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I want to make this hud element as close as possible:

enter image description here

but with easily changeable text and numbers without having to redo the blur and stripes.

I've made this (PSD link):

enter image description here enter image description here

but don't know how to make that stripes fully masked by the glow(blur) of the numbers, the stripes have overlay blending mode, but it seems that they overlay over all layers, and clipping nor grouping doesn't seem to help it to restrict the blending, you can still see the lines where they shouldn't be

also I want to be able to change all the text colors quickly in one place but when I add color adjustment layer or color overlay ontop of the text group, the Levels adjustment layer on the numbers stops working.

Also I'd like to know why it doesn't work my way

2 Answers 2

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Using an older version of Photoshop, but this should translate to newer releases. I know you can do the same thing in newer releases, but you may be able to stack overlays properly in newer version rather than using the group.


  • One type layer with Outer Glow Layer Style
  • Place that layer into a Group
  • Add Pattern Overlay Layer Style to the Group to create the line effect.

Pattern is a simple 4x8px image with the top 4 pixels filled white...

enter image description here

Create this and then Edit > Define Pattern

Set type and add outer glow....

enter image description here

Group the type layer via Layer > Group Layers

With the Group highlighted add a Pattern Overlay layer style to the group...

enter image description here

And there ya go...

Change the type layer and all the layer styles adapt...

enter image description here


Rather than using a group.. this would also work if the type layer had the outer glow style applied and then was converted to a Smart Object. And the Pattern Overlay style added to that subsequent Smart Object.

The key here is to have the outer glow in place, then stack a new pattern overlay on top of that outer glow... this is easy enough as described above, which will work in any version of Photoshop. Newer released allow the user to change the stacking order of some layer styles... which may or may not work for this desired output. I don't have access to a newer release at the moment so I can't be certain.

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Two ideas to try:

  1. The text stays editable if you make the blur to it by inserting layer style Outer Glow.

  2. You can isolate blending modes and adjustment layers to a limited set of layers by closing them inside a layer group which has blending mode = Normal.

An example:

enter image description here

The text is black. The lines and the background have exactly the same grey color.

The text has a slightly darker grey outer glow.

The glow has blending mode difference which makes the lines under the blur black. The blending mode of the glow doesn't affect the background because the text and the lines are inside a layer group which has blending mode normal.

All can be bleached by inserting a curves adjustment layer:

enter image description here

The texts are now grey. This is optimal for colorizing with a Hue/Saturation layer:

enter image description here

The text can be edited. Select the text layer and use the text tool:

enter image description here

It works also with white background and white lines, but he curves layer must have different curve:

enter image description here

This version allows more room for adjusting how thick the glow will be.

You can close this all inside a new layer group to isolate the adjustment layers from other items in your artwork. Or stack this all below the other items.

A version which works with all backgrounds

There's a comment which tells that the version above is useless because it's based on the invisibility of white against white and cannot really work with a background image.

The problem with Photoshop is that there's no handy way to have editable text with effects in a layer mask or other construction which generates a transparency gradient. Knockout and layer blend settings are poor when the transparency should be gradual. I'm afraid a good solution in Photoshop needs script or action programming to place the text to a layer mask. We'll see if something clever appears later by others.

Illustrator has more functionality. The next version uses concepts symbol and opacity mask which are not available in Photoshop.

enter image description here

  1. Text AB is written in black and dragged to symbols collection. The black lines below are a group, they are needed later.

  2. Three copies of AB is made and blurred with Gaussian Blur effect.

  3. The blurred ABs are aligned. Three of them are needed to create thick enough black. Blurring only one makes it too transparent. Outer glow effect doesn't work better. It's too thin outside the letters. Adding stroke could be useful, but it cannot be done for symbols (assuming you need also the original and cannot for that reason insert it in the beginning).

  4. Nothing visible here, but the blurred ABs are grouped.

  5. Lines are sent to back and dragged below the ABs.

  6. The blurred AB group is set to be an opacity mask for the lines. Options Clip and Invert are ON.

7.-8. The result of the opacity masking is grouped with a new instance of the symbol AB. This group is used as a new opacity mask for a colored rectangle.

You may want also a blurred copy of the text. One instance more of the text can be added as blurred to the group which is used to mask the color in 7.-8. I skipped it.

The result in 8 can be placed above any background. The text can be changed by editing the symbol AB. It's changed to CD in the next image:

enter image description here

The text and the lines can have different colors if in 7.-8. The result of the 1st opacity masking and the new text instance are used separately as opacity masks for differently colored rectangles:

enter image description here

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  • the background should be semitransparent
    – s0up
    Mar 20 at 12:55
  • and also have different color from the lines
    – s0up
    Mar 20 at 14:29
  • 1
    @s0up I added more. It's not in Photoshop, but it can be useful. Mar 24 at 0:16

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