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How to Create a Fabulous Mirror-Ball-Inspired Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

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Read Time: 9 min
Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

This tutorial will show you how to create a simple bump texture and use Photoshop's 3D tools and settings, with a couple of textures and adjustment layers, to create a mirror-ball-inspired text effect. 

This tutorial was inspired by the many Layer Styles available on Envato Market.

What You Will Learn in This Adobe Photoshop Text Effect Tutorial

  • How to create a 3D disco text effect in Adobe Photoshop
  • How to use different combinations of layer styles to achieve the 3D effect
  • How to adjust lighting in Photoshop
  • How to create a disco ball texture

Follow along over on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:

Tutorial Assets

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

1. How to Create a Pattern

Step 1

Create a new 35 x 35px document with a white background.

Pick the Rectangular Marquee Tool, and click the Add to selection icon in the Options bar.

What you need to do next is create a 1 px wide selection at the document's edges. You can zoom in to make things easier.

Create a Frame SelectionCreate a Frame SelectionCreate a Frame Selection

Step 2

Fill the selection with the color #020202, and press Command-D to deselect.

Fill and DeselectFill and DeselectFill and Deselect

Step 3

Next, you'll need to repeat that process to create three more selections going inwards, and fill them with the colors #373737, #bababa, and #f7f7f7, to get the result below.

Create the Inner SelectionsCreate the Inner SelectionsCreate the Inner Selections

Step 4

Once you're done, go to Edit > Define Pattern, type in Bump, and click OK.

Define PatternDefine PatternDefine Pattern

Step 5

Create a new 980 x 980px document, pick the Paint Bucket Tool, choose the Pattern fill in the Options bar, pick the Bump pattern, and fill the document with it.

Save the document under the name Bump Texture, and close it.

Create the Bump TextureCreate the Bump TextureCreate the Bump Texture

2. How to Create the Gradient Background

Step 1

Create a new 1000 x 1000 px document, and duplicate the Background layer.

Create the DocumentCreate the DocumentCreate the Document

Step 2

Double-click the Background copy layer to apply a Gradient Overlay effect with the default settings.

Use the colors #03010c to the left and #240333 to the right to create the gradient fill.

Gradient OverlayGradient OverlayGradient Overlay

This will apply a simple linear gradient to the background.

Background GradientBackground GradientBackground Gradient

3. How to Convert Text Into a Shape 

Step 1

Make sure that you are using the Graphics Processor in your Photoshop Preferences. To do this, go to Edit > Preferences > Performance and then make sure the box is checked before moving on to the next step. This will enable the use of 3D (note: if you do not have a dedicated graphics processor, you may not be able to do the next steps).

Use graphics processor to enable 3DUse graphics processor to enable 3DUse graphics processor to enable 3D

Step 2

Create the text using the font Doughnut Monster G. The Color is #ececec, and the Size is 150 pt.

Create the TextCreate the TextCreate the Text

Step 3

Go to Type > Convert to Shape.

Convert to ShapeConvert to ShapeConvert to Shape

4. How to Create 3D Text in Photoshop

Step 1

Go to 3D > New 3D Extrusion from Selected Path. This will convert the layer into a 3D layer.

Convert to a 3D LayerConvert to a 3D LayerConvert to a 3D Layer

Step 2

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.

The 3D PanelsThe 3D PanelsThe 3D Panels

Step 3

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 ModesMove Tool ModesMove Tool Modes

5. How to Edit the Mesh and Cap Settings

Step 1

Select the 3D mesh tab in the 3D panel, and then, in the Properties panel, change the Texture Mapping to Tile and the Extrusion Depth to 100.

Mesh SettingsMesh SettingsMesh Settings

Step 2

Click the Cap icon at the top of the Properties panel, and then change the Bevel Width to 2%, the Contour to Half Round, and the Inflate Strength to 10%.

Cap SettingsCap SettingsCap Settings

6. How to Modify the Material Settings

Step 1

Select all the material tabs in the 3D panel, and change their values in the Properties panel as follows:

  • Specular: 128,128,128
  • Shine: 100
  • Reflection: 100
  • Roughness: 10
  • Bump: 20
  • Refraction: 1.3
Material SettingsMaterial SettingsMaterial Settings

Step 2

Select the Front Inflation Material tab in the 3D panel, and then click the Bump folder icon and choose Load Texture, and load the Bump Texture you created in Step 1.

Load the Bump TextureLoad the Bump TextureLoad the Bump Texture

Step 3

Click the Bump texture icon and choose Edit UV Properties.

Edit UV PropertiesEdit UV PropertiesEdit UV Properties

Step 4

Adjust the Tile values so that the texture looks perfectly scaled on the text.

Tile SettingsTile SettingsTile Settings

You should get something similar to this.

Edited Bump TextureEdited Bump TextureEdited Bump Texture

Step 5

Select the rest of the material tabs, click the Bump folder icon, and choose the Bump Texture from the list.

Apply the Bump Texture to the Rest of the MaterialsApply the Bump Texture to the Rest of the MaterialsApply the Bump Texture to the Rest of the Materials

Step 6

You might need to adjust the UV Properties for the Extrusion Material after applying the texture. If so, select the Extrusion Material from the 3D panel, and repeat the above steps to apply the texture to the sides of your text.

Extrusion UV PropertiesExtrusion UV PropertiesExtrusion UV Properties

7. How to Modify the Lighting

Step 1

Select the Infinite Light 1 tab, and change the Intensity to 20% and the Shadow Softness to 30%.

Infinite Light SettingsInfinite Light SettingsInfinite Light Settings

Step 2

Select the Environment tab, click the IBL texture icon, and choose Replace Texture.

Environment IBL TextureEnvironment IBL TextureEnvironment IBL Texture

Step 3

Load the People inside a club image, and change the Intensity to 30%.

Environment Light SettingsEnvironment Light SettingsEnvironment Light Settings

Step 4

You can use the Move Tool to move the Environment light's texture around until you get a result you like.

Move the Environment Light TextureMove the Environment Light TextureMove the Environment Light Texture

8. How to Create a Fast Background 

Step 1

Place the 10637-NMQKXB.jpg image in the abstract disco lights background Free Vector folder on top of the Background copy layer, and resize it as you like to fit within the document.

Change the layer's Blend Mode to Linear Dodge (Add) and its Opacity to 50%.

Add the Background TextureAdd the Background TextureAdd the Background Texture

Step 2

Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, and change the Radius to 2.7.

Gaussian BlurGaussian BlurGaussian Blur

9. How to Render a Scene in Photoshop 

Step 1

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

Render the SceneRender the SceneRender the Scene

Step 2

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

Levels Adjustment LayerLevels Adjustment LayerLevels Adjustment Layer

Step 3

Click the Clip to layer icon, and change the Shadows value to 45 and the Highlights value to 225.

You can use any other values you think look best for your result.

Levels ValuesLevels ValuesLevels Values

10. How to Add Flares

Step 1

Pick the Brush Tool, choose one of the Stars and Flares Brush Set brush tips, change its Size to something around 100 px, and then open the Brush panel (Window > Brush).

Under the Shape Dynamics tab, change the Size Jitter to 50% and the Angle Jitter to 100%. This will help you get different sizes and angles for the flares each time you click to add one.

Brush Tip SettingsBrush Tip SettingsBrush Tip Settings

Step 2

Create a new layer on top of all layers, call it Flares, and change its Blend Mode to Vivid light.

Change the Foreground Color to #eaeaea, and start clicking on top of the bright areas of the text to add the flares.

Add the FlaresAdd the FlaresAdd the Flares

11. How to Adjust Lighting and Crop an Image 

Step 1

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

Gradient Map Adjustment LayerGradient Map Adjustment LayerGradient Map Adjustment Layer

Step 2

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

The difference this makes is very subtle, but you can change the gradient fill and/or the Opacity value to get different outcomes.

Gradient Map SettingsGradient Map SettingsGradient Map Settings

Step 3

Finally, save the final result as an image, and then open the image and use the Crop Tool to crop it to the size you like.

Crop the Final ImageCrop the Final ImageCrop the Final Image

Congratulations! You're Done

In this tutorial, we created a simple squares pattern and used it in a texture. Then we created the text and converted it into a 3D layer.

After that, we modified the 3D mesh, material, and lighting settings, added the background, and rendered the scene. Finally, we added the flares and a couple of adjustment layers to finish off the final result.

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

Final ResultFinal ResultFinal Result

Top 5 Disco-Themed Fonts

Try this same effect with some of these disco party-ready fonts below!

Prabo Fat font (OTF, TTF)

Prabo Fat fontPrabo Fat fontPrabo Fat font

The Prabo Fat font is a super bold font, making it ideal to apply text effects to! Combine that with its extra rounded edges, and it's the perfect font to use for a groovy disco ball text effect. 

Funkies Bold Script Font (OTF, TTF)

Funkies Bold Script FontFunkies Bold Script FontFunkies Bold Script Font

Want something with a bit more flair? The Funkies Bold Script Font is a retro bold script font that will bring you right back to the '60s and '70s. Just thick enough to apply some serious text effects to, without worrying about it being unreadable!

Jump Force (OTF, TTF)

Jump ForceJump ForceJump Force

Try something a bit more futuristic with the Jump Force script font. It manages to be ultra sleek and bold at the same time. With just enough flair to remain completely readable and disco friendly! The perfect companion to any party flyer or invitation.  

Magik (OTF, TTF)


Go modern with this geometric display font. Magik is an abstract, extra bold font that will play nicely with even the shiniest of disco ball text effects thanks to its extra-large surface area and minimalistic geometric design!

Cred Typeface (OTF, TTF)

Cred TypefaceCred TypefaceCred Typeface

If you need something with just as much impact, but a little bit more straightforward, then the Cred Typeface is the way to go! This mega fat font is incredibly bold yet still completely readable, making it a must-have for any graphic designer who's a fan of text effects! 

Looking to Learn More?

Check out even more text effects below!

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