How to Create Glass Effect Text in Photoshop

In this tutorial we will create a glass effect on editable text using only blending modes. We will also work with gray tones, so the text will grab its colors from the background and adjustment layers.

Difficulty: Intermediate – Advanced
Completion time: 2 hours
Tools: Photoshop CS3

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Resources: Minion Pro font – generic, any font will do.

What you will be creating


Create a new document of 600×600 px in RGB color mode at 72 dpi (File > New…).


Grab the Type Tool (T), draw a rectangle large enough to fit a letter. Then type a letter of your choice. If you want a longer text, just create a larger document in STEP 1 (e.g. 1608×1050 px).
Set it to Minion Pro, 370 px and Sharp. For color, set it to #e5e5e5 – a light gray tone.


Open the Layers palette (F7) and set Fill to 0%. Select the Type layer (the thumb with a “T” in the center) and click the “fx” button. Select Blending Options.


In this window, check the boxes shown below. It will look nasty at the moment, but don’t worry. We’ll fix it.


Click on each line and use the settings below. To see better what your results look like, select the “Background” layer, grab the Paint Bucket Tool (G) and fill it with a dark gray.


Go to Layer > Duplicate Layer (CTRL+J). Select the original layer and right-click on the effects list in the Layers palette. Select “Create layers”. Hit OK on the popup window.


In the Layers palette, select all the layers resulting from STEP 6 (SHIFT+click), except “D’s Outer Stroke”, then click on the “Delete Layer” button – the one looking like a trash can.


In the Layers palette, CTRL+click the “D copy” layer to load a selection (it will appear like a marching ants contour), select the “D’s Outer Stroke” layer and hit Delete.


Go to Layers palette, set Fill to 0% and open the Blending Options like in STEP 3. Use the settings below.


How to use it:
Simply place it over an image and if you like, add some adjustment layers to give it a nice tint.
Here are a few examples.

You can download the source file from the link below. (698.6 KiB, 3,038 hits)

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34 Comments on “How to Create Glass Effect Text in Photoshop

  1. It has been really helpful… lot of interesting hints… and real accurate analysis, hope to read more soon.

  2. Genial post and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you on your information.

  3. This is blog post is really helpful to lean this glass effect in Adobe Photoshop.

  4. Nice, but where is the source download?

    It says: “You can download the source file from the link below.”

    But there is nothing below it??? :S

  5. Awesome tutorial but for lazy people like me, I would rather use the ready made source.

    But the download link is missing, mind fixing it?


  6. Incredible job you did down here. To lazy too and I can’t find the download link :D. Could you point me in the right direction please? Thanks in advance.

  7. wow .. This tutorial is amazing. By following this tutorial, I can make a company logo easily. However, I can not download the source file. How do I download the file?

  8. We wish to get the following characters generated in graphics. Requirements:

    – Characters should be in 3D
    – They should appear like glass characters

    C – Blue color
    C++ – Red Color
    C# – Yellow color
    Java – Green Color

    A sample of what we want can be sent as an attachment. We are willing to pay for this effort.

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