Design Glowing Particle Text Effect with Liquify Filter in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to Design Glowing Text Effect with Particles and Liquify Filter in Photoshop. The processes are really simple and suitable for a Photoshop beginner, have a try!

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 to the following stock:


Step 1

Create a new document sized 1200px * 700px, fill the background layer with black. Create a new layer and use a soft white brush to do a single-click  to position shown below:

Hit Ctrl + T and compress this layer down as show below:

Use a soft brush to erase the bottom part of the base:

Step 2

Use the font you downloaded, type some text onto the canvas:

Add a layer mask to the this text layer:

Here is the effect after you add the mask:

Duplicate this text layer once, apply the following Gaussian Blur settings:

Reduce the opacity of the blurred text layer to around 50%, you will have the following effect:

Create a new layer under the original text layer, render some cloud behind the text to add some mysterious effect:

Step 3

Now let’s make a particle brush. Create a new document (size doesn’t really matter), use pen tool to draw a shape and fill it with black colour:

After the fill, made the background layer “transparent”:

Go to Edit > Define Brushset and define a new brush:

Once you defined the brushset, press F5 and bring up the brush window, apply the following settings:

Shape Dynamics


Other Dynamics

Make sure you tick the “Airbrush”, “Smoothing” and “Protect Texture” settings.

Step 4

Use the brush we just made, paint some random particles around the text, reduce the brush size where appropriate:

Optionally, once you finish the painting of the particles, duplicate the particle layer once and apply the following motion blur settings to it:

This will create a stripe effect on the text:

Also add a curves adjustment layer on top of all previous layers with following settings:





and here is the effect so far:

Step 5

Now flatten the image, duplicate the background layer once and go to “Filter > Liquify” and click on the “Forward Warp Tool”:

Use the following settings for the liquify filter:

Apply this liquify brush to base of the text to create a curvy effect: (adjust the brush size for different result)

Also try apply the liquify filter to those particles – this will create some cool effect too:

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

That’s it! I hope you enjoy this tutorial and find it useful! Till next time, have a great day!

Categories: Text Effects

Tags: ,,,

  • Assem


  • Joshua Web

    I love this effect. I learn so much more by actually doing the tutorial than by just leeching PSD’s from this site, so I appreciate you guys going step by step for us.

  • Florin

    need help!!!
    when i add mask layer to the text layer it doesn’t do anything should i do any settings or what???

  • Morten

    When I try do define brush preset, everything is locked. I can’t do anything at brushes. What to do?

  • James Qu

    @Morten: Make sure when you fill the shape, use the black color and don’t use white.

  • DTpl

    Nice efect, thanks for posting!

  • Andrew Buckle

    Weird and wonderful text effect for Photoshop – awesome design – love text effects – great tutorial

  • white

    crazy work

  • Jessiceratops

    I think there’s a very vital step missing when adding the layer mask to the text. I’m fairly new at utilizing Photoshop and I would love to create this with it – however I’m stuck with little explanation at adding the layer mask. What do I do next? It’s not appearing as in your example images.

  • James Qu

    @Jessiceratops: for adding layer mask, you can go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal all/Hide all from the top menu.

  • Peter Pomfrit

    Hey this is a really awesome tutorial! i like the mysterious effect….
    Im new at photoshop, but my dream is to be a photo editor/designer then i get “bigger” :D
    But im stuck at the part where we are makeing the brush “Once you defined the brushset, press F5 and bring up the brush window, apply the following settings:” Im only able to click on Shape Dynamics and Scattering.. there isnt a box showing up with “Other Dynamics” i can click on the “Airbursh”, “Smoothing” and “Protect Texture” but i cant “enter” them, i cant change the settings im supossed to? its like they are locked. i dont know if its something with “Other Dynamics”? …Please help me, i know my english suck ..But i hope you understand me bro!
    – Peter

  • Peter Pomfrit

    Oh yes…… im useing Photoshop CS5? :-)

  • Nick

    Anybody figured out how to do the layermask thing?
    I can’t seem to do it, even if I go to Layer > Layer Mask.

  • Hajar

    Thank u so much , here is my work ^^

  • Veera

    awesome.. thank u so much


    how come when i try to define the brush its locked???? i even followed the directions

  • Avi

    owwhh….dude it’s damn difficult :'((

  • Avi

    i’m still a noob !! but i thought jus following instructions would help but it’s difficult :'((

  • aleksanders

    How to that layer mask !? I’ve did like in tutorial, someone wrote that but it still doesn’t working! Help.

  • Deedi

    whats going on ???

    Excuse me ..!
    i`m stuck here ( Hide all from the top menu)
    how can i do it ? can you tell me ?

  • James Qu

    @Deedi: could you be more specific about what step you’re having difficulty with?

  • Niclas
  • HOHO

    helllo all plz i want this tutorial on video im so noob thanx my freinds :)

  • Zenzija

    This is a very nice tutorial but it’s lacking so much information. To be quite honest, to do a tutorial like this well, you should either record it as you do it, or include “Step by Step” dummy versions that way even an idiot can do it. Frankly, I’m a professional Web Designer and 3D Modeler, I struggled with this tutorial. On a scale of 1 to 10, you earned a 5. Include more information, tips, suggestions, etc!

  • Elisa

    Hey. I don’t understand the layer mask part. If I choose reveal all, nothing happens. And if I choose hide all, the whole text disappears! Please help me! Thanks!!!

  • Poetrae

    i feel like this is lacking in information; for instance — the layer mask part; i’ve been sitting here for almost a hour trying to figure this out. I was really excited to try this out, but now i hate it.

  • PSD Vault

    @Poetrae: we will making a video tutorial for this part and post it on our Youtube channel:, please subscribe there and get updated once the video is posted!

  • Su_smiles

    The layer mask part is cofusing you dont need that part. Also the drawing shap and turning background to transparent dosent work. Chek your tutorials to be sure the work before putting online.

  • Joel Mejia

    1) layer mask= added to text, use the layer mask button in your layers panel.

    It’s at the bottom middle of the panel.2) next paint black on that mask, by making sure it’s selected in your layers panel; it’s the new square on the right of your layer thumbnail.

    Some things are basics, like the tools available to you and how to use them. A really good book to get that is the Adobe PS classroom in a book series. Tutorials like this are helpful in showing creative uses for those tools, once you know how to use them :). Otherwise, as you can see in my above notes, this tutorial could take forever & would likely be a frightening bore. It’s the privilege/cost of information density for professionals/versus novice. That’s why school is not designed to dump trig & calc on you when you’re still learning fractions :).Anyways, hope this helps. It took me forever to learn that. 

  • Anouarxyz

    no body understood your tutorial, useless

  • PSD Vault

    Hi there, would be great if you can let me know which part of tut you don’t understand :)