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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Text Effects
Design

How to Create a 3D Marquee Bulb Sign Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:LongLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

This tutorial will show you some tips and tricks to create a marquee bulb sign text effect using Photoshop's 3D tools and settings, along with a few images, textures, layer styles, and adjustment layers. 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 Adjust a Background Texture

Step 1

Create a new 1000 x 750px document, go to File > Place Linked, and open the BrickSmallBrown0478 image to add it as a Smart Object.

Resize the image to fill the document and hit the Return key.

Background Image

Step 2

Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation, and change the Lightness value to -65.

HueSaturation

Step 3

Double-click the BrickSmallBrown0478 layer to apply a Color Overlay effect with these settings:

  • Color: #e0e0e0
  • Blend Mode: Linear Burn
Color Overlay

This will create a dark background texture.

Styled Background

2. How to Create Editable 3D Text

Step 1

Create the text in All Caps using the font Burford Base. Change the Size to 450 pt and the Tracking to -75.

Create the Text

Step 2

Go to 3D > New 3D Extrusion from Selected Layer.

This will convert the type layer into an editable 3D layer.

3D Text

3. How to Work With 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.

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.

3D and Properties Panels

Step 2

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).

Use those modes to change the Current View into an angle you like.

Move Tool 3D Modes

4. How to Adjust the 3D Mesh and Cap Settings

Step 1

Select the text mesh tab in the 3D panel, and change its Extrusion Depth in the Properties panel to 0.

Extrusion Depth

Step 2

Click the Cap icon at the top of the Properties panel to access its settings.

Cap Settings

Step 3

Click the Contour picker to create a custom contour.

Once the Contour Editor opens, click on the line you have to add a point.

Contour Editor

Step 4

With the added point selected, check the Corner box at the bottom.

Corner Point

Step 5

Add another point and check its Corner box as well.

Add Another Corner Point

Step 6

Next, you are going to select each of the points you added, and type in its Input and Output values at the bottom.

The values for the point to the left are:

  • Input: 5
  • Output: 95

The values for the point to the right are:

  • Input: 95
  • Output: 95

Click OK when you're done.

Input and Output Values

Step 7

Change the Bevel Width value to 12 and the Angle to 85%.

You can also use any other values you like if you want to get a different result.

Bevel Settings

5. How to Create a Textured Material

Step 1

Select the text mesh Front Inflation Material tab, and click its Diffuse folder icon in the Properties panel to choose Load Texture.

Open the misto 1.jpg image from the Metal gradient seamless textures pack.

Load Texture

Step 2

Click the Diffuse texture icon and choose Edit UV Properties.

Edit UV Properties

Step 3

Adjust the Tile and Offset values to get a result you like.

Tile and Offset Values

Step 4

For the rest of the settings, use these values (the color values used are in RGB):

  • Specular: 135, 59, 33
  • Illumination: 191, 96, 27 - Intensity -4.77
  • Shine: 70%
  • Reflection: 3%
Material Settings

6. How to Save and Reapply 3D Materials

Step 1

Click the Material Picker box, click the pop-up menu icon, and choose New Material.

New Material

Step 2

Type Front and Back Material in the Name field, and click OK.

This will add the material to the picker so that you'll be able to reapply it later on.

Material Name

Step 3

Select the Back Inflation Material tab, open the Material Picker, scroll down to the Front and Back Material's icon, and click it to apply it.

Reapply Material

7. How to Create More Textured Materials

Step 1

Click the text mesh Front Bevel Material tab, click its Diffuse folder icon, and choose Load Texture to open the d.jpg image from the Metal gradient seamless textures pack.

Load Texture

Step 2

Select the Extrusion and Back Bevel Material tabs, click the Diffuse folder icon, and choose the d texture name from the list.

Reapply Texture

Step 3

Select the Front Bevel, Extrusion, and Back Bevel Material tabs, and use these settings:

  • Specular: 104, 86, 64
  • Illumination: 191, 96, 27 - Intensity -4.77
  • Shine: 85%
  • Reflection: 20%
  • Refraction: 1.536%
Material Settings

Step 4

Select only the Extrusion and Back Bevel Material tabs, and change their Shine value to 30%.

Shine Value

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

Step 1

Select the Infinite Light 1 tab, and change its Intensity to 50% and its Shadow Softness to 100%.

Infinite Light Settings

Step 2

Use the Move Tool to move the light to an angle you like, or you can click the Coordinates icon at the top of the Properties panel to use numerical values.

Move the Light

9. How to Adjust Miscellaneous 3D Settings

Step 1

Because we are using the Bevel Contour to create the 3D mesh, without any Extrusion Depth, there might be some random lines appearing all over the text.

To get rid of those lines, click the Scene tab, and under Remove Hidden: in the Properties panel, check both the Backfaces and Lines boxes.

Scene Settings

Step 2

Since we are going to add the bulbs manually using a stock image, it will be hard to match the 3D text's perspective.

There are two ways to fix this. You can select the Custom View tab and choose the Front preset from the View menu.

Front View

Or you can adjust the camera view manually using the Move Tool's 3D Modes, and then click the Current View tab, and click the Orthographic icon.

Orthographic View

10. How to Render and Modify a Rendered 3D Scene

Step 1

Once you're done making adjustments and changes, go to 3D > Render 3D Layer. The rendering might take a while, but you can stop it at 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 Scene

Double-click the 3D layer to apply the following layer style:

Step 2

Add an Outer Glow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Linear Light
  • Opacity: 7%
  • Color: #ffcb8d
  • Size: 131
Outer Glow

Step 3

Add a Drop Shadow with these settings:

  • Opacity: 75%
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: 63
  • Distance: 6
  • Size: 10
Drop Shadow

This will style the 3D text.

Styled Text

11. How to Create a Vignette Effect

Step 1

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

Set the Fill Color to Black, and change the layer's Blend Mode to Soft Light and its Opacity to 50%.

Solid Color

Step 2

Pick the Elliptical Marquee Tool and create a selection around the text.

Select the Solid Color layer mask's thumbnail, and fill the selection with Black.

Press Command-D to deselect.

Fill an Elliptical Selection

Step 3

With the mask's thumbnail still selected, open the Properties panel, and increase the Feather value to soften the edges and create a vignette effect.

Vignette Effect

12. How to Add Light Bulbs

Step 1

Open the Letter E Bulbs image, and use the Elliptical Marquee Tool to select the bulb at the top of the letter.

Go to Edit > Copy to copy the selection.

Select an Copy the Bulb

Step 2

Back to the original 3D document, go to Edit > Paste, rename the layer to Bulb 01, and convert it to a Smart Object.

Convert to a Smart Object

Step 3

Double-click the Smart Object's thumbnail to open the bulb's file, and go to Image > Image Size to change the Width and Height values to 56.

Image Size

Step 4

Add a Hue/Saturation layer on top of the Bulb 01 layer and clip it to it. Change the Hue value to -12.

HueSaturation

Step 5

Double-click the Bulb 01 layer to apply an Inner Glow effect with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Linear Dodge (Add)
  • Opacity: 25%
  • Color: #fff2e3
  • Source: Center
  • Size: 27
Inner Glow

Step 6

Save the file and close it to go back to the original document.

Save and Close

13. How to Build Up Layer Styles and Duplicate Objects

Step 1

Place the bulb image inside the first letter you have, press Command-T to enter Free Transform Mode, and resize the bulb as needed.

Hit the Return key when done.

Free Transform the Bulb

Double-click the Bulb 01 Smart Object layer to apply the following layer style:

Step 2

Add an Outer Glow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Linear Light
  • Opacity: 75%
  • Color: #ffcb8d
  • Size: 20
Outer Glow

Step 3

Add a Drop Shadow with these settings:

  • Opacity: 35%
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: 63
  • Distance: 6
  • Size: 7
Drop Shadow

This will style the bulb.

Styled Bulb

Step 4

Press-hold the Option key, and click-drag the bulb to duplicate it.

Duplicate the Bulb

Step 5

Repeat that to duplicate the bulbs and fill the text with them.

Once you're done, put all the bulb layers in a group and name it Bulbs.

Bulbs Group

14. How to Add Unlit Bulbs

Step 1

Open the Bulb image, and use the Elliptical Marquee Tool to select the inner part of the bulb, and copy it.

Select and Copy the Bulb

Step 2

Paste the copied bulb into the original document, rename its layer to Bulb 02, and convert it into a Smart Object.

Resize the Bulb 02 image to match Bulb 01's size.

Then, hide any Bulb 01 layer and place the Bulb 02 one in its place.

Replace Bulbs

Double-click the Bulb 02 image to apply the following layer style:

Step 3

Add an Inner Shadow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Linear Light
  • Color: #b8b8b8
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Distance: 0
  • Size: 10
Inner Shadow

Step 4

Add an Inner Glow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Linear Dodge (Add)
  • Opacity: 55%
  • Color: #ffffff
  • Source: Center
  • Size: 13
Inner Glow

Step 5

Add an Outer Glow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Linear Light
  • Opacity: 5%
  • Color: #ffcb8d
  • Size: 20
Outer Glow

Step 6

Add a Drop Shadow with these settings:

  • Opacity: 35%
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: 63
  • Distance: 6
  • Size: 7
Drop Shadow

This will style the second bulb, but we still need to get rid of the dark areas.

Styled Unlit Bulb

Step 7

Double-click the Bulb 02 layer again to adjust its Blending Options.

We are going to adjust the This Layer sliders under the Blend If section, which will help protect the darker areas of the Bulb 02 layer from interacting with the rest of the layers.

To do so, press-hold the Option key, and click-drag the left slider to split it.

Then, move both ends until no dark areas are visible.

Blending Options

You should end up with something like this:

Styled Bulbs

15. How to Add Sparks

Step 1

Place any of the Fireworks0023 images on top of the Bulb 02 layer, change its layer's Blend Mode to Screen, and transform it as you like.

Add a Sparks Image

Step 2

Duplicate the Bulb 02 layer, and add more sparks layers to create a couple more unlit bulbs over the text.

Add Unlit Bulbs and Sparks

16. How to Add Global Adjustments

Step 1

Add a new layer on top of all layers and name it Noise.

Go to Edit > Fill, change the Contents to 50% Gray, and click OK.

Noise Layer

Step 2

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

Smart Object Settings

Step 3

Go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise. Change the Amount to 3 and the Distribution to Gaussian, and check the Monochromatic box.

Add Noise Filter

Step 4

Add a Color Lookup adjustment layer, choose the 3Strip.look table from the 3DLUT File menu, and change the layer's Opacity to 85%.

Color Lookup

Congratulations, You're Done!

In this tutorial, we adjusted a simple texture to create a background and created a 3D mesh from a text layer.

Then, we adjusted the 3D mesh settings, created its materials, adjusted its lighting and settings, and rendered it.

After that, we used a couple of images, along with adjustment layers and layer styles, to add the bulbs to the text.

Finally, we added some global adjustments to finish off the effect.

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

Final Result
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