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In this tutorial, I will show you the process of making an interesting “Rock Riding the Wave” text effect in Photoshop. We will build the text using a rock stock image, add it to an ocean background, and finish off the effect with a custom water splash brushset. Have a try!

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

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Let’s get started!

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

Rock Stock 1

Rock Stock 2


Water Splash Brushset

Step 1

Create a new document sized 1440px * 800px with black background. Load the “Ocean” image into Photoshop and select the following portion:

Copy and paste the selection to our document, adjust the position of this new layer so that the ocean part occupies around 1/3 of the canvas. Use the free transform tool to slightly rotate this layer anti-clockwise:

Use a big soft eraser to remove parts of the ocean layer:

Apply the following image adjustment layers as clipping masks to this ocean layer:

Black & White



Here is the effect so far:

Step 2

Load the “rock stock 1” image into Photoshop. We want to use this image to form our text – I chose the top portion of the text and made a selection of it:

Copy and paste the selection to our document, place it as shown below:

Use the same process, add more rock texture to our document and form a letter “A”:

Select the 3 rock layers, and merge them into 1 layer:

Use a soft eraser to fade the bottom of the letter, so it blends into the ocean:

Use the “Burn” tool, darken parts of the letter as shown below:

Apply the following image adjustment layers to this letter A layer as clipping masks”

Black and White


This is the effect we have so far:

Step 3

We will add some splash around the letter in this step. Load the water splash brushset into Photoshop and choose the following brush:

Use the above brush, add some splash around the text as shown below:

Load the “Rock Stock 2” image into Photoshop and select a few rock pieces from the image as shown below:

Add your selection to our document, place them around the ocean as shown below:

Go to the water splash brushset and pick the following brush:

Use the above brush, paint splashes around the rocks as shown below:

Also add this splash to the bottom of the letter A:

Add a larger splash on the right side of the letter A:

Step 4

In this final step, we can add some colours to the image with the following image adjustment layers:

Selective Colour



We can flatten the image and use the Blur tool, blur the elements at the bottom of the image:

Paint some subtle cloud effect around the letter:

This is my final result (click to enlarge):

That’s it for this tutorial! Hope you enjoy it and find it useful! If you have any questions about the steps, please contact me or leave a comment below. I will try my best to answer them.

Till next time, have a great day!

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