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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Photoshop Actions

How to Create a 3D Golden Cinematic Text Action in Adobe Photoshop

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Read Time: 16 min
This post is part of a series called Learn Photoshop Actions.
How to Make a Soft Light Photoshop Action to Create a Backlight Effect
How to Create a Creepy Photo With a Zombie Halloween Photoshop Action

If you're wondering how to make your own Photoshop action for a movie title, this tutorial will cover how to create an action for a 3D golden cinematic text effect. Let's go!

Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

Actions are a powerful tool in Adobe Photoshop, and those who use Photoshop for their work will probably use them on a daily basis. They can be a huge timesaver in your workflow.

In this tutorial you will learn how to create an action for a 3D golden cinematic text effect, which will work with any font in different sizes. If you want to save more time and achieve a professional result in a few clicks, visit Envato Elements  to find the best Photoshop actions and cinematic text effects:

Epic Text EffectsEpic Text EffectsEpic Text Effects

Before We Start

Actions will save your time once they are done, but they require you to pay attention to details and the order of steps. Keep in mind that when you start recording an action, almost each mouse click or keyboard hit will be saved in your action.

If you are new to the actions world, you can read a great article from Melody Nieves that covers the basics of Photoshop actions or learn more from Kirk Nelson's lessons on Building Your Own Actions in Adobe Photoshop.

What You'll Learn in This Photoshop Tutorial:

  • How To Prepare to Record an Action
  • How To Start Recording Your Action
  • How To Create and Transform Layers
  • How To Add Layer Styles
  • How To Add Final Touches

What You'll Need:

Both of the asset files will help you to achieve the final image in the end, but are not necessary for creating the action:

1. How To Prepare to Record an Action

Before you can start to record an action, you will need to prepare some example text. In this tutorial, we will also add a themed background.

Step 1

Start by opening the Cinematic Background Image from the assets. The dimensions of the image are 900 x 600 px, and this will be our document background.

Cinematic BackgroundCinematic BackgroundCinematic Background

Step 2

Pick the Type Tool, choose the Trajan Pro 3 font (it should be part of the Adobe Photoshop fonts, otherwise download it from the assets), set the Font Size to around 170 pt, and write GLADIUS all in capitals. The color of the text isn't important.

Type ToolType ToolType Tool

Step 3

Click the Create Warped Text button. Set Style: Arc, check Horizontal, and set Bend: 6%.

Warped TextWarped TextWarped Text

2. How To Start Recording Your Action

Before you start recording, make sure you have only two layers in your Layers panel: the top layer GLADIUS and the bottom layer Background.

Layers PanelLayers PanelLayers Panel

Step 1

Hit Alt-F9 on your keyboard to open the Actions panel, or you can open it by going to the menu Window > Actions.

Actions PanelActions PanelActions Panel

Step 2

Select the GLADIUS layer and in the Actions panel click on the Create new set button, and set the Name: Cinematic Tutorial. Then click the Create new action, set the Name: 3D Gold, and hit Record. The Begin recording button should be now red.

Important! From now on, follow all of the steps in this order and without any additional mouse clicks or keyboard hits.

Create New ActionCreate New ActionCreate New Action

3. How To Create and Transform Layers

Step 1

Make your current selected GLADIUS layer invisible by clicking the Layer visibility icon in your Layers panel.

Make Layer InvisibleMake Layer InvisibleMake Layer Invisible

Step 2

Right click the GLADIUS layer and select Duplicate Layer from the menu As: c1.

Duplicate Layer GladiusDuplicate Layer GladiusDuplicate Layer Gladius

Step 3

Make your current selected c1 layer visible by clicking the Layer visibility button, and then right click the layer and choose Convert to Smart Object.

Make Layer VisibleMake Layer VisibleMake Layer Visible

These first steps will hide and duplicate the original text layer, and the action will be applied to a duplicate, so your original layer will stay untouched. By converting the working layer to a smart object, you ensure that the action will add its effects nondestructively.

Step 4

Duplicate layers in this order:

  • Right click the c1 layer and select Duplicate Layer from the menu As: b1
  • Right click the b1 layer and select Duplicate Layer from the menu As: b2
  • Right click the b2 layer and select Duplicate Layer from the menu As: b3.
  • Right click the b3 layer and select Duplicate Layer from the menu As: b4.
  • Right click the b4 layer and select Duplicate Layer from the menu As: b5.
  • Right click the b5 layer and select Duplicate Layer from the menu As: a1.
Duplicate Layers b1 to a1Duplicate Layers b1 to a1Duplicate Layers b1 to a1

Step 5

Select layer b2 and go to menu Edit > Free Transform (or Control-T), uncheck the Maintain aspect ratio button if checked, set the horizontal scale W: 99.5%, and add 1 px to the total value of vertical position Y: (for example, if the value is Y: 287.55 px, change it to 288.55 px). Finally, hit Enter to apply the changes. 

Transform Layer b2Transform Layer b2Transform Layer b2

Step 6

Select layer b3 and go to menu Edit > Free Transform, uncheck the Maintain aspect ratio button if checked, set the horizontal scale W: 99%, and add 2 px to the total value of vertical position Y:. Finally, hit Enter to apply the changes.

Transform Layer b3Transform Layer b3Transform Layer b3

Step 7

Select layer b4 and go to menu Edit > Free Transform, uncheck the Maintain aspect ratio button if checked, set the horizontal scale W: 98.5%, and add 3 px to the total value of vertical position Y:. Finally, hit Enter to apply the changes.

Transform Layer b4Transform Layer b4Transform Layer b4

Step 8

Select layer b5 and go to menu Edit > Free Transform, uncheck the Maintain aspect ratio button if checked, set the horizontal scale W: 98%, and add 4 px to the total value of vertical position Y:. Finally, hit Enter to apply the changes.

Transform Layer b5Transform Layer b5Transform Layer b5

Step 9

Select layer c1 and transform it by going to menu Edit > Free Transform, uncheck the Maintain aspect ratio button if checked, set the horizontal scale W: 98%, and add 4 px to the total value of vertical position Y:. Finally, hit Enter to apply the changes.

Transform Layer c1Transform Layer c1Transform Layer c1

Step 10

Double-click the c1 layer to apply the following layer style:

Add a Stroke of any color with these settings:

  • Size: 5 px
  • Position: Outside

Hit OK to apply all of the changes, and then right click the layer and choose Convert to Smart Object.

Add a Stroke to c1Add a Stroke to c1Add a Stroke to c1

Step 11

Duplicate layers in this order:

  • Right click the c1 layer and select Duplicate Layer from the menu As: c2.
  • Right click the c2 layer and select Duplicate Layer from the menu As: c3.
  • Right click the c3 layer and select Duplicate Layer from the menu As: c4.
  • Right click the c4 layer and select Duplicate Layer from the menu As: c5.
  • Right click the c5 layer and select Duplicate Layer from the menu As: c6.
  • Right click the c6 layer and select Duplicate Layer from the menu As: c7.
  • Right click the c7 layer and select Duplicate Layer from the menu As: c8.
  • Right click the c8 layer and select Duplicate Layer from the menu As: c9.
  • Right click the c9 layer and select Duplicate Layer from the menu As: c10.
Duplicate Layers c2 to c10Duplicate Layers c2 to c10Duplicate Layers c2 to c10

Step 12

Select layer c2 and go to menu Edit > Free Transform, uncheck the Maintain aspect ratio button if checked, set the horizontal scale W: 99.5%, and add 1 px to the total value of vertical position Y:. Finally, hit Enter to apply the changes.

Transform Layer c2Transform Layer c2Transform Layer c2

Step 13

Select layer c3 and go to menu Edit > Free Transform, uncheck the Maintain aspect ratio button if checked, set the horizontal scale W: 99%, and add 2 px to the total value of vertical position Y:. Finally, hit Enter to apply the changes.

Transform Layer c3Transform Layer c3Transform Layer c3

Step 14

Select layer c4 and go to menu Edit > Free Transform, uncheck the Maintain aspect ratio button if checked, set the horizontal scale W: 98.5%, and add 3 px to the total value of vertical position Y:. Finally, hit Enter to apply the changes.

Transform Layer c4Transform Layer c4Transform Layer c4

Step 15

Select layer c5 and go to menu Edit > Free Transform, uncheck the Maintain aspect ratio button if checked, set the horizontal scale W: 98%, and add 4 px to the total value of vertical position Y:. Finally, hit Enter to apply the changes.

Transform Layer c5Transform Layer c5Transform Layer c5

Step 16

Select layer c6 and go to menu Edit > Free Transform, uncheck the Maintain aspect ratio button if checked, set the horizontal scale W: 97.5%, and add 5 px to the total value of vertical position Y:. Finally, hit Enter to apply the changes.

Transform Layer c6Transform Layer c6Transform Layer c6

Step 17

Select layer c7 and go to menu Edit > Free Transform, uncheck the Maintain aspect ratio button if checked, set the horizontal scale W: 97%, and add 6 px to the total value of vertical position Y:. Finally, hit Enter to apply the changes.

Transform Layer c7Transform Layer c7Transform Layer c7

Step 18

Select layer c8 and go to menu Edit > Free Transform, uncheck the Maintain aspect ratio button if checked, set the horizontal scale W: 96.5%, and add 7 px to the total value of vertical position Y:. Finally, hit Enter to apply the changes.

Transform Layer c8Transform Layer c8Transform Layer c8

Step 19

Select layer c9 and go to menu Edit > Free Transform, uncheck the Maintain aspect ratio button if checked, set the horizontal scale W: 96%, and add 8 px to the total value of vertical position Y:. Finally, hit Enter to apply the changes.

Transform Layer c9Transform Layer c9Transform Layer c9

Step 20

Select layer c10 and go to menu Edit > Free Transform, uncheck the Maintain aspect ratio button if checked, set the horizontal scale W: 95.5%, and add 9 px to the total value of vertical position Y:. Finally, hit Enter to apply the changes.

Transform Layer c10Transform Layer c10Transform Layer c10

Step 21

Select layer c2 and click the layer c10 while holding the Shift key to select these and all the layers in between. Right click on any of these layers and select Group from Layers, fill in Name: c2 and hit OK. Then right click the created group and select Convert to Smart Object from the menu.

Make Group of Layers c2 to c10Make Group of Layers c2 to c10Make Group of Layers c2 to c10

Step 22

Select layer b1 and click the layer b5 while holding the Shift key to select these and all layers in between. Right click on any of these layers and select Group from Layers, fill in Name: b1 and hit OK. Then right click the created group and select Convert to Smart Object from the menu.

Make Group of Layers b1 to b5Make Group of Layers b1 to b5Make Group of Layers b1 to b5

Step 23

Select layer a1 and transform it by going to menu Edit > Free Transform, uncheck the Maintain aspect ratio button if checked, set the vertical scale H: 99.5% and hit Enter to apply the changes.

Transform Layer a1Transform Layer a1Transform Layer a1

Step 24

Right click the a1 layer and select Duplicate Layer from the menu As: a2.

Duplicate Layer a1Duplicate Layer a1Duplicate Layer a1

Step 25

Select layer c1 and go to menu Layer > Arrange > Bring Forward to move this layer between the b1 and c2 layers.

Arrange LayersArrange LayersArrange Layers

4. How To Add Layer Styles

Step 1

Select layer a2 and Double-click the layer to apply the following layer style:

Set Fill Opacity in Advanced Blending to 0%.

Set a Fill OpacitySet a Fill OpacitySet a Fill Opacity

Step 2

Add a Bevel & Emboss with these settings:

  • Style: Stroke Emboss
  • Technique: Smooth
  • Depth: 388%
  • Direction: Up
  • Size: 120 px
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: 90°
  • Altitude: 42°
  • Highlight Mode: Color Dodge with a color #ffffff and Opacity: 58%
  • Shadow Mode: Color Burn with a color #010101 and Opacity: 49%
Add a Bevel and EmbossAdd a Bevel and EmbossAdd a Bevel and Emboss

Step 3

While you are still in the Bevel & Emboss tab, create a custom Gloss Contour with these settings:

Add 8 points to the contour curve. To add points, click anywhere on the curve. Now set an Input and an Output for each of these points.

  • Point 1 - Input: 0% Output: 0%
  • Point 2 - Input: 20% Output: 98%
  • Point 3 - Input: 44% Output: 6%
  • Point 4 - Input: 54% Output: 89%
  • Point 5 - Input: 68% Output: 11%
  • Point 6 - Input: 73% Output: 91%
  • Point 7 - Input: 88% Output: 10%
  • Point 8 - Input: 100% Output: 32%
Create a Custom ContourCreate a Custom ContourCreate a Custom Contour

Step 4

Add a Stroke with these settings:

  • Size: 1 px
  • Position: Inside
  • Blend Mode: Normal
  • Color: #9a8868
Add a StrokeAdd a StrokeAdd a Stroke

Step 5

Add an Inner Shadow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Linear Dodge (Add) with the color #ffffff
  • Opacity: 45%
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: -90°
  • Distance: 3 px
  • Choke: 0%
  • Size: 0 px

Hit OK to apply all changes.

Add an Inner ShadowAdd an Inner ShadowAdd an Inner Shadow

Step 6

Select layer a1 and Double-click the layer to apply the following layer style:

Add an Inner Shadow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Linear Dodge (Add) with the color #ffffff
  • Opacity: 34%
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: 90°
  • Distance: 3 px
  • Choke: 0%
  • Size: 0 px
Add an Inner ShadowAdd an Inner ShadowAdd an Inner Shadow

Step 7

Add an Inner Glow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Color Dodge
  • Opacity: 22%
  • Pick the color #ffffff
  • Technique: Softer
  • Source: Edge
  • Choke: 0%
  • Size: 3 px
Add an Inner GlowAdd an Inner GlowAdd an Inner Glow

Step 8

Add a Satin with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Linear Burn with the color #772000
  • Opacity: 37%
  • Angle: 90°
  • Distance: 2 px
  • Size: 2 px
  • Uncheck the Invert box
Add a SatinAdd a SatinAdd a Satin

Step 9

Add a Color Overlay with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Color
  • Pick the color #908770
  • Opacity: 100%
Add a Color OverlayAdd a Color OverlayAdd a Color Overlay

Step 10

Add a Gradient Overlay with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Normal
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Style: Linear
  • Angle:
  • Scale: 150%
  • Click on the Gradient and set these color stops:
  • Color stop 1 - Color: #4c4c4c Location: 0%
  • Color stop 2 - Color: #8f8f8f Location: 32%
  • Color stop 3 - Color: #ffffff Location: 44%
  • Color stop 4 - Color: #8f8f8f Location: 53%
  • Color stop 5 - Color: #ffffff Location: 62%
  • Color stop 6 - Color: #8f8f8f Location: 66%
  • Color stop 7 - Color: #616161 Location: 100%
Add a Gradient OverlayAdd a Gradient OverlayAdd a Gradient Overlay

Step 11

Add a Drop Shadow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Linear Burn
  • Pick the color #010101
  • Opacity: 10%
  • Distance: 0 px
  • Spread: 50%
  • Size: 2 px

Hit OK to apply all changes.

Add a Drop ShadowAdd a Drop ShadowAdd a Drop Shadow

Step 12

Select layer b1 and Double-click the layer to apply the following layer style:

Add a Bevel & Emboss with these settings:

  • Style: Inner Bevel
  • Technique: Smooth
  • Depth: 256%
  • Direction: Up
  • Size: 250 px
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: 90°
  • Altitude: 42°
  • Highlight Mode: Color Dodge with the color #ffffff and Opacity: 58%
  • Shadow Mode: Color Burn with the color #010101 and Opacity: 49%
Add a Bevel and EmbossAdd a Bevel and EmbossAdd a Bevel and Emboss

Step 13

While you are still in the Bevel & Emboss tab, create a custom Gloss Contour with these settings:

Add 9 Points to the contour curve and set an Input and an Output for each of these points.

  • Point 1 - Input: 0% Output: 0%
  • Point 2 - Input: 18% Output: 42%
  • Point 3 - Input: 36% Output: 15%
  • Point 4 - Input: 49% Output: 39%
  • Point 5 - Input: 54% Output: 89%
  • Point 6 - Input: 67% Output: 39%
  • Point 7 - Input: 73% Output: 91%
  • Point 8 - Input: 88% Output: 10%
  • Point 9 - Input: 100% Output: 32%

Click the New button and set Name: My Contour to save this custom contour. You will need it later.

Create a Custom ContourCreate a Custom ContourCreate a Custom Contour

Step 14

Add an Inner Glow with these settings:

  • Blend  Mode: Color Dodge
  • Opacity: 22%
  • Pick the color #ffffff
  • Technique: Softer
  • Source: Edge
  • Choke: 0%
  • Size: 3 px
Add an Inner GlowAdd an Inner GlowAdd an Inner Glow

Step 15

Add a Color Overlay with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Normal
  • Pick the color #9a8868
  • Opacity: 100%
Add a Color OverlayAdd a Color OverlayAdd a Color Overlay

Step 16

Add a Drop Shadow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Linear Burn
  • Pick the color #010101
  • Opacity: 10%
  • Distance: 0 px
  • Spread: 50%
  • Size: 2 px

Hit OK to apply all changes.

Add a Drop ShadowAdd a Drop ShadowAdd a Drop Shadow

Step 17

Select layer c1 and Double-click the layer to apply the following layer style:

Add a Bevel & Emboss with these settings:

  • Style: Inner Bevel
  • Technique: Smooth
  • Depth: 256%
  • Direction: Up
  • Size: 250 px
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: 90°
  • Altitude: 42°
  • Gloss Contour: select previously saved My Contour contour
  • Highlight Mode: Color Dodge with color #ffffff and Opacity: 58%
  • Shadow Mode: Color Burn with color #010101 and Opacity: 49%
Add a Bevel and EmbossAdd a Bevel and EmbossAdd a Bevel and Emboss

Step 18

Add an Inner Shadow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Linear Dodge (Add) with the color #ffffff
  • Opacity: 38%
  • Distance: 0 px
  • Choke: 28%
  • Size: 9 px
Add an Inner ShadowAdd an Inner ShadowAdd an Inner Shadow

Step 19

Add an Inner Glow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Linear Burn
  • Opacity: 13%
  • Pick the color #000000
  • Technique: Softer
  • Source: Edge
  • Choke: 0%
  • Size: 32 px
  • Range: 45%
Add an Inner GlowAdd an Inner GlowAdd an Inner Glow

Step 20

Add a Color Overlay with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Lighten
  • Pick the color #ccc092
  • Opacity: 46%
Add a Color OverlayAdd a Color OverlayAdd a Color Overlay

Step 21

Add a Gradient Overlay with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Normal
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Style: Linear
  • Angle: 80°
  • Scale: 100%
  • Click on the Gradient and set these color stops:
  • Color stop 1 - Color: #6c5b48 Location: 0%
  • Color stop 2 - Color: #e2cd96 Location: 28%
  • Color stop 3 - Color: #e2cd96 Location: 45%
  • Color stop 4 - Color: #6c5b48 Location: 63%
  • Color stop 5 - Color: #e2cd96 Location: 85%
  • Color stop 6 - Color: #eed89c Location: 87%
  • Color stop 7 - Color: #e2cd96 Location: 92%
  • Hit the New button to save this gradient into your Presets. You will use this gradient again in the next step.

Hit OK to apply all of the changes.

Add a Gradient OverlayAdd a Gradient OverlayAdd a Gradient Overlay

Step 22

Select layer c2 and Double-click the layer to apply the following layer style:

Add the Gradient Overlay you saved to your Presets in the last step with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Normal
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Style: Linear
  • Angle: 90°
Add a Gradient OverlayAdd a Gradient OverlayAdd a Gradient Overlay

Step 23

Add a Bevel & Emboss with these settings:

  • Style: Inner Bevel
  • Technique: Chisel Soft
  • Depth: 184%
  • Direction: Up
  • Size: 76 px
  • Soften: 15 px
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: 96°
  • Altitude: 42°
  • Highlight Mode: Color Dodge with the color #ffffff and Opacity: 44%
  • Shadow Mode: Linear Burn with the color #010101 and Opacity: 56%
Add a Bevel and EmbossAdd a Bevel and EmbossAdd a Bevel and Emboss

Step 24

Add a Drop Shadow with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Linear Burn with a color #010201
  • Opacity: 39%
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: 90°
  • Distance: 8 px
  • Spread: 0%
  • Size: 7 px

Hit OK to apply all of the changes.

Add a Drop ShadowAdd a Drop ShadowAdd a Drop Shadow

5. How To Add Final Touches

You are almost done. You should now see these layers in your Layers panel: a2, a1, b1, c1, c2, GLADIUS and the Background layer. Let's clean it up a little bit.

Step 1

While layer c2 is selected, click the layer a2 while holding the Shift key to select these and all the layers in between. Right click on any of these layers and select Group from Layers, fill in the Name: Cinematic Effect, and hit OK

Make Group of Layers c2 to a2Make Group of Layers c2 to a2Make Group of Layers c2 to a2

Step 2

Now it is time to stop recording the action. Click on the Stop button in your Actions panel.

Stop Recording an ActionStop Recording an ActionStop Recording an Action

From now on, you can play this action on any text. Select your text layer in the Layers panel, select 3D Gold action in the Actions panel, and hit the Play button.

Action ExampleAction ExampleAction Example

Congratulations! You're Done!

In this tutorial we learned how to record an action for a 3D cinematic text effect. We started with preparing the assets and some example text, and then we started to record the action. After that, we created and transformed multiple layers. Finally, we added different layer styles and finished our action recording.

And this should be your final result:

Final ResultFinal ResultFinal Result

Remember to explore the Envato Elements' actions library to discover even more!

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