Photoshop Text Effects

How to Create Smoke Text Effect in Photoshop

In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to create smoke text effect in Photoshop in just a few easy steps. We will be using the Smudge Tool to make the text look like smoke.

Smoke Text Effect in Photoshop

To create smoke text effect in photoshop, you’ll need:

Step 1

Create a new 800 x 800px document and start off with a subtle texture as the background. The texture should be such that the text and smoke stand out. Here’s the texture I’m using:

Smoke Text Background

We will now enhance the background a bit. Create a new layer named “Shadow” and using a soft large black brush, paint around the edges of the document. Then, create another new layer named “Highlight”, take an even larger soft white brush, paint a big dot in the center and change this layer’s blending mode to Overlay.

Smoke Text Effect Brush


Step 2

To create smoke text effect in photoshop. Write your text using the League Gothic font and rasterize the text layer by right-clicking on the layer and selecting Rasterize Type.

Smoke Text

With the text layer still selected, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply a 2 or 3px blur.

 Smoke Text Effect in Photoshop

Bring down the text layer’s opacity to 85%. Now, using the Rectangular Marquee Tool, select each letter and cut and paste them onto a new layer to get a separate layer for each letter. Then, move the letters around as shown below.

Smoke Text in photoshop

When you are done, you can merge the letters again by selecting all of the type layers and pressing Cmd/Ctrl + E.

Step 3

Select a brush from the smoke brush set to create smoke text effect in photoshop and make some smoke on a new layer as shown below.

Smoke Text Smoke

Select the text layer again, grab the Smudge Tool, bring its strength down to 20% and paint over the edge of the letters to blend them with the smoke. It may take some time before you get the text to bend in the same direction as the smoke.

Smoke Text Smudge Tool

Continue doing this with different brush sizes until the letters start blending with the smoke.

Smoke Text Smudge

You can also use the eraser with a low opacity to remove certain parts of the letter in order to make it blend more with the smoke.

Smoke Text Effect Eraser

Step 4

Finally, we will increase the contrast of the image to create smoke text effect in photoshop. To do so, click on the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer option at the bottom of the layers palette, select Levels from the list that appears, and use the settings shown below.

Smoke Text Effect Levels

And we done creating the smoke text effect!

Smoke Text Effect


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About the author

Tabish Shaikh

Website designer, website developer, blogger and a writer. These are the things I like, love and live for. Having years of experience in each field. Developing sites since childhood. Getting the most complicated things done is my specialty. Providing each and everything of top most quality to each and every client.