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Design

How to Create an Easy Digital Glitch Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

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

This tutorial will show you how to use Photoshop's layer styles, filters, and layer masks to create a quick and easy digital glitch text effect. 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 the Background and Text Layers

Step 1

Create a 900 x 700 px New Document, click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, choose Solid Color, and use the Color #101010.

Solid Color Layer

Step 2

Create the text in White using the font Pixel Digivolve, and set the Size to 170 pt.

Create the Text

Step 3

Rename the text layer to Text 01, right-click it, and choose Convert to Smart Object.

Convert to Smart Object

Step 4

Duplicate the Text 01 layer, and rename the copy to Text 02.

Duplicate the Text Layer

Step 5

Hide the Text 02 layer by clicking the eye icon next to it.

Hide the Layer

2. How to Apply Layer Styles

Double-click the Text 01 layer to apply the following Layer Style:

Step 1

Under Blending Options go to Advanced Blending, and uncheck the G and B Channels' boxes.

Advanced Blending

Step 2

Add an Outer Glow with these settings:

  • Opacity: 50%
  • Color: #ffffff
  • Size: 10
Outer Glow Layer Style

This will style the red part of the text.

Styled Text 1

Show the Text 02 layer, and double-click to apply the following Layer Style:

Step 3

Under Blending Options, go to Advanced Blending, and uncheck the R Channels box.

Advanced Blending Options

Step 4

Add an Outer Glow with these settings:

  • Opacity: 50%
  • Color: #ffffff
  • Size: 10
Outer Glow Layer Style

This will style the blue part, which will not be visible now, but we'll work on it next.

Styled Text 2

3. How to Create a Basic Glitch Effect

Step 1

Pick the Move Tool, and use the Arrow Keys to slightly nudge the Text 01 and Text 02 layers in opposite directions to show the red and blue colors, and get a result you like.

Nudge the Text Layers

Step 2

Duplicate both the Text 01 and Text 02 layers.

Duplicate Layers

Step 3

Create a New Layer on top of all layers, name it Filters 01, and press the Option-Command-Shift-E keys to create a stamp of all the layers you have.

Right-click the Filters 01 layer, and choose Convert to Smart Object.

Convert to Smart Object

Step 4

Press-hold the Option key and click the Add layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to add an inverted layer mask.

Add a Layer Mask

Step 5

Duplicate the Filters 01 layer and rename the copy to Filters 02.

Duplicate the Layer

4. How to Work With Layer Masks

Step 1

Pick the Rectangular Marquee Tool, create some random selections that cover parts of the text, and make sure to extend the selections to reach outside the left and right sides of the text.

Keep enough vertical space between the selections as we're going to create some more selections between them.

Create Selections

Step 2

Select the Filters 01 layer mask's thumbnail, and Fill the selection with White.

Press Command-D to Deselect.

Fill the Selection

Step 3

Press-hold the Option key and click the Filters 01 layer mask's thumbnail to show it. We will use this as a reference to create the selections between the lines we already have.

Show the Layer Mask

Step 4

Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool again to create narrower lines between the ones you have, but keep some unselected areas as well.

Create More Selections

Step 5

Press-hold the Option key and click the Filters 01 layer mask's thumbnail again to get the original content, select the Filters 02 layer mask's thumbnail, and Fill the new selection with White.

Deselect when you're done.

Fill the Selection

5. How to Apply Glitch Effect Filters

Step 1

Select the Filters 01 layer, go to Filter > Pixelate > Mezzotint, and set the Type to Short Strokes.

Mezzotint Filter

Step 2

Select the Filters 02 layer, and go to Filter > Distort > Wave. This can be a tricky filter to apply, so you might need to try different values until you get a result you like.

The values used here are:

  • Number of Generators: 1
  • Wavelength:
    • Min. 1
    • Max. 106
  • Amplitude:
    • Min. 90
    • Max. 133
  • Scale:
    • Horiz. 6
    • Vert. 1
  • Type: Sine
  • Undefined Areas: Repeat Edges Pixels
Wave Filter Settings

Step 3

Go to Filter > Pixelate > Mezzotint, and set the Type to Long Strokes.

Mezzotint Filter

Step 4

Go to Filter > Stylize > Wind, set the Method to Wind, and the Direction to From the Right.

Wind Filter

Step 5

If you need to remove any unwanted parts, select the layer mask's thumbnail, pick the Brush Tool, and choose a soft round tip.

Set the Foreground Color to Black, and paint over the unwanted areas to hide them.

Hide Unwanted Areas

6. How to Add Scanlines

Step 1

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

Choose the Fuji ETERNA 250D Fuji 3510 (by Adobe).cube table from the 3DLUT File menu.

Color Lookup

Step 2

Create a New Layer on top of all layers, Fill it with White, name it Scanlines, and convert it to a Smart Object.

Make sure that the Foreground and Background Colors are set to Black and White.

Create the Scanlines Layer

Step 3

Go to Filter > Filter Gallery > Sketch > Halftone Pattern, and use these settings:

  • Size: 1
  • Contrast: 5
  • Pattern Type: Line
Halftone Pattern Filter

Step 4

Change the Scanlines layer's Blend Mode to Soft Light and its Opacity to 50%.

Layer Settings

Step 5

Click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, choose Pattern, and use the Pattern 1 Fill from the basic scanline patterns pack.

Change the layer's Opacity to 25%.

Pattern Fill Layer

7. How to Create a Noise Overlay

Step 1

Create a New Layer on top of all layers, fill it with Black, name it Noise, and convert it to a Smart Object.

Create the Noise Layer

Step 2

Go to Filter > Texture > Grain, and use these settings:

  • Intensity: 40
  • Contrast: 50
  • Grain Type: Stippled
Grain Texture Filter

Step 3

Click OK, and go again to Filter > Texture > Grain and use the same values as the previous step.

Grain Filter Settings

Step 4

Click the New effect layer icon in the bottom right corner, go to Sketch > Conté Crayon, and use these settings:

  • Foreground Level: 7
  • Background Level: 7
  • Texture: Canvas
  • Scaling: 100%
  • Relief: 4
  • Light: Top
Conte Crayon Filter

Step 5

Change the Noise layer's Blend Mode to Linear Dodge (Add), and its Opacity to 20%.

Set Blend Mode to Linear Dodge

Step 6

Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool to create random selections all over the document, but try to avoid creating big selections over the text.

Create Random Selections

Step 7

Press Command-J to Duplicate the selection in a New Layer, rename it to Noise Lines, and change its Blend Mode to Color Dodge.

Add Noise Lines

Congratulations! You're Done

In this tutorial, we created a couple of text layer smart objects, and used blending options and layer styles to create the main glitch effect.

Then, we created filter layers, and adjusted their layer masks.

Finally, we used a bunch of filters to finish off the glitch effect, as well as added a quick noise overlay to make it more realistic.

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

Glitch Text Effect Photoshop Tutorial
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