In this lengthy Photoshop tutorial we’ll begin with Adobe Illustrator and create our version of the “Avengers” text as a large vector shape to afford us maximum flexibility as we continue building the text effect. We’ll then transfer our artwork to Photoshop and layer on textures, shadows, colors, and more to create an amazing version of the Avengers text effect. As a bonus we’ll also use some brushes from Brusheezy.com to create a killer background for our artwork. It’s a long one, but it’s a good one, so grab some coffee and let’s make this thing work!
If you don’t have Adobe Illustrator, click here to download the .EPS that can be brought right into Photoshop to make the text for yourself.
If you get bogged down following the written tutorial, feel free to check out the video where you’ll get additional detail as well as actually see me doing the various steps involved in this tutorial.
Chapter 1: Assets to Download
Chapter 2: Downloading the Assets
Step 0. Get Your Download On!
I have downloaded all of the textures and brushes which you see linked right below this and saved them all into one folder. I also the two fonts located below and installed them on my computer. Again, I would recommend that you save all of these assets together just to make it easier to find them later on during the tutorial. I have left all of the file names as you would see them when you unzip the downloaded files just so we’re all working with the same files.
Chapter 3: Creating the Text Artwork in Adobe Illustrator
Step 1. The Text in Vector
Before anything magical can happen I think we would be best suited by starting the process with a great, free Avengers style font face which can be found over on dafont.com. It’s called “Avengeance Heroic Avenger” and you can download it right here.
Step 2. Place Text & Reference Image
Create a new document sized 1920×1080. We want to type out the word we wish to convert to the Avengers style of type and also run over to Google Images and grab a good, high resolution image of the Avenger movie poster and drag it into Illustrator so you can match up and check on any letter that you may think are a little messed up. I set my font size to 415pt.
Step 3. Tweaking the Shape of the Text
Select the text and right click and choose “Create Outlines” to make this a piece of artwork and then right click and choose “Ungroup”. Next grab the Pen tool (P) and draw a nice curved shape that we can use to cut away the sharp corners on the letters “E” and the top right corner of the “G”. Don’t worry about drawing lots of these shapes we’ll just copy this shape and flip it for each and every corner on this text that we want rounded. See my screenshot to see what and where I’ve drawn. NOTE: I drew one shape for the acute corner and the obtuse angle as well.
4. Pathfinder Panel Goodness
I’ve copied and pasted all the corner rounding shapes that I’ve drawn to each of the corners that I need to be rounded. Now, go Window>Pathfinder to open the Pathfinder panel and then begin by selecting one letter and only one of the shapes sitting on top of it and choose the “Minus Front” icon and then select both that letter and the other red curved corner and do the same. Repeat this process for all the corners we wish to curve.
5. Fixing the “E” and “G” Letters
We need to add an angle to the middle part of the “E” so grab the Direct Selection tool (A) and select the bottom right corner of the middle stem sticking out of the “E” and hold down your Shift key and tap the left arrow key twice to bump that corner back toward the letter “E” as I’ve done in the screenshot. Do this for both of the letters “E”. Next use the Direct Selection tool (A) and select the points on the “G” that we need to adjust to make an angle. You really should check out the video tutorial to see exactly how I made the angle on the inner part of the “G”.
6. Making the “A”
Next I’m going to get rid of this “A” and draw my own version using the reference image as a guide. I used the Pen tool (P) to create what you see in the screenshot. Check out the video if you need even more visual guidance.
7. Making the Circle Around the “A”
Grab the Ellipse tool (L) and drag out a perfect circle by holding down your Shift key which is the right size (you can use the reference image as a guide or just do what looks right to you) and then copy that circle and paste it in place by hitting Cmd/Ctrl + F. Look to the Layers panel and hide the lower of both of these layers. Select the upper of both of these layers and choose the Move tool (V) and hold down your Shift + Alt/Opt keys and scale the inner of these circles back until it would punch a hole in the center of our larger circle to give us the shape around the “A”. Turn the bottom circle layer back on, select both circles with the Move tool (V) and open the Pathfinder panel and select the “Minus Front” icon.
8. Place the “A” and Circle in Place
I’m going to drag the new shapes we’ve created off of the reference image over to where the old “A” is. Delete the old “A” and then move this new “A” into place. I also scaled it up a little bit to ensure it’s roughly the correct size.
9. Trimming the Circle
I used the eyeball icon to shut off the “A” and the “V” layers and then I grabbed the Knife tool (which can be found under the Eraser tool in the toolbar) and cut my circle under where the “A” and “V” would be. Then select the bit the cut and hit the “Delete” key to get rid of it. Turn those “A” and “V” layers back on as I have.
10. Cleaning It Up
Select the “V” with the Selection tool (V). Go Object>Path>Offset Path and I’m going to offset my path by 18px for the size of my type. The new, larger “V” shape will be automatically selected, but we need to make sure this layer is at the top of our layer stack so go Edit>Cut and then go Edit>Paste in Front. Hold the Shift key down and select the green circle shape too and then look to the Pathfinder panel and select the “Minus Back” option to slice our circle shape exactly where we need it. Do the same thing for the “A” layer to chop away the unwanted bits of the circle here as well. I also filled these letters with black to give everything the same color.
11. Creating the Outline
Select everything here and hit Cmd/Ctrl + G to group all this stuff together. Next go Object>Path>Offset and offset this group by 7px. Select the group of our text and right click and choose “Ungroup”. Select all the original pieces of text using the Move tool (V) and holding down the Shift key and re-group that into its own group. Hide that group in the Layers panel by clicking the little eyeball icon and then group all of the new slightly larger text into its own group as well. (Object>Group.) I set the color of larger text to a light gray (#c6c6c6) and the smaller, interior text to a red color (#e21331).
12. Direct Selection to Adjust the Little Things
Using the Direct Selection tool (A), I’ve gone ahead and tweaked any little edges that may be slightly off or not quite lined up where they should be. I’ve circled the edged that I cleaned up and adjusted with the Direct Selection tool. NOTE: I selected corresponding anchor points in the inner and outer text to ensure everything moved together.
13. Artboards Action
Select both groups of text and select the Move tool (V) and look to the control bar at the top of the window and align this text together with the horizontal and vertical centers. Next, go Window>Artboards to open that panel and hit the new artboard button. Grab just the red text and drag it over to the new artboard. Select “Artboard 2” in the Artboards panel and then grab the Selection tool (V) and look to the top control bar and choose the align this group of red letters to the horizontal and vertical centers of the artboard. (Selecting Artboard 2 will force the alignment to align to this new artboard, not the original one.)
14. Export .EPS
Go File>Save As and choose .eps from the drop down menu and tick on “Use Artboards” to ensure we save each version of the text we made as a separate eps file. Name the file and choose where to save it and hit the “Save” button.
The Photoshop Steps
15. Setting Up the PSD
Create a new PSD sized 1920x1080px and go Layer>New Fill Layer>Solid Color and use the color #0d1521 as the color. Next, drag both of the .eps files into Photoshop and they will automatically center themselves. We want to make sure the gray text is beneath the red text.
16. Layer Styles for Edges
Shut off the top “red-text” layer and select the “gray-text” layer and go Layer>Layer Style>Bevel & Emboss and choose Inner Bevel, Chisel Hard, 100% depth, Up, Size: 1, Soften: 0, Angle: 24, Altitude: 37, Highlight color #FFFFFF at 0% opacity, and Shadow color of #000000 at 100% opacity. Also we’ll apply the Gradient Overlay using a gradient that runs left-to-right with the colors #d9d9d9 on the left to #f5f5f5 on the right. Blend Mode of normal at 100% opacity, Linear gradient at a 90 degree angle. HINT: Dark gray at the bottom running to light gray at the top.
17. Red Text Gradient Overlay
Turn on your “red-text” layer again and then set your foreground color to #9a141b and set your background color to #d71f2b and then add a Gradient Overlay and choose “Foreground to Background” as your gradient type. This should make the dark red sit at the bottom of the text and run up to the lighter red at the top of the type. HINT: You may need to change your angle to 90 degrees if it isn’t looking right.
18. Red Text Bevel & Emboss and Contour
Next add a Bevel & Emboss to this red text layer and choose Inner Bevel, Chisel Hard, 175% depth, Up, Size: 8, Soften: 0, Angle: 90, Altitude: 42, Gloss Contour: “Ring” preset, Highlight set to Color Dodge and 50% Opacity with white fill color, Shadow set 0% opacity. We’ll also tick on the “Contour” option below Bevel & Emboss and set the contour to the “half round” preset with a Range of 50%.
19. Stroke & Multiple Inner Shadows
Next we’ll add a stroke to the red-text layer Size 3px, Position: Inside, Opacity to 100%, fill color #000000 (black). We’re going to now add three (3) Inner Shadows to this red-text layer. NOTE: If you have an older version of Photoshop, refer to my solution in the video on how you can have multiple layer styles. Tick on the Inner Shadow and choose black as your color, Opacity 35%, Angle: 90, Distance: 15px, Size: 1px, everything else remains at the default. Press the little “+” icon to add the second inner shadow and choose black as your color, Opacity of 25%, Angle: 160, Distance: 7px, Size: 1px, and everything else remains at the default setting. Add another inner shadow and set black as your color, Opacity of 35%, Angle: 150, Distance: 13px, Size: 0, and leave everything else as default.
20. Adding a Second Bevel & Emboss
There is still no second bevel & emboss option in Photoshop so we need to duplicate our layer by hitting Cmd/Ctrl + J and then right click on the new red-text layer in the layers panel and choose “Clear Layer Style”. Now find the fill opacity input in the layers panel and reduce this to “0”. Add a bevel & emboss to this layer and choose Inner Bevel, Chisel Hard, 175% Depth, Up, Size: 8px, Soften: 0px, Angle: 24px, Altitude: 37px, Gloss Contour: Ring preset, Highlight set to Color Dodge, White, Opacity of 50%. We’ll also tick on the Contour like we did in our other “red-text” layer and use the Half-Round contour with a Range set to 50%.
21. Adding Another Inner Shadow
Add an Inner Shadow to our new “red-text” layer set to Normal blend mode with the color #650f15 at 100% Opacity, Angle: 145, Distance: 10px, Size: 2px, with everything else still set to the default.
22. Adjust Lighting with Gradient Overlay
Add a gradient overlay to this new “red-text” layer and use the default black-to-white gradient (NOTE: You want black at the top and white at the bottom. Use the reverse button to flip the gradient quickly if needed.) Also set the blend mode to “Overlay” and reduce the Opacity to 30%.
23. Adding Inner Brightness
Cmd/Ctrl + click one of the thumbnails for either of the “red-text” layers and then go Select>Modify>Contract and contract by 7px. Set your foreground color to white and then go Layer>New Fill Layer>Gradient. Make sure the white is coming down from the top and then set the overall layer blend mode to “Overlay”.
24. Fine Highlights
Duplicate the upper “red-text” layer by Alt/Opt + dragging it above that gradient layer which we just created. Right click and choose “Clear Layer Style” and then once again set the fill opacity to 0%. Now add a drop shadow and choose Color Dodge blend mode with a color of white set to a 45% Opacity, Angle: -60, Distance: 2px, Spread and Size should both be 0. Then select your Move tool (V) and nudge the actual text layer over to the right and downward for 5-6 presses of the arrow keys and you’ll see a fine highlight appear exactly as we want. Load the original “red-text” layer as a selection by Cmd/Ctrl + clicking the layer thumbnail and then go Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection.
25. The First Texture Application
I’m going to drag the “scratch_texture_by_kjtgp1” texture in which is one of the assets we downloaded way back at the beginning of this tutorial. I rotated and scaled the texture to cover the text and then I right-clicked the layer and rasterized that Smart Object. Then hit Cmd/Ctrl + L to open the Levels adjustment and pull the light and dark points inward just as you see in my screenshot. Next desaturate the texture by hitting Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + U and invert the colors by hitting Cmd/Ctrl + I. You will have something like I have in my screenshot.
26. Blending the Texture
Go ahead and set the blend mode of this layer to Overlay and reduce the opacity to 50%. Now we want to Alt/Opt + drag the mask from the layer below our new texture to duplicate it and drop it onto our texture. Grab the Brush tool (B) and right click, click the little cog-wheel and choose to “Replace Brushes” load in the “52 Grunge Brushes” pack that we downloaded at the beginning of this tutorial. Use those brushes and paint with black to get rid of the texture in the top parts of the text. See my screenshot to see what my text and layers panel both look like.
27. Adding Metal Texture
Now we need to drag the “scratched_metal_3_by_kayas_stock” texture into the document and right click right away and choose “Skew” and drag the top-middle point to the right to get the effect I have in the screenshot. Rasterize this smart object and duplicate the layer by hitting Cmd/Ctrl + J. I dragged the metal texture off to the side so there would be enough to cover our entire piece of text. I also used a large, soft eraser to help fake blend these two pieces together before I selected both layers in the layers panel and hit Cmd/Ctrl + E to merge them together.
28. Blend Metal Into the Text
Now use the levels adjustment again by hitting Cmd/Ctrl + L and pump up the white level in this texture and deepen the blacks. Alt/Opt + drag one of the full text masks up from the highlight layer below and set this layer to the blend mode of Multiply.
29. Adding Cracks
Create a new layer and grab the brush tool (B) and replace these existing brushes with the “Cracks” brush set and set your foreground color to black. I’m only interested in crack brushes that are cleaner and have long thin cracks. Paint a few cracks with a brush size between 1000-1300 or so. We’re also going to add a simple drop shadow to this cracks layer set to Overlay blend mode, the color white, at 100% opacity, Angle: 138, Distance: 1px, Spread and Size both set to 0. Alt/Opt drag the mask from the layer beneath up and set the layer fill opacity to 75%. BONUS: I also went and painted away to top bits of cracks in the mask using our “52 Grunge Brushes” pack as well.
30. Adding Dirt and Specks
Create a new layer and load the “grunge_brushes_digitalrevolutions” pack and paint with the color black around the edges and gently “grunge in” the edges and then alt/opt + drag a clean layer mask from our red-text layer to mask the grunge within the letters and then simply set the blend mode to Soft Light and reduce the opacity if it seems very dark.
31. Adding Fine Scratches
Create another new layer and load the “SS-shattered-glass” brush pack and paint some black lines and shattered bits evenly spread over our text like you see in my screenshot. Next right click on the “Cracks” layer to which we applied the white drop shadow and choose “Copy Layer Style” and right click on our new cracks layer and choose “Paste Layer Style”. Now reduce the fill opacity to 30%.
32. Dings and Scratches to the Edges
Create yet another new layer and let’s load in the glass cracks brush pack as well as the “digitalrevolutions” grunge brush pack. We want to create a mask that consists of JUST the little gray edge sticking out. Cmd/Ctrl + click on the layer thumbnail for the larger, gray text and then to subtract the red text from that selection, Cmd/Ctrl + Alt/Opt and click on the thumbnail for one of our red-text layers. Select our newest layer up at the to of the stack and go Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection. Now use the brush tool (B) and paint with the grunge brushes and the color black around the edges as you see fit to distress that edge. Reduce the layer opacity to 65% to blend the distressed texture to the edges.
33. Surface Scratches
Create a new layer and load the “Dirt2 – Scratches” brush pack and grab the brush tool (B) and we’re going to begin adding these long thin scratch marks to the text on this new layer. Duplicate this layer by hitting Cmd/Ctrl + J and rename the lower layer because we’re going to make this the shadow for our scratches that we just painted. We can hide that layer for now. Copy the drop shadow layer style from the scratches layer below and paste that layer style onto this layer and reduce the fill opacity to 80%.
34. Masking & Building a Shadow
Alt/Opt drag another of our text mask from lower layers up to both of our scratch layers here to mask them within our text. Click the little chain icon between the scratch shadow layer and the layer mask there so we can move the scratches on this layer without moving the mask. Now I’m going to shift the scratches down and to the right a little bit. Next go Filter>Gaussian Blur and blur this 1.5px. Reduce the layer opacity to 35% to get the look I have. This shadow is very important, it is going to give us a sense of depth within the individual pieces of lettering. Subconsciously we will think there is a glassy front of the text and a textured back that is “below” the surface of the type.
35. More Burning of the Type
Create a new layer and Alt/Opt drag a mask up to mask off this layer just as we’ve been doing. Load the “52 Grunge Brushes” pack into Photoshop and grab a couple of the brushes and just paint around the bottom of left/right edges to “burn” them in and add some textured darkness to them. Reduce the layer opacity to about 80% and set the layer blend mode to Overlay.
36. Adding Some Splatter
Create another new layer and apply a layer mask to this layer from the mask we already have. Set your foreground color to white. Load in the “20 Spray Brushes” pack and choose a brush, but right click anywhere on your Photoshop document and size the brush down to about 1000px in size. Gently click around to add little bits of white splatter here and there. Now reduce the layer’s fill opacity to 0%.
37. Style the Splatter
Next, add a bevel & emboss to this splatter layer (It may look like it’s all gone, but it’s still all there!) with the settings: Inner Bevel, Smooth, Depth: 300%, Up, Size: 1, Soften: 0, Angle: -50, Altitude: 37, Highlight: Normal, White, Opacity 60%, Shadow: Normal, Black, Opacity 45%. Also, add a drop shadow to this to give this the appearance that it is sitting on the “face” of this text using the settings: Normal, Black, Opacity 40%, Angle: 140, Distance: 7px, Spread: 0, Size: 3px.
38. Contrast Adjustments
Go Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Gradient Map and apply and black-to-white gradient to the image. TIP: If the image looks like a film negative, just hit the little “reverse” check box to fix it all immediately. Drag one of the complete layer masks from one of the layers below up to this layer while holding the Alt/Opt key to duplicate a layer mask onto this adjustment layer. Set this layer to the blend mode of Soft Light.
39. Adding Complementary Text
Add some complementary text, throw a very light gray-blue to almost-white gradient onto the text and mask this type using the grunge brushes to add some texture using the techniques we used for creating our Avengers text in the first place. The gradient I used is #bbccdd on one side and #f1f5f8 on the other to get a very similar effect to the secondary text effect for the official Avengers movie poster.
40. Background and Additional Props
Drag in a nice background that compliments the color scheme of the Avengers style movie poster. I created this particle/snowy style background using some brushes and radial blurring techniques! Download the background image and I placed that below everything in my layers panel.
41. BONUS TIP!
You can place a solid color fill layer right below all of your texture layers, but above the actual text layers for a pretty cool simplified effect, or you can mask that solid color layer to the colored red area of our text by copying one of those masks and then change the color of the fill layer to anything you like to change the color of the text. Change the layer blend mode to Color to really complete the look!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial! If you have, please leave a comment below or follow me on Twitter to keep up with all the new articles and tutorials on tutvid.com! Thanks!