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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Text Effects

How to Create a 3D Hologram Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

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Read Time: 11 mins
This post is part of a series called Retro Text Effect Tutorials.
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Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

This tutorial will show you how to use Photoshop's filters, adjustment options, and layer styles to create a hologram-inspired texture, and use it along with the 3D tools and settings to create a 3D hologram text effect with a bit of a retro feel. Let's get started!

This text effect was inspired by the many Layer Styles available on GraphicRiver.

Tutorial Assets

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

1. How to Create a Gradient Background

Step 1

Create a new 1000 x 1000 px document, and double-click the Background layer to convert it to an editable layer.

Create the Background LayerCreate the Background LayerCreate the Background Layer

Step 2

Double-click the Layer 1 layer to apply a Gradient Overlay with these settings:

  • Check the Dither box
  • Use the Medium Spectrum gradient fill
Gradient OverlayGradient OverlayGradient Overlay

Step 3

Right-click the Layer 1 layer and choose Convert to Smart Object.

Convert to Smart ObjectConvert to Smart ObjectConvert to Smart Object

2. How to Create a Basic Hologram Texture

Step 1

Go to Filter > Liquify, and use the Forward Warp Tool to click-drag the gradient to mix its colors together.

Use a quite big brush tip, and make sure to fill any empty edges you get by dragging colors to them.

LiquifyLiquifyLiquify

Step 2

You can also adjust the other Properties you have to get a result you like. Click OK when you're done.

PropertiesPropertiesProperties

Step 3

Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation, and adjust the different Channel values to get a coloring you like.

Here, the Master, Reds, Yellows, and Magentas channels are modified as below:

HueSaturationHueSaturationHueSaturation

The aim is to get a bright hologram-like coloring.

Adjusted ColoringAdjusted ColoringAdjusted Coloring

Step 4

Go to Filter > Distort > Wave, and use these settings:

  • Number of Generators: 5
  • Wavelength:
    • Min. 105
    • Max. 221
  • Amplitude:
    • Min. 1
    • Max. 56
  • Scale:
    • Horiz. 100
    • Vert. 100
  • Type: Sine
  • Undefined Areas: Repeat Edge Pixels
Wave FilterWave FilterWave Filter

Step 5

Go to Filter > Blur > Surface Blur, and change the Radius to 3 and the Threshold to 255.

Surface BlurSurface BlurSurface Blur

Step 6

Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, and change the Radius to 10.

Gaussian BlurGaussian BlurGaussian Blur

3. How to Create Texture Overlays

Step 1

Duplicate the Layer 1 layer.

Duplicate the LayerDuplicate the LayerDuplicate the Layer

Step 2

Go to Edit > Transform > Rotate 90° Counter Clockwise.

Rotate 90 Counter ClockwiseRotate 90 Counter ClockwiseRotate 90 Counter Clockwise

Step 3

Change the copy layer's Blend Mode to Darken.

Blend ModeBlend ModeBlend Mode

Step 4

Create a new layer on top of all layers, name it Overlay, and press the Command-Option-Shift-E keys to create a stamp.

Convert the Overlay layer to a Smart Object.

Overlay LayerOverlay LayerOverlay Layer

Step 5

Go to Filter > Filter Gallery > Stylize > Glowing Edges and use these settings:

  • Edge Width: 6
  • Edge Brightness: 20
  • Smoothness: 15
Glowing EdgesGlowing EdgesGlowing Edges

Step 6

Change the Overlay layer's Blend Mode to Screen.

This will finish the main hologram texture, but because we'll be using it with a 3D text, we'll need to darken it some more first.

Blend ModeBlend ModeBlend Mode

4. How to Darken a Texture

Step 1

Click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose Selective Color.

Choose Whites from the Colors menu, and change the Black value to 100. Then choose Neutrals from the Colors menu to change its Black value to -15.

Selective ColorSelective ColorSelective Color

Step 2

Add a Levels adjustment layer, and use these Output Levels values:

Channel: Green

  • Shadows: 33
  • Highlights: 239

Channel: Blue

  • Shadows: 83
  • Highlights: 255
Levels Output LevelsLevels Output LevelsLevels Output Levels

Step 3

Create a new layer on top of all layers, name it Darken, create a stamp, and convert the layer to a Smart Object.

Darken LayerDarken LayerDarken Layer

Step 4

Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, and change the Radius to 35.

Gaussian BlurGaussian BlurGaussian Blur

Step 5

Go to Image > Adjustments > Levels, and change the Shadows value to 53 and the Gamma to 0.39.

Save this file with the name Holo Texture, and you can save an image copy of it if you like as well.

LevelsLevelsLevels

5. How to Create Background and Text Layers

Step 1

Create a new 1000 x 850px document, and add a Solid Color fill layer using the Color #b2b2b2.

Create a BackgroundCreate a BackgroundCreate a Background

Step 2

Create the first letter of your text using the font The Next Font, and change the Size to 300 pt.

Create the TextCreate the TextCreate the Text

6. How to Create 3D Text

Step 1

With the text layer selected, go to 3D > New 3D Extrusion from Selected Layer.

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.

New 3D Extrusion from Selected LayerNew 3D Extrusion from Selected LayerNew 3D Extrusion from Selected Layer

Step 2

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 into an angle you like.

3D Move Tool Modes3D Move Tool Modes3D Move Tool Modes

7. How to Adjust 3D Mesh and Cap Settings

Step 1

Select the 3D mesh tab in the 3D panel, and change its Extrusion Depth in the Properties panel to 75.

Extrusion DepthExtrusion DepthExtrusion Depth

Step 2

Click the Cap icon at the top of the Properties panel, and change the Bevel Width to 2%, the Contour to Half Round, and the Inflate Strength to 1%.

Cap SettingsCap SettingsCap Settings

8. How to Create Basic Materials

Step 1

Select the mesh's Front Inflation and Extrusion Material tabs, and use these material settings in the Properties panel (the color values used are in RGB):

  • Diffuse: 241, 237, 225
  • Specular: 163, 163, 163
  • Shine: 35%
  • Reflection: 35%
  • Refraction: 1.35
Material SettingsMaterial SettingsMaterial Settings

Step 2

Select the Extrusion Material and change its Roughness value to 20%.

RoughnessRoughnessRoughness

Step 3

Select both Bevel Material tabs and use these settings:

  • Diffuse: 179, 174, 183
  • Specular: 204, 211, 211
  • Illumination: 102, 105, 106
  • Shine: 50%
  • Reflection: 10%
Bevel MaterialBevel MaterialBevel Material

9. How to Adjust a 3D Scene's Lighting

Step 1

Before we add the hologram texture, we need to adjust the lighting.

Select the Infinite Light 1 tab, and change its Intensity to 20% and its Shadow Softness to 80%.

Infinite Light 1Infinite Light 1Infinite Light 1

Step 2

Use the Move Tool or the Coordinates values to move the Infinite Light until you get a result you like.

Move the LightMove the LightMove the Light

Step 3

Select the Environment tab, click the IBL texture icon, choose Replace Texture, and open the Dining Room image.

EnvironmentEnvironmentEnvironment

Step 4

Change the Intensity to 35%, and move the image around to get a result you like.

Move the LightMove the LightMove the Light

10. How to Use the Hologram Texture

Step 1

Select the Front Inflation Material tab, click its Illumination folder icon, and choose Load Texture to open the Holo Texture you created at the beginning of the tutorial.

Add the TextureAdd the TextureAdd the Texture

Step 2

Click the Illumination texture icon and choose Edit UV Properties.

Edit UV PropertiesEdit UV PropertiesEdit UV Properties

Step 3

Set the Tile to 1 and the Offset values to 0, and click OK.

UV PropertiesUV PropertiesUV Properties

Step 4

Select the Extrusion Material tab, click the Illumination folder icon, and choose the Holo Texture name from the menu.

Extrusion TextureExtrusion TextureExtrusion Texture

Step 5

Select the mesh tab, and change its Texture Mapping in the Properties panel to Tile.

Texture MappingTexture MappingTexture Mapping

Step 6

Select the Extrusion Material tab again, and edit the Illumination texture's UV Properties as needed.

Extrusion MaterialExtrusion MaterialExtrusion Material

11. How to Duplicate 3D Meshes

Step 1

Select the 3D mesh tab, click the 3D panel menu icon, and choose Duplicate Object.

Duplicate ObjectDuplicate ObjectDuplicate Object

Step 2

Rename the duplicated mesh to the letter you want to create next, and click the Edit Source button in the Properties panel.

Edit SourceEdit SourceEdit Source

Step 3

Once the text file opens, change the text to the letter you want to add, and save and close the file.

Change the TextChange the TextChange the Text

Step 4

This will update the mesh in the original document. Repeat the same steps to create the remaining letters you need for your text.

Add More LettersAdd More LettersAdd More Letters

12. How to Move 3D Meshes

Step 1

Select the second letter mesh tab, pick the Move Tool, and use the 3D Axis to move it away from the first letter.

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.

Move the MeshesMove the MeshesMove the Meshes

Step 2

You can click the Current View tab, and choose any of the View menu options to help you place the letter meshes.

Change the ViewChange the ViewChange the View

Step 3

Repeat that until you finish moving all the letters and get a result you like.

Change the 3D layer name to Text.

Rename the 3D LayerRename the 3D LayerRename the 3D Layer

13. How to Add a Background

Step 1

Pick the Rectangle Tool, make sure that the Shape option is active in the Options bar, and that the Stroke is set to None.

Click anywhere in the document to get the Create Rectangle box, set both the Width and Height values to 2000, and click OK.

Create a RectangleCreate a RectangleCreate a Rectangle

Step 2

Go to 3D > New 3D Extrusion from Selected Path, click the Current View tab, and choose Text from the View menu to match the views of both 3D layers you have.

Match the Camera ViewsMatch the Camera ViewsMatch the Camera Views

Step 3

Select the two 3D layers you have and go to 3D > Merge 3D Layers.

Change the Rectangle mesh Extrusion Depth to 10.

Merge 3D LayersMerge 3D LayersMerge 3D Layers

Step 4

Move the Rectangle mesh behind the text.

Move the 3D MeshMove the 3D MeshMove the 3D Mesh

Step 5

Select the Rectangle Front Inflation Material tab and use these settings:

  • Diffuse: Use the Metal seamless texture and adjust its UV Properties as needed
  • Specular: 186, 192, 194
  • Shine: 7%
  • Reflection: 3%
  • Bump: 25%
Front Inflation MaterialFront Inflation MaterialFront Inflation Material

Step 6

To create a Bump texture, click the Bump folder icon and choose New Texture.

New TextureNew TextureNew Texture

Step 7

Set the Width and Height values to 1000 and click OK.

New Texture SettingsNew Texture SettingsNew Texture Settings

Step 8

When the file opens, duplicate the Background layer, and double-click the copy to apply a Pattern Overlay effect with these settings:

  • Pattern: Concrete wall 3
  • Scale: 25%

Save and close the file, and adjust the Bump texture's UV Properties as needed.

Pattern OverlayPattern OverlayPattern Overlay

14. How to Render a 3D Scene

Step 1

Select both 3D mesh tabs, and move them along the Y-Axis above and away from the Ground Plane, so that it won't affect the reflections.

Choose a final camera view and make sure that the background Rectangle mesh is covering the document and not leaving any empty corners.

Choose a Final Camera ViewChoose a Final Camera ViewChoose a Final Camera View

Step 2

Once you like the final result, go to 3D > Render 3D Layer. The rendering might take a while, but you can stop it any time by pressing the Esc key.

After the rendering is done, right-click the 3D layer and choose Convert to Smart Object to avoid making any accidental changes.

Render the 3D SceneRender the 3D SceneRender the 3D Scene

15. How to Add Global Adjustments

Step 1

Add a Gradient Map adjustment layer on top of all layers, check the Dither box, and create the gradient using the Colors #403261 to the left, #554561 in the middle, and #97846b to the right.

Change the layer's Blend Mode to Soft Light and its Opacity to 70%.

Gradient MapGradient MapGradient Map

Step 2

Add a Color Lookup adjustment layer, choose the Pastel 8 Hues table from the Abstract menu, and change the layer's Blend Mode to Soft Light and its Opacity to 20%.

Color LookupColor LookupColor Lookup

Step 3

Create a new layer on top of all layers, name it Vignette, and change its Blend Mode to Color Burn and its Opacity to 70%.

Pick the Brush Tool, set the Foreground Color to #707070, and choose a big soft round tip to add vignette all around the text.

Add VignetteAdd VignetteAdd Vignette

Step 4

Add a Solid Color fill layer using the Color #6639a4, and change its Blend Mode to Soft Light.

Solid ColorSolid ColorSolid Color

Step 5

Add a Levels adjustment layer, and change the Shadows value to 10.

Then, choose the Blue channel, and change its Output Levels values to 15 for the Shadows and 236 for the Highlights.

LevelsLevelsLevels

16. How to Add Subtle Texture Overlays

Step 1

Create a new layer on top of all layers, name it High Pass, and create a stamp of all the layers you have.

Convert the layer to a Smart Object, and change its Blend Mode to Soft Light.

High PassHigh PassHigh Pass

Step 2

Go to Filter > Other > High Pass, and set the Radius to 1.

High Pass FilterHigh Pass FilterHigh Pass Filter

Step 3

Create another new layer, name it Noise, and go to Edit > Fill.

Change the Contents to 50% Gray and click OK.

Fill LayerFill LayerFill Layer

Step 4

Convert the Noise layer to a Smart Object, and change its Blend Mode to Soft Light.

Noise LayerNoise LayerNoise Layer

Step 5

Go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise, change the Amount to 7, the Distribution to Uniform, and uncheck the Monochromatic box.

Noise FilterNoise FilterNoise Filter

Step 6

Place the Black Grunge Texture 2 image on top of all layers, resize it as needed, and change its layer's Blend Mode to Color Dodge and its Opacity to 50%.

Black Grunge Texture 2Black Grunge Texture 2Black Grunge Texture 2

Congratulations, You're Done!

In this tutorial, we used a bunch of layer styles, filters, and adjustments to create a hologram texture. Then, we created 3D text, adjusted its settings, and created its materials. After that, we adjusted the lighting, added a background, and rendered the 3D scene. Finally, we added some more adjustment layers and texture overlays to finish off the effect.

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

Final ResultFinal ResultFinal Result
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