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Create Insanely Realistic Metal Text in Photoshop

This Adobe Photoshop tutorial takes the simple “create metal text effect in Photoshop” that thousands of people teach all over the web and turns it on it’s head! Adding polishes, shines, motion blurs, and oh yes… NINJA STARS. It’s a must read.


This tutorial is free for all to view!  If you want access to the source files click here.

Here is a preview of the final image we will be creating:

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Virtually everything in this tutorial is made from scratch except for the ninja silhouette and the ninja stars.  Here are the images you’ll need to download:

Ninja Star


To begin we’ll open a new document in Photoshop (we’re using Adobe Photoshop CS3) with the following dimensions:

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Now we’re going to quickly create a background that will make the text pop.  First, create a new layer and select the gradient tool (g) and in the top toolbar select the following settings:  Picture 3To change the gradient, just click on the gradient box Picture 5 and select black to a light gray (#565656) gradient. Like the picture below:

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Name this layer “gradient” and set it’s blending mode to multiply

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Now, push the letter “d” on your keyboard to reset the foreground and background colors and then click the white background swatch and change it to #838383

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and create a new layer BELOW the “gradient” layer and name it “clouds”:

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With the clouds layer selected go to Filter > Render > Clouds

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Select the “gradient” layer again and go to select filter > pixelate > mezzotint with the following settings:

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Then select filter > render > fibers

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Then select Blur > Radial Blur > Zoom with the following settings:

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Now decrease the opacity of the “clouds” layer to 88%

Now we’re going to add the ninja silhouette to the right side of the image.  First, open the ninja picture we downloaded above and using the pen tool click and draw around the ninja’s outline.

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Once the entire ninja has been outlined go to the paths tab and Command + Left Mouse Click on the thumbnail to load the selecting.

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Click back into the layers palette, select the layer with the Ninja on it.  Select the Marquee tool (M) and right click “Layer via cut”

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Now drag this cut out layer into our Photoshop document with the background we previously created:

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Name this layer “ninja” and drag it below the clouds layer:

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Select Command + M on the keyboard to bring up the levels window.  Mimic this curve and push enter:

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Now We’re done with the background and we’re on to creating the awesome text.


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