Design a God of War III Inspired Cracked Text Effect in Photoshop

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In this tutorial, I will show the processes involved in designing a God of War III Inspired Cracked Text Effect in Photoshop. I personally have been a fan of the God of War Series for a long time and got the inspiration for this tutorial from the game title text effect, and thought I could make a tut for it :)

Along the way, I would like to show you the use of custom brushsets in Photoshop and how to use them to create eye-catching effect for your design work. There are also techinques such as layer blending mode, masking and image adjustments. Have a go!

Here is a preview of the final text effect for this tutorial:


Alternative version:


Let’s get started!

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

Grunge Brushset


Crack Brushset

Step 1

Create a new document sized 1200px * 800px, fill the background layer with Black colour. Create a new layer called “background texture” on top of the background layer, and we’re going to do some painting with the Grunge Brushset we have just downloaded.

Firstly we want to load the brushset into Photoshop. To do this, press the “B” key to select the Brush Tool, and following the steps as shown in the following screenshot:

1. Click the down arrow next to the Brush shape/size

2. Click the right arrow on the top right corner of the brush palette

3. Click the “Load Brushes” option on the menu


After this, you will see a window pop-up and simply select the Grunge Brush set you just downloaded/extracted, and you will see those brushes appear in the palette as shown below:


(The yellow highlighted part indicates the brushset we have just loaded)

So now we have a set of grunge textures we can use to create our background texture. On the “background texture” layer, use those brushsets we just loaded and paint some irregular, grungy patterns on it:

(Hint: don’t just stick with one brush, try out a combination of them and adjust the flow and opacity for each different brushset, experiment and see what result that bring you)

Here is what I have after a bit of painting with the grunge brushset:


Step 2

Now we have a grungy style background texture. Let’s type some text onto it by using the font we downloaded at the start of this tutorial:


On this text layer, apply the following layer blending options:

Drop Shadow


Inner Shadow


Bevel and Emboss


Gradient Overlay (Hint: you can adjust the position of the gradient by left-click and drag on the text)


And you will have the following effect:


Duplicate this text layer once and make the text look bolder and thicker:


Step 3

Load the selection of the text layer (if you’re not sure how to do so, please take a look at Step 3 of my previous post) and create a new layer called “crack texture”. While maintaining the selection,  load the “Crack brushset” into Photoshop and on the “crack texture” layer, use this brushset to paint  over it.

You will see because we keep the selection active, the crack texture appears only within the selection:


Duplicate the “crack texture” layer once and change the blending mode of the duplcated layer to “Multiply”, you will have the following effect (the crack texture darkened) :


To create some more variation to the crack, we can add some more layers and on each added layer, apply a different crack texture from the brushset, and set the layer blending mode to “overlay”.

You can add as many layer as you wish, here is what I have after adding two more layers of crack texture:


Step 4

Now we can some colour on the text. To do this, load the selection of the text layer again, create a new layer on top of all other layers called “colour overlay”.

Here is the tricky bit: What I would like to achieve is some colour variation, so I use the Lasso Tool with a 10px feather, substract the upper portion of the selection off by holding down the Alt Key while making the selection:


While maintaining the selection, pick a colour and a soft round brush, and paint inside the selection:


Load the text layer again, create a new layer above the previous colour overlay layer, this time choose a lighter colour and soft brush, paint it on the upper portion of the text:


Step 5

Now we can add some adjustment layers to bring out some colour contrast and lightness for the overall effect. I added the following two adjustment layers (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > …)





And here is the final effect for this text effect: (Click to enlarge)


Ok that’s it for this tutorial! You can of course add some of your own texture or filter effect and see what the end results are! Remember to always keep your own creativity!

Here is an alternative version I have: (click to enlarge)


Hope you enjoy this tutorial, drop me a comment if you have any question, I will try my best to help you out.

Cheers and have a nice day!


  • My name is James and I have been using Photoshop since version 5.0 (long time ago!). PSD Vault is my spare time hobby and I write majority of the Photoshop tutorials and articles here. I hope you enjoy my blog, and feel free to leave a comment or contact me if you have any questions.

  • Show Comments

  • psaddict

    My fav game, really good work.

    Added to

  • E_Van

    what the purpose changing the flow of a brush?
    I’m a newbie in photoshop. :)

  • Ionut

    Links for brushes don`t working.

  • James

    @Ionut: that should be fixed now. thanks for pointing it out!

  • James

    @E_Van: the purpose is to add depth and create variety for the background texture, plus to get familiar with the use of custom brush. If you’re new to Photoshop, this would be good for you to start practicing :)

  • joyoge designers’ bookmark

    it look very nice, thanks for effect tut..

  • photo retouching

    Great result, a lot better than the standard fonts that come preloaded in windows.



  • James

    @NEWBIE: thank you for the suggestion, I thought of including them in the tutorial, but in the end I thought it would be better to leave them upon your own creativity. In the future I might try and do a basic tutorial on the brush flow/drawing skill seperately, hope that will help :)

  • Louwrie

    Thanx for a great Text lesson, this was great!!!!

  • nave

    nave ynaco :D

  • Terrance-OXP

    This is really great, especially when you are a great fan of GOD of War like me. :P

  • very cool!!!

  • Kaplang

    wow really cool tutorial and really cool effects :)

  • yaren

    very veryy easy :) I can do. thanks

  • fenheal


  • Abhilasha

    its really 2 gud ,,…….


    nice post dude…but it was a bit easy one….

  • bobmarleyisnotdead

    the links do not work couldnt do this tut :(


    Please make a the Video DUde

  • jagutiger

    hey man…how can we use the fonts?

  • Zilva

    For some reason my font wont load do you know why?

  • Zilva

    None of the fonts that i download work…. They say: “Could not complete your reqeust because they are the wrong type of document” What should i do? can i download them in a different format?

  • nimar

    Nice tut and font! ^_^
    For the font you have to paste it in the windows folder and that’s it

  • wajid abbasi

    please explain me step 4 i can’t understand how to please gIVE Me the example

  • M.O.A

    Hey man, Nice tut but which version of Photoshop are you using? mine is CS2 and it’s giving me some useless results!!!!!!!!! but really, great tutorial.

  • James Qu

    @M.O.A: I use CS3 for this tutorial. Yes some steps do require special functions on CS3, but usually there would be alternatives on early version.

  • one

    do you have a video tutorial on this?.. Nice tut though. Just thought if there is a video tutorial on this.

  • Rolf

    seriously, the part where you draw the background is impossible with the grunge textures you are giving, theres no way I can make the same amazing background it just seems impossible, really pls help there.

  • World Cup Jersey

    there is a video tutorial on this.

  • ilham

    wow, this tutorial very clear.thanks

  • Awesomenezz

    Can anyone link the video tutorial pls?

  • SiNadh

    Good Work , I tried it .
    Nothing more found any Dissatisfaction.
    Everything worked.
    I enjoyed it.
    Thanking You.

  • Fatima

    awsome tutorials very inspiring!!!

  • spokane websites

    Great tutorial, was the only one that gave the effect i was searching for that wasn’t so over the top basic it looked cheesy. Just enough instruction to get the job done right.

  • Balloon printer

    I enjoyed it.
    Thank you very much.

  • Sanitary Napkin Making Machine

    this tutorial help me a lot, thank you.

  • Kneader

    the tutorials help me a lot. Thank you.

  • Maja

    Oh noohh, I can’t use the brushes from the links.. That’s really a shame. Is there somebody to help me from this? Great tut. ;]

  • n5ive

    it would have been a tad more helpful if you stated what colours are best to use when rather than having to guess.

    awesome tute though.

  • Cgbaran

    Great tutorial thanks

  • cooper

    doesn’t work in CS2…every time i select texturizer in step 3, i get a msg stating image must be rasterized. then loaded crack brushes do not appear in texturizer….

  • James Qu

    @cooper: with step 3, you need to load the selection of the text – that’s to click on the text layer on the layer palette, then Ctrl + left-click the thumbnail image of the text layer.
    Once the text is selected, paint the crack texture with the brush, and you will get the result shown in the tutorial.
    No need to use texturizer.

    Hope this helps.

  • Fazal Malappuram



  • Slayer_28

    I was just wondering if you would be able to make a video tutorial? I am so lost and confused. It took me forever to figure out that after I typed in the text is when I needed to do the layer effect. But I still can’t figure out the other things, such as selecting the text in order to add the crack effects. Would you be willing to do a video tutorial for people like me who have a hard time following along with this one? It’s not you…it is very well done. I just haven’t ever done anything like this before, so it’s difficult for me to understand.

  • REFormas

    Fire and destruction!! LOL Great result with a few simple steps.

  • Jitendra Vyas

    How to download PSD of  this ?

  • Bhavesh Rathod

    hey u have any nfs under cover type font

  • Web Hosting

    I think it captured the God of War game theme. Nice tutorial, but too complicated for me…

  • Taupo Accommodation

    Remarkable tutorial…keep it up!

  • ASilva

    Hi there … i am having a hard time on the STEP 4, How can i Paint the Text like that,  i can’t figure it out.

    Can some one help me please ???

    Regards ASilva

  • Building Inspections Auckland

    The outcome looks nice!

  • Wajid Abbasi

    Looks stunning then real one and i have one  Request for you please make GTA V TExt Effect 

  • Doffer

    Excellent Tutorial. I do however have one problem. When I am painting the letters, the cracks disappear, in other words the entire letter is painted, so I had to have a crack layer on top of that again. Doesn’t look the same though, at all

  • Anon

    would have been nice if you just said which brushes you used. All the ones on that site looked like crap

  • Sirwan Shariat Panah

    That was Awsome man, thanks for sharing :D ;)

  • Sirwan Shariat Panah

    hey lad choose what you like, by the way Use the below brushes:



  • Cherry

    love it solo much.. !! thank you ^__^

  • Alex

    True there, so annoying :(

  • Sakro

    Hi! Can someone send me a ground and cloud overlay?

  • Parselmouth

    I got lost round about the area of adjustment layers, I didn’t find it was well explained.

  • Taahir Bhorat

    Hey can someone who is good wit this send me one of these except with the text “Blue Monkey” it would be a huge up if you do it you can send it to me at [email protected]

  • jacklkaso


  • Vanessa

    I cant really get it can you contact my email

    @[email protected]

  • shaidulla

    i dont get the step 3 method bro

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