Creating The Avengers Text Effect With Illustrator & Photoshop

In today’s tutorial we are going to re-create text effect used in the comic (also an upcoming movie)- The Avengers, to make ourselves feel like we are actually also a hero, at least a Illustrator/Photoshop hero :)

We will make the text manually in Adobe Illustrator, then import its path to Adobe Photoshop and apply some effects and texture. Instead of “Avengers”, we will use “Hongkiat” as the text, or you can use any text you please.

Let’s get started.

Getting Started

To follow this tutorial, you will need following resource:

Avenger Text Effect

Step 1: Getting the font

Let’s start with working on its characters. Our first option is using a free font type. After searching in google using keyword "free fonts Avengers", I found two fonts with Avengers theme, The Avengers and The Mighty Avengers. Both are made by Owen Dawson. Unfortunately, both do not have the complete alphabet for our project.

First font has no K and O. We need these two characters in "Hongkiat". Also, we cannot use its A character because it is not suitable if used between letters, such as in "Hongkiat".

avengers logo in photoshop

Second font seems to be based from The Avengers original comic. It has round edges instead of sharp edges. This font style is different from its movie poster.

avengers logo in photoshop

So, our best option is to draw the characters manually. We are not going to use these fonts but they will be useful for our reference while creating the characters.

Step 2: Reference

You should start googling for The Avengers. This is what I use for our reference. Save the image file, create new file in Adobe Illustrator, then paste the file. Click Object > Lock > Selection to lock image and prevent it from being edited accidentally.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 3: Making Characters

In current "AVENGERS" text, we can find N and G which is used in "HONGKIAT". Make new layer, then use pen tool to trace character N and G.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 4

For other characters (H, O, K, I, A, and T), we will base it from other available characters. For I, we use the available N character and remove half of it.

avengers logo in photoshop

For O, we modify E by closing it and add hole on its center.

avengers logo in photoshop

For K, we can simply modify R by cutting its upper part.

avengers logo in photoshop

We also use R as base character for A.

avengers logo in photoshop

For T, we use A character that we have created earlier.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 5

Place all these character into its position. Currently, we have "ONGKIAT".

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 6: Draw First Character "H"

Just as in the reference image, first character is very tall compared to the others. For the H, we can use reference from preview font The Avengers.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 7

Draw two circles from same origin. Select both circles, open Pathfinder panel and select Subtract to create a ring shape.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 8

Place ring shape on top of H and O character. Note: To help us see better, I will remove unused paths from sight.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 9

Select "Ho" characters, click Object > Path > Offset Path.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 10

Right click H and select Ungroup to separate Offset Path from its main path. Repeat this process to O.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 11

Place big H on top of ring shape by clicking Object > Arrange > Bring to Front. Select big H and ring shape, then select Subtract on Pathfinder panel.

avengers logo in photoshop

This is the result.

avengers logo in photoshop
avengers logo in photoshop
Step 12

Right click ring shape and select Ungroup.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 13

Place big O on top of ring shape by clicking Object > Arrange > Bring to Front. Select big O and the ring shape underneath it. From the Pathfinder panel select Subtract.

avengers logo in photoshop

Below is the result.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 14

Delete remaining parts of the ring that are unused.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 15

This the complete preview on our current path.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 16

Draw two rectangles, then rotate them 45° and –45°. Position both shapes until we get an arrow shape.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 17

Select both shapes and select Unite from Pathfinder panels.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 18

Place arrow on top of H character. See picture below for its placement. Select both shapes and select Subtract.

avengers logo in photoshop

Now, we have an arrow hidden inside the H character. This text is now ready to be used.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 19: Start Working in Photoshop

Open Photoshop. Make a new file with size: 2000 px × 900 px. Fill background with color: #070707.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 20: Importing Character Path

Return to Illustrator. Select all character paths and then hit Ctrl + C to copy it into clipboard.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 21

In Photoshop, hit Ctrl + V. Paste text as path.

avengers logo in photoshop

Text from Illustrator is placed as a new path. You can find it on Paths panel.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 22

Select path inside O and A. In option bar, set its mode to Subtract. This mode will make both paths create holes inside their main path.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 23: Convert Path to Shape

Click black and white circle in Layers panel. Select Solid Color, set its color to #070c12. Now, we have new shape based on the imported paths.

avengers logo in photoshop

Double click layer to open Layer Style dialog box. Add Bevel and Emboss. Select Technique: Chisel Hard to get hard edges.

avengers logo in photoshop

This is our current result.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 24

Add concrete texture and place it on top of the text. Set its blend mode to Screen and reduce its Opacity to 47%.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 25

Add layer mask. Draw linear gradient from white to black.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 26

Hit Ctrl + Alt + G to convert texture into Clipping Mask. The texture now goes inside the text.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 27

The texture is currently faded in lower part of the text. Let’s reveal some of them there by painting that area with white using brush with Opacity 30%. Below, you can see layer mask after painting those areas.

avengers logo in photoshop

This is the result. You can see that now there’s a subtle texture on lower part of the text.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 28: Add Embossed Stroke Effect on Text

Duplicate text and paste it behind the original text layer. Add Layer Style: Stroke.

avengers logo in photoshop

Below, you can see that the result is just a flat color stroke line.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 29

Let’s add Bevel and Emboss and set its Style to Stroke Emboss. This way, the effect is also applied to the Stroke we have just added.

avengers logo in photoshop

Now, the stroke has Emboss appearance.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 30

Add Outer Glow to add subtle shadow behind each character. Currently, we will not be able to see its effect because the background is still too dark.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 31

Create new layer above text with stroke effect. Press Ctrl and click on text layer. Click Select > Modify > Expand. Set Expand by 3 pixels. Notice that we expanded selection for 3 pixel so it matches the stroke size.

avengers logo in photoshop

Fill selection with a linear gradient from white to black to white.

avengers logo in photoshop

Set its blend mode to Overlay. Reduce Opacity to 30%.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 32: Add Lights on Background

Create new layer under the text. Activate Brush tool and set its Opacity to 100%. Draw white line behind the text.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 33

Reduce brush’s Opacity and draw bigger line covering the first line.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 34

Paint random light cast on line’s edges.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 35

Press Ctrl and click on text layer to create new selection based on text shape. Make new layer and place it on top of main text.

avengers logo in photoshop

Activate Brush tool, set its Opacity to 10%. Paint some whites on middle of the text as like the light cast is from behind.

avengers logo in photoshop

Below, you can see the result before and after adding light cast.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 36

Make new layer again. Place it on top of text. Right click and choose Stroke.

avengers logo in photoshop

Select white color, Width: 1 px.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 37

Hit Ctrl + D to remove selection. Apply Gaussian Blur to soften the stroke line.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 38

Erase some of the stroke lines. These lines become highlight on the text shape.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 39

Draw another stroke line again on new layer. Erase some of it to act as sharper highlight.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 40

Make new layer and fill it with linear gradient, white to black. Press Ctrl and click on text layer.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 41

Add layer mask by clicking Add Layer Mask icon on Layers panel. Set blend mode to Overlay and reduce its Opacity to 55%.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 42: Adding Color

Again, press Ctrl and click on text layer.

avengers logo in photoshop

Add Adjustment layer Hue/Saturation. Use setting below and make sure to activate Colorize option.

avengers logo in photoshop

Here’s the result on the text.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 43: Increase Text Contrast

Make new layer. Press Ctrl and click on text layer then fill selection with radial gradient from black to white.

avengers logo in photoshop

Set blend mode to Overlay then reduce its Opacity to 40%.

avengers logo in photoshop
Step 44: Adding Subtitle

Draw a thin rectangle on top of the text with color: #3b568. Add Layer Mask, then paint both ends with black. Add subtitle above the rectangle.

avengers logo in photoshop
Final Result

We’re done! Below is the result of our tutorial. Click on the image to see it in full size. I hope you enjoy this tutorial and learned some new techniques. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

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