Create an Exploding Light Text Effect in Photoshop

Create an Exploding Light Text Effect in Photoshop

In this tutorial I wanted to take a look at a couple of techniques for an exploding text effect. I knew going into this tutorial that I wanted a thick heavy font with portions that are corroding and breaking apart with various explosions, and I want some dramatic lighting to punch it up a bit.



Below is a preview of what we’ll be creating.

Full text version. Click to enlarge.

Step 1

Choose a nice heavy font. I chose a font called Tank. You can purchase it here if you don’t already have it.

Create a new square document in Photoshop, 1200×1200 pixels at 300 dpi. Make the background black and enter some text in white.

Step 2

Next I want to place a texture over the text. I chose the first texture in the Grunge Wall Texture Pack here at WeGraphics. I placed the texture over the text layer, and loaded the text’s shape as a selection by holding the Cmd key and clicking the text layers thumbnail. I then inverted the selection (Cmd + Shift + i) and deleted the texture that fell outside the text shape.

At this point you can hide or delete the text layer. We won’t be using it moving forward.

Now let’s remove the color from the texture by clicking (Image | Adjust | Desaturate). Then lets adjust the levels (Image | Adjust | Levels) to make the blacks blacker and the whites whiter.

Step 3

Now we need to add a subtle background. Make a freehand selection around the text with the Lasso Tool (L). Then feather the selection (Select | Modify | Feather) by 50 pixels. Fill the selection with solid black on a new layer behind the text. Then select (Filter | Render | Difference Clouds). You may need to repeat the Difference Clouds a couple of times before you are happy with the results. Set the opacity of the clouds layer to 50%.

Step 4

Now it’s time to start removing some of our letters to create the explosion effect. Download the Free 3D Explosion Brush Set from WeGraphics. I used only the brush below for all of the explosions in this piece.

Instead of loading it as a brush load it as your Eraser (E), scale it down to around 200, begin erasing portions of the text with a single click each time.

Now on a new layer behind the text select your Brush Tool (B), color set to white, and sized around 600-800 and begin adding the exploding areas around the portions that you erased.

Step 5

Now lets begin adding some of the lighting effects. I decided that I wanted to make streaks of light that appear to be breaking the text up. To do that, I created a new layer and drew an oval selection with the Elliptical Marque Tool (M). Same as before, I feathered the selection by 30, filled it with black on a new layer, and rendered Difference Clouds 2 or 3 times.

Next we need to reshape the light streak using the Warp Tool (Edit | Transform | Warp). Create an arc that you can place around the letters. The goal here is to make it look as though the streaks of light are moving around the letters.

Once you get the shape right with the Warp Tool duplicate it several times and move, rotate and scale it around the letters to correspond with your explosions. You may need to add a layer behind the text for some of these streaks. I also erased some areas on the streaks to make them appear as though they are coming through the explosions.

Step 6

I want to add a bit more to the overall explosion effect. Right now the bang is not quite big enough. In order to accomplish this I grabbed a brush from the Perfect Grunge Brush Set, and added it to a layer above all others. I then added a Radial Blur (Filter | Blur | Radial Blur) to the layer using the following settings.

Step 7

Next let’s add a bit of color to the document. On a layer above all of the others let’s add a new Gradient Map Adjustment Layer. I used the following settings for my gradient.

Below are the results of my coloration. The subtle orange hue gives the letters a bit of a metallic feel, which I like.

Step 8

For the final step, lets add a bit of lighting around the streaks we added earlier. To accomplish this, lets create a new layer above your streaks and begin clicking with a soft white brush. Vary the brush in sizes from around 200-400. To light the explosion areas, I created a new layer behind the text and used the same soft white brush.

That’s all there is to it. I’d love the hear what you think of these simple techniques. And feel free to share your results with us using the comment fields below.

Related Posts

feat month

2500+ premium design resources for only $7!

We do the best to provide high-quality products that you can use in your commercial projects.
You bet!

take a tour

Nathan Brown

Nathan Brown is a graphic designer who loves working with various media. He combines traditional art styles with a little experimentation and digital flare. Nathan's works have contained everything from ink and paint to leaves and a box of dirt. Everything is fare game when it comes to his approach to art. Nathan lives in Austin, Texas where he has been working as a designer for 10 years. More of his work can be viewed at GraphicMonkee.

32 Comments

(+add yours)
  1. Simply great.
    But the final image is too noisy..
    It should be clearly visible then it would be perfect…

    • Using a more subtle texture on the letters would probably make it less noisy in the end. Good comment. Thnx!

      • Bu I think you did a great job with this Nathan. I love the exploding effect. In my point of view it’s not too noisy. an explosion has a lot of particles release in the air. So, I guess this is perfect and I love it.

        ~Ashley

  2. Interesting result, congratulation, good work :)

  3. Love this, thank you.

  4. steven

    hi, great tutorial only downside i see is you don’t say what plug ins are needed at the start, i get halfway through and find i need to buy a brush set that i can’t afford right now. bummer

    • B.

      be creative and use what you have ;)

      And Nathan thanks for this awesome tutorial!

  5. This is cool. I just used it on the text for one of my flyers and the client loves it so thank you so much.

  6. Super awesome

  7. Sumeet

    simple methods but gave out an awesome effect.

  8. MadLabs

    tank font can be freely downloaded from http://www.fonts101.com/fonts/view/Display/33840/Tank

  9. thanks for the tutorial, very nice

  10. H-D

    can you make the tutorial video? I still don’t understand…
    when I coloring, the brush still white… :(
    *sorry for my bad english*

  11. Someone essentially assist to make severely articles I’d state.
    This is the first time I frequented your website page and
    so far? I surprised with the analysis you made to make this particular publish extraordinary.
    Fantastic job!

  12. rafal

    it’s great but i have w problem with step 7 and 8. I think i make some mistakes but i dont know where

  13. Hmm it seems like your website ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had
    written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing.

    Do you have any points for novice blog writers? I’d genuinely appreciate
    it.

  14. Hi! Someone in my Facebook group shared this sife with
    us so I came to give it a look. I’m definitely enjoying the
    information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweetging this to my followers!
    Terrific blog aand terriic design.

  15. I will immediately clutch your rss feed as I can not find
    your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service. Do you have any?
    Please allow me realize in order that I may just subscribe.
    Thanks.

  16. Some popular cigar brands include 5 Vegas, Acid, 1876Reserve, Blue Label, CAO,
    Brocatus, Belicoso, Boxer – Indian Tabac Maduro, Shrapnel, Romeo y
    Jukieta Viejo, Victor Sinclair, Professor Sila, NUB, Graycliff, annd many others.
    Popullar for pre-theatre and pre-opera dining, Coquette tends to attract an enlightened
    yuppie set – the financial advisor types who also fancy themselves patrons of the
    arts. The discount women’s perfume frsgrance is designed to relax the mind,
    calming both yourself and others.

  17. I think the admin of this webb site iss truly working hard in
    support of his site, as here every material is quality based data.

  18. This excellent website certainly has all of the information I
    needed concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  19. Nice blog right here! Also your site loads up fast!
    What host are you tthe use of? Can I am getting your affiliatee link on your host?

    I want my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  20. Excellent site you have got here.. It’s difficult to find quality writing like yours these days.
    I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

  21. Hi there this is kinda of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code
    with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding experience so I wanted
    to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  22. Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to send you an email.
    I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing.

    Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing
    it improve over time.

  23. It’s not my first time to go to see this site, i am browsing this
    website dailly and get nice facts from here all the time.

  24. Hello, yup this post is in fact fastidious and I have learned lot of things from it on the topic of blogging.

    thanks.

  25. Hi there! I know this is kinda off topic nevvertheless I’d figured
    I’d ask. Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest writing a blog article or
    vice-versa? My blog goes over a lot of thee same topics as yours and I think we could
    greatly benefit from each other. If you’re interested feel free to shoot me an email.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Great blog by the way!

  26. bisa minta kontak nya bos..? ada pertanyaan sedikit nih :
    D

  27. I really likke what you guys aare up too. This type of clever work and exposure!
    Keep upp the good works guys I’ve added
    you guys to myy personal blogroll.

  28. My brother suggested I might like this website. He was entirely right.
    This post actually made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  29. Hello, i believe that i noticed you visited my web site so
    i came to go back the want?.I am trying to to find issues to enhance my site!I
    guess its adequate to make use oof some of your concepts!!

Leave your comment

© Copyright 2010 WeGraphics.net - All rights reserved. Design and code by WeGraphics Team