Create a volume retro text in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create a halftone retro text using layer styles, textures, and adjustment layers. Let’s start!

I was inspired to create this effect by the various layer styles available on GraphicRiver.

1. Create a layer for the pattern.

Step 1

Create a new document with a size of 512 x 512 pixels with a white background. Duplicate the background layer, right-click on the copy and select ConverttoSmartObject (Convert to smart object).

Step 2

Set the foreground and background color to black and white and turn FilterRenderClouds (Filter – Rendering – Clouds).

2. Create a halftone grunge texture

Step 1

Move on FilterFilterGalleryGrain (Filter – Filter Gallery – Grain) and apply the following settings:

  • Intensity (Intensity): 60
  • Contrast (Contrast): 0
  • Grain type (Grain type): Sprinkles (Spray)

Step 2

At the bottom of the Filter Gallery press the button Neweffectlayer (New effects layer) to add another filter.

Move on SketchHalftonePattern (Sketch – Halftone pattern) and apply the following settings:

  • Size (Size): 2
  • Contrast (Contrast): 6
  • Pattern type (Pattern Type): Dot (Point)

Step 3

Add another layer with the effect, go SketchGraphicPen (Sketch – Mascara) and apply the following settings:

  • Stroke length (Length of stroke): 15
  • Light / Dark Balance (Tone balance): 50
  • StrokeDirection (Direction of strokes): RightDiagonal (Diagonally to the right)

When finished, click OK.

Step 4

Move on EditDefinePattern (Editing – Define the pattern) and enter the name “Front Pattern”.

3. Create a pattern for the background.

Step 1

Create a document of 950 x 750 pixels, click on the button Createnewfilloradjustmentlayer (Create a new fill or adjustment layer) at the bottom of the layers panel and select SolidColor (Colour).

Step 2

Set the color to # a2563b.

Step 3

Double click on the color fill layer and apply the layer style PatternOverlay (Pattern Overlay):

  • BlendMode (Blend Mode): SoftLight (Soft light)
  • Pattern (Pattern): Dots (from the downloaded set with simple patterns)

As a result, we get this background.

4. Create a smart object with text.

Step 1

Writing text using the Burford font. Color set to white, size – 350 pt, Tracking (Tracking) – at -75.

Step 2

Name the text layer “Text”, click on it with the right mouse button and select ConverttoSmartObject (Convert to smart object).

Step 3

Duplicate the “Text” layer (Ctrl + J).

5. Apply extrusion to the text.

Step 1

Once again we duplicate the text layer, call the copy “Extrusion” and place it in the “Extrusion” group (Ctrl + G).

Step 2

Select the “Extrusion” layer, press Ctrl + T to activate the free transformation mode. Press the left and down arrow keys once to shift the text layer by 1 pixel.

Press Enter to apply the changes.

Step 3

Press Shift + Ctrl + Alt + T about 21 times to create 21 copies of the text layer offset 1 pixel.

You can decide for yourself how many copies should be based on how extruded you want the text to be.

Step 4

Select all the layers “Extrusion” and go LayerArrangeReverse (Layers – Arrange – Invert) to arrange them in the correct order.

Step 5

The first three layers are placed in the “Front” group, the bottom three – in the “Behind” group, and the rest in the “Middle” group.

6. Create layers with shadow

Step 1

Duplicate the last copy of the “Extrusion” layer (the bottom layer in the “Behind” group) and call the copy “Shadow”.

Move the “Shadow” layer from the “Behind” group and add it to the separate “Shadow” group.

Step 2

Repeat the above technique with transformation and copying to create copies of the “Shadow” layer. Only this time we make the “Shadow” layer offset 1 pixel to the right and down.

Step 3

When finished, do not forget to correct the order of the layers and apply inversion.

Step 4

The “Text” layer and its copy are placed in the “Text” group.

7. Apply layer styles to a copy of the text.

Double click on the copy of the “Text” layer to apply layer styles to it.

Step 1

Add Stroke (Stroke) with the following settings:

  • Size (Size): 3
  • Position (Position): Inside (Inside)
  • Color classification: # fbe8d2

Step 2

Add InnerShadow (Inner shadow) with the following settings:

BlendMode (Blend Mode): LinearBurn (Linear dimmer)

  • Color classification: # 515151
  • Opacity (Opacity): 50%
  • Distance (Offset): 6
  • Choke (Stinging): 50
  • Size (Size): 5

Step 3

Add ColorOverlay (Color overlay) with the following settings:

  • Color classification: # f5edea
  • Blend mode (Blend Mode): Darker color (Darker)
  • Opacity (Opacity): 50%

Step 4

Add PatternOverlay (Overlay pattern) with the following settings:

  • BlendMode (Blend Mode): ColorBurn (Blackout basics)
  • Pattern (Pattern): Sawtooth (from the downloaded set with simple patterns)
  • Scale (Scale): 50%

Step 5

Install Fill (Fill) copies of the “Text” layer to 0.

Step 6

Double click on the original “Text” layer to apply the layer style. PatternOverlay (Overlay pattern) with the following parameters:

  • Opacity (Opacity): 95%
  • Pattern (Pattern): “Front Pattern” that we created above
  • Scale (Scale): 50%

We stylized the front of the text.

8. Apply Layer Styles to Extrusion.

Step 1

Double click on the “Front” group to apply the layer style ColorOverlay (Overlay color). Use color # 3c3b3b.

Step 2

We right-click on the group “Front”, select CopyLayerStyle (Copy the layer style), then right-click on the “Behind” layer and select PasteLayerStyle (Paste layer style).

We open the group “In the middle”, select all the layers inside, click on them with the right mouse button and select PasteLayerStyle (Paste layer style).

Step 3

Double-click on the “Middle” group to apply the layer style. PatternOverlay (Overlay pattern) with the following parameters:

  • BlendMode (Blend Mode): Divide (Split)
  • Opacity (Opacity): 35%
  • Pattern (Pattern): Diagonal line medium (from the downloaded set with simple patterns)

We get this result.

9. Apply layer styles to the shadow.

Step 1

Double click on the group “Shadow” to apply the layer style ColorOverlay (Color overlay) with the following settings:

  • Color classification: # a89a96
  • BlendMode (Blend Mode): Multiply (Multiplication)
  • Opacity (Opacity): 75%

Step 2

Install Fill (Fill) group “Shadow” at 0%.

10. Add textures

Before adding textures, transfer the “Text”, “Extrusion” and “Shadow” groups into a separate group and call it “Text Effect” so that the layers panel is in a structured form.

Step 1

It is best to add texture to the video of a smart object. To do this, go FilePlaceLinked (File – Put related).

We start by adding grunge texture 11 just above the color-filled layer. If necessary, adjust the size of the texture.

Call it “Background Texture” and set the blending mode to ColorDodge (Lightening the base) with an opacity of 30%.

Step 2

Move on ImageAdjustmentsHue/Saturation (Image – Correction – Hue / Saturation) and set Saturation (Saturation) at -100.

If you are using an older version of Photoshop or you are unable to apply the correction directly to the smart object itself, you can rasterize the texture layer or use the adjustment layers. LayerNewAdjustmentLayer (Layer – New adjustment layer).

Step 3

Move on ImageAdjustmentsBrightness/Contrast (Image – Correction – Brightness / Contrast).

Activate UseLegacy (Use former) and install Contrast (Contrast) at -50.

Customization UseLegacy (Use the old ones) allows you to make the contrast in the picture much less.

Step 4

Place the texture with noise above all previous layers and, if necessary, adjust its size.

Name the layer with this texture “Texture Overlay 1” and change the blending mode to Overlay (Overlap).

Step 5

Move on ImageAdjustmentsLevels (Image – Correction – Levels) and set the gray slider Gamma (Mid Tones) at 0.70.

Step 6

Above we add grunge texture 16 and adjust its size.

Name the layer “Texture Overlay 2” and set the blending mode to SoftLight (Soft light) with an opacity of 20%.

Step 7

Move on ImageAdjustmentsHue/Saturation (Image – Correction – Hue / Saturation) and set Saturation (Saturation) at -100.

11. Add adjustment layers

Step 1

Above we add an adjustment layer. Gradient (Gradient).

Fill it with a gradient from transparency to color, using colors # 6f6f6f (left) and # 000000 (right).

Gradient style set to Radial (Radial) and Scale (Scale) – to 200. Change the blending mode to Overlay (Overlap).

Step 2

Add an adjustment layer Brightness/Contrast (Brightness / Contrast) and set Contrast (Contrast) at 25.

Step 3

Add an adjustment layer PhotoFilter (Photo filter), use color # ec9600.

Step 4

Add an adjustment layer ColorBalance (Color balance) with the following parameters:

Midtones (Mid Tones)

  • Cyan/Red (Blue / Red): 20
  • Magenta/Green (Purple / Green): 12
  • Yellow / Blue (Yellow / Blue): 12

12. Add a scuff effect.

Step 1

Select the “Text Effect” group, at the bottom of the layers panel, click on the button Addlayermask (Add layer mask).

Step 2

Take PaintBucketTool ( G) (Fill), on the top panel, select Pattern (Pattern). Find in the set of Light Grunge Seamless Patterns Vol. 3 pattern at number 15.

Make sure the text effect group mask is highlighted. Click the tool to fill it with a pattern.

Step 3

To enhance the effect, press Ctrl + L and open Levels (Levels) and move the black and gray sliders to darken the pattern on the mask. This will add a scuff contrast.

Congratulations, we are done!

At the beginning of the lesson, we created a simple halftone pattern using several filters.

Then they wrote the text, converted it into a smart object and duplicated it several times to create a shadow and volume. After that, we applied layer styles to each group to achieve the desired result.

Finally, we applied textures, adjustment layers, and patterns to complete the effect.

Feel free to leave comments, suggestions and share the results.

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