Design a Chilling and Icy Text Effect in Photoshop

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In this tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to design this chilling and icy text effect in Photoshop. Yesterday and today are both really hot in my city (suppose to be winter right now here!!), so I though I can make something to cool myself down :)

Along the way, we will be practicing a lot of layer blending technques, applying texture, selection technique, and an interesting method to create snowy/foggy effect.  Have a try!

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


Alternative version: (click to enlarge)


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Ok let’s get started!

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

Ice Grunge Brushset


Ice Package

Step 1

Create a new document sized 1000px * 600px, leave the background colour as white, and let’s firstly make a background to work on.

Grab the Ice Grunge Brushset we just downloaded, paint around the edges of the background layer as shown below: (tip: set the opacity and flow of the brush to around 50%, and try to use a variety of brushes in the set so we can have a mixture of patterns)

Optionally, you can apply the Star Brushset for extra effect.

1 paint

We can now add some cooling effect to the background. To do so, I added two adjustment layers to it:

Colour Balance

1 col bal

Brightness and Contrast

1 brightness

and here is the effect so far:

1 effect

Step 2

Use the font we just downloaded and type some texts onto the document:

2 type

Apply the following layer blending option to this text layer:

Drop Shadow

2 drop shadow

Inner Shadow

2 inner sha

Outer Glow

2 outer glow

Inner Glow

2 inner glow

Bevel and Emboss

2 bevel

Color Overlay

2 col over

Gradient Overlay

2 gra overlay

Pattern Overlay

2 pattern overlay


2 stroke

and you will have the following effect:

2 effect

Step 3

Load any one image from the Ice Package into Photoshop (I chose the ice6_0174 image), select a distinct portion of the image use the Rectangluar Marquee Tool, copy and paste the selection onto our document, rotate it slightly as shown below:

3 copy paste

Rename this layer as “Icy Texture right” and change its blending mode to “Screen”, use the ice brushset we download to erase the edge of this layer so only the centre part of the image remains:

3 erase

Duplicate this “Icy Texture right” layer once and drag the duplicated layer to the left, rename the layer as “”Icy Texture Left”, keep the blending mode as “Screen”, and you will have the following effect:

3 effect

Step 4

Now let’s create some shattered ice around the text.

Load a different image from the ice package into Photoshop (I chose ice6_0176.jpg file) and use the same method as described above, select a portion of the image, copy and paste it onto our document, and put it just beneath text layer:

4 copy paste

Use the ice grunge brushset to erase the edge and leave just the bits in the centre. (Tip: repeatly left-click the centre of this image for the shattering effect)

4 erase

Rename this layer as “Background Ice Texture Right”, Add the following adjustment layers to this layer (make sure to tick “use previous layer as clipping mask” option)

Black and White

4 bw

Colour Balance

4 col bal

and you will have the following effect:

4 effect 2

Duplicate the above three layers, and drag them to the left, you will have the following effect:

4 effect

And we can add some extra effect under the text. To do this, grab the Ellipitical Marquee Tool with 20px feather, create a new layer just below the text layer, draw a selection as shown below:

4 draw

Maintain the selection, again grab the ice brushset we downloaded, paint inside the selection. You will have the following effect:

4 base

Step 5

Now we can fine-tune the image a bit. Firstly, we flatten the image (don’t forget to save a copy of the original before flatten it) and duplicate the background layer once, apply the following motion blur settings to the duplicate layer:

5 motion blur

Now we come to the interesting part: change the blending mode of this duplicated layer to “Pin Light”, keep the opacity of this layer to 100%, and hit Ctrl + T and resize the duplicate layer as shown below:

5 resize

Erase the edges of the duplicated layer.

You can see by doing so, we created a nice snowy/foggy to our icy text.

Now we can finalise the image by adding the following adjustment layers:


5 curves


5 hue

Colour Balance

5 col bal

and here is the final effect I have for this tutorial: (click to enlarge)


That’s it for this tutorial! Of course you can further enhance the image effect by mixing lighting effect, change hue/saturation settings, etc.

Here is an alternative version I have after I change a few things (Decided to give it a darker/groovy theme): (click to enlarge)


Hope you enjoy it! Drop me a comment if you have any question, I will try my best to help you out.

Till next time, have a great day!

Categories: Text Effects

Tags: ,,,,,,,

  • Taimur

    u said drag to left
    how to do that im new in this.

  • James

    @Taimur: press the key “V” to select the move tool, select the duplicated layer, left-click and hold to drag it.

    Hope this helps!

  • Mars

    that was cool, i will try to follow this tutorial

  • Taimur

    thanks :)

  • ricardofx

    few steps and nice funal result XD…

    congratulations again;


  • Roque

    I really like this tut, here’s my result

    Keep up the good work!

  • Flex developer

    Wayy!! Very nice!! Thanks for lesson

  • paul

    im new to this for some reason photoshop wont let me create a colour adjustment layer help plz

  • Rebecca

    How do you get your text to look like that? From the the start the font look diffrent, more thicker and smudgier. But good tutorial though.

  • James

    @Rebecca: the font itself doesn’t change, it remains the same throughout the tutorial. it looks thicker only because various effects applied to it :)

  • ixnacium

    very very nice, but i’ve got a doubt, you said:
    (make sure to tick “use previous layer as clipping mask” option)
    where can i find that option?

  • ixnacium

    ok, i found it, i was doing the adjust layer by clicking the button on layers window, and that option didnt appear

  • bobble


  • xChrisc

    really liked this a lot. thanks.

  • Aeltari

    Hi! This is fun except when I am applying the layer blending option my color turns RED. Im using CS4, I dont see a way to change the color to the black on yours. Where is this red coming from?

  • Yakushi

    Please help!!
    I am new at this and I need help at the first step
    How i can import the things I’ve downloaded, or where i must put the files in??
    Please help!
    Thanks in advanced

  • clipping path services

    Great tutorial. Thanks.

  • jordan

    I can’t find the “ICE” font you used in this tutorial. Please tell me what web site I can download this font! Thanks! Jordan

  • jordan

    James –

    I downloaded “Ice Grunge Brushes” but I can’t “open” it. How do I place it into Photoshop CS4? Thanks for ALL your help! Love this tutorial, can’t wait to try it!! Jordan

  • koorosh

    very good.thanks

  • Luris

    I dont know why but my final result doesnt look like that ..and I folowed all the steps damnn

  • James Qu

    @Luris: the final result won’t look exactly the same. The important thing is the steps you went throught and the techniques used in the tutorial.

  • spaik21

    Very, very, nice. but hard to do the same. Thx

  • alabrahemi

    رائع جدا

  • Texture Plus

    very easy step by step to follow tutorial, thank you very much

  • ImmortaL

    Hi my friend ^^ really , this is amazing , perfect tutorial ^_^
    hmmm , my friend , can you add me at your messenger ?
    this is my e-mail ….

    please my friend , i want to ask you about somethings ^^
    and i don’t know if i can enter here again …
    thanks ^_^

  • curtis

    what do meanby “Duplicate the above three layers, and drag them to the left, you will have the following effect:” overall nice tut ill post what i have done once finished

  • curtis

    my version ty great tuts!

  • Name (required)

    Good post. You did a good work,and offer more effective imformation for us! Thank you.

  • Maura Bocchieri

    You are the man ! Nice article

  • choo

    Nice Post thank share

  • Nixo

    nice tut but i have some questions
    i’m stuck from step 4
    i can’t get the same effect, i followed all steps but i don’t know how to do it, i need some help, i’ll write my e.mail here
    please help =(

  • Dylan Becks

    Very usefully. Thanks for sharing

  • pandora

    it’s so beautifelly very good

  • ForcePalm7

    Hi there, this tuturial is very useful, but i’m stuck at step 5… what do you mean flatten the image, and what image?

    Thanx again

  • Brushesbee

    Thanx a lot. Good one

  • ray ban

    Very usefully. Thanks for sharing

  • gertex

    Very nice tut ..
    but it`s really hard do get the same .. :)

  • ray-ban 2132

    i like it very much!!!thanks

  • Spike_rulzz

    dat ws awesum dude..thnx..;)

  • Web Hosting

    cool icy effect. thanks!

  • Taupo Accommodation

    Good work, very informative! 
    Great write-up! Thanks!

  • Building Inspections Auckland

    nicely done! keep it up :)

  • Daniella

    Hi There. This is great tuts. But, however it can be understand by yourself. not me. i’m stuck at
    Use the ice grunge brushset to erase the edge and leave just the bits in the centre. (Tip: repeatly left-click the centre of this image for the shattering effect)

    What the fuck is that means ? Can you tell me more about it ? Email me

    Thnkz Be4 ! Sorry my speels.