Create metallic text in Photoshop

In this text Photoshop tutorial, we will learn how to easily create metallic text – a popular effect widely used in video games and movie posters! It may seem that many steps are presented here, but when you do this work several times, the creation of this effect will not take you more than a few minutes from start to finish. To create a metallic texture and apply it to the text, we will use a couple Layer styles (Layer styles), multiple filters, layer blending modes and Clipping mask (Clipping mask)! For this tutorial I’ll use Photoshop CS5, but for earlier versions this tutorial is also appropriate.

Here is the final result that we will create:


The final effect of the “metallic text”.

Let’s start!

Step 1: Create a new document
Create a new Photoshop document by going to the menu. File – Create (File – New) or press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + N (Win) / Command + N (Mac) on the keyboard.


Go to File – New.

You need to create a document that will be slightly larger than you need for reasons that I will mention in due time. I will create my 1200px document. by Width (Wide) and 600 pixels. by High (High) Resolution (Resolution) I leave the default 72 ppi. You can use the same settings to follow me further in the lesson, or enter your values. Set the parameter Background content (Background Contents) on White (White), even though we will change it in the next step. Click OK when done. Your new document will appear on the screen:


New Document dialog box.

Step 2: Fill the background with black
Press the letter D on the keyboard for a quick reset Of the main (Foreground) and Background (Background) colors to the default, if necessary, this action will set as Of the main (Foreground) colors are black. Then press Alt + Backspace (Win) / Option + Delete (Mac) to quickly fill the background with the current The main (Foreground) color (black):


Now the document is filled with black.

Step 3: Adding a new empty layer
Click on the creation icon New layer (New layer) at the bottom of the layers panel:


Click on the New Layer icon (New Layer) (second icon on the right).

Photoshop will add a new blank layer named Layer 1 (Layer 1) above Background (Background) layer:


A new layer appears above the Background layer.

Step 4: Fill a new layer with bright gray
Go to menu Editing (Edit) at the top of the screen and select Fill (Fill):


Go to Edit – Fill.

When the dialog box appears Fill (Fill), click on the drop down menu to the right of the word. Use (Use) and select Colour (Color) from the list of parameters:

Select the Color option at the top of the Fill dialog box.
As soon as you choose Colour (Color) Photoshop will open a color palette, so you can choose the desired color to fill the layer with. Choose bright gray. If you want to use the same shades of gray as me, enter 195 for the R, G, and B parameters:


Choose bright gray from the color palette.

Click OK when you are ready to exit the color palette, then click OK to exit the dialog box. Fill (Fill). Photoshop will fill the layer with gray, temporarily hiding the background layer that is filled with black:


Now the document is filled with gray.

Step 5: Add noise
Go to menu Filter (Filter) at the top of the screen, select Noise (Noise), then select Add noise (Add Noise):


Go to Filter – Noise – Add Noise (Filter Noise).

When the dialog box appears Add noise (Add Noise), add a lot of noise to the image by setting the value Effect (Amount) about 150%. Make sure the options are checked at the bottom of the dialog. According to Gauss (Gaussian) and Monochrome (Monochromatic):


Add Noise filter options.

Click Ok when you are ready to exit the dialog box. Now the document should be filled with noise:


Document after applying the Add Noise filter.

Step 6: Apply the Motion Blur filter (Motion Blur)
We will use all this noise to create the first part of our metallic texture. Go back to the menu Filter (Filter) select Blur (Blur) and then select Motion blur (Motion blur):

Go to Filter – Blur – Motion Blur (Filter – Blur – Motion Blur).

When the Motion Blur dialog box appears, set the Angle of the blur around -10 degrees, then reduce the value of the Distance parameter to 200 pixels:


Set the Angle to -10 and reduce the offset to 200 pixels.

Click Ok when ready to close the dialog box. Blurring the noise created a metallic effect:


Image after applying Motion Blur to noise.

Step 7: Edge Cutting
Returning to step 1, I mentioned that you should create a slightly larger document than you need. The reason is that the filter Motion blur (Motion Blur) creates incorrectly blurred pixels along the edges of the document, which you now clearly see in our document. Let’s cut these unwanted areas. Choose Photoshop tool Crop / Frame (Crop) from the toolbar or press the letter C to select this document using hotkeys:


Select the Crop / Crop tool.

With active tool Crop / Frame (Crop) click in the upper left corner, where the well-textured section begins, then, without releasing the mouse button, drag the frame to the lower right corner to the edge of the well-textured section. Release the mouse button to see the area that you still have (dark areas along the edges will be cropped):


Create a cut area around the area you want to save.

Press Enter (Win) / Return (Mac) for Photoshop to cut off unwanted edges. Now there will be only a good texture:


Image after trimming edges.

Step 8: Add Your Text
Choose a tool Text (Type / Text) from the toolbar, or press the keyboard shortcut T on the keyboard:


Select the Type tool.

With active tool Text (Type / Text), select a font from the options bar at the top of the screen. For best results with this effect, select a font with bold letters. I will use Arial Black:


Font options in the options bar.

Once you have chosen the font, click inside the document and add your text. I will write the word “Metal” (Metal):


Add your text.

When you are ready, click on Apply current edit (Checkmark) in the options bar to apply the text:


Click on Apply current edit (Checkmark) to exit text editing mode.

Step 9: Resize text with Free Transform (Free Transform)
Your text is likely to be too small at this stage (as in my case), so go to menu Editing (Edit) and select Free transformation (Free Transform) or press Ctrl + T (Win) / Command + T (Mac) to call Free transformation (Free Transform) using hotkeys:


Go to Edit – Free transform.

This action will place a free transform window and markers around the text. To change the text size, hold down the Shift key and drag up any corner marker (small square). Holding down the Shift key while resizing allows you to keep the exact proportions of the text, so you do not distort its shape. To move text, click anywhere inside the bounding box and just move it with the mouse. When you are ready, press Enter (Win) / Return (Mac) to apply the changes and exit Free transformation (Free Transform):


Move and resize text as needed.

Step 10: Move the text layer under the texture layer.
Click on the text layer in the layers panel and, while holding the mouse button down, place this layer between the gray texture layer (Layer 1) and the Background layer. When you see that the selected strip has appeared between these two layers, release the mouse button and Photoshop will move the text layer to this place:


Place the text layer between the Background layer and Layer 1.

Step 11: Creating a Clipping Mask (Clipping Mask)
Click on Layer 1 (Layer 1) in the Layers panel to select it. Then go to the Layer menu and select Create clipping mask (Create Clipping Mask):


Go to Layer – Create clipping Mask.

Layer 1 (Layer 1) will be shifted to the right in the layers panel, indicating that it is now “trimmed” with a text layer:


The layers panel now shows that Layer 1 (Layer 1) is now trimmed with a text layer.

If we look in the document window, we will see that the gray texture is now displayed only inside the text:


The black color from the background layer is now visible around the text.

Step 12: Adding a Layer Style (Layer Style) Embossing (Bevel and Emboss)
Click on the text layer in the layers panel to select it. Then click on the icon Layer styles (Layer Styles) at the bottom of the layers panel:


Click on the Layer Styles icon.

Select Stamping (Bevel and Emboss) from the list of styles for the layer that appeared:


Select Emboss (Bevel and Emboss).

This action will open a dialog box. Layer styles (layer syles) set to Stamping (Bevel and Emboss) in the middle column. Change first Method (Technique) on Hard cut (Chisel Hard), then increase The size (Size) up to 7 pixels. Drag the parameter slider Depth (Depth) to the right to the value of 500%:


Embossing options (Bevel and Emboss).

In the parameters section Shading (Shading), click on thumbnail Gloss contour (Gloss Contour):


Click on the thumbnail Gloss Contour.

This action will open Contour Editor (Contour Editor). Click on the dropdown menu. Installations (Preset) at the top of the dialog box and select from the list Ring (Ring):


Select the Ring option.

Click OK to exit. Contour Editor (Contour Editor). Then, go back to the main dialog. Layer Styles (Layer Styles), tick the option Smoothing (Anti-aliased) to the right of the thumbnail Gloss contour (Gloss Contour):


Check the Anti-aliased option.

Do not close the dialog box yet. Layer styles (Layer Styles). We still have something to add, but at the moment your text should look like this:


Text after applying the Emboss layer style (Bevel and Emboss).

Step 13: Add Layer Style (Layer Style) Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay)
Click directly on the name Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay) in the left column of the dialog box Layer styles (Layer Styles). You need to click directly on the name, not on the mark field, so that the parameter appears Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay):


Click on the name Gradient Overlay.

In the middle column of the dialog box Layer styles (Layer Styles) the marked options have been changed for Gradient overlays (Gradient Overlay). By default, Photoshop chooses a gradient based on current colors. From primary to background colors (Foreground and Background colors) (black and white), but if another gradient is selected, click on the gradient preview bar:


Click on the gradient preview bar only if there is a different gradient set there, not black and white.

Then click on the thumbnail From main to background (Foreground to Background) (top left) at Gradient Editor (Gradient Editor) to select it:


Select a gradient from Primary to Background.

Click OK to close. Gradient editor (Gradient Editor). Return to the main dialog. Layer styles (Layer Styles), change Blend mode (Blend Mode) on Overlap (Overlay), then reduce Opacity (Opacity) up to 70%. This will add a light effect to the metal:


Gradient Overlay options.

Click OK to exit the dialog. Layer styles (Layer Styles). Here is the effect with added layer styles:


Effect after applying layer styles.

Step 14: Add a new layer set in the Slab mode (Overlay)
Click on Layer 1 (Layer 1) in the Layers panel to select it. Hold down the Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) key and click on the create icon New layer (New Layer) at the bottom of the layers panel:


Hold down the Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) key and click on the New Layer icon (New Layer).

This action tells Photoshop to open a dialog box. New layer (New layer) where we can set some parameters before a new layer is added. Check the option on the left that says Use the previous layer to create a clipping mask.(Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping mask), then change Mode (Mode) (short from Blend mode (blend mode) on Overlap (Overlay). Click OK when you are ready to close the dialog box. A new blank layer, named Layer 2 (layer 2), is set to Overlap (Overlay), will appear above Layer 1 (layer 1) in the layers panel. Like Layer 1, it is trimmed with a text layer below it:


Dialog box New layer (new Layer).

Step 15: Apply the Cloud Filter (Clouds)
Add random highlights and shadows to the metallic effect. For this we will use the Photoshop filter Clouds (Clouds) along with Blending mode (Blend Mode) Overlap (Overlay), which we have already set for the layer. Go to menu Filter (filter) at the top of the screen, select Rendering (Render) and then select Clouds (Clouds):


Go to the menu Filter – Rendering – Clouds (Filter – Render – Clouds).

“Clouds” create a lot of light and dark areas:

Step 16: Apply Gaussian Blur (Gaussian Blur)
Clouds need to be smoothed a bit so that they look more like shadows and highlights. We will do this by washing them out. Go to menu Filter (Filter) select Blur (Blur) and then Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur):


Go to the Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur menu (Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur).

When the dialog box appears Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur), pull the slider to the right to increase the value Radius (Radius) up to 10 pixels.


Set the Radius to 10 pixels.

Here is the image after the clouds blur:


The effect of clouds is now more like a light effect.

Step 17: Add a new layer set in Multiply mode (Multiply)
Hold down Alt (Win) / Option (Mac), click on the create icon New layer (New Layer) at the bottom of the layers panel to open the dialog box New layer (new layer). Tick ​​Use previous layer to create Clipping mask (Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask), then change Mode (mode) on Multiplication (Multiply). Finally, check the Fill Neutral option in the color mode. “Multiplication” (white) (Fill with Multiply-neutral color (white)) at the bottom of the dialog box. Click Ok when you are ready to close the window and add a new layer:


Add another new layer, this time in Multiply mode.

Step 18: Add Noise
We blur our metallic effect a little by applying to it stains and scratches. Go to menu Filter (Filter) then select Add noise (AddNoise). A dialog box will appear. Add noise (Add Noise) with the same settings that we used earlier. You do not need to change them, just click Ok to exit the dialog box. Now the text is filled with noise, and since the layer is set to Multiply (Multiply), only dark spots will be visible:


The Multiply mode hides the white colors, and only the dark specks of noise remain visible.

Step 19: Apply the Median filter (Median)
To turn the noise into something like dirt or scratches, go back to the menu. Filter, select again Noise, and then select Median:


Go to the Filter – Noise – Median menu (Filter – Noise – Median).

Filter Median (Median) created to remove noise from the image. Click in the window Radius (Radius) and use the up arrow key on your keyboard to gradually increase the value while looking at the image in the document window. As the radius value increases, the noise will disappear, leaving “clots” instead, creating the effect of dirt and scratches. The value is about 9 pixels. should fit. Click Ok when you are ready to exit the dialog box:


Increase the Radius value to reduce noise.

Step 20: Lowering Opacity (Opacity) layer
If the effect of stains and scratches looks too dark, reduce Opacity (Opacity) layer. You will find the parameter Opacity (Opacity) in the top corner of the layers panel. I will reduce my to 70%:


The Opacity parameter of the layer.

And here we are done! Here is the final result of the “metallic text” effect:


The final result of the “metallic text” effect.

Editable text settings
One of the nice things about creating this metallic effect is that our text remains completely editable, and we can even change the font that we use if we don’t like the one we started with! To change the font, simply select the tool. Text (type / Text) in the toolbar, click on the text layer in the layers panel to select it, then select any font from the settings panel (you may need to resize the text using Free transformation (Free Transform) – see Step 9). For example, I did not change anything except the font on the Trajan Pro Bold:


Same effect, different font.

Here I edited the text by changing the word from “Metal” (Metal) to “Steel” (Steel). If you save your document as Photoshop. PSD file, you can open it again at any time, when you want, and edit your text without recreating the metal texture:


Same effect, different text.

That’s all!

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