Candles come in many shapes and sizes, but they all look beautiful with an unusual glow and, especially, if they are on top of a delicious chocolate cake!
From this lesson you will learn a fairly simple way to create 3D text without using any 3D tools. Step by step, you will learn how to detail the candles, add light and shadows, put candles on the top of the cake.
Since the lesson is quite extensive, it will be divided into two parts.
The first part will explain the creation of a 3D candle shape, adding a stroke, creating a wick, a flame and how to add basic lighting.
In the second part, we will learn how to add candles to the cake, add more light and shadows. Find out how, if necessary, make some changes to the final result.
Note: you may need to download the Contours used in the lesson, if you do not know how to do this, you can look here.
Create a new document, 500 x 500 px, resolution: 300, and fill the background with black.
Put the bokeh texture on top of the black background, change it Blend mode (Blend Mode) on Light replacement (Lighten), then move it down so that the upper part is a third black.
Write text using the Familian font. The font size is 60 pixels, the Tracking value is 50 to reduce the spaces between characters, and the color is # b7b5a9.
You can write numbers, letters, as you like, using the same settings.
Just keep in mind that the text will be placed on top of the cake. One or two characters are perfect. If you use more than two, you need to go to the next part, change the size of the cake, make it larger than the one used in this lesson, or find another image of the cake.
It is important to use the same values given in the lesson at all levels, but if you know exactly how to change all the values, you can use a different font or font size.
Ctrl + Click on the thumbnail of the text layer to create a selection.
Move on Select-> Modify-> Expand (Select-> Modify-> Expand), and expand the selection by 3 px.
Create a new layer on top of the text layer (Ctrl + Shift + N), and make the text layer invisible by clicking on the eye icon next to it.
Fill the selection with the same color as the text # b7b5a9 with the tool Fill (Paint Bucket Tool). Now we give the text a candlestick effect.
Move on Select-> Unselect (Select-> Deselect) or press Ctrl + D.
Activate the tool Rounded Rectangle(Rounded Rectangle Tool), make sure that you have set the Shape mode and set the Radius value to 5. Then create a 40 x 27 px rectangle right under one of the candles you created.
If you have more than one candle, duplicate the layer with the shape (Ctrl + J), and then use the keyboard (arrow keys) to move the copy horizontally under the second candle.
Do the same for all the candles that you have.
Select all the layers that make up the candles (hold down the Ctrl key + Click on each desired layer to select it) and then go Layer-> Merge layers (Layer -> Merge Layers) (Ctrl + E) to merge them all into one layer. Let’s name the new layer “Candles”.
Duplicate the “Candles” layer
Move on Editing-> Free transform (Edit-> Free Transform), or press Ctrl + T to enter the Free Transform mode. This is important for the next step.
Press the Up Arrow key once to move the duplicated layer one pixel up, and then press the Right Arrow button once to move it one pixel to the right.
Press Enter to apply the changes and exit Free Transform mode.
Now we need four more copies, with the same transformation. This can be easily achieved by pressing Alt + Ctrl + Shift + T and Ctrl + Alt + T four times. The last layer created should be called “copy 5 ?.
Select all copies of the layers and then merge them. Layer-> Merge layers (Layer -> Merge Layers) (Ctrl + E). Rename this layer to “Candle Shape”, and move it below the “Candles” layer.
The font that we use helps a lot in perfecting the 3D shape, because it has smooth, round corners. For fonts that have sharper corners, you may have to fill in sharp corners with a Brush.
Double-click on the “Candle Shape” layer to apply Layer style (Layer Style) Emboss (Bevel and Emboss): change the Size to 21, and the color of the Shadow Mode to # 95927f.
This will create a 3D effect.
Duplicate the Candles layer, then double click on it to add the following Layer styles (Layer Style).
Stamping (Bevel and Emboss): change the Size (Size) to 4, the color of the Shadow Mode (Shadow Mode) to # d6d4c9 and Opacity to 50%.
Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay): Click on the gradient field to create it.
Two colors are used for the gradient: # bdb4a3 on the left, and # ece9de on the right.
We created the style of candles.
Now, double-click on the “Candles copy” layer to apply another Layer style (Layer Style) – Stamping (Bevel and Emboss):
Change the Size to 20, deselect the Use Global Light checkbox, change the Angle to -162 and Altitude to 74, then change the Gloss Contour to Double Ring (Ring – Double), Check Anti-aliased, and change Blend Mode (Highlight Mode) to Overlay, and color to #fffdfc, and Opacity (Shadow Mode) to 0.
This will create thin shiny lines that will define the inside of the candle after the stroke has been added.
Ctrl + Click on the thumbnail of the original text layer to create a selection.
Move on Select-> Modify-> Compress (Select-> Modify-> Contract) set the value to 5 px.
Create a new layer on top of all layers and call it Stroke.
Go to the tab Contours (Paths) in the layers panel, hold down the Alt key and click on the icon Create work contour from selected area (Make work path from selection) at the bottom of the layers panel. A dialog box will appear, and you must enter a Tolerance value. Smaller values give more accurate paths. So, we are going to use the smallest possible value, 0.5.
This will transform the selection into the work path.
Activate the tool Brush (Brush) and open the brush settings panel Window-> Brush (Window-> Brush). Select the Hard Round Brush, change its size to 9 px, Hardness to 65%, and Spacing to 1%.
Activate the tool Outline selection (Direct Selection Tool), set the foreground color to # c01114, right-click on the working path and select Perform a stroke (Stroke Path).
Select the Brush tool from the drop down menu. Uncheck Simulate pressure (Simulate Pressure).
This will smooth the inside of the candle. Click Enter, to get rid of the path, and then duplicate the “Stroke” layer, and change the Fill value to 0% for the copy.
Double-click on the Stroke layer to add the following Layer styles (Layer Style):
Stamping (Bevel and Emboss): Change the Size to 2, check the Anti-aliased checkbox and change the Color of the Shadow Mode to # 545454.
External glow (Outer Glow): change the Blend Mode (Blend Mode) to Multiply, the color # e6decf, and the Size 11).
This add a subtle 3D effect to the stroke.
Double-click on the “Stroke Copy” layer to apply a simple effect. Stamping (Bevel and Emboss). Change the Size to 7, uncheck Use Global Light, change the Angle to 72 and Altitude to 74. Also, change the Opacity to Highlight Mode to 48% , and Opacity (Shadow Mode) up to 0%.
This will add a simple gloss to the stroke, and the candle will look more waxy.
Activate the tool Brush (Brush) again, select a 3px soft round brush, and set the foreground color to white. Create a new layer below the “Stroke” layer and name it “White dots”.
Add white dots on the upper corners of the candle. Note that the bar consists of dots rather than a solid line, since it’s better if they are not connected.
Do the same for the rest of the parts, which should have some reflections. You can try, on different sites, and remove only those that do not look good.
You can also add more than one row of dots, then blur them all together using the tool. Blur (Blur Tool) by setting the Strength to 50% in the parameters panel.
You could also use the tool Finger (Smudge Tool), reduce Opacity, and changing Blend mode (Blend Mode). All we need to do to make these sparkling spots look good.
Ctrl + Click on the “Candle Shape” layer to create a selection.
Set the foreground color to # c7b299 and the background color to # a1a1a1. Create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + N) between the “Stroke” and “White dots” layers, and name it “Noise”.
Move on Filter-> Rendering> Clouds (Filter-> Render-> Clouds). Then press Ctrl + D to get rid of the selection.
Then move on Filter-> Noise-> Add noise (Filter-> Noise-> Add Noise). Set the Effect (Amount) to 5 and the Distribution (Gaussian).
Change the Blending Mode (Blend Mode) of the “Noise” layer to Multiply (Multiply), and Opacity (20%).
Activate the tool Brush (Brush), and select the Star brush 14 pixels (Star 14 pixels). Set the foreground color to white, and create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + N) on top of all layers and name it “Wick.”
Place the brush in the middle of the candle shape where you want to add a wick, then click and drag it upwards to paint it. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, it shouldn’t be even and clear.
If you do not like the length, you can remove the extra details, or draw the wicks again.
Double-click on the “Wick” layer to add Layer style (Layer Style) Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay). Change Blend Mode (Blend Mode) to Multiply (Multiply), select a gradient from Black to White, and check the checkbox for Align to layer (Reverse).
This will give the illusion of a burnt wick.
Create a new document (Ctrl + N) 100 x 100 px, and a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + N).
Activate the tool Brush (Brush), open the brush settings panel, to do this, go to Window-> Brush (Window-> Brush) and select a soft round brush. Change its Size to 80, Angle to 90, and Roundness to 40.
Set the foreground color to Black, and press the button once to add a basic flame shape inside the canvas.
Take Tool Eraser (Eraser), and apply the previous brush settings for the Eraser tool (Eraser), except for Size (Size), which should be set to 50. Place the brush at the bottom of the flame, and then press the button once to erase this part.
Move on Edit-> Define Brush (Edit-> Define Brush Preset), and enter a name for the brush.
Now you can close the document with a brush, and return to the original document.
In the brush settings, select the created Brush (Brush), then set its Size to 65.
Form Dynamics (Shape Dynamics): Set the Size Jitter to 10, Angle Jitter to 5. This will create flames of different sizes and angles each time you click to add one.
Create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + N) on top of all layers and name it Flame. Set the foreground color to white.
Double-click on the “Flame” layer to add the following Layer styles (Layer Style):
Internal glow (Inner Glow): Change the Blend Mode (Blend Mode) to Soft Light, color #ffffbe and Size (Size) to 21.
Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay): Change the Blend Mode (Blend Mode) to Hard Light, Scale (Scale) to 150, and select the gradient as shown below, you can download it at the beginning of the lesson.
This gradient is great to create a flame color from blue to yellow.
External glow (Outer Glow): Change the color to # f3ac14, Size (Size) to 21, and Contour (Gloss Contour) – Half Circle.
Place Brush (Brush) the flame over the wick, then click the mouse once to add the flame.
The flame creates strong illumination on the top of the candle, which we will try to imitate by adding several layers of bright color.
Ctrl + click on the “Candle Shape” layer to create a selection. Create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + N) right above the “Stroke copy” layer and name it “Light 1”, and then change it Blend mode (Blend Mode) on Overlap (Overlay). Set the foreground color to # ffb94a, and select 150 px soft round Brush (Brush).
Place the brush as in the picture below, and then click the mouse button once at the top of each candle to create the first layer of light.
Create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + N) on top of the “Light 1” layer and name it “Light 2”, and then change it Blend mode (Blend Mode) on Linear light (Linear Light).
Set the Foreground color to # fff4a9, and select 125 px soft round Brush (Brush). Place the brush as in the picture below, and then click the mouse button once at the top of each candle to create a second layer of light.
Press Ctrl + D to get rid of the selection.
Create a third layer on top of the “Wick” layer and name it “Light 3”, and then change it Blend mode (Blend Mode) on Screen (Screen).
Set the Foreground color to # f68e56, and select 160 px soft round Brush (Brush). Place the brush as in the picture below, and then press the button once to add more external glow.
Select all the layers that you have turned out, except for the Background and Bokeh layers, and then go Layer -> Group Layers (Layer-> Group Layers) or press the key combination (Ctrl + G). Let’s call the group “Candles”.
This will put all the layers that make up the candle into one group, which will contain all the layers of the candle to prevent confusion that may occur when new layers are added in the next section.
Save the file in .Psd format if you intend to continue to perform the second part of the lesson.