In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to set up a grid so that you can create your own old video game pixel text effect. First we are going to set up the letters and then add some copies to give it an old blurry feel.

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Step 1: Start by creating a new document. To turn on the grid, go to View > Show Grid. Also, make sure “Snap to Grid” is checked on.

pixel text effect

Step 2: Zoom in on your grid and draw out a square that takes up the full space of one grid block. With the “Snap to Grid” turned on, it will snap to the perfect size.

pixel text effect

Step 3: Copy this square and use it to fill up the rest of the grid squares within the same block.

pixel text effect

Step 4: I am going to keep the blocks blue so you can see what I am doing as I draw out my text. All we are really doing here is changing the color of the blocks to form the letters. Instead of just having a basic letterform though, I want to give it a pixellated 3D feel.

 

Here is my first letter. Confining yourself to the square of pixels will make sure you have a nice pixel effect. All I did was select some of the blue squares and changed them to white.pixel text effect

Step 5: Once your letterform look OK, start selecting the squares around the letterform and change them to black.

pixel text effect

Step 6: To add to the 3D drop shadow effect, I am going to add a few more “pixels” to the right and bottom of the letterform. I also deleted the blue squares I wasn’t using.

pixel text effect

Step 7: Using your first letter as a template, go ahead and draw out the rest of your message. Leave one grid column between each letter. Also make sure to use the same width for all letters.

pixel text effect

Step 8: Once you have the first letters set up it goes pretty quick.

pixel text effect

Here is all my lettering all done.

pixel text effect

Step 9: Now, I am going to select all of the white pixels and delete them. Make a copy of your letters on a new layer below the main layer. With all of the “pixels” selected, nudge everything over to the right once. Change the color of the blocks to #999999 and change the Transparency mode to “multiply”.

pixel text effect

Step 10: Make another copy of the main layer and nudge it to the left this time. Change the blocks to a lighter gray #CCCCCC, also set to Multiply

pixel text effect

Step 11: Go ahead and turn off the grid view so you can see your letters without the lines. You can also add in a bright background.

pixel text effect

Step12: You can also follow steps 20 through 27 from our glitch effect tutorial (Click Here) to add some scanlines to the background.

pixel text effect

Congratulations, you are done!

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