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How to Create a Stylish Black and Gold 3D Text Effect in Photoshop

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What You'll Be Creating

Adobe Photoshop's vector and 3D capabilities are a powerful combination, and can be used to create some fun and amazing 3D effects. In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a stylish black and gold 3D text effect using vector shapes, 3D meshes and materials. Let's get started!

Tutorial Assets

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

1. Create the Background and Text Shape

Step 1

Create a new 1500 by 1250 px document, and fill the Background with the color #DBDBDB.

Step 2

Create the text in all caps using the color #6d6d6d, the font Sans Serif Exb FLF, and the font Size set to 370 pt. Set the Leading value to 200, the Kerning to Optical, and the Tracking to 50.

Step 3

Go to Type > Convert to Shape, to convert the text layer into a shape layer.

2. Adjust the Letters

Step 1

Pick the Path Selection Tool, then click each letter to select it, and drag it to move it around, or use the arrow keys to do so.

Step 2

Follow the same steps to place all the letters as you like in the document.

3. Create the Outer Stroke

Step 1

Duplicate the text shape layer, and rename the copy to Stroke.

Step 2

With the Path Selection Tool still selected, in the Options bar, change the Fill to None, and the Stroke Width to 5 pt. Then, click the Set shape stroke type icon, change the Align to Outside, and click the More Options button.

Step 3

Change the rest of the options as shown below:

4. Create the Glass Shelves

Step 1

Pick the Rounded Rectangle Tool, make sure that the Shape option is active in the Options bar, then set the Radius to 1, and click the Geometry Options icon. Choose the Fixed Size option, and type in 90 for the Width and 10 for the Height.

Create a new layer on top of the Stroke layer, call it Glass, then click and drag to place a rounded rectangle right below the first letter's stroke.

Step 2

Use a darker color for the rounded rectangle shape, and select the Combine Shapes icon in the Options bar.

Step 3

Start adding rounded rectangles for the rest of the letters.

Step 4

Once you're done, duplicate the original text shape's layer, and rename the copy to Stay Cool Back.

5. Create the 3D Shapes

Step 1

For each shape layer you have, select it, then go to 3D > New 3D Extrusion from Selected Path. This will convert the shape layers into 3D ones.

Step 2

Duplicate the Background layer twice, drag the copy layers to the top of the Layers panel, and rename them to Wall and Ground.

Step 3

For each of the two layers, select it then go to 3D > New Mesh from Layer > Postcard.

6. Manipulate the 3D Scene

Step 1

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.

Step 2

For the Ground layer, select its mesh name in the 3D panel, then, in the Properties panel, click the Coordinates icon at the top, and change the X-Rotation value to 90. This will rotate the plane 90° so that it is perpendicular to the Wall plane.

Step 3

Select all the 3D layers you have, then go to 3D > Merge 3D Layers. This will place all the 3D meshes in one scene.

Step 4

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). So with the Current View tab in the 3D panel selected, you can click and drag to change the Camera View you have.

7. Modify the Meshes

Step 1

Select both the original text and the back mesh names in the 3D panel, then change their Extrusion Depth value to 20.

Step 2

Select the original text mesh name, click the Cap icon in the Properties panel, choose the Front side from the Sides drop down menu, then change the Bevel Width to 10, the Contour to Rolling Slope - Descending, and the Inflate Angle to -45.

Step 3

For the Back mesh, choose the Back side from the Sides drop down menu, change the Bevel Width to 10, the Contour to Rolling Slope - Descending, and the Inflate Angle to 45.

Step 4

Change the Stroke mesh Extrusion Depth to 150.

Step 5

Then change its Bevel Width to 10, and the Contour to Half Round.

Step 6

For the Glass mesh, leave the Extrusion Depth at 481.

Step 7

And just change the Bevel Width to 10.

Step 8

Finally, for both plane layers, un-check the Cast Shadows box.

8. Create the Materials

Step 1

Select the Front Inflation Material tab for the original text mesh, and the Back Inflation Material tab for the Back text mesh. Then, click the Diffuse texture icon, and choose Remove Texture. You'll need to do that for all the other materials as well when you modify them.

Step 2

Change the rest of the Settings as shown below:

  • Diffuse: #575757
  • Specular: #606060
  • Illumination: #000000
  • Ambient: #000000

Step 3

Select the Font Bevel, Extrusion, and Back Bevel material tabs for both the original and Back text meshes as well, and change their Settings as shown below:

  • Diffuse: #d4d4d4
  • Specular: #67666b
  • Illumination: #080808
  • Ambient: #000000

Step 4

Select the Back Inflation Material tab for the original text mesh, and the Front Inflation Material tab for the Back text mesh, and change the Settings as shown below:

  • Diffuse: #b4b4b4
  • Specular: #65666a
  • Illumination: #080808
  • Ambient: #000000

Step 5

Select all the Stroke material tabs to change their Settings:

  • Diffuse: #a3671f
  • Specular: #cab171
  • Illumination: #080808
  • Ambient: #000000

Step 6

Select all the Glass material tabs to change their Settings:

  • Diffuse: #ffffff
  • Specular: #c2c2c2
  • Illumination: #080808
  • Ambient: #000000

Step 7

The Wall material Settings:

  • Diffuse: #DBDBDB
  • Specular: #a3a3a3
  • Illumination: #080808
  • Ambient: #000000

Step 8

The Ground material Settings:

  • Diffuse: #d4d4d4
  • Specular: #67666b
  • Illumination: #080808
  • Ambient: #000000

Step 9

Pick the Move Tool, and use the 3D Axis to move the meshes and place them as you like in the Scene. 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 on.

You can also change the Camera View if needed to see how the meshes look from different angles.

9. Modify the Lights

Step 1

Select the Infinite Light 1 tab, then change its color to #bfb7ac, its Intensity to 30%, and its Shadow Softness to 20%.

Step 2

You can then use the Move Tool to move the light around in the scene as you like, or use the Coordinates values shown below.

Step 3

Click the Add new light to Scene icon down the 3D panel, and choose New Point Light.

Step 4

Change the Point Light's Intensity to 20%, and un-check its Shadow box.

Step 5

Place the Point Light behind the text, slightly to the top. You can use the Coordinates values used in this tutorial as well.

Step 6

Click the Environment tab in the 3D panel, then click the IBL texture icon in the Properties panel, and choose Replace Texture.

Step 7

Open the _aaalplplllpplpw2p1lpmlaqmmmklsi.jpg image from the Malleable Metal Patterns pack, then change the Intensity value to 50%.

10. Adjust the Meshes and Render

Step 1

Click the Back mesh name, then move it to the back so that it shows from behind the golden bars.

Step 2

You can then select a mesh or a couple of meshes and move them around in the scene, as well as change the camera view until you like the result you get.

Step 3

Make sure that the Ground mesh is not below the scene's original Ground Plane, then go to 3D > Render. The rendering might take some time, but you can stop it anytime be pressing the Esc key.

11. Adjust the Colors

Step 1

Once the rendering is done, make sure to save the file.

Step 2

Go to Select > All, then Edit > Copy, and Edit > Paste.

Step 3

Change the pasted Layer's Blend Mode to Soft Light, and its Opacity to 35%. This will make the final result look more vivid and vibrant.

Congratulations! You're done.

In this tutorial, I showed you how to create a text layer, convert it into a shape layer, and then how to re-position the letters on your canvas. After that, I showed you how to duplicate those letters to create an outer stoke. A few rectangles were added to create the shelves for the letters.

Once that was done, I then showed you how to convert those shapes into 3D objects, apply materials to them, and finally how to light and render the scene. I hope that you found this tutorial helpful and can use the techniques that you learned in a project of your own. Please feel free to share your results in the comments below.