Create “Cold Winter Night” Text Effect in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to create this interesting cold winter night text effect in Photoshop. We will go through some texturing techniques, as well as an interesting method of creating break-apart effect. We will also use image adjustment layers to fine-tune the final effect.

Note: The Photoshop tutorial is done in CS6 – therefore some screenshot may have slighting different layout as in the earlier version. Some brushes are exclusive to Photoshop CS6.

Here is a preview of the final effect I have for this tutorial: (click to enlarge)


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OK Let’s get started!

To complete this tutorial, you will need the following stocks:


Tree Stock 1

Tree Stock 2

Step 1

Create a new document sized 720px * 1019px with black background. We will begin working on the background image.

Select the following image from the Background pack you’ve downloaded, copy and paste it over to our document:

1 paste

Use a soft eraser to remove the following area from this layer:

1 erase

Add the following image adjustment layers on top:

Black and White

1 bw


1 lvs


1 curves

and you will have the following effect so far:

1 effect

Step 2

We will add a dying tree into the image in step 2. Load the tree stock 1 image into Photoshop and use the quick selection/magic wand tool to select the tree as shown below:

2 sel

Copy and paste the selection over to our document, resize and position it to the bottom of the canvas:

2 paste

Add the following image adjustment layers as clipping masks to this tree layer:

Black and White

2 bw


2 lvs

Layer mask on the leves adjustment layer:

2 lvs mask


2 curves

Layer mask on the curves adjustment layer:

2 curves mask

and you will have the following effect so far:

2 effect

Step 3

We will add some flying tree branches around the canvas to add some motions into our image. To do this, we can group all the tree layers from step 2 into a folder, duplicate this folder to merge the folder content. Then use the eraser tool to break the trees apart, as shown below:

3 erase

We want to add them to both side of the canvas, as shown below:

3 tree more

Let’s start working on the text. Use any font you like, type some texts vertically onto the canvas as shown below:

3 text

Load the “tree stock 2” image into Photoshop. Select the text layer and move the selection to the tree stock image as shown below:

3 move sel

Copy and paste the selection over to our document, you will see the tree texture cover the text layer as shown below:

3 paste

Make sure you hide the original text layer after pasting the texture.

Step 4

We will add some layer blending options for this new text layer we created in step 3:

Bevel and Emboss

4 bevel

Gradient Overlay

4 grad

Add the following image adjustment layers as clipping masks to this text layer:

Black and White

4 bw


4 lvs


4 curves

and you will have the following effect:

4 effect

Step 5

We will work creating some break apart effect for our text. To do this, we use the same method as we did in step 3 – group all the text layers we created in step 3 and 4 into a folder, merge the contents in this folder, then use a eraser tool to break text apart, as shown below:

5 erase

Resize this layer to a smaller scale:

5 transform

Duplicate and scatter the layer around the canvas:

5 more debris

Use a cloud/smoke brush to paint some cloud around the text:

5 smoke

Step 6

We’re almost done! For final touches, we can use a particle brush to paint some particle effect around the tree:

6 particle

We can add a colour balance adjustment layer on top to add a cold effect for our text:

6 col sha

6 col mid

6 col high

and here is my final effect: (click to enlarge)


That’s it for this tutorial! Hope you enjoy going through it and find it useful. Drop me a comment below if you have any question.

Till next time, have a great day!

Categories: Text Effects

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