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How to Create a 3D Antique Metal Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

There are many different metal layer styles out there to choose from, but today's tutorial is all about antique metal. It will show you how to use Photoshop's 3D Tools, with a couple of textures and filters, to create your own 3D antique metal text effect, and add it to a nice background image. So let's get started!

Tutorial Assets

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

1. Create the Text

Step 1

Create a new 1000 x 750px document, and fill the Background with a gray color.

Create the Background

Step 2

Create the text in All Caps using the font Insaniburger. Set the Color to Black, the Size to 235 pt, and the Tracking value to 50.

Create the Text

2. Create the Shapes

Step 1

Go to Type > Convert to Shape.

Convert to Shape

Step 2

Pick the Direct Selection Tool, click and drag to select the inner anchor points of the letter O, and hit the Delete key to remove them.

We're doing this because we want to add a heart inside the letter O, so we're closing the open part in order to make it heart-shaped instead.

If you don't have an O letter in your text, you can apply this to any other letter, or you can skip this step and add the heart anywhere else, as shown next.

Delete Inner Anchor Points

Step 3

Pick the Custom Shape Tool, and in the Options bar, pick the heart shape.

Add the heart where you want it to be and fill it with a red color.

Add the Heart Shape

Step 4

Duplicate the heart shape layer, change the copy's fill color to Black, and place it below the original heart shape layer.

Make the original heart layer invisible by clicking the eye icon next to it.

Duplicate the Heart Layer

Step 5

Select both the heart and the text shape layers, make sure that a Shape Tool is selected, and choose the Exclude Overlapping Shapes option from the Path operations box in the Options bar.

Exclude Overlapping Shapes Option

Step 6

Go to Layer > Merge Shapes. This will subtract the heart shape from the text.

Rename the new merged layer to Text, make the original heart shape layer visible again, and rename it Heart.

Merge and Rename the Layers

3. Create the 3D Layers

Step 1

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

Create the 3D Layers

Step 2

Select both 3D layers, and go to 3D > Merge 3D Layers.

Merge 3D Layers

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 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 4

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). You can also use that to work with the 3D Meshes you have.

3D Modes

4. Adjust the Mesh Settings

Step 1

Select both 3D mesh tabs in the 3D panel. Then, in the Properties panel, change the Extrusion Depth to 35.

Extrusion Depth

Step 2

Select the Text mesh tab, and click the Cap icon at the top of the Properties panel.

Change the Sides to Front and Back, the Bevel Width to 15, the Contour to Cone - Inverted, and the Inflate Strength to 5.

Text Cap Settings

Step 3

Select the Heart mesh tab, and then click the Cap icon, and change the Bevel Width to 10, the Contour to Cove - Deep, and the Inflate Strength to 5.

Heart Cap Settings

5. Create the Heart's Glass and the Text's Metal Materials

Step 1

Select all the Heart mesh material tabs, click the Diffuse texture icon, and choose Remove Texture.

Remove the Diffuse Textures

Step 2

Change the rest of the settings as follows:

  • Diffuse: 154,7,7
  • Specular: 170,30,63
  • Shine: 95
  • Reflection: 16
  • Roughness: 3
  • Opacity: 50
  • Refraction: 1.5
Heart Material Settings

Step 3

Select the Text's Front Bevel, Back Bevel, and Back Inflation Material tabs, remove their Diffuse texture, and change the rest of their material settings as follows:

  • Diffuse: 173,173,173
  • Specular: 134,133,130
  • Shine: 50
  • Reflection: 10
  • Roughness: 10
  • Refraction: 1.05
Text Material Settings

6. Move the Heart and Change the Camera View

Step 1

Pick the Move Tool, and use the 3D Axis to move the heart inside the text if it's not there already.

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 wanted part.

Move the Heart

Step 2

You can also change the Camera View whenever you're trying to place or move the elements inside the 3D Scene.

To do so, you can either pick the Move Tool and use the 3D Modes to move the camera around, or you can choose from the View Presets available in the Properties panel.

The Top View, for example, is a good one to use in order to make sure that the heart is placed inside the text.

Change the Camera View

7. Create the Text's Front and Extrusion Materials, and Split the Text

Step 1

Select the Text's Front Inflation Material tab, remove its Diffuse texture, and change the rest of the settings as follows:

  • Specular: 134,133,130
  • Shine: 50
  • Reflection: 30
  • Bump: 20
Text Front Material Settings

Step 2

Select the Text's Extrusion Material tab, remove its Diffuse texture, and change the rest of the settings as follows:

  • Specular: 134,133,130
  • Shine: 50
  • Reflection: 10
  • Bump: 5
  • Refraction: 1.05
Text Extrusion Material Settings

Step 3

Select the Text mesh tab, and go to 3D > Split Extrusion. This will split the text into separate letters.

Select the resulting letter tabs, and change their Texture Mapping to Tile.

Split Text Extrusion

8. Add the Text's Front Texture

Step 1

Open image 1.jpg from the Metal seamless textures pack 3 pack, go to Image > Adjustments > Levels, and change the Highlights value to 170.

Go to File > Save As, and name the modified image Front Texture.

Modify Front Texture

Step 2

Go back to the 3D Scene, select the first letter's Front Inflation Material tab, and click the Diffuse folder icon.

Choose Load Texture, and load the Front Texture image you just saved in the previous step.

Load Front Inflation Texture

This will apply the texture to the front material.

Front Texture

Step 3

If the texture looks stretched, you can click the Diffuse texture icon, and choose Edit UV Properties.

Edit UV Properties

Step 4

You can then change the Tile values until you like how the texture looks.

Edit UV Properties Tile Values

Step 5

Click the Bump folder icon, choose Load Texture, and open the 3.jpg image from the Metal seamless textures pack 3 pack, and adjust its UV Properties values to match the Diffuse's.

Add the Bump Texture

Step 6

Select the rest of the letters' Front Inflation Material tabs, click the Diffuse folder icon, and choose the Front Texture from the list.

Do the same for the Bump texture, but make sure to choose image 3.

Apply the Textures to the Rest of the Letters

Step 7

After you load the textures, you can adjust the UV Properties for each letter individually.

Always make sure to match the Diffuse and Bump Tile values for each letter.

Edit the UV Values

Step 8

Use the same process to add the Extrusion Bump texture using the 5.jpg image from the Metal seamless textures pack.

Add the Extrusion Bump Texture

9. Add the Background Image

Step 1

Open the Valentine's day image, or any other image you wish to use as a background for the text. Then go to Filter > Convert for Smart Filters, and rename the layer to Background Image.

Open the Background Image

Step 2

Go to Filter > Blur Gallery > Field Blur. Add two points, one near the bottom of the images with a Blur value of 0, and one near the top with a Blur value of 13.

Apply a Field Blur

Step 3

Duplicate this Background Image to the 3D Scene document, and place it below the 3D layer.

Duplicate the Background Image to the 3D Scene

Step 4

Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation, and change the Saturation value to -10.

Background Image Saturation

10. Adjust the Scene and Move the Letters

Step 1

Pick the Move Tool, and if you can't see the Ground Plane go to View > Show > 3D Ground Plane to show it.

Use the 3D Modes to move the camera around to align the text with the perspective of the background image.

Align the Text  with the Background Image Perspective

Step 2

Use the 3D Axis to rotate and move the letters if you like. Don't forget to select both the letter and the heart tabs when you want to move the letter with the heart.

Rotate and Reposition the Letters

11. Adjust the Infinite Light

Step 1

Select the Infinite Light 1 tab, and move the light until the scene's shadow direction matches that of the background.

Reposition the Infinite Light

Step 2

You can use the Coordinates values as well.

The Infinite Light Coordinates Values

Step 3

Change the light's Color to (246,246,245), its Intensity to 50%, and its Shadow Softness to 50% as well.

The Infinite Light Properties

12. Adjust the Environment Light

Step 1

Select the Environment tab, and click the IBL texture icon. Choose Replace Texture, and open the Living room and dining room image.

Add the Environment Texture

Step 2

Click the IBL texture icon again, and choose Edit Texture.

Edit the Environment Texture

Step 3

When the texture opens, go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation, and change the Saturation value to -35. Save the file and close it.

Change the Saturation Value

Step 4

Change the IBL's Intensity to 33%, the Ground Plane Shadows Opacity to 100%, the Reflection Opacity to 2%, and the Roughness to 10%.

Environment Light Properties

13. Add a Spot Light

Step 1

Click the Add new Light to Scene icon at the bottom of the 3D panel and choose New Spot Light.

Add a New Spot Light

Step 2

Change the Intensity to 20%, the Shadow Softness to 60%, the Hotspot to 0.5, and the Cone to 50.

Spot Light Settings

Step 3

Then, move the Spot Light around until you like the outcome.

Move the Spot Light

14. Render the Scene

Step 1

Select all the text letter tabs in the 3D panel, click the Cap icon, and change the Bevel Angle to -25, or any other value you like to create the edges.

Change the Text Cap Settings

Step 2

Once you're done working on the scene, it's time to render it.

So go to 3D > Render. The rendering might take a while, but you can stop any time by pressing the Esc key.

Render the Scene

15. Adjust the Lighting

Step 1

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

Add a Levels Adjustment Layer

Step 2

Place the Levels layer on top of the 3D layer, click the Clip to layer icon, and then change the Shadows value to 23 and the Highlights to 231.

Change the Levels Values

Step 3

Click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon again, and choose Gradient Map.

Choose the gradient fill below, and change the adjustment layer's Blend Mode to Color Burn and its Opacity to 5%.

Add a Gradient Map Adjustment Layer

16. Apply the Lighting Effects Filter

Step 1

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

Rename the pasted layer to Lighting Effects, then go to Filter > Convert for Smart Filters.

Create a Smart Object Layer

Step 2

Go to Filter > Render > Lighting Effects, and use the values below.

Make sure to set the Height value for each Texture channel from the drop-down list to 1.

Lighting Effects

Step 3

Modify the ellipses to create the lighting angle shown in the image.

Lighting Effects

Congratulations! You're Done

In this tutorial, we created a simple piece of text, converted it into a shape, and added a little heart to it.

Then, we converted the shape layers to 3D layers, and started working on the meshes properties and materials to create the antique metal effect.

After that, we worked on the background image and the 3D scene perspective, moved and rotated the letters, and added a couple of different lights to the scene.

Once the scene was rendered, we added a couple of adjustment layers and applied a lighting effects filter to achieve the final result.

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

Final Result
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