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Create a Dark Text Effect, Using 3D Extrude & Bevel

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Gift

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In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a dark 3D text effect. This tutorial uses many different vector techniques including the Appearance Panel, Transparency Settings, Patterns and more. Let's begin!


Step 1

Press Command + N to create a new document. Enter 600 in the width box and 300 in the height box then click on the Advanced button. Select RGB, Screen (72ppi) and make sure that the "Align New Objects to Pixel Grid" box is unchecked before your click OK.


Step 2

Let's start with the background. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a shape the size of your artboard and fill it the radial gradient shown in the following image. The white numbers from the gradient image stand for location percentage. Make sure that this new shape stays selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill using the Add New Fill button. Select this new fill from the Appearance panel, make it black, lower its opacity to 10%, change the blending mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the data shown below and click OK.

Keep focusing on the Appearance panel and add a third fill for this rectangle. You will need a built-in pattern for this new fill. Go to the Swatches panel, open the fly-out menu and go to Open Swatch Library > Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Textures. A new window with a set of built-in patterns should open. Reselect your rectangle, focus on the Appearance panel, select that third fill and add the "USGS 19 Land Inundation" pattern. Move to the Layers panel and simply lock this rectangle.


Step 3

Pick the Type Tool (T), add your "vector tuts" text and set its color at R=209 G=211 B=212. Use the Hybrid Bold font, set the style at Bold and the size at 100pt. Also, align this text using the "Align Center" button from the Paragraph panel.


Step 4

Reselect the text and go to Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel. Enter the data shown in the following image, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 5

Move to the Layers panel, drill into the group created in the previous step and find the subgroup with all the shapes that make up the first letter, the "v". Find the two subgroups that contain the "v" shapes (pointed by the blue arrow in the following image), ungroup them (Shift + Control + G) and drag them outside the main group, into the top of the Layers panel. Return to that subgroup and delete the rest of the shapes that make up your "v" shape. In the end you should only have the two "v" shapes (image #2). Fill the one in front with R=181 G=183 B=184 and the one in back with black.


Step 6

Keep focusing on the Layers panel and repeat the technique mentioned in the previous step for the rest of the letters. Once you're done, name your shapes as shown in the following image. It'll be easier for your to find them when you need them. Also, make sure that your letters are ordered as shown in the Layers panel in the following image.


Step 7

Reselect all the black letter shapes and duplicate them (Control + C > Control + F). Select these copies and turn them into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make). Select it and send it to back (Shift + Control + Left Square Bracket ). You'll need this path for the final steps. Now, focus on the top letter shapes. Start with the top word and fill those letter shapes with the linear gradient shown in the second image. Move to the bottom word, select the letter shapes and fill them with the linear gradient shown in the third image.


Step 8

Focus on the "v" shapes. Select the top "v" and make a copy in back (Control + C > Control + B). Move to the Layers panel, select this copy along with the black "v" and Press Alt + Control + B. This will add a nice blend for these two shapes. Next, you need to edit. Select it and go to Object > Blend > Blend Options. Select "Specified Steps" from the Spacing drop down menu, enter "250" in the white box then Press Enter. In the end your blend should look a little bit smoother.


Step 9

Focus on the rest of the shapes and repeat the techniques mentioned in the previous step. When you're done select all these blends and group (Control + G). Move to the Layers panel and drag this new group right above the "background" rectangle. Also, lock it.


Step 10

Go to Edit > Preferences > General and make sure that the Keyboard Increment is set at 1px. Reselect the top "v" shape and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 1px down using the down arrow. Reselect both copies, open the Pathfinder panel and click on the Minus Front button. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower its opacity to 25% and change the blending mode to Multiply.


Step 11

Reselect the top "v" shape and make two new copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 2px down. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=151 G=151 B=151, lower its opacity to 25% and change the blending mode to Multiply.


Step 12

Focus on the rest of the top letter shapes and repeat the techniques mentioned in the last two steps.


Step 13

Move to the bottom letter shapes and use the techniques mentioned in steps #10 and #11 but move the copies up instead of down.


Step 14

Return to the "v" shape and make a new copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Fill it with the radial gradient shown in the following image, lower its opacity to 40% and change the blending mode to Overlay.


Step 15

Reselect the top "v" shape and make two new copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 1px to the left. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Turn the resulting group of shape into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make), fill it with white, lower its opacity to 60% and change the blending mode to Overlay.


Step 16

Split your letters into two groups. The left and the right group. Focus on the rest of the shapes from the left group and repeat the techniques mentioned in the last two steps.


Step 17

Move to the shapes from the right group, repeat the techniques mentioned in steps #14 and #15 but move that copy to the right instead of left.


Step 18

Move to the Layers panel, reselect the letter shapes and turn them into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make). Make sure that you select the original shapes (filled with the linear gradient), not the copies created a few steps ago (filled with the radial gradient). Fill this new compound path with white, send it to back (Shift + Control + Left Square Bracket ) and name it "vectortuts".


Step 19

Reselect "vectortuts" and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Pick the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 250 by 40px shape and place it as shown in the second image. Select it along with the copy created in the beginning of the step and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Turn the resulting group of shapes into a compound path, fill it with the linear gradient shown in the following image and lower its opacity to 30%.


Step 20

Reselect "vectortuts" and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Pick the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 520 by 50px shape and place it as shown in the second image. Select it along with the copy created in the beginning of the step and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Turn the resulting group of shapes into a compound path, fill it with the linear gradient shown in the following image, lower its opacity to 25% and change the blending mode to Overlay.


Step 21

Reselect "vectortuts" and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Pick the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 520 by 50px shape and place it as shown in the second image. Select it along with the copy created in the beginning of the step and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Turn the resulting group of shapes into a compound path, fill it with the linear gradient shown in the following image, lower its opacity to 50% and change the blending mode to Overlay.


Step 22

Reselect "vectortuts", make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F) and bring it to front (Shift + Control + Right Square Bracket ). Select this new shape and focus on the Appearance panel. Remove the color from the fill and add a white stroke. Select it, make it 3pt wide, align it to inside and lower its opacity to 5%. Keep focusing on the Appearance panel and add two new, white strokes for this shape using the Add New Stroke button. Select the bottom one, make it 2pt wide, align it to inside and lower its opacity to 5%. Select the top one, make it 1pt wide, align to inside and lower its opacity to 5%.


Step 23

Return to the group with the blend and unlock it. Select the first blend, make a copy in front and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select the resulting group of shapes and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel.


Step 24

Move to the rest of the blends and repeat the techniques mentioned in the previous step. Select all these shapes along with the one created in the previous step, unite them using the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel then turn them into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make). Fill it with white and bring it to front (Shift + Control + Right Square Bracket ).


Step 25

Reselect the compound path created in the previous step and make three copies in back. Move to the Layers panel, select the top copy, move it 1px up, fill it with black and lower its opacity to 10%. Select the middle copy, move it 4px up, fill it with black and lower its opacity to 10%. Select the bottom copy, move it 7px up, fill it with black and lower its opacity to 7%.


Step 26

Reselect the compound path created in the step #24 and make four copies in back. Move to the Layers panel, select the top copy, move it 1px down, fill it with black and lower its opacity to 30%. Keep focusing on the Layers panel, select the next copy, move it 4px down, fill it with black and lower its opacity to 10%. Select the third copy, move it 7px down, fill it with black and lower its opacity to 7%. Finally, select the bottom copy, move it 10px down, lower its opacity to 10% and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 3px radius and click OK.


Step 27

Reselect the compound path created in the step #24 and make three copies in back. Move to the Layers panel, select the top copy, move it 1px to the left, fill it with black and lower its opacity to 15%. Select the middle copy, move it 4px to the left, fill it with black and lower its opacity to 10%. Select the bottom copy, move it 7px to the left, fill it with black and lower its opacity to 7%.


Step 28

Reselect the compound path created in the step #24 and make three copies in back. Move to the Layers panel, select the top copy, move it 1px to the right, fill it with black and lower its opacity to 15%. Select the middle copy, move it 4px to the right, fill it with black and lower its opacity to 10%. Select the bottom copy, move it 7px to the right, fill it with black and lower its opacity to 7%.


Step 29

Select all the black shape shapes created in the last four steps and group them (Control + G). Move to the Layers panel and drag this new group right above the background shape.


Step 30

Reselect the compound path created in the step #24. Replace the white from the fill with black, lower its opacity to 30% and change the blending mode to Overlay.


Step 31

Reselect "vectortuts", make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F) and bring it to front (Shift + Control + Right Square Bracket ). Fill it with the linear gradient shown in the following image, lower its opacity to 50% and change the blending mode to Overlay.


Step 32

Reselect "vectortuts" and bring it to front (Shift + Control + Right Square Bracket ). Fill it with R=96 G=57 B=19 and change its blending mode to Color Burn. Select this shape and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F).


Step 33

Move to the Layers panel, select the black compound path created in the seventh step and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 4px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape, drag it right above the "background" shape then focus on the Appearance panel. First, fill it with the linear gradient shown in following image and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below and click OK. Next, add three black stokes for this shape. Align them to inside and lower their opacity to 30%. Make the top one 2pt wide, the middle one 3pt wide and the bottom one 4pt wide. Keep focusing on the Appearance panel and add a fourth stroke for this shape. Make it 1pt wide, align it to inside and set its color at R=10 G=10 B=10.


Step 34

Finally, if you prefer the darker version, you can easily remove (or turn of the visibility) for the two shapes created in step #32.


Conclusion

Now your work is done. Here is how it should look.

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