We collect the text from Lego in Photoshop

In this tutorial, we will learn how to create a realistic 3D text Lego effect without using any 3D software. I will use Adobe Photoshop, but for this effect you can also use any 3D editor you own. We will start by creating a separate block and with the help of some techniques we will build a word. Then we put light and shadows on it. So let’s get started!

1. Create a block

Step 1

Create a new document with a canvas size of 1000 px per 1000 px.

Step 2

Turn on the grid display. To do this, go to the menu View> Show> Grid (View-Show-Grid). The grid will help align our figures in the future.

Step 3

Choose a tool Rectangle tool (Rectangle). In the toolbar options, set the fill color to gray. Draw a rectangle. Name this layer Front.

Step 4

Choose a tool Direct Selection Tool (Arrow). Select the two left points and move them down. If you want to convert a shape to a regular outline, a window may appear asking for confirmation. Click Yes (Yes).

Step 5

If your figure seems too big for you, then with the help of the same Arrow you can correct the shape and size of your figure.

Step 6

Duplicate the shape layer. Select tool again Direct Selection Tool (Arrow) and select the two right points. Move these points to the left, thereby forming the side of the block. Name this layer Side.

Step 7

Duplicate layer Front. With the Arrow tool active, hold down Ctrl and drag the shape outline to the side of the block. This will create the back surface of the block.

Step 8

Repeat these steps for the layer. Side. As a result, we get a block with all four sides.

Step 9

Restore order in layers. Select both copies of the layers and merge into one Ctrl + E. Name this layer Top and place below all layers.

Step 10

Select layer Front and add a layer styleGradient overlay (Gradient Overlay)

Step 11

For layer Side add layer style Color overlay (Overlay Color). Use the color shown below.

Step 12

Finally, to the layer Top apply layer styleGradient overlay (Gradient Overlay) with the colors shown below.

2. Create a spike

Step 1

Create a new layer. With the tool Ellipse tool(Ellipse) Draw a light gray ellipse. Rasterize the ellipse layer.

Step 2

Activate the Free Transform Ctrl + T and use the arrow on the keyboard to move the ellipse 2 px down. Press Enter to accept the transformation.

Step 3

Next, pressing Ctrl + Alt + Shift + T will duplicate the layer and repeat the transformation. Repeat this action several times until you get the required spike height.

Step 4

In the layers panel, select all layers with an ellipse except the top one and merge them into one Ctrl + E.

Step 5

Shift the merged layer below the ellipse layer. Apply style to this layer. Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay) to simulate the lighting coming from the right side of our scene.

Step 6

Now our spike has too sharp edges. To fix this, select the top layer with the ellipse, press Ctrl + T and slightly reduce.

Step 7

Next, select the toolBlur tool (Blur) and slightly blur the top and bottom edges.

3. Finishing the spike

Step 1

The next step is to create the illusion of a blurred spike on the surface of the block. Select both spike related layers and merge into the group Ctrl + G.

Step 2

Duplicate the group and transform Ctrl + E into one layer.

Step 3

Place a copy of the spike in the layers panel below the group with the spike and arrow on the keyboard slide down as shown below. Next, press Ctrl + L (Levels) and darken.

Step 4

Next, go to the menu Filter> Blur> Motion Blur (Filter-Blur-Blur in motion). Install Angle (Angle) 90 degrees and Distance (Distance) 38 px.

Step 5

For a layer with blur set the blending mode Hard light (Hard Light). As an extra step, you can apply a blur. Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur (Filter – Blur – Blur according to Gauss) Blur radius 4.6 px. So the reflection will become even softer and more blurred.

Step 6

For the group with spike, apply a merged layer Inner shadow (Inner shadow).

Step 7

Merge the spike group and blur layer into a new group. Duplicate the group three times. Place all four groups on the surface of the block. If necessary, adjust the size of the spikes Ctrl + T.

4. Finishing work on the block

Step 1

Let’s start softening the edges of the block. Select all layers with a block and merge into one Ctrl + E. Rasterize the layer – PCM-Rasterize Layer (Rasterize Layer).

Translator’s Note: if you have all the layers with the block in the group, then standing on the group, just click Ctrl +E.

Step 2

Standing on a layer with a block, on the layers panel, click on the icon Lock Transparent Pixels (Lock transparent pixels)

Step 3

Choose a tool Blur tool (Blur). In the tool options on the top panel, set Strength (Intensity) 100% and blur the edges of the block as shown below.

Step 4

The edges began to look softer. But still need a little refinement. Create a new layer as a clipping mask. Choose a light round gray soft brush and draw lines as shown below.

Step 5

Apply to the layer with lines. Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur (Filter-Blur_Gauss Blur) with a blur radius of 7 px. As a result, small highlights will appear on the edges.

Next, standing on a layer with a block, press the button Lock Transparent Pixels (Blocking transparent pixels) on the layers panel. Choose a tool Eraser Tool (E) (Eraser) and slightly round the corners of the block.

Step 6

Select all the layers in the layers panel except the background. Right click and select Convert to Smart Object (Convert to Smart Object).

5. Building blocks

Step 1

Now you need to decide which word you will build with blocks. The selected word will help create a 2D layout. The image below shows the pixel layout of the word Create. Each pixel represents one block.

Step 2

To begin, create a new document with dimensions of 3300 px to 2550 px.

Step 3

Return to the document with the block and drag the smart object into the newly created document and resize Ctrl + T.

Step 4

Next we will copy the blocks and place the words on the layout. To do this, select the tool Move Tool (V) (Move) and with Alt clamped move the block. Place a copy of the block next to the original.

Step 5

Count the number of pixels that make up the width of a letter in your text. In this lesson you will need nine blocks. Continue to copy and move copies of the block using the method described above until you have a line of nine blocks.

Step 6

On the layers panel, select all layers with blocks and with the Alt clamped, move the whole line of blocks. Place this new row of blocks above the previous one.

Step 7

In our word layout, the height of the letters is 13 px. Accordingly, we need to create 13 lines of blocks. If you move Shift while moving, the movement will be strictly vertical.

Step 8

Slide this wall of blocks into the right side of the canvas to make room on the left.

6. Copy the wall of blocks

Step 1

Create a selection by holding Ctrl around the wall of blocks. As a result, all layers that make up this wall will be highlighted on the layers panel.

Step 2

With Alt clamped, move the copy of the wall to the left of the original.

Step 3

Continue to make copies of the walls for each letter of our word. Since in this lesson in the word Create there are two letters “e”, I will create only five copies of the walls. And when it is necessary, I will simply create a copy of the letter as a whole.

7. Form letters

Step 1

Next we will form the letters. Focus on the word layout to remove unwanted blocks. To do this with the Move tool pressed while holding the Ctrl key, click on the block that you want to delete and press delete.

Step 2

To select several blocks at the same time, first with the Ctrl pressed, click on one and, adding the Shift key to Ctrl, click on the other unwanted blocks.

Step 3

Repeat this process for each letter. When you reach the letter “t”, you will notice that there are not enough blocks for it. Do not worry, we will finish this letter later.

8. Finishing the letters

Step 1

In order to create a copy of the letter “e”, create a selection around it with Ctrl pressed.

Step 2

Next, with Alt clamped, move the letter to the right, as shown below. Additionally, pressing Ctrl + Shift + [moves all currently selected layers to the bottom of the layers panel under all other layers.

Step 3

To end the letter “t”, hold down Ctrl and create a selection around the top of the letter.

Step 4

Move the selected blocks up as shown in the image below.

Step 5

Then, holding Ctrl + Shift, select the top three blocks, as shown below.

Step 6

With Alt clamped, move these blocks upwards, creating a copy by this action. Place a copy on top of existing blocks.

Step 7

Select the blocks at the top of the letter “t” and put them back in place.

Step 8

To complete the work with the letters, select each letter separately and move it so as to increase the space between them for the next steps. To make the letters line up, temporarily draw a helpline on the new layer, as shown below.

9. Add depth

Step 1

Now we need to bring the thickness of the text to three rows. But before copying layers, we must find a way to distinguish the layers created in the layers panel. We can do this by assigning a certain color to the layers.
To do this, holding Ctrl, create a selection around the entire text. Then right-click on the icon of any of the selected layers and select a color. As a result, the color will be assigned to all selected layers.

Step 2

While holding Alt, shift the text, thereby creating a copy. Arrange it as shown in the image below. Do not deselect layers in the layers panel.

Step 3

Assign a different color to these selected layers.

Step 4

Repeat the copy and offset process to create the third row. Assign a new color to these layers.

Step 5

When you are done with creating rows, decrease the space between letters.

10. Remove unnecessary blocks (optional)

Step 1

Since we have formed many layers, it can affect the work of Photoshop (it can also depend on your computer). This problem can be solved by removing blocks that are completely hidden.

To find these blocks, we need to select all the layers related to the first (front) row of text.
This will help us filter function on the panel layers. Select a color related to the layers of the first row of text.

Step 2

Now that all the layers for the front row of the text have been found, we can select all of them and merge them into the Ctrl + G group.

Step 3

Turn off the filter by pressing the red switch on the layers panel. Now we can see the group that we just created.

Step 4

Set the group Fill to 0% and apply a layer style Stroke (Stroke) with default settings. Click on the lock icon to lock the group.

Step 5

Next, using the first line of text as a guideline, with the Move tool pressed and Ctrl active, click on the blocks inside the stroke and delete it by pressing delete.

Step 6

Repeat the steps to remove the blocks for the second row of text.

Step 7

Repeat the same for the last row. When you are done with removing the blocks, remove the castle from the group, remove the layer style and ungroup all the layers.

11. Paint the blocks

Step 1

Now it’s time to add some color to our blocks. Using the filter on the layers panel, isolate the layers for the front row, as you did above.

Step 2

Hold Ctrl, click on any block of the first row and apply the following layer style.

Step 3

On the layer panel on the layer with the applied style, click the right mouse button and select Copy Layer Style (Copy Layer Style).

Step 4

Next on the layers panel, select all visible layers (all layers of the first row). On any layer, click the right mouse button and select Paste Layer Style (Paste Layer Style). The style will apply to all layers. As you can see in the image below, all yellow layers now have a badge “fx“, Which means that the style is applied to the layer.

Step 5

Make sure that all the yellow layers are no longer active (click with Ctrl on the empty part of the canvas). Next, with Ctrl pressed, click on a block inside the first letter and apply a layer style.

Step 6

Click on this layer with the right mouse button and select Copy Layer Style (Copy Layer Style). Next, with the Ctrl clamped, select the blocks inside the first letter and on the selected layers on the layers panel click with the right mouse button- Paste Layer Style (Paste Layer Style). To select several blocks at once with the Ctrl key, hold Shift.

Step 7

Similarly, for the remaining letters, select the blocks and apply a layer style.

12. Customize the scene

Step 1

Choose a tool Crop tool (Frame). Use the markers to adjust the frame and cut the part of the canvas.

Step 2

Before moving on to creating shadows, let’s add some color to the last row of blocks. Use the filter on the layers panel again and isolate this row by selecting the red layers. Select all the layers in the layers panel.

Step 3

Turn off the filter by pressing the switch to display all layers. Merge all selected red layers into the Ctrl + G group.

Step 4

Apply a layer style to the created group.

13. Add base shadows.

Step 1

Create a new layer and place it under all the layers of the blocks in the layers panel. Choose a tool Gradient tool (Gradient). Click on the gradient window in the top bar. The gradient editor window will open. Set the gradient colors from light gray to transparent.

Step 2

Draw a small gradient at the top and bottom of the scene.

Step 3

Then usingPolygonal Lasso Tool (Polygonal Lasso) create a selection of the base of each letter. To create several selections at once, before you start creating a new one, press Shift; the selection will be added to the existing one.

Step 4

Create a new layer below all layers with blocks and fill the selection with black.

Step 5

Blur this layer Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur (Filter-Blur-Blur according to Hapuss).

Step 6

Duplicate this layer. Apply to copy Filter> Blur> Motion Blur (Filter-Blur-Blur in motion). Make sure that the angle of the blur matches the direction of your text.

Step 7

After the last filter was applied, the shadows became a bit sharp in the corners. To soften them, apply a Gaussian Blur filter again.

Step 8

Duplicate this layer. Apply a Gaussian Blur filter to this duplicate with an even greater blur radius. As a result, we get an imitation of the natural shadow from the object.

14. Create shadows from light sources.

Step 1

The next step is to create a shadow that casts our text on the bottom plane. To do this, use the Polygonal Lasso tool to select the surface of the letters in the front row. Remember that pressing Shift adds a selection to an existing one.

Step 2

Create a new layer and fill the selection with black.

Step 3

Transform the black letters Ctrl + T-Distort (Distortion), as shown below. So it will be more convenient for us to control the black text in the subsequent transformation into a shadow.

Step 4

Convert this layer to a smart object. Activate the Free Transform Ctrl + T and distort the text so that the shadow is cast from the letters.

Step 5

Since our shadow is two-dimensional, and the text is three-dimensional, we need to work further on the shadow to make it more realistic. First, copy the layer with the smart shadow object. With Free Transform, correct the shape of the shadow.

Since we are using a smart object, the transformation produced earlier can be easily corrected at any time. So, correct the transformation of the second shadow.

Step 6

Fill with black the parts of the shadow shown below that were formed after the copy was shifted so that they looked like from one object.

Step 7

Merge both layers with a shadow into one Ctrl + E.

Step 8

Apply to the combined layer with a shadow filter Filter> Blur> Motion Blur (Filter-Blur-Blur in motion). Install Angle (Angle) -12 degrees, Distance (Distance) 17 px.

Step 9

Next, apply a filter to this layer. Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur (Filter-Blur-Blur according to Gauss) with a blur radius of 1.2 px.

Step 10

Add a layer mask by clicking on the mask creation icon Add layer mask (Add layer mask) at the bottom of the layers panel. Choose a large soft black brush with Opacity (Opacity) 30% and paint over the upper part of the shadow on the mask.

Step 11

Decrease Opacity (Opacity) of this layer to 46% and set the blending mode Multiply (Multiplication).

15. Finishing the shadow

Step 1

The next step is to add a shadow on the letters themselves. Looking at our stage, it becomes obvious that the lighting comes from the top right corner of our scene. Based on this, we will add shadows to the left side of our letters.

Step 2

First, select all the layers that make up our text and merge into the group Ctrl + G. Rename the group to Create Text.

Step 3

Create a new layer as a clipping mask to the created group and set Opacity (Opacity) of this layer to 77%. This will make it easier for us to see through the shadow being placed. Use Polygonal Lasso to highlight areas that fall into the weave area.

Step 4

Fill the selection with blue color (this is a temporary color for clarity).

Step 5

As an optional step, select Eraser tool (Eraser) with a small diameter brush and erase on areas of thorns, which should not be a shadow.

Step 6

And so work through each letter.

Step 7

When you finish adding the shadow, change the blue color to black. Set the layer blending mode to Multiply (Multiplication) and Opacity (Opacity) up to 70%.

Step 8

The shadows still look flat. In the real world, the closer a shadow is to an object, the darker it is. Let’s try to simulate this effect. Create a copy of this layer and reduce Opacity (Opacity) up to 52%. This layer should also be a clipping mask.

Step 9

With Alt pressed, click on the layer mask creation icon at the bottom of the layers panel. As a result, a black mask will be created and hide the entire layer.

Step 10.

Activate the mask, take a white soft brush and paint inside the corners, as well as places in close proximity to the letters where the shadows should be darker.

16. Add reflection

Step 1

In conclusion, we need to add in some places a reflection on our text. Create a new layer directly above the group with text as clipping.

Step 2

Select a large soft brush and paint over half the text.

Step 3

Decrease Opacity (Opacity) of this layer.

Congratulations! You did it!

In this tutorial, I showed you how to create a Lego text effect using just one Lego block. Then I showed you how to duplicate a Lego block and build a three-dimensional word. Finally, how to add lighting and shadows. I hope that in this lesson you have learned something new for yourself and will be able to use the described techniques to create your projects.

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