Create a Diablo III Inspired Grungy Text Effect

This tutorial shows the path I took to create this Diablo III Inspired Grunge Text Effect.

I was looking for some design inspirations on the net and I bumped into the Diablo III website. I  was intrigued by the design of the title text and I thought: what happen if I add something extra to it? What will the end result like if I apply a cracked texture on top of the text? The story begins…

Just a sneak-peak of the final text effect:

Step 1

Firstly we need a nice font and a texture for overlay effect. You can use any font you like, I chose this font from After choosing your font, donwload a copy of this texture below (click to download)

Step 2

Create a new document of any size, I chose 800*600px because it provides more room later on if I want to add something extra on. Fill the background layer with black.

Use the type tool to type some text onto it using the white colour. Name this layer as “text”, right-click on the layer and go to Blending Options, use the follow settings:

Drop shadow

Bevel and Emboss

Hightlight Mode colour for Bevel and Emboss option

Gradient Overlay

Step 3

Open the texture image file you downloaded, use the selection tool to select a portion of the image and drag your selection on top of the “text” layer. Name it “texture”, right-click it and choose “create clipping mask”.

Use the curve tool to adjust the colour mixture of this layer a bit. See below for detailed curve tool setting:

Step 4

Change the layer blending option of this layer to “screen”, apply inner glow and some dark brown satin in the blending options. See below for details:

Step 5

On the “texture” layer, use a big circle brush with a low opacity and flow (30% each) and dark yellow colour to add some colour contrast on it. Below is the text effect so far:

Step 6

Duplicate the “texture” layer once, apply the “Glass” filter onto it. See below for detailed settings:

Then set the layer blending option to “Color Burn”.

Step 7

Optional: you can some extra effects on top of the duplicated texture layer. I added a dupilcated layer with a “Medium” filter on and set the layer blending option to “Color Dodge”. See below image for details:

Medium filter

Layer blending option

Ok, that’s it for this tutorial! You may want to add some more creativity onto this text effect, go ahead with it!

Below is my finished work, I added some brush effects and motion blur:

I hope you enjoy this tutorial. Any questions or feedback, just drop me a comment!


  • 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

  • wow great effect and nice too

    thats eclusive styles for me

    thank you so much

    i really love it and i will use that one for alot of works

    i will back for more thanks

  • Hi, ghawyy!
    Thanks for your comment and support!
    Glad that you enjoy this work and find it useful~

  • hai im sreekanth very fine effict iam studying digital media in icat college ok then fine bye

  • hi sreekanth~ thanks for your comment,! glad to see you enjoy the tutorial

  • jay

    i have photoshop 6.0
    1st problem… i can’t seem to find the curve tool.
    2nd i seem to not have the transparancy shapes layer on the last blending options.. lmk if u could help me out on this.

  • Hi Jay! Thanks for your question~
    I don’t have much experience with the older versions but I guess the curve tool will be under image > adjustments > curve.
    And i think with the transparancy shapes layer, you might not have to use it, try use a brush tool with overlay mode (if there is one) to brush over the text, see what result it comes up.
    Hope this helps!

  • John the Pirate – arrrrr!

    Good post, I like your writing style! I’ve added to my feed reader, and will be reading your posts from now on. Just a quick question – did you design your header image yourself, or have it done professionally? If you had it done by a professional, who was it?

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  • thanks shaiju! I will do my best that’s for sure!

  • To John the Pirate:
    Hi mate I missed your comment cos my system sent it into the spam queue by accident…
    Yeah, I design the header image myself, with lots of brushes and filters :)


    Hello, thanks for the good “Create a Diablo III Inspired Grungy Text Effect” post. Would it be possible, that i can write a story about this post in our local newspaper? I would be really happy if i can do this and i will give you a link from a german blog too. Please answer. Greetings Goldpreise

  • Jane

    Very good site! I like it! Thanks!

  • mike

    Is it possible to add a psd? I did the tutorial but for some reason it didn’t come out in such a similar fashion. It would be greatly appreciated. Maybe it would give me a better idea on where I messed up?

  • hi mike, i won’t be able to upload the psd file due to bandwidth and hosting space limitation. but if i could email you the psd if that’s ok.

  • Jose

    which photo shop did u use? n wat curve u use n where u found it? cuz mines diff from urs help plz

  • HI Jose, i use photoshop cs3, the curve tool should be under image > adjustment > curves
    The end result will be different for different versions of Photoshop.

  • Tenkai

    Hey man do you still have this PSD? Could you send it to me by email? I’d be greatful. Thx man, and btw, great work! keep it up

  • Josh

    First of all nice tutorial i found it mostly easy to follow. However, my file doesnt quite achieve the effect yours does. It looks just like the normal text that has been coloured in with a firey/rocky texture, it doesnt have any of the ‘flame’ bits coming off the top or the bottom. Id be happy to send the file to you if you leave me your e-mail if you want to take a look at it.

    Thanks again, i can still used the product that i am left with so i am happy either way. =)

  • [WOH]Prancer

    I tried this but it turned out as crap, most likely due to me just starting out on photoshop. I barely had any of the crackles visible when I was done and could not get the orange fiery blur at the end. Any suggestions or anybody will to help me out? I wanted to due this to my name( [WOH]Prancer ). Thanks for any help or suggestions.

  • DevilG

    Nice tutorial …. anyway ..can u please send me the psd file ?
    Thank`s in advance!

  • Ed Hardy

    Nice post. Most blogs or not very informative. At least I learnt somthing with yours.


    can you send me the photoshop file pls ?
    I’m confused at step 3 because i have ps7 and i think ps7 does not support “clipping mask”

  • Andrew


    could you also send your psd file to me? I can’t get the shine effect on my letters.
    I would appreciate that very much!

    Kind regards,


  • xanax

    I bookmarked this site. Thank you for good job!

  • jason

    I really liked the way they came off

  • Mike

    James, I’ve been trying this effect and am just not getting the same outcome. Any chance you could e-mail me the .PSD as well when you get a chance? I’d appreciate it.

  • Nick

    Very nice, however my outcome doesn’t look as great any chance of a PSD email? I’d appreciate it

  • The font really complemented the effect, that was the perfect choice really. Thanks for posting this tutorial, I’m looking forward to trying this one out. Excellent work!

  • Hello to all ! Great site. I am new here greetings to all from Poland.

  • paw

    could you send me the psd file please?
    cant get that same blur effect at the end like you ><

  • Nicholas

    I dont understand which curves are that.

    If you have bandwidth , so why dont you upload on rapidshare ?
    it will be a lot easier

  • Blashyrkh

    Nice tut, but a bit confusing on step 4. Screen blending option doesn’t give the shown result, I used multiply instead.

    Those who can’t find the Curve tool, press Ctrl+M on your keyboard people.

  • admin

    @Nicholas: PSD files aren’t something I’m preparing to give away for free at the moment :)

  • Frank

    Hey…really great tutorial…but i’m stuck at the end….how did you get the motion blur and the brush effects

  • revO

    cant you upload a photoshop file of this effect? for me its really hard to translate this filters etc.
    i really loved to try this :D

  • James

    @rev0: In the future I may consider upload some of the PSD files for free for future tutorial/or just as a giveaway. However at this stage, I do not wish to giveaway PSD files as it would be unfair to those who have already paid for them. Do apologise for this.

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  • Vlad

    Hi, you make awesome things, and a nice tutorial, but i have some comments sothat you can improve it in future:

    -Please show more often the result of the used tool.
    -Make the tutorial til its final end, cause this ends up with just fire coloured text without the flames and that smudged letters effect, what is very very dissapointing. I havent the result you have, cause i havent those brushes and knowledge..

  • el

    could you add how to do the motion blur? its not having the result i wanted..

  • Thanks, so nice!

  • i really loved to try this :D

  • i really loved to try this :D

  • Stricken

    Thank you very much, useful ;)

  • Ruslan

    I want to ask you James. After finishing these steps abave we received same text with fire or only darck yellow text and shadow?

  • Ruslan

    I’m sorry for my grammar.

  • Reaper

    can you please send me the PSD for this ? =(

  • John


    I have some problems in step 3

    where and how(in what program) i need to open the texture image file>?
    What i need to select what tool?
    how i drag on the text layer?

  • I like your tutorial about this nice text effect!
    Simply stunning!

  • Thanks for “Create a Diablo III Inspired Grungy Text Effect” post. So nice.

  • Bas

    wow dude, awesome tutorial, I’m just a beginner so, many thanks! even for me it was simple to follow your lessons
    keep up the good work! and let me know when you got new good looking stuff!:)

  • Magnus

    im lost in step pls..♫♪

  • Magnus

    big circle brush?!

  • James Qu

    @Magnus: with step 5, the circle brushes are those round ones comes with Photoshop by default. Make sure you set the opacity low, around 30%.
    Hope this helps

  • Great man, Diablo in deed, great tut by the way, thanx fo sharing!!!!

  • zrh

    thanks for sharing ! but I can’t see the picture !!

  • Amazing tutorial, great technique will try it, Thanks Jen

  • AEQ

    which brush effects can be used here to get smth like u got? i have experimented with motion blur and other blurs, but not satisfied. If u could share urs or something. thanks beforehand

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  • marco

    dude, can i ask something.. i dont know to upload the text! can you tell what to on loading text in photoshop! ty..nice tuts..

  • jethz

    awesome! pls send me the psd file. . if thats okay. advance tnx.

  • Grrrreat…..I have done it alone.thanks for your given information.

  • nice picture!

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    I like your website .

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    Great and amazing tutorial. Bookmarked now.

  • Debt Scotland

    Excellent Post! I’ll be doing that text effect in no time!

  • matt

    can you tell me the settings for curve plz

  • mike

    doesnt seem to work..
    at least not in cs5
    from step 3 it doesnt show the effect you show.

  • That’s quite a sexy font you made.

  • JeLLo

    How can i get that font Metal macabre? i already download the font. i dont know where to put it.. can you help me..

  • Are the images that you used open for public use?

  • James Qu

    Yes, that image is on and open for public use.

  • It is funny and awesome, it looks like letters with fire. Maybe it is also suitable for games of Blizzard Enertainment.

  • Looking forward to your next posts

  • slacchip

    you have to install the font, and here is that you can do:    open control panel, and open there the fonts folder. After that simply pull the desired font in that folder, and it will install that. After that, open photoshop, and you can work with that. You have to reopen Photoshop if it was already started, just after the installation, you can use the font.

  • Alex

    man   yo are suck a idiot      the post are so stupid pls explain your self wend yo make a new  topic :|

  • Timos

    shit tut, so badly explained ….waste of time

  • REX

    suck explained!!!!!!!

  • Ziad

    good job

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    Suck explaned!!!

  • DungeonSTW

    Worlds worst tutorial

  • eduard

    aw i wish i could be the next top artist..

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  • You Suck

    Wast of time… Poorly explained

  • That guys

    how do you make the blur effect please?

  • explained very well, dont listen to thge negitive feedback

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