Create an Elegant 3D Text Effect in Photoshop CS6
This tutorial will show you how to use Photoshop CS6's Shape Attributes and 3D capabilities to create an elegant royal 3D text effect. It will guide you through modifying the shape settings, working on the 3D elements, creating the different materials, Adjusting the lights, and modifying the rendered result. Let's get started!
- Elsie font.
- Padded pattern by Chris Baldie.
- Tileable Light Wood Textures by WebTreatsETC.
- Metallic pipes texture by fotofreccia (the small image will suffice).
- Gradient-shapes for Photoshop by ilnanny (Load the METALS.grd file).
Create a new 1000 x 800 px document, and fill the Background with Black.
Create the text in White, using the font Elsie, the font Size 250 pt, and set the Tracking value to 50.
Go to Type > Convert to Shape. This will convert the text layer into a shape layer, which means it won’t be editable as text anymore. So make sure to modify the text before you convert it.
Duplicate the text shape layer, and pick the Direct Selection Tool to get the Shape settings in the Options bar. Change the Fill to None, the Stroke color to any gray color, the Stroke Size to 10, and the Align to Outside.
Select each text shape layer, then go to 3D > New 3D Extrusion from Selected Path, to convert the shape layers to 3D layers.
Duplicate the Background layer and drag the copy on top of all layers. Go to 3D > New Mesh from Layer > Postcard.
Select all the 3D layers you have (click the one at the top, press and hold the Shift key, then click the one at the bottom), and go to 3D > Merge 3D Layers.
This will place all 3D layers in one scene.
To access the 3D mesh settings and properties, you’ll need to open two panels: The 3D panel, and the Properties panel (both found under the Window menu).
The 3D panel has all the components of the 3D scene, and when you click the name of any of those, you’ll be able to access its settings in the Properties panel. So make sure to always select the name of the element you want to modify in the 3D panel before you change its settings in the Properties panel.
Select the Move Tool and check its Options bar. You’ll find a set of 3D Modes for the tool to the right of the bar. When you choose one of those, you can then click and drag to perform any changes (on the selected element in the 3D panel).
Select the text shape mesh name tabs in the 3D panel (select one then Ctrl/Cmd + select the other), and change the Extrusion Depth value in the Properties panel to 250.
Click the Cap icon at the top of the Properties panel, and change the Bevel Width to 3 and the Contour to Half Round.
Click the Coordinates icon, and change the X Rotation angle to 90°. This will make the text meshes perpendicular to the Ground Plane.
Select the plane mesh name and change its X Rotation Angle to 90° as well.
You can fill the Background layer with any color other than Black so that it is easier to see the 3D meshes.
Select the 3D layer again, then the plane mesh name in the 3D panel. Go to 3D > Snap Object to Ground Plane, and under Coordinates in the Properties panel, increase the Y Position value you have by 0.1 so that the plane is not exactly on the original Ground Plane.
Select the outer text mesh name in the 3D panel, and snap it to the Ground Plane as well. Then, select the inner text mesh name, and move it so that it extends a bit outside the stroke.
You can do that with the Move Tool selected, using the 3D Axis. The arrows at the ends of the 3D Axis move the mesh, the part below them is used for rotation, and the cubes are used for scaling. The cube in the center is used to scale the object uniformly. All you need to do is click and drag the part you need to perform the changes.
When you’re done, select the Current View tab in the 3D panel, and use the Move Tool’s 3D Modes to move the scene around until you get a camera view you like.
Select the plane mesh, then scale it uniformly until it covers all the empty areas around the text.
Time to work on the materials.
Start by selecting all the material tabs of both text meshes in the 3D panel, except for the Extrusion materials (Ctrl/Cmd + click the tabs to select). Then, in the Properties panel, click the Diffuse texture icon and choose Remove Texture.
Change the Diffuse color to # bea221, the Specular to # bbb08c, the Shine value to 55%, the Reflection to 35%, and the Refraction to 1.35. This will create the shiny gold material.
Select the inner text Extrusion material tab, remove the Diffuse texture, then change the Diffuse color to # 6c1e98, the Specular to # e3e1d7, the Illumination to #000000, the Ambient to # 4d1972, the Shine value to 75%, the Reflection to 25%, the Opacity to 30%, and the Refraction to 1.1. This will create the glass material.
Click the outer text mesh Extrusion material tab, remove the Diffuse texture, then change the Diffuse color to # 4b2262, the Specular to # a7a188, the Shine value to 75%, the Reflection to 25%, and the Refraction to 1.3.
Click the Bump folder icon and choose New Texture.
Type in 1000 and 550 for the Width and Height values.
Click the Bump texture icon and choose Edit Texture.
This will open the texture’s file. Duplicate the Background layer.
Double click the Background copy layer to apply a Pattern Overlay effect using the “Padded” pattern.
Click the ‘Create new fill or adjustment layer’ icon down the 3D panel and choose Brightness/Contrast.
Change the Brightness to 1 and the Contrast to -50.
Once again, click the ‘Create new fill or adjustment layer’ icon, but this time, choose Levels. Then change the Shadows value to 7 and the Highlights value to 210.
Save the file (file > Save) and close it (File > Close) to go back to the original 3D document.
Change the Bump value to 55%. Now you can start seeing the texture clearly.
What the Bump texture does is that it creates an illusion of raised areas for the lighter colors in the texture, and more flat ones for the darker colors.
Click the Bump texture icon and choose Edit UV Properties. Then, change the U Scale to 1000%, the V Scale to 100%, and both the U Offset and V Offset to 0.
Click the plane material tab, then click its Diffuse texture icon and choose Replace Texture. Load the “webtreats_light_wood4.jpg” image from the “Tileable Light Wood Textures” pack, then click the Diffuse texture icon again and choose Edit Texture to open its file.
In the texture’s file, duplicate the Background layer then double click the copy to apply a Color Overlay effect. Change the Blend Mode to Multiply and the color to #656565.
This will darken the wood texture a bit. You can use lighter or darker colors if you like depending on the outcome you want. Save the file and close it to go back to the original document.
Click the Diffuse texture icon once more and choose Edit UV Properties. Change the U Scale to 1000%, the V Scale to 300%, and both the U Offset and V Offset to 0. You might need to use other values if you want to get larger or smaller tiles of wood.
As for the other settings, change the Specular color to # 5e5e5e, the Shine value to 90%, the Reflection to 20%, and remove the Opacity texture.
Click the Infinite Light 1 tab in the 3D panel, then, in the Properties panel, change its color to #faf8f1, its Intensity to 80%, and its Shadow Softness to 30% .
You can then move the light around until you like how it casts the shadow, or use the same Coordinates values shown below.
Click the Add new Light to Scene icon down the 3D panel, and choose New Point Light.
Change the Point Light’s color to # fff7d5, its Intensity to 55%, and uncheck its Shadow box. Then, check the LightFalloff box, change the Inner value to 50 and the Outer to 200. This will make the light gradually fade.
Before you position the Point Light, it is a good idea to save the camera view. To do so, click the Current View tab, then choose the Save option from the View drop down menu in the Properties panel.
Type in a name for the view and click OK.
The view will be added down the 3D panel and to the View menu. So whenever you change the camera angle and want to get back to this view, just click its tab in the 3D panel or choose it from the View menu.
You can now change the camera view to position the Point Light in front of the text. You can use the same Coordinates values below as well. When you’re done, go back to the final camera view you saved.
Click the Environment tab in the 3D panel, then click its IBL folder icon in the Properties panel and choose Load Texture.
Open the “metallic pipes texture…”, and change the Intensity to 50%.
Click the IBL texture icon and choose Edit Texture to open the texture file. Then go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation. Click the Colorize box, and change the Hue value to 30 to give the texture an orange tint. Save and close the file.
You can use the Move Tool to click and drag the Environment texture’s sphere to move it in the scene until you like how it looks.
When you’re done modifying the scene, go ahead and render it (3D > Render).
The rendering might take a while, but you can stop it anytime by pressing the Esc key.
When the rendering is done, click the ‘Create new fill or adjustment layer’ icon and choose Gradient Map.
Change the adjustment layer’s Blend Mode to Soft Light, its Opacity to 35%, and use the “Bronze Bz 22” gradient fill from the METALS.grd file.
And you’re done! The many material settings and options are a powerful part of the 3D Environment in Photoshop CS6, as well as the 3D Scene Tools and Light types. So by using the right combination of textures, colors, and settings, you can get a great quality outcome.
Hope you enjoyed the tutorial and found it helpful.
We’d love if you give this tutorial a shot and tweet us your results!
Rose is a freelance Graphic Designer who started using Photoshop in 2007. She is the founder of textuts.com: a text effect tutorials’ blog. Aside from writing text effect tutorials, she works on different types of print and 3D designs as well.