Design a futuristic 2011 wallpaper

Design a futuristic 2011 wallpaper

We couldn’t start the new year without a Photoshop tutorial on how to realize a high-style 2011 wallpaper! Let’s create together a futuristic type treatment in 16 easy-to-follow steps. We will deal in particular with layer masks and light effects. Also I will show you the power of layer styles and how they can be used to realize awesome text effects.


Futuristic 2011 wallpaper

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Step 1

Let’s start creating a new 1920×1200 pixels document in Photoshop (this is the size of my desktop, you are free to set up yours). Resolution is 72 pixels/inch.

After unlocked the background layer (double-click on it), right-click on its thumb in the layers window add select “blending options”. Here add a gradient overlay going from grey (#565656) to black (#000000).

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper

Step 2

To create a grunge background we need a texture. Our Scratched Metallic Textures set is perfect for this purpose. I used metal_2.jpg.

Merge it into the document (File>Open… and select the texture). Then press ctrl+T to activate the Free transform tool and rotate and resize the texture to match the canvas size.

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper

Desaturate the texture (Image>Adjustments>Desaturate) and set the layer blend mode to overlay with opacity around 25%. Apply a couple of times the sharpen filter (Filter>Sharpen>Sharpen) if the texture is too much subtle.

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper

Step 3

The choice of the right font is fundamental to achieve the desired result. In this case I used Null, a marvelous bold free font.

The text color is not important, we will modify it later with layer styles. Font size is 335pt.

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper

Step 4

With the blending options, add a 16px stroke effect to the text, with position set up on “inside”.

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper

Step 5

Now the tricky step: we need to separate the stroke effect from the white text. Why? Because if we separate them, we can apply different layer styles later to both the stroke and the text.

In the layers window, right-click on the styles (displayed below the text layer), and select “create layer”. You will obtain a layer with the text and a separated layer with the stroke effect (the small arrow indicates the clipping mask).

If you hold down alt and click between the text layer and its stroke, you will eliminate the clipping mask and the stroke effect will be transformed into a black rectangle. We can replace the stroke without the clipping mask (that could cause problems later, this is why we’ve eliminated it). Simply select the stroke layer, ctrl-click on the text layer to select its pixels and press the “add layer mask button” which is at the bottom of the layers window.

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper

Step 6

To eliminate the area of the text that is overlapped by the stroke effect, select the text effect layer, ctrl+click on the stroke layer (pay attention to click on the layer thumb, not over the layer mask), inverse the selection (Select>Inverse) and add a layer mask.

In the screenshot below I moved down the the text layer so you can see better the result of this step:

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper

Step 7

Right click on the layer mask of the text and select “Apply layer mask”. Do the same with the stroke. Now we have 2 layers containing 2 simple shapes.

Zoom in and refine the edges of the stroke with the help of the rectangular marquee tool:

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper

Step 8

We can start adding style to the stroke shape. Open the Blending options window and add a dark grey (#242424) color overlay:

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper

Then select Bevel and Emboss to give depth to the shape:

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper

Finally add a drop shadow (white) to stand out the stroke shape:

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper

Step 9

To add a touch of grunge to the stroke shape we can use one of our Grunge textures Vol1. I merged grunge7.jpg into the document, then I resized and rotated it (ctrl+T) and set the layer to overlay so you can preview how the texture will affect the stroke.

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper

Reduce opacity to 30%, then ctrl+click on the stroke layer and add a layer mask so the texture will be applied only to the stroke shape (same technique explained in step 5)

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper

Step 10

Let’s switch to the blending options of the text layer.

Add a dark grey (#282828) color overlay:

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper

Add satin set up on color dodge with white as color, in order to lighten the text:

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper

Finally add an inner shadow:

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper

Step 11

Create a new group between the text and the stroke layer. Here we will put in the texture for the text. Add a layer mask to the group after selected the text layer (ctrl+click on its thumb). In this way all what we will put inside the group will affect only the area covered by the text.

Firstly I put in one of our Concrete textures. Set the layer to overlay with opacity around 35%.

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper

Secondly I created a new layer and painted over the edges of the text using a large soft black brush (hardness 0%)

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper

Step 12

The last touch to the text will be a eye-catching line inside the stroke shape. Create a new layer and ctrl+click on the stroke shape to select its pixels. Then go to Select>Modify>Contract and enter a value around 7px.

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper

Press alt+delete to fill the selection with the foreground color (the color is not important at this stage). Then press ctr+D to deselect.

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper

Step 13

Open the styles window to stylize the inner shape. Start by adding a gradient overlay (angle 90°) going from yellow (#ffb90d) to a warm red (#cc0045) to green (#009980)

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper

Add Bevel and Emboss with the following settings:

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper

Add a soft white outer glow:

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper

Step 14

Create a new layer and fill it with black. Make sure to have white and black as foreground and background color and go to Filter>Render>Clouds. Set the layer to screen and reduce the opacity to around 15%. We have so created subtle clouds that will enhance later our light effects.

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper

Step 15

It’s time to add color to our composition. Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Gradient Map to create a new gradient map layer (you can see it into your layers window). Set a gradient going from purple (#6f156c) to green (#00601b) to orange (#fd7c00). Switch the layer to overlay with opacity 70%.

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper

Step 16

To complete the wallpaper, let’s add some astonishing light effects, using the usual technique: create a new group and put it immediately below the gradient map layer. Switch the group blending mode to color dodge. Create a layer inside the group, grab a large soft white brush e click once. Move the light effect over the area you want to enhance. Play with layers’ opacities so light effects won’t be too much strong.

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper


The wallpaper is now complete! Enjoy it ;-)

Futuristic 2011 wallpaper


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(+add yours)
  1. Dendoo

    Nice! Sometimes hard but i created it successful.

    • Yes, there are a couple of tricky steps, but if you learn these techniques they can help a lot your workflow :-)

      • Dendoo

        This website is really good. Im from slovak republic and this site i found at

        Now im next regular visitor of this site. Im 15 years old and my interest is graphic (adobe photoshop) and video effects (adobe after effects) =)

        But sorry for my language skills =(
        Nice work Sebastiano!

  2. Peter

    Awesome tutorial, especially since i just found this website, glad i stumbled across your blog.

  3. This is awesome! Somehow the typeface reminds me of Tron. Anyways great work Sebastiano wish you a successful year!

  4. ali

    Very nice tutorial, Thanks man!!

  5. Quality tutorial with an unique effect. Good job, keep it up. Respect.

  6. Love the effect and feel of the final image, a well written tutorial I might add. You get my thumbs up for this Sebastiano!

  7. Thanks guys for your kind words ;-)

  8. Osvaldo

    Just for the records: you forgot to mention on step 7 to rasterize the text in order to use the “apply layer mask” option. Maybe the newbies would get lost :)

  9. Great and easy to follow Tutorial, thanks.

  10. Ledtex

    Hey, great tutorial mate =).

    But still, I got stucked at step 5:

    Simply select the stroke layer, right-click on the text layer to select its pixels and press the “add layer mask button” which is at the bottom of the layers window.

    Could anyone help me please? =)

    • Hi Ledtex,

      I can help you ;-)

      When I write “simply select the stroke layer” I mean select the layer with the stroke from the layers window (on the bottom-right you should have the layers window. If not go to Windows>Layers). Then ctrl+click (not right-click sorry!) on the text layer (always from the layers window) and you’ll see a selection active. Finally add a layer mask simply by pressing the apposite button at the bottom of the layers window

      • Ledtex

        Hey, thank you for answer, but I still have troubles x).

        I’ve made a screen shots here:

        I select stroke layer, ctrl + click on text layer as you said…
        but then I can’t add mask to those layers.

        Sorry for annoying you =).

      • Seen.

        The problem is that you have 2 layers selected, so you can’t add a layer mask. Ctrl+click to the thumbnail image of the text (the white square with the T inside) to make a selection without activate the layer.

      • daniel

        how can i disappear the little arrow??? :S

  11. You have many great tutorials. I really love your site. Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing. This really helps out a lot.

  12. Toby

    Hey Sebastiano!

    i tried to get this working.. and it does to step 5# after that im kinda lost!

  13. Thanks for sharing. I have to try with my own style.

  14. Danielle

    Hi there! Amazing tutorial that I would love to finish, but unfortunately I am stuck at step 6. The few previous steps before that, my layers match up to what yours look like, but your images don’t look like what mine do… mine just look like big black rectangles. Can you help me get through this part? Thank you!

  15. really awesome tutorial, thank you very much!

    this is my outcome

  16. thanks, i love text effects like many!

  17. Marie

    Wow, that gave me something to sweat over, had few hard times but learn effective new things – therefore I thank you very much.

  18. Adorkablicous

    Nice tutorial, although if I may suggest another methode of seperating the stroke effect from the text itself:

    1. Duplicate the text layer with stroke;
    2. Set “fill” to 0% leaving only the stroke behind;
    3. Create a blank layer above or below the 0% fill text layer (shift + select);
    4. Select both the blank layer and 0% fill layer;
    5. Go to layer > merge layers or alternatively click ctrl + E

    And there you go, now you have seperate layer for both your text and stroke effect respectfully!

    • NyxBreed

      THANK YOU!
      That was so much easier then what he was trying to explain.

  19. angie

    Step 7: I couldn’t get the text layer to apply layer mask. When i right clicked it, the apply layer mask function was not enabled. Only the inner stroke can be applied. Any ideas? Thanks!

  20. Svetoisckia

    Where do you think i can find a good free photoshop download. i had it once but i don’t remember where i got it from..:-s

  21. Sam Ness

    With step 5 it would be a lot easier to just get the magic wand tool out select the stroke on each letter and go command+shift+J and you have two separate layers each con tainting the stroke and the text. But other than that a great tutorial, thanks

  22. NyxBreed

    HELP!!!!! It won’t let me Select>Modify>Contract (Step 12). The Modify selection is greyed out and I am unable to select it.

  23. Drew

    Steps 5, 6, and 7 are a bit confusing, I cannot figure out what you did, I do everything you are saying, and my item looks nothing like yours. it goes all white.


    Please help me
    thank you

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