In this tutorial, I will show you step-by-step how to design a cracked text effect with Photoshop. I’ve enjoyed the God of War Series since the first one came out back on the Playstation 2 and the neat text and artwork on the cover inspired me to create this tutorial.
This psd tutorial offers be a fantastic opportunity to learn to use custom brush sets as well as other advanced techniques like keyboard shortcuts and the layer blending mode, image adjusting and masking.
To get an idea of what we’re looking to create, check out this preview:
The following stock pieces will be helpful to working on this Photoshop tutorial:
Start a fresh file sized 1200 px * 800 px. Use a black background layer. Add another layer named “background texture” onto the original background layer, then it’s time to use the Grunge Brush set you acquired a minute ago.
First you need to upload the brush set into Photoshop. Do this by pressing the B button to choose the Brush Tool, then follow each step as seen in the screenshots below:
- Select the down arrow option beside the Brush configuration
- Select the over arrow at the top right corner of the brush screen
- Select the “Load Brushes” button on the drop down menu
Now you’ll notice a popup menu – choose the Grunge Brushset you received earlier and you’ll make these brushes show up via the window like you see here:
(The yellow highlights are what you just uploaded)
Your grunge textures are now ready for creating the background texture. With the “background texture” layer, utilize these new brush sets to paint some random patterns onto the layer.
(Tip – do not limit yourself to a single brush type so experiment with different combos and change the opacity / flow for each separate brush).
Here’s a sample of what it might look like:
When you’re happy with your grunge look for your background texture, it’s time to move to the next step. Remember that font you picked up at the beginning of the post? Time to put it to use:
Apply the following layer blending options at this point:
Gradient Overlay: (Tip – left-click and drag on the text to adjust the gradient position)
This should leave you with the following neat text style:
Duplicate the font layer again to give the text bold and thickness:
Load the text layer selection – to learn how this is done, see Step 3 here - and make another layer named “crack texture”. Keep the selection and load the “crack brush set” into Photoshop. With the “crack texture” layer selected use the brush set to color over it.
Notice since you have kept the selection activated that the crack texture works only inside selected areas:
Duplicate the “crack texture” layer again and change the blending mode of the duplicated layer to “Multiply”. You’ll enable this neat effect seen below (the darker text of the crack texture):
Increase the variations of the crack by adding extra layers and with every additional layer apply a unique crack texture via the brush set. Then just set the layer blending mode to “overlay”.
Include as many layers as you desire! Here’s my creation so far after including 2 more crack texture layers:
Let’s add some color to the text. Load the text layer selection once more, make a fresh layer to put onto the rest of the layers named “color overlay”.
Here we’re trying to create some color variation, so I use the Lasso Tool with a 10 px feather, cut the top part of the selection by pressing down the Alt Key when making the selection:
Maintain the selection, pick your color with a brush – I used a soft round one – and color in the selection:
Load the text layer once more to add another layer above the color overlay layer, but now select a light color and soft brush. Color it from the upper part of the text:
Next let’s add a few adjustment layers to enhance the light and color contrasting to complete the look. Add the following 2 adjustment layers (select Layer > New Adjustment Layer > …)
Finally, here is the results of these text effects:
And you’re finished! Explore further by using new textures and explore this site for other tricks for more unique results.
For example, here is an alternative version I created with a little extra work:
If you liked this free tutorial go ahead and share it through your favorite social icon below – thanks!