I am trying to recreate the effect on the bottom of this photograph, where it reads "Back from the Darkness". I have the text figured out as far as transforming it to match the perspective. But it's the black gradient that's giving me trouble.

I've tried to use a transparent to black gradient, but I keep getting what appears to be white in the middle of the fading. Is there a tutorial for a similar effect that you can direct me to, because I've been trying everything I can find without success. I'm using Photoshop CS5 64-bit.

enter image description here (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-8UfcOt8jt5w/TbuGinIug7I/AAAAAAAABaU/yDhwwgtPPp8/s1600/Noel-albumcover2.jpg)

Edit Here is what I'm trying to do. The original picture has that bit of texture there. This one just appears like the gradient is too smooth, and it looks gray, rather than just black on the picture.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Welcome to GraphicDesign.SE. Can you post your current image so we can see what is wrong?
    – Farray
    Mar 1, 2012 at 5:52
  • I might want to use brush tool and a soft round brush to brush that dark area as if I was painting it in. Doesn't matter in this case if you have drawing tablet or not.
    – Joonas
    Mar 1, 2012 at 7:24
  • How do you think this looks, I tried the brushing: tinypic.com/r/e85yzp/5 Thoughts? Mar 1, 2012 at 14:45
  • Well, it is a bit tight. You might want to try the same thing with about 2 times bigger brush size than what you used in this image.
    – Joonas
    Mar 1, 2012 at 18:46

2 Answers 2


I'm not sure exactly what problem you're experiencing with your gradient, but you can achieve the black gradient 1 of 2 ways:

  1. Create a layer above the background with a white-to-black gradient and blending mode set to "multiply".

  2. Create a layer above the background with an all-black fill and a black-to-white gradient on the layer mask.

Both techniques above will yield very similar results. Here is a side-by-side of the 2 techniques over a generic texture:
enter image description here

After you get the gradient the way you like it, you'll may want to adjust it using FilterDistortShear (you have to rotate your canvas first) to provide the arc that's present in the image you're replicating.


The original has texture because the image you're trying to imitate starts its text much lower in the frame where there is more texture. Your image starts a bit higher where the texture is washed out. Also, I don't know what source image you're working with but it looks like your image was scaled-up. Scaling tends to reduce sharpness.

Here is a 3-up with the original photo, the target effect, and your attempt. The images have been scaled to make the tunnel as close to the same size as possible. Pay attention to the horizontal guides and where your gradient is positioned as opposed to where the other graphic's gradient is positioned.

enter image description here
(click for larger)

Source photo found here: http://dark.pozadia.org/wallpaper/Dark-Tunnel/

  • Here is what I'm trying to do with it: tinypic.com/r/258axwk/5 The original picture has that bit of texture there. This one just appears like the gradient is too smooth, and it looks gray, rather than just black on the picture. Mar 1, 2012 at 14:42
  • I hadn't even realized that I wasn't using the full image, I think that between this and Ryan's tip on brushing it instead that I might have finished the effect. Mar 2, 2012 at 15:50

Buddy I hate to be the bearer of bad news but there's a gradient around that image giving it the black around the border but there is no gradient on the text its all the same shade of black.

C:75 M:68 Y:67 K:90

The only gradient is on the ground and edges. To do the ground the easiest way is to just use a very very large brush with that same blackness. I don't know your resolution but it should be about 1/5 the width of the image probably and then make it so that you have some extra space on your document layout and actually paint with the center of the brush off the page so only the edge touches. Do this on a new layer. After you lightly brush it grab the eraser tool and again on a very large size touch it up again using only the edge of the eraser. The center of the eraser should be towards the middle of the page at this point. Do not adjust the opacity at all because you want the darkest areas to have the same shade of black (listed above).

In the sample you did http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=e85yzp&s=5 the brush is far too small and you didn't give it that nice little bit of curvature.

If you still have that image as a .psd and the gradient is on a separate layer you could skip the painting part and just grab a really big eraser and go to work on the top of the ground gradient and it would give you the same results.

  • Thank you Ryan, That's pretty much exactly what I was trying to do. Mar 2, 2012 at 15:48
  • This is where I've gotten: tinypic.com/r/2sahs3q/5 Thank you all for the help! Mar 2, 2012 at 15:51
  • Looks good! Glad I could help :)
    – Ryan
    Mar 2, 2012 at 16:18

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