Design a Snowy Rock Text Effect in Photoshop

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In this tutorial, I will demonstrate the processes I used to design this snowy rock text effect in Photoshop. The inspiration of this design came from a snowy mountain photo I saw the other day, and I thought I could create a similar text effect which might look interesting!

Along the way, we will use various layer blending options, some selection techniques, a number of filter effects and brush dynamics. It’s a simple tutorial suitable for Photoshop beginners. Have a try :)

Here is a preview of  my final image for this tutorial: (click to enlarge)


Here is alternative version which I added a bit of cloud and colour onto it:


Ok let’s get started!

Step 1

Create a new document sized 800 x 800 px, fill the background layer with Black Colour.

Let’s create some lighting effect for the background to work with. Use the Gradient Tool (G) tool and select the Radial Gradient options, Fill the background layer as shown below:


Step 2

Download a copy of this font from and type some texts onto the background layer. Resize (if necessary) and position it in the centre of the canvas:


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

Drop Shadow


Inner Shadow


Outer Glow


Inner Glow


Bevel and Emboss


Gradient Overlay


Here is the effect so far:


Step 3

Donwload a copy of this rock image from 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 the selection onto the rock image we just loaded:


Copy and paste the selection back to our text document and name the newly created layer “rock texture”.  You will see the following effect:


Step 4

Duplicate the “rock texture” layer once.  Hide the duplicated layer for now.

Go back to  the original rock texture layer, apply the following Black and White adjustment options:


Change the blending option of this layer to “Screen”.

Unhide the “rock texture copy” layer, change its blending option to “overlay”. The effect now should look like this:


Step 5

Pfrom the previous step, we can see the white part of the text looks like snow, but it is not realistic enough in my opinion and we can add some more texture to make it look better!

To do this, download a copy of this snow image from and load it into Photoshop. Then Go back to our text document and use the same method described in Step 3 to load the text selection. This time we go one step further with the text selection: select the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M), hold down the Alt key and at the same time draw a rectangular selection for the lower part of the text. (We would like to preserve this part of the rock texture and leave the upper part for the snowy effect)

The selection will now look like this:


Hit Alt + Ctrl + D and assign a 10px feather to the selection. Drag this selection onto the snow image we just loaded, copy and paste some snow back to our text document:


If you feel there isn’t enough snow on the text, you can use the Clone Stamp Tool (S) with a small soft brush to clone some more: (Tip: load the selection of the text again, and clone inside the selection so the snow won’t go beyond the text border)


Name this layer as “snow texture” and apply the following Curves adjustment settings:


The effect so far will look like this:


Step 6

To add a bit more dynamic to the text effect, we can simply create a new layer called “falling snow”, grab a 3px soft round brush with the following brush dynamics:



Also Tick the “Smoothing” option.

On the “falling snow”, use this brush to paint around the text layer as shown below:


To add a bit of softness to the falling snow, we can duplicate the “falling snow” layer once and apply the following Gaussian Blur settings:


The effect will now look like this:


Ok that’s pretty much it for this tutorial. I added some more rocky texture down the bottom, also did minor adjustment for hue and saturation and alter the angle of the text.

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


Here is alternative version which I added a bit of cloud and colour onto it:


You can of course further enhance this text effect by applying some more filter effects, or combining it with some background texture, that’s totally up to you :)

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

  • Jeno


  • Qbrushes

    nice work… best text effect of 09 so far.

    keep up the great work

  • admin

    Thank you so much guys!

  • Daa

    Can you please tell me how you made the texture at the bottom toO? thank you:) Great tutorial !

  • psaddict


    MY E-MAIL ADRESS IS [email protected]

  • jhony

    the direction do not work after step 3. you need to show it very clearley.

  • Jo Slim

    WTF… step 3 isn’t making any since right now. I went to FILE – PLACE then I selected the image of the rock. From there nothing makes since. I’m new to photoshop … you need to break it down more because the whole CTRL click thing isn’t making any sense at all. =[

  • Jason

    Can you better explain how to do step 3?

  • admin

    hi Jason, with Step 3, you basically load the selection of the text layer by Ctrl + left-click the thumbnail image on the layer palette, then drag that selection on the rock image, copy and paste a portion of the rock image back to our text document.

    Hope this helps :)

  • yash rai

    hey,men u rocks

    i like this so much,canu plz send me ,
    Photosop File (.PSD file) of this text tutorial ?
    Email Me – [email protected]


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    And Open My Website

  • harry

    Your work looks very very nice. I’m pretty new in photoshop and i don’t know how to open brush presets :P Can you please explain me how to open that?
    And one more thing, can you explain me how you did this effect on the bottom of the text?

    Thanks very much, your work is amazing

  • Strange

    Ive tried and tried to go past step 3 and maybe it is just me but i cant get it to work. :(

  • NOtricious

    Damn it looks like i can stand with the people that are stuck at part 3
    I read the damn thing more than 10 times and tried for 2 hours and still it takes the whole text to the rock image not the selection

    I followed your step fully Ctrl+ left click and then drag it but it drags the whole text thing not only the selection.

    Please break it down further show us what we really need to do because now more people can;t enjoy this coo effect
    I even started to hate it and that is not what i want

    Please email me for a better explenation :
    [email protected]

  • Mäff

    looks pretty nice!
    To add some ice-shine you can paint some thin white points onto an extra layer and let wind effect blow over it in 4 directions…
    (To get that working, you should rotate the layer after “blowing” in 90 degrees..

  • STEP 3

    okay to do step 3, you need to ctrl+click on text layer tab, okay now its selected.Now you must right click on selection and click background, then you will be able to transfer to rocks.You know the rest ;)

  • Stewart

    For the people who are stuck on step 3. Load the rock image, draw a rectangular marque tool then delete it, go back to your text layer and drag it to the rock image, then go to edit-copy, now go back to text layer, edit-paste. I think you have to have the rectangular marque tool selected and hit cntrl drag, but ye that’s what I did and it worked. Now i am stuck in step 5, please help me!!!

  • admin

    OK with step 5, if you’ve managed to load the selection of text, you can simply hold down the Alt key and use the rectangular marquee tool to make another selection for the bottom part, and you will see by the doing so it will substract the text selection, and just leave the selection on the top visible.

    Hope this helps :)

  • admin

    Thank you guys for helping me out explaining! Greatly appreciated!!!

  • Dave Keith

    Thank you for your help!

  • STEP 3

    and by the way, i like every yours art, its very simple and you explaing good, realy you do, keep it up, and I also recomend everyone to try make Advanced glow text effect, its very easy and its very cool when finished ;)

  • Zupra2k

    Why havnt you included a tutorial for making the final result?
    Would have been nice.
    Is there anyone who can explain how to get to one of the final results?
    ive been trying all day, but i cant figure out how to get that result.
    PS: I’m using CS4

  • admin

    Hi Zupra2k, this is where you have to use your own imagination :)

  • Help

    I dont understand how to get the step 3 to work… :P
    have been trying for hours now, this is one of my first attempts to make something in photshop so i dont understand how to get my text into the image, when i do it only comes some white text? :P

    “okay to do step 3, you need to ctrl+click on text layer tab, okay now its selected.Now you must right click on selection and click background, then you will be able to transfer to rocks.You know the rest ;)”

    no i dont know the rest :(

  • Help

    Could you add some photos of where to click on step 3? :) would be SUPER great! <3

  • Rosey

    Nice job there, keep up the good tuts. :3

  • Flaidey

    Hey, im new to this, how to get up the menu at step 4?:)

  • Flaidey

    No need, found out im using CS2, this tab is not in that version:P

  • admin

    Hi sorry about the late reply.
    yeah i will add some more description and a screenshot later on for Step 3, hopefully that will help :)

  • admin

    @Flaidey: you could try channel mixer with monochorome option enabled instead, see if the result can be closer

  • corona

    I didnt get the snowy part as good as you did, but I used the Dodge Tool to fix it up a little. Worked fine :)

    Thanks for an great tutorial! It was very easy to understand, and I didnt have any problems understanding what to do.
    But I can agree with the others that it may be difficult for people with less experience in each tools and options.

    But anyway, great work!

  • Shino

    Hey, I like the final pic, i think the best are that color effects so why didnt you write steps about them?

  • admin

    @Shino: I tend to leave the final bits of the tutorial out, because I would like you to use your own imagination and not limited to the tutorial itself :)

  • Business Card Printing

    That’s what’s great with your tuts, ’cause there’s still room for us to work on the effects with our imagination. Great job as always! Just a suggestion, maybe on your future tutorials you could include the approximate time it takes to finish the tutorial :) Thanks!

  • ExileWarrior

    I cant get passed step 3 and the Rock image site is down… :(

  • ExileWarrior

    YAY, Im up to Step 4 now i fixxed it all >:D
    But how do i get into the ”Go back to the original rock texture layer, apply the following Black and White adjustment options:”?

  • admin

    @ExileWarrior: You might be using the earlier version than cs3, which don’t have black and white tool. You can try using channel mixer instead (with monochrome option enabled)

  • ExileWarrior

    I have CS4 Extended tyvm :D

  • Elizabeth

    Hi, sorry to bother you again but I’m stuck on step 4 again, the part where you want me to change the layer’s blending option to “overlay”… I’m still stuck with Photoshop 7.0, is there any option I can use in place of your CS4’s “overlay” to create the same effect?

    Thank you so much for your help! :)

  • Elizabeth

    Hey, sorry, one other question…

    On this tutorial, you have those two awesome effects at the end, one with a hint of the rock background at the bottom, and the second with that awesome rainbow spectrum. I can totally understand and respect why you haven’t added how to do that in this tutorial, because people do need to add their own flare of creativity into the project, but I do have to ask…

    Would there be any way that you could make a separate tutorial on how to make that kind of effect, that way we could know how to create that kind of a look on other art or designs? It’s very beautiful and it really catches the eye!

  • admin

    Hi Elizabeth: thanks very much for your time writing such a long comment! Yes I’m considering to write a seperate tutorial on how to do those effects (colour, lighting) and will post it very soon.

    However i would love everyone to use their own creativity to achieve something different, not just simply follow the tutorial. After all, being creative and differentiate yourself is what creativity about :)


    And i wanna ask one simple question how to ”DRAG” the selcted text to the rocks..they are in other document(when you go file new … something like this a new project).HOW????????


    sorry but i demand for EXPLAINING AND SHOWING 3 step and 5 as i is just impossible to people who are not that good at photoshop ! I just dont get it..even after 4 hours of try and i actualy do it with the next layer and i want to remove that shitty mountain peace from my original text layer and when i try move/delete it moves/deletes the rock peace for my text…..

  • RTM pissed off …tell me how to ”DRAG TE SELCTION TO THE ROCK IMAGE” hwn the rock image is in different DOCUMENT?!!?!?!/!/1/1/1/1/ :O :X WTf? ?e?$?r?eRte?et?e

  • admin

    @Martin: sorry about the late reply mate. with step 3, you firstly load the selection of the text layer, then select the rectangular marquee tool – while the marquee tool is selected, move the mouse curve over the loaded selection, you will see the curosr shape change. Then hold down the left mouse button, drag the selection over to the rock image.

    That will pretty much explain step 5 as well, hope this helps!

  • Saheem

    Thatnk you so much of your lesson. I really interestting with photoshop. But I hav e the Questoin to you if you mind. Which version that you used to design photoshop, Is it Photoshop CS3 or what?
    thatn you again!

    Don’t forget I am from Oman.


    oh don’t worry for the late reply..I was just kinda very angry because the effect is so incredible and I was 100 % I will stun my school mates and…but In fact I’ve actualy managed to do step 3 so I will try to explain other peoples…
    First(THE MOST IMPORTANT THING)-You have to make your documents appearing in way you can switch them easily(or said with two words…every document as new you will have window with rock image and window with the nice text).So here second is easy you Select the selection of the text(Ctrl+Left Click of the mouse).And go the strange moving contour and get hanging arround with your mouse cursor until it changes to a basic cursor with a kinda rectangle on it.And then you just drag it like a basic icon of game to the recycle bin but not to the recycle bin(:D) but to the rock image which(if you done 1st step) will be little backerfrom the text.Then its simple..the selection of the text will appear on the rock image only as contour…right after you dragged it press Ctrl+C to copy it and fast press Ctrl+V but this time with our text document selected. Otherwise I just cannot drag the selection to the rock image since its other document.This way it allows to drag and put it normally
    NOTICE THAT in layer and coument is different…the documents usually appears below the File,Image,Layer,Filter,Select option menus….and therefore for me is immpossible.Anyway thanx for the much tries to explain to me..and others



    Now im reading it …its pretty not good typed but i tihnk you understand
    NOTE:Just to add in order to make your documents in windows type…try to drag your document(with text) on theplace photoshop usually work(middle)…..and for the part with the recycle bin…:D read it very slowly and try to understand my grammar wrongs(adn this ”BUT” storm


    damn….you can see the lots of mistakes in my text…so if you want your documents windows mode just try to drag every document bar below the settings(layer,filter…) to the middle…so this is it.And please try to understand that part with the recycle bin and the ”BUTS”

    btw can you explain step 5…or I should gie 40 more hours to figure it out?

  • huwaw69

    wow very fantastic text effect, the 2nd result is much better because it has color.

  • Computing Tips

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  • jimmy

    could you please point me to the second texture, the snowy one?

    it seems not to be there

    great tut!

  • James

    @jimmy: Link fixed :) should be ok to download now.

  • yarenay

    I swear perfect been. İnteresting…..

  • Andrea

    Hi i’m an italian guy….I’ve done all the tutorial without problems but i need to know how I colud “alter the angle of the text”
    please is very important ^_^…..tanks
    I know, I must use my immagination, but I really don’t know how to do it

  • swixx

    what a gay tutorial only some text whit rock not that effect how gay!

  • Thomas

    Great tutorial, Thanks

  • Dhaval Patel

    Ok man i believe that you think that we should have our creativity but what if we don’t even know how you put the rock undeneath that and how you made the colors after final picture thats what the tutorial is for. plz reply i am new to photoshop so i want to know how you did those effects after i know them i can use my creativity!! thx man

  • James

    @Dhaval: Just to answer your question to the colour on the snowy text effect – all you have to do is to add a new layer, change the blending mode of that new layer to “overlay”, then grab a big soft round brush, with the colour of your choice, and simply paint over the area you desire.

    If you read some of my other tutorial, you would have discover this method :)

    Remember it’s important to discover, and try out things, do not just rely on tutorials.



  • Ray

    Hi, apparently the snow texture is gone (again?). I get a 404 error when I use the link. Do I have to find another texture for it or are you able to provide a new link?

    The guide looks great otherwise. Had some problems on step 3 but saw your solution in the comments. Thanks!

  • James

    Hi all, the snow texutre link is updated, should be ok to download now.

  • kel

    i know what to do :D
    she/he means put the rock texture picture in photoshop [ separate document] and go back to your text layer, in the LAYERS PALLET and right click on the thumbnail and click ” select pixels” once selected take your rectangular marquee tool, with THAT tool click on the text and drag it on to the rock picture : D then all you do is copy and go back to the text layer and paste :D YAY

  • Marketty

    I think it’s a bit coloured :| but it’s a great work :D thanks a lot

  • Stas

    Fucking STEP 3, I can’t do it about one HOUR. My !effects! don’t save after carrying over, my steps:
    • I click CTRL+LEFT MOUSE on the Layer (selection text succesfull)
    • I select background
    • Press Ctrl and press left mouse over the text = select Selection of this text and move it to other file witk Image of ROCK
    • Complete the same actions!!!

  • Stas

    Please, make a ScreenShot of “Layers” in the middle of Step 3 in the second file (with Image “Rock”) after you move here the selection of text!

  • Stas
  • türk yalçını

    thanks :D

  • Simon Pedersen

    This is my result, with a couple of adds.
    I think the result came out really good.
    Btw thank you for tut! :D

  • arthur

    i love this site ^^
    you are the best !!!
    thanks for sharing your knowledge

  • Sathiyaseelan


  • Roumek

    wery cool

  • inspirationfeed

    Great tutorial!

  • batch fourtwenty

    if you need help with step 3 email me [email protected] took me like 3 tries but i finally got that bitch down.

  • carlyn

    nand2 na kaya ako d lng ako makalabas ng bahay ksi nahihiya ako sa mga kaibigan ko eh

  • Skatdexter

    Easily could be the best site for photoshop tutorials..Its great !!

  • Cody

    Are you missing a step? Right around step 5 on the part where you feather the selection and copy the snow texture over. How do you get the icy glow effect on the top of the text? I’ve followed your exact steps four times over and my image doesn’t look anything like yours every time, yet up until that my text looks good in comparison.
    My bet I’m not feathering right or something. Would you care to go more in-depth with that part? I’m new to Photoshop, I’ve got CS4.

  • levanvcu

    thank you very much.
    but i learning English very badly.
    so i want learning English more and more with other people.
    i wait very much everybody helps.

  • London Man and Van

    nice work. it will help a newbie like me a lot. i am in process of designing my LOGO for Driver With Van.

  • Hassan

    Im working on designing a logo for Man and Van London Active Movers. It going to look good.

  • kenichifc

    thanks for tutorial. Love it, simple and effective :D

  • forshire

    Hi, can i have this amazing work as .psd file? Because i am so noob on PS and i wanna make a wallpaper for my computer’s desktop with my nickname(gaming nick). Thanx for interest.

    Best regards,



    Hey man,
    Like the text.
    But as a beginner at photoshop, a little too hard to understand all the perks.. Should do step by step, with screens on where to click.


  • Maron

    wOW THEATS REALY ROCKS!!!!!! Yeah !!! :D

  • Misha1804

    For those who has faced the same problem, as I. In the fifth point for a luminescence, in “Blending options” I have changed “Size” in parameter “Outer glow”
    Lesson great! Thanks big)

  • Hanson_viper

    im having trouble with step 3 :( whenever i click the thumbnail and drag the text to the cgtexture…. the whole text is dragged to the other picture. 

    i was able to do step 3a but not step 3b

    step 3a = ctrl+leftclick thumbnail
    step 3b = dragging it to the rock layer

  • Bob

    Ya you teah half ass and then your picture looks ten times better than the pic u ended the tutorial with… dick

  • Web Hosting

    cool design, easy to follow steps. thanks a lot!

  • Taupo Accommodation

    Good job…so easy to follow and understand!

  • Rushan Kamran

    My i get a video for this ??

    If you are making one please Email me.

    M having trouble in the 3rd step

  • Building Inspections Auckland

    Very simple tutorial! thanks for this post!

  • Apex

     i dont get it..Step 6, under the brush preset i set everything as is (except 4 the minimum roundness i had to turn Control on to something so that minimum roundness could be selectable/moveable) but when i used the brush i didnt see anything and i made sure to switch the color to white but still nothing, please help!

  • jim

    i want this video tutorial pls.!

  • George656

    I turn off photoshop step3 is not working anyways ..

  • Rog

    Poorly written tutorial. EXTREMELY poor explanation of how to get the snow and rock patterns onto the text. This is called a tutorial for a reason. Your supposed to explain things. If your not going to explain in detail, then please refrain from making tutorials in the future. Thanks.

  • sandeep

    May i Know what was font style name

  • Trevor

    on step 3, i had the picture on a seperate document, and i deleted the background. That seemed to work.

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