In this tutorial, you will learn how to create an autumn illustration with 3D letters using Photoshop CS6 Extended.
- Autumn park
- English Alphabet
- Concrete texture (Image 1)
- Crackles texture
- Autumn bush
- Yellow maple leaf
- Yellow maple leaf 2
- Red maple leaf
Create a new document File – New (File – New).
Download the image Autumn Park and place on the working paper. This photo is the same size as the working canvas. If you take another image, then its size must be adjusted to the size of the document.
Drag the photo onto the document and adjust the size by pulling on one of the corner knots. To keep the proportions, hold down the Shift key. Select the layer with the autumn landscape and the background layer (Background), then click Command / Ctrl + E to merge them together.
Now let’s start working on the letters. Download English Alphabet and open it in Photoshop. Now you have to decide which word you want to write and decide on the color. Take Lasso tool (Lasso) (L) and select the first letter of the word, copy the selection (Command / Ctrl + C) and paste it onto the working canvas (Command / Ctrl + V).
Name the new layer according to the letter (in this case “Letter L”). Now we have to remove the white background. Take Magic wand tool (Magic Wand) (W), activate the letter layer and click on the white background. We press key Delete. Note that the parameter Sample all layers (Sample from all layers) must be deactivated.
Select the layer with the letter and activate the transformation (Ctrl + T). Holding the key Shift, pull one of the corner knots to reduce the size of the letter.
If you want to change the color of the letter, then use the adjustment layers (for example, Color balance (Color balance) or Selective color (Selective color correction)). In step 15, I will describe this process in detail. I am satisfied with the red color, so I immediately turn to working with 3D.
Select the layer with the letter and go 3D – New 3D Extrusion from Selected Layer (New extrusion from selected layer). Photoshop prompts you to go to the 3D workbench – click OK. First we need to determine the position of the plane on which the letters will be located. To do this, on the 3D panel, select Scene and, using special tools on the parameter panel, adjust the position of the plane.
Try to make the distortion of the surface coincide with the distortion of the letter. If you use a different background, then you will have to determine the correct position of the plane.
Load the image Concrete texture (Image 1) and open it in Photoshop. Activate Crop tool (Crop) (C) and select the most appropriate area of the texture. The selection size can be configured in the options bar. When finished with the selection, click Enter and save the texture to a separate file called “texture_front”.
Now we have to apply the texture to the letter. On the 3D tab, select Front Inflation Material (Material of the front bulge) and go to the panel Properties (Options). When you go to the 3D work environment, this panel will open automatically.
Go to the parameter Bump (Relief), click on the folder icon and select Load texture (Load texture). In the window that opens, we find the texture created in the previous step (“texture_front.jpg”).
Parameter Bump (Relief) is responsible for relief. Pulling the slider, you can set the desired level of relief. In my case, I stopped at 20%. Then you need to adjust the scale and position of the texture. To do this, click on the folder icon next to Bump (Relief) and choose Edit UV Properties (Edit UV properties).
Scale vertically and horizontally (V Scale and U Scale respectively) are the main parameters that need to be configured. The U Offset and V Offset parameters are responsible for the texture offset, if you want, you can correct them.
Now we have to add texture on the extruded part of the letter. To do this, go to the owner of 3D, select Extrusion material (Extrusion material) and apply the same texture (“texture_front.jpg”) as for the parameter Bump (Relief).
For the extruded portion of the letter, I increased the parameter Bump (Relief) up to 25%. Edit the texture parameters: click on the folder icon next to Bump (Relief) and choose Edit UV Properties (Edit UV properties).
I changed the extrusion color to pink to see more clearly how the change in parameters affects the display of the texture.
Now it’s time to work on the position of the letter. Go to the 3D tab and select the group with the letter. In the center of the letter there will be three axes with which you can rotate, resize and move the object.
You can also move an object in several planes at once. To do this, move the cursor to the edge of the cube inside which the letter is located: the sides of the cube (which correspond to the planes in which the movement will take place) will be highlighted in yellow, and a tooltip with the names of the planes will appear next to the cursor.
When you move the cursor to the face of the cube, movement will be possible only along one plane (it will also be highlighted in yellow). If you want a letter to stand on a plane, do not move it along the Y axis (vertical axis).
If the letter is accidentally above or below the level of the plane, apply 3D – Snap Object to the Ground Plane (3D – Snap an object to the base plane). As a result, the letter will again be in its place. To return it to its original position on a separate axis, set the angle of rotation of the corresponding axis to 0 degrees.
Now you know how to change the position of a 3D object. Therefore, we adjust the position of the letter on the plane and, if necessary, adjust its size.
In this step, we will work on the appearance of the letter. Now we set up the extrusion, and in the next step we apply a chamfer. Set value Extrusion depth (Extrusion depth) at 250. You can use a different value. Also activate the parameters Catch shadows (Grab the shadows) and Cast shadows (Overlay the shadows) that we need when installing the light source.
In this step, we will apply a chamfer to the letter. Go to the properties panel and select the type of chamfer. You can try experimenting with the settings.
Go to the parameters Cap (Capital) and choose the type of chamfer contour.
Now we have to decide on the color of extrusion. To change the extrusion color, on the 3D tab, select Extrusion material (Material extrusion) and go to the property bar. The main extrusion color is the parameter color. Diffuse (Scattering). I chose # f25646.
You can also experiment with other parameters, for example, Specular (Glare color) (it affects the sharpness / contrast of the texture) and Illumination (Glow) (it affects the brightness of the side edges). In my case, I chose these colors: Specular color – # 645858, Illumination color – # 290816.
Now let’s do the lighting. Go to the 3D tab and select the first light source (it is already in the scene) – Infinite Light 1 (Infinite Light). With it, we will install the main light source. In this illustration, the main source of light is the sun, which is located in the upper right corner.
If you use a different background, you must determine for yourself where the main light source is located (note the direction of the shadows falling from objects / people). Left-click on the light source and adjust its rotation so that the shadow of the letter falls in the lower left corner.
Edit the settings and coordinates of this light as shown below (color #ffebcf). Remember or write down its coordinates, as they are the same for all the letters that we will create in this lesson.
Let’s add another light source. To do this, click on the icon Add new Light to Scene (Add a new light to the scene) at the bottom of the 3D panel and select New infinite light (New infinite light).
Adjust the light settings (color # ffc871).
The first letter is almost over. In this step, we will change the stroke color of the letter. If you are satisfied with the black color, you can skip this step.
We will edit the texture that is used as the material for Front Inflation Material (Material of the front bulge) and Front bevel material (The material of the front bevel). When you press Edit texture (Edit texture) Photoshop will warn you that the changes will be applied to all places in the scene. Click OK.
Then go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Selective Color (Layer – New adjustment layer – Selective color correction). Select the black channel (Black) and adjust the color of the stroke.
Having finished working with the texture, save it (Command / Ctrl + S) and close the file. We return to the working paper. The texture has been updated and we can see the finished result.
In the same way we create the other letters. To change their colors, use the adjustment layer. Selective color (Selective color correction) and command Replace Color (Replace color). Let’s do it on the example of the letter “E”.
To continue working with regular Photoshop layers, simply switch to the layers panel. Cut the second letter and delete the white background, as we did in the third step. I named the letter E layer. Apply to layer Image – Adjustment – Replace Color (Image – Correction – Replace color). We take a pipette with a plus and increase the color change area by clicking on the light blue shade inside the letter. Use the sliders to adjust the color of the letter.
Next, create a correction layer. Selective color (Selective color correction) and convert it to a clipping mask (Command / Ctrl + Alt + G) for the “Letter E” layer. Now the adjustment layer will act only on the letter layer. When finished, we merge the letter with the adjustment layer (select both layers and press Command / Ctrl + E).
The base of the letter is ready and we can convert it to 3D. We return to the fourth step and repeat the whole process. Do not forget about the distortion in perspective: the farther the letter from the viewer, the smaller its size. Layer with the first letter should be the topmost, place the rest one by one. Do not forget that you can change the parameters of each letter according to your preference.
If you are satisfied with the position and color of the letters, you can rasterize them. But I advise, just in case, to keep the original copies of the 3D layers. To do this, duplicate them (Command / Ctrl + J) and group the originals (Command / Ctrl + G). We call the group “3D” and cancel its visibility (click on the eye icon next to the group on the layers panel). Then we rasterize duplicates. To do this, right-click on the layer and select Rasterize 3d (Rustic 3D).
In this step, we will add contrast to the shadows. Create a new layer (Command / Ctrl + Shift + N), call it “Shadow” and place it under the layers with letters. Take Brush tool (Brush) (B) with such parameters: color: # 1d280a, hardness: 50%, mode: Multiplication, opacity: 10-15%. Size choose at your discretion.
Brush over the shadows of the letters.
Now at the bottom of the letters we have to draw some grass. For this we will use standard brushes Photoshop. Take a round brush (B) with a stiffness of 100% and an opacity of approximately 50%. It is better to work on a layer mask so that at any time you can correct the result.
Add a mask to all layers with letters. Layer – Layer Mask – Reveal All (Layer – Layer Mask – Show All) and change the foreground color to black. Click on the mask mask on the layers panel and paint over the bottom of each letter.
If you have made a mistake somewhere or have made an extra stroke, change the brush color to white to restore the letters. Black – hides, white – returns. Click F5 to open the brush parameters panel and select the Dune Grass brush. We configure it as shown below.
With the selected brush, we continue to work with the lower part of the letters. Use a small brush size, about 30 pixels. Here is the final result:
As you can see, as a result of the previous action we have hidden some of the shadows, since they are on the same layer with the letters. Therefore we customize brush (B), as in step 18, go to the “Shadow” layer and draw the missing shadow.
To fix minor flaws, use the Dry Brush Tip Light Flow brush from the standard Photoshop set and edit the layer mask at the bottom of the letters.
Now we have to add bumps to the back edges of the letters. Take Brush tool (Brush) (B) and select one of the brushes shown in the screenshot below (Opacity: 100%, size: approximately 50 px, black color).
On the layer-masks draw a brush on the back edge of the letters. To change the angle of the brush, press F5 and turn the pointer in the desired direction.
We get the following result:
To prevent the texture from being too sharp, we apply a filter to it. Gaussian blur (Gaussian blur). But before that, we transform all layers with letters into smart objects, so that later we would be able to change the filter parameters if necessary. Right click on the layer and select Convert to Smart Object (Convert to smart object). You can not worry about layer masks, they are inside the smart object. To edit a smart object, double click on it in the layers panel.
Select the layer with the first letter and go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur). The level of blur depends on the size of your letters.
We apply the filter to the remaining letters. Do not forget about the depth of field: the farther the letter from the viewer, the stronger its blurring. To change the filter settings in the smart object, double-click the filter name in the layers panel.
Here’s what we got:
Load the texture and paste it into the working document. Adjust its size while holding down the Shift key to keep the proportions.
Activate the transformation (Ctrl + T), right-click on the working canvas and select Distort. We pull the corner nods so that the texture is parallel to the front face of the letter.
Rasterize the texture layer (right-click on the layer and select Rasterize Layer (Rasterize layer)). Call it “Texture L”. Load the selection of the “Letter L copy” layer (hold down Ctrl / Command and click on the layer thumbnail on the layers panel), select the “Texture L” layer and add a mask to it by pressing the button Add layer mask (Add layer mask) at the bottom of the layers panel.
Change the blending mode of the “Texture L” layer to Soft light (Soft light), take Brush tool (Brush) (B), set the opacity to 50% and choose black. Activate the mask and delete the texture on the sides, in the areas of shadows and slightly on the front face to give realism.
Repeat the process on other letters. Do not forget that the texture plane must be parallel to the front face of the letter.
You should get this result:
Group all the layers related to letters (Command / Ctrl + G) and call the group “Letters”.
In this step we will make the foreground more saturated and contrast. To do this, create a correction layer. Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Levels (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Levels) and place it above the background layer. After that we create Hue / Saturation adjustment layer (Color tog / Saturation). The parameters of the adjustment layers should be as follows:
Next, take Gradient tool (Gradient) (G) and choose a linear gradient from black to white. Activate the mask of the adjustment layer and fill it with a gradient from top to bottom. Then fill the layer with Hue / Saturation, only this time the gradient should be a bit wider.
Now we will adjust the color and contrast of the letters so that they fit better into the environment. To do this, create two adjustment layers: Levels (Levels) and Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation). Transform them into clipping masks (Ctrl / Command + Alt + G) for the “Letters” group, so that they act only on letters.
Download a photo of the maple leaf and open it in Photoshop. Take Quick Selection tool (Quick selection) (W) and select the sheet. To remove the selection from the selection, switch to the mode Subtract from selection (Subtract from the selection) and click on them. You do not need to create a perfect selection, as we still reduce the sheet and small defects will not be noticeable.
Copy the selected area and paste it on the working paper, adjust the size. Reflect the sheet horizontally (Command / Ctrl + E – right-click on the working canvas – Flip horizontal (Flip horizontally)) and deform (Command / Ctrl + E – right-click on the working canvas – Warp (Deformation)) as shown below:
Now we need to add layer styles for the sheet: Gradient overlay (Gradient overlay) and Drop Shadows (Shadow). Double click on the “Leaf” layer on the layers panel to open the window Layer style:
Gradient overlay (Gradient overlay): use the standard gradient “Orange, Yellow, Orange”. Shadow color: # 460000
We upload another photo of the maple leaf, cut it out and paste it into the working document. Call this layer “Leaf 2”. We use Warp (Warp) to deform the sheet, as shown below:
Apply layer styles.
Now load the image with the bush and with Quick Selection tool (Fast selection) (W) select the area with leaves.
Copy and paste the selected area on the working document. Place these leaves next to the letter “L”, call the layer “Leaf 3”, add Levels adjustment layer (Levels) and transform it into a clipping mask. The parameters of the adjustment layer are shown in the screenshot below. Also reduce the opacity of the “Leaf 3” layer to 85%.
And finally, we load the third photo with a maple leaf, select it using Quick Selection tool (Fast selection) (W) and paste to the working paper. Name the layer “Leaf 4”. Adjust the size of the sheet and deform it with Warp (Deformation).
On the layer “Leaf 4” apply the style layer Drop shadow (Shadow) (color: # 172617):
If you look closely at the letter “F”, you will notice that the shadow should overlap the top of the sheet. Add Hue / Saturation adjustment layer (Hue / Saturation) and transform it into a clipping mask for the “Leaf 4” layer. Install the parameters as shown below. Activate the mask of the adjustment layer, take the black brush (B) and hide the lower half of the sheet. Also reduce the opacity of the “Leaf 4” layer to 85%.
Now we can group (Command / Ctrl + G) all the layers with leaves in the “Leaves” group.
In this step we will make the shadows and highlights more expressive. Create a new layer (Command / Ctrl + Shift + N), call it “Shadows / Highlights“. Place it at the very top of the layers panel and fill it with gray Edit – Fill (Editing – Fill).
Change the blending mode of the “Shadows / Highlights” layer to Soft light (Soft light). Take a brush (B) of white color with an opacity of 5% and draw on the highlights. Then press the D key to change the foreground color to black, and draw in areas with shadows. You can see my result below. The bottom screenshot shows the darkened / bleached areas.
In this step, we will reduce the saturation of the yellow color on the crown of the tree. Create an adjustment layer Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Selective Color (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Selective Color Correction), select the yellow channel and set the parameters as shown below. Switch to the layer mask and fill it with black Edit – Fill (Editing – Fill). Take the brush (B) in white and paint over the crown.
In this step we will create a depth of field effect. First you need to create a depth map, in other words, we need to determine the amount of blur on each object. Create a new layer (Command / Ctrl + Shift + N), call it “Depth Map” and place it at the very top of the layers panel.
Load the selection of the most distant letter, in this case the “A”. Click Shift + Backspace to open the fill options. Make sure the “Depth Map” layer is active, and fill it with # 474747 color. Next, select the letters that are slightly closer to the viewer, in this case, “E” and “F” (to select them, hold down Command / Ctrl + Shift and click on the thumbnails of the layers).
Activate the “Depth Map” layer and fill the selection with color # 2d2d2d. Load the selection of the last letter and leaves that are next to it. Fill the selection with black. Shadows that stood out with the letters and also filled with color, we do not need, so we remove them eraser (E)
Create another layer (Command / Ctrl + Shift + N) and place it under the “Depth Map” layer. Fill it with any color. Double click on the layer and apply the layer style Gradient overlay (Gradient overlay).
Your gradient should look something like this:
Now we can merge (Command / Ctrl + E) gradient layer and “Depth Map”. Depth map is ready.
Select the “Depth Map” layer, click Command / Ctrl + A> Command / Ctrl + C to copy the depth map, then go to the channel panel and create a new Alpha 1 (click on the button Create New Channel (Create a new channel) (at the bottom of the channel panel). Select the channel Alpha 1 and press Command / Ctrl + V to insert the depth map.
Then select the RGB channel and go back to the layers panel. Hide the “Depth Map” layer (to do this, click on the eye icon next to the layer thumbnail). Activate the layer below the depth map. In this case it is Selective Color adjustment layer (Selective color correction). Hit Command / Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E to merge all visible layers on one new one.
Activate the resulting layer (in the screenshot this is “Layer 1”) and turn Filter – Blur – Lens Blur (Filter – Blur – Blur at shallow depth of field). Select the channel Alpha 1 from the dropdown menu Source (Source), then we blur the image in accordance with the created depth map. You can see the remaining parameters in the screenshot:
Now we need to reduce the saturation of the blurred background. To do this, create a Hue / Saturation adjustment layer (Hue / Saturation) and place it at the very top of the layers panel. Hold down the Command / Ctrl key and click on the thumbnail of the “Depth Map” layer to load its selection.
Hit Command / Ctrl + C to copy the contents of the layer, then hold down the Alt key and click on the mask of the adjustment layer Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation). Click Command / Ctrl + V to paste the copied contents of the “Depth Map” layer onto the mask of the adjustment layer. Load the selection of all letters and fill the mask of the adjustment layer with black color.
Click on the Hue / Saturation adjustment layer icon to return to normal mode. The parameters of the adjustment layer are shown below. Activate his mask, take a black brush and paint over the crown of the tree.
Create one more Hue / Saturation adjustment layer (Hue / Saturation), but now we will make the foreground colors more saturated. Again, copy the contents of the “Depth Map” layer, then go to the mask of the adjustment layer. Paste the copied contents of the “Depth Map” layer onto the mask and invert the colors by pressing Command / Ctrl + I.
Here is what should happen as a result:
This is an extra step. I decided to crop the image a bit with the Crop tool (Crop) (C).
Let’s add a vignette. Select the top layer in the layers panel and press Command / Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E to merge all visible layers on a separate one. Select the new layer and turn Filter – Lens Correction (Filter – Distortion Correction). Go to the Custom tab and enter the following parameters for the vignette: