by Coppertop

A cool effect in Photoshop you can create is a rune effect. There is absolutely nothing like the creepy, glowing text on a piece of rock that can be used better suited to adorn some artwork.

The following image represents what you will have created after completing this tutorial:

[ runes.... ]

Steps to Create Effect
The following steps will help you to create the image effect you see above:

  1. Fire up Photoshop and create a new image. Mine is 500x500px and transparent. Once that's done you will need a rock texture. Naturally, one is provided for those who don't wish to make it. Credit to for the rock effect.
  1. Alright. To turn this rock into a tablet, take the marquee (selection) tool (press M) and make a selection about the same size as you want your final tablet to be. Once that's done, go into the channels panel and create a new channel ("Alpha 1")
  2. Press alt+backspace to fill the selection with white (the foreground colour) and then go filters | blur | gaussian blur by about 4 pixels. Press ctrl+d to deselect and then press ctrl+f to repeat the last command (gaussian blur). Finally, go image | adjust | levels and move the sliders around (close together) until you get a nice smooth, crisp edge.
  3. ctrl+click on the channel "Alpha 1" and go back to the layers tab to bring up the selection. Press Q to enter QuickMask mode. Go filters | pixelate | crystallize for the crystallize filter. Press Q again to leave quick mask, then ctrl+shift+i to invert the selection and press delete.

[ how your pattern's edges should look ]

You should note that all of the screenshots in this tutorial have been scaled down in size to maintain clarity and cohesiveness.

  1. Cool. Now you have something that looks like a paper tablet. It needs depth. This part is pretty easy. Double click on the layer with the tablet-to-be and use the following:
  • Outer Glow - Blend mode: Screen,

  • Opacity: 48

  • Noise: 0 Solid Red (#FF0000),

  • Technique: Softer

  • Spread: 4, Size: 13

  • Contour: Gaussian (The one like an "S")

  • Range: 50

  • Jitter: 0.


  • Bevel And Emboss - Style: Inner Bevel

  • Technique: Chisel Soft

  • Depth: 650

  • Direction: up

  • Size: 15

  • Soften: 3

  • Angle: 135

  • Altitude: 51

  • Gloss Contour: Ring - Double (two waves)

  • Highlight mode: Screen (white, #FFFFFF) 75

  • Shadow Mode: Multiply (Black, #000000) 7

  • Contour - Contour: Half Round (outward/upward curve) 50.

Your picture should look like the following:

[ rock with a glow effect ]

  1. Great! You've now got a spooky glowing 3Dish rock. But that's kinda boring. I added text to mine using the font found here: called "Levitated Rune". This font supports only lowercase letters, sadly. Anyway, type your text over the area, leaving a bit of a border (5-15px should suffice).

[ tablet with text ]

  1. Ok - engraving time. ctrl+click on the text layer, and then press ctrl+shift+i to invert the selection. Press ctrl+alt+d to bring up the feather box, and feather by 5px. Then, create a new layer, reset your colours (press D), and press ctrl+backspace to fill with the background colour (white). Now, ctrl+click on the text layer, and nudge the selection right and down 5 px (the same distance you feathered by), then press ctrl+shift+i and delete.
  2. Repeat step 7, except fill with black (alt+backspace) and nudge the selection up and left instead of down and right.

[ zoomed in portion to highlight the engraving effect ]

  1. Finally, drag the text layer above the two "engraving" layers, and the tablet below all the layers. Now, to finish off apply the following to the text layer:
    • Outer Glow - Opacity: 60, Noise: 0, Solid Red(#FF0000), Technique: softer, spread: 1, size 40, Contour: Half round (outward/upward curve), Range: 100, Jitter 0.
    • Inner Glow - Opacity: 24, Noise: 0, Solid Red(#FF0000), Technique: softer, Source: edge, Choke: 0, Size 3, Contour: Half round (outward/upward curve), Range: 8, Jitter 0.
    • Bevel And Emboss - Style: Pillow Emboss, Technique: Chisel Hard, Depth: 100, Direction: up, Size: 3, Soften: 0, Angle: 135, Altitude: 51, Gloss Contour: Linear (plain), Highlight mode: Screen (light grey, #B2AFAF) 75, Shadow Mode: Multiply (Dark Grey, #1C1C1C) 75.
    • Contour - Contour: Linear (plain) 100.
    • Texture - Bubbly Texture, Scale: 100, Depth: +100. Satin - Blend Mode: Multiply (black, #000000), Opacity: 50, Angle: 19, Distance: 11, Size: 14, Contour: Gaussian (The one like an "S") Inverted. Colour Overlay - Blend Mode: Normal (Dark Grey #1B1A1A) Opacity: 100.

There you have it - a brilliant rune effect. If you need any help, please post in the Drawing and Design forums.



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