Tutorial: Live Fast

Last week I posted the first tutorial of Steven Medina on this website. Today I have a second tutorial made by Steven, a Graphic Designer/Production Artist/Market Researcher and Photoshop enthusiast. In this tutorial he’ll show how to create speeding text in Photoshop.


Step 1: Open up a blank Illustrator document. Create some text (in this case its LIVE FAST. All caps, in this case I used the font Franklin Gothic). Now turn it into outlines (Cmd-Shift + O). Use your shear tool to faux italicize the type. Now go in and manually adjust the tracking between the letters. Pay special attention to the space between the letters and get a good balance. After that copy the text and give it a 2 point stroke width.

Step 2: Now create a new Photoshop document 1900px width and 1200px height. Fill the background layer with black. Paste in the text that you created earlier.

Step 3: Create a new flat oval shape. Hit it with a Gaussian Blur and a Motion Blur making sure the Gaussian Blur softens the edges a lot and the Motion Blur is at zero for the angle. Make a few of these coloring them dark rusty orange and a toned down teal color. Vary the sizes and opacity and start laying them out for your background.

Step 4: Create a few more of these oval shapes but keep them less blurred out and much flatter. Fill them with white and change the Blend Mode to Overlay. Start laying them out around the type. Your trying to create the illusion of lights speeding by you. Lastly set your colors to default (black and white). Create a new layer on top of all the blurs and Filter => Render => Clouds. Drop the Fill to 47% and the Blend Mode to Overlay.


Step 5: Next stylize the text with a Bevel and Emboss and a Drop Shadow. Follow the pictures for a good reference point.



Step 6: Now color the text using Black for shadows, the same toned down teal for midtones and White for highlights in that order from bottom to top (Black, then Teal, then White). Group the Layers and add a Layer Mask to make sure the colors stay inside the text and not on the Background.


Step 7: Copy the text and Blur it up a bit. Change the Blend Mode to Overlay and drop the Opacity to about half. Add a couple of these layers varying the Opacity and Blur. Next paste in the stroked text this time only changing the Blend Mode to Overlay and lay a few of them out. Your going for a shaky effect on this part. Finally Group the Layers and add a Layer Mask to make sure there is nothing inside the text.


Step 8: Find a nice film grain texture and place it on top of the text. Play with the placement and form until you like where it is. Add a Layer Mask to snap it to the text only and change the Blend Mode to Overlay.


Step 9: Finally paint in a few lines of smoke with a soft edge white brush at a low opacity and fill. A key point here is to add spots where smoke would hit the letters and wrap around them. Think of the car commercials where they blast smoke trails at a car to show you the aerodynamics of it.


Step 10: A last note of importance is the layer order. You want to let the soft edges of the blurs and Overlays to overlap and blend together, working with each other to get some funky results. I’ve attached a sample of what mine looks like, however experiment with yours and see what you can come up with. Thats it!


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About the author

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Houke de Kwant is a frontend developer from the Netherlands and the creator of TheArtHunters (former Daily Inspiration, which was started as part of his study).

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