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Ghostly Text Effect

This tutorial will show you how to combine different layer effects with the gaussian blur filter to create a simple hazy ghostly text effect.

The Final Result

Tutorial Details

  • Software Used : Photoshop
  • Version : CS6 Extended
  • Time : 0:30 – 0:45

Resources

Step 1

Create a 1152 x 846 px document, set the Foreground color to #012057 and the Background color to #020c1d. Pick the Gradient Tool, click the Radial Gradient icon in the Options bar, then click and drag from the center of the document to one of the corners.

Ghostly Text Effect step 1

Create the text in white using the font Friday 13. The font Size is 250 pt and the Tracking value is set to 75 to avoid overlapping of the glowing edges.

Ghostly Text Effect step 1

Change the text layer’s Fill value to 0.

Ghostly Text Effect step 1

Step 2

Double click the text layer to apply the following Layer Style:

– Inner Shadow

  • Blend Mode : Vivid Light
  • Color : #96bbbb
  • Choke : 17
  • Size : 29
  • Contour : Cove – Deep
Ghostly Text Effect step 2

– Inner Glow

  • Blend Mode : Hard Light
  • Color : #47c2fb
  • Technique : Precise
  • Source : Center
  • Size : 46
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
Ghostly Text Effect step 2

– Satin

  • Blend Mode : Overlay
  • Color : #d6ffff
  • Angle : 0
  • Distance : 110
  • Size : 43
  • Contour : Linear
Ghostly Text Effect step 2

– Outer Glow

  • Blend Mode : Linear Dodge (Add)
  • Opacity : 100%
  • Noise : 12%
  • Color : #0d3d6e
  • Size : 6
  • Range : 85
Ghostly Text Effect step 2

– Drop Shadow

  • Blend Mode : Overlay
  • Color : #9ca6b7
  • Distance : 0
  • Size : 10
  • Contour : Half Round
Ghostly Text Effect step 2

This will create a glowing hazy effect. Notice that we modified the Blend Mode and color values for the Satin and Shadow effects to use them as Glow effects, in order to intensify the brightness of the different parts of the text.

Ghostly Text Effect step 2

Step 3

Duplicate the text layer then make the original invisible by clicking the eye icon next to it.

Ghostly Text Effect step 3

Right click the copy text layer then choose Rasterize Type. This will convert the Type layer into a rasterized layer, in which you can’t modify the text.

We need to rasterize the layer in order to apply Filters to its content. That’s why we kept the original text layer and made it invisible, so that we can modify it easily if we want to edit the text.

Ghostly Text Effect step 3

Go to Filter > Distort > Wave, and type in the values below. The Wavelength Max. value controls how “wavy” the text looks, with lower values resulting in a wavier effect. So you can play around with the values if you like.

Ghostly Text Effect step 3

You should get a glowing wavy effect now.

Ghostly Text Effect step 3

Step 4

Duplicate the rasterized wavy text layer then right click the original one and choose Clear Layer Style to get rid of any effects.

Ghostly Text Effect step 4

We will use this layer to make the edges more hazy.

Ghostly Text Effect step 4

Change the un-styled text layer’s Blend Mode to Overlay.

Ghostly Text Effect step 4

Go to Filter > Blue > Gaussian Blur, and change the Radius to 15. Bigger values will create hazier edges, while lower ones will create a more defined glow. Try different values until you like the result.

Ghostly Text Effect step 4

Ctrl/Cmd + click the styled layer’s thumbnail to create a selection.

Ghostly Text Effect step 4

Go to Select > Modify > Feather, and set the Feather Radius to 5. This will make the selection smoother.

Ghostly Text Effect step 4

Make sure that the blurred text layer is the selected one, then hit the Delete key to get rid of the inner parts. Go to Select > Deselect to get rid of the selection.

Ghostly Text Effect step 4

Step 5

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

Ghostly Text Effect step 5

Place the adjustment layer on top of all layers then change its Blend Mode to Soft Light and its Opacity to 20%, then click the Gradient box to create the gradient used.

Ghostly Text Effect step 5

The gradient uses two colors, #131d2f to the left, and #11263a to the right.

Ghostly Text Effect step 5

Step 6

Place the Stock Stormy Clouds image right below the adjustment layer, resize it as needed, then change its layer’s Blend Mode to Soft Light.

Ghostly Text Effect step 6

Create a new layer right below the two rasterized text layers, call it Lightning, then change its Blend Mode to Overlay.

Pick the Brush Tool and set the Foreground color to #ebebeb.

Ghostly Text Effect step 6

Add some of the Lightning Brushes around the text.

Ghostly Text Effect step 6

You can finally use the Eraser Tool to remove any unwanted parts of the lightning.

Ghostly Text Effect step 6

And there you have your glowing ghostly text effect ready!