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Create a 3D Mosaic Cork Text Effect With Filter Forge and Adobe Photoshop

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What You'll Be Creating

A good texture is an essential part of a realistic effect. This tutorial will show you how to use Filter Forge to get a cork texture, and then use it along with other material settings to create a mosaic cork text effect. Let's get started!

Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial:

1. Creating the Cork Texture

Step 1

After downloading the Cork Board Texture filter, open it in Filter Forge, and double click the second preset under the Presets tab to create the texture.

Cork Texture Filter

Step 2

Click the Save Image As button in the bottom right corner, and save the texture's image.

Save Texture Image

2. Creating the Text and the Mosaic Shape

Step 1

Create a new 1250 x 935 px document.

Create the text in All Caps using the Aller Display font for the main parts, and Berkshire Swash for any decorative letters (the & in this case). Set the color to Black.

After that, you'll need to adjust the settings under the Character panel (Window > Character) to arrange the text as you like. Here, the Size is set to 318 pt, and the Leading value is set to 298 pt.

Create and Adjust the Text

Step 2

Duplicate the text layer and make it invisible.

Select the copy and go to Type > Convert to Shape. Then duplicate the shape layer and make it invisible as well.

Convert Text to Shape

Step 3

Pick the Line Tool and set the Weight value in the Options bar to 5 px, or any other value you like depending on how thick or thin you want the spaces between the mosaic pieces to be.

Then choose the Subtract Front Shape option from the Geometry Options menu, and start drawing random lines to subtract them from the main text shape.

Subtract Lines

Step 4

Once you're done with the lines, and you're happy with the result you get, click the Geometry Options icon again and choose Merge Shape Components.

Merge Shape Components

Step 5

Make the original shape layer visible again, and then create a new layer on top of all layers and fill it with any color you like.

Color Layer

3. Creating the 3D Scene

Step 1

For each of the shape layers you have, select it and go to 3D > New 3D Extrusion form Selected Path, and for the top layer (Layer 1), select it and go to 3D > New Mesh from Layer > Postcard.

Convert to 3D Meshes

Step 2

Select all 3D layers and choose 3D > Merge 3D Layers. This will place all the 3D meshes in one scene.

Merge 3D Layers

Step 3

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 component, 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.

3D and Properties Panels

Step 4

If you select the Move Tool, you’ll find a set of 3D Modes for it to the right of the Options bar. When you choose one of those, you can then click and drag to perform changes (on the selected element in the 3D panel).

Move Tool 3D Modes

4. Modifying the 3D Meshes

Step 1

Select the Layer 1 Mesh tab in the 3D panel, and uncheck the Cast Shadows box in the Properties panel.

Uncheck Cast Shadows

Step 2

Click the Coordinates icon at the top of the Properties panel, change the X Rotation Angle to 90, and change the Y Position value to 0.1.

Coordinates Values

Step 3

Click the original shape layer's tab in the 3D panel, and change its Extrusion Depth value to 250.

Extrusion Depth

Step 4

Click the Cap icon, and change the Bevel Width to 3% and the Contour to Half Round.

Cap Settings

Step 5

Click the tab of the copy 2 mesh, and change its Extrusion Depth to 20.

Extrusion Depth

Step 6

Click the Cap icon, and change the Bevel Width to 3% and the Contour to Half Round.

Cap Settings

5. Moving the Meshes and the Camera View

Step 1

Change the Current View to Front. Then select the tabs of both shape meshes, click the Coordinates icon at the top of the Properties panel, and change the X Rotation Angle value to 90.

Go to 3D > Move Object to Ground Plane. Pick the Move Tool, and use the 3D Axis to place the smaller mesh on top of the bigger one.

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.

Move Meshes

Step 2

Go back to the Default Camera view, select the Current View tab, and use the Move Tool Modes to change the camera angle to get a top view.

Select both text meshes and scale them down. Then zoom in the Current View. Repeat that until the text fills the document, and no empty sides are showing.

Scale and Zoom

Step 3

Once you're happy with the result, select both text meshes, and go to 3D > Move Object to Ground Plane.

Final Camera View

6. Creating the Cork Material

Step 1

Make the top text (copy 2) mesh invisible. Select all the original text mesh material tabs, and set the Shine value to 80%.

Material Settings

Step 2

Select the Front Inflation Material tab, and then click the Diffuse texture icon and choose Replace Texture.

Replace Texture

Step 3

Load the Cork texture image you created earlier using the Filter Forge filter.

Load the Cork Texture

Step 4

Click the Diffuse texture icon again and choose Edit UV Properties.

Edit UV Properties

Step 5

You'll need to adjust the values until you like how the texture looks.

UV Properties

Step 6

Click the Bump folder icon, and then choose the Cork texture again.

Bump Texture

Step 7

Edit the UV Properties for the Bump texture so that their values match the Diffuse textures values.

Bump UV Properties

Step 8

Select the Front Bevel Material tab, load the Cork texture for both the Diffuse and the Bump, and then Edit the UV Properties using values that look good for the bevel parts.

You can also increase the Bump value to 30%.

Bevel Materials

Step 9

Repeat the same steps to create the Extrusion Material. Keep in mind that the UV values don't have to match for all the materials. Each part needs its own UV values.

For this tutorial, the Scale values for the Extrusion Material are 2% for the U/X, and 400% for the V/Y.

Also, you need a much bigger Bump value for the Extrusion. The value used here is 70%.

Finally, match the Back Inflation Material to the Top Inflation Material, and the Back Bevel Material to the Top Bevel Material.

Extrusion Bump

7. Creating the Plastic Top Material

Step 1

Make the top text mesh visible, and select its Front Inflation Material tab. Then click the Diffuse texture icon, and choose Edit Texture.

Edit Texture

Step 2

This will open the original shape layer's document. Duplicate the shape layer, and change the original's color to #e3e7e7.

Pick the Direct Selection Tool. Make sure that the original shape layer is selected, and then click and drag to select the part that you don't want to have a light color.

In this case, the word White will be in Black, as well as half of the &, and the word Black will be in White, along with the other half of the &.

So we'll need to remove the word White and the black half of the & for the light shape's layer, and remove the word Black with the white half of the & from the dark shape layer.

Once you've selected the parts, hit the Delete key to remove them.

Coloring the Texture

Step 3

Some areas can't be selected with one click and drag, so you can just click and drag where possible, and then click and delete the rest of the anchor points.

Delete Anchor Points

Step 4

Once you're done, go to File > Save to save the changes, and update the original document.

Then go to File > Close to close the texture's document and go back to the 3D one.

Save and Close

This will update the coloring of the Front Inflation, Front Bevel, Back Inflation, and Back Bevel Material textures.

Updated Texture

Step 5

Select the Extrusion Material tab, click its Diffuse texture icon, and choose Edit Texture.

This one is trickier. First, you need to use the Rectangle Tool to create three rectangles that fill the whole document vertically and cover it horizontally.

The two side rectangles should have a light color, and the one in the middle should be black.

What you'll need to do after that is save the document, make sure not to close it, and then go back to the 3D document to check the changes.

According to the result you get, you'll need to reposition the rectangles in the texture's document, save it, and check again, until the Extrusion Material has the same coloring as the Front Inflation Material.

Extrusion Texture

Step 6

Once the black and white areas of both the Front and Extrusion materials match, you can close the Extrusion Material texture file.

Matching the Coloring

Step 7

Select all the top text mesh material tabs, and change the settings as shown below.

The color values used in RGB are:

  • Specular: 207, 209, 209
  • Illumination: 0, 0, 0
  • Ambient: 0, 0, 0
Material Settings

8. Creating the Ground Material and Adjusting the Lighting

Step 1

Click the Layer 1 Material tab, and Remove both its Diffuse and Opacity textures.

Change the rest of the settings as shown below.

The color values used in RGB are:

  • Diffuse: 236, 236, 235
  • Specular: 0, 0, 0
  • Illumination: 0, 0, 0
  • Ambient: 0, 0, 0
Layer 1 Material Settings

Step 2

Click the Infinite Light 1 tab and change its color to 252, 252, 249, its Intensity to 25%, and its Shadow Softness to 30%.

Infinite Light 1 Settings

Step 3

You can then use the Move Tool to change the position of the light, or click the Coordinates icon and type in Angle values.

Position Infinite Light

Step 4

Click the Add new Light to Scene icon at the bottom of the 3D panel and choose New Point Light.

Add Point Light

Step 5

Place the light on top of the text, and then change its color to 244, 242, 235, its Intensity to 60%, and its Shadow Softness to 30%.

Check the Light Falloff box, and change the Inner and Outer values depending on how you'd like the light to fade out.

Point Light Settings

9. Rendering the 3D Scene and Adding a Gradient Map Adjustment Layer

Step 1

Go to 3D > Render. The rendering might take a while, but you can stop it any time by pressing the Esc key.

Render Scene

Step 2

Once the rendering is done, click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose Gradient Map.

Gradient Map

Step 3

Create the Gradient fill using the colors #8f8e8e on the sides and #ebeaea in the middle. Change the adjustment layer's Blend Mode to Multiply and its Opacity to 20%.

Adjustment Layer Settings

Congratulations! You're Done

In this tutorial, we created a piece of text, converted it into a shape, and used the Line Tool to remove some parts of it in order to get the mosaic shape.

Then we created 3D meshes from the different layers we had, merged them in one scene, and placed them after changing the camera view.

We modified the settings of those 3D meshes, and created the different materials and textures needed to achieve the cork and plastic materials.

Finally, we worked on the lighting, rendered the scene, and added an adjustment layer to finish off the effect.

Please feel free to leave your comments, suggestions, and outcomes below.

About Filter Forge

Filter Forge is a powerful third-party plugin that allows you to apply over 11,000 amazing textures and effects to your images, and even create your own. To learn more about Filter Forge, you can download the trial version of the software, or check out their filter gallery.

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