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Retro Space Text Effect

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

Tutorial Details

  • Software Used : Photoshop
  • Version : CS5 Extended
  • Time : 0:30 – 0:45

Resources

Step 1

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.

Retro Space Text Effect step 1

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(s) when you’re done.

Retro Space Text Effect step 1

Step 2

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

Outer Glow

  • Color : #1c9cff
  • Technique : Precise
  • Size : 15
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
Retro Space Text Effect step 2

– Bevel and Emboss

  • Style : Stroke Emboss
  • Technique : Chisel Hard
  • Depth : 300
  • Size : 4
  • Gloss Contour : Rounded Steps
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
  • Highlight Mode : Vivid Light
Retro Space Text Effect step 2

– Contour

  • Contour : Ring
  • Check the Anti-aliased box.
Retro Space Text Effect step 2

– Stroke

  • Size : 7
  • Fill Type : Gradient
  • Style : Reflected
  • Angle : 90
  • Click the Gradient box to create the gradient
Retro Space Text Effect step 2

The gradient is a bit tricky. Start by adding the colors in the locations shown below:

# ColorLocation

  • 1 – #095c91 – 0
  • 2 – #14a2f1 – 44
  • 3 – #223455 – 55
  • 4 – #a4374c – 82
  • 5 – #1a527e – 100
Retro Space Text Effect step 2

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.

Retro Space Text Effect step 2

This will create the stroke.

Retro Space Text Effect step 2

Step 3

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

– Inner Glow

  • Opacity : %65
  • Noise : 100%
  • Color : #ffbebe
  • Source : Center
  • Size : 26
  • Contour : Ring
Retro Space Text Effect step 3

– Bevel and Emboss

  • Technique : Chisel Hard
  • Size : 17
  • Gloss Contour : Valley High
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
  • Highlight Mode : Difference
  • Color : #ffdc99

The Difference Blend Mode will create the nice crimson color and blend it beautifully with the blue colors.

Retro Space Text Effect step 3

– Contour

  • Contour : Guassian – Inverse
  • Check the Anti-aliased box.
Retro Space Text Effect step 3

This will create the main effect.

Retro Space Text Effect step 3

Step 4

Pick a 17 px hard round brush and open the Brush panel (Window -> Brush) to modify the brush’s Settings as below:

Brush Tip Shape

Retro Space Text Effect step 4

Shape Dynamics

It’s important to choose Pen Pressure from the Control drop down menu.

Retro Space Text Effect step 4

Right click any text layer and choose Create Work Path.

Retro Space Text Effect step 4

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.

Retro Space Text Effect step 4

Right click the work path and choose Stroke Path.

Retro Space Text Effect step 4

Choose Brush from the Tool drop down menu, and check the Simulate Pressure box.

Retro Space Text Effect step 4

This will brighten up the stroke.

Retro Space Text Effect step 4

Step 5

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

Retro Space Text Effect step 5

Shape Dynamics

The Size and Angle Jitter help create sparkles with different sizes and angles in every click.

Retro Space Text Effect step 5

Set the Foreground color to #9ffcff, create a new layer on top of all layers and call it Sparkles.

Retro Space Text Effect step 5

Click to add some sparkles on the text’s stroke, one or two for each letter is good.

Retro Space Text Effect step 5

Duplicate the Sparkles layer and change the copy’s Blend Mode to Soft Light.

Retro Space Text Effect step 5

Step 6

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.

Retro Space Text Effect step 6

Finally, go to Image -> Adjustments -> Hue/Saturation, and change the Hue value to 130.

Retro Space Text Effect step 6

The sparkles will add a cool final touch to the effect.