Is there a way or even better a PS Plugin that can randomly apply the exact type of pixelated pattern as shown in the lower half of the example in the image I have attached.

In the example the text in the top half is the original and is 55 pixels high but I have enlarged the example to show the details for this post.

If you look closely at the bottom half of the example you will see that it has a Rasterize effect which affects the edges of the text then there is also a Noise effect applied over all of the image so that it affects the Rasterized parts of the image as well as the body of the text.

I have tried to do this using Photoshop and I have run into some issues. Photoshop does not seem to have a specific Rasterize plugin as it treats Rasterize as the process of converting a vector layer to pixels but what I need is an art effect so to speak. Also the Photoshop Add Noise Filter adds noise to the white background as well as the text which I do not want.

I have been working on this, on and off, for a couple of weeks now and after much failed experimentation and reading too many unhelpful web tutorials I wonder if any of the expert users here might be able to throw me a life line?

Many thanks in advance.

Top Text is the Original, Bottom text has the effect I need

  • You can make a selection and then add noise. Noise will be added to the selected area not the entire canvas.
    – Scott
    Mar 13, 2019 at 21:59
  • The problem with that is that is there is still no real adjust-ability with the stock photoshop Add Noise filter plus your suggestion does not take into account the need for a Raster effect? Mar 13, 2019 at 22:14

3 Answers 3


Ultimately, it's a series of

  • Add noise
  • scale the noise layer (to make white clumps larger)
  • mask
  • levels
  • blur
  • repeat until you are happy.

Then at the end you may need to manually brush in some black to fill in some areas.

Large gif animation sample... 1MB The animation was too long to import as a video for Photoshop (over 500 frames). So, it stops mid stream, but it should still provide a general idea of the methodology.

At any point in the processes you can save as a jpg, then open that saved jpg and continue working. This will introduce the jpg artifacts each time you save a jpg as a jpg.

I do not understand why "vector" is even a concern. That final image is not going to be vector. To get all those subtle grey tones as vector they would need to be manually, and often specifically created. And such a task with Photoshop would be arduous. The final image is going to be raster. So jsut rasterize the type layer, or use raster noise layers and masks.

I'm unaware of anything that will do this in one simple step. Perhaps there's something out there. But it seems so very specific I'd be inclined to think that it wouldn't be worth a plug in developer's time.

  • Vector is not a concern I never said it was. I was trying to say that there is no Photoshop Raster effect plugin that produces the kind of effect in my example. Mar 13, 2019 at 22:48
  • I also should have said unlike Illustrator which has a stock plug specifically to produce that effect. Mar 13, 2019 at 22:50
  • Illustrator has a plug in for that? Really? I am unaware of it. Or do you mean an action? Actions are merely a series of steps. You can create an action in Photoshop as well. There are several actions for Illustrator that result in distressed type. And there are just as many actions for Photoshop if you search the web for them.
    – Scott
    Mar 13, 2019 at 22:54
  • Action, Plugin, Effect, what ever. Why are you giving me attitude when all I have done is made a legitimate request for help or suggestions to achieve what I need to do. I think my original post is polite and friendly. I said in my original post that I have spent hours searching the web and through tutorials without success. Mar 13, 2019 at 23:14
  • 1
    Sorry, I'm honestly not trying to convey any "attitude" whatsoever. Remember, you read text in your inner voice, and not in my voice. I'm sorry you feel annoyed. The difference between "plug in" and "action" is actually imperative. They are two completely separate and different things. Anyone can create an action... it generally takes a developer to create a plug in. If you are searching for "plug ins" you may not be finding "actions". Note that I've also proved basic steps in my answer. I'm not certain why you are annoyed. I've done nothing but try to help.
    – Scott
    Mar 14, 2019 at 0:33

enter image description here

Menu Filter → Blur → Gaussian Blur


Menu Filter → Noise → Add noise


Menu Filter → Pixelate → Mosaic


Cmd + Shift + L Mac or Ctrl + Shift + L Win to apply auto levels


Menu Image → Adjustments → Levels, reduce the midtones increasing the highlights and shadows


Use the Magic Wand with no antialiasing to select the white areas and fill them with history, 100%, using the step before the last levels to recover the foreground


Using the same selection, apply levels to increase the highlights




Use the Burn Tool to modify the letters shadows and the Dodge Tool to modify the background highlights

enter image description here


One more way to do it:

I made it 60pxl hight at 300ppi.

I think the fast way to do it is: painting with a textured brush.

But now I'm showing it with some effects:

See the image below for reference values.

enter image description here

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