In this tutorial, you will learn how to create creative text with a 3D effect in Photoshop. We will not use 3D tools or applications, so the result will depend on your drawing skills and the ability to apply light and shade correctly.
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1. Preparation of the working environment
Before we start, let’s talk a little about perspective. Look at the picture below. As you can see, some objects are in sight, and some are hidden, depending on the position of the viewer.
In the first case (side view), only the sides marked in red are visible. In the second case (top view) – the same. The third picture shows the combination of the first and second cases – the farther we are, the stronger the distortion in perspective. In this case, the sides are highlighted in blue.
Download the original sketch, which will be the basis of our illustration.
In Photoshop we create a new document of 2500 x 1050 pixels (RGB color mode, resolution 72 dpi).
Insert a sketch and create four folders:
2. Create letters
Via Pen Tool (P) (Pen) begin to outline the letters (inside the folder “Letters”). To fill use the color # 978958. We do this with all the letters. In addition, each letter must be on a separate layer inside the “Letters” folder.
Having finished, we get the following result:
Now draw a shadow to add volume. We return to the first step, where I talked about the basics of perspective. To add volume, draw the shadows along the outline of the outline. If you have made a mistake somewhere, you can correct it at any time until you get a quality result. Use the color # 554c2f.
In some places, the details of the letters may overlap each other, for example, as a vertical line on the letter “A”.
To fix this, we do not need to change the position of the layers. Instead, we will create a folder “Mask”, with which we hide the extra parts of the lines. To do this, group (Ctrl + G) both layers of the letter “A”, as shown below.
Now for this group we will add a layer mask. Select a group, then at the bottom of the layers panel click on the button Add layer mask (Add layer mask) (step 1). As a result, a white rectangle will appear to the right of the folder, which is the mask (step 2).
Next, our task is to draw a rectangle exactly in the shape of the part of the stroke of the letter “A”, as shown below.
After that, on the layers panel, hold down the Ctrl key and click on the thumbnail of the created rectangle to load its selection. After that, left-click on the group mask (white rectangle) to select it. Check that the foreground color is set to white (#ffffff) and the mask is highlighted, then press the Delete key.
Now the vertical bar is on top of the horizontal one. Do not forget to remove the temporary layer with which we created the mask. We do this on all letters with incorrectly intersecting strokes.
After working with intersecting strokes, you should get this result (shown below). Pay attention to the perspective. Here we used the same principles that I talked about in the first section of the lesson.
3. Draw shadows
In the next step, we will start drawing shadows on the dark side of the letters to add more volume. To do this, while holding down the Ctrl key, click on the gray rectangle of the layer with a dark border, as shown in the picture below. As a result, we will select this layer.
Without removing the selection, create a group and add a mask for it by clicking on the button at the bottom of the layers panel (image 1), then create a new layer in this group. Set the blending mode of the new layer to Multiply (Multiplication) (picture 2).
Now take Brush Tool (B) (Brush) with a diameter of 60 px, a stiffness of 0% and an opacity of 15%.
Carefully draw a brush in those places where the least light falls. Usually, this is the bottom of the letters or the junction of the strokes.
Now change the background color to black. Inside the group “Background” create a new layer. To do this, at the bottom of the layers panel click on the button Create new fill or adjustment layer (Create a new fill or adjustment layer) and select Solid Color (Colour). Set the fill color to black (# 000000).
Now we have a contrasting background for the letters.
Repeat the process with adding shadows on all darkened parts of the letters. Notice the red arrows in the image below — they indicate the location of the shadows. Do not forget to create a new group each time with a mask and inside it add a new layer in the blending mode Multiply (Multiplication).
Having finished with drawing shadows, we should get this result. Red circles are shadows.
4. Add contour
Next we will create a contour effect on the letters. To do this, take the tool Pen Tool (P) (Pen), hold down the Ctrl key and click on the letter “A”. Now go to the layers panel, hold down the Ctrl key again and click on the gray rectangle of the layer with the letter “A”. As a result, a shape selection appears, as shown below.
After creating a selection in the top menu, go Select – Modify – Contract (Selection – Modification – Compress).
Squeeze the selection to 3 pixels and click OK.
Without removing the selection, go to the bottom of the layers panel, click on the button for creating a correction layer and select Solid Color (Colour). To fill use the color # ccbd88.
Next, double click on the filled layer to open the window Layer Style (Layer style). Activate Inner Shadow (Inner shadow). Install Angle (Angle) 120 degrees, Opacity (Opacity) – 30%, Distance (Offset) – by 5, Size (Size) – 15 and click OK.
5. Brighten the edges
Next we will create another group with a mask to lighten the outline of the letters. Hold down the Ctrl key and click on the lightest part of the letters. Then on the layers panel create a new group immediately above the layer with the contour.
We check that the created group is selected, then we click on the add mask button at the bottom of the layers panel. Now all objects in this folder will be visible only within the mask.
Inside this folder create two layers. One will be used for glare, and the second – for the shadows. Surely you know that light usually falls from top to bottom. We take a brush (B) of white color with an opacity of 30% and carefully draw along the bright edge of the letters, as shown below. Similarly, draw the shadows, only on the opposite side, using black (# 000000) with a brush opacity of 30%.
Apply chiaroscuro to all other letters and get the following result:
6. Add more shadows.
Next we will add shadows under the strokes overlapping each other. To do this, we will create a masked group using the selection.
Inside the folder with the mask, add a new layer in the blend mode Multiply (Multiplication). Using a brush (B) of black color (# 000000) with an opacity of 20%, carefully draw at the intersection of the strokes on the letter “A”.
Repeat these steps for the remaining letters. The picture below shows where to draw the shadows.
7. Create a background
Change the background color from black to # 192607.
Next, create a new document (Ctrl + N) 2500 x 1050 pixels in size and fill it with the color # 192607.
Then take Line Tool (U) (Line) and install on the top panel Weight (Thickness) by 1 pixel, color set to # c4b488. Draw a vertical line, then activate the free transformation (Ctrl + T) and rotate this line by -35 degrees (on the top panel, enter the numeric value for the parameter Rotate (Turn)). When finished, click Enter to apply the changes.
Then duplicate (Ctrl + J) this line and re-activate the transformation (Ctrl + T). On the top panel, click on the button with a triangle and set the parameter X to 100 pixels. Thus, we continue to copy the line until we fill the entire working canvas with it. After that, on the layers panel, we select all layers with lines and, for convenience, merge them together (Ctrl + E). Then duplicate (Ctrl + J) the resulting layer, activate the transformation (Ctrl + T), click on the document with the right mouse button and select Flip Horizontal (Flip horizontally). The result is a grid.
Now at the intersection of the lines add circles. We draw the first, then we duplicate it and activate the free transformation. Color # C4B488.
On the top panel, press the button with a triangle and set the parameter X to 100 pixels. Then in the center of the rhombus draw a slightly larger circle and copy it in the same way and shift it by 100 pixels. Thus, we fill the entire grid with circles.
Select the layers with the grid and circles (no background), click on them with the right mouse button and select Convert to Smart Object (Convert to smart object).
8. Add the final details.
We transfer the resulting smart object to the main working document and paste it inside the Background folder, as shown below.
Name the layer “Grid”, duplicate it and apply the filter to the copy below. Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur) with Radius (Radius) 7.8.
For a blurred layer, add a mask and a radial gradient from black to transparent. Pour the document from the top center point to the right corner (indicated by the red arrow). It is very important to fill it with black color (# 000000). The result will be a blurry edging with a clear central part.
Create a new layer and switch its blending mode to Multiply (Multiplication). Take a radial gradient, activate Reverse (Invert) on the top panel. Draw a gradient from the top center point to the right corner, as shown below. The result is a shading effect at the edges.
Via Ellipse Tool (U) (Oval) draw a white (#ffffff) rectangle. Place it at the top center of the document, as shown below:
Select the oval and apply a filter to it. Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur). Install Radius (Radius) at 200.
Switch the blending mode of this layer to Overlay (Overlap).
Duplicate the group “Letters”.
Merge a copy of the group into one layer (Ctrl + E).
Double click on the merged layer to open the blending options.
In the left menu we tick opposite Color Overlay (Overlay color) and choose black color (# 000000).
Name this layer “Shadow 1” and move it to the “Shadow” folder. Pay attention to the position of the shadow in the picture below:
For the layer “Shadow 1” apply the filter Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur) with a radius of 4 pixels.
After this duplicate this layer.
Apply filter to duplicate Filter – Blur– Gaussian Blur (Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur) with a radius of 40 pixels.
Again we create a copy of the “Letters” group, merge it into one layer and move it to the “Glow” group. Then hold down the Ctrl key and click on the thumbnail of the letter layer to load its selection.
Create a new group and apply a mask to it. Hiding the layer with a copy of the letters, it is no longer needed.
Inside the group we add a new layer in the overlay mode. Overlay (Overlap). We take a brush (B) of white color (#ffffff) with an opacity of 15% and gently draw over the upper part of the letters to lighten them.
Here is the final version!