This tutorial explains how to use Layer Styles with simple brushes to create a retro space-inspired text effect. Layer styles will be used to create the main text effect and the outer stroke, then, two brushes will be used to add a glow stroke and some sparkles.
The Final Result:
* the software used in this tutorial is Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended, but you can use CS3+ versions as well.
* you might want to check the Basix Page to see some useful topics on dealing with Photoshop basics, such as loading palettes and some shortcuts.
- Open the The Empty Starfield image, then, set the Foreground color to #2c5089 and the Background color to #6a342d.
Create a new layer on top of the Background layer and call it “Clouds” then change its Blend Mode to Overlay. Go to Filter -> Render -> Clouds. This will add subtle coloring to the texture.
- Create the text in All Caps using the color #0076a3. The font used is New Yorker, and the Size is around 342 pt.
If you want to add more than one line of text, create each line in a separate text layer. Duplicate the text layer when you’re done.
Double click the original text layer to apply the following Layer Style:
- Outer Glow: Change the color to #1c9cff, the Technique to Precise, the Size to 15, and check the Anti-aliased box.
* To load the Contours used, check this image please.
- Bevel and Emboss: Change the Style to Stroke Emboss, this applies the Bevel and Emboss effect to the Stroke, so it requires a Stroke effect in order to work, but we will add the Stroke effect later. For now, change the Technique to Chisel Hard, the Depth to 300, the Size to 4, the Gloss Contour to Rounded Steps, check the Anti-aliased box, and change the Highlight Mode to Vivid Light.
- Contour: Choose Ring, and the check the Anti-aliased box.
- Stroke: Change the Size to 7, now you can see the Bevel applied to the Stroke. Choose Gradient from the Fill Type drop down menu, and Reflected from the Style drop down menu, and change the Angle to 90°. Click the Gradient box to create the gradient used.
- The gradient is a bit tricky. Start by adding the colors in the locations shown below:
# – Color – Location
1 – #095c91 – 0
2 – #14a2f1 – 44
3 – #223455 – 55
4 – #a4374c – 82
5 – #1a527e – 100
- As for the second color, you’ll need to click it (its stop), and two handles will appear on both sides. Click and drag the right handle and place it on top of the color stop to create a sharp edge.
- This will create the stroke.
Double click the copy text layer to apply the following Layer Style:
- Outer Glow: Change the Blend Mode to Overlay, the Opacity to 65%, the Noise to 100% or whatever other value you like, lower values give a cleaner effect, but higher ones give a more retro-ish effect. Also, change the color to #ffbebe, the Source to Center, the Size to 26, and the Contour to Ring.
- Bevel and Emboss: Change the Technique to Chisel Hard, the Size to 17, the Gloss Contour to Valley – High, check the Anti-aliased box, and change the Highlight Mode to Difference and its color to #ffdc99. The “Difference” Blend Mode will create the nice crimson color and blend it beautifully with the blue colors.
- Contour: Choose Guassian – Inverse, and the check the Anti-aliased box.
- This will create the main effect.
Pick a 17px hard round brush and open the Brush panel (Window -> Brush) to modify the brush’s settings as below:
- Brush Tip Shape:
- Shape Dynamics:
It’s important to choose Pen Pressure from the Control drop down menu.
- Right click any text layer and choose Create Work Path.
- Set the Foreground color to #6dcff6, pick the Direct Selection Tool, create a new layer between the two text layers and call it “Stroke”, then change its Blend Mode to Overlay.
- Right click the work path and choose Stroke Path.
- Choose Brush from the Tool drop down menu, and check the Simulate Pressure box.
- This will brighten up the stroke.
Pick a brush from the Sparklies Photoshop Brushes set, and open the Brush panel (Window -> Brush) to modify the brush’s settings as below:
- Brush Tip Shape:
- Shape Dynamics:
The Size and Angle Jitter help create sparkles with different sizes and angles in every click.
- Set the Foreground color to #9ffcff, create a new layer on top of all layers and call it “Sparkles”.
- Click to add some sparkles on the text’s stroke, one or two for each letter is good.
- Duplicate the “Sparkles” layer and change the copy’s Blend Mode to Soft Light.
- Click the original “Sparkles” layer so that it is the active layer, then go to Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur, and type in 5 for the Radius.
- Finally, go to Image -> Adjustments -> Hue/Saturation, and change the Hue value to 130.
The sparkles will add a cool final touch to the effect.