Design a Realistic Frosty Text Effect with Moss/Lichen Texture in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to Design a Realistic Frosty Text Effect with Moss/Lichen Texture in Photoshop. This is a beginner level tutorial with lots of tips and tricks about texturing, image adjustment and selection techniques, have a try :)

Towards the end of this tutorial, I would like to introduce you the tool I use frequently to fine-tune the colours – which is the Selective Color adjustment tool.

If brochure printing is in your future, this tutorial may help your design efforts.

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

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Ok Let’s get started!

To complete this tutorial, you will need the following stock:

Concrete Texture

Frost Ground Texture

Dirt Brush

Step 1

Create a new document (size doesn’t really matter for this tutorial) with black background. Firstly I would like to get into a bit of details about cloud render techniques in Photoshop.

Create a new layer on top and use the Lasso Tool with 40px feather, draw a selection as shown below:

Then go to Filter > Render > Clouds:

Set the foreground/background colour to be white and black, render some cloud inside the selection:

As you can see, because we added a 40px feather, the edge of the cloud becomes softer:

Bring up the Levels adjustment tool: (Ctrl + L)

Apply the following Levels adjustment settings:

Then use a soft eraser tool to gently erase the edge of the cloud so it fades into the background, you will have the following effect:

Then you can free-transform this piece of cloud into any shape you want, without having to worry about the edges:

You can duplicate this compressed cloud layer a few times and move them around the canvas for more effect:

Step 2

Use any font you like, type a letter into the centre of the canvas:

Apply the following layer blending option on the letter layer:

Bevel and Emboss

Gradient Overlay

Attach a layer mask onto this letter layer, use the dirt brush we downloaded + the chalk brush, erase parts of the letter:

As you can see, because of this layer mask, we now have cracked top and a icy effect for the letter:

and here is the overall effect so far:

Step 3

Now let’s a bit of texture for the text. Load the concrete texture into Photoshop. Select the letter and drag the selection onto the concrete texture:

Copy and paste the texture back to our document, make sure it covers the letter as shown below:

Change the blending mode of this concrete layer to “overlay”:

Use a hard eraser tool, carefully erase parts of the concrete texture so more frosty texture can be revealed:

Add the following two adjustment layer as clipping mask to this concrete texture layer:

Curves

Black and White (set layer opacity to around 50%)

and you will have the following effect:

Step 4

Let’s add some frozen ground texture onto the letter. Load the frozen ground image into Photoshop, again we copy and paste a piece of it onto our document, covering the letter as shown below:

Change the blending mode of this frost texture to “overlay”:

Add the following two adjustment layer as clipping mask to the frozen texture layer:

Black and white (set layer opacity to around 60%)

Levels

Optional: You can then add some particles (You can find lots of different particle brushes on the web) and more cloud effect around text.

Here is the effect I have so far:

Step 5

We’re almost done. For final retouches, I decided to sharpen the image a bit with the Reduce Noise filter: (Flatten the image first)

As you can see, the texture becomes more crispy:

I also used the Selective Color image adjustment tool to fine-tune the colour a bit:

With Selective Color tool, you can alter individual colour without affecting the rest of the image.

For instance, my image so far has cyan and neutral colour, so I choose “Cyans” and “Neutral” colours on the selective color tool for adjustment:

As you can see, the cyan/blue part of the image becomes more vibrant as a result:

For the neutral part of the image, I give them more yellowish/earth kind of the feeling:

Selective color can be quite powerful when it comes to adjusting colour separately, so use it wisely :)

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

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

Tags:

  • 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

  • harunachan

    awesome!!

  • rajasegar

    Hi James, one small suggestion instead of posting the final screenshot of the layermask , why cant you take them at various stages like different brushes for each stage and post them in the same order, i think it will be much easier to follow then..IMHO

  • James Qu

    @rajasegar: good suggestion, thanks! I will try this for the next post.

  • cstwist

    nice ………………………………………

  • cstwist

    awesome…….!

  • StevenArts

    Attach a layer mask onto this letter layer, use the dirt brush we downloaded + the chalk brush, erase parts of the letter: CAN YOU EXPLAIN ME !! ?? :) i didn’t understand !!

  • Justin

    Loved it!

  • Derek

    I love it…but mine didnt turn out like that at all…after you added the concete and then took the hard brush to it, how is it possible your color blue changed…you have a bright cyan pretty blue, and i have a grayish blue…ugly looking.

  • Derek

    yeah, this is really frustrating the hell out of me…i love this look, its awesome, but yours is brown/cyan…mines blue and gray uglyness…after i put the blending option, it sort of looks like yours but not really…then i put the concrete on and it does look like yours….then i start with the hard brush erasing some of the concrete and a blue/gray color comes out…NOT your beautiful cyan color…i think somethings been left out…

  • eleonora tonoli

    I like very much this text effect. 
    I realized this wallpaper : http://wallpapersbyeleonora.blogspot.com/2012/02/wallpaper-frost.html

    I prefered to  skipp  the step number 3.
    Do you like it ?
    bye and thnks :) 
    Ele

  • Bryan

    I can’t figure this out either, I do just what it says yet it doesnt effect the lettering at all just the background

  • I’m stuck on step 3. How exactley do you get just the selection onto the cement texture, When I drag my text layer into the image it just overlays the texture. it doesnt make the text selection on the cement.

  • Hi, you need to make sure the rectangular marquee tool is selected, then move your mouse over the selection, click and hold to drag.

    Hope this helps.

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