Note technology rapidly evolves and this tutorial is over 3 years old, as a result some of the practices used in this tutorial may be out of date.

Brushed Silver Reflective Text Effect

Here we’re going to show you how to create the image below – an elegant brushed silver text effect immersed in an abstract reflective watery scene.


Step #1

First you will need to download the two textures below and convert them into photoshop patterns for later. To do this simply open each image then go to EDIT >> DEFINE PATTERN in the menu. Alternatively, if you’ve downloaded the source files at the end of this post, simply install the pattern set entitled reflective-brushed-metal-tut.pat by double clicking on it.)

Click here to download all tutorial assets in zip file.

Step #2

Create a new transparent document 670px * 400px at 72dpi as seen below.


Step #3

To keep our psd file organized first click on the folder icon in the layer pallet 3 times to create three folders and name them FRAME, TEXT, and BACKGROUND respectively.


Step #4

Create a new layer within the FRAME folder and name it frame. Activate the shape tool by typeing U, make sure the rectangular shape tool is selected, then draw out a square similar to the one below, leaving a little room on the top and bottom.


Step #5

Activate the layer styles dialog box on your shape layer by double clicking on it or by going to LAYER >> LAYER STYLE >> BLENDING OPTIONS in the menu. Then enter the settings below.


Step #6

Create a new layer above the frame layer by going to LAYER >> NEW >> LAYER in the menu, activate the text tool by typeing T, then type in your title using the settings below.



Within the BACKGROUND folder create a new pattern fill layer by going to LAYER >> NEW FILL LAYER >> PATTERN in the menu and choose the abstract water pattern you either installed or created in step #1 as seen below. Then set the layer opacity to 60%



Above the water layer create a color fill layer by going to LAYER >> NEW FILL LAYER >> COLOR in the menu. Chose #000000 for the color theen set the layer blend mode to Color as seen below.



Within the TEXT folder now, create a new layer by going to LAYER >> NEW >> LAYER in the menu, activate the text tool by typeing T and type in some text using the Times at 330pt as seen below.


Step #10

Duplicate the text layer you just created by going to LAYER >> DUPLICATE LAYER then open up the layer styles pallet on the top text layer by going to LAYER >> LAYER STYLE >> BLENDING OPTIONS in the menu and enter the settings below.

top-layer-style top-layer-style-2 top-layer-style-3 top-layer-style-4 top-layer-style-5 top-layer-style-6

Step #11

Open up the layer styles pallet by going to LAYER >> LAYER STYLE >> BLENDING OPTIONS in the menu on the bottom text layer and enter the settings you see below.

silver-layer-styles silver-layer-styles-2 silver-layer-styles-3 silver-layer-styles-4 silver-layer-styles-5 silver-layer-styles-6

Step #12

Select both text layers and drag them down to the new layer button to duplicate them, then merge the resulting layers by going to LAYERS >> MERGE LAYERS in the menu then name the merged layers “Reflection”.


Step #13

Flip the reflection layer vertically by going to EDIT >> TRANSFORM >> FLIP VERTICAL in the menu. Then activate the move tool by typeing V and drag the reflection layer down until it lines up with the base of your text as seen below. Bring the layer opacity down to 40% and then create a layer mask.


Step #14

Activate the gradient tool by typeing G, make sure the default black to white gradient is selected and that the gradient tool in in linear gradient mode, then drag the mouse as seen below to make the reflection fade out gently.


Step #15

Above the Reflection layer create an new layer and name it “Shadow”. Then activate the brush tool by typeing B , selct a basic round brush with opacity 50% and size 25px then draw along the base of each letter as seen below.


STEP #16

To clean up the shadow use the motion blur filter by going to FILTER >> BLUR >> MOTION BLUR in the menu and enter the settings below.


STEP #17

To clean up the shadow further use the gaussian blur filter by going to FILTER >> BLUR >> GAUSSIAN BLUR in the menu and enter the settings below.


You should now have something that looks like what you see below.


Step# 18 (Optional Spotlight)

To punch up the effect a little more create a new gradient fill layer by going to LAYER >> NEW FILL LAYER >> GRADIENT in the menu beneath the color fill layer and use the setings seen below.


Thats it!

You should now have something that looks like what you see below.


What’s Included in the Download

  • Fully layered source PSD
  • .ASL file containing the layer styles for the text effect layers
  • .PAT file with both patterns needed for the tutorial – ready to install!
  • .JPG files of the patterns used
  • BONUS: Layered PSD of the variation shown in the preview.
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39 comments on “Brushed Silver Reflective Text Effect

  1. Nerevar says:

    Please correct Step #17. You’re telling there to use the gaussian blur but you also explain where to find the Motion Blur in the same Step. I think that’s copied from Step #16 by mistake ^^

    August 21, 2009 7:24 pm
  2. LeeAnn says:

    So if I purchase the files, all I will need to change is the text?
    I love this style and I want to make a banner for my site, but for some reason I could not follow the tut. perfectly.

    Also can the size of this image be made longer without distorting anything?

    September 22, 2009 8:12 am
    1. Pamela says:

      After changing the text you would still have to do steps 13-17 to get the appropriate reflection and shadow. The background is tileable so it would not distort, it would repeat. I recommend downloading the free psd that accompanies our Grunge Yellow Warning Stripes tutorial as it also has a similarly constructed shadow and reflection. That way you would get a better idea what you would be getting.

      September 22, 2009 4:13 pm
  3. ninigoesdigi says:

    Looks great but does this works in PS E 7 ?
    I’m new at the program and i don’t know PS so no clue if I could get the same results in PSE.
    Same question for the transparent glass text effect.
    Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer me.

    November 19, 2009 10:07 pm
  4. slowturtle says:

    Very good teachers at the other end. I got the same result by following the easy steps.

    March 12, 2010 8:39 pm
  5. Sean says:

    Yeah… I get to step 7 and it looks nothing like what you have after that step…

    I just have a black background with, for some strange reason, a white stroke, even though it’s set to black.

    June 11, 2010 2:07 am
  6. Serega(rus) says:

    Молодец автор! Только жалко что в рунете мало таких уроков.
    i am happi

    November 9, 2010 12:21 am
  7. Macoka says:

    It is a very fantastic tutorial. I think it is the best in this category (silver text or metal text). But I have a question, May I use this technique for making a metal skull in Photoshop? Have you any suggestions how can I do that? I tried and it was not succed. I want to make a realistic metal or silver skull myself. Can you help me?

    August 15, 2011 5:16 am

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