Making spectacular 3D text in Photoshop

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a brilliant text effect using 3D tools, adjustment layers, and several textures. Let’s start!

I was inspired to create this effect by the various layer styles available on GraphicRiver.

1. Create a text base

Step 1

Create a new document with a size of 3500 x 2000 pixels.

Then add text using the HWT Artz font. The text size is set to 600 pt and Tracking (Tracking) at 150 pt.

Step 2

Name the text layer “Text”, click on it with the right mouse button and select Convert to Shape (Convert to curves).

2. Create a Stroke

Step 1

Duplicate the text layer (Ctrl + J) and call the copy “Stroke 1”.

Step 2

Take Direct Selection Tool (A) (Partial selection) and go to the top toolbar.

Note: in some versions of the program, the Direct Selection Tool is translated as “Arrow”

Install Fill (Fill) on None (Not), Size (Size) to 25 and choose black as the stroke color. Then click on the button for selecting the type of stroke and in the drop-down menu Align (Alignment) choose Outside (Outside).

Step 3

Duplicate the “Stroke 1” layer and call the copy “Stroke 2”. Change the duplicate stroke width to 35.

Step 4

Duplicate the “Stroke 2” layer and call the copy “Stroke 3”. Then we change the width of the duplicate stroke to 50.

3. Create 3D layers

Step 1

Apply for each text layer 3D – New 3D Extrusion from Selected Path (3D – New 3D extrusion from the selected contour).

Step 2

Select all the 3D layers we have and go 3D – Merge 3D Layers (3D – Merge 3D layers).

4. We 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.

If you select one of them, then with the selected object of the scene you can make certain manipulations (move, rotate, scale, etc.).

We will also use these modes to change the view from the camera.

5. Editing the grid of a 3D object

Step 1

On the 3D panel, select the item Text (Text), then install on the property bar Extrusion Depth (Extrusion Depth) at 200.

Step 2

Select all three components with a stroke and set them Extrusion Depth (Depth of extrusion) at 35.

6. Edit the caption of the 3D object

Step 1

Select the component again. Text (Text) on the 3D panel. Then click on the button Cap (Capital) in the upper part of the properties panel.

Install Sides (Parties) on Front and Back (In the front and in the back), Bevel Width (Chamfer width) by 5%, Contour (Contour) on Half Round (Semicircle) and Inflate – Strength (Bloating – Intensity) by 10%.

Step 2

Now press the button Stroke (Stroke) on the property bar. Install Sides (Parties) on Front and Back (In the front and in the back), Bevel Width (Chamfer width) by 20%, Contour (Contour) on Ring (Ring).

7. Customize the placement of scene objects.

Step 1

On the 3D panel, select all the components of the text (the text itself and three strokes), then click on the menu icon in the upper right corner of the panel and select Move Object to Ground Plane (Move the object to the base plane).

Step 2

Take Move Tool (V) (Move) and use 3D axes to separate the strokes from each other.

The arrows at the ends of the axes move objects, a small arc that goes further is responsible for turning, and with the help of a cube you can scale the object. The central cube from which the axes extend is needed for uniform scaling of the object. To perform an action with the axes, simply click on them and drag the mouse.

You can also go to the menu View – Show – 3D Secondary View (View – Show – Background 3D view), click on the small arrow on the left side and select Top (Top view) to better control the process of moving strokes.

Step 3

Make sure that the widest stroke is in the back and the narrowest is in front of the text.

8. Apply glitter texture

Step 1

On the 3D panel, select Text Front Inflation Material (Material of the front bulge), then on the property bar, click on the icon Diffuse (Scattering) and choose Edit Texture (Edit texture).

Step 2

Place the glitter texture over the text layer on the layers panel and scale it so that it overlaps all the text.

Step 3

Press Ctrl + U to open the settings window. Hue/ Saturation (Hue / Saturation), activate Colorize (Toning) and install Hue (Color tone) at 37.

Move on File – Save (File – Save), then File – Close (File – Close) to return to the 3D scene.

9. Adjust the convexity of the material.

Step 1

On the 3D panel, select the components Text Front Inflation Material (Material of the front bulge), Text Front Bevel Material (Material of the front bevel) Text Back Bevel Material (Rear bevel material) and Text Back Inflation Material (Material rear convexity). On the panel Properties (Properties) configure the components:

  • Specular (Highlight color): (221, 161, 32)
  • Shine (Glitter): 50
  • Reflection (Reflection): 20
  • Bump (Relief): 3
  • Refraction (Refractive Ref.): 1.299

Step 2

Select Text Front Inflation Material (Material of the front bulge), click on the folder icon next to the parameter Bump (Relief) and choose Load Texture (Download texture) and find the texture of the metal.

Step 3

Again, click on the folder icon next to the parameter. Bump (Relief) and choose Edit UV Properties (Edit UV properties).

Step 4

Set both parameters Tile (Mosaic) on 1.

Step 5

Now select Text Front Bevel Material (Material of the front bevel) Text Back Bevel Material (Rear bevel material) and Text Back Inflation Material (Material rear convexity). Click on the folder icon near Bump (Relief) and in the drop-down list select the texture Metallic_Silver.

10. Customize the text extrusion material.

Step 1

Select the component Text Extrusion Material (Material extrusion), click on the icon next to Diffuse (scattering) and choose Remove Texture (Remove texture).

Step 2

Configure the remaining parameters:

  • Diffuse (Dispersion): (232, 226, 211)
  • Specular (Highlight color): (153, 151, 137)
  • Shine (Glitter): 20
  • Reflection (Reflection): 20
  • Roughness (Smoothness): 31
  • Refraction (Refractive index): 1.2

11. Editing the stroke material

Step 1

Select all materials of the front / rear bumps and bevels for all three strokes, then delete the texture Diffuse (Scattering) and configure the remaining parameters:

  • Diffuse (Scattering): (92, 90, 83)
  • Specular (Highlight color): (170, 168, 152)
  • Shine (Glitter): 50
  • Reflection (Reflection): 20
  • Refraction (Refractive index): 1.2

Step 2

Select the materials of extrusion of all strokes, delete the texture Diffuse (Scattering) and configure the remaining parameters:

  • Diffuse (Scattering): (228, 183, 63)
  • Specular (Highlight color): (51, 51, 51)
  • Shine (Glitter): 20
  • Reflection (Reflection): 20
  • Refraction (Refractive index): 1.2

12. Adjust the stage lighting

Step 1

Select the component Infinite Light (Infinite Light) and on the property bar set Intensity (Intensity) by 50% and Shadow – softness (Shadow – Smoothing) by 30%.

Step 2

Via Move Tool (V) (Move) you can move the light source or click on the icon Coordinates (Coordinates) on the panel Properties (Properties) and enter the numerical values ​​of the coordinates.

Step 3

Choose a component Environment (Environment), click on the icon next to the parameter IBL (ISBI), choose Replace Texture (Replace texture) and upload photos of the room.

Step 4

Click on icons again. IBL (ISBI), choose Edit Texture (Edit texture), then press Ctrl + U and set Saturation (Saturation) at -65.

Save and close the file.

Step 5

Install Intensity (Intensity) by 50%.

Step 6

You can move the texture using Move Tool (V) (Move) until you get the desired result.

13. Text visualization and preparation for further editing.

Step 1

Having finished creating the 3D scene, go to 3D – Render (3D – Rendering) to visualize the image. Rendering can take a lot of time depending on the power of your computer, but you can stop the process at any time by pressing the Esc key.

Step 2

When rendering is finished, right click on the 3D layer and select Convert to Smart Object (Convert to smart object).

Step 3

Move on Image – Image Size (Image – Image size) and install Width (Width) by 1500 pixels.

14. Add adjustment layers

Step 1

We press the button Create new fill or adjustment layer (Create a new fill or adjustment layer) at the bottom of the layers panel and select Selective Color (Selective color correction).

Step 2

Transform the adjustment layer into a clipping mask for the layer labeled (Ctrl + Alt + G) and set it up:

Yellows (Yellow):

  • Cyan (Blue): 9
  • Magenta (Purple): 6
  • Yellow (Yellow): 13
  • Black (Black): 3

Greens (Green):

  • Black (Black): -80

Cyans (Blue):

  • Black (Black): -50

Whites (White):

  • Cyan (Blue): -15
  • Magenta (Purple): 10
  • Yellow (Yellow): 20
  • Black (Black): -90

Neutrals (Neutral):

  • Cyan (Blue): -2
  • Yellow (Yellow): 5

Blacks (Black):

  • Cyan (Blue): -5
  • Magenta (Purple): 5
  • Yellow (Yellow): -20
  • Black (Black): 5

Thus, we improved the color of the picture.

Step 3

Add an adjustment layer Levels (Levels), also transform it into a clipping mask and set Highlights (Bright tones) at 27, Gamma (Midtones) at 1.03 and Shadows (Dark tones) at 231.

This will improve the contrast of work.

15. Create a background

Step 1

Above the background layer add a layer with a gradient fill. The colors we use are the following (from right to left): # 8f8e8e, #ebeaea and # 8f8e8e.

Install Angle (Angle) at 105 and Scale (Scale) to 250. You can use the mouse to move the gradient inside the work area to find the best location.

Step 2

Above the gradient layer insert the image with the bokeh effect. If necessary, adjust its size, rename the layer to “Glitter” and set the blending mode to Soft Light (Soft light).

Step 3

Add an adjustment layer Hue/ Saturation (Hue / Saturation) and transform it into a clipping mask for the glitter layer, activate Colorize (Toning) and install Hue (Color tone) at 40.

Step 4

We find the image of hybrid03 in the set with the pictures of bubbles and paste it above the glitter layer. Name the layer “Background texture 1”.

Change the blending mode of this layer to Screen (Lightening) and, if necessary, adjust the size.

Step 5

Add an adjustment layer Hue/ Saturation (Hue / Saturation) and transform it into a clipping mask for the layer with bubbles, activate Colorize (Toning) and install Hue (Color tone) at 38.

Step 6

Place the image Platinafx4 from the set with abstract pictures above the layer “Background texture 1” and call it “Background texture 2”.

Change the blending mode of this layer to Screen (Lightening) and, if necessary, adjust the size.

Step 7

Add an adjustment layer Hue/ Saturation (Hue / Saturation) and transform it into a clipping mask for the “Background Texture 2” layer, activate Colorize (Toning) and install Hue (Color tone) at 35.

16. Add highlights

Step 1

Activate Brush Tool (B) (Brush) and open the panel Window – Brush (Window – Brush).

Choose any brush you like from the set with stars and highlights. Then set up Shape Dynamics (Dynamics of the form): Size Jitter (Size fluctuation) 50% Angle Jitter (Jitter angle) 100%.

Step 2

Set the foreground color to # d6d6d6, create a new layer above all the previous ones, call it “Glare” and set the blending mode to Overlay (Overlap).

Reduce the size of the brush to such a diameter at which the glare will look good on the text. We begin to make strokes in the brightest places.

17. Add Gradient Map

Step 1

Add an adjustment layer Gradient Map (Gradient map) and change its blend mode to Soft Light (Soft light) with an opacity of 15%.

In the gradient settings window, activate the parameter Dither (Dithering), then choose the colors (from left to right): # 5a5871, # b79787 and # fdcd90.

Step 2

Experiment with different colors and opacity to get a unique result.

Congratulations, we are done!

In this tutorial, we created a text layer, transformed it into an outline, and added a stroke.

Then they converted the layers into 3D-objects and customized their appearance. After that, the lighting was finalized and the finished text was visualized.

At the end, we modified the colors and the background using adjustment layers, textures and a brush with highlights.

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