Create wallpaper with 3D text in Photoshop

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a desktop wallpaper with 3D text and light effects.

Using 3D text as the main design element is not new. I’m sure most of you have seen 3D text in many places: shops, posters or the Internet. A few years ago, you needed a special 3D application and some skills to create realistic 3D text. But since Adobe released Photoshop CS5 in 2010, the process has become much easier and more accessible.

Additional materials

wall texture
sun rise
cosmos aura
plasma explosion lighting
brown planet
blue planet
space universe
24 clouds brush
4 clouds
16 clouds

Step 1. In Photoshop we create a new document of 800×600 px with a resolution of 150dpi.

Step 2. Fill the background layer with black and write any text. For best results, choose a bold font with an unusual shape of letters. The text color should be white.
For those who wrote the same words as me, we increase the size of the word “clock” to 168 px, the word “UP” to 300 px.

Step 3. Go to the panel Character (Symbol) which is available in the menu Window – Character (Window – Symbol). Set the parameter Leading (Interlineage) at 230 px. This will reduce the gap between words. I also increased the font size of the word “UP” to 340 px, so that both words were the same width.

Step 4. Transform text to 3D with 3D – Repousse – Text Layer (3D – Embossing – Text Layer). When the dialog box Repousse (Coinage) will appear, activate Rotate the mesh tool (Rotate the grid). Now you can transform the 3D text vertically up, as shown below.

Step 5. In the dialog box Repousse (Coinage) notice the menu Extrude (Extrusion). Decrease the value Depth (Depth) to 0.51 and Scale (Scale) to 0.79. This will reduce the extrusion depth, thereby enhancing the perspective effect. If you need more text, select the tool. Scale the mesh (Scale the grid). Drag to the right position to increase the text, and moving to the left – the text, respectively, decreases. When finished, click OK.

Step 6. Now our text has become a 3D layer. Next, go Window – 3D (Window – 3D). Inside the 3D panel, select the filter Whole scene (The whole scene). Click on the category Scene (Scene) and select Ray Traced Final from the drop down menu. Quality (Quality).
Photoshop will begin rendering your 3D text. This will take some time (depending on the power of your computer).

The board: the rendering process will be interrupted if you make any action in the program (move the layer with the 3D text or change the layer blending mode). If the process does stop, go back to the 3D panel and set the Quality again, then Photoshop will start rendering again.

Step 7. When the text rendering is complete, you will get sleek, cute 3D text, as shown in the image below. Now go Layer – Rasterize – 3D (Layer – Rasterize – 3D) to rasterize the 3D layer. From now on, the rasterized 3D text will be called “clock up” (or its own variant).
Open the texture. Select all (CTRL + A), then copy with CTRL + C.

Go back to the document with the 3D text and press CTRL + V to paste the texture above the “clock up” layer. Transform a texture layer into a clipping mask (CTRL + ALT + G) and change its blend mode to Linear burn (Line dimmer).

Step 9. Hide the texture layer, then create a selection of the front part of the words using Magic wand tool (Magic wand) (W). To facilitate the process, make sure that the option is selected. Add to selection (Add to selection) and Sample all layer (Use all layers) on the tool options panel.

Step 10. Invert the selection by pressing SHIFT + CTRL + I. Make sure the texture layer is active, then click on the button. Add layer mask (Add layer mask) at the bottom of the layers panel. Now, as you can see, the texture acts only inside the extruded area.

Step 11. Duplicate (CTRL + J) the texture layer, then delete the layer mask from the copy, but leave the clipping mask active. Change the blending mode to Multiply (Multiplication).

Step 12. Go back to the “clock up” layer, add Layer – Layer Style – Gradient Overlay (Layer – Layer Style – Overlap Gradient). Inside the dialog box Gradient overlay (Gradient overlap) select blend mode Overlay (Overlap), then adjust the color of the gradient (# 0c5994- # f481dd).

Step 13. Open the image, select and copy it to the working document, place it under the “clock up” layer, call the new layer “space”. Move on Edit – Transform – Rotate 90 CW (Editing – Transformation – Rotate 90 clockwise). Then use Free transform (Free Transformation) (CTRL + T) to reduce the size of the image with space.

Step 14. Duplicate the “space” layer with the CTRL + J command and change the copy blending mode to Screen (Dodge). Then blur the copy with the filter. Filter – Blur – Radial Blur (Filter – Blur – Radial Blur).

Step 15. We return to the original layer “space” and add a layer mask to it. Use the radial gradient from white to black on the mask. When done, we do the same with a copy of the “space” layer.

Step 16. Open another image with space, select it, then copy and place it under the “clock up” layer and above the “space” layer. Call it “cosmos 2”. Change the blending mode to Screen (Clarification), then reduce to the size of the working canvas (CTRL + T).

Step 17. Add layer mask , then use radial gradient (as in step 15).

Step 18. Open the image with the sunrise. Select, copy and paste between the layers “clock up” and “space 2”. Change layer blend mode to Screen (Lightening), then adjusting the location with Move Tool (Move) (V).
Why do we use blend mode Screen (Lightening) so often? Because it is this mode that hides the black color in the image. This makes it easier for us to work, since all the stock images that we use (planet, space) have a black background and better fit each other.

Step 19. Open the image with the blue planet, select with Elliptical Marquee Tool (Oval selection) (M) with feather (feathering) 15 px. Then copy / paste it between the layers “clock up” and “sunrise”. As usual, change the blend mode to Screen (Clarification) and adjust the size and location of the planet, as in the screenshot below.

Step 20. Open another image with a planet that is brown in color. Use the same selection method as in step 19. Place it above the blue planet layer. Do not forget to change the mode of dismounting to Screen (Lightening) and adjust the size / position.

Step 21 Add an image with a plasma explosion, place it above the layer with the brown planet. We use Free transform (Free Transformation) (CTRL + T) to rotate it, as shown below.

Step 22 Change the blending mode to Screen (Clarification), then add layer mask. Although we changed the blend mode, small details are still visible. How to get rid of them? To do this, use a round brush (B) with opacity (opacity) 50%. Take the black color and draw around the edges to hide them.

Step 23 Press CTRL + J to duplicate the layer with the explosion. Deactivate the copy mask layer by clicking on the layer thumbnail on the layers panel. Now change the color to pink using Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) (CTRL + U).

Step 24 I hope you already loaded brushes with clouds? If not, download now! After that we activate Brush tool (Brush) (B) and select the loaded brush.
After that, create a new layer above the texture layer. I called it the new “cloud” layer, since now we’ll be drawing the clouds.

Step 25. Use the white color of the brush, make sure that the opacity (opacity) of the tool is set to 100%. Select the cloud brush and start painting the clouds under the 3D layer. To make the result more interesting, use different brushes.

Step 26. Create another layer with clouds under the sunrise layer, I called it “back clouds”. We continue to add more clouds using brush . Do not forget to change the mode of dismounting to Overlay (Overlap), this will give the image a surrealism.

Step 27. Now it’s time to add some light effects. To begin with, we have to add a new layer above the cloud layer, I called it “effects”. Soft brush(B) draw a large white spot.

Step 28. Select half of the white spot with Rectangular marquee tool (Rectangular selection) (M), then press DELETE to clear the selection. Remember to deselect (CTRL + D).

Step 29. Now we have to transform the resulting halves of white spots. We will stretch them vertically to create a lighting effect. When finished, we duplicate the result several times and place it in different places, as in the screenshot below.
Congratulations! We have finished creating 3D text! Now you have learned something new for yourself, why not try creating your own version.

(click on image to enlarge)

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