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# How to Create a Steampunk Inspired Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Read Time: 17 mins
Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery. — Wikipedia

This tutorial will show you how to create different steampunk inspired elements, using shapes and layer styles with a bunch of gradients. Then, it will show you how to use those elements, along with a couple of textures and adjustments, in order to achieve a steampunk inspired 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 a Textured Background

### Step 1

Create a new 1250 x 800 px document, and then add a Gradient adjustment layer.

Use the colors #44271b to the left and #110702 to the right for the gradient fill. Then change the style to Radial and the Scale to 200.

### Step 2

Add the Shiver texture, change its layer's Blend Mode to Multiply, and resize it as needed.

## 2. How to Create a Reference Text

### Step 1

Create the text in All Caps using the font Museo Sans Rounded 1000. Change the Size to 300 pt and the Tracking to 100, and then rename the layer to Text.

### Step 2

Duplicate the Text layer and hide it, and then right-click the copy and choose Convert to Shape.

Rename the copy shape layer to Outline, duplicate it, and rename the new copy Shape.

Pick the Direct Selection Tool (A), change the Outline shape's Fill value in the Options bar to None, and change the stroke Alignment to Outer to help you define the text.

### Step 3

Pick the Pen Tool, and choose Subtract Front Shape from the Path operations list in the Options bar.

Select the Shape layer, and then start removing parts of the text that you want to replace with the elements you'll be creating.

## 3. How to Style a Text Shape

Open the Rust0065 image, go to Edit > Define Pattern, type a Name for the pattern, and click OK.

Then, double-click the Shape layer to apply the following layer style:

### Step 1

Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:

• Technique: Chisel Hard
• Size: 1
• Check the Anti-aliased box
• Highlight Mode: Overlay

### Step 2

Add a Contour with these settings:

• Contour: Half Round
• Check the Anti-aliased box.

### Step 3

Add a Texture with these settings:

• Pattern: Rust0065
• Scale: 25%
• Depth: 20%

### Step 4

Add an Inner Shadow with these settings:

• Opacity: 100%
• Distance: 0
• Size: 35

### Step 5

Add an Inner Glow with these settings:

• Blend Mode: Vivid Light
• Opacity: 50%
• Color: #efedd9
• Source: Center
• Size: 50

### Step 6

Add a Color Overlay with these settings:

• Color: #b1afa9
• Blend Mode: Multiply

### Step 7

Add a Pattern Overlay with these settings:

• Pattern: Rust0065
• Scale: 25%

### Step 8

Add a Drop Shadow with these settings:

• Opacity: 100%
• Distance: 2
• Size: 5

This is an optional effect if you don't want to add a shadow below the text as we'll do at the end of this tutorial.

This will style the main shape.

## 4. How to Create Basic Cylinder Elements

### Step 1

Pick the Rounded Rectangle Tool, and set the Radius to 1.

You can use any Radius value you like whenever creating rounded rectangles throughout the tutorial, depending on the effect you want.

Create a White rounded rectangle in an area you want to add a cylinder to.

Then, create a vertically narrower and horizontally wider rounded rectangle on top of the previous one, and fill it with the color #d0cac3.

Double-click the first rounded rectangle layer to apply the following layer style:

### Step 2

Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:

• Size: 0
• Highlight Mode: Overlay
• Color: #b4b4b4

### Step 3

Add a Contour with these settings:

• Contour: Half Round
• Check the Anti-aliased box.
• Range: 100%

### Step 4

Add a Gradient Overlay with these settings:

• Angle: 0
• Use the Bronze Br44 gradient fill.

### Step 5

With the Gradient Overlay tab still active, you can click-drag the gradient fill inside the shape to move it around.

This will be very helpful throughout the tutorial to make sure the angles and positioning of the gradients suit the elements they're applied to.

Double-click the second rounded rectangle layer to apply the following layer style:

### Step 6

Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:

• Size: 0
• Highlight Mode: Overlay
• Color: #b4b4b4

### Step 7

Add a Contour with these settings:

• Contour: Half Round
• Check the Anti-aliased box.
• Range: 100%

### Step 8

Add an Inner Shadow with these settings:

• Blend Mode: Linear Burn
• Opacity: 30%
• Distance: 0
• Size: 2

### Step 9

Add a Gradient Overlay with these settings:

• Blend Mode: Multiply
• Angle: 0
• Use the stove pipe 150 gradient fill, and remember to move it if needed.

You can use gradient fills with different Blend Modes for the shapes you fill with colors other than Black and White. This will help you get more variations instead of creating new gradient fills.

### Step 10

Add a Drop Shadow with these settings:

• Opacity: 50%
• Distance: 3
• Size: 3

As you can see, this is a basic layer style that can and will be used for a couple of different elements.

You can keep the simple Bevel and Emboss effect the same, and play with the Gradient Overlay fills, as well as adding Inner and Drop Shadow effects where needed.

## 5. How to Create Cylinder Variations

### Step 1

By duplicating the two styled rounded rectangles you have, and nudging the copies on top of each other, you can create a cylinder.

You can also add and style two more rounded rectangles, with bigger Radius values, at the top and bottom, to add more details.

To keep things organized, place the elements of each letter in a group with its name. Add numbers as well because you might need to use more than one group per letter.

### Step 2

You can scale and reorder the rounded rectangle shapes to achieve different variations.

For example, I made the thinner rounded rectangles shorter here, and styled them with the Brass 80 gradient fill.

### Step 3

When you create vertical shapes, make sure to change the Gradient Overlay's Angle to 90.

### Step 4

You can also use the Pen Tool to create some more parts like the white shape in the letter K here, which uses the stove pipe 110 gradient fill, with an Angle value of 27.

It's the same layer style, but with different Gradient Overlay fills and angles.

## 6. How to Create Small Rivets

### Step 1

Pick the Brush Tool and open the Brush panel.

Choose a hard round tip, and under the Brush Tip Shape tab, choose a small size and increase the Spacing value.

### Step 2

Create a new layer on top of the layer of the shape you want to add the rivets to. Then pick the Pen Tool, and choose Path in the Options bar.

Create a simple curve path where you want to add the rivets.

### Step 3

Set the Foreground Color to #f1edea, and hit the Return key to stroke the path. You can then move the rivets, or erase any unwanted parts.

Duplicate the rivets, or repeat the same process, to add them where you want.

Double-click one of the rivet layers to apply the following layer style:

### Step 4

Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:

• Size: 0
• Check the Anti-aliased box
• Highlight Mode: Vivid Light
• Color: #b4b4b4
• Opacity: 100%
• Opacity: 60%

### Step 5

Add a Contour with these settings:

• Contour: Cone - Inverted
• Check the Anti-aliased box.

### Step 6

Add a Gradient Overlay with these settings:

• Angle: 0
• Use the Brass 70 gradient fill.

### Step 7

Add a Drop Shadow with these settings:

• Opacity: 35%
• Uncheck the Use Global Light box
• Angle: -156
• Distance: 2
• Size: 5

### Step 8

Copy and paste the layer style to the rest of the rivet layers.

### Step 9

Make sure to change the gradient fill's Angle and move it where needed.

## 7. How to Create Glass Elements

### Step 1

Use the Rounded Rectangle Tool, with a big Radius value, to create a glass shape where you want to add it.

Double-click the glass shape layer to apply the following layer style:

### Step 2

Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:

• Size: 29
• Uncheck the Use Global Light box
• Angle: 108
• Altitude: 42
• Check the Anti-aliased box
• Highlight Mode: Linear Light
• Color: #b4b4b4
• Opacity: 78%
• Shadow Mode: Screen
• Color: #b8b09b
• Opacity: 33%

You might need to adjust some of the values depending on the size of your shape.

### Step 3

Add an Inner Shadow with these settings:

• Blend Mode: Linear Dodge (Add)
• Color: #a8a8a8
• Opacity: 35%
• Distance: 0
• Size: 3

### Step 4

Add an Inner Glow with these settings:

• Blend Mode: Hard Light
• Opacity: 50%
• Noise: 10%
• Color: #e5d9cc
• Source: Center
• Size: 20

### Step 5

Change the glass shape layer's Fill value to 0.

## 8. How to Create Big Rivets

### Step 1

Pick the Polygon Tool, and set the Sides number in the Options bar to 8. Then create a rivet base where you like on top of the original text shape.

Set the polygon's Fill Color to #67604e.

Double-click the polygon shape layer to apply the following layer style:

### Step 2

Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:

• Technique: Chisel Hard
• Size: 5
• Check the Anti-aliased box
• Highlight Mode: Overlay
• Color: #b4b4b4

### Step 3

Add a Contour with these settings:

• Contour: Cone
• Check the Anti-aliased box.

### Step 4

Add a Gradient Overlay with these settings:

• Style: Reflected
• Angle: 42
• Create the Gradient fill using the colors #59503a to the left, #62574c with a Location value of 30, and #70685c to the right.

### Step 5

Add a Drop Shadow with these settings:

• Opacity: 100%
• Uncheck the Use Global Light box
• Angle: 135
• Distance: 1
• Size: 5

### Step 6

Now use the Ellipse Tool to create a circle in the center of the rivet, with the Fill Color #8f5d26.

Double-click the ellipse shape layer to apply the following layer style:

### Step 7

Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:

• Size: 13
• Uncheck the Use Global Light box
• Angle: 90
• Altitude: 58
• Check the Anti-aliased box
• Highlight Mode: Linear Light
• Color: #eee4e4

### Step 8

Add a Contour with these settings:

• Contour: Gaussian
• Check the Anti-aliased box.

### Step 9

Add a Gradient Overlay with these settings:

• Style: Reflected
• Angle: 42
• Create the Gradient fill using the colors #ffec97 to the left, #675031 with a Location value of 45, and #2a1f0d to the right.

### Step 10

Group the styled rivet shapes, and duplicate them over a couple of different areas.

## 9. How to Add Clock Elements

### Step 1

Use the Ellipse Tool to create a circle where you want to add a clock.

Double-click the ellipse shape layer to apply the following layer style:

### Step 2

Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:

• Technique: Chisel Hard
• Size: 9
• Check the Anti-aliased box
• Highlight Mode: Overlay
• Color: #b4b4b4

### Step 3

Add a Contour with these settings:

• Contour: Cone
• Check the Anti-aliased box.

### Step 4

Add a Gradient Overlay with these settings:

• Angle: 0
• Scale: 150%
• Use the stove pipe 100 gradient fill.

### Step 5

Add a Drop Shadow with these settings:

• Opacity: 100%
• Uncheck the Use Global Light box
• Angle: 135
• Distance: 1
• Size: 5

### Step 6

Create a smaller circle in the center of the styled one.

### Step 7

Double-click the smaller ellipse shape layer to apply a Gradient Overlay effect with these settings:

• Angle: 0
• Scale: 150%
• Use the Steel 100 gradient fill.

This will style the clock shape layers.

### Step 8

Open the Clock image, use the Elliptical Marquee Tool to select the clock, and copy it.

### Step 9

Paste the copied clock on top of the clock shapes you've just created, resize it so that it fits within the smaller circle shape, and change its layer's Blend Mode to Overlay.

To get a cleaner result, you can add a layer mask using a selection of the smaller circle shape.

### Step 10

Duplicate the shapes if you want to add them to another letter, and you can use different clocks as well. Here, I used one of the Clocks Pack psd clocks for the letter U.

## 10. How to Create Pipes

### Step 1

Create a new 20 x 6px document, and fill the Background horizontally with the Steel 100 gradient fill.

Then, go to Edit > Define Pattern, type Pipe Pattern for the Name, and click OK.

### Step 2

Create a new layer below the layer of the element you want to add the pipe behind.

Use the Pen Tool to create a path for the pipe.

### Step 3

Go to Edit > Fill, and change the Contents to Pattern.

Choose the Pipe Pattern you've just created. Check the Script box, choose Place Along Path, and click OK.

### Step 4

This will open the Place Along Path options and settings.

• Pattern Scale: 1 (Change this if you want to change the width of the pipe.)
• Spacing: -20 (This makes sure that the pattern fill is continuous.)
• Check the Adjust spacing to fit box.
• Angle from path: -90 (This makes the pattern fill follow the path's direction without being rotated.)
• Distance from path: 0 (This will place the fill exactly on the path.)
• Un-check the Alternate patterns box to avoid creating patterns on both sides of the path.
• Scale progression: 100 (This makes sure that the fill maintains the same size along the path.)
• Un-check the Skip symbol rotation so that the pattern units follow the path's direction.
• Color randomness: 0
• Brightness randomness: 0

Once you click OK, the path will be filled with the pattern.

### Step 5

If you want to reduce the color strokes around the corners, you can go to Noise > Median, and use a Radius value around 2.

### Step 6

You can also use the Blur Tool to smooth the corners out.

## 11. How to Style Pipes

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

### Step 1

Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:

• Size: 0
• Highlight Mode: Overlay
• Color: #b4b4b4

### Step 2

Add a Contour with these settings:

• Contour: Half Round
• Check the Anti-aliased box.
• Range: 100%

### Step 3

Add an Inner Shadow with these settings:

• Blend Mode: Linear Burn
• Opacity: 30%
• Distance: 0
• Size: 2

### Step 4

Add a Gradient Overlay with these settings:

• Blend Mode: Overlay
• Opacity: 25%
• Angle: -142
• Use the stove pipe 150 gradient fill, and move it to get the highlight across the corner of the pipe.

### Step 5

Copy the pipe layer style. Create more pipes where needed, and paste the layer style to each one of them.

If there are no corners, you might not need the Gradient Overlay effect, since it is used to emphasize the corner's highlighted area.

In order to get rid of the Gradient Overlay effect, all you need to do is expand the layer effects list, and hide the Gradient Overlay.

### Step 6

Make sure to create the pipes that are on top of each other in separate layers.

### Step 7

Add more rounded rectangles to the bases of the pipes. It is important to pay attention to the layers' order to get realistic and clean results.

Grouping the layers and keeping the Layers panel organized will help you change the layer order easily and quickly.

## 12. How to Add Gear Shapes

### Step 1

Pick the Custom Shape Tool, and use the 90 Photoshop Gears Shapes pack to add a couple of gears randomly behind the text.

### Step 2

Use different sizes, and rotate the different gear shapes to get more dynamic results.

Double-click one of the gear shape layers to apply the following layer style:

### Step 3

Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:

• Technique: Chisel Hard
• Size: 3
• Check the Anti-aliased box
• Highlight Mode: Overlay
• Color: #b4b4b4

### Step 4

Add a Contour with these settings:

• Check the Anti-aliased box.

### Step 5

Add a Gradient Overlay with these settings:

• Angle: 0
• Scale: 150%
• Use the Brass 70 gradient fill.

### Step 6

Copy and paste the layer style to the rest of the gear shapes. Again, you can always play with the layer style values to get different results.

### Step 7

You can also add ellipse shapes to the center of some of the gear shapes, and use the same layer style with different values to style them.

## 13. How to Add Wires

### Step 1

Create new Wire layers wherever you want to add wires, and add the wire color to each layer's name.

### Step 2

Use the Pen Tool to create the wire paths, and stroke them with a hard round brush tip.

Double-click a wire layer to apply the following layer style:

### Step 3

Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:

• Size: 5
• Uncheck the Use Global Light box
• Angle: -143
• Altitude: 37
• Highlight Mode: Linear Light

### Step 4

Add a Contour with these settings:

• Contour: Half Round
• Check the Anti-aliased box.

### Step 5

Add a Color Overlay with these settings:

• Color: #99803e

Here is where you get to choose a color for the wires, so use any colors you like.

### Step 6

Copy and paste the layer style to the rest of the wire layers, and change the Color Overlay's Color value for some of the layers if you like. The blue color used here is #245383.

### Step 1

First off, hide the Drop Shadow effect applied to the Shape layer, so that it doesn't get in the way.

The process below works for any element you want to paint shadows on. So I'll demonstrate it for the wires, but you can use it for the rest of the elements you have.

### Step 2

Create a selection of the elements you want to paint shadow on, and then create a new Shadow layer on top of them.

### Step 3

Add a layer mask to the new layer, and make sure that the layer's thumbnail is selected.

Pick the Brush Tool, and choose a soft round tip. Set the Foreground Color to Black, and reduce the Opacity value in the options bar based on how intense you want the shadows to be.

After that, start painting the shadows where there are elements that are supposed to be casting shadows on the wires.

### Step 4

Now repeat that for the rest of the elements that have other elements casting shadows on top of them, to get a more realistic final result.

## 15. How to Add Smoke, Bottom Shadows, and Texture Overlays

### Step 1

Add a couple of smoke images to the top of some of the pipes.

Change the smoke layers' Blend Mode to Screen, and darken their backgrounds if they are visible using the Levels adjustment options.

Resize the smoke images to fit the pipes, and mask parts of them as needed.

### Step 2

Next, you can create some shadows below the text, using black-filled elliptical selections below each letter.

You can then Gaussian Blur the black ellipses, and for a more detailed and realistic effect, you can use layers of shadows with different Gaussian Blur Radius values, and different layer Opacity values as well.

### Step 3

Place all the text shape layers, except for the smoke and bottom shadow layers, in a group and call it Main Text.

Place the Old paper texture on top of all layers, clip it to the Main Text group, and change its layer's Blend Mode to Linear Light.

Move and resize the texture to cover only the first letter.

### Step 4

Press Command-U, and then change the Saturation value to -50 and the Brightness to -20.

### Step 5

Duplicate the modified texture for the rest of the letters, making sure the copies stay clipped to the Main Text group.

## Congratulations! You're Done

In this tutorial, we created a textured background and a text layer.

Then, we converted the text into a shape and started working with it, adding more different shapes to create the elements we'll be using.

After that, we styled the elements and used them to build the final effect. Finally, we added smoke, shadows, and texture overlays to finish off the effect.

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