Create glowing 3D text in Photoshop

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use smart objects and layer styles to create a 3D glowing retro text effect. So let’s get started!

This text effect was inspired by many layer styles on the Envato Market.

Source materials:

  1. Big John Font
  2. Metal Texture
  3. Frosty Texture
  4. Gradient (Download the CHROMES.grd file)

Final image

Creating a gradient background

Step 1

Create a new document 800 x 600 px, then click on the icon Create new fill or adjustment layer (Create a new fill layer or adjustment layer) at the bottom of the panel Layers (Layers) and select Solid color (Colour)

Step 2

Use color # 2e363.

Step 3

Double click on the layer Solid color (Color) to apply layer style Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay) with the following settings:

  • Dither (Smoothing) tick
  • BlendMode (Overlay mode): LinearBurn (Line Dimmer)
  • Opacity (Opacity): 20%
  • Style (Style): Radial (Radial)
  • Scale (Scale): 150%
  • Click on the field Gradient (Gradient) to create a gradient fill using the # #ffffff color on the left and #ababab on the right.

This will create a simple gradient background.

Add a background texture

Step 1

Place Metal texture on top of the layer Solid color (Color) and resize it as needed.

Rename the texture layer to Bg texture and change its blending mode to Soft light (Soft light).

Step 2

Go to menu Image> Adjustments> Levels (Image> Correction> Levels) and change the gamma value to 1.50.

Create text and convert it to a smart object.

Step 1

Create text using font Big John size 200 pt, color # e8a505 and Tracking (Tracking) 100.

Step 2

Rename the text layer to Text, right click on it and select Convert to Smart Object (Convert to smart object).

Keep track of the names of the layers throughout the lesson, so as not to get confused.

Step 3

Duplicate layer Text and move the copy below the original, make the original invisible.

Create a transformation action

Next, we will duplicate the text layer and transform the copy, and then repeat these steps for a number of layers.

So as we will work with several Smart object (Smart Objects), then we write for this Action (Act)

Step 1

Open the panel Actions (Actions) under the menu Window (Window).

Step 2

Click on the icon Create new set (Create a new set) at the bottom of the panel, name the new action Extrusion and click OK.

Step 3

Click on the icon Create new action (Create New Action), enter in the field Name (Name) title Action, then click Record (Record).

We write down action

Step 1

Duplicate layer TextCopy, dragging it onto the icon New Layer (New Layer) at the bottom of the panel Layers (Layers).

Step 2

Press Ctrl + T to enable free transform mode. Then press the down arrow key once and the right arrow key once to move the layer Text copy 2 1px down and 1px to the right.

Step 3

Press the Enter key to apply the changes. You should see all the steps recorded and added in Actions (Deystaia) who created.

Step 4

Click on the icon Stop recording (Stop Recording) at the bottom of the panel Actions (Actions) to complete the recording of the action.

Create extrusion

Step 1

Click on the icon Play (run) at the bottom of the panel Actions (Actions) 10 times to apply an action and create 10 text copies with transformation.

The last layer should be called Text copy 12.

Step 2

Select all text copies (except for the invisible original) and go to the menu Layer> Arrange> Reverse (Layer> Arrange> Invert).

This will move the last copy of the layer to the bottom, and the first copy to the top.

Step 3

Deselect the first and last layers, and combine the remaining layers into a group Extrusion.

Step 4

Rename layer Text copy on Text front, and layer Text copy 12 on Text back.

Duplicate layer Text front and lower the copy value Fill (Fill) to 0, and then duplicate the copy.

Styling Extrusion Layers

Double click on the layer Text copy 2 and apply the following layer styles.

Step 1

Add a Bevel and Emboss (Emboss) with the following settings:

  • Size (Size): 9
  • ShadowMode (Shadow mode) – Opacity (Opacity): 15%

Step 2

Add a Drop shadow (Shadow) with settings:

  • Opacity (Opacity): 7%
  • Distance (Distance): 3
  • Size (Size): 2

Step 3

This stylizes the first layer of extrusion.

Right-click on the stylized layer and select from the menu that appears. Copy Layer Style (Copy layer style).

Step 4

Select all other layers in the folder. Extrusion , right click on any of them and select Paste Layer Style (Paste layer style).

This will create a 3D extrusion effect.

Step 5

Duplicate group Extrusion, move it above the layer Text Front copy 2 and lower the value Fill (Fill) to 0.

Stylize the front text layer.

Double click on the layer Text front and apply the following layer styles.

Step 1

Add a Bevel and Emboss (Emboss) with the following settings:

  • Size (Size): 3
  • GlossContour (Gloss contour): CoveDeep (Deep Groove)
  • Anti-aliased (Anti-aliasing): tick
  • ShadowMode (Shadow mode) – Opacity (Opacity): 15%

Step 2

Add a Contour (Contour) with settings:

  • Anti-aliased (Anti-aliasing): tick
  • Contour (Circuit): CoveDeep (Deep Groove)
  • Range (Range) 100%

Step 3

Add a Stroke (Stroke) with settings:

  • Size (Size): 1
  • Position (Position): Inside (Inside)
  • Blend mode (Overlay mode): Screen (Screen)
  • Fill type (Fill Type): Gradient (Gradient)
  • Use gradient faucet 70

Step 4

Add a Inner shadow (Inner shadow) with settings:

  • Opacity (Opacity): 35%
  • Uncheck with Use Global Light (Global Lighting)
  • Angle (Viewing Angle): 141
  • Distance (Distance): 9
  • Size (Size): 18
  • Choke (Stinging): 6

Step 5

Add a Inner glow (Inner Glow) with settings:

  • Blend mode (Overlay mode): Linear Light (Linear light)
  • Opacity (Opacity): 100%
  • Color (Color): # d1cc90
  • Technique (Method): Precision (Accurate)
  • Size (Size 90
  • Contour (Contour): Cone – Asymmetrical (Cone-Asymmetric)

Step 6

Add a Outer Glow (External Glow) with settings:

  • Opacity (Opacity): 100%
  • Size (Size): 10
  • Spread (Swipe) 28
  • Color (Color): use gradient fill faucet 140
  • Contour (Contour): Cove – Shallow (Shredding Notch)

Step 7

Add a Drop shadow (Shadow) with settings:

  • Opacity (Opacity): 7%
  • Distance (Distance): 3
  • Size (Size): 2

This stylizes the top text layer.

Styling a copy of the front text layer.

Double click on the layer Text Front copy, to apply the following layer styles.

Step 1

Add a Bevel and Emboss (Emboss) with the following settings:

  • Size (Size): 10
  • Uncheck with Use Global Light (Global Lighting)
  • Angle (Viewing Angle): 138
  • Altitude (Height): 21
  • GlossContour (Gloss contour): CoveDeep (Deep Groove)
  • Anti-aliased (Anti-aliasing): tick
  • ShadowMode (Shadow mode) – Opacity (Opacity): 15%

Step 2

Add a Contour (Contour) with settings:

  • Anti-aliased (Anti-aliasing): tick
  • Contour (Circuit): CoveDeep (Deep Groove)
  • Range (Range) 100%

Step 3

Add a Stroke (Stroke) with settings:

  • Size (Size): 1
  • Position (Position): Inside (Inside)
  • Blend mode (Overlay mode): Screen (Screen)
  • Fill type (Fill Type): Gradient (Gradient)
  • Use gradient faucet 70

This stylizes the first layer of the inside of the text in front.

Styling the second text copy.

Double click on the layer Text Front copy 2, to apply the following layer styles

Step 1

Add a Bevel and Emboss (Emboss) with the following settings:

  • Size (Size): 10
  • Technique (Method): Chisel hard (Hard Cut)
  • Uncheck with Use Global Light (Global Lighting)
  • Angle (Viewing Angle): 110
  • Altitude (Height): 26
  • GlossContour (Gloss contour): Cone – Asymmetrical (Cone – Asymmetric)
  • Anti-aliased (Anti-aliasing): tick
  • ShadowMode (Shadow mode) – Opacity (Opacity): 15%

Step 2

Add a Contour (Contour) with settings:

  • Anti-aliased (Anti-aliasing): tick
  • Contour (Circuit): NotchedSloperounded (Jagged slope – rounded)
  • Range (Range) 100%

This stylizes the second layer of the inside of the text in front.

Styling the bottom text layer.

Copy styles from layer Text front and apply them to the layer Text back. Then double click on the layer Text back and adjust the applied styles.

Step 1

Bevel and Emboss (Embossed)

  • Size (Size): 6

Step 2

Contour (Circuit)

  • Contour (Circuit): Cone – Inverted (Cone – Inverted)

Step 3

Drop shadow (Shadow)

  • Opacity (Opacity): 70%
  • Distance (Distance): 20
  • Size (Size): 50

This is what the bottom layer will look like.

Styling Extrusion Groups

Step 1

Double click on the group Extrusion and apply Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay) with settings:

  • Dither (Smoothing) tick
  • Blend mode (Overlay mode): Multiply (Multiplication)
  • Use gradient stove pipe 185x

This will add some more extrusion changes.

Step 2

Double click on the group Extrusioncopy and apply Outer Glow (External Glow) with settings:

  • Blend mode (Overlay mode): LinearLight (Linear light)
  • Opacity (Opacity): 35%
  • Size (Size): 27
  • Color (Color): # a9f6ff
  • Range (Range) 75%
  • Contour (Contour): Ring (Ring)

Step 3

Group all visible text layers and groups into one group and name it. Text effect.

Step 4

Double click on the group Text effect and apply Outer Glow (External Glow) with settings:

  • Blend mode (Overlay mode): Screen (Screen)
  • Opacity (Opacity): 50%
  • Size (Size): 150
  • Color (Color): # 399da7

Step 5

We are done with the text effect.

If you want to change the text, you can double-click on the icon of the original layer. Text and change the text. Then go to menu Image>RevealAll (Image> Show All) then in the menu File>Save (File> Save) and File>Close (File> Close).

This allows you to update the remaining layers, converted into smart objects and get a new text.

Add a texture and several adjustment layers.

Step 1

Place Frosty texture above all layers and rename the layer to Texture overlay. Change the blending mode for it to Linear burn (Line Dimmer) and lower Opacity (Opacity) up to 15%.

Step 2

Add adjustment layer GradientMap (Gradient Map) on top of all layers, tick Dither (Smoothing).

Create a gradient fill using colors # 433469 on the left, # 5e6474 in the center and # d4b28a on the right.

Change the blending mode to Color (Chromaticity) with Opacity (Opacity) 15%.

Step 3

Duplicate the adjustment layer GradientMap (Gradient Map), and then change the blending mode of the copy to SoftLight (Soft Light) with Opacity (Opacity) 50%.

Congratulations! You are done!

In this tutorial, we created a simple gradient background with texture overlay.

Then they created the text, converted it into a smart object and duplicated it. After that, we recorded the action to create an extrusion and began to apply different layer styles to the layers to create a text effect.

Finally, we added a texture and a couple of adjustment layers to complete the effect.

Please feel free to leave your comments, suggestions, and results below.

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