Design an Awesome Splashing Ocean Text Effect with Lightning Background in Photoshop

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In this tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to create this really cool-looking, Splashing Ocean Text Effect with Lightning Background in Photoshop. Have a try :)

Along the way, we will be using lots of textures, image adjustments, blending options and various filters. The purpose is to show you how you can use multiple texture images and combine them to create dramatic effect.

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

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To complete this tutorial, you will need to the follwing stocks:

Wave 1

Wave 2

Font

Lightning

Ok let’s get started!

Step 1

Create a new document sized 1280px * 800px, fill the background layer with black colour and use font we downloaded (in fact you don’t have to use that font, any bold, thick font would be in this occasion) and type some text onto the canvas as shown below: (lower half of the canvas)

Apply the following layer blending options to this text layer:

Drop shadow

Outer Glow

Bevel and Emboss

Gradient Overlay

Stroke

and you will have the following effect:

Step 2

Now we want to add a bit more lighting contrast to the text so that later on when we add the waves and splashes, the effect would mix it with the surrounding environment.

So load the selection of the text layer by clicking on the thumbnail of the text layer on the layer pallette, as shown below:

Craete a new layar on top of the text layer, go to Filter > Rander > Cloud and render some cloud inside it (set foreground colour as white, background colour as black before you render), set the blending mode of this new cloud layer as “Hard Light”.

You will have the following effect:

Create another new layer on top of the cloud layer, name it as “fibre texture”, maintain the selection of the text layer and fill the selection with black colour on this “fibre texture” layer.

Go to Filter > Render > Fibre and apply the following settings:

Change the blending mode of this fibre layer to “Hard Light”, and reduce the opacity of around 25%, you will have the following effect:

Step 3

Load the Wave 1 stock image into Photoshop, use the lasso tool with a 20px – 30 feature, make a selection to the area shown below:

Copy and paste the selection onto our document, name this new layer as “wave 1” and put it below the original text layer and just above the background layer. Desaturate this layer, resize it and erase (using a soft round brush) the outer portion of the wave, as shown below:

and you should have the following effect:

Duplicate this “wave 1” layer once and drag it on top of all previous layers, reduce the opacity to around 85%, you will have the following effect:

You will see now the bottom of the texts are now submerged under the water, and this make the effect look more realistic.

Step 4

No we’re on the splashing effect. Load the Wave 2 stock image into Photoshop, use the lasso tool again with a 25px feather, make a selection as shown below:

Copy and paste the selection onto our canvas, name this new layer as “wave 2” and put it on top of all previous layers, desaturate the layer and use a big soft brush to erase the edges off.  Then change the layer blending mode of this layer to “hard light”, and reduce the opacity to around 60%.

The effect you aim to achieve is shown below:

Make two duplicates of the “wave 2” layer, resize it to a small scale, flip both of them vertically and drag them to the positions as shown below:

As you can see this adds a bit more varirations to the wave and make the effect look more interesting:

Nwe we add the ocean portion on our document and blending it in with our text. Go back to the “Wave 1” stock image, use the rectangular marquee tool to selection and portion of the ocean as shown below:

Copy and paste this selection onto our document, name this layer as “ocean” and put it below the original text layer, but on top of the “wave 1” layer:  (use the free transform tool to resize it a bit, as shown below)

Reduce the layer opacity of this “ocean” layer to around 90%.

Step 5

Now we’re on to the cloud bit. Go back to the “wave 1” texture image and selection a portion of the cloud as shown below:

Copy and paste the selection on to our document, name the new layer as “cloud”, desaturate it and position the layer on top centre of the canvas as shown:

Use a big soft brush to erase the edges of this cloud layer so it blends in with the background:

Add the following two adjustment layers on top of the cloud layer, make sure to tick “use previous layer as clipping mask” option:

Levels

Curves

and you will have the following effect for the cloud:

and this overall effect for the image:

Step 6

Now we can tackle the lightning part of the text effect. Load the Lightning stock image into Photoshop, Ctrl + A to select the entire image and copy paste it onto our document. Name the new layer as “Lightning” and put it just below the “cloud” layer.

Desaturate this lightning layer, resize and position the lightning texture as shown below:

Duplicate this lightning layer a few times, resize them and scatter them around the text, so to make the overall effect look more dramatic:

Add the following Curves adjustment layer on top of all previous layers:

You will have the following effect:

Now we can paint some colour over the it: to do this, basically create a new layer and set its blending mode as “soft light”, grab the colour of your choice and paint over the layer with a big soft brush:

As you can see, I focus on the bottom of the text (with light blue), the lightning (with red), and the cloud (with dark brown). I leave the choice of the colour to you, experiment with different schemes and you may find the feel will be totally different.

Step 7

For final touch-ups, I decided to do two things:

  1. Add lights coming down from the sky
  2. Add text reflection on ocean water
  3. Add radial blur to the lightning bit

Sounds interesting? The steps are quite simple in fact.

So we flatten the image, duplcate the background layer three times. On the first duplicated layer, desaturate the whole layer, apply the following radial blur settings to it:

Change the layer blending mode to “Screen”, drop the layer opacity to around 60%, you will have the following effect:

On the second duplicated layer, filp the layer vertically and resize it to a very thin level, change the blending mode to “Screen” and drop its opacity to 40%:

Erase the edges with a soft brush, you will have the following effect:

On the third duplicated layer, apply the following Radial Blur settings to it:

Drag the layer a bit lower, and you will have the following effect:

Apply the following layer mask on this third duplcated layer:

and you will have the following effect:

OK that’s about it! You can further adjust the contrast, lighting and perhaps apply more textures onto it. Choices are yours :)

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

Hope you enjoy this tutorial! Drop me a comment if you have any question. Cheers and 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

  • thanks

  • Chelsea

    COOL! Normally I just pass by the text tuts, but this looks amazing and I’m really excited to try it out! Thanks!

  • iSpawn

    Cool man. In my opinion it should have stopped at step 5. The lightning ruins it for me.

  • I’ve been following most of your tutorials until now. Amazing though it is, they are always accompanied with lightning, storms and all sorts of breath taking distortion effects.

    I must say, James… you have created a signature style of photoshop tutorials. Great work!

  • James Qu

    @everyone: thank you so much guys, I’m really happy that you like my tuts and the support!

  • N1m

    very great tutorial m8!
    THX again, cheers from Hungary

  • Chelsea

    Okay so I found this really cool text I like but I’ve a silly question…how do I get it into photoshop? Don’t laugh lol I’ve never done it before! I can load brushes just fine but I’ve no idea how to get text in there. I googled it but I can’t find anything…

  • Chelsea

    Haha never mind I was phrasing it weird when I was looking…found it!

  • Glenn

    I followed the steps but it ended up looking completely different, and some of the things you say don’t make any sense. Or is not explained well.

  • very cool, stunning, look forward to more effects

  • wow! this is an extremly creative tutorial. I am going to try it out. thanks 4 sharing.

  • huseyin erdem

    that is magic, thanks!!1

  • interesting stuff.. i gonna use these. thanks. :-)

  • Guest12121121

    It’s bad for beginners “Desaturate this layer, resize it…” u should explain that steps, but it’s just my opinion.

  • KrazaK

    You apply a gradient overlay to the text, but it isn’t in your example? It makes the styled text look completely different to what your screenshotting…

  • Scrax

    Like most of your tutorial: Inconclusive, badly explained with equally bad examples. You skip to much. Get a different hobby, and close this website down. At least till you learn how to, exactly, make a “how-to”.

  • EM

    very great tutorial :)
    Thank you ^_-

  • Gnoa

    i agree whith beginers, coz it is too hard to know exactly what is going on, when u dont know how can you do any of effects, but pass this tutorial and take a easy one, dont wory, if u are inside this design world you will do it, but need a time and hard work.

  • Younes

    very great tutorial °_o
    Thank you :D

  • Sh4nn0o

    OMFG!! I Love This Effect Its Amazing.

  • Pantz

    I’m stuck at one of the steps:

    “Create another new layer on top of the cloud layer, name it as “fibre texture”, render>fiber, it says the area is empty and does not allow me to do it.

  • James Qu

    @pantz: before you render the fibre, fill the layer with black color first. this will get rid of the error message. Make sure to change the blending mode to “hard light” afterwards.

    hope this helps

  • Cassie

    hey, dude

    firstly, i’d like to say that this looks like an awesome effect, as does your other text effects and you’re really talented. But theres no point in posting a tutorial if you don’t explain stuff. I just went through all your tutorials trying to finish at least one effect, but i couldn’t understand what you were trying to say.Try to explain it to us as if we’re 3 yrs old. Anyway, i may sound like a dumbass but where the hell is the “use previous layer as clipping mask option” ?

  • phucnguyen

    help me!
    step 7, i can’t do background effects, not knowing how to select the background layer. if selected when the black start, it would not effect as step 7

  • vlad

    help me!
    step 7, i can’t do background effects, not knowing how to select the background layer. if selected when the black start, it would not effect as step 7

  • Tommy C

    How do u do Step 4? My ocean is not match with the black background but yours is very nice.

  • Doglas

    I’am using Photoshop for first time and did this tutorial without any problems (Just used google with some problems like “How to resize layer in Photoshop”)

    Just a little detail.. When we step on Second Duplicated Background, compare image before and after “On the second duplicated layer, filp the layer vertically ..” – Its a bit diferent.. he made some effect that dont say on tutorial :P

  • wisemonk

    Having problems when it comes to cutting and pasting the ocean setting the opacity only dims the ocean cut out how did you get it to blend into your image.

  • wisemonk

    I cant get past the ocean part as it doesnt seem to work with me how did you blend the image into the background like that ?

  • What an amazing idea!!
    Thank you. thank you!!

  • guest

    fyi, phrases like “just do this” or “basically” are horrible things to say in a tutorial. could have been worded / explained a lot better

  • jannex

    HEY,…i can’t follow step 7
    can you just tell me how do you that part

  • jannex

    what’s the of
    “use the previous layer as a clipping mask option”???

  • jannex

    what’s the meaning of
    “use the previous layer as a clipping mask option”???

  • TuGe yO

    Could someone just share the PSD with me, because I only want this 1 logo and I couldn’t be bothered to buy a member ship for just 1 logo, if someone can, I would appreciate it so much! Thanks

  • Ahmed Elbasha

    hey, if anyone want to share psd with me, I’m ready
    ;) ;) ;)

    thank you for this awesome effect

  • Murray

    Simply stunning.. Will be my gaming clans next wallpaper. Thank you.

    Newbies – Just Google what you don’t know. Having said that, if you phrase your questions and comments the way you do here, you might not get the right answers.

    This tut is near perfect, and is obviously meant for people with some basic skills. Why, as a begginer, do you think you can create stuff like this right away? Start with the basics and practice. Has taken me 3 years so far, and I still sometimes need tuts to make this kind of thing.

  • hammad

    i have tried and it is looking good
    [IMG]http://i54.tinypic.com/29bo9d2.jpg[/IMG]

  • CK

    can u make for me one plsssssssss

  • Hey guys, please elaborate what exactly that you’re having problem with you before you went off – don’t help either you or me. And for beginners, please study the basics of Photoshop before attempting this type of tutorial, won’t work if you don’t know where the basic command is.

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