Making fantastically beautiful 3D text – Part I

Part one

To create 3D text, we need the Xara 3D6 program (demo version), we also need a metal texture, which can be found in the archive.

Materials for the lesson:

Archive

Step 1. To begin with, we will define the color gamut of our work; we prefer cold shades for the background. Create a new document. 1350 on 1600 px and resolution 300px / inch. Create a new layer and fill it with # 166a91, name the layer “background.”

Step 2. Add depths to the background. Experiment and pick cool colors for the background. Choose a tool “Brush” (Brush Tool) large size, set the flow (Flow) 5%, hardness (Hardness) 0%. Create a new layer, name it “bg_color” and paint in different corners (create a new layer for each color). Try to make the central part of the light, and the edges darker.

Step 3. For the author, the colors did not seem dark enough, and he decided to create new adjustment layer Hue \ Saturation (new adjustment layer of Hue / Saturation), slightly reduce the saturation.

Step 4. Prepare the texture. Open the metal texture (you can use your own texture). On the menu Editing \ Transformation \ Distortion (Edit \ Transform \ Distort) create a perspective, then discolor (Ctrl + Shift + U). Load a selection of this layer (Ctrl + click on the layer thumbnail) and copy the selection (Ctrl + C).

Step 5. Return to the main document. Select tool “Pen (Pen Tool) and draw them like a pool, right-click and select “To form a selected area“. Create a new layer, name it “texture”. Next, paste our texture into the selection. Editing \ Paste (Edit \ Paste Into). With the tool “Moving” (Move Tool) You can change the position of the texture inside the selection. Change blending mode (Blending mode) for layer on Overlap(Overlay) and opacity (Opacity) 70%. Create a new layer and name it “splatter shading.” Select tool “Brush” (Brush Tool) color #125361, set the flow (Flow) 10%, hardness (Hardness) 0%. Load the selection of the “texture” layer and draw in the indicated places.

Step 6. Add light. Look at figure 1, the author made a sketch, before continuing, you should present the future scene. Thus, the author indicates where the light areas will be. Create a new layer, name it “splatter lighting.” The settings for the brush are the same, color99e9ea and draw in the marked places, remember: if something does not work, you can always fix it with the tool Eraser (Eraser Tool (E)).

Step 7. Customize the brush. Open the brushes palette Window \ Brushes (Window \ Brush) settings below. Using a small soft brush, you can easily draw it with the mouse, add light strokes on each outer bend.

Step 8. Do not change the settings of the brush, only reduce the size of the brush, the color is white. Create a new layer, name it “lighting overlay.” Change blending mode (Blending mode) for layer on Overlap (Overlay) and start drawing in the places that were indicated in step 6, draw small spots.

Step 9. Continue to add lighting, do not forget to change the diameter of the brush, use “Eraser (Eraser Tool (E)), Hardness (Hardness) 0, Flow (Flow) 8% for best results.

Step 10. Create a new layer, name the splatter touch ups “, change blending mode (Blending mode) for layer on Multiplication (Multiply), change the settings for the brush: Hardness (Hardness) 0%, Flow (Flow) 5%, color # 125361.
Now look at the first image below and darken in the indicated places. Now switch to white, create a new layer, name the “splatter light,” the settings for the brush are the same and add light.

Step 11. First of all, we will determine the light source. In order for any object to turn out to be voluminous, it is necessary to place the light source on the stage, and constantly remember its position, drawing the details. There must always be at least one primary light source that affects all elements of the design. A shadow is an area where direct light from a source does not fall, which means that this area will be darker, it should change smoothly and not have obvious light and dark spots. The lightest side of the object will always be the one from which the light falls.

Step 12. In this paper, we did not identify the source of light, so we will not draw the shadow caused by the original light. We will only take care of the shade from the puddle. Select a small brush and start painting (do not draw with a continuous line, click the mouse more often). When drawing a shadow from a puddle, invert the selection (Ctrl + I).

Step 13. Getting to the creation of the text. Look at 1 image below, the area marked in pink looks unfinished, here we will place our letters. The second, third and fourth image below is a small sketch of further work.

Step 14. To place 3D text, we need to set the horizon line. Look at the first image below. In our case, the horizon line should be slightly above the upper side of the spot. You do not draw lines, as in 1 image below, the author tries to imagine where this line should be. Look at the second image below – if the letters are below the horizon, then you look at them from above. On the third image, the text is incorrect.

Step 15. Create a text. Open the program Xara3D 6. This program is easy to use. Below are the settings that the author used. Write the text and click on the “Show \ Hide Highlight“, Move the arrow to change the lighting, double click the LMB to change the lighting color:
Lighting color 1 (Light 1): #FBDBFF
Lighting color 2 (Light 2): #EF72D2
Lighting color 3 (Light 3): #E35DB0.

Step 16. Save the text. Before saving, go to the option “Shadow options” and turn off Shadow (Shadow). On the menu File \ Export (File \ Export) select the folder to save and save in the format PNG, save with the same settings as in the 2 image below.

Step 17. Open our text in Photoshop and transfer to our document. Next in the menu Editing \ Transforming \ Warp (Edit \ Transform \ Warp), try to make the text more rounded. Next, look at 3 images: select the tool “Dimmer “ (Burn Tool), Range (Range): midtones (Midtones), 25% exposure and draw at the base of each letter (this will help to achieve a better shadow effect). Next, correct the color, create new adjustment layer Selective color correction (Layer \ Adjustments \ Selective Color), settings below, select Red, as it will better affect the pink color.

Step 18. Now look at 1 image below. Arrows the author indicated the wrong places – this dark color does not match our illustration, fix it. Choose the tool “Pen (Pen Tool (P)) and draw the outline (where the red arrow points). PKM click select form a selection (Make Selection). Tool Stamp (Stamp Tool), settings below, fix the dark spot (on the new layer).

Step 19. We will process the rest of the failed places. Create a new layer, name it “text correction” and change blending mode (Blending mode) on Overlap (Overlay). Choose a tool Brush (Brush Tool (B)), settings below, color # ffbdf3. Download the text selection (Ctrl + click on the text layer) and draw in dark places to lighten them. The main task is to choose a bright pink color (which corresponds to the color of your text), and go through the letters.

Step 20. Creating shine. Create a new layer, name it “Gloss”, draw an oval with the tool Ellipse (Ellipse Tool) in the outline mode and load the selection with the “Brush (Brush Tool (B)), settings below, or “Gradient (Gradient Tool) Fill the selection as shown below. Further tool “Oval selection (Ellipse Marquee Tool) draw small circles and click Delete. Next, staying on the “Gloss” layer, load the selection of the text layer in the menu Select \ Invert (Select \ Invert) and click Delete – this will get rid of the gradient outside the letters. Deselect (Ctrl + D) and instrument Eraser (Eraser Tool) remove the gradient fill from the letters – the fill should remain on the front side of the letters

Step 21. Creating internal reflection. Load the selection of the text layer (Ctrl + click on the text layer), then copy the selection (Ctrl + Shift + C) and paste (Ctrl + V) – we have duplicated text, name this layer “Reflection 1” and duplicate the text layer, we should get “Reflection 1”, “Reflection 2” and “Reflection 3”. Make active the layer “Reflection 1”, Ctrl + T, reduce and rotate as shown below. We load the selection of the original text, then in the menu Select \ Invert (Select \ Invert) and click Delete (see 2 image). Set the opacity for the “Reflection 1” layer to about 15-20% (see image 3) and change blending mode (Blending mode) on Overlap (Overlay). The reflection should remain only on the front side of the letters, erasing too much Eraser (Eraser Tool). Repeat the process with layers “Reflection 2” and “Reflection 3”, look at 5 image.

Step 22. Enhance the reflection effect. Choose a tool Eraser (Eraser Tool), flow (Flow) 5% and hardness (Hardness) 0% and erase the shine around the letters (where the arrows are pointing). Switch to the tool “Dimmer (Burn Tool (O)), Range (Range): Mid Tones (Midtones) and Exposure (Exposure) about 20% and add the depth of each letter (red arrows).

Step 23 The light source in our work is the upper left corner (see 1 image). You can see that the upper left side of these letters is brighter than the right side. Look at the 2 image – something is wrong. All letters look good, but the letters “L” and “R” have inaccuracies with lighting, we will fix this. Load the selection layer with the text (see image 3), select the tool Brush (Brush Tool), Hardness (Hardness) 0%, Flow (Flow) 5%, color # 79185d. Create a new layer, name it “additional shade” and paint over the upper right sides of the letters “L” and “R” (see picture 3). Create a new layer, name it “additional light” and repeat the process on the left side at the top of the letters (see 4 image)

Step 24. Create new adjustment layer gradient map (new adjustment layer Gradient Map). Select a gradient from Black to White, change blending mode (Blending mode) for layer on Soft light (Soft Light) and set the opacity to 70% (cm 2 image). Load the selection of the text layer, then in the menu Select \ Invert (Select \ Inverse). Choose the tool “Fill (Paint Bucket Tool (G)) and fill the mask with black. Now we are sure that the gradient map filled in the text only.

Step 25. Select tool “Brush, Hardness (Hardness) 100%, Flow (Flow) 100%, white color, size 2-3 px, make the tool active Pen (Pen Tool (P)). Create a new layer and draw a curve with the pen as shown below, right-click and select “Outline the contour“(Stroke Path), put a tick”Simulate pressure“(Simulate Pressure). Repeat for each letter.

Step 26. Creating a shadow from the letters. Remember that the shadow should not be black. A shadow is an area where direct light from a source does not fall. This means that this area is colored in the natural color of the object. Select the color of the shadow #092330. Make active the tool “Brush (Brush Tool (B)), Hardness (Hardness) 0%. Create a new layer, name it “text shadow”, Start with a small diameter and add small shadow lines exactly below the letters. Make the diameter larger to fill in the spaces between the letters.

Step 27. Create new adjustment layer gradient map (create a new Gradient Map adjustment layer) and select the gradient “Violet, Orange” (“Violet, Orange”), change blending mode (Blending mode) for layer on Soft light (Soft light) and change the Opacity to 20% (this will give a warm tint to our work). Create new adjustment layer gradient map (create a new Gradient Map adjustment layer) and select the colors for the gradient from # 202930 to # 31505b and change blending mode (Blending mode) for layer on Soft light (Soft light), change the opacity to 80%. Then create more new adjustment layer gradient map (create a new Gradient Map adjustment layer) and select the colors for the gradient from # 2e2111 before #e2be84, change blending mode (Blending mode) for layer on Soft light (Soft light) and change the opacity to 30%. And at the end you can add new adjustment layer Curves (add Curves adjustment layer).

Step 28. After adding gradient maps, the author decided to lighten the areas (marked with arrows) and reduced the opacity of the “text shadow” layer, since after the Curves the shadows became heavier. Perhaps in your work you will need to correct something else, do not be afraid to experiment.

To be continued…

Author: Wojciech Pijecki

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