Create a bright sign from light bulbs in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create text in the form of a bright signboard from light bulbs using 3D Photoshop tools, stock images, textures, layer styles, and adjustment layers. Let’s start!

I was inspired to create this lesson by the numerous layer styles available on GraphicRiver.

Note: The author used paid materials. In the archive you will find an alternative version of the images to perform the lesson.

1. Create a background

Step 1

Create a new document with a size of 1000 x 750 pixels, then go File – Place Linked (File – Put connected), open the picture with a brick wall, right click on the layer and select Convert to Smart Object (Convert to smart object).

Adjust the scale of the texture (Ctrl + T) to match the size of the document, and press Enter.

Step 2

Move on Image – Adjustments – Hue/ Saturation (Image – Correction – Hue / Saturation) and set Lightness (Brightness) at -65.

Step 3

Double click on the texture layer to open the window Layer Style (Layer style). Apply Color Overlay (Color overlay) with the following settings:

  • Color classification: # e0e0e0
  • Blend Mode (Overlay mode): Linear Burn (Linear dimmer)

We get a dark background texture.

2. Create 3D text

Step 1

In capital letters we write any word using the Burford Base font. Set the size to 450 pt and Tracking (Tracking) – at -75.

Step 2

Move on 3D – New 3D Extrusion from Selected Layer (3D – New 3D extrusion from selected layer).

As a result, we turned plain text into an editable 3D layer.

3. How to work with a 3D scene

Step 1

To have access to the parameters of 3D objects, we need to open two panels: the 3D panel and Properties (Properties) (both are in the main menu Window (Window)).

The 3D panel contains a list of all the components of the scene and, if you select one of them, we can edit its parameters in the panel. Properties (Properties). Therefore, always pay attention to whether the desired object is selected before editing it.

Step 2

If activate Move Tool (V) (Move), a set of special 3D modes will appear at the top of the options bar. By selecting one of them, we can make certain manipulations with the object of the scene (movement, rotation, scaling, etc.).

They can also be used to change the current view from the camera.

4. Configure the 3D grid and capital

Step 1

On the 3D panel, select a component with text and set it on the property panel. Extrusion Depth (Extrusion Depth) at 0.

Step 2

Go to the tab Cap (Capital) by clicking on the corresponding icon at the top of the properties panel.

Step 3

Click on the contour selection button to open the contour editor.

In the editor that opens, click on the diagonal line to put a point.

Step 4

Select the set point and in the bottom of the window put a tick opposite Corner (Angle).

Step 5

Add another dot and tick opposite again Corner (Angle).

Step 6

Now we have to adjust the position of each point. For this we use the parameters Input (Login) and Output (Exit) at the bottom of the window.

Values ​​for the left point:

  • Input (Input): 5
  • Output (Output): 95

Values ​​for the right point:

  • Input (Login): 95
  • Output (Output): 95

When finished, click OK.

Step 7

Install Bevel Width (Chamfer width) by 12% and Angle (Angle) – 85 degrees.

If you wish, you can enter other values ​​if you want your result to differ from mine.

5. Create a material with a texture.

Step 1

Choose Front Inflation Material (Material of the front bulge) of the text, on the property bar, click on the button with the folder opposite the parameter Diffuse (Scattering) and choose Load Texture (Load texture).

Open the picture misto1.jpg from the set with seamless metal textures.

Step 2

Click on the button opposite Diffuse (Scattering) and choose Edit UV Properties (Edit UV properties).

Step 3

In the window that opens, configure Tile (Mosaic) and Offset (Offset) until we get the desired result.

Step 4

Adjust the remaining parameters (color values ​​are in RGB format):

  • Specular (Color of flare): 135, 59, 33
  • Illumination (Glow): 191, 96, 27 – Intensity (Intensity) -4.77
  • Shine (Gloss): 70%
  • Reflection (Reflection): 3%

6. Save and reuse materials

Step 1

On the property panel, click on the button for selecting a material, click on the button in the form of a gear and select New Material (Create stuff).

Step 2

In the field with the name enter “Front and buildings material” and click OK.

As a result of our actions, a new material has appeared, which we can apply to other elements of the scene.

Step 3

Choose Back Inflation Material (Material back convexity), open the panel of material selection, scroll to the bottom of the list and select our “Front and back material.”

7. Create more materials.

Step 1

Choosing text material Front Bevel Material (Material of the front bevel), click on the button with the folder opposite the parameter Diffuse (Scattering) and choose Load Texture (Load texture). Open the d.jpg image from the set with seamless metal textures.

Step 2

Next, select Extrusion Material (Material extrusion) and Back Bevel Material (The material of the rear bevel), click on the button with the folder opposite the parameter Diffuse (Scattering) and select the texture “d”.

Step 3

Then choose Front Bevel Material (Material of the front bevel) Extrusion Material (Material extrusion) and Back Bevel Material (The material of the rear bevel) and customize them:

  • Specular (Color of flare): 104, 86, 64
  • Illumination (Glow): 191, 96, 27 – Intensity (Intensity) -4.77
  • Shine (Glitter): 85%
  • Reflection (Reflection): 20%
  • Refraction (Refractive index): 1.536%

Step 4

Now choose only Extrusion Material (Material extrusion) and Back Bevel Material (The material of the rear bevel), install them Shine (Shine) by 30%.

8. Customize stage lighting

Step 1

Choose a component Infinite Light one (Infinite Light), on the property bar set Intensity (Intensity) by 50% and Shadow – softness (Smoothing – Shadow) – 100%.

Step 2

Via Move Tool (V) (Move) You can move the light source around the scene to find the best location. Or on the properties panel on the tab Coordinates (Coordinates) can adjust the position using numeric values.

9. Configure additional 3D settings

Step 1

Since, when creating a convex contour, we did not specify the extrusion depth, unnecessary lines may appear throughout the text.

To get rid of them, select the component on the 3D panel. Scene (Scene), then on the property bar in the menu Remove Hidden (Delete hidden) put a tick in front Backfaces (Invisible surfaces) and Lines (Lines).

Step 2

We will add all the bulbs manually using stock photos, so in order not to adjust them to the perspective of 3D text, we will slightly change its display.

There are two ways to solve this problem. Choose a component Current View (Current view) and on the property bar in the menu View (View) choose Front (Front).

Or you can adjust the camera view manually using the 3D tool modes. Move Tool (V) (Move) and then select the component Current View (Current view) and on the property bar, click on the button Orthographic (Orthogonal).

10. Render the finished scene.

Step 1

Having finished editing the text, go 3D – Render 3D Layer (3D – Rendering the 3D layer). Rendering may take a long time, but you can stop it at any time by pressing the Esc key.

After rendering, right-click on the 3D layer and select Convert to Smart Object (Convert to a smart object), so as not to spoil it by accident.

Then double click on the 3D layer to open the window Layer Style (Layer style), and apply the following styles:

Step 2

Add Outer Glow (External Glow) with the following settings:

  • Blend Mode (Overlay mode): Linear Light (Linear light)
  • Opacity (Opacity): 7%
  • Color classification: # ffcb8d
  • Size (Size): 131

Step 3

Add Drop Shadow (Shadow) with the following settings:

  • Opacity (Opacity): 75%
  • Uncheck with Use Global Light (Global coverage)
  • Angle (Angle): 63
  • Distance (Offset): 6
  • Size (Size): 10

We get this result.

11. Create a vignette effect.

Step 1

At the bottom of the layers panel, press the button Create new fill or adjustment layer (Create a new fill or adjustment layer) and select Solid Color (Colour).

Select black color, switch layer blending mode to Soft Light (Soft light) and reduce Opacity (Opacity) up to 50%.

Step 2

Take Elliptical Marquee Tool (M) (Oval selection) and create a selection around the text.

Then choose a layer mask Solid Color (Color) and fill the selection with black.

Press Ctrl + D to remove the selection.

Step 3

Check that the mask is still selected. Go to the panel Window – Properties (Window – Properties) and increase the parameter Feather (Feathering) to smooth out the edges of the vignette.

12. Add light bulbs

Step 1

Open the picture with the letter E and using Elliptical Marquee Tool (M) (Oval selection) select the topmost bulb.

Then go Edit – Copy (Edit – Copy) to copy the selected area.

Step 2

Go back to the main working file with the text and go Edit – Paste (Edit – Paste) to paste the copied area onto the new layer. Name this layer “Light Bulb 01” and convert it into a smart object.

Step 3

Double click on the thumbnail of the smart object to open its contents. Then go Image – Image Size (Image – Image size) and install Width (Width) and Height (Height) at 56.

Step 4

Above the layer “Light bulb 01” add a correction layer Hue/ Saturation (Hue / Saturation) and transform it into a clipping mask (Ctrl + Alt + G).

Step 5

Double-click on the “Light bulb 01” layer to apply the layer style. Inner Glow (Internal glow) with the following parameters:

  • Blend Mode (Overlay mode): Linear Dodge (Add) (Linear Dodge)
  • Opacity (Opacity): 25%
  • Color classification: # fff2e3
  • Source (A source): Center (From the center)
  • Size (Size): 27

Step 6

Save (Ctrl + S) the file and close it, then go back to the original document.

13. Apply Layer Styles and Duplicate Light Bulb.

Step 1

Place the light bulb inside the first letter, then press Ctrl + T to activate the free transformation mode, and adjust its scale.

When finished, click Enter to apply the changes.

Double click on the “Bulb 01” smart object and apply the following styles:

Step 2

Add Outer Glow (External Glow) with the following settings:

  • Blend Mode (Overlay mode): Linear Light (Linear light)
  • Opacity (Opacity): 75%
  • Color classification: # ffcb8d
  • Size (Size): 20

Step 3

Add Drop Shadow (Shadow) with the following settings:

  • Opacity (Opacity): 35%
  • Uncheck with Use Global Light (Global coverage)
  • Angle (Angle): 63
  • Distance (Offset): 6
  • Size (Size): 7

And we get this result.

Step 4

Hold the Alt key, click on the light bulb and drag it to duplicate.

Step 5

We continue to duplicate the bulb until we fill in all the text.

When finished, we group (Ctrl + G) all copies of the light bulb into the “Bulb” group.

14. Add extinct light bulbs.

Step 1

Open the image with one light bulb, using Elliptical Marquee Tool (M) (Oval selection) select the central part and copy it (Ctrl + C).

Step 2

Paste the copied fragment into the working document, name the layer “Light Bulb 02” and convert it into a smart object.

Adjust the scale of the second bulb to the size of the first.

Then we hide (for this we click on the eye icon on the layers panel opposite the layer name) one of the copies of the first light bulb and in its place we insert the second one.

Double-click on the “Lightbulb 02” layer to apply the layer styles:

Step 3

Add Inner Shadow (Inner shadow):

  • Blend Mode (Overlay mode): Linear Light (Linear light)
  • Color classification: # b8b8b8
  • Opacity (Opacity): 100%
  • Distance (Offset): 0
  • Size (Size): 10

Step 4

Add Inner Glow (Internal glow):

  • Blend Mode (Overlay mode): Linear Dodge (Add) (Linear Dodge)
  • Opacity (Opacity): 55%
  • Color: #ffffff
  • Source (A source): Center (From the center)
  • Size (Size): 13

Step 5

Add Outer Glow (External glow):

  • Blend Mode (Overlay mode): Linear Light (Linear light)
  • Opacity (Opacity): 5%
  • Color classification: # ffcb8d
  • Size (Size): 20

Step 6

Add Drop Shadow (Shadow):

  • Opacity (Opacity): 35%
  • Uncheck with Use Global Light (Global coverage)
  • Angle (Angle): 63
  • Distance (Offset): 6
  • Size (Size): 7

We have finished the extinct light bulb, but still need to get rid of the dark details.

Step 7

Again, double click on the “Light bulb 02” layer to adjust the blending options.

Go down below and in the menu Blend If (Overlay if) adjust the position of the black slider This Layer (This layer), which will hide the dark areas on the light bulb.

To do this, we hold down the Alt key and click on the left slider to split it.

Then we move both parts until the dark details on the light bulb disappear.

You should get something like this:

15. Add sparks

Step 1

Above the layer “Light Bulb 02” we insert a picture with fireworks, switch the layer blending mode to Screen (Lightening) and adjust the scale.

Step 2

Duplicate (Ctrl + J) the “Light bulb 02” layer together with the sparks and add the extinct light bulb on other letters.

16. Perform a general color correction.

Step 1

At the top of the layers panel, add a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N) and call it “Noise”.

Move on Edit – Fill (Edit – Run Fill). In the window that opens, install Contents (Content) on 50% Gray (50% gray) and click OK.

Step 2

Convert the “Noise” layer into a smart object and switch its blend mode to Soft Light (Soft light).

Step 3

Move on Filter – Noise – Add Noise (Filter – Noise – Add noise). Install Amount (Effect) on 3, Distribution (Distribution) – on Gaussian (According to Gauss) and tick the box Monochromatic (Monochrome).

Step 4

Next, add an adjustment layer. Color Lookup (Color search), on the settings panel install 3DLUT File (3DLUT file) at 3Strip.look and reduce the layer opacity to 85%.

Congratulations, we are done!

At the beginning of the lesson, we created a simple background and added 3D text.

Then we set up a grid of 3D text, create materials, set up lighting and render the finished scene.

After that, with the help of several stock photos, adjustment layers and layer styles, we filled the letters with bright light bulbs.

In the end, we performed a general color correction and got the final result.

Feel free to leave comments, suggestions and share the results.

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