This tutorial will show you how to make a raw unpolished metal texture that has been heated to a nice glowing orange. It uses some non-destructive effects that make it easy to transfer the effect from project to project by simply copying and pasting. Check it out.
Step 1: The Background
Rather than using a dull solid background, I added a radial gradient with the colors #4b4b4b and #292929. This makes things more interesting and gives it some sense of depth and lighting.
Step 2: The Text
Next, add some text or any kind of vector shape. This effect could be used on just about anything.
To position the text in the center with precision, use the shortcut [Ctrl-A, Cmd-A] to make a selection of the entire canvas. Then, with the Move tool [V] selected, choose Align vertical centers and Align horizontal centers from the options bar at the top of your workspace.
Step 3: The Outline
To give the shape a little substance I gave it a basic drop shadow and a metallic looking border with some layer effects. To add these effects, double click on the layer with your shape or text. In this example, the layer is called 3nhanced because text layers name themselves after whatever you type in them. The following are the three layers effects you will need to add.
For the most part, I left the drop shadow at its default settings. I dropped the opacity down to 30% to keep it subtle.
These are the settings I used for the bevel and emboss effect. Keep in mind that these settings could change drastically depending on the shape and size of the object you are working with. Just keep the end result in mind.
These are the settings I used for the stroke.
This is the gradient for the stroke. I used white, #504f4f for the darker gray and #a8a8a8 for the lighter gray.
Step 4: The Metal Texture
Okay, let’s start giving this a rough unpolished metal texture.
Create a new layer above the text layer and call it Metal Layer. Right click on the new layer and select Create Clipping Mask. This will slightly indent the layer and show a little arrow pointing down from the left of it. Clipping masks work just like any other layer, but are masked by the layer below them.
With the Metal Layer selected, select Filter > Render > Clouds and use the same foreground and background colors you used for the original background. #4b4b4b and #292929.
Select Image > Adjustments > Levels. This part gets a little tricky. There are no standard settings for this step. Depending on the formation of the clouds you used you will need to adjust the levels to match the desired effect. You want a happy medium of contrast to create a rough look. Use the image above for reference. If you can’t get the right look, you may need to redo [Ctrl-F, Cmd-F] the clouds filter and try the levels again. It took me half a dozen tries before I got a clouds formation that I was happy with.
Next, apply a Dry Brush filter. Go to Filter > Artistic > Dry Brush. Use the settings above. Depending on the image and cloud arrangement, these settings may vary. Remember to focus on the end result, not just the settings.
Step 5: The Metal Texture Pt. 2
In this step we will complete the unpolished metal look with one more texture. Create a new layer called Metal Layer 2. Just like in the previous step, right click on this layer and select Create Clipping Mask.
For this layer, select Difference from the blending mode dropdown located on the Layers palette.
Fill this layer with clouds as well. With the colors #4b4b4b and #000000, select Filter > Render > Clouds. Like in the previous step, you may need to render the clouds a few times before you get a formation that has a good formation.
Roughen up the cloud texture by going to Filter > Noise > Add Noise and use the settings above.
To give the metal a light brushed look go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur and use the settings above.
Step 6: The Heated Metal Look
Create another layer, name it Glow Layer and make it a clipping mask like the previous two layers. Fill this layer with any solid color of you choosing so that you can add some layer styles to it.
Double click the Glow Layer to open the layer effects dialog box. Set the fill to 0%. Then, give it a Gradient Overlay with the above settings.
The actual colors I used for the gradient are: #000000, #cb0e00, #ffde00 and #f8ffd9.
Step 7: The Polish
To finish things off I added some extras that I won’t get into details with this tutorial. I added a glow at the very end using the Inner Glow and Outer Glow layer effects and used a Layer Mask to hide all but what you can see on the tip. I also added a little plume of smoke (here is a tutorial that shows how to make great smoke) and a reflection.
Some heat waves would be an awesome addition if you are looking for more ideas.
Because of the non-destructive layer styles you used in this tutorial, the effect can easily be transferred from project to project. All you would need to do to copy and then paste the layer style on the original text layer, then drag the clipping mask layers over.