How To Create Exploding Text with Photoshop {Text Effect}

Play Video

Prefer watching tutorials? Check out the above video from my Youtube channel.



Get ready to have. Your. Mind. Blown! Yep, this Photoshop text effect tutorial is that explosive. In fact, you’re going to learn how to make your text explode.

Oh, and you’re going to get a bunch of free brushes for Photoshop too. And a free font. Plus, we can’t forget about the free image that’s key to this text effect.

Ready to master an exploding text effect in Photoshop? Awesome, let’s do it!

Table of Contents

Note: the (above) video tutorial was created with Photoshop beginners in mind. The following step-by-step instructions are for more experienced users.

Step 1: Create a New Document

create new document

Let’s start off by creating a new Photoshop document by going to; File > New.

And for the settings I’d recommend; 1920×1080 at 300ppi. Oh, and I’m using a black background.

Step 2: Add Provided Image + Text

add image and text

I’m including an image that you can download from here, to add texture to our exploding text effect. Once downloaded, click and drag from your file folder over your Photoshop interface.

Release your mouse button, and the texture will be added as a new layer. You now have a vertical image placed inside a horizontal canvas. They should be of the same orientation.

To rotate the texture layer, hold down your Shift key and click/drag down until you hit a 90-degree angle.

Now, we need to fill the canvas with it. Hold Alt or Option and drag a side or corner out. This will resize from the center. Make it slightly larger than your canvas and hit Enter or Return to finish the adjustment.

Add Text

Another essential element for this design is, well, your text! I know, pretty obvious. With your Text Tool (T), set the font type to Montserrat Heavy or one that is thick.

Set the size to 50pt and the color at black. Type out in all caps EXPLODE. We should center the text too;

Clip The Texture

Before moving on, let’s clip the texture to the inside of the text. Move the texture layer above the text layer. Right-click on it to “Create Clipping Mask.”

Step 3: Poke Holes In Your Text

design text with brushes

Apply a Layer Mask to the text layer. Then, download these custom brush sets; set 1, set 2, set 3. These will be used to create your explosive text effect.

For the first brush application, right-click on your canvas, expand the 2-25 folder, and select Sampled Brush 665. The default size of the brush is too large. Adjust the size to 150px.

Now, set the foreground color to black and apply the brush along each letter’s edge. I’d recommend changing the angle and the size of the brush to eliminate any apparent patterns.

Brush 2

For our next brush adjustment, navigate your brush panel and select the first one named “debris.” You’ll find this brush inside the “debris_brush_set_by_spar6_d1qchrw” folder. Also, adjust the size to 1500.

Now, click a few times across your word to poke holes in the letters. Again, you may want to alter the size and angle for each new brushstroke.

Get Organized

Select both the texture (Ctrl & click the layer) and the text layer. Right-click on either one to “Group from Layers” and name it “Text.”

Step 4: Add Explosive Debris

blur your text

Before applying our next set of brushes, create a new layer (Shift + Command or Ctrl + N) named “Particles.” Place this layer in its one group with Command or Ctrl + G and call it Dust Particles.

Expand the grouped layer and select the Particles layer. Also, make sure your foreground color is set to a dark gray, like; #575757. Resize your brush smaller to around 1200. With the same brush, click two or three times over and around your text.

Next, rotate the angle of the brush and make it a little larger or smaller. Click 2 or three more times randomly around the word.

Apply Motion Blur

The key for making it look like the particles are flying away from the text is using Radial Blur; Filter > Blur > Radial Blur. Choose; Zoom, Best, and set the Amount to 25.

More Particles

This is where experimenting is going to come into play. Continue adding new layers, new brushes, sizes/angles, and adjust the blur to more or less than 25.

For my final exploding text effect, I added a total of 8 layers of particles! And I used different brushes, sizes, and angles on each layer.

Step 5: Add a Smoke Effect

add smoke effect

To enhance the final text effect, I added a couple of smoke brushes (set 1). As before, create a new layer and select any smoke brush of your choice. Apply the smoke to the center of the canvas.

Step 6: Colorize Your Text Effect

colorize your text effect

At this point, we (or at least I didn’t) change the color for the smoke brush, and it doesn’t match the rest of the artwork. No worries. Let me show you how to colorize all the layers to match.

To fix it, we’re going to use an Adjustment Layer. Select your top layer and go to; Layer > Adjustment Layer > Hue Saturation.

Adjust the Hue slider to a color that matches your creative vision. To better match the colors, click on the “Colorize” option.

Now What?

Stacking brushes for an explosive text effect is mind-blowing. No? Yep, I think it is. But, the question is, now what?

It’s time to share your text effect design to show off your new skills and get feedback on your artwork.

Here’s how; join our private Facebook group to share your artwork. It’s a fantastic place to share, learn, and improve your Photoshop skills.

Ready to up your Photoshop skills even further? If so, discover all my premium Photoshop tutorials and or my free Photoshop tutorials.

Discover many more Photoshop text effect tutorials via this playlist! Oh, and check this out… 17 free Photoshop alternatives!

Like this article? If so, please share!

A 30-year photography pro with a desire to help you achieve your creative vision! Facebook | Youtube

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