Create neon 3D text in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create beautiful 3D text using Photoshop tools. The goal of the lesson will be to create 3D letters with a fluorescent glow, and we will also complement them with a dark background with bokeh effect. I hope you learn new interesting tricks thanks to this lesson. For work we will use the version of the program Photoshop CS5 Extended.

Before you complete the task, download and install the necessary fonts in Photoshop. And I also want to emphasize that for the lesson it is necessary that you have exactly the version of the program installed Photoshop CS5 Extended.


  1. Font “TR2N Font”
  2. Font “Raleway Thin”
  3. PSD file

You can also replace the font “Raleway Thin” with the font “Helvetica Neue” if you like it more.

Let’s start!

Step 1

To get started, let’s create a document of size 1920? 1080 pix ..
To create a new document, go to the menu File> Create (File> New).

Step 2

Make the background black. You can do it very quickly by pressing the key combination Ctrl + I or by going to Image> Correction> Inversion (Image> Adjustments> Invert).

Step 3

Activate the tool Horizontal text (Horizontal Type Tool). Choose from the list of fonts “TR2N Font”, font size – 480pt. Enter the text you would like to use. It is best to use a short inscription (about 4 characters). I will write the word TR2N.

I want to say a big thank you to the author Jeff Bell (Jeff Bell) for providing this beautiful font.

Step 4

Duplicate the text layer. Rename it to “TR2N 3D.” Make sure that this layer is located as the top layer.

Step 5

Stand on the “TR2N 3D” layer and go to 3D> Embossing> Text Layer (3D> Repousse> Text Layer). You will see a pop-up window that asks if you want to rasterize the text layer – just click the “Yes” (OK).

If you do not see the 3D menu, you are not using Photoshop CS5 Extended, the 3D tools are only available in Photoshop CS5 Extended.

Next you will have a window with 3D settings. Set the value Depth (Depth) so that would get a result similar to mine. Not Click OK.

Step 6

Go to the “tab”Materials“(Materials) and set a sphere without a texture. This will remove all textures from the text. Do not click OK.

Here is how the text looks at this stage:

Step 7

Now we change the values ​​for the tab “Bevel“(Bevel).
Side (Sides) – “Front” (Front)
Height (Height) – 5
Width (Width) – 0.5
Circuit (Contour) – “Deep groove” (Deep cove).
Click OK to apply the changes.

We received a voluminous text with a small bevel on the edges of the letters:

Step 8

We have completed the creation of 3D text!
Now that we’re done, we can move on to improving the quality of 3D text.
One of the most common problems that people experience when using 3D tools is that objects are obtained with jagged edges and of poor quality. Photoshop does this to improve performance while editing and working with 3D.

But when you finish the job of creating the main form, you can change the quality of the object. Quality settings are hidden in the 3D panel. Go to Window> 3D (Window> 3D), in order to see the necessary menu. In this menu, go to Quality (Quality) and in the list choose “Final ray tracing“(Ray Traced Final).

Now Photoshop has started to render the object, as evidenced by the running blue grid on the screen. This process will take some time depending on the speed and power of your computer. When the text quality looks good enough, just click anywhere to stop the rendering (or wait for the automatic completion of the trace).

After changing the quality of the text looks much better:

Step 9

Now we will apply some layer styles to make the letters shine. Before we begin, we need to convert the text layer into a smart object. Conversion to a smart object is optional. I just love working with smart objects, because it allows you to avoid random errors and easily adjust the settings.

If you want to convert a layer to a smart object, right-click on the layer and select “Convert to smart object“(Convert to Smart Object).

If you want to return to the 3D settings, you can double click on the layer icon. Photoshop will open the layer as a new document and show you instructions on how to save the changes.

Change the settings as you like (if necessary), and then save the innovations and close the document. Changes will be displayed in the main Photoshop working paper.

Step 10

Now we come to Layer style (Layer style) to add a blue glow to 3D text. Right-click on the TR2N 3D layer select in the submenu “Parameters overlay“(Blending Options).

Select the Color Overlay option, and then set the color # 00B4FF. You can also change the blending mode to Overlap (Overlay) if you want. Do not press OK button.

Step 11

Then go to style External glow (Outer Glow) and set the same color as the previous parameter # 00B4FF. The size (Size) for the glow set to about 30 pixels .. Note that this size will vary if you used a different font size than me. Click OK to apply the changes.

Here is how the blue glow looks at this stage:

Step 12

Now we will work on the front surface of the 3D text to give it a luminous effect. In the layers palette, move the “TR2N” layer above the “TR2N 3D” layer. You can move a layer just by dragging it.

Now we have a beautiful white front text.

Step 13

If you enlarge the image and take a closer look, you will probably see that your white outline does not ideally coincide with 3D text.

To fix this, activate the tool. Free transformation (Free Transform) by going to Editing> Free Transform (Edit> Free Transform). Drag the markers on the corners so that the white text matches the contour with the 3D text. If your transformation rectangle is anchored and you want to turn it off, hold down the key Ctrl when performing scaling.

Step 14

Now we will add a very thin bezel to the white text. To do this, go back to Layer style (Layer style), by right-clicking on the layer and selecting in the submenu “Parameters overlay“(Blending Options).

Go to parameter Stroke (Stroke) and set the size to 3 pixels., Position – “inside“(inside), color – white.

Step 15

After applying the Stroke, you will not see the changes, because the color of the stroke and the text are the same. To fix this, set the Opacity and Fill of the “TR2N” layer to 75%.

Here’s what happened now:

Step 16

Choose a tool Horizontal text (Horizontal Type Tool) and enter any inscription below the text TR2N. I used the font “Raleway Thin” (you can also use the font Neue Helvetica).

If you want to increase the spacing between letters, go to Window> Symbol (Window> Character), then adjust the spacing value.

Use the tool Move (Move tool) and place the thin text as you like.

Step 17

Now we add a blue glow to the subtitles. To do this, right-click on the “TR2N 3D” layer and click on Copy layer style (Copy Layer Style). Then go to the layer with thin text and right-click on it, select the item in the submenu Paste style layer (Paste Layer Style).

Now the subtitles also shone.

Step 18

Before we get to work with the background, you need to reduce a little External glow (Outer Glow) on subtitles. Double-click on the layer style. External glow (Outer Glow).

Reduce size External glow (Outer Glow) approximately twice, then click OK.

We finished the text! This is how it looks.

Step 19

Text on a black background looks pretty boring. We will now begin to create a bokeh background with a translucent square grid.

Let’s start work with creating a grid. This effect is very interesting, since you can customize the grid of your own accord (I will describe how to do this later).

First of all, create a background for the future grid. Create a new layer above the background black layer. Name this layer “Grid Background”.

Right click on the new layer and select Convert to smart object (Convert to Smart Object). By converting a layer into a smart object, we can apply smart filters to it, which later will allow us to change the settings at any time, whenever we want.

Step 20

Now we are going to use an interesting combination of filters to create a background grid.

First, make sure that your primary and background colors are set to default (black and white). To set the default colors, just press the key on the keyboard D.

Go to Filter> Rendering> Clouds (Filter> Render> Clouds).

Step 21

Now we will turn the clouds into a large mosaic with rounded edges. To do this, go to Filter> Design> Mosaic (Filter> Pixelate> Mosaic).

In order to round the edges of the mosaic we use the filter Median. To use the filter go to Filter> Noise> Median (Filter> Noise> Median). Set a radius of 8 pixels. Click OK.

Step 22

In this step, we will add glowing edges to the edges of the mosaic. Switch to Filter> Stylization> Edge Glow (Filter> Stylize> Glowing Edges). Set the parameters as in the image below:

Double click on Glow Edges (Glowing Edges) in the layers palette.

The settings window will appear on the screen. Set the blending mode to Screen (Screen) and opacity – 50%, then click OK.

Step 23

The background is too light, in this step I will show you how to make it darker. Switch to Image> Correction> Shadows / Lights (Image> Adjustments> Shadows / Highlights). Set the shadows value to 1%.

Check the box next to “Show advanced options“(Show More Options). Now you can see more settings. These options will allow you to increase the values ​​of both light and dark tones. I will increase the values ​​for the shadows. The settings are shown below.

You should have a similar result:

Step 24

Lower the opacity of the mesh layer as you like. I changed this parameter to 12%.

Now the image looks like this.

We have almost completed the work with the grid. There is one more step before working with bokeh.

Step 25

Now a little trick. If you double click the smart filter Clouds (Clouds) then Photoshop in random order will change the appearance of the grid. This will happen with every such action.

When you double-click, Photoshop will display an information window about the changes. If you do not want this prompt to appear, you can check the “Do not show again“(“ Don’t show again ”).

You can choose any of the options that you like. I stopped at this.

Step 26

Above the mesh layer, create a new layer and name it “Bokeh.”

Step 27

Choose a tool Brush (Brush tool), then right-click anywhere in the document to open the brush settings. Choose a round brush with 100% hardness. Set the size to 200 pixels.

If you did not see this brush in the list, then you need to click on the triangle icon and select “Restore brushes“(Reset Brushes).

Step 28

Go to the brushes panel (Window> Brushes (Window> Brushes)) and adjust the parameter Form Dynamics (Shape Dynamics). Set the “Size fluctuation“(Size Jitter) at 100%. Make sure the parameter”Control“(Control) selected”Off“(Off).

Go to parameter Scattering (Scattering). Set the values ​​shown in the image below.

Enable the option Color dynamics (Color Dynamics), then install Color background swings (Hue Jitter) at 3%.

Also, change the settings for the parameter Broadcast (Transfer).

Return to the tab Brush Print Form (Brush Tip Shape). Set the value Interval (Spacing) at 100%.

Step 29

We have finished creating the brush! Now let’s start drawing. First, set the foreground color to white. You can quickly do this by clicking D on the keyboard and then X.

Now paint a new brush on the canvas on the “Bokeh” layer. You will have a field with arbitrary different circles. You may have to cancel the brush action (Ctrl + Z), and repeat the action with drawing again, before you get a result that you like.

Step 30

Switch to Image> Correction> Hue \ Saturation (Image> Adjustments> Hue / Saturation). In this window, you can change the color of the bokeh to the one that you like best. For example:

Step 31

Right-click on the “Bokeh” layer, select in the menu Convert to smart object (Convert to Smart Object).

Go to Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur). Set a radius of 16 pixels then click OK.

Step 32

Double click on smart filter Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur) to go to Overlay options (Blending Options).

Set the opacity to 80%.

Here is our result:

Step 33

It remains to remove some circles in order to increase the focus on the main logo. Click on the corresponding icon at the bottom of the layers panel, and add to the “Bokeh” layer Vector mask (Layer Mask).

Activate the tool Brush (Brush tool). Press the button D on the keyboard to reset the colors and set them as default. Right-click in the document window to open the brush settings. Select a soft round brush, then set the size to 800 pixels.

Standing on the layer mask, process the area around the logo.

We finished the lesson!

You can also fill the background layer with any color and get various interesting results:

Here is a close-up of the logo at 100% magnification.

Author: Denny Tang

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