Increase the Scale value to 200, and check the Dither box.

Gradient Fill Layer

Step 2

Go to File > Place Linked, open the Under water texture image, and go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation to change the Saturation value to -100.

HueSaturation

Step 3

Change the texture layer's Blend Mode to Color Dodge.

Change the Blend Mode

Step 4

Go to Edit > Transform > Warp, choose Arc from the Warp menu in the Options bar, and click-drag the control point to get a result you like.

Warp Mode

Step 5

Hit the Return key to commit the changes, and click the Add layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.

Add a Layer Mask

Step 6

Pick the Gradient Tool, set the Foreground and Background Colors to White and Black, choose the Foreground to Background gradient fill, and click the Radial Gradient icon in the Options bar.

Select the mask's thumbnail, and click-drag from the document's top to its bottom to create a gradient mask.

Create a Gradient Mask

2. How to Add a Light Rays Brush

Step 1

Pick the Brush Tool, and create a new layer and name it Light Rays.

Change the layer's Blend Mode to Overlay and its Opacity to 50%.

Create the Light Rays Layer

Step 2

Hold the Option key, and click-drag the texture layer mask's thumbnail to the Light Rays layer to duplicate it.

Duplicate the Layer Mask

Step 3

Unlink the mask by clicking the link icon between the layer and mask thumbnails.

Select the layer's thumbnail, and add a light rays brush from the Light Rays pack. You can then press Command-T to enter Free Transform Mode and rotate, resize, and warp the rays.

Free Transform Mode

3. How to Add a Fizz Texture

Step 1

Open the Phineas F. Texture Stock image, and go to Image > Calculations.

Change both Channel values to Red, the Blending to Overlay, and the Result to Selection. Click OK, and go to Edit > Copy.

Calculations Settings

Step 2

Back to the original document, go to Edit > Paste, rename the layer to Top Fizz, and change its Fill value to 0%.

Place the texture at the top of the document and resize it as needed.

Add the Top Fizz Texture

Double-click the Top Fizz layer to apply the following layer style:

Step 3

Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:

  • Size: 2
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: 122
  • Altitude: 42
  • Gloss Contour: Ring
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
  • Highlight Mode: Linear Light
  • Shadow Mode:
    • Opacity: 35%
Bevel and Emboss

Step 4

Add a Contour with these settings:

  • Contour: Ring - Double
  • Check the Anti-aliased box.
Contour

Step 5

Lower the Opacity to 50%.

Opacity Value

Step 6

Put all the layers except for the Background layer in a group and name it Background.

Background Group

4. How to Create a Smart Object Text Layer

Step 1

Create the text in All Caps using the font Lato Heavy. Set the Size to 250 pt and the Tracking to 645.

Create the Text

Step 2

Rename the text layer to Text, right-click it, and choose Convert to Smart Object.

Convert to Smart Object

5. How to Record a Simple Extrusion Action

Step 1

Open the Actions panel, click the Create new set icon at the bottom of the panel, type Extrusion in the Name field, and click OK.

New Action Set

Step 2

Click the Create new action icon at the bottom of the panel, type Action in the Name field, and click Record.

Create New Action

Step 3

Press Command-J to duplicate the Text layer.

Duplicate the Layer

Step 4

Press Command-T to enter Free Transform Mode.

In the Options bar, click the Maintain aspect ratio icon between the W and H fields, and set their values to 99.9%.

Hit the Return key to commit the changes. You should see all the steps recorded and added to the action you've created.

Scale Down

Step 5

Click the Stop recording icon at the bottom of the Actions panel.

Stop Recording

6. How to Create an Extrusion

Step 1

Click the Play selection icon at the bottom of the Actions panel ten times to create ten more copies with the transformation.

Create the Extrusion

Step 2

Select all the Text layers, and go to Layer > Arrange > Reverse. This will place the last copy layer at the bottom and bring the original to the top.

Reverse Layer Order

Step 3

Deselect the first and last Text layers, and place the rest in a group and name it Center.

Center Group

Step 4

Rename the top Text layer to Front and the last to Back.

Front and Back Layers

Step 5

Duplicate the Front layer twice.

Duplicate Layers

Step 6

Drag the Front layer on top of all layers inside the Center group.

Move Layer

7. How to Style the Front Text Layers

Double-click the Front copy 2 layer to apply the following layer style:

Step 1

Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:

  • Style: Stroke Emboss
  • Depth: 300
  • Size: 5
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: -176
  • Altitude: 21
  • Gloss Contour: Gaussian
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
Bevel and Emboss

Step 2

Add a Contour with these settings:

  • Contour: Cone - Asymmetrical
  • Check the Anti-aliased box.
Contour

Step 3

Add a Stroke with these settings:

  • Size: 3
  • Position: Inside
  • Fill Type: Gradient
  • Style: Reflected
  • Create the Gradient using the Colors #7e662e to the left, and #cfb765 with a Location value around 86%.
Stroke

Step 4

Change the Fill value to 0%.

Change the Fill Value

Step 5

Convert the layer to a Smart Object.

Convert to a Smart Object

Step 6

Double-click the Front copy layer to apply a Pattern Overlay effect with these settings:

  • Pattern: 1.jpg (Open the image from the Metal seamless textures pack, and go to Edit > Define Pattern to add it to the preset)
  • Scale: 50%
Pattern Overlay

This will style the front part of the text.

Styled Front

8. How to Style the Extrusion

Double-click the Front layer to apply the following layer style:

Step 1

Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:

  • Style: Stroke Emboss
  • Depth: 230
  • Size: 5
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: -90
  • Altitude: 50
  • Gloss Contour: Cove - Deep
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
Bevel and Emboss

Step 2

Add a Contour with these settings:

  • Contour: Rolling Slope - Descending
  • Check the Anti-aliased box.
Contour

Step 3

Add a Stroke with these settings:

  • Size: 3
  • Position: Center
  • Fill Type: Gradient
  • Style: Linear
  • Create the Gradient using the Colors #7e662e to the left and right, and #d4c591 in the middle.
Stroke

Step 4

Change the Front layer's Fill value to 0%, right-click it, and choose Copy Layer Style.

Copy Layer Style

Step 5

Select the other layers inside the Center group, right-click any of them, and choose Paste Layer Style.

Paste Layer Style

9. How to Style the Back Text Layer

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

Step 1

Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:

  • Style: Stroke Emboss
  • Size: 4
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: -164
  • Altitude: 53
  • Gloss Contour: Gaussian
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
Bevel and Emboss

Step 2

Add a Contour with these settings:

  • Contour: Cone - Asymmetrical
  • Check the Anti-aliased box.
Contour

Step 3

Add a Stroke with these settings:

  • Size: 2
  • Position: Outside
  • Fill Type: Gradient
  • Style: Reflected
  • Create the Gradient using the Colors #7e662e to the left and right, and #fdcb1c in the middle.
Stroke

Step 4

Change the Back layer's Fill value to 0%.

Change the Fill Value

Step 5

Double-click the Center group to apply a Gradient Overlay effect with these settings:

  • Check the Dither box
  • Blend Mode: Color Burn
  • Style: Reflected
  • Use the Silver 30 gradient fill
Gradient Overlay

This will finish styling the text.

Styled Text

10. How to Create a Simple Texture Using Filters

Step 1

Create a new layer on top of all layers, fill it with Black, name it Extrusion Texture, and convert it to a Smart Object.

Extrusion Texture

Step 2

Set the Foreground and Background Colors to Black and White, and go to Filter > Render > Fibers.

Change the Vibrance to 20 and the Strength to 5.

Render Fibers

Step 3

Go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur, and change the Angle to 90 and the Distance to 25.

Motion Blur

Step 4

Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool to select a random small area of the texture.

Create Selection

Step 5

Press Command-J to duplicate the selected area in a new layer, and hide the Extrusion Texture layer.

Duplicate the Layer

11. How to Add the Extrusion Texture

Step 1

Move the duplicated texture layer on top of the Center group, right-click it, and choose Create Clipping Mask.

Create Clipping Mask

Step 2

Place the clipped texture on top of the letter you want to apply it to, and press the Command-T keys to transform the texture so that it matches the part you want it to cover.

Transform the Texture

Step 3

You can add a mask and use a round brush tip to remove any areas you don't like.

Erase Unwanted Areas

Step 4

Once you're done, change the texture layer's Blend Mode to Soft Light.

Blend Mode

Step 5

For rounded letter parts, you can use the Warp mode to adjust the texture.

Warp the Texture

Step 6

Show the Extrusion Texture layer, select a new area, and repeat the steps to add the texture to all the letters you have.

Once you're done, put the Center group and its texture layers in another group with the name Center + Textures.

Add and Group the Textures

12. How to Add Highlights and a Color Texture

Step 1

Create a new layer on top of all the layers inside the Center + Textures group, name it Highlights, and clip it to the Center group.

Change the Highlights layer's Blend Mode to Linear Light, and its Opacity to 30%.

Set the Foreground Color to #b5aa98, and use a soft round brush tip to paint some highlights over the bright areas of the extrusion.

Add Highlights

Step 2

Create a new layer on top of the Front copy 2 layer, name it Stroke Highlights, and change its Blend Mode to Vivid Light.

Clip the Stroke Highlights layer to the Front copy 2 layer, and add some highlights to the stroke.

Stroke Highlights

Step 3

Place the out of the blue image on top of the Front copy layer, resize it as needed, rename its layer to Color Texture, and change its Blend Mode to Color.

Command-click the Front copy layer to create a selection.

Add the Color Texture

Step 4

Click the Add layer mask icon.

Add Layer Mask

Step 5

Put all the front layers in a group and name it Front.

Front Group

13. How to Add Texture Overlays

Step 1

Place the grunge-background8 image from the Grunge-Backgrounds pack on top of the Front group, clip it to it, change its layer's Blend Mode to Soft Light, and resize it as needed.

Add a Grunge Texture

Step 2

Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation, and change the Saturation value to -100.

HueSaturation

Step 3

If you like a smaller texture overlay, you can create copies to cover the whole text instead of scaling the texture up.

Scale Down

Step 4

Add the Ur gravel texture on top of the grunge-background8 layers, and go to Image > Adjustments > Levels.

Change the Input Levels Shadows' value to 50 and the Output Levels Highlights' value to 150.

Levels

Step 5

Clip the layer to the Front group, change its Blend Mode to Soft Light, and resize the texture to cover the first letter.

Grunge Texture Overlays

Step 6

Duplicate to add the texture to each of the remaining letters, and then put the Front group and its texture layers in another group and name it Front + Texture.

Duplicate and Group the Textures

14. How to Add a Lens Flare

Step 1

Place the Lens Flare 02 image from the 30 Awsome Lens Flare pack on top of all layers, and go to Edit > Transform > Rotate 90° Clockwise.

Add the Lens Flare

Step 2

Double-click the lens flare layer's thumbnail to open its original file. Create a new layer under the flare's layer and fill it with Black.

Add a Black Background

Step 3

Select both layers and press Command-E to merge them, and save and close the file.

Merge Layers

Step 4

Change the flare layer's Blend Mode to Screen and its Opacity to 70%. Place the flare on top of one of the letters in the center of the text, and resize it as needed.

Flare Layers Settings

Step 5

Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation, check the Colorize box, and change the Hue to 180 and the Saturation to 50.

HueSaturation

Step 6

Go to Image > Adjustments > Levels, and change the Gamma value to 0.61.

Levels

15. How to Add Water Splashes

Step 1

Create a new layer on top of the flare layer and name it Water Splash 01, and change its Fill value to 0%.

Water Splash Layer

Double-click the Water Splash 01 layer to apply the following layer style:

Step 2

Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:

  • Size: 3
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: -48
  • Altitude: 21
  • Gloss Contour: Ring
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
  • Highlight Mode: Linear Light
    • Opacity: 35%
  • Shadow Mode:
    • Opacity: 20%
Bevel and Emboss

Step 3

Add a Contour with these settings:

  • Contour: Ring - Double
  • Check the Anti-aliased box.
Contour

Step 4

Use the Free Water Splash Photoshop Brushes and Water Splash Brushes packs' brush tips to add water splashes to the letter with the flare.

For better results, add each splash in a separate layer, and copy and paste the layer style to each copy.

Add Water Splash Brushes

Step 5

You can also add some splashes to the background behind the text.

Add Water Splashes to the Background

16. How to Make Global Adjustments

Step 1

Place the Concrete Rough 5 texture on top of all layers, rename its layer to Texture Overlay, and change its Blend Mode to Soft Light and its Opacity to 10%.

Add a Texture Overlay

Step 2

Add a Photo Filter adjustment layer on top of all layers, and use the default values.

Photo Filter

Step 3

Save the file as an image, open the image, and go to Image > Image Size to change the size to 1500 x 1063 px.

Image Size

Step 4

You can also use the Crop Tool to control the final size even more.

Crop the Image

Congratulations! You're Done!

In this tutorial, we created a simple background and a text smart object layer. After that, we recorded an action to create the extrusion, and styled all parts of the text.

Then, we created and added a bunch of different texture overlays, flare, and adjustment layers to the text. Finally, we added some water splash brushes to finish off the effect.

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

Final Result
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