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How to Create a Grunge Text Effect Using a Displacement Map in Adobe Photoshop

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a text effect using displacement mapping in Adobe Photoshop.

I created a Text Destroyer with unlimited text effects using the same method for my GraphicRiver portfolio.


Tutorial Assets

You will need the following in order to complete this tutorial:

1. How to Prepare the Document

Step 1

Go to File > New and create a new file to work with. Use the following settings: Width: 2000 px; Height: 1500 px; 300 dpi.

Creating new document

Step 2

Click T to open the Horizontal Type Tool and create any text you want to use.

creating text

Step 3

Change the color of the text to #633526 and then click on Warp Text icon and use the following settings: Style: Arc Lower; Bend: -11%.

Adding warp text effect

Step 4

Click U and select Rounded Rectangle, and then create a shape with the following settings: Width: 1600; Height: 600; Radii: 20 px on each side.

Creating rectangle

Step 5

Click U again and create a simple Rectangle with the following settings: Width: 1900; Height: 1400; Color: #f7eac8; Stroke: 10px. 

Creating second rectangle

Step 6

Click G to open the Paint Bucket Tool and fill the background layer with the color #ebdcbb.

Filling the background with color

Step 7

Select the text layer and the rounded rectangle layer, and then Right Click and select Convert to Smart Object.

Creating Smart Object

Step 8

Convert the second rectangle to a Smart Object as we did before, and then Right Click on the first Smart Object and select Duplicate.

Creating smart objects

2. How to Create a Displacement Map

Step 1

Open Texture 01 in a new window and press Alt-Control-I to change the size of the texture to 2000x1500. After that, press Shift-Control-S and save our texture as a .psd file.

Resizing and saveing texture as displacement map

Step 2

Select our second smart object and go to Filter > Distort > Displace, and then select our psd. file as a displacement map with the following settings: Horizontal Scale: 5; Vertical Scale: 5; Stretch To Fit; Repeat Edge Pixels. After that, use the same filter with the same settings for the big rectangle layer.

Adding displace effect

Step 3

Select our first smart object and go to Filter > Distort > Displace, and then select our .psd file and use the following settings: Horizontal Scale: 0; Vertical Scale: 900; Stretch To Fit.

Adding displace fitler to background smart object

This is how our image will look after the manipulations listed above:

3. How to Add Textures to the Document

Step 1

Now we need to add textures and create layer style effects for our document. Select all the layers and then click on Create a New Group.

Creating a group of layers

Step 2

Double Click on Smart Object 02 and use the following settings: Drop Shadow; Color: #633526; Angle: 120; Distance: 20.

Creating drop shadow effect

Step 3

After that, add a Stroke in the Layer Style panel using the following settings: Position: Outside; Size: 9; Opacity: 0; Color: #633526.

Creating stroke effect

Step 4

Now we need to change the Blending Mode of the rectangle layer to Overlay in the Layers panel.

Changing the blending mode

Step 5

Select the group of the layers and then click on the Create Mask icon.

Adding mask to the group of layers

Step 6

Open Texture 01 and click M to open the Rectangular Marquee Tool. Then select the whole texture and press Control-C.

Copying texture

Step 7

Alt-Right Click on the mask of the group and then Control-V to paste the texture as the mask of the layer.

Adding texture as layer mask

Step 8

After that, press Control-I to invert the mask.

Invertiong the texture

Step 9

Finally, to add the final touches, put the Texture 02 above all layers and change the Blending Mode to Multiply. Then press Alt-Shift-Control-B to convert the texture to black and white.

Adding the last texture

Awesome Work, You're Now Done!

Congratulations! You have created a text effect using a displacement map and free textures. Here is our final result:

If you would like to create similar effects in a few simple clicks, then check out my Text Destroyer item in my GraphicRiver portfolio.

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