How to create a splashing water text effect

This tutorial will show you how to use images, brushes, and layer styles to create a realistic splashing water text effect.

1. Define a pattern and create the background and text layers

Step 1

Open the .jpg image from the Icy and Watery Blue Textures pack, then go to Image > Image Size, and change both the Width and Height values to 500.

Step 2

Go to Edit > Define Pattern, and click OK.

Step 3

Create a new 960x650px document, click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, choose Solid Color, and use the Color fill #06131e.

Step 4

Create the text in All Caps using the font Titan One. Set the Size to 200pt, and the Tracking value to 100.

2. Select the water image

Step 1

Open the Water wave image, and go to Image > Calculations.

Change both Channel values to Red, the Blending to Add, the Opacity to 100, the Offset to -123, and the Scale to 1.263.

You can also use any other values you prefer.

Step 2

Go to Select > Load Selection. Set the Channel to Alpha 1, check the Invert box, and choose the New Selection option under the Operation tab.

Step 3

Open the Channels panel, and click the box next to RGB to show the original image.

Click the Layers panel, go to Edit > Copy, and go back to the original document that has the text.

3. Add and mask the water image

Step 1

Go Edit > Paste, rename the layer to Water Fill, right-click it, and choose Convert to Smart Object.

Step 2

Command-click the text layer's thumbnail to create a selection.

Step 3

Hide the text layer by clicking the eye icon next to it, select the Water Fill layer, and click the Add layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.

4. Adjust the image inside the mask

Step 1

Click the link icon between the Water Fill's layer and mask thumbnails to unlink them.

Step 2

Select the Water Fill's layer thumbnail, press Command-T to enter the Free Transform Mode, and transform the image inside the mask to get a result you like.

Hit the Return key to accept the changes.

Step 3

Change the Water Fill layer's Fill value to 0 and duplicate it.

5. Style the first water fill layer

Double-click the Water Fill layer to apply the following layer style:

Step 1

- Bevel and Emboss

Size: 30

Soften: 3

Gloss Contour: Ring

Check the Anti-aliased box

Highlight Mode:

Opacity: 100%

Shadow Mode: Linear Light

Color: #ffffff

Step 2

- Contour

Contour: Cove - Deep

Check the Anti-aliased box.

Step 3

- Texture

Pattern: 8.jpg

Scale: 25%

This will style the first water fill layer.

6. Style the second water fill layer

Double-click the Water Fill copy layer to apply the following layer style:

Step 1

- Bevel and Emboss

Size: 18

Uncheck the Use Global Light box

Angle: 108

Altitude: 58

Check the Anti-aliased box

Highlight Mode:

Opacity: 100%

Shadow Mode: Linear Light

Color: #ffffff

Step 2

- Contour

Contour: Half Round

Check the Anti-aliased box.

Step 3

- Texture

Pattern: Use the 3rd pattern from the Icy and Watery Blue Textures pack's pattern file

Scale: 25%

Depth: 10%

This will style the second water fill layer.

7. Create the water brush layer style

Step 1

Create a new layer on top of all layers, name it Water Brushes, and change its Fill value to 0.

Double-click the Water Brushes layer to apply the following layer style:

Step 2

- Bevel and Emboss

Size: 5

Gloss Contour: Ring

Check the Anti-aliased box

Highlight Mode:

Opacity: 100%

Shadow Mode: Linear Light

Color: #ffffff

Opacity: 100%

Step 3

- Contour

Contour: Ring

Check the Anti-aliased box.

Step 4

- Texture

Pattern: .jpg

Scale: 25%

8. Add and mask the water brushes

Step 1

Pick the Brush Tool, and open the Brush panel.

Under the Brush Tip Shape tab, you can choose a brush tip, and adjust its settings, like the Size, Flip options, and Angle value.

Step 2

Use the Free Water Splash Photoshop Brushes pack's brush tips, and adjust their settings, to add the main big splash brushes to the upper part of the letters.

Step 3

You can add a layer mask to the Water Brushes layer and make sure its thumbnail is selected.

Then, pick the Eraser Tool, set the Foreground Color to White, and paint over any unwanted areas to remove them.

9. Build up the effect using more brushes

Step 1

Right-click the Water Brushes layer, and choose Copy Layer Style.

Create a new layer, name it Water Brushes 2, right-click it, and choose Paste Layer Style.

You can also add a layer mask to it.

Step 2

Use the 20 Water Splash Brushes.abr Vol.1 and 20 Water Splash Brushes.abr Vol.2 packs' brush tips to add more water splashes to the top and bottom edges of the letters.

You can create as many layers as needed for that.

Step 3

Use the Free Splash Photoshop Brushes and Free Splash Photoshop Brushes 4 packs' brush tips to add some splash sprays all around the text.

Try not to add so many splashes to maintain the text's readability. Keep it simple, and use small brush sizes.

Step 4

Add more layers if necessary to avoid any overlapping of the brushes.

10. Adjust the layer mask

Step 1

Select the Water Fill copy layer mask's thumbnail.

Step 2

Go to Filter > Filter Gallery > Brush Strokes > Spatter.

Change the Spray Radius to 2, and the Smoothness to 3.

11. Make global adjustments

Step 1

Create a new layer on top of all layers, name it High Pass, press the Shift-Option-Command-E keys to create a stamp, and right-click the layer to choose Convert to Smart Object.

Step 2

Go to Filter > Other > High Pass, and set the Radius to 1.5.

Step 3

Change the High Pass layer's Blend Mode to Soft Light, and its Opacity to 50%.

Step 4

Click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, and choose Color Lookup.

Choose the FallColors.look table from the 3DLUT File menu, and change the layer's Opacity to 50%

That's it!

Conclusion

In this tutorial, we used a couple of images, brushes, and layer styles, to create a realistic, fresh, water splash text effect.

Please feel free to share your work in the comments section below. Define a pattern and create the background and text layers.

Please feel free to share your work in the projects section!

Now you can show the world what you have learned.

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