How to Make Underwater Text

How to Make Underwater Text

How to Make Underwater Text

Underwater text is a great effect that you can use to make titles appear in water as if their shadow was being cast into the water from above. You might use this for advertisements, personal projects, or making a poster for your clients. Whatever the case may be, you can learn how to do this for any of your cool water photos.

To get started simply follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Open the file in Photoshop.

Make a copy of the layer by pressing Ctrl + J. This copy is used for Displacement Map.

Keep this layer selected, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur… Enter Radius: 3 px. Click OK.

Go to Layer >Duplicate Layer… or right-click on the Layer and click on Duplicate Layer… Open the Document list & click New.

Type Name as Displacement & click OK.

Type Name as Displacement & click OK.

This will open the image in a new tab. You will save the new file on the desktop as Displacement.psd for easy access.

Close the Displacement file tab. Go back to the original working file. Now since we have made a blurred Displacement .psd file from the blurred layer, we can delete the blurred layer. We can achieve this by simply clicking on the Displacement layer and pressing Delete or as shown below.

Click on the Type tool and make sure that the foreground color is Black & the background color is White.

Type in your phrase. Choose your font style (heavy font will give better effects), size & other adjustments. Make sure the color is black.

To center the text, click the Move Tool, Select all by pressing Ctrl +A & click the Align Horizontal Centers icon. Then deselect the selection by pressing Ctrl + D.

Move the text down closer to the bottom. The reason why we’re doing this is because once we angle our image, the text will look more centered. We also need to move the text 30 px to the left since it will be displaced 30 px to the right. Press Shift + ← 3 times.

If using Photoshop CC 2014 Go to Filter > Distort > Displace > Convert to Smart Object.

If using an earlier version than above, go to Layer > Smart Objects > Convert to Smart Object.

You’ll know it’s converted to Smart Object when you see the icon in the thumbnail in the image below.

Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur… Blur it 1 px, then click OK. 

Go to Filter > Distort > Displace.

When you edit the Horizontal and Vertical Scales, type in 30 px. You can also type in lower numbers like 10. Make sure the Stretch to Fit & Repeat Edge Pixels are selected, and then click OK.

This will open Choose a displacement map window. Select the Displacement.psd which we created earlier and then click Open.

Change the Blend Mode to Overlay and reduce the Opacity to 80%. If you want to change the text, click on the smart object to open it.

This will open the Smart Object in a new tab.

Double click on the icon and make your changes like the font, text, word, etc, then click the check mark on top.

Save the new file. Go to the original file and look at the new changes. If you like them then close the new file or make some more changes till you’re satisfied and get desired results.

Make a composite snapshot by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Alt +E.

Go to Edit > Transform > Perspective.

Grab a bottom corner & drag it out until you’re satisfied with the water’s perspective. Then press Enter.

Final Output (I’ve made some adjustments to the text).

How to Make Underwater Text

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