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Create a "Sports Center" Style 3D Text Effect in Photoshop

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If you have ever watched a sporting event on television, you have probably noticed some of the 3D graphics that television networks use during the programming. In this tutorial, I will show you how to create your own "Sports Center" inspired graphics using Photoshop CS6's 3D capabilities combined with Filter Forge. In the process, we will show you how to use several tools including basic shapes, gradients, patterns, and textures. Let's get started!


Tutorial Assets

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


Downloading Filter Forge and the Filters Used

First, you need to download Filter Forge from the plugin's website. Once you download it, run the .exe file, and that's it! It will be added inside Photoshop under the Filter menu. Super easy to install.

To add the filters, click each filter's link under the "Tutorial Assets" section, then click the "Open this filter in Filter Forge" button to install it. If you get a message asking you to confirm, just click Yes or OK. The Filter will then be added to the other filters you have.


1. Creating the Shapes

For each of the circle shapes that will be created next, you will need to change the Fill value, the Stroke width, the Stroke color, and/or the Align type.

The Align type can be found down the Set shape stroke type menu, and it's either Inside, Center, or Outside.

Step 1

Create a new 1000 x 1000 px document, and fill the Background with Black.

Pick the Ellipse Tool and set the Fill color to #4e4e4e. Press and hold the Shift key then click and drag to create a 570 x 570 px circle.

Rename the shape layer to 1. The naming is essential, as it will be used throughout the tutorial.

Step 2

Duplicate the shape layer, rename the copy to 2,  then change the its Fill to None, the Stroke Color to #707070, its Width to 10 pt, and the Align type to Inside.

Step 3

Create a new 950 x 950 px circle and rename its layer to 3. Change its Fill to None, its Stroke Color to #636363, its Width to 10 pt, and the Align type to Outside.

Step 4

Create a new 750 x 750 px circle and rename its layer to 4. Change its Fill to None, its Stroke Color to #ffffff, its Width to 100 pt, and the Align type to Outside.

Step 5

Duplicate the previous shape layer, rename it to 5, change the Stroke Color to #7d7d7d, its Width to 10 pt, and the Align type to Inside.

Step 6

Create a new 650 x 650 px circle and rename its layer to 6. Change its Fill to None, its Stroke Color to #363636, its Width to 80 pt, and the Align type to Center.

Step 7

Duplicate layer 5, drag it on top of all the layers and rename it to 7. Then, change its Stroke Width to 100 pt and its Align type to Inside.


2. Creating the Basic Text Shape

Step 1

Create the text in the center of the shapes using the font Mister Belvedere, the Color #8c8c8c, and the Size 550 pt.

Step 2

Go to Type > Convert to Shape to turn the Type Layer into a Shape Layer.

Step 3

Duplicate the text shape layer, then change the copy's color to #ffffff.


3. Creating the Outer Parts of the Text Shape

Step 1

Select the Rectangle Tool, and set the Foreground Color to #8c8c8c. Click and drag to create a rectangle on a part of one of the text edges.

Step 2

In the Options bar, click the Combine Shapes icon. Then create some more rectangles around the text you have. Those will be the parts where the text will be separated.

Step 3

Click the Direct Selection Tool, then select the two inner anchor points of the first rectangle. Go to Edit > Free Transform, press and hold the Alt/Option key, and click and drag the top side to push the selected points inside.

Hit the Enter/Return key to accept the changes.

Step 4

Do the same for any other rectangles you like.

Step 5

Once you're happy with the shape, go to Edit > Define Custom Shape, and type in a name for the shape. You can then delete the outer shapes layer.


4. Modifying the Final Text Shape

Step 1

Select the Custom Shape Tool, then scroll down the picker in the Options bar to choose the shape you defined in the previous step.

Step 2

Click the Subtract Front Shape icon in the Options bar, then click the Geometry Settings icon, and click the Defined Size radio button. This will help you create the shape in the same exact dimensions it was originally defined in with only one click.

Step 3

With the copy text shape layer selected, click and drag to move the shape where it's supposed to be, and release to subtract it from the text shape you have.

Step 4

Select the original text shape layer, click the Intersect Shape Areas icon in the Options bar, and click and drag to place the shape where the removed parts are, then release. This will give you the outer parts only.

Step 5

Select each of the text shape layers, then click the Path Operations icon in the Options bar and click the Merge Shape Components option to remove the extra parts.


5. Creating the Line Shapes

Step 1

Pick the Line Tool, and set the Weight in the Options bar to 3 px. Then press and hold the Shift key, and click and drag from the middle top of the document to the bottom to create a straight line there.

Step 2

Duplicate the line shape layer, go to Edit > Transform > Rotate, press and hold the Shift key to rotate the line in 15° increments, and rotate the line 45° CW. Hit Enter/Return when done to accept the changes.

Step 3

Duplicate the rotated line's layer, and rotate it another 45° CW, then duplicate that layer and rotate the copy one more time to get the result shown below.


6. Extruding the Shape Layers and Using the 3D Panels

Step 1

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

Step 2

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 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 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 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. Modifying the Shapes' Mesh Settings

For each of the meshes you have, you'll need to select its name in the 3D Panel, then change some of its settings in the Properties Panel.

Step 1

  • Mesh: 1
  • Extrusion Depth: 100

Step 2

  • Mesh: 2
  • Extrusion Depth: 30

Step 3

Click the Cap icon at the top of the Properties Panel, change the Bevel Width to 5%, and the Contour to Half Round.

Step 4

  • Mesh: 3
  • Extrusion Depth: 50

Step 5

  • Bevel Width: 10%
  • Contour: Half Round

Step 6

  • Mesh: 4
  • Extrusion Depth: 30

Step 7

  • Bevel Width: 20%
  • Contour: Cone

Step 8

  • Mesh: 5
  • Extrusion Depth: 30

Step 9

  • Bevel Width: 15%
  • Contour: Half Round

Step 10

  • Mesh: 6
  • Extrusion Depth: 30

Step 11

  • Bevel Width: 5%
  • Contour: Half Round

Step 12

  • Mesh: 7
  • Extrusion Depth: 10

Step 13

  • Bevel Width: 10%
  • Contour: Half Round

8. Modifying the Text and Line Meshes' Settings

Step 1

Select both text meshes' names in the 3D Panel. Set Extrusion Depth to 100.

Step 2

  • Bevel Width: 7%
  • Contour: Half Round

Step 3

Select all the line meshes' names. Set Extrusion Depth to 5.


9. Creating the Bump Texture

The Bump texture will be used to create an illusion of the dividers separating the sections of the circles (rings) around the text. The white parts of the Bump texture will result in raised areas, while the black parts will result in flatter ones.

Step 1

Create a new 2000 x 2000 px document. Pick the Line Tool, set the Weight to 10, then create a straight vertical line in the middle of the document from its center to a bit out of its top edge.

Step 2

Double click the line shape layer to apply a Gradient Overlay effect, by using a White to Black gradient fill, then changing the Style to Reflected, the Angle to 0, and the Scale to 90%.

Step 3

Go to Layer > Rasterize > Layer Style.

Step 4

Duplicate the rasterized layer, then go to Edit > Transform > Rotate. In the Options bar, set the Reference point location to bottom center, then rotate the line any amount you like CW. Hit Enter/Return to accept the changes.

Step 5

Keep repeating that process until you have a number of lines you like. When you're done, select all the line layers you have, and go to Layer > Merge Layers. Save this file but keep it open as we'll be duplicating the merged layer into a couple of different material textures next.

(This will be referred to as the Bump texture/layer throughout the rest of this tutorial.)


10. Creating the Materials: Mesh 1

Before you start working on the different materials, make sure to load the METALS.grd file from the gradients pack in the Assets section.

Step 1

Click mesh 1's Front Inflation Material tab in the 3D Panel. Then, click the Diffuse texture icon in the Properties Panel and choose Edit Texture.

Step 2

This will open the material's file which contains the shape layer. Double click the shape layer to apply a Gradient Overlay effect using the Brass Bz 11 gradient, and change the Style to Radial.

Step 3

Save the changes (File > Save) and close the file (File > Close) to go back to the original document.

Step 4

Change the Shine value to 90% and the Reflection to 30%.

Step 5

Select the Opacity folder icon and choose New Texture.

Step 6

Create a new 1000 x 1000 px document.

Step 7

Duplicate the Background layer.

Step 8

Double click the copy layer to apply a Pattern Overlay effect using the Basic Hex Mesh pattern from the Metal Mesh Patterns – Pack 1 file in the Assets section, and change the Scale to 25%.

Step 9

The White part will create transparent areas in the Front Inflation Material. Save the file and close it to go back to the 3D scene.

Step 10

Click the Opacity texture icon and choose Edit UV Properties.

Step 11

Change both the U Scale and V Scale values to 100%, and the U Offset and V Offset to 0.

Step 12

Select the Front Bevel, Extrusion, Back Bevel, and Back Inflation Materials, then change the Shine value to 80%, and the Reflection to 10%.

Step 13

Select the Extrusion Material, click its Diffuse texture icon and choose Edit Texture. Then, fill the texture's document with the color #543809, save it, and close it.


11. Creating the Materials: Mesh 2

Step 1

Click mesh 2's Front Inflation Material, then click its Diffuse texture icon and choose Edit Texture. When the file opens, pick any Shape Tool to get the shape settings in the Options bar.

Click the Set shape stroke type icon, choose the Gradient fill, use the Gold 14k - L gradient, select Reflected from the Style drop down menu, and change the Angle to 45.

Step 2

Double click the shape layer to apply a Pattern Overlay effect. Change the Blend Mode to Linear Light, and choose the 3px tile pattern.

Step 3

This will add a subtle texture to the stroke so that it looks a bit more detailed. Save the file and close it.

Step 4

Click the Environment folder icon, and choose New Texture. Set the texture's Width and Height values to 1000, then click the Environment texture icon and choose Edit Texture.

Step 5

In the texture's file, go to Filter > Filter Forge > Filter Forge 3. Then, under the Misc category, choose the Sci-Fi Mega Metal 1 filter. Click the filter's Settings tab, change the Size, pixels value to 500, check the Seamless Tiling box, and click the Apply button.

Step 6

This will create a high-contrast texture with chrome-like detailing. It will be great as an Environment texture, as it will create some nicely detailed reflections. Save this file but don't close it. We'll be duplicating the texture's layer instead of recreating it for some other materials.

Step 7

Back to the original document, select all the mesh 2 material tabs, then change the Shine value to 70%, and the Reflection to 30%.

Open the Extrusion Material's Diffuse texture, fill it with the color #736357, then save it and close it.


12. Creating the Materials: Mesh 3

Step 1

Open the mesh 3 Front Inflation Material's texture, use the Steel Helmet gradient for the stroke, change the Style to Reflected and the Angle to 45.

Step 2

Apply a Pattern Overlay effect by changing the Blend Mode to Linear Light and using the 3px tile pattern.

Step 3

Save the file and close it.

Step 4

Select all the mesh 3 material tabs, change the Shine value to 70% and the Reflection to 30%.

Fill the Extrusion Material's Diffuse texture with the color #515151, save and close it.

Create the Front Inflation Material's Environment texture just like you did in the previous step, except this time you can duplicate the sci-fi texture from the mesh 2 Inflation Material's Environment texture file instead of re-applying the Filter Forge filter.


13. Creating the Materials: Mesh 4

Step 1

Use the Bronze Bz88 gradient for the mesh 4 Front Inflation Material's Diffuse texture.

Step 2

Apply a Pattern Overlay effect by changing the Blend Mode to Color Burn and using the Stucco pattern.

Step 3

This is what you should get.

Step 4

Duplicate the Bump texture/layer you created earlier in the tutorial, and place it in the center of the stroke you just modified, then change the Bump layer's Blend Mode to Soft Light. Save the file but don't close it yet.

Step 5

Back to the mesh 4 Front Inflation Material, change the Shine to 85% and the Reflection to 30%. Then create the same Environment texture.

Click the Bump folder icon, choose New Texture, set the Width and Height values to 1000, click the Bump texture icon, and choose Edit Texture.

Step 6

Duplicate the Bump layer you added on top of the mesh 4 Front Inflation Material's Diffuse texture to the file you created, and change the duplicated layer's Blend Mode back to Normal. Save and close this file and the Front Inflation Material's Diffuse file as well.

Step 7

Select the rest of the mesh 4 material tabs, change the Shine to 85% and the Reflection to 10%. Then fill the Extrusion Material's Diffuse texture with the color #2a1a15.


14. Creating the Materials: Mesh 5

Step 1

Use the stove pipe 185x gradient for the stroke, with the Scale value set to 200%.

Step 2

For the Pattern Overlay effect, change the Blend Mode to Linear Burn, and use the White Carbonfiber pattern.

Step 3

Save and close the file.

Step 4

Select all the mesh 5 material tabs, change the Shine to 80% and the Reflection to 20%.

Fill the Extrusion Material's Diffuse texture with the color #432d0d.


15. Creating the Materials: Mesh 6

Step 1

Use the Brass Bz 11 gradient for the stroke, change the Style to Radial, and the Scale to 170%.

Step 2

For the Pattern Overlay effect, change the Blend Mode to Linear Burn, and use the Light aluminum pattern.

Step 3

Don't close the file yet.

Step 4

Duplicate the Bump texture on top of the shape stroke layer you're working on, change its layer's Blend Mode to Multiply, and place it in the center of the stroke.

Save this file, go back to the original document, create a Front Inflation Material Bump texture like you did before, then duplicate the Bump layer from the mesh 6 Front Inflation Diffuse texture to the Bump one you created, and change the Bump texture layer's Blend Mode back to Normal. Save and close both files.

Step 5

Create the Front Inflation Environment texture as well, but for this one, go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation. Check the Colorize box, change the Hue to 35 and the Saturation to 50. Then save and close the file.

Step 6

Change the mesh 6 Environment texture's U Scale to 300%, and its U Offset to 50.5%.

Step 7

Select all the mesh 6 material tabs, change the Shine to 90% and the Reflection to 50%.

Fill the Extrusion Material's Diffuse texture with the color #543809.


16. Creating the Materials: Mesh 7

Step 1

Use the Bronze Bz66 gradient for the stroke.

Step 2

For the Pattern Overlay effect, change the Blend Mode to Multiply, and use the Felt pattern.

Step 3

Keep the file open.

Step 4

Duplicate the Bump texture, change its layer's Blend Mode to Multiply, and place it in the center of the stroke. To create some variation, you can go to Edit > Transform > Rotate, and rotate the Bump texture as you like, then hit Enter/Return to accept the changes.

Save this file, go back to the original document, create a Front Inflation Bump texture like you did before, then duplicate the Bump layer from the mesh 7 Front Inflation Diffuse texture to the Bump one you created, and change the Bump layer's Blend Mode back to Normal. Save and close both files.

Step 5

Create an Environment texture with the same dimensions used before (1000 x 1000), then open Filter Forge again. This time, choose the second preset of the same Sci-Fi filter to create the texture, and click Apply.

Step 6

Next, change the Environment texture's U Scale to 1000% and V Scale to 200%.

Step 7

Select all the mesh 7 material tabs, change the Shine to 90% and the Reflection to 30%.

Fill the Extrusion Material's Diffuse texture with the color #1c100c.


17. Creating the Materials: Text and Lines' Materials

Step 1

For each text mesh name, open its Front Inflation Diffuse texture, then double click the shape layer's thumbnail to change its Fill color to #9e9e9e.

Place the Metallic Texture 06 image on top of the shape layer, change its layer's Blend Mode to Linear Burn, go to Image > Adjustments > Desaturate, and then go to Layer > Create Clipping Mask. After you create the clipping mask, you can use the Move Tool to move the texture around as you like inside the shape you have.

When done, save and close the file.

Step 2

Then, select all the text shape mesh material tabs, change the Shine to 85% and the Reflection to 15%.

Step 3

Fill the Extrusion Material's Diffuse texture with the color #ffb94a, and change its Illumination color to #9f6811.

Step 4

Select all the Lines' material tabs, change the Shine to 70%, the Reflection to 5, click the Diffuse texture icon and choose Remove Texture, then change its color to #aba08d.


18. Moving the Meshes and Changing the Camera View

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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

Step 3

When you're done, choose a Camera View you like, so that you can move on to the lighting and rendering.


19. Modifying the Meshes

Step 1

If after placing the meshes and choosing the final Camera View you feel like some of the meshes need any adjusting, you can select the mesh name in the 3D Panel, then click the Edit Source button in the Properties Panel.

Step 2

When the original shape file opens, you can perform the needed changes. Here, the Stroke Width of mesh 7 is changed to 50.

Step 3

Save and close the file, and the 3D Scene will be updated with the changes you made.


20. Adjusting the 3D Scene Lighting

Step 1

Select the Infinite Light 1 tab, change its Color to #fff8eb, and its Shadow Softness to 30%.

Step 2

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

Step 3

Change the Point Light's Color to #fff8eb, its Intensity to 200%, and its Shadow Softness to 30%. Then click the LightFalloff box, change the Inner value to 100 and the Outer value to 350.

Step 4

Using the Move Tool, or the Coordinates in the Properties Panel, move the Point Light near the center of the 3D Meshes you have until you like the lighting of the scene.

Step 5

When you're done modifying the scene, you can render it by going to 3D > Render. The rendering might take some time, but you can stop it any time by pressing the Esc key.


21. Modifying the Colors of the Rendered Scene

Step 1

Click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon down the Layers panel and choose Gradient Map.

Step 2

Use the Bronze Bz77 gradient, and change the adjustment layer's Blend Mode to Soft Light and its Opacity to 50%.

Step 3

Next, save the file as an image (.jpg), and open that image. Go to Filter Forge again, and choose the sixth preset from the 3 Way Color Correction filter under the Photo category.

Step 4

This will apply a nice color correction to the image you have.


22. Adding the Flares

Step 1

Open the Lens Flare 2 image, then go to Image > Canvas Size. Change the Height value to match the Width value, set the Canvas extension color to Black, and click OK.

Step 2

Go to Filter > Distort > Polar Coordinates, choose the Rectangle to Polar option, and click Ok.

Step 3

Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation, check the Colorize box, change the Hue to 30 and the Saturation to 50.

Step 4

Duplicate the modified flare layer on top of the original image, and change its layer's Blend Mode to Linear Dodge (Add).

Step 5

Go to Edit > Free Transform, then resize, rotate, and move the flare around until you like how it looks, and hit Enter/Return to accept the changes.

Step 6

Open the Optical Flare(157) image, change its Canvas Size so that the Height matches the Width, and apply the Polar Coordinates filter as you did previously. Then go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation, check the Colorize box, and change the Hue to 185.

Step 7

Go to Image > Image Rotation > Flip Canvas Vertical to flip the image upside down.

Step 8

Place the second flare's layer on top of the other layers, change its Blend Mode to Linear Dodge (Add), and free transform it as you like.

Step 9

Open the LED Lens Flare Render image, change its Canvas Size and apply the Polar Coordinates filter again, then go to Image > Adjustments > Levels.

Click the Sample in image to set black point icon, then click somewhere near the flare to convert all points darker than the one you clicked to black. This will help with the Blend Mode change next.

Step 10

Flip this image vertically by going to Image > Image Rotation > Flip Canvas Vertical.

Step 11

Again, place the third flare's layer on top of the other layers, change its Blend Mode to Linear Dodge (Add), and free transform it as you like.


Congratulations! You're done.

In this tutorial, we created some ellipses and lines, along with text-based shapes, and converted them to 3D meshes to create the basic design.

Then, we modified the Extrusion Depth and Cap values. After that, some bump, opacity, and environment textures were created and used in the different materials of the 3D meshes, as well as some shape stroke settings including gradient fills and pattern overlay effects.

The meshes were placed, the final camera view was modified, and the lighting was adjusted to render the 3D scene. Two Filter Forge filters were used in the creation of the Environment textures and in the color correction of the rendered 3D scene, to enhance the final outcome.

And to add an extra touch, and make the result more vibrant, a couple of lens flare images were modified and added to the final image.

I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial. Please feel free to leave your comments, suggestions, and outcomes below.

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