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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Designing

How to Create an Ice-cold Poster with 3D Text


In this tutorial, you'll learn how to combine stock images and 3D text into a cool poster. We'll use an icy theme for it and color it the way we want. You'll see it's not that hard to create a simple appealing poster with effective use of text and imagery.

Final Image Preview

Before we get started, let's take a look at the image we'll be creating. 

Video Tutorial

Our video editor Gavin Steele has created this video tutorial to compliment this text + image tutorial.

Step 1

For this tutorial I'll recreate the poster on a smaller canvas. Create a new photoshop document of 600px by 848px. To start off with the background get an interesting texture from cgtextures, I got mine here (Image 3). Import it and resize it.

In my case, after resizing, it did not cover all of the canvas. To make the texture cover a larger area, duplicate the layer (Right-click the layer and select Duplicate Layer...) and place it on top. To make those two layers blend into each other, use a soft brush and erase the bottom of the top layer.

Step 2

To darken the texture, we first desaturate it. This can be done with a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation...). Set Saturation at -100 so the texture turns gray. Create a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast...). Set Brightness at -111 and Contrast at +36.

Step 3

Create a new text layer with the text "ICE ICE ICE" in a white color (font: Century Gothic bold). Give it a huge font size (165pt) and place it so the letters are cut off by the edges. Set the Opacity of the layer to 13%.

Go into the Blending Options (Right-click the layer and select Blending Options...) and give it an Outer Glow. Choose a blue color and play with Size and Spread to change the size of the glow (my settings are a Spread of 22% and a Size of 19px).

Step 4

Create a new layer and use a soft brush at 180px to create a light blue (#34d1f8) area like in the preview. Give this layer an Opacity of 38%.

Step 5

You can get the next two stock photos here and here. Import them on seperate layers. Transform the "clouds" stock until you find a nice angle. Desaturate it (Image > Adjustments > Desaturate) and set the layer to Hard Light at 50%. Use a mask to cut off the parts you do not want to show (Layer > Add Layer Mask > Hide All, use a soft white brush on the mask to reveal the clouds again).

Place the "skyline" stock beneath the "clouds" and give it a Gaussian Blur of 4.3px (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur...). Use Hue/Saturation to give it a blue color (Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation...). Use a mask on the "clouds" layer to hide all the parts you do not want to show. Set this layer to Screen at 50%.

Step 6

Place the "ice cubes" which you can find here, on the canvas. They need to be recolored so use Hue/Saturation to give them a blue color (Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation..., with Hue of 191, and Saturation of 32). Set this layer to Screen.

Step 7

To create the big "ICE ICE" text you can use photoshop or a 3D program like Xara 3D which can be used to create 3D text easily. Whichever you are using, create the text in Century Gothic bold and lay over a texture like this one.

In Xara 3D you can do this in Options > Texture... Export it as a transparent PNG (you can change this in the export dialog box). If you are using Photoshop to create flat text, just import the texture on a new layer above the text. Hit Command + Alt + G so the texture will overlap the underlying layer.

Step 8

Create a new layer above the text we just made. Hit Command + Alt + G so you can only work over the text. Take a soft white brush and brush over the letters. Set this layer's Opacity to 85%.

Step 9

Create a new text layer with the text "baby." The font I used is Birdman, which you can get for free on dafont. Go into the Blending Options (Right-click the layer and selected Blending Options...) and give it a blue Outer Glow.

Between the ice text and the "ice cubes" create yet another text layer for the DJ's name. In the Blending Options you can give it a Gradient Overlay. Choose Radial as Style and use a black to white gradient. Change the Opacity to 30%.

Step 10

Create a new layer on top. We'll create a box to display some details about the event. Make a rectangular selection in the left bottom corner. Use Apply Image (Image > Apply Image), this will fill the selection with whatever is displayed in it at the moment. Now blur the selection (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur..., at 4.3px).

Step 11

Create a new layer while keeping the selection active. Fill the selection with white and change the Opacity to 5%. In the Blending Options, give the layer a Drop Shadow and change the Opacity of it to 100%.

Again create a new layer while keeping the selection active. Now use a very large soft brush with a blue color (#64b1d1) and click once on the top left corner. This should give you a blue gradient over the selection. Lower the Opacity of this layer to 40%.

Step 12

Now create the text layer for the details. I like to vary font sizes and line-heights to create appealing text. Again I used Century Gothic and centered the text.

Step 13

As a finishing touch we can lighten the up ice text even more. Create a new layer on top and take out a soft white brush. Click once on places where you'd like extra light. Set the layer's Opacity to 70%.

Step 14

Create a Gradient Map (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map...) from dark blue (#061731) to a lighter orange (#f5d9a8). Set this adjustment layer to Darken at 65%. On this layer's mask use a black soft brush to brush over the ice ice baby text so it doesn't turn orange.

As a final touch, create a new layer and use Apply Image (Image > Apply Image). Go to lighting effects (Filter > Render > Lighting Effects...) and change apply as shown.


Set this last layer to Soft Light and lower the opacity a bit. You're all done!

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