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How to Create a Clean, Glossy Plastic Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

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

Using multiple Photoshop layer styles can help achieve a more detailed 3D effect. This tutorial will show you how to use layer styles, filters, textures, brushes, and adjustment layers to create a clean, glossy plastic texture effect in Adobe Photoshop. Let's get started!

Before we get into it, why not hop over to Envato Elements, where there is a large selection of text effects ready to use in Photoshop—including this glossy Photoshop text effect that mimics liquids and jellies. 

Liquid Glossy Effect Photoshop

Follow along with this plastic effect Photoshop tutorial over on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:

Find more awesome plastic text effects on Envato Elements. Or try more Photoshop text effect tutorials:

Tutorial Assets

Before you learn how to create a glossy effect in Photoshop, you'll need to have these assets:

In order to load the contours used, go to Edit > Presets > Preset Manager, and choose Contours from the Preset Type drop‑down menu. Then click the little arrow to the right of the Preset Type drop‑down menu, and click Contours near the bottom of the pop-up menu. 

When the dialog box appears after that, just click Append, and you’ll get the contours. You'll also need to load a default Photoshop gradient set. So go to Edit > Presets > Preset Manager, and choose Gradients from the Preset Type drop‑down menu. Then click the little arrow to the right of the Preset Type drop‑down menu, and click Color Harmonies 1 at the top of the pop-up menu. When the dialog box appears after that, click Append.

Are you ready to learn how to create a glossy effect in Photoshop? Then let's dive in.

1. How to Create the Background

Step 1

To start off this plastic effect Photoshop tutorial, create a new 900 x 675px document. Set the Foreground color to #2c353c and the Background color to #191919. Pick the Gradient Tool, choose the Foreground to Background gradient fill, and click the Linear Gradient icon.

Then, click and drag from the bottom left corner of the document to the top right corner to create the background gradient.

How to Create a Glossy Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Background Gradient

Step 2

Place the texture 31 image on top of the Background layer, rename its layer to Background Texture, change its Blend Mode to Multiply, and go to Image > Adjustments > Desaturate.

How to Create a Glossy Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Background Texture

2. How to Create the Text Layers

Step 1

Create the text in All Caps using the font Intrepid ExtraBold. The color is #e5eaec, the Size is 230 pt, the Kerning is set to Optical, and the Tracking value is set to 100.

How to Create a Glossy Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Creating the Text

Step 2

Duplicate the text layer four times. Then, change the last three copy layers' Fill value to 0.

How to Create a Glossy Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Duplicate the Text Layer

3. How to Create the Stroke Layers

Step 1

Double-click the original text layer to apply a Stroke effect using the following settings:

  • Size: 10
  • Color: #7e7e7e
How to Create a Glossy Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Stroke Settings

Step 2

This will apply an outer stroke to the original text layer.

How to Create a Glossy Overlay Text Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Outer Stroke

Step 3

Duplicate the original text layer and rename the copy layer to Stroke 1. Then right-click it, choose Rasterize Layer Style, and change its Fill value to 0.

For versions older than CS6, you'll need to group the copy layer (Layer > Group Layers), rename the group to Stroke 1, and then go to Layer > Merge Group and change the Fill value to 0.

Duplicate the Stroke 1 layer, rename the copy to Stroke 2, and drag it below the original text layer.

How to Create a Glossy Overlay Text Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Creating the Copy Stroke Layers

4. How to Style the Main Stroke Layer

Double-click the original text layer again to apply some more effects.

Step 1

Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:

  • Style: Stroke Emboss
  • Gloss Contour: Cone - Asymmetrical
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
  • Highlight Mode: Vivid Light
  • Opacity: 100%
How to Create a Glossy Overlay Text Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Bevel and Emboss

Step 2

Add a Contour with these settings:

  • Contour: Half Round
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
How to Create a Glossy Overlay Text Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Contour

Step 3

This will style the first layer of the stroke.

How to Create a Glossy Shine Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Styled Main Stroke

5. How to Style the Top Layer of the Stroke

Double-click the Stroke 1 layer to apply the following layer style:

Step 1

Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:

  • Size: 2
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
  • Shadow Mode - Color: #676767
How to Create a Glossy Shine Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Bevel and Emboss

Step 2

Add a Contour with these settings:

  • Contour: Cone - Inverted
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
How to Create a Glossy Shine Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Contour

Step 3

Add a Gradient Overlay with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Soft Light
  • Opacity: 51%
  • Style: Reflected
  • Use the stove pipe 150 gradient fill
How to Create a Glossy Shine Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Gradient Overlay

Step 4

This will style the second layer of the stroke.

How to Create a Glossy Shine Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Second Layer of Styled Stroke

6. How to Add the Drop Shadow

Step 1

Double-click the Stroke 2 layer to apply a Drop Shadow effect using the following settings:

  • Distance: 15
  • Size: 7
How to Create a Plastic Glossy Texture in Photoshop Tutorial Drop Shadow

Step 2

This will add the shadow to the bottom layer of the stroke.

How to Create a Glossy Shine Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Drop Shadow Effect

7. How to Style the First Copy Text Layer

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

Step 1

Add a Stroke with these settings:

  • Size: 1
  • Fill Type: Gradient
  • Style: Reflected
  • Angle: 90
  • Use the steel pipe 60 gradient fill
How to Create a Glossy Shine Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Stroke settings

Step 2

Add an Inner Shadow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Normal
  • Color: #2c6c99
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Distance: 0
  • Size: 18
How to Create a Glossy Shine Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Inner Shadow

Step 3

Add a Drop Shadow with these settings:

  • Distance: 17
  • Size: 9
How to Create a Glossy Shine Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Drop Shadow

Step 4

This will style the first layer of the text with the inner color. You can use any other color you like by changing the Inner Shadow's Color value.

How to Create a Glossy Shine Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Colored Part of the Text

8. How to Style 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:

  • Depth: 297
  • Size: 35
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: 108
  • Altitude: 42
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
  • Highlight Mode: Vivid Light
  • Opacity: 64%
  • Shadow Mode - Opacity: 0%
How to Create Glossy Effect Photoshop Tutorial Bevel and Emboss

Click the Gloss Contour: icon to create the contour used below. What you need to do is click along the line you already have to add points. Then, for each point you add, you can enter its Input and Output values, and check the Corner box.

The values used for the two points are:

  • Point - Input - Output
  • Upper Point - 71 - 72
  • Lower Point - 42 - 34
How to Create Glossy Effect Photoshop Tutorial Create the Contour

Step 2

Add a Contour with these settings:

  • Contour: Cove - Deep
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
How to Create Glossy Effect Photoshop Tutorial Contour

Step 3

Add a Stroke with these settings:

  • Size: 1
  • Fill Type: Gradient
  • Angle: 90
  • Use the stove pipe 155b gradient fill
How to Create Glossy Effect Photoshop Tutorial Stroke

Step 4

This will add the first layer of shine/gloss to the effect.

How to Create Shine Effect Photoshop Tutorial First Gloss Layer

9. How to Style the Third Copy Text Layer

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

Step 1

Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:

  • Size: 21
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: 53
  • Altitude: 64
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
  • Highlight Mode: Vivid Light
  • Shadow Mode - Opacity: 24%
How to Create a Glossy Shine Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Bevel and Emboss

Step 2

For the Contour, just check the Anti-aliased box.

How to Create a Plastic Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Contour settings

Step 3

This will add another layer of gloss.

How to Create a Plastic Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Second Gloss Layer

10. How to Style the Fourth Copy Text Layer

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

Step 1

Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:

  • Size: 21
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: 108
  • Altitude: 74
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
  • Highlight Mode: Vivid Light
  • Shadow Mode - Opacity: 0%
How to Create a Plastic Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Bevel and Emboss

Step 2

Add a Contour with these settings:

  • Contour: Log
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
How to Create a Plastic Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Contour

Step 3

This will add the last layer of gloss.

How to Create a Plastic Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Third Gloss Layer

11. How to Create the Text Texture

Step 1

Set the Foreground and Background colors to Black and White, create a new layer on top of all layers, call it Text Texture, and go to Filter > Render > Clouds.

How to Create a Plastic Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Render Clouds

Step 2

Go to Filter > Filter Gallery > Brush Strokes > Accented Edges, and then change the Edge Width to 2, the Edge Brightness to 38, and the Smoothness to 5.

How to Create a Plastic Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Filter Gallery

Step 3

This will create a simple texture.

How to Create a Plastic Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Final Texture

Step 4

Change the Text Texture layer's Blend Mode to Soft Light.

How to Create a Plastic Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Texture Layers Blend Mode

Step 5

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

How to Create a Plastic Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Create a Selection

Step 6

With the Text Texture layer still selected, click the Add layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to create a mask.

How to Create a Plastic Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Add Layer Mask

12. How to Change the Texture's Color

Step 1

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

How to Create a Plastic Effect in Photoshop Tutorial HueSaturation Adjustment Layer

Step 2

Click the Clip to layer icon, check the Colorize box, and change the Hue value to 200.

How to Create a Plastic Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Colorizing the Texture

Step 3

Change the adjustment layer's Blend Mode to Soft Light.

How to Create a Plastic Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Adjustment Layers Blend Mode

13. How to Add the Water Splash Brush to the Background

Step 1

Pick the Brush Tool, and choose one of the Water Splash Brushes brush tips. Set the Foreground color to #e8ecef, create a new layer on top of the Background Texture layer and call it Splash, and then resize the brush tip to a size you like and click to add it behind the text.

How to Create a Plastic Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Add Water Splash Brush

Step 2

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

Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:

  • Gloss Contour: Ring
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
  • Highlight Mode: Vivid Light
How to Create a Plastic Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Bevel and Emboss

Step 3

Add a Contour with these settings:

  • Contour: Half Round
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
How to Create a Plastic Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Contour

Step 4

Change the Splash layer's Blend Mode to Vivid Light and its Fill value to 35%.

How to Create a Plastic Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Splash Layers Blend Mode and Fill Value

14. How to Add the Sparkles and Adjust the Coloring

Step 1

Create a new layer on top of all layers, call it Sparkles, and change its Blend Mode to Vivid Light. Pick one of the Stars and Flares Brush Set brushes, decrease its Size, and add a couple of sparkles at the edges of some of the letters. You can control the tip's Angle under the Brush Tip Shape tab in the Brush panel (Window > Brush).

How to Create a Plastic Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Adding the Sparkles

Step 2

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

How to Create a Plastic Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Gradient Map

Step 3

Use the Orange, Blue, Magenta, Yellow gradient fill, and then change the adjustment layer's Blend Mode to Multiply and its Opacity to 3%. The effect is very subtle, but it helps enhance the coloring of the final result.

How to Create a Plastic Effect in Photoshop Tutorial Gradient Map Settings

Congratulations! You're Done

In this tutorial, we created a simple background using a linear gradient and a texture. Then we created the text and duplicated its layer to apply different layer styles.

We added a stroke to some layers and applied the layer styles using different effects and values. This created layers with the shine and gloss to create a 3D appearance.

Once all the text layers were styled, we used simple filters to create a basic texture that makes the effect a bit more dynamic.

Finally, we added a splash brush to the background and styled it, as well as adding sparkles to the edges of some of the letters and a gradient overlay adjustment layer to enhance the coloring of the final result.

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

Glossy Text Photoshop Tutorial Results

Premium Photoshop Text Effects From Envato Elements

We learned how to create a plastic glossy texture effect in Photoshop. But do you want more options? Then check out our amazing selection of the best Photoshop layer styles to download from Envato Elements.

Fabric Text Effects (PSD, ASL)

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Liquid Tasty Text Effects (PSD, ASL, PDF)

This is a high-quality glossy texture text effect built to mimic liquids and jellies. It comes with ten cool mockups and ten sets of styles that you can use. Set up this glossy overlay in the included scenes or add these layer styles in Photoshop to use them in your own work! 

Liquid Glossy Effect Photoshop

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Epic Text Effects is just as fantastical as the name suggests. The Photoshop layer styles in this download are all about the fantasy look. Transform your text in a few quick steps. Add this layer style to your Photoshop asset arsenal. It's perfect if you want a creative aesthetic for a poster or promo material.

Epic Text Effects Best Photoshop Layer Styles Download

More Text Effect Tutorials

If you want to learn how to create more stylish and cool text effects in Adobe Photoshop, t our step-by-step tutorials:

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