How to Create a Stylish, Glowing Outline Text Effect in Photoshop

How to Create a Stylish, Glowing Outline Text Effect in Photoshop

How to Create a Stylish, Glowing Outline Text Effect in Photoshop

How to Create a Stylish, Glowing Outline Text Effect in Photoshop

How to Create a Stylish, Glowing Outline Text Effect in Photoshop
How to Create a Stylish, Glowing Outline Text Effect in Photoshop
How to Create a Stylish, Glowing Outline Text Effect in Photoshop How to Create a Stylish, Glowing Outline Text Effect in Photoshop How to Create a Stylish, Glowing Outline Text Effect in Photoshop How to Create a Stylish, Glowing Outline Text Effect in Photoshop How to Create a Stylish, Glowing Outline Text Effect in Photoshop

How to Create a Stylish, Glowing Outline Text Effect in Photoshop

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

Today I will show you how to create an electric Photoshop text effect. You will see how to outline text in Photoshop and use brushes and patterns to create a cool, unique text effect.

During this tutorial, I will tell you that the assets are replaceable, which is entirely optional. Replacing the assets is like a piece of homework for you to learn how to use the Brush settings panel. By the end, you will know how to use multiple tools and filters to create your own Photoshop text effects, and even transform them into Photoshop actions.   

The text effect we are about to create is part of Energy Text Photoshop Action. The complete action has three size options and works with text and shapes. It also has 27 premade colors for you to choose from. 

This action is also available in the Super Photoshop Actions Bundle, which has 10 Photoshop Actions, including Photoshop text effects and photo effects.

Energy Text Photoshop Action promo image
Energy Text Photoshop Action

Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used during this tutorial:

1. How to Create the Layer Styles

Step 1

First, we are going to create five layer styles for this text effect. Then we will record an action putting all of them together.

To start, download the zip file attached to this tutorial, and unzip it in any folder you want. After that, open the Energy-Background.jpg with Photoshop. Note that I set this image to 300 dpi, which is perfect for this tutorial.

Background image

Step 2

Pick the Horizontal Type Tool (T) and set the font to Infinite Justice and Font Size to 70. Then press Caps Lock and write FLASH in the center of the image.

Background and text layer

Step 3

I created the following pattern using the Clouds filter and a Gradient Map layer. This pattern is in the zip file attached to this tutorial. To install it, go to Edit > Presets > Preset Manager and select Patterns on the Preset Type. Then click on Load and select the pat file that came in the zip. 

You can easily replace it with any Space Cloud or Space Dust image found on the internet. I recommend adding a Gaussian blur and a purple Gradient Map to the image if you want it to look like my image.

Double-click on the FLASH layer to open the Layer Style panel. Then add a Pattern Overlay with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Normal
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Pattern: Space Test (Available in the zip file)
  • Scale: 25%
  • Link with Layer: On

After that, click on Snap to Origin to reset the texture position.

Pattern Overlay settings

Step 4

Now add a Bevel & Emboss with these settings:

  • Style: Inner Bevel
  • Technique: Smooth
  • Depth: 719%
  • Direction: Up
  • Size: 13 px
  • Soften: 16 px
  • Use Global Light: off
  • Shading Angle: 90º
  • Shading Altitude: 38º
  • Gloss Contour: Cove – Deep
  • Anti-aliased: On
  • Highlight Mode: Normal, Color: #0096ff, Opacity: 15%
  • Shadow Mode Opacity: 0%
Bevel and Emboss settings

Step 5

Add a Stroke with these settings:

  • Size: 1 px
  • Position: Outside
  • Blend Mode: Normal
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Overprint: Off
  • Fill Type: Color
  • Color: #9cbfff
Stroke settings

Step 6

Add a Color Overlay with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Color
  • Color: #a3ccff
  • Opacity: 100%
Color Overlay settings

Step 7

Add an Outer Glow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Normal
  • Opacity: 26%
  • Noise: 0%
  • Color: #0066ff
  • Technique: Softer
  • Spread: 3%
  • Size: 49 px
  • Contour: Linear
  • Anti-aliased: Off
  • Range: 100%
  • Jitter: 0%
Outer Glow settings

Step 8

Add a Drop Shadow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Normal
  • Color: #1e1236
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Use Global Light: Off
  • Angle: -180º
  • Distance: 2 px
  • Spread: 100%
  • Size: 4 px
  • Contour: Linear
  • Anti-aliased: Off
  • Noise: 0%
  • Layer Knocks Out Drop Shadow: On

After that, click on New Style and name it Lightning Style A

Drop shadow settings and how to save photoshop text effects

Step 9

Go to the Layers panel, right-click on the FLASH layer, and choose Clear Layer style. Then double-click on it to open the Layer Style panel again. After that, add a Color Overlay with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Normal
  • Color: #ffffff
  • Opacity: 100%
Color Overlay settings

Step 10

Add an Inner Glow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Normal
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Noise: 0%
  • Color: #108cff
  • Technique: Softer
  • Source: Edge
  • Choke: 0%
  • Size: 0 px
  • Contour: Linear
  • Anti-aliased: Off
  • Range: 55%
  • Jitter: 0%
Inner Glow Settings

Step 11

Add an Outer Glow with these settings: 

  • Blend Mode: Normal
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Noise: 0%
  • Color: #0078ff
  • Technique: Softer
  • Spread: 3%
  • Size: 9 px
  • Contour: Linear
  • Anti-aliased: Off
  • Range: 95%
  • Jitter: 0%

After that, click on New Style and name it Lightning Style B.

Outer Glow settings and how to save photoshop text effects

Step 12

The following pattern is available in the zip file as well. I created it using the Difference Clouds filter, and then I inverted the colors of the image (Control-I) and used the Levels filter to make the image look like a lightning pattern. Then I used a Layer mask to hide unwanted parts and the Oil paint filter to make the image look smoother. And finally, I added a blue Gradient map layer.

Look for a lightning pattern on the internet if you want to replace it and make your text effect look different. Just remember that this pattern has to have a transparent or black background.

Now go back to the Layers panel and clear the layer style of the FLASH layer again. Then double-click on it to reopen the Layer Style panel. After that, add a Pattern Overlay with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Screen
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Pattern: LTN BG 22 (Available in the zip file)
  • Scale: 25%
  • Link with Layer: On

Now click on New Style and name it Lightning Style C.

Pattern Overlay settings and how to save photoshop text effects

Step 13

Go back to the Layers panel and clear the layer style of the FLASH layer once more. Then double-click on it to open the Layer Style panel again. After that, add an Inner Glow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Normal
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Noise: 0%
  • Color: #8a98b2
  • Technique: Softer
  • Source: Center
  • Choke: 0%
  • Size: 0 px
  • Contour: Linear
  • Anti-aliased: Off
  • Range: 100%
  • Jitter: 0%
Inner Glow settings

Step 14

Add a Pattern Overlay with these settings

  • Blend Mode: Normal
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Pattern: LTN BG 22
  • Scale: 25%
  • Link with Layer: On

After that, click on New Style and name it Lightning Style D.

Pattern Overlay settings and how to save photoshop text effects

Step 15

Now we are going to create the last layer style. So go back to the Layers panel and clear the layer style again. Then open the Layer Style panel and add an Inner Glow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Normal
  • Opacity: 83%
  • Noise: 0%
  • Color: #6cbcff
  • Technique: Softer
  • Source: Edge
  • Choke: 0%
  • Size: 3 px
  • Contour: Linear
  • Anti-aliased: Off
  • Range: 45%
  • Jitter: 0%
Inner Glow settings

Step 16

Add an Outer Glow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Normal
  • Opacity: 56%
  • Noise: 0%
  • Color: #00ccff
  • Technique: Softer
  • Spread: 3%
  • Size: 32 px
  • Contour: Linear
  • Anti-aliased: Off
  • Range: 100%
  • Jitter: 0%

After that, click on New Style and name it Lightning Style E.

Outer Glow settings and how to save photoshop text effects

2. Recording the Action

Step 1

Before we record, go to Edit > Presets > Preset Manager and select Brushes on the Preset Type. Then click on Load and install the Energy Brushes.abr that came in the zip file. I will talk about these brushes later.

Installing the Brushes

Step 2

Go to the Layers panel and click on the FLASH layer to make it the active layer.

Now go to Window > Actions to open the Actions panel. Then click on the Create new set icon and name it Energy Text Effect 300 DPI. After that, click on Create new action and name it Small (25%).

How to record photoshop actions

Pay attention to the Actions panel now. It will record almost everything you do in Photoshop. You can (and have to) delete any mistake you make in the process of recording this action. If you make a mistake, click and drag the step to the little trash bin on the Actions panel.

In the next image, you can see how to delete a step of the action. I clicked on the “Set current layer” step and dragged it to the trash bin.

Deleting a step from the action

Step 3

Now pick the Horizontal Type Tool (T) and set the text size to 69 pt. Then set the alignment of the text to Center. 

Text settings

Step 4

Press Control-A to select the entire image. Then pick the Move Tool (V) and align the text with the center of the document. After that, press Control-D to deselect everything.

Aligning the text with the document

Step 5

Now rename the text layer to E.Text and go to Window > Styles to open the Styles panel. After that, look for the Lightning Style A that we created before and click on it to apply the style to the text.

Applying the layer style to the text

Step 6

Hold down Control and click on the thumbnail of the text layer to create a selection around it. Then go to Window > Paths to open the Paths panel. After that, click on the little icon on the top right corner of the Paths panel and choose Make Work Path with a tolerance of 1.0 px.

Creating a work path

Step 7

Now we are going to use the brushes we installed before. I created the first brush (Lightning Brush 1 HD) using a tablet, and it is a simple flash of lightning. You can open the Brush Settings panel (Window > Brush Settings) and check every adjustment I made. But basically this brush will be applied multiple times around the text, changing in size and direction. 

You can replace this brush with a lightning brush of your choice and use the same settings as I used in the Brush Settings. The lightning I created has 1,471 pixels from one side to the other. So, if you want to use the same settings as I did, your brush will have to be about the same size. You can see a sample of the original brush below.

Brush sample

Now pick the Brush Tool (B) and right-click anywhere on the image to open the brush options. Then select the Lightning Brush 1 HD brush and change its size to 300 px

Selecting and resizing the brush

Step 8

Press Control-Shift-N to create a new layer. Name it Lightning Brush Layer and click OK. After that, press D to reset the foreground and background colors, and then press X to switch them. 

Creating a new layer and setting up the colors

Step 9

Go to the Paths panel again and right-click on the Work Path. Choose Stroke Path and select Brush on the Tool option. Then uncheck Simulate Pressure and click OK.

Stroking the text layer with the lightning brush

Step 10

Go to Layer > Arrange > Send Backward to move the lightning layer to the back of the text. After that, right-click on the Lightning Brush Layer and choose Convert to Smart Object. Then apply Lightning Style B to it.

Applying the layer style B to the lightning layer

Step 11

Now select the E.Text layer and convert it to a Smart Object. Then apply Lightning Style C to it.

Applying the layer style C to the text layer

Step 12

Create a new layer and name it E. Text background. Then select the Hard Round brush and change its size to 4 px. After that, go to the Paths panel and right-click on the Work Path to stroke it as we did before. This will create an outline of the text, which we will soon use with a motion blur filter to simulate horizontal movement.

How to outline text in photoshop

Step 13

Double-click on the E. Text background layer to open the Layer Style panel. Then add an Outer Glow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Normal
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Noise: 0%
  • Color: #ffffff
  • Technique: Softer
  • Spread: 3%
  • Size: 13 px
  • Contour: Linear
  • Anti-aliased: Off
  • Range: 100%
  • Jitter: 0%

After that, click OK to close the Layer Style panel.

Outer Glow settings

Step 14

Now convert the E. Text background to a smart object. Then go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur to add a motion blur with an Angle of 0º and a Distance of 281 px.

Motion Blur settings

Step 15

Add another motion blur with an Angle of 0º and a Distance of 120 px. Then, with the E. Text background already selected, go to Layer > Arrange > Send Backward to move it one layer below.

E Text background layer and its filters

Step 16

Now apply the Lightning Style B to the E. Text background layer. Then convert it to a smart object again. After that, apply Lightning Style D to the new smart object.

E Text background layer reconverted to a smart object

Step 17

Now we are going to use the second brush included in the zip file. I created this flare brush using a circle made with the soft round brush, and then I stretched it and duplicated the layer a couple times. Unlike the first brush, this one will not change direction when applied, but it will change in size a little. 

You can replace it with any flare brush found on the internet. Just like the first one, you are free to open the Brush Settings panel and check all the adjustments I made. 

Now select the E.Text layer again. Then press Control-Shift-N and name the new layer E. Flares Layer. After that, pick the Brush Tool (B) and select Lightning Brush 2.

Selecting the Lightning brush 2

Step 18

Go to the Paths panel and stroke the Work Path again. Then convert the E. Flares Layer to a smart object and apply Lightning Style E to it. After that, convert the E. Flares Layer to a smart object again.

Applying the Lightning Style E

Step 19

Select the E.Text layer and go to Filter > Stylize > Oil Paint. Then set the Oil Paint filter with these settings:

  • Stylization: 0.7
  • Cleanliness: 0.0
  • Scale: 0.1
  • Bristle Detail: 0.0
  • Lighting: Off
Oil paint settings

Step 20

Select the E. Flares Layer and go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur to add a motion blur with an Angle of 0º and a Distance of 23 px. After that, select all the layers except the Background and convert them into one smart object.

Converting the layers into one smart object

Step 21

Rename the smart object to Energy Text Effect. Then go to Window > Adjustments and click on the Gradient Map icon. After that, right-click on the Gradient Map layer and choose Create Clipping Mask. 

Don’t worry if the colors on your image look different.

Creating a Gradient Map layer

Step 22

Double-click on the thumbnail of the Gradient Map layer to open the Properties panel. Then click on the gradient bar to edit the colors.

We are going to add five Stops to the gradient bar (just click below the gradient bar and the Stop will be created).

Create a gradient with these settings:

  • First Stop Color: #0d0105 Position: 0%
  • Second Stop Color: #4e0009 Position: 13%
  • Third Stop Color: #ff0000 Position: 52%
  • Fourth Stop Color: #ffd738 Position: 78%
  • Fifth Stop Color: #ffffff Position: 100%
Gradient map settings

Step 23

Select the Energy Text Effect and press Control-T to activate the Transform. Then make it 5% smaller. 

Resizing the text layer

Step 24

Go to Filter > Sharpen > Smart Sharpen and use these settings:

  • Amount: 110%
  • Radius: 0.4 px
  • Reduce Noise: 0%
  • Remove: Lens Blur
Applying a smart sharp to the text layer

Step 25

Go to the Paths panel and delete the Work Path. Then go back to the Actions panel and click on the Stop Recording icon to finish the action.

Deleting the work path and stopping the recording
Final product

Congratulations, You’re Done!

In this tutorial, you learned how to outline text in Photoshop and how to stroke the text with different types of brushes. If you tried to replace the assets of this tutorial, you learned how to use the Brush Settings panel. You also learned how to change the colors of a text effect using a Gradient Map layer. Now you can make it any color you want. 

Don’t forget to check the original action on GraphicRiver

Energy Text Photoshop Action promo image
Energy Text Photoshop Action

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