Melting Text Effects in Photoshop

Written by frank m. young
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Melting Text Effects in Photoshop
Give your text the look of a melted candle. (Martin Poole/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Looking for an eerie touch to your typography? It's simple and easy to create a melting effect for text in Photoshop. You can personally control the level of "melt" you want and choose the right colour. Anyone can do it; just follow these steps.

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Prepare Your Text in Photoshop

Before you can melt text, you must create it. Open Photoshop, and select "File," then "New." Choose the size and resolution of your graphic document. If your work is intended for print, be sure the resolution is set at 300 to 350 pixels per inch. If you're sharing the results on the Internet, the resolution can be lower.

You'll need to create two layers. Your bottom layer should be solid black. You can fill this layer by clicking on the "Paint Bucket" icon. Next, create a top layer to be the text layer. This text layer should be coloured white. Type in the word or phrase.

Melting Text Effects in Photoshop
Type in the text you want to "melt" in Photoshop. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Rasterise and Render Your Text

Select the text layer by right-clicking on it in the layers palette. Once it is highlighted, click on "Filter" then "Render" then "Fibers." The filter menu is on the top row of drop-down tool bars at the top of the Photoshop work area.

The computer will ask you to rasterise the text layer, which changes the text into a graphic element. Once text is rasterised, you can't edit it, so be sure you have the correct word or phrase before you take this step.

The "Fibers" pop-up menu has two slider bars for variance and strength. The variance bar allows for a greater amount of dark and light colours. You can also choose the randomise button. Once you have made your choice, click "OK" to continue.

Melting Text Effects in Photoshop
This Photoshop tool bar contains dozens of effects and helpful tools. ( Images)

Merge Your Layers and Get "Plastered"

Merge the black background with the fibre-treated type layer. To do this, use the "Merge Down" command ("CTRL+E" on a PC or "Command+E" on a Mac).

Go to the filter drop-down menu and choose "Sketch" then "Plaster." Your word or phrase will look like it's melting. You can adjust the melting effect by moving the image balance and smoothness slider bars. (Hint: The closer the bars are to the left, the more sharp and readable your "melted" words will be.) Click "OK."

Melting Text Effects in Photoshop
You won't need these messy tools to make your text look like plaster. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Liquefy Your Text For a More Extreme "Melt"

If you are happy with the melted look of your text, skip this step. If you want a more extreme "melt" effect, choose "Filter" then "Liquify." Adjust the brush size to between 15 and 30, depending on the size of your text, by using the brush size menu to the right of the image. Use the brush tool to move the text around and create longer, more dramatic "drips." Once you have created the melted look you desire, click "OK."

The Final Step: Colorize Your Melting Text

To colorize the text, press "CTRL+U" (for PC) or "Command+U" (for Mac). This opens the hue/saturation menu. First, click the "Colorize" check box. Then use the hue and saturation slider bars to select the colour and its intensity. Avoid the lightness slider bar unless you want the background area colour to change. When you are finished, click "OK."

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