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

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Final product imageFinal product imageFinal 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.

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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 documentCreating new documentCreating new document

Step 2

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

creating textcreating textcreating 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 effectAdding warp text effectAdding 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 rectangleCreating rectangleCreating 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 rectangleCreating second rectangleCreating 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 colorFilling the background with colorFilling 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 ObjectCreating Smart ObjectCreating 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 objectsCreating smart objectsCreating 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 mapResizing and saveing texture as displacement mapResizing 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 effectAdding displace effectAdding 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 objectAdding displace fitler to background smart objectAdding 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 layersCreating a group of layersCreating 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 effectCreating drop shadow effectCreating 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 effectCreating stroke effectCreating 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 modeChanging the blending modeChanging 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 layersAdding mask to the group of layersAdding 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 textureCopying textureCopying 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 maskAdding texture as layer maskAdding texture as layer mask

Step 8

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

Invertiong the textureInvertiong the textureInvertiong 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 textureAdding the last textureAdding 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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