Create the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Type in Photoshop

Call of duty tutorial

In this step by step tutorial, you’ll learn how to recreate the modern/futuristic text effect in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare video game using some simple Adobe Photoshop techniques. You’ll learn two text effects in this tutorial.

With the recent release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, a popular and record-breaking video game, we thought it would be a fun activity to show you how to remake the text used in the game’s logo.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn two text effect techniques, both featured in the video game.

Call of Duty actual text

Final Result

This is what our work will look when we finish.

Text Effect 1

Call of Duty text effect 1

Text Effect 2

Call of duty text effect 2

Before you begin

Get the Bank Gothic Lt BT font and install it in your computer if you don’t have it.

Create the Photoshop canvas

1 Open a new blank canvas using Edit > New (Ctrl + N) in Photoshop. Use a large canvas to give us plenty of room: 1600px width and 500px height will do just fine (knowing that we can easily rescale our work down later on if we need to).

Create the Photoshop canvas

Fill the Background layer

2 Now we have a brand new canvas to work with. We fill the Background layer with black (#000000) by setting the Foreground color to black (#000000) in the Tools Panel, choosing Edit > Fill while the Background layer is active in the Layers Panel, making sure that the Use option is set to Foreground Color, and pressing OK. That will fill our Background layer with the desired color.

Working on the text

3 Next we create our text. Choose the Horizontal Type Tool (T) from the Tools Panel. In the Options bar, set the font to Bank Gothic Lt BT and change the color to white (#FFFFFF). Also, set the font size to 30pt or so.

4 We then type our chosen phrase or slogan in the Bank Gothic Lt BT font onto our canvas. We should now have something that looks like the following figure.

Working on the text

Adding the Outer Glow layer style

5 We now change the settings of the text layer by choosing it in the Layers Panel, and then clicking on the Add a layer icon (it’s the "fx" icon) at the bottom of the Layers Panel. In the contextual menu that will appear upon clicking the Add a layer icon, choose Outer Glow. ¬†This will then open the Layer Style dialog box. Change the settings of the Outer Glow layer style to the settings you can find below. The color used is #7DFF6E.

Adding the Outer Glow layer style

Creating a repeating pattern

6 To complete the effect, we must create a Photoshop pattern that we’ll apply to our text. To do this, first create a new Photoshop document with the following settings. Note that the dimension of the canvas is very small, 1px wide and 3px high.

Creating a repeating pattern

7 By default, the Background layer of the new document will be locked an un-editable. Double-click on the Background layer to open the New Layer dialog box. Press "OK", and the background layer will be unlocked and renamed to Layer 0.

8 Since the canvas is small, use the Zoom Tool (Z) to zoom in as close to the canvas as possible.

9 Set your Foreground color in the Tools Panel to black (#000000). Then we use the Pencil Tool  (B) to draw a 1px square box right in the middle of the canvas.

10 Select the entire canvas using Select > All (Ctrl + A). Choose Edit > Define Pattern, and name it something intuitive, like modern warfare. Now we can switch back to our original canvas with our text and apply the repeating pattern we just created.

Creating a repeating pattern

Applying the repeating pattern

11 You should have now switched back to our original Photoshop document (and you can close the pattern document after defining it, we’re done with it). Get out the Clone Stamp Tool (S) from the Tools Panel.

Applying the repeating pattern

12 In the Options bar, change the Clone Stamp Tool’s option to the setting below. Make sure that you change the pattern to the one we just made.

Applying the repeating pattern

13 We then create a new layer on top of everything that will host the pattern we’ll apply to the text. With the Pattern Stamp Tool, draw/paint over your text.

14 Finally, lower the opacity of the pattern layer to around 80% or to something that you like, finishing off the first text effect.

Applying the repeating pattern

We’re now finished with the first text effect, and it’s time to move on to the second text effect.

Part 2: The second text effect

1 The second text effect will be simpler. Create a new canvas to work with, and you can use the same settings as the first text effect above, also changing the Background layer to black (#000000).

Part 2: The second text effect

2 Use the Horizontal Type Tool with Impact as the font family and the font size to around 70pt. Type out the desired text in all caps; in this tutorial, I used "SIX REVISIONS" as the text.

Part 2: The second text effect

Add layer styles

3 We will now apply several layer styles. To do this, double-click on your text layer’s thumbnail in the Layers Panel to open the Layer Style Dialog box. First, we’ll add an Inner Shadow layer style. Change your settings to the same values as shown below and it’s worth noting that you should feel free to play around with the settings to get the effect you like.

Add layer styles

4 We now click on Bevel and Emboss to apply a beveling effect onto our text. You can use the settings shown below to get the perfect Call of Duty effect.

Add layer styles

5 We’ll add a contour to our bevel effect; you can do this by checking the Contour checkbox below Bevel and Emboss. You may use the settings shown in the following figure.

Add layer styles

6 We now add a Gradient Overlay layer style. Double-click on the Gradient option to open the Gradient Editor dialog box and use the settings below. The left color stop’s color is #91FD83 (light green), the middle color stop is white (#FFFFFF), and the right color stop is (#314834) which is a dark/olive green color.

Add layer styles

7 Change your gradient overlay settings (shown below). Switch the Blend Mode to Normal, and change the angle to 90 degrees, and reduce the scale of the gradient to 86%.

Add layer styles

You finished product should look like this:

Add layer styles

We’re done!

Text Effect 1

Call of Duty text effect 1

Text Effect 2

Call of duty text effect 2

Video Version

I hope you learned a trick or two in this Photoshop tutorial. If you’d prefer a video tutorial of what we’ve done above, check out my screencast below.

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About the Author

Deivid Colkevicius is a young creative designer who enjoys creating design tutorials for everyone. He maintains his web presence on Cimg, short for Creative Ice Media Group where you can see his blog posts and design work. You can find video tutorials on his YouTube channel, CreativeIceDesigns. Catch up with him on Twitter as @deividjc.

This was published on Nov 21, 2009


Great! I just stopped playing and saw this article… now I want to play again…. nice article though.

Angela Nov 21 2009

Fabulous thanks :)

Very nice tutorial…Keep up the good work.

Design Informer Nov 21 2009

Cool tutorial. I was thinking of doing something similar but with a movie instead.

Marcell Purham Nov 22 2009

Very cool effect! Really liked text effect 1…Great tutorial

Troy Peterson Nov 22 2009

Yeah… sorry, doesn’t look anything like the logo.
Good tutorial.

Great tutorial. Text Effect 1 looks more original than Text Effect 2.

Simon Willans Nov 22 2009

Going to have to agree with Troy Peterson. This effect has a few resemblences, but it’s so far from the CoD logo.

Michael Restuccia Nov 23 2009

I can see this kind of tutorial turning into something like the matrix code tutorials from a few years ago

Deivid Colkevicius Nov 23 2009

@Troy Peterson, @Simon Willans I agree with you however to a certain extent, The logo doesn’t look that accurate but it does have its similarities. Never the less hope you liked the tutorial.

Spenser Nov 23 2009

Don’t worry about the hater ;) Good tutorial and definitely something that can be built up on.

Yep, doesn’t look anything like the logo except for text 1. Nonetheless, good tutorial :) Will definitely be using text 1 soon.

Simon Willans Nov 23 2009

Ah, it was still a well writen tutorial though.

Yamba Nov 29 2009

As always a great tutorial. Will give me something to work on when I get sick of work tomorrow. =)

Kevin Dec 10 2009

Your tutorials are absoloutley awesome, seriously! Very talented young boy.

nice tutorial was wondering if you knew how to create the sound wave effect from the teaser? cant find any tutorials for that effect….

Deivid Colkevicius Dec 29 2009

Thanks for the support, I will be making more tutorials for Six Revisions very soon.

HELP – After installing MW 2 it is impossible to read the “in-game” menues. I am running the program on Dell Inspiron 6400/E1505 with ATI Radeon Mobility X1300 driver.
Can anyone help me?

ufbkaplan Jan 10 2010

good tutorial congratz! i have a website and i will put cod tape lol

Tommy Jan 18 2010

Hey I have Adobe Photoshop CS3 but when I type my font is really really small. I change the font to 72 but its still small? Can anyone help?

Ralph Jan 19 2010

I tried the first one but the final steps turned out grey
how go i make it go green?

Although it is not an exact reproduction, it’s a damn good tutorial in the right direction. instead of using the pattern lines, one can simply use the line tool at a very low setting and draw those lines by holding down shift to force the lines to be straight. make the links add an outer glow to the lines, and use a soft edged brush to erase away, or apply a layer mask first and brush away the edges of the lines.

Good tut bro!

Sideshow Apr 14 2010

Regardless of those who “think” they have to be perfectionists….and claim its not exact… For what you have done the feeling is SPOT ON!!! great tutorial, and props for taking your time to explain it. To all those saying the sly negativity of it being exact….. YOU create one then and stop bitching about it not being exact…else get the info from infinityward and STFU!

YungFly Jun 04 2010

i couldnt get the first one right, i couldnt use the stamp idk why, but i did the other one

good work and good guide,keep up the nice work!

Modern Warfare 3 Jan 31 2011

Thanks heaps for this, just started a new Modern Warfare 3 website in which we were struggling to make a logo that looked like the real thing, your tutorial is great very easy to understand and now we have a perfect logo.

Thanks for taking the time to make a tutorial for this, helped us a lot.

Hey. The second pattern worked, but I did the first one twice and nothing. It’s all grey at the end. Maybe you mixed up a step? Thanks for the other one though – great job!

Scott Aug 03 2011

Awesome! Should prove very useful, thanks!

Imagenes Linkmesh Oct 15 2011

Very long detailed tutorial. Call of Duty is one of my favorite games, and creating the text effects was amazing to learn. :) <3

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