Design a Fragmented Text Effect with Scrap Texture in Photoshop

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In this tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to create this really cool, abstract-style fragmented text effect by applying scrap texture in Photoshop. Sometimes, those scrappy wastes do have their uses :)

Along the way, we will be using some basic selection techniques, image adjustments, layer blending options, and dynamic lighting rendering. It’s a very simple tutorial however the result is good. Have a try!

Here is the preview of my final result for this tutorial: (click to enlarge)

The other one with different colour scheme:

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Step 1

Create a new document sized 1200px * 800px. (In fact the size doesn’t really matter for this tutorial, you may choose any size you’re comfortable with. )

Then fill the background layer with Black colour.

Type some texts onto the background layer using any font you like. I used this font from

Rasterise the text layer, then Position and resize (if necessary) the text as shown below: (To do this, Hit Ctrl + T to bring up the free transform tool, then use the “Distort” and “perspective” option to drag the Top-Right corner the text until reaching desired effect)

The Effect After Free-Transform:

Step 2

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

Inner Shadow

Outer Glow

Inner Glow

Bevel and Emboss

Color Overlay

Gradient Overlay

And the effect so far will look like this:

Step 3

Duplicate the text layer once.

On the duplicated layer, hide the “Outer Glow” blending option and retain all other layer blending options. Add a “Color Overlay” Blending option to the duplicated text layer:

And you will have the following effect:

Step 4

Download a copy of this scrap texture image from CG Texture and load it into Photoshop. Then go back to our document and load the selection of the our text layer (holding down your Ctrl key and left-click on the thumbnail of the text layer in the layer palette):

Then drag your selection onto the loaded scrap texture:

Copy and paste the selection back onto our document, this action will automatically create a new layer, name it as “scrap texture”.

Change the “scrap texture” layer blending mode to “Hard Light” and the effect so far will look like this:

Step 5

Duplicate the “scrap texture” layer once, and apply the following Curve Adjustments (Ctrl + M):

And the effect will look like this:

Step 6

Now we go back to the text layer and load the text selection again, then go to Selection > Modify > Expand and apply the following settings:

Drag the expanded selection onto the loaded scrap texture image:

Then copy and paste the selection back to our document, this action will again form a new layer, name it as “scrap texture outside text”.

Here is the effect after the copy and paste:

Step 7

On the “scrap texture outside text” layer, apply the following Level Adjustments (Ctrl + L):

Then use the Eraser Tool to erase the portion where the texts are located:

Then Duplicate the “scrap texture outside text” layer a couple of times and you will have the following effect:

Step 8

Now we can some lighting effect onto the text. Create a new layer and fill it with black colour. Go to Filter > Render > Lens Flare and apply the following settings:

Then change the layer blending mode to “Soft Light”.

Duplicate this layer a couple of times, and try to move the centre of the light into different portion of the text in each duplicated layer. This will enhance the lighting effect of the text and create some dynamic lighting effect.

You will have the following effect as a result:

OK that’s it for this tutorial! The rest is again left upon your own creativity. You can add some further effect onto text, try some filter effects on the texture and see what result that brings you.

Here is my final image for this tutorial: (Click to enlarge)

The other one with different colour scheme:

Hope you enjoy this tutorial and if you have any questions, just drop me a comment :)

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

  • eclipsed

    It makes for a nice visual effect, however, it is also very difficult to read.

    Still, thanks for the tutorial, it does look damn cool.

  • Cool effect but unreadable.

  • Hi eclipsed and tystarr, I have made some changes to the tutorial and hopefully it will be easier to read.

    It will be very much appreciated if you could point out which part of the tut you feel difficult to read, then I could perhaps make further modification to those parts.

    Hope you still find this tutorial inspirational, though :)

  • psaddict
  • Jones

    Probably they do not mean your tutorial text is unreadable.. It’s the final result picture.. It looks very unreadable to me, too.

  • Juan

    Hi, i think its due to the font that has the little things on the sides, or maybe its that the bevel and emboss leaves the letters too bloated, but great tut nonetheless, thanks

  • Hi Jones
    i think I’ve probably overdone it a bit…however I do love the end result so I just leave it there :)

  • @Juan, thanks for your comment :) yeah you could be right, could try reducing the emboss level a bit…

  • J

    I’m pretty sure they meant the end result was unreadable.

    Still, it’s a nice effect, it just isn’t that useful as is because nobody can read what it says once it’s all done.

  • Bubonic

    I believe they mean that the word SAMPLE TEXT is unreadable

    I like the effect though only if you could make it so you can read the word :)

  • Sam

    Typography has evolved over time so sometimes you get typography pieces that are unreadable, or where it’s so blurred and out of focus for example that the reader has to really squint and work it out. It’s a form of engaging the on looker and making it more interactive. Some have changed into an art form of itself. But as designers we have to make a choice on legibility and readability in terms of what the final project is going to be used for. Posters for example would suffer from lack of readability in promoting events etc.


    hi .. thanks a lot… I really am excited using all these effects… helps a lot..


  • superb tut, Thanks.

  • tej

    very good tut. ii applied the same effects and evrything bt i cant get the same like urs. i mean some bits.. but yeah nice.learnt something new today.

  • allison

    i’m pretty new to photoshop and have been going through some online tutorials so i can see what options there are and get to play with it. i was able to easily follow your tutorial until step 4. i downloaded the image and then opened it in photoshop, so i have my text in a window next to the image in a window. i ctrl-left clicked on the text layer in my original document, which really isn’t text anymore because it was rasterized, right? and there’s also a copy of this layer that we created when we added the red. Anyway, I ctrl-left clicked on the first one, and it selected the image and then i changed my tool to the arrow and clicked, held, dragged, it got over there, but made a new layer and was white. and i couldn’t get anywhere from there. could you please help me? i’d really really appreciate it. Thank you!!

  • gavin

    I need some help, i have done the tutorial twice now and still cant make it appear like yours. My type is too sharp and tacky looking, where as yours is light and glow-like. At step 3, your type looks round and polished, where as mine does not. and at step 5, the edges fade to black, and mind dont, it just a sharp edge. i have checked everything and i swear its all correct. any help would be appreciated. thank you

  • gavin

    Oh, and my background outside texture is sharp, and doesnt glow, so im lost with that also. thanks

  • It’s a little difficult to read afterwards. Cool effect though. Maybe this’ll work for bigger fonts. Thanks for sharing this tutorial!

  • Zac

    Step 4 is very confuzing. Please explain how you do it

  • admin

    @Zac: with step 4, you need to load the selection of the text layer (to do this, move your mouse over the thumbnail image of the text layer on the layer palette, hold down your Ctrl key (PC) and left click on the thumbnail, you will see the selection of the text layer will be loaded.

    Then you drag the selection (select the Rectangular Marquee Tool frist, left-click and hold to drag the selection over) to any place you like on the texture

    After that, do a copy and paste and paste the texture back to the document.

    Hope this helps!

  • C-Sly

    This effect is very unique! It has an edgy twist to it, as well as a bit of colour which blends in very nicely. I just had hoped the end product was a bit more readable. :( Otherwise I would have used it. You tried to do a little too much to it and that paid a price.

    Hope your learned your lesson.

  • Bruce

    I can’t still do step 4 : (

  • admin

    @Bruce: with step 4, you need to use the Load Selection technique. Please visit this link here for detailed explaination.

    Hope this helps

  • its quite a hard technique…. but very fun to make…

  • Matt

    How do you load the picture in?

  • Polli

    heii :D
    nice tutorial~~
    it’s just that the link for the stock image that has been provided is broken D:

    however, coo tut ;D

  • Liam
  • Camilo

    Hi Guys, do you have a step by step tutorial? I mean , im not a professional, im trying to learn few things about Photoshop ( i have CS5), i don’t know if this could be possible. Other way, thank you.

  • Q.

    I beg u show how u painted it

  • I’m sorry but it seems the link of the picture is doesn’t exist D: I tried to open it but i failed.

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