Tutorial: Guitar Amp Text Effect (Photoshop)

Hi Guys,

Today I will be taking you step by step through one of my favourite text effects. I first came up with this effect a few years ago to promote an open mic night. I came up with a couple of ideas and this was one of the ideas that I really loved coming up with.

So here we go:

  1. Firstly lets open up photoshop and load up an image at 1000×1000 pixels, set it to 8 bit RGB and title it guitar amp text.Step-1
  2. Now we want to fill our background layer with a radiant gradient fill as shown below. Colours are #000000 and #373737Step-2a Step-2b Step-2c
  3. Now we’re going to need to define our grill pattern, First Create a new image at 30×30 pixels and make it transparent Step-3aNow with a the pencil tool and in white sketch out your grill pattern (any pattern will do as long as it repeats).Step-3b then go to the edit menu and define pattern.Step-3cName the Pattern anything you want and hit ok.Step-3d
  4. Time to head back to our main image now go to the layer menu and select new fill layer and then select pattern.Step-4a
    Then select your grill pattern and hit ok.Step-4b
  5. We now need to rasterize your new pattern fill layer by right clicking on it in the layers window and then selecting rasterize layer.Step-5aWith this done we can now apply our blending options to make this look really good. so right click on the layer again and click blending options. Then apply the following effects with these settings.Step-5b Step-5c Step-5dYour grill should now be looking something like this… Step-5e
  6. So far so good, time to get our text on, select an appropriate font, I used Magneto which is available here. Make sure you are writing in white and then write out what it is you want to say.Step-6aNow create a new layer below your text layer and call it “black plastic”.Step-6bThis layer is going to be our black plastic on which we will mount our text, the next thing we need to do is select our text so ctrl or cmd click our text layer to select it. Then expand your selection by going to select menu and then modify and then expand.Step-6cI found that expanding by 15 pixels gave me the best result.Step-6dMake sure the “black plastic” layer is selected and fill the selection with black.Step-6e
  7. To make the plastic look right we’ll need to apply the following blending options.Step-7a Step-7bYour image should now be looking something like this.Step-7c
  8. If I was lazy we could probably call it a day there, but lets be honest this isn’t looking too great just yet. Making something look great is all about small details and imperfections. Seriously imperfections are what will really sell an effect. However before we can get in to that lets move and resize our text and plastic. Select all the layers above our grill layer and move and resize them together (press ctrl/cmd and T). Step-8aNow with most amps the white paint on the badge is normally a thick gloopy paint that is slightly off white and sometimes breaks off. To emulate this create a new layer above the text layer and call it “paint-white”.Step-8bNow ctrl/cmd click on the text layer to select it. Now on our paint-white layer use the brush tool with the round fan stiff bristles preset selected and colour #e4e1b6 brush over our font (remember we aren’t looking for perfection).Step-8cIt is probably really hard to tell the difference right now, but we’re about to change that, apply the following blending options to the “paint-white” layer.Step-8dTurn off your text layers visibility and your image should now be looking something like this…Step-8e
  9. The image is really starting to come together now, just a couple of final steps to go. The grill looks great if a little too clean so lets dirty it up a bit, create a new layer above the grill layer call it “grill paint” and set its blending mode to multiply and then using the brush tool roughly paint around the edges of the image in black.Step-9aThat’s great but we only want to apply it to our grill layer, so right click on the “grill paint” layer and click create clipping mask.Step-9bJust to add a bit more of a dynamic to our grill we’ll put in another radial gradient, create a layer above the “grill paint” layer and call it “grill gradient” In this layer use the gradient tool to create a radial gradient that goes from transparent to black, set the layer mode to multiply again and create a clipping mask again.Step-9c
  10. Finally all we want to do is pull out a little more contrast, to do this go to the layers menu and select new adjustment layer and select curvesStep-10aSet our curves layer is a gentle s shape as below.Step-10bMake sure your curves layer is at the top of your layers window.

And there we go your finished image should be something like this.Guitar-Amp-TextI hope you guys find this tutorial useful, please leave comments below or contact me at www.vpdesign.me.uk

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