Create text on water in Photoshop

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a summer card with the reflection of text on water in Photoshop. This lesson is of average difficulty. In this tutorial, we’ll use layer styles, smart objects, overlay techniques, adjustment layers, and more. With this tutorial, we can create your own summer or birthday card to surprise your friends as well as your family members.

This text effect is perfect, for example, to create postcards dedicated to summer holidays. You can create an effect on water using text, arbitrary shapes, etc.

So let’s get started!

The final result:

Step 1

To create text on water, we need a photo with the image of the sea, lake or any image with a water surface. I use the original image with the sea beach, which you can download from the link at the beginning of this tutorial, but you can use any other original image that you like, it can be a photo from summer vacation. Open the original image with the sea beach in Photoshop. Name the layer with the beach Sea beach (Sea Beach).

Step 2

Choose a tool Horizontal text (Text Tool). Type over text Sea beach (Sea Beach). You can use any font, as well as any font size at your discretion. I used a font called League Spartan.

Step 3

Next to the text you can add, for example, the silhouette of a sailboat. You can create a vector shape from graphic images using the Action Silhouettes of shapes (fee-based). So, select the image of a sailboat from the set of Maritime themes and with the help of action turn the sailboat into an arbitrary figure.

Note: ready-made arbitrary figures on the sea theme can be downloaded from the link from our site.

Step 4

Select the text layer and the sailboat silhouette layer to convert them into a smart object. Once you have selected the specified layers, then right-click on the selected layers and in the appeared window select the option Convert to Smart Object (Convert to Smart Object). Name this layer Text on water (Water Text).

Step 5

To layer Text on water (Water Text), add a layer mask, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 6

Choose a tool Gradient (Gradient Tool), set black and white gradient. Make sure that the mask thumbnail is active, not the smart object thumbnail, otherwise, the message Using the Gradient tool is not possible: the smart object is not directly editable (Could not use the instrument because it is not directly editable). Hold down (SHIFT) and drag the gradient from left to right.

Step 7

Click on the layer with the smart object and in the appeared window again select the option Transform at smart-an object (Convert to smart object). The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Step 8

Next, go Editing – Transformation – Distortion (Edit> Transform> Distort). Change the perspective of the text in accordance with the perspective of the sea surface, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 9

Now let’s add layer styles to this layer with a smart object. First decrease the value Fillings (Fill) layer to 0%, and the value Opacity (Opacity) layer up to 30%; Do not worry if the text disappears.

Step 10

Add the following layer styles to the text layer. Shadow (Drop Shadow) and External glow (Outer Glow).

For layer style Shadow (Drop Shadow), set the following settings:

  • Blend mode Hard light (Hard Light)
  • Color # 5ff9ff

For layer style External glow (Outer Glow), set the following settings:

  • Blend mode Overlap (Overlay)
  • Color # d6fdff.

Step 11

To make text reflection on the water surface more realistic, many Photoshop users use the Filter Bias (Displace) of Photoshop program, you can get acquainted with the lessons on creating distortion effects at the specified link. But since this technique is too complicated, then we use a filter Ripple (Ripple Filter) instead of the previously specified filter. So let’s go Filter Distortion – Ripple (Filter – Distort – Ripple). Set the settings that are shown in the screenshot below.

Filter Lessons Bias (Displace) on our website:

  • Add text on a rough surface in Photoshop?
  • Add a pattern on the fabric in Photoshop
  • We put on make-up in Photoshop

Step 12

The text on the water surface should look like in the screenshot below. Since we transformed the text layer into a smart object, then at any time you can change the text itself, its shape and font.

Step 13

If you want to make the image more attractive, then you can add palm trees, which will create an excellent base. Using any selection tool you prefer to work with, separate the palm trees from the background. For the correction of color tones, use the correction Color Balance (Color Balance) and Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) to reduce brightness.

Step 14

If you want, you can add a sunlight effect using the original image with a sun flare. First, convert the sun flare layer into a smart object, and then change the blending mode to Lightening (Screen).

Step 15

Apply a filter to the sun flare layer. Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur), for this we go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur).

Step 16

Click on the filter mask thumbnail, and then press the keys (CTRL + I) to invert the white colors to black. Choose a tool Brush (Brush Tool), set a soft white brush, and then just paint over the horizon line at the intersection with palm trees. Also paint along the edges of the image to create a smooth transition.

Step 17

To change the color tone, as well as the effect brightness, you can add adjustment layers. Gradient map (Gradient Map), (gradient colors: # 886203 and # fed903, blending mode Chromaticity (Color)) and Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast). Do not forget to convert these adjustment layers to clipping masks; to do this, right-click on the adjustment layer in the layers palette and in the appeared window select the option Create clipping mask (Create Clipping Mask).

Step 18

To the layer with the sun flare, add a layer mask and with the help of a soft black brush hide the effect of reflection of sunlight on the sea surface, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 19

As final touches, you can add optical highlights as well as apply sharpness to the entire image using the filter. Colour contrast (High Pass).

Step 20

If you want, you can add an interesting effect by watching the lesson on creating the effect of a curved page.

Or you can use classic templates for postcards. And also with the help of various actions, you can put your personal print on your card.

Note. Additions from our site:

  • Brush “Stamps, envelopes, stamps”
  • PSD source – Stamps and seals
  • PSD source – Stamps

The final result:

Job translator:

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