Home / Uncategorized / The Best of Create 3D text in Photoshop: A step-by-step guide

The Best of Create 3D text in Photoshop: A step-by-step guide

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to create a piece of 3D art featuring a realistic three-dimensional text effect. You’ll also learn how to edit multiple images using adjustments and basic tools.

The first part of this tutorial takes place in Photoshop CC‘s 3D environment, which means you have to work with three different panels almost simultaneously. The Layers panel is where you place and create the 3D text. In the 3D panel, you access the 3D commands, while the Properties panel is where you apply the extrusion effect, distort and apply different materials to add realism. Working in a three-dimensional space is fairly easy but you have to pay close attention. 

The second part of the tutorial is back to familiar, 2D territory, using the Selection tools, masks, adjustment layers and other basic techniques. Don’t forget to download the resources.

01. Create the background

tree

Switch to the 3D workspace and load the background image

First, change the workspace. Go to Window > Workspace > 3D. Now, create a new blank canvas (cmd/ctrl+N). Name it 3D Text, setting the Width to 1500px, Height to 620 pixels, Resolution to 300ppi and then click OK. Go to File > Place Embedded ‘pix_117004_background.jpg’, adjust the size and press return/enter.

02. Download a new font

safari written over image of tree

Download the font you need before going any further

Go to dafont.com and download the font South Afirkas 2100 by zanatlija. Unzip the file and install on your system. Grab the Type tool (T). In Options choose the Font Type: South Afirkas, Size: 70pt and then type the word SAFARI.

03. Add texture

safari written over image of tree

Give your text a bit of texture

Go to File > Place Embedded ‘pix_2068284_texture1.jpg’. Place over the text and then clip the layers, press cmd/ctrl+opt/alt+G. Hold Shift and click on the Safari layer. With both layers active, press cmd/ctrl+E to merge. Rename the layer Safari_texture.

04. Create a 3D layer

safar in 3d text in Photoshop

Now you can extrude your text into 3D

Go to 3D > New 3D Extrusion from Selected Layer. In the Properties panel, click in Mesh, choose Texture Mapping: Scale and set the Extrusion Depth to 10mm. In the 3D panel, click on the Safari_Texture Front Inflation Material, set the Roughness to 80% and Bump to 100%.

05. Add more textures

safari in 3D space in Photoshop

Another texture improves the look of your 3D text

In the 3D Layer panel, click Safari_Texture Extrusion Material. Now in the Properties panel, click the Diffuse icon and choose Replace Texture, locate the ‘pix_2068284_texture2.jpg’ and Open. Adjust the Roughness to 80% and Bump to 100%.

06. Edit UV properties

edit the properties

Tweak your texture by editing its UV properties

We’re now going to edit the extrusion texture. In Properties, open the Diffuse icon again and select Edit UV Properties. Set the U/X Scale to 65% and the V/Y Scale to 50% and then click OK.

07. A bevel effect

safari written on an image

Edit the Safari_Texture layer to give it a bevel effect

In the 3D panel, click the Safari_Texture layer. Now, in the Properties panel, click Cap. Set the Sides to Front, the Bevel Width to 35% and change the Contour to Cone_Inverted.

08. Move the 3D text

image with safari written on it

Move the camera to give the text a more three-dimensional appearance

Grab the Move tool (V). In the 3D workspace click on Dolly the 3D camera (it’s the third icon in the bottom left). Hold the mouse button and drag up to move the text further away. Click on the Orbit and Pan the 3D camera to rotate and move the image down.

09. Adjust the light

image with safari written on it

Get a more dramatic look by adjusting the light

In the 3D panel, click Infinite Light. Use the on-image controller to adjust the light, placing it in front of the 3D text and moving it around 75 degrees to the top-left corner. Render the image by going to 3D>Render 3D Layer.

10. Create a layer mask

image with safari written on it

Use a layer mask and the Dune Grass brush to blend in the grass

In the Layers panel, press cmd/ctrl+J to duplicate the Safari_Texture layer.  Go to Layer > Rasterize > 3D. (Hide the original 3D Safari_Texture layer.) Add a layer mask. Grab the Brush tool. Press F5 and choose the Dune Grass brush, tweak the Shape Dynamics and Scattering then paint over the mask, blending the grass.

11. Make adjustments

image with safari written on it

Sharpen your image and tweak the tones

First, let’s sharpen the image a bit. Click on the Safari_Texture thumbnail. Go to Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen More. Now adjust the tones. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels. Set the Inputs to 0, 1.15, 215 and clip the layers.

12. Place the lion

a lion

Time to add some wildlife

Go to File > Place Embedded ‘pix_1236169_lion.jpg’. Grab the Quick Selection tool (W) and select the lion. Go to Select > Select and Mask. Change View Mode to Overlay. Set Edge Detection Radius to 15 pixels, check Smart Radius, and use the tools to enhance the selection. Output to ‘New layer with layer mask’.

13. More adjustments

image with safari written on it plus a lion

A few adjustments will help the lion fit more naturally in the scene

Grab the Dune Grass brush and paint over the mask to hide the paws and tail behind the bushes. Now, go to Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen. Then go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels. Set the Inputs to 0, 0.95, 245 and clip the layers.

14. The Pen tool

image with safari written on it plus lion and elephant

Add the elephant and use the Pen tool to cut it out

Go to File > Place Embedded ‘pix_602530_elephant.jpg’. Grab the Pen tool (P) and draw a path around the elephant. In Options, click Make: Selection and then click OK. Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection. Press cmd/ctrl+T and adjust the size.

15. Add more adjustments

image with safari written on it

As with the lion, you’ll need to tweak the elephant so it doesn’t stick out

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast. Set Brightness to 30, Contrast to 15, clip the layers and then click OK. Now, make a quick colour correction. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Photo Filter. Choose Filter: Deep Yellow, set the Density to 30%, clip the layers and click OK.

16. Bring in the ostrich

image with safari written on it and an ostritch

Time for a bit more wildlife

Go to File > Place Embedded ‘pix_341989_ostrich.jpg’. Grab the Quick Selection tool (W) and select the image. In Options, click Select and Mask. Use the Refine Edge Brush tool (R) or the Brush tool (B) to enhance the mask, then click OK. Resize the image and place the ostrich next to the elephant.

17. Curves adjustment

image with safari written on it and animals

Use a Curves adjustment to knock the tones into shape

Now, let’s apply a Curves adjustment to correct the tones. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves. Place the mouse cursor in the centre and drag down a bit or set the Input to 45 and the Output to 40, clip the layers and click OK.

18. Place more images

safari plus a lion and a monkey

All right, let’s have a monkey…

Go to File > Place Embedded ‘pix_1224295_monkey.jpg’. Use the Quick Selection tool to select the image and the Select and Mask command to refine the selection. Resize the image and place over the letters. Use a Curves adjustment to correct the tones.

19. Add the giraffe

Image with safari animals including a giraffe

…and a giraffe. What could possibly go wrong?

Place the ‘pix_927281_giraffe.jpg’. Select and mask the giraffe. Add a new layer on top of it and clip the layers (cmd/ctrl+opt/alt+G). Change the blending mode to Soft Light, grab the Brush tool and using a light yellow colour, paint over the body to whiten the shadows.

20. Colour correction 

image with safari written on it and animals

Add a warming filter for that final tonal touch

Place a new adjustment layer on top of the layer stack. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Photo Filter. Choose Filter: Warming Filter (85), set the Density to 25%, and click OK.

21. Create a snapshot

image with safari written on it and animals

One last adjustment and you’re good to go

Press shift+cmd/ctrl+opt/alt+E to create a snapshot. Now make the final adjustment. Go to Filter > Camera Raw filter. Set the Exposure to +0.25, Highlights to -30, Clarity: +10 and Saturation: +5, then click OK.

This article originally appeared in issue 152 of Photoshop Creative. Subscribe here.

Related articles:

Check Also

The Best of The best online web design courses

01. Treehouse02. LinkedIn Learning (previously Lynda.com)03. Udemy04. Bloc05. Udacity06. Launch School07. Pluralsight08. Skillshare It’s not …

The Best of How to build an AR app

01. Get started02. Load the model03. Set up the tweening04. Scale it up05. Set up …