Advertisement
  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Text Effects
Design

How to Create an Abstract Pastel 3D Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

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

Bright, pastel 3D typography is one of this year's awesome trends, and it's such a fun style to create and include in projects. This tutorial will show you how to use Photoshop's shape and 3D tools and settings to create a trendy, abstract pastel text effect. 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 Wave Shape

Step 1

Create a new 500 x 500 px document, and go to Edit > Preferences > Guides, Grids & Slices.

Change the Gridline Every: value to 50 Pixels, and the Subdivision: to 5.

Guides Grids  Slices

Step 2

Go to View > Show > Grid.

Pick the Curvature Pen Tool, and make sure to choose the Shape option in the Options bar.

Curvature Pen Tool

Step 3

We will be creating the shape over 10 vertical subdivisions and 25 horizontal ones.

Drag a guideline to the bottom of the second subdivision from the top, and drag another to the top of the second subdivision from the bottom.

Add Guidelines

Step 4

Click once where the top guideline intersects with the left gridline of the area in which you want to create the shape.

After that, you'll need to click once to create alternating peaks and troughs on the gridlines you have.

The peak points should intersect with the top gridline, while the trough points should intersect with the top guideline.

Create Alternating Peaks and Troughs

Step 5

Once you reach the horizontal end of the shape area, double-click to add corner points and create a straight line which ends at the bottom guideline.

Add Corner Points

Step 6

Repeat the steps to create the bottom part of the wave shape.

Finish the Wave Shape

2. How to Create a Simple Pattern

Step 1

Create a new 500 x 500 px document, and copy the wave shape to it.

Press Command-T to enter the Free Transform Mode, and resize, rotate, and move the wave shape to start creating the pattern.

Hit the Return key when done to commit the changes.

Free Transform Mode

Step 2

Pick the Move Tool, press-hold the Option key, and click-drag the wave shape to duplicate it.

Then, press Command-T to transform the duplicated shape as needed.

Duplicate the Wave Shape

Step 3

Once you have a couple of wave shapes scattered all over the document, you can add other shapes as well—just have fun with it!

Make sure that you keep enough empty space near the edges of the document, because this will be used as a pattern later on.

Add More Shapes

Step 4

Once you're done creating the shapes, pick a pastel color palette you like, and change the shapes' Fill Colors.

The Colors used here are #ffd8c9, #fff4e3, #dcf7f3, and #c9d7ff.

When you're happy with the outcome, save it as an image with the name Pattern.

Color and Save the Pattern Image

3. How to Create a Simple Background

Step 1

Create a new 1400 x 1400 px document, click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, choose Solid Color, and set the Fill Color to #ffd8c9.

Solid Color

Step 2

Use the Rectangle Tool to create a rectangle shape that covers around two-thirds of the document, and fill it with the Color #9891f5.

Then, pick the Direct Selection Tool, select the rectangle's top left corner point, and drag it to the right to create a diagonal line.

Add a Rectangle Shape

4. How to Create and Work With a 3D Text Layer

Step 1

Create the first letter of the text you want in All Caps using the font Montserrat Black, and set the Size to 350 pt.

Create the Text

Step 2

Go to 3D > New 3D Extrusion from Selected Layer to convert the text layer into an editable 3D 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.

Create a 3D Layer

Step 3

Rename the 3D layer to Text.

If needed, you can show/hide the 3D ground plane by going to View > Show > 3D Ground Plane.

3D Ground Plane

Step 4

Select the Move Tool to access 3D Modes 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

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

Step 1

Select the letter's mesh tab in the 3D panel, and change its Extrusion Depth in the Properties panel to 70.

Extrusion Depth

Step 2

Click the Cap icon at the top of the Properties panel, change the Sides to Front and Back, and set the Bevel Width to 1%.

Cap Settings

6. How to Create a Simple 3D Material

Step 1

Select all the text mesh's Material Tabs, and change the Shine value to 80%.

Material Settings

Step 2

Select the Front Inflation Material tab, click the Diffuse folder icon, and choose Load Texture to open the Pattern image you saved earlier.

Load Texture

Step 3

Click the Diffuse texture icon and choose Edit UV Properties.

Edit UV Properties

Step 4

Change the Offset values to 0, and adjust the Tile values until the pattern fits well within the text.

UV Properties Values

Step 5

Select the Extrusion Material tab, click the Diffuse folder icon, and select the Pattern name from the list.

Extrusion Material

Step 6

Select the 3D mesh tab, and change the Texture Mapping to Tile.

Texture Mapping

Step 7

Select the Extrusion Material tab again, and edit its UV Properties.

Apply the same pattern to the Back Inflation Material, and adjust its UV Properties to match those of the Front Inflation.

Edit UV Properties

7. How to Duplicate and Edit 3D Text Meshes

Step 1

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

Duplicate 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 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 Text

This will update the mesh in the original document.

Updated Text

Step 4

Repeat the same steps to create the remaining letters you need for your text.

Add the Remaining Letters

8. How to Transform 3D Meshes

Step 1

Select the first letter's mesh tab, pick the Move Tool, and use the 3D Axis to move and rotate it as you like.

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.

3D Axis

Step 2

You can also click the Coordinates tab in the Properties panel to use numerical values. Make sure to make the changes after deciding the final camera view you want.

Coordinates Values

Step 3

When you're done placing the meshes in the scene, select all their tabs, click the 3D panel menu icon, and choose Group Objects.

Group Objects

Step 4

Rename the group to Text. This will help keep things organized.

Rename the Group

9. How to Create and Add 3D Shapes

You can create any shapes you like, but we will add a triangle and a circle for this tutorial.

Step 1

Pick the Polygon Tool, and click anywhere in the document to get the Create Polygon box.

Set the Width and Height values to 100, change the Number of Sides to 3, and make sure no boxes are checked.

Click OK to create a rectangle.

Create Polygon

Step 2

Pick the Ellipse Tool, click anywhere in the document to get the Create Ellipse box, change the Width and Height values to 50, and click OK.

Create Ellipse

Step 3

Move both shapes to the center of the document and hide the 3D Text layer temporarily to work on the shapes.

For each shape layer you have, select it and go to 3D > New 3D Extrusion from Selected Path.

New 3D Extrusion from Selected Path

Step 4

Select the Polygon layer, and select the 3D mesh tab to change its Extrusion Depth to 15.

Extrusion Depth

Step 5

Click the Cap icon, and change the Sides to Front and Back and the Bevel Width to 1%.

Cap Settings

Step 6

Select the Ellipse layer, and select the 3D mesh tab to change its Extrusion Depth to 300.

Extrusion Depth

Step 7

Click the Coordinates icon and change the X Rotation Angle to 90.

X Rotation Angle

Step 8

Click the 3D panel menu icon and choose Move Object to Ground Plane.

Move Object to Ground Plane

10. How to Create, Save, and Reapply a Basic 3D Material

Step 1

Select the Polygon layer, select all the Material tabs, click the Diffuse texture icon, and choose Remove Texture.

Remove Texture

Step 2

Change the Specular color to (80, 80, 80) and the Shine value to 15.

Material Settings

Step 3

Select the Front Inflation Material only, click the Material Picker box, click the pop-up menu icon, and choose New Material.

New Material

Step 4

Set the Name to Shapes and click OK.

Type a Name

Step 5

Select the Ellipse layer, select all the Material tabs, and choose the Shapes material from the Material Picker to apply it.

Reapply Material

11. How to Add 3D Shapes to a 3D Scene

Step 1

For each 3D shape layer you have, select it, select its Current View tab, and choose Text from the View menu to match the camera view with that of the original 3D Text.

Change the Camera View

Step 2

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

Merge 3D Layers

Step 3

Once you have all the 3D elements in the same scene, you can resize the shapes as you like.

If you are using the Coordinates values, make sure to click the Scale icon and uncheck the Uniform Scaling option if you don't want to scale the shapes uniformly.

Uniform Scaling

Step 4

Duplicate and place the shapes around the text to get a result you like.

Make sure to group the duplicated objects to keep things organized.

Duplicate and Transform the 3D Shapes

Step 5

Once the elements are in their places, you can start coloring them now.

To do so, select all the material tabs you want to have the same color, and assign a Diffuse color to them.

Change the Diffuse Color

Step 6

The colors used here are: (255, 139, 95), (255238120), and (10025525).

Feel free to change the Specular color to make it darker or brighter so that you get the best result with the Diffuse color you apply.  

Color the 3D Shapes

12. How to Adjust a 3D Scene's Settings and Lighting

Step 1

Select the Scene tab, change the Surface Style to Lighting Only, and check the Linearize Colors box as well as the Remove Hidden boxes.

Scene Settings

Step 2

Select the Current View tab, and click the Orthographic icon.

Make any final changes to the scene before you adjust the lighting.

Current View Settings

Step 3

Click the Infinite Light tab, change the Intensity to 60%, and uncheck the Shadow box.

Infinite Light Settings

Step 4

Use the Move Tool or Coordinates values to move the light until you like the outcome.

Move the Infinite Light

Step 5

Select the Environment tab, and change the Ground Plane Shadows Opacity to 0%.

Environment Settings

Step 6

Click the IBL texture icon and choose Edit Texture.

Edit Texture

Step 7

Add a Levels adjustment layer, and change the Output Levels' Shadows value to 50.

Save and close the file.

Levels

13. How to Render and Adjust a Rendered Scene

Step 1

Go to 3D > Render 3D Layer and wait for the scene to be fully rendered, which shouldn't take that long.

Once the rendering is finished, right-click the 3D Text layer, and choose Convert to Smart Object to avoid accidental changes.

Render 3D Layer

Step 2

Add a Levels adjustment layer, clip it to the 3D Text layer, and change the Gamma value to 0.90.

Levels

Step 3

Add a Vibrance adjustment layer, clip it to the 3D Text layer, and change the Vibrance to 55 and the Saturation to -10.

Vibrance

Step 4

Add a Selective Color adjustment layer, clip it to the 3D Text layer, and use the settings below:

Reds

  • Cyan: -30
  • Magenta: 50
  • Yellow: -35
  • Black: -10

Yellows

  • Cyan: -60
  • Magenta: -85
  • Yellow: 70
  • Black: 50
Selective Color Reds and Yellows

Cyans

  • Cyan: 50
  • Magenta: -10
  • Yellow: -60
  • Black: -11

Magentas

  • Cyan: -100
  • Magenta: 100
  • Yellow: -10
  • Black: 6
Selective Color Cyans and Magentas

14. How to Add Background Elements

Step 1

Use the shape tools to add a couple of different pastel-colored shapes behind the text, and place them in a group with the name BG Shapes.

The colors used here are #ffffbc, #ffd8c9, #dcf7f3, #9ff8f7, and #9891f5.

Add Background Shapes

Step 2

Open the Tropical leaf of Monstera plant image, pick the Magic Wand Tool, click the Add to selection icon in the Options bar, and check the Contiguous box.

Click on each white area to select it, and go to Select > Inverse.

Select the Leaf

Step 3

Go to Select > Select And Mask, and change the View to On Black and its Opacity to 100%. Increase the Smooth value slightly to soften the edges, and decrease the Shift Edges to move the selection inwards a little bit.

Check the Decontaminate Colors box and click OK.

Select And Mask

Step 4

Convert the resulting layer to a Smart Object, and copy it to the original 3D Text document.

Convert to a Smart Object

Step 5

Duplicate and transform the leaf as needed to add it behind the text, and place the leaf layers you have in a group with the name Leaves.

Add the Leaves

15. How to Make Global Adjustments

Step 1

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

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

High Pass Layer

Step 2

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

High Pass Filter

Step 3

Create another 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 4

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

Noise Layer Settings

Step 5

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

Noise Filter

Congratulations! You're Done!

In this tutorial, we created a simple pattern and a basic background.

Then, we created a text layer, converted it to a 3D mesh, adjusted its settings, and created its material to duplicate it and create more letters.

After that, we created and added more 3D shapes, adjusted the scene settings and lighting, and rendered it.

Finally, we added some more background elements and made final global adjustments to finish off the effect.

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

Final Result
Advertisement
Advertisement
Looking for something to help kick start your next project?
Envato Market has a range of items for sale to help get you started.