Design a Super Sleek Text Effect with Water Drop Texture

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In this tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to create the Super Sleek, eye-catching text effect with Water Drop Texture. This effect is simple but effective, and would be suitable for any water/rainy/ocean themed designs you’re creating.

Along the way, we will be using Photoshop techniques such as make selections, layer blending effects, image adjustment tools and a bit of masking. This is a beginner level tutorial and the steps are really easy to follow, have a try!

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


Alternative Version: (click to enlarge)


Ok let’s get started!

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


Water Drop Texture – By eRiQ

Step 1

Firstly we can prepare some nice background for us to work on. Create a new document sized 1920 * 1080px with white colour background. On the background layer, use the Gradient Tool (G) to fill it with the followings:


Duplicate this background layer once, hit Ctrl + T and resize the duplicated layer as shown below:


In between the duplicated layer and the background layer, create a new layer call “Light bottom” and grab a big soft round brush with white colour (I chose 1600px, 0% hardness, 55% opacity), do a single-click on this newly-created layer on the position shown below:


Then on top of all previous layers, create a new layer called “light top” and use the same brushset for the “light bottom” layer, do a single-click to the following position as shown below:


You will have the following effect:


Step 2

Use the font we just downloaded, type some texts onto the document, resize (Ctrl + T) and position it in the centre of the canvas:


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

Drop Shadow


Outer Glow


Gradient Overlay


And you will have the following effect so far:


Step 3

Load the water drop texture into Photoshop. Go back to our text document and load the selection of the text layer by using the following method:

1. Move your mouse over the thumbnail image of the text layer in the layer pallette: (You will notice your mouse cursor change into a hand)


2. Hold down the Ctrl key (the cursor will change into a hand + rectangular marquee) and left-click the thumbnail image of the text layer. You will see now the text layer is selected:


Once the text layer is selected, grab the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M), move your mouse over the selection until you see the cursor changes into the following shape:


Left-click and hold, drag the selection over the water drop texture:


Hit Ctrl + Alt + R and bring up the refine edge tool, apply the following settings:


Press Ctrl + C to copy the selected portion from the water drop texture, go back to our text document and Ctrl + V to paste the texture on top of the text layer:

(Important: please maintain this selection on the water drop image, we will use it again in the next step)


Name this layer as “water drop texture 1” and change its blending mode to “Overlay”, you will have the following effect:


Step 4

To add a bit variety for the water drops, simply go back to the water drop texture image, move the selection to a different portion:


Again we copy and paste the selection back to our text document, name the newly-created layer as “water drop texture 2”, change the blending mode to “overlay”.

You will have the following effect:


Optional: you can add more water drops to the text by repeating the above steps.

Here is what I have after adding another two layers of water drop textures:


Step 5

To make the actual text stand out a bit more, simply duplicate the text layer once and drag the duplicated layer upon the top. Reduce the opacity of this duplicated text layer to around 70%.

You will have the following effect:


Add a new Levels adjustment layer by going to Layer > New adjustment Layer > Levels and apply the following settings:


Add the following mask to the Levels adjustment layer:


And you will have the this final effect:


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 my final image for this tutorial: (I simply black and white the image and add some of my own colours) – 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!

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  • 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

  • joyoge designers’ bookmark

    looks really nice, I like this text effect. thanks..

  • Roger

    Awesome! Abduzeedo has changed layout! Oh, wait….

  • Giggss

    OMG looks really good, but I didn’t like the gradient overlay ;)

  • Devlin

    Very cool effect. I like the trick in step one to make a slick web 2.0 background in a very simple way. Thanks!

  • FreelancerCrowd

    Looks cool, atrough a bit strange when it’s just around the text

  • PB

    looks really nice, I like this text effect. thanks..

  • James

    @FreelancerCrowd: yeah it’s a bit empty on the outside. My initial though is to make a beginner level tut without too many steps, so I just concentrate on the text surroundings.

  • James

    @Devlin: thank you! glad you find it useful!

  • James

    @Giggss: yeah I show the gradient overlay purely for tutorial purpose, you can of course skip this step :)

  • Artiom

    WoooW! amazing! thanks =D =D =D ill try do it right now

  • DEAR

    hey Guy! It’s wonderful and excellent tutorial. I really love it. Thank you so much. but I have some problem on step5. that I don’t know How can I go……. Add the following mask to the Levels adjustment layer.
    Thank you!!

  • psaddict

    look great.

    Added to

  • Johnson Koh

    Interesting effect. Great work!

  • shravani

    very good
    thank u

  • James

    @DEAR: with step 5, I basically use a big soft brush (0% hardness) and did a single click on the centre of the layer mask.

    Hope this helps :)

  • Kyle

    hey, so I’m having trouble with like the last couple steps, i don’t understand the levels and then the layer mask and really don’t understand how you added colors to the water and made it white all the way around could you please help me

  • amber

    great tutorial i’m sure you’ve heard that a thousand times thank you for the detailed instructions. always love it when the colors used are specified

  • kk4527



    this is wonderful tutorial .. i read it 3 times and get a fantastic results and sure i put a
    copy of this lesson on my site here


  • gamul

    wuah. ..
    good tutorial you also, you would like to link tuker with me and become a partner comment?

  • lucas

    looks awesom!!

    how did u get that final effect with the white background and colors???? i tryed but i have no idea

  • Dillon

    I love the tutorial, but couldn’t figure out the last step you added with the colors. Could you help me out?

    – Dillon

  • Helena

    Very smart! Love it, thank you!

  • Kaplang

    really cool effects, I love the colourful one :)

  • yarenay

    I could not do. I need to work hard

  • 2hands10fingers

    Love this tutorial.

  • Egypt Freelancer and web design in egypt


  • jailani

    cool cool effect

  • Carl

    Very cool effect, nice work. How did you add the color?

  • selvakumaran

    fentastic .i like to design…………..


    step 3 is tooo Hard For beginar

  • mar

    hey there,

    how do you add the multi colors on the last part?


  • Sam

    Can this be downloaded somewhere? :)

  • shabnam

    Looks so real!!!!!

  • Thingdfreck

    BEAUTIFUL  TUTORIAL AND EASY TO UNDERSTAND not like all these other ones that claim to be easy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • blured

    are you doing a tutorial for the colored sections?

  • Brian Dean

    Oh my!!! You are
    just too true to be good. How do you manage to write and research on such
    wonderful things? You have inspired me to work harder now. I shall try as
    much as possible to enjoy life to the fullest and be satiated with the
    wonderful things that are around me, which I have been unaware of until now.

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