This tutorial will show you how to use Photoshop’s shape attributes, 3D tools and settings, and adjustment layers to create a 3D gold layered text effect. Let’s get started!
The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial:
1. How to Create Text Shape Layers
Create a new 1250 x 900px document, and create the text using the font Bebas Neue. Set the Size to 250 and the Tracking value to 100.
Right-click the text layer and choose Convert to Shape, and rename the shape layer to 1.
Duplicate the 1 layer twice, and rename the copies to 2 and 3.
2. How to Modify the Shape Attributes
Pick the Direct Selection Tool (A) to adjust the shape attributes in the Options bar.
Select the 2 layer, and change its Fill to None and its Stroke Size to 5. Click the Set shape stroke type icon to change Align to Outer.
Select the 3 layer, and change its Fill to None and its Stroke Size to 10. Click the Set shape stroke type icon to change Align to Outer.
3. How to Create 3D Layers
For each shape layer you have, select it and go to 3D > New 3D Extrusion from Selected Path.
Select all the 3D layers, go to 3D > Merge 3D Layers, and rename the merged layer to 3D Scene.
4. How to Work With the 3D 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 tab of the element you want to modify in the 3D panel before you change its settings in the Properties panel.
Select the Move Tool to access its 3D Modes to the right of the Options bar.
After you choose one of those, you can click-drag to perform changes (on the selected element in the 3D panel).
Use the 3D Modes to change the Current View to an angle you like.
5. How to Adjust 3D Mesh Settings
Select all 3D mesh tabs in the 3D panel, and change their Extrusion Depth in the Properties panel to 10.
Click the Cap icon at the top of the Properties panel, and change its Bevel Width value to 2%.
6. How to Move 3D Meshes
Pick the Move Tool, select the mesh tab of the text layer you want to move, and use the 3D Axis to move it in order to stack the meshes you have.
The arrows at the ends of the 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 want to use.
You can click the Current View tab in the 3D panel, and use the different View presets under the Properties panel to help you place the meshes more easily and precisely.
You can always select and adjust the meshes position any time, especially after applying the materials, so don’t worry about perfecting that now.
7. How to Create 3D Materials
Select all the Material tabs of the meshes you have, and click the Diffuse texture icon in the Properties panel to choose Remove Texture.
Use these settings for the rest of the options (the color values used are in RGB):
- Diffuse: 152, 106, 25
- Specular: 246, 240, 234
- Shine: 80%
- Reflection: 20%
- Refraction: 1.2%
Select the 1 Front Inflation Material tab, click the Bump folder icon, and choose Load Texture to open the 3b.jpg image from the Metal seamless textures 7 pack.
Click the Bump texture icon and choose Edit UV Properties.
We just need to add a slight texture to the front material, so you can zoom in on the text quite a bit, and change the Tile values to get a result you like.
Change the Bump value to 2%.
8. How to Create a Background Mesh
Pick the Rectangle Tool, and click anywhere inside the document to get the Create Rectangle box.
Set the Width value to 1350 px and the Height to 1005 px, and click OK.
Rename the shape layer to Wall, and go to 3D > New 3D Extrusion from Selected Path.
Change the mesh’s Extrusion Depth to 10.
Select the Current View tab, and choose 3D Scene from the View menu.
Select both 3D layers and go to 3D > Merge 3D Layers.
Use the 3D Axis to move the Wall mesh behind the text.
9. How to Create a 3D Brick Material
Click the Wall Front Inflation Material tab, click the Diffuse texture icon to choose Replace Texture, and load the Brick-08.jpg image, or any other image you like, from the 10 Seamless Clean Brick Textures pack.
Adjust the Diffuse‘s UV Properties Tile values to get a result you like, and use these material settings:
- Specular: 0, 0, 0
- Shine: 90%
Click the Bump folder icon and choose Generate Bumps From Diffuse.
Check the Invert Height box, adjust any other settings you want, and click OK.
Once the texture is generated, adjust its UV Properties to match the Diffuse‘s, and increase the Bump value to 35%.
10. How to Modify the Final Document
This is an optional step, but you can now downsize the document if you want, by going to Image > Image Size and changing the Width value to 850.
Once you’ve chosen the document’s final dimensions, change the Current View to an angle you like, and make sure to scale the Wall mesh so that there are no empty areas around the text.
11. How to Adjust a 3D Scene’s Lighting
Select the Infinite Light 1 tab, and change its Color to (249, 246, 239), its Intensity to 50%, and its Shadow Softness to 50% as well.
Use the Move Tool to change the light’s position, or click the Coordinates icon at the top of the Properties panel to use numerical values instead.
Click the Add new Light to Scene icon at the bottom of the 3D panel, and choose New Point Light.
Change the Point Light‘s Color to (253, 251, 244), its Intensity to 70%, and its Shadow Softness to 50%.
Then, check the Light Falloff box, and change the Inner value to 800 px and the Outer to 2500 px.
Move the Point Light until it touches the Wall mesh, and place it anywhere you like around the text.
Select the Environment tab, click the IBL texture icon, and choose Replace Texture to load the Futuristic vestibule underground station image.
Change the Intensity to 50% and the Ground Plane Shadow Opacity to 0%.
Use the Move Tool to move the texture around until you like the outcome.
12. How to Apply Adjustments to a Rendered 3D Layer
Go to 3D > Render 3D Layer. The rendering might take a while, but you can stop it any time by pressing the Esc key.
Once the rendering is done, right-click the 3D Scene layer, and choose Convert to Smart Object to avoid making any accidental changes.
Go to Image > Adjustments > Vibrance, and change the Vibrance value to 30.
Go to Image > Adjustments > Selective Color, and use these values:
- Cyan: 50
- Magenta: 5
- Yellow: -2
- Cyan: -10
- Magenta: -10
- Yellow: 20
- Cyan: 10
- Magenta: -2
- Yellow: -10
- Black: 5
Go to Image > Adjustments > Levels, and change the Shadows value to 9 and the Highlights to 229.
Go to Image > Adjustments > Color Lookup, and choose the Smokey table from the Device Link menu.
Expand the layer’s Smart Filters list, and double-click the Color Lookup tab’s Blending Options icon.
Change the Opacity to 50% and click OK.
Go to Image > Adjustments > Color Lookup, and choose the Gold-Blue table from the Abstract menu.
Double-click the second Color Lookup tab’s Blending Options icon, change its Blend Mode to Soft Light and its Opacity to 30%, and click OK.
13. How to Add the Final Global Adjustments
Click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose Gradient.
Create a Transparent to Fill Color gradient fill using the Colors
#b8b4a7 to the left and
#111a19 to the right.
Change the Style to Reflected and the Angle to a value that suits the text angle you have, and change the Gradient layer’s Blend Mode to Hard Light and its Opacity to 70%.
Create a new layer on top of all layers and press the Shift-Option-Command-E keys to create a stamp.
Rename the layer to High Pass, convert it to a Smart Object, and change its Blend Mode to Soft Light.
Go to Filter > Other > High Pass, and change the Radius to 1.
Create another new layer, name it Noise, and go to Edit > Fill.
Change the Contents to 50% Gray and click OK.
Convert the Noise layer to a Smart Object, and change its Blend Mode to Soft Light.
Go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise, change the Amount to 5 and the Distribution to Gaussian, and check the Monochromatic box.
Congratulations! You’re Done!
In this tutorial, we created a couple of text shapes and adjusted their attributes to create the text layers. Then, we converted the shapes to 3D meshes, adjusted their settings, and created their materials. After that, we added a background wall, adjusted the lighting, and rendered the scene. Finally, we added a couple of adjustments to finish off the effect.
Please feel free to leave your comments, suggestions, and outcomes below.
If you’d like to learn more, I recommend the following tutorials: