How To Create 3D Text In Photoshop

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Ever wonder how to create a 3D text effect in Photoshop? Wonder no more! In today’s Photoshop tutorial, you’ll learn how easy it is to create a 3D text effect.

Ready to master creating 3D text? Awesome, let’s do it…

Table of Contents

Note: the (above) video tutorial was created with Photoshop beginners in mind. The following step-by-step instructions are for more experienced users.

Step 1: Create a New Document

create new document

For this design project, let’s set the dimensions of our new document (Command or Ctrl + N) to the following; 1920 for the width, 1080 for the Height @ a resolution of 72ppi. Also, I’m setting the Background Contents to white.

Step 2: Add Your Text and Align

add your text and align

For the font, I recommend a large fat/bold style. I’m using a font called Montserrat Heavy. As for the size and color, let’s go with 200 + a dark gray; #333333.

Type out 3D and hit your escape key to de-activate the text tool. Hold down your Command or Ctrl key and click on the background layer. This will allow you to select both the text and the background layers.

The reason for selecting both layers is to be able to center your text within the canvas. Grab your Move tool (V) and take a look at the tool options. You’ll see a bunch of icons near the middle. These are the tools for aligning layers. Locate the following two icons with these labels and click on them;

Once aligned, click anywhere on your canvas to deselect the layers.

Step 3: Apply the 3D Text Effect

apply the 3d text effect

Now the fun begins! It’s time to learn how to use Photoshop’s built-in 3D tool. Let’s start by right-clicking on the background layer and choosing; “Postcard.”

Next, right-click on your 3D text layer and select “New 3D Extrusion from Selected Layer,” which you’ll find at the bottom.

This will switch your Photoshop interface to the 3D interface. You’ll also see a new panel appropriately named 3D.

Step 4: Add Texture To Your 3D Text

add texture to 3d text

When you look around the 3D interface, it’s relatively easy to become overwhelmed with all the options! For this Photoshop tutorial, we’re not going into all the various tools. It’s beyond the scope of this particular text effect project.

For now, let’s start by rotating our 3D text. To do so, click on the text’s outer edge and move your mouse around to rotate.

Tip: If you’d like, place your mouse inside the 3D text and hover over the arrows/icons in the middle. Each one does something different. Experiment with each to see what they affect your text.

Apply the First Texture

In your 3D panel, expand the 3D option and click on 3D Front Inflation Material. Next, we need to access the Properties panel to make our texture selection.

Windows > Properties

In the Properties window, expand the texture menu by clicking on the down arrow next to the large ball image (to the right). Again, a lot of options to choose from. For this project, let’s go with the Plastic Glossy (blue) texture.

Hover over each icon, and the name of the texture will be revealed. The texture I’m using is easy to find since it’s a bright blue color. Clicking on it will add it your text. The next thing I’d like to do is increase the Glow to 10%.

Again, if you’d like, play around with the other settings and change the Base Color if you desire to.

Apply the Second Texture

Next, let’s add a texture to the extrusion; 3D Extrusion Material. For this one, I’m using the texture (yellow in color) directly above the last one. Again, set the Glow to 10%.

Step 5: Merge & Render Your 3D Text

render your 3d text

Let’s go back to your Layers Panel to merge and render your 3D text. Hold down your Shift key and click on the background layer to select both layers. Then, go to;

3D > Merge 3D Layers

Pro Tip:

Let it be known that rendering your 3D text is going to take, well, forever! Well, maybe not that long. But it will take some time. The older your computer and the fewer resources you have (RAM), the longer it’s going to take.

Also, the amount of time to render is dependent on your3D selections and how many adjustments were made.

I’m currently on an iMac from 2013 with 32GB of RAM. For this project, it took 13 minutes to render!

To render your 3D effect, right-click on the text layer and choose “Render 3D Layer.” Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock!

I’m curious, how long did it take to render your 3D text? Let me know in the comments below.

Before moving onto the next step, right-click on the layer in your Layers Panel and select “Rasterize 3D.”

Step 6: Style Your 3D Text

style your 3d text

To finish our design, we’re going to style it with new colors and a stroke. The first thing we’re going to do is make a selection of the text’s front face.

Grab your Magic Wand tool (W) and click on the first letter (or number in my case). Then, hold down your shift key and click on each additional letter. This will add to your selection.

Let’s create a new layer with Shift + Command or Ctrl + N, and name it Gradient Color. With your Gradient Tool (G), click on the rectangle color box in the tool options to activate the Gradient Editor.

Choose the following colors;

Make sure you have your Linear gradient option selected (in the tool options) and add your gradient. Since you’ve made a selection, the gradient will be applied inside it!

Add a Stroke

Let’s make room for our stroke by shrinking the current selection. Go to; Select > Modify > Contract and set it to 10px. Next, inverse your selection with Shift + Command or Ctrl + I. Then, hit your Backspace or Delete key to reveal the color from the layer below.

Let’s style our stroke with a color gradient, shall we? Here’s how;

  1. Deselect with Command or Ctrl + D.
  2. Select your background layer and reselect each letter with our Wand Tool (W).
  3. Create a new layer called Gradient Stroke.
  4. Go back to your Gradient Tool (G) and change the first + second colors as follows; #90cbf4 and #0e2352.
  5. Add a third color by clicking near the middle/bottom of the extended color bar. Set the color to; #23489e.
  6. Add your gradient and deselect.

New Colors

Let’s finish up by adding a color adjustment. Click on the top layer to select it and add a Color Balance adjustment layer.

Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Color Balance

Adjust the sliders based on your creative vision!

Now What?

Now it’s time to practice what you learned! It’s the best way to master this text effect and anything else for that matter. When you’re happy with your 3Dtext effect design, I’d love to see your finished artwork.

If you’d like to share it, get feedback, or ask questions, I invite you to join our private Facebook group.

Looking for more Photoshop text effect tutorials? Check out this playlist that includes over 20 text effects you can create today!

Like this article? If so, please share!

A 30-year photography pro with a desire to help you achieve your creative vision! Facebook | Youtube

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