Design Challenge Days 16 & 17: Brushed Steel + Chiseled Text Effects in Photoshop

Brushed Steel + Chiseled Text Effects in Photoshop

I was trying to figure out how I'd catch up on my tutorials when I came across this Brushed Metal Effect in Photoshop tutorial from Dansky on Facebook. I decided it was smarter to just decide on one tutorial rather than stress out about two, so I started in on it.

Once I finished it up, I decided I wanted the text overlay to look engraved into the metal. I found this tutorial from TipSquirrel on creating a chiseled text effect - perfect!

The Process(es)

Creating the brushed steel effect began with creating a new layer and filling it with black, then adding uniform, monochromatic noise before using the motion blur filter. Then a new grey and white gradient layer is added and the blend mode is changed to overlay. There are some additional steps involving adjustment layers before a solid black layer with reduced opacity is added to finish off the effect.

Before adding text, I saved the brushed metal effect as a PNG and added it to a new document as the background layer. TipSquirrel's tutorial uses the Horizontal Type Mask tool to place text on the background layer. Then a new layer is created via copy in which Bevel & Emboss is selected in Layer Styles; the technique is changed to Chisel Hard and a contour is added.

The more I looked at my finished image, the less it looked like brushed steel, or, for that matter, the engraved text effect I had wanted. Where had I gone wrong? I started playing with effects and layers, trying to achieve what I envisioned in my head.

05.23.17 - BLOG IMAGE - Brushed steel effect + chiseled text effects in Photoshop.png

First, I added a satin effect on the background layer and added another gradient layer as the top layer to create a soft reflective sheen reminiscent of real brushed steel. Turning my attention to the text, I reduced the depth of the Inner Bevel and added a 1 pixel stroke inside, changing the blend mode to Screen. Now I finally had a final project that really looked like brushed steel engraved with text!

The Presentation(s)

Dansky's YouTube tutorial featured picture-in-picture, with a mini-Dansky narrating in the lower right corner under the tutorial itself. It was nice to see him and the full screen at the same time. He did a good job walking through the steps; this tutorial was well-paced, using few if any shortcuts so that beginners could easily follow along with dropdown menu options. I feel like the tutorial got me 75% of the way to the final effect, but needed a bit more tweaking to achieve a really great looking brushed steel effect.

TipSquirrel's tutorial was text and screenshots, which is great unless you're working with a new tool (hello, Horizontal Type Mask!) and would prefer to see how it looks in action. Nonetheless, the steps were fairly straightforward and, similarly to Dansky's tutorial, got me almost to the finish line when creating the chiseled text effect.


This was the first time I've done a tutorial that I really went beyond what was shown to achieve my final images. It was amazing to look at what I created initially by following along with the tutorials and then see what I created by using the knowledge I've gained over the last few weeks to make it look even better. I'm especially excited to have created this in Photoshop - especially since when I began this challenge, it was the software that most intimidated me.