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I can create fake extruded text by rasterizing a type layer and doing a motion blur:

motion blur

Then using a levels adjustment:

levels adjustment

(this is from this answer )

I would now like to color the text. Is there any non-destructive way to do this and keep the layers separate? I thought creating a color fill layer and clipping it would work but it doesn't. Beyond merging everything, selecting the black, and coloring is there anything else I can do?

  • Kind of off topic, but I'll say it anyways. If you write the text and convert the text layer to a smart object, you can extrude it by holding alt and then tapping Up arrow and Right arrow one after the other until you get the desired thickness. This way you can still edit the text after the extrusion is done. – Joonas Jun 19 '15 at 16:17
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Add another layer adjustment. I used a Gradient Map.

The color I want for the text is on the left. I set the black to 0% opacity on the right.

gradient map

I then set the blending mode for the gradient map to Linear Dodge Add

Blending Mode options

Note: For the text, I also used a smart filter for the text when using motion blur.

Result:

end result

The reason I went with a gradient map was to be able to make the text a specific color. The levels adjustment will change the color that you set for your text layer.

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Convert to Smart Object when doing the Motion Blur. Notice the layer panel:

Motion Blur on Smart Object

Then our levels:

Levels Adjustment Layer

Then you can modify your original text as Smart Object:

Edit Contents

And I don't know - red and different font --- sure:

Final using Smart Object

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Adding a color fill layer and clipping it works, it must just be directly above the target layer and not the levels adjustment layer.

Clipping layer

This just has the problem of limiting the colors you can use so alternatively, you can do the following:

  1. Create your text and add the motion blur effect.

  2. Duplicate it many times and merge all the duplicates as this will cause all the transparent pixels to stack up to form solid pixels.

  3. Create a color fill layer and clipping it to the text layer.

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