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Design

How to Create a Comic-Book Ink Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

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

This tutorial will show you how to create a cool-looking comic-book ink text effect using Photoshop's layer styles, filters, and automatically applied custom brushes. 

This text effect is based on Comic Book Ink Actions from Envato Market. The Action transforms any text or shape into comic-book-style type in high-resolution 300 DPI with possible color customization.

Comic Book Ink Action
Comic Book Ink Actions - 300 DPI

Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used during this tutorial:

1. How to Set the Background for the Action

Open Adobe Photoshop, go to File > Open, and choose paper-background.jpg.

Paper Background

2. How to Install the Pattern and Brushes

Step 1

Go to Edit > Presets > Preset Manager... In the Preset Type, select Patterns, and then click Load... and choose the Comic-book-ink-pattern.pat.

Load Patterns

Step 2

Go to Edit > Presets > Preset Manager... In the Preset Type, select Brushes, and then click Load... and choose the Comic-book-ink-brushes.abr.

Load Brushes

3. How to Create the Text Layers

Step 1

Pick the Type Tool (T) and write "COMIC", and then hit the key Enter and write "BOOK". Choose the HVD Comic Serif font and then go to Window > Character and set the Size to 225 pt, Tracking to -50, and Leading to 183 pt. Then go Window > Paragraph and choose Center text.

Create the Text

Step 2

Go to Type > Warp text, and set the Style to Arc and Bend to +5%. Click OK.

Warp the Text

Step 3

You will now prepare text layers for the style you will apply. To do so, first go to Layer > Smart Object > Convert to Smart Object and then go to Layer > Duplicate Layer... and name the layer "COMIC BOOK 2". Now repeat the duplicating until you have created a "COMIC BOOK 5" layer.

Duplicate the Text

4. How to Style the First Text Layer

Select the layer "COMIC BOOK" and double click this layer to apply the following layer style:

Step 1

Set the Blending Options:

  • Fill Opacity: 0%
Set the Blending Options

Step 2

Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:

  • Style: Inner Bevel
  • Technique: Smooth
  • Depth: 209%
  • Direction: Up
  • Size: 21 px
  • Soften: 4 px
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: 0
  • Altitude: 30
  • Gloss Contour: Cove - Deep
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
  • Highlight Mode: Linear Burn with color #000000
  • Highlight Mode - Opacity: 20%
  • Shadow Mode - Opacity: 0%
Add a Bevel

Step 3

Add a Contour with these settings:

  • Contour: Ring - Double
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
  • Range: 100%
Add a Contour

Step 4

Add an Inner Glow with these settings:

  • Opacity: 100%
  • Color: #ffffff
  • Technique: Softer
  • Source: Edge
  • Choke: 100%
  • Size: 4 px
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
Add an Inner Glow

Step 5

Add a Satin style with these settings:

  • Color: #5fbd13
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Angle: 0
  • Distance: 10 px
  • Size: 5 px
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
Add a Satin

Step 6

Add a Color Overlay with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Multiply
  • Color: #92b506
  • Opacity: 24%
Add a Color Overlay

Step 7

Add a Pattern Overlay with these settings:

  • Opacity: 50%
  • Pattern: Comic-book-ink-pattern

Click OK.

Add a Pattern Overlay

5. How to Add a Filter for the First Text Layer

Go to Filter > Distort > Wave... and use these settings:

  • Number of Generators: 5
  • Wavelength: Min. 36 Max. 44
  • Amplitude: Min. 16 Max. 17
  • Scale: Horiz. 3% Vert. 3%
  • Type: Sine
  • Undefined Areas: Wrap Around

Click OK.

Add a Wave Filter

6. How to Style the Second Text Layer

Select the layer "COMIC BOOK 2" and then double click this layer to apply the following layer style:

Step 1

Set the Blending Options:

  • Fill Opacity: 0%
Set the Blending Options

Step 2

Add an Inner Shadow with these settings:

  • Color: #000000
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: -74
  • Distance: 5 px
  • Choke: 61%
  • Size: 4 px
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
Add an Inner Shadow

Step 3

Add an Outer Glow with these settings:

  • Opacity: 100%
  • Color: #000000
  • Technique: Softer
  • Spread: 86%
  • Size: 1 px
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
  • Range: 15%

Click OK.

Add an Outer Glow

7. How to Add a Filter for the Second Text Layer

Step 1

Go to Filter > Distort > Wave... and use these settings:

  • Number of Generators: 5
  • Wavelength: Min. 36 Max. 44
  • Amplitude: Min. 16 Max. 17
  • Scale: Horiz. 3% Vert. 3%
  • Type: Sine
  • Undefined Areas: Wrap Around

Click OK.

Apply Wave

Step 2

Go to Layer > Smart Object > Convert to Smart Object.

Convert to Smart Object

8. How to Style the Third Text Layer

Select the layer "COMIC BOOK 3" and then double click this layer to apply the following layer style:

Step 1

Set the Blending Options:

  • Fill Opacity: 0%
Set the Blending Options

Step 2

Add a Color Overlay with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Multiply
  • Color: #bbf100
  • Opacity: 52%
Add a Color Overlay

9. How to Add Filters for the Third Text Layer

Step 1

Go to Filter > Distort > Wave... and use these settings:

  • Number of Generators: 1
  • Wavelength: Min. 236 Max. 237
  • Amplitude: Min. 13 Max. 21
  • Scale: Horiz. 38% Vert. 28%
  • Type: Sine
  • Undefined Areas: Wrap Around

Click OK.

Add a Wave Filter

Step 2

Go to Filter > Distort > Wave... and use these settings:

  • Amount: 150%
  • Size: Large

Click OK.

Add a Ripple Filter

10. How to Style the Fourth Text Layer

Select the layer "COMIC BOOK 4" and then double click this layer to apply the following layer style:

Step 1

Set the Blending Options:

  • Fill Opacity: 0%
Set the Blending Options

Step 2

Add a Color Overlay with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Multiply
  • Color: #7be300
  • Opacity: 63%
Add a Color Overlay

11. How to Add Filters for the Fourth Text Layer

Step 1

Go to Filter > Distort > ZigZag... and use these settings:

  • Amount: 2
  • Ridges: 9
  • Style: Around Center

Click OK.

Add a ZigZag Filter

Step 2

Go to Filter > Distort > Ripple... and use these settings:

  • Amount: -166%
  • Size: Large

Click OK.

Add a Ripple Filter

Step 3

Go to Filter > Distort > Wave... and use these settings:

  • Number of Generators: 5
  • Wavelength: Min. 97 Max. 120
  • Amplitude: Min. 5 Max. 25
  • Scale: Horiz. 11% Vert. 11%
  • Type: Sine
  • Undefined Areas: Repeat Edge Pixels

Click OK.

Add a Wave Filter

12. How to Style the Fifth Text Layer

Select the layer "COMIC BOOK 5" and then double click this layer to apply the following layer style:

Step 1

Set the Blending Options:

  • Fill Opacity: 0%
Set the Blending Options

Step 2

Add a Pattern Overlay with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Overlay
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Pattern: Comic-book-ink-pattern
Add a Pattern Overlay

Step 3

Add an Outer Glow with these settings:

  • Color: #000000
  • Technique: Softer
  • Spread: 80%
  • Size: 1 px
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
  • Range: 54%

Click OK.

Add an Outer Glow

13. How to Add Filters for the Fifth Text Layer

Go to Filter > Distort > Wave... and use these settings:

  • Number of Generators: 5
  • Wavelength: Min. 24 Max. 79
  • Amplitude: Min. 8 Max. 10
  • Scale: Horiz. 11% Vert. 13%
  • Type: Sine
  • Undefined Areas: Repeat Edge Pixels

Click OK.

Add a Wave Filter

This is the result after you applied all of the styles and filters to the text layers.

Layer Styles Result

14. How to Create Layers for the Brushes

You will create seven blank layers for the brushes. To do so, you can use one of the options below.

Option 1: Click the Create New Layer button at the bottom of your Layers panel seven times, and then double click each layer's name to rename the layers to "Brush 1", "Brush 2", and so on. 

Option 2: Go to Layer > New > Layer... and set the name to "Brush 1", and then repeat this step and stop with the layer "Brush 7".

Create Layers

15. How to Apply the First Brush

Step 1

Select the "Brush 1" layer and then hold down the Control key and click on the thumbnail of the "COMIC BOOK" layer to make a selection.

Make a selection

Step 2

Go to Window > Paths and click the Make work path from selection button at the bottom of the Paths panel.

Make a workpath

Step 3

Now go to Window > Brushes and select the Big dots brush, and then Right click on the Work Path layer in your Paths panel and select Stroke Path... from the menu. Select Tool: Brush, uncheck the Simulate Pressure button, and click OK.

Tip: Each time you do this step, the result will be different. So if you don't like the brush result, you can hold down the Control key and hit the Z key to undo this step, and then repeat the stroke path.

Stroke Path

Step 4

While the "Brush 1" layer is selected, hold down the Control key and click on the thumbnail of "COMIC BOOK" layer to make a selection again, and then go to Layer > Layer Mask > Hide Selection to apply the selection as a mask for the "Brush 1" layer.

Mask the brush

16. How to Style the First Brush Layer

Select the layer "Brush 1" and double click this layer to apply the following layer style:

Step 1

Set the Blending Options:

  • Fill Opacity: 0%
  • Check the Layer Mask Hides Effects box
Add Blending Options

Step 2

Add an Inner Shadow with these settings:

  • Color: #000000
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: -90
  • Distance: 3 px
  • Choke: 48%
  • Size: 0 px
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
Add an Inner Shadow

Step 3

Add an Outer Glow with these settings:

  • Color: #000000
  • Technique: Softer
  • Spread: 49%
  • Size: 1 px
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
  • Range: 15%

Click OK.

Add an Outer Glow

This is the result with the first brush applied.

Result with the first brush

17. How to Apply the Second Brush

Step 1

Select the "Brush 2" layer.

Go to Window > Brushes, select the Big dots brush, and set the Size to 35 px. Then Right click on the Work Path layer in your Paths panel and select Stroke Path... from the menu. Select Tool: Brush, uncheck the Simulate Pressure button, and click OK.

Stroke Path with Brush

Step 2

While the "Brush 2" layer is selected, hold down the Control key and click on the thumbnail of "COMIC BOOK" layer to make a selection, and then go to Layer > Layer Mask > Hide Selection to apply the selection as a mask for the "Brush 2" layer.

Mask the brush

This is the result with the second brush applied.

Result with the second brush

18. How to Apply the Third Brush

Step 1

Select the "Brush 3" layer.

Go to Window > Brushes, select the Small dots brush, and then Right click on the Work Path layer in your Paths panel and select Stroke Path... from the menu. Select Tool: Brush, uncheck the Simulate Pressure button, and click OK.

Stroke path with the brush

Step 2

Double click the layer "Brush 3" to open the layer style window. In the Blending Options tab, hold down and move the left handle of Underlying Layer option to 120, and then hold down the Alt key and click and hold the right side of this handle. Move this part of the handle to 200, and click OK.

Set blending options

This is the result with the third brush applied.

Result with the third brush

19. How to Apply the Fourth Brush

Step 1

Select the "Brush 4" layer.

Go to Window > Brushes, select the Big lines brush, and then Right click on the Work Path layer in your Paths panel and select Stroke Path... from the menu. Select Tool: Brush, uncheck the Simulate Pressure button, and click OK.

Stroke path with the brush

Step 2

Double click the layer "Brush 4" to open the layer style window. In the Blending Options tab, hold down and move the left handle of Underlying Layer option to 120, and then hold down the Alt key and click and hold the right side of this handle. Move this part of the handle to 200, and click OK.

Set blending options

This is the result with the fourth brush applied.

Result with the fourth brush

20. How to Apply the Fifth Brush

Step 1

Select the "Brush 5" layer.

Go to Window > Brushes, select the Small drops brush, and then Right click on the Work Path layer in your Paths panel and select Stroke Path... from the menu. Select Tool: Brush, uncheck the Simulate Pressure button, and click OK.

Stroke path with the brush

Step 2

Double click the layer "Brush 5" to open the layer style window. In the Blending Options tab, hold down and move the left handle of Underlying Layer option to 120, and then hold down the Alt key and click and hold the right side of this handle. Move this part of the handle to 200, and click OK.

Set the blending options

This is the result with the fifth brush applied.

Result with the fifth brush

21. How to Apply the Sixth Brush

Step 1

Go to Window > Paths, select the Work Path layer, and click the Load path as a selection button. Then go to Select > Modify > Contract... and set Contract By to 6 px and hit OK. Finally, go back to your Paths panel and click the Make work path from selection button.

Make a new work path

Step 2

Select the "Brush 6" layer.

Go to Window > Brushes, select the Small lines brush, and then Right click on the Work Path layer in your Paths panel and select Stroke Path... from the menu. Select Tool: Brush, uncheck the Simulate Pressure button, and click OK.

Stroke path with the brush

Step 3

Double click the layer "Brush 6" to open the layer style window. In the Blending Options tab, hold down and move the left handle of Underlying Layer option to 120, and then hold down the Alt key and click and hold the right side of this handle. Move this part of the handle to 200, and click OK.

Set the blending options

This is the result with the sixth brush applied.

Result with the sixth brush

22. How to Apply the Seventh Brush

Step 1

Select the "Brush 7" layer, hold down the Control key, and click on the thumbnail of the "COMIC BOOK" layer. Then hold down the Control and Alt keys and click on the thumbnail of the "COMIC BOOK 2" layer to make a selection.

Make a selection

Step 2

Go to Select > Modify > Contract..., set Contract By to 3 px, and hit OK. Then go to Window > Paths and click the Make work path from selection button.

Make a work path

Step 3

Go to Window > Brushes, select the Double lines brush, and then Right click on the Work Path layer in your Paths panel and select Stroke Path... from the menu. Select Tool: Brush, uncheck the Simulate Pressure button, and click OK.

Stroke path with the brush

Step 4

Double click the "Brush 7" layer to open the layer style window. In the Blending Options tab, hold down and move the left handle of Underlying Layer option to 120, and then hold down the Alt key and click and hold the right side of this handle. Move this part of the handle to 200, and click OK.

Set the blending options

Congratulations! You're Done!

In this tutorial, you learned how to use layer styles, filters and custom brushes to create a comic-book text effect in Adobe Photoshop.

We started by creating our text, and then we used layer styles and filters on our text layers, and finally we added different custom brushes.

Final result

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. Please feel free to leave your comments, suggestions and outcomes below. This text effect we just created is inspired by Comic Book Ink Actions - 300 DPI, which will automatically apply the comic-book effect to any text or shape in high resolution.

Comic Book Ink Action
Comic Book Ink Actions - 300 DPI
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