How To Create a Shiny Metal Text Effect in Photoshop

How To Create a Shiny Metal Text Effect in Photoshop

everyone Chris here from Spoon Graphics back
with another video tutorial. Last week I received a great tutorial suggestion on Twitter from
Daniel Alessandro, who asked if I could create a guide based on the metal text effect from
the title artwork of the upcoming movie Fantastic Beasts. It’s a really nice shiny metal, almost
chrome like effect with a mix of waterdroplets, lens flares and some really cool custom type
that adds sharp scales to depict the scary fantasy beasts the movie is based around. So I got to work and played around in Photoshop
to create something similar. Given the scaly dragon like theme I came up with this artwork
based on the concept of Saint George and The Dragon, so I could try out that kind of type
customisation for myself. In this tutorial I’ll be showing you how to
create this entire concept from scratch, so I’ll post up some kind of time stamp for anyone
who wants to skip ahead to creating the actual metal effect. This tutorial follows on nicely
from last time where I showed how to create a rad 80s chrome logo, so hop in your time
machine once again and we’ll head back to the middle ages for this one! Now this full piece could certainly be created
entirely in Photoshop, but if you have Illustrator available you might as well use it to make
life easier for yourself. If this was a real world project, you would definitely want to
create the basic branding like this in vector format anyway. Open up Adobe Illustrator and create a new
document. Grab the Type tool and begin laying out the words of your title or logo. I’m using
the awesome free font Cinzel, which has a historic roman style to it. Create individual
text elements for each word, or pair of words so you can rearrange them into a nice composition. Little tricks like lining up and scaling each
element to match the other words helps keep the overall design balanced. Now onto the type customisation. To make the
text easier to work with, select all the elements, right click and click Create Outlines. There’s a great opportunity to add a cross
in the centre of the letter O in George to depict the Saint George’s cross. Draw a thin
rectangle with a black fill and no stroke, then Copy and Paste in Front a duplicate.
Rotate this duplicate by 90 degrees, holding shift to keep the angle constrained, then
select them both and hit the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel to merge them into
one shape. Click the word George and select Ungroup from
the right click menu, which will allow you to select just the letter O. Add the cross
to the selection, then give the letter an extra click to make it the Key object. Use
the Align panel to centre the shapes up both horizontally and vertically, followed by the
Unite Pathfinder button to blend them all together. In the newer versions of Illustrator, there’s
some cool widgets then allow you to round off the corners. Use the Direct Selection
tool to shift-click all the points around the cross, then subtly adjust the corner radius. Elsewhere on the artboard, draw a small circle.
Use the Direct Selection tool to drag out the left-most point, then select the Pen tool
and hold the Alt key while clicking the point to remove the bezier handles and make a sharp
point. Click the New icon at the bottom of the Brushes
panel and select New Art Brush. Make sure the flow goes in the right direction to go
from thick to thin. Draw another cicle, then select and delete
the top and left points to leave a quarter circle. Remove the fill, then apply the newly
created brush. Go to Object>Expand Appearance to convert
this stroke into a sold shape. Select the Rotate tool and hold the ALT key
while clicking a pivot point to the left of the shape. In the options enter 10 degrees
and hit the Copy button. Press the shortcut for Transform Again, which
is CMD+D to repeat the effect to form a series of aligned shapes. Select the first copy and scale it down by
a small amount. Select the next shape and press CMD+D twice to scale it down twice as
much. Repeat the process with the next one, except press CMD+D an extra time so the shapes
incrementally reduce in size. Select all the shapes and group them together
so they can all be selected and moved at the same time, then begin scaling and rotating
them to fit within the counter (which is the typographer’s term for the hole) of the letter
D. Rotate and align the shapes enough so that
the angle of the curves matches up exactly to create a smooth transition. Hold the ALT key and drag a copy of the shapes,
then scale, rotate and position them somewhere within the next letter. To mix things up, go to Object>Transform
>Reflect to flip the shapes so they can be used on the opposite side of other letters. Keep creating copies and positioning these
scaly shapes somewhere within every remaining letter of the word Dragon. The leg of the letter R also gives us a great
opportunity to turn it into a spiky dragon’s tail. Select the Brush tool and draw a long
flowing path with a few bends. Use the Direct Selection tool to tweak the
points and bezier handles to produce a smooth path. With the Direct Selection tool still active,
select and delete the points that make up the shape of the letter R’s leg so it can
be replaced with the new brush stroke. Bump up the stroke size to roughly match the
weight of the font, then position it roughly in place and tweak the points of the path. Select the Pen tool and hover over the open
point within the letter R shape. You’ll see a little circular icon which means the path
will be extended. Use this to draw a new shape then blends in with the end of the brush stroke. Make any necessary tweaks with the direct
selection tool to ensure everything transitions smoothly, then go to Object>Expand Appearance
to permanently convert the brush stroke into a shape. Continue with the brush tool to draw a series
of spines down the tail. The positioning doesn’t have to be perfect, just plot a few smooth
short paths. Head back and zoom in to position each of
the spine shapes more accurately so they blend smoothly into the tail outline. The overall logo for Saint George and the
Dragon looks pretty cool with the type customisation, but it’s about time we actually got to the
topic of creating a metal effect in this tutorial. Create a new document in Adobe Photoshop.
I’m using a size of 2000x1300px. Fill the background with black using the shortcut Alt+Backspace. Open up a clouds or smoke image, like this
one I found from Press CMD+A to Select All, CMD+C to Copy, then switch
to the main working document and press CMD+V to paste. Scale, rotate and position the image to fill
the background, then press CMD+Shift+U to desaturate it. Change the blending mode to Linear Light to
boost the contrast against the black background, then reduce the opacity to around 30%. Create a new layer and fill it with black.
Add a layer mask then set up a large soft brush. Dab a few spots around the centre of the black
layer to erase the centre of the mask, leaving a vignette effect. Switch back to Illustrator for a second to
select and copy all the elements that make up the logo, then paste and scale them to
size to fit the main Photoshop document. Make a duplicate of the logo layer using the
shortcut CMD+J, or drag the layer over the new icon. Reduce the Fill amount of the duplicate
to zero, making it invisible for the time being. Double click the first logo layer to open
the Layer Style options. First Add a Color Overlay using a dark grey such as #313131. Next add a Bevel and Emboss effect. Change
the Technique to Chisel Hard then max out the Depth and Size. Alter the shading angle to somewhere in the
upper left, around 132 degrees and 20 degrees altitude. Change the contour to the preset with the
dip in the middle and check the Anti Aliased option. Change both the highlights and shadows mode
to Overlay, then reduce the highlights opacity to 30. Add a Drop Shadow using the settings black,
100% opacity, zero distance and a size that suits your document to create some soft shading.
For me 70px looked fine. Click OK on these settings, then double click
the duplicate layer to add some more styles. Begin with a Bevel and Emboss, but change
the shading settings so that the angle is from the upper right. You’ll have to turn
off Global Light to avoid also changing the other layer. Change the contour to the spiky preset with
two points. Then change the highlights Linear Light at 60% and the shadows to Linear Burn
at 20%. Edit the Contour option from under the Bevel
and Emboss menu and change the preset to the smooth curve, followed by the Anti Aliased
button. Add a Stroke using the settings White, 1px,
Inside and Overlay with 50% opacity to add a thin little highlight around the edge of
the text. Then add some noise to the effect using an
Inner Shadow. Set it up with the Overlay blending mode using a mid grey, then max out the Noise
slider at the bottom. Alter the Size so the effect covers the whole letter. Add a Satin effect and change the settings
to White and Overlay, then tweak the Distance and Size to produce some nice highlights and
reflections. I ended up with 20px Distance and 68px Size. OK these effects to see the shiny metal effect
in action. The key parts are the two Bevel and Emboss effects. Using two layers instead
of one allows the two different angles and shading settings to interact and create a
deeper shine. Open up a rainy window photograph, like this
one from Unsplash. Copy and paste it into the document, then scale it down so it fits
over a portion of the text. Hold the ALT key and drag out duplicates to
cover all the words and letters. Trim it down to size for the smaller words. For any areas that are too big to cover without
leaving a hard edge, use the Eraser to blend them together. Select all the copies from within the Layers
panel and go to Layer>Merge Layers to blend them into one. Hold the CMD key while clicking the layer
thumbnail of the logo layer to load its selection, then go to Select>Inverse. Hit the delete key to trim this rainy drops
layer to size, then change the blending mode to Overlay. Reduce the opacity to around 60%,
then add a Sharpen filter to bring out the details. To save some time creating a lens flare from
scratch, find a free pack online, like this one from PSDbox. Paste it into the document
and scale it down in size, then change the blending mode to Screen to render the black
background transparent. Move the flare into place over one of the
letters, then drag out a copy while holding the Alt key. Scale and stretch this duplicate
into a slightly different shape and position it elsewhere over the design. Repeat the process with a few more flare copies
to add a range of highlights across the artwork, scaling and stretching each one to make it
unique. Create a new layer and draw a selection around
the smaller words of the logo. Use the eyedropper from the foreground colour picker to select
an orangey colour from the lens flare and fill the selection using the ALT+Backspace
shortcut. Load the selection of the logo text layer,
inverse it then delete the excess. Change this layer’s blending mode to Color and reduce
the opacity to around 50% to give these words a gold appearance. One finishing touch to enhance the St George
theme is to add a red cross to the background. Create a new layer above the clouds layer
and press CMD+A to Select All. With the Marquee tool selected, right click
and press Transform Selection. Hold the ALT key and scale it down to a thin column, then
give it a red fill. Transform the selection again. This time rotate
it by 90 degrees and stretch it to fill the width of the document. Fill it with red and
change the blending mode to Color, reducing the opacity to around 20% to tone down its
impact. The final design captures the style of the
Fantastic Beasts movie artwork to produce a fantasy movie title or book cover design
of our own. It’s interesting to see how Photoshop’s Bevel and Emboss settings work with those
extra bits of type customisation we did in Illustrator to create a realistic 3D effect. So I hope you enjoyed this latest video tutorial.
If you did, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to be the first to see my upcoming
videos. If you want to see more, head over to my website at and join my
mailing list to receive plenty of cool design related stuff. Hit me up on Twitter or Facebook
if you want to show me your results from this tutorial, otherwise thanks for watching and
I’ll see you in the next one.

100 thoughts on “How To Create a Shiny Metal Text Effect in Photoshop

  1. I like your idea…how you explain it…I like it all 😀 but can u bit a more slowly? :3 and can u tell where the other tool can be found?…I'm just suggesting hahaha

  2. I find this tutorial makes your text looks freakin amazing. But I literally follow the exact same steps and it looks nothing like that. Every setting is the exact same…

  3. this tutorial is too fast and i cant fuking undesternd . where the damn is art brush tool and who i can aply this… shit man is a bad tutorial

  4. I dig the videos – eveything is super helpful
    one suggestion – PLEASE can you change your background music from the loop you are currently using?
    hearing the same loop over & over again is kind of maddening.

  5. Can you do the same awesome text manipulation (that you did in Illustrator) in Photoshop or do you absolutely need that extra program to create that spiky dragon text? I have Photoshop, but not Illustrator, but I'd love to attempt this tutorial!

  6. Hey man great tutorial! I ran into an issue though that I was hoping you could help me with– When I set the bevel and emboss to chisel hard, it makes the highlights and shadows look real "choppy," but they look smooth on your video. How do you get it to look smooth with it on the chisel hard setting?

  7. i dont understand i followed what you were doing but with a custom logo with out the font and it did not look nothing like what you were doing.

  8. This is a great tutorial, thank you. One problem….you're so fast throughout this video, I've had to rewind numerous times. Then I set the video to half speed and then you sound drunk as hell….just like Dudley Moore in Arthur

  9. wow, i can make a logo like this but with a lot more steps, thanks for the shortcuts, will save me a lot of time….

  10. 3 people know how to do it better! Where's your voice? Where's your tutorial?

    +SpoonGraphics great job! I can't think of anything better than this 😀 Congratulations.

  11. When i copy the edited text from illustrator to photoshop the resolution changes drastically. I almost can count the pixels… Do you know how to solve this problem? I did follow all the instructions but it keep appearing ugly.

  12. Terrific tutorial. Crisp, to the point and totally gets the job done! One question though… when I flatten my final image or merge the layers, it changes the shading/highlight effects on the letters — can't figure out how to go from multi-layer to a single layer without the unwelcome shift.

  13. Hate for this to come across as spam, I just wanted to say that I too posted a tutorial on creating a slightly different style of metal text in Photoshop. If people are still deciding on what style they are going for it may be worth your while checking my tutorial out. Great tutorial Spoon!

  14. This text looks amazing unfortunately I cannot complete this cool look because the camera gets blurry from 7:50 to the end and I cannot see the settings used to complete the look. Is there a pdf of written effects instructions? It's too blurry for me to make out the effects options. Mine ended up nothing like this because of it. Thanks for such a cool tutorial I just wish I could complete it.

  15. This text looks amazing unfortunately I cannot complete this cool look because the camera gets blurry from 7:50 to the end and I cannot see the settings used to complete the look. Is there a pdf of written effects instructions? It's too blurry for me to make out the effects options. Mine ended up nothing like this because of it. Thanks for such a cool tutorial I just wish I could complete it.

  16. This was super helpful and turned out excellent on a logo design I'm making for a friend. Love your tutorials!

  17. I have been bing watching your tutorials. Love how they are fast enough to watch as a video yet easy enough to follow along

  18. Great work, thank you!
    One caveat, you talked very fast and I kept having to stop and rewind the video.

  19. Please teach me how to make this text >>>, I tried for so long still couldn't make it exactly alike. Please help me!!!! 🙁

  20. Someone please explain whats going on at 1:50–2:30. I am confuse and and couldnt find solution elsewhere..

  21. How to you scale a layer on the fly? There's no scale box when I create a new layer. I have to manually select free transform and apply transformation each time. So annoying.

  22. Hands down this is about the best tutorial I've seen so far.
    Now let's put it to practice and see if I can get such a wonderful design!!!

    THANKS A LOT!!!!!

  23. Join my mailing list at Spoon Graphics if you want to keep up with all my other content. Every subscriber gets a FREE design resources bundle! 📦

  24. i could be perfect .. if you were not so fast .. ! so hard for a french like me to follow you also with the latest version of Adode Suite .. 😉

  25. awesome tutorial ! keep up more with all these videos, including websites on getting free pictures 😀 thank you very much

  26. Well…. I already have a font that's just like the one in Fantastic Beasts… Seeing as the effect worked with the one you used, with the indents and stuff, will it work with the one I have for the spiky, spiny design of my font? Also…. I don't have Photoshop. I already used up my 7-day tutorial a long time ago :/

  27. This was an amazing tutorial. I like the work from Illustrator to Photoshop, the explanation, short keys, effects, etc. I learned so much in 12 mins. Thanks!!



  29. Thank you SO much! There are so many tutorials out there but they aren't as well explained and awesome as this. This is amazing! Helped a lot with my movie poster design. Thank you!!! x10

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