Create a new document sized 1400px * 600px (in fact size doesn't really matter much in this tutorial), fill the background with the following gradients:
Personally I like to start with a gradient background with light grey, as it helps setting the mood for the text effect later on we will be created.
On the canvas, type a letter on the centre with a big bold font (I chose this font) as shown below:
On the text layer, apply the following blending options:
and you will have the following effect so far:
Duplicate the text layer three times, disable the layer effects for those duplicated layers and put them below the original text layer. Alter the font color a bit and adjust the position of the text to the left and right of the original text layer a bit.
Your result should be looking similar to the following screenshot:
Then on each duplicated layer, add a layer mask respectively and erase a portion of the text with a soft brush on the spots as shown below:
The ulimiate goal of this step is to blend the edge of the text with the surrounding, so we can get ready for the next step.
To further increase the depth of the text, we can make a copy of any one of the duplicated text layer, replace the font color with a dark one, apply the following Gaussian Blur to the text layer: (Make sure this layer is beneath the original text layer)
You will have followin effect:
Create a new layer on top of all previous layers called "cloud" and grab the Lasso Tool and draw a selection with 25px feather around the text, as shown below:
Go to Filter > Render > Cloud and render some cloud inside it (with white as foreground colour and dark grey as background colour)
Hint: try experimenting with different feather settings for the Lasso Tool, you will see by changing the feather, the cloud with become either thinner or thicker.
Once you finish with the rendering, resize the cloud and position it as shown below:
Duplcate the cloud layer once and position it to the lower position as shown below:
Change the blending mode of both cloud layer to "Hard Light", you will have the following effect:
Duplicate the cloud once more and name the duplicated layer as "shadow", put it just above the background layer, hit Ctrl + I to invert the colour and position it on the bottom of the text.
Change the blending mode of the shadow layer to "Normal" and opacity to 40%, you will have the following effect:
Duplicate the Cloud layer once and put it above all previous layer, rotate it to around 60 degree and apply the following motion blur setting to the duplicated layer:
Name this layer as "Light".
Change the blending mode of this light layer to be "overlay", duplicate it a few times and drag them around the text, and you will have the following effect:
OK now we can do some fine tuning to the text by adding a Curves adjustment layer to it:
and add some colour over the text by adding another layer on top of the curves adjustment layer with the "overlay" blending mode. Here is my final effect for this tutorial:
Alternative darker version: (I adjust the brightness and contrast of the final effect, and some abstract texture to it)
Ok that's it for this tutorial! Hopefully I gave you some ideas about the cloud filter and how you can use it for creating light, shadows and adding more depth to text effect.
Till next time, have a great day!