Photoshop Tutorial: 3D Text Effect

This tutorial demonstrates a really cool effect you can use on your text or other “stuff” to make it appear 3D.

Step 1

Open a new document a make it the appropriate size for the text you will be working with. Click on the color picker and choose a color that is the same color as your text will be, only brighter (for this example, our final text will be a medium blue, so we will use a light blue).

Example 1

Step 2

Now, click on the arrows to switch to your background color and again go to the color picker. Choose a darker shade than you choose for the foreground color (in the example we will use a dark blue).

Step 3

Now, select the Type tool and type the word(s) you wish to include in your graphic. Hold Command (PC: Control) and click on your text layer to create a selection of the text, and then hide or delete the original text layer.

Example 2

Step 4

Create a new layer and then press Option+Delete (PC: Alt+Delete) to fill the text selection with the foreground color (light blue in this case). Then create another layer (while the text is still selected) and fill the selection with a seamless texture—you can download one of the many free textures available here, or use one of your own. To fill a selection with a texture, open the texture image in Photoshop, press Cmd+A (PC: Ctrl+A) to select all, and choose Edit » Define Pattern… then fill the selection by going to Edit » Fill and choosing your texture, which should now appear there.

Example 3
Example 4

Step 5

With the top layer still selected, drag the Opacity Slider in the Layers Palette down to about 50% or 60% (depending on how dark or light you want your final product to be).

Step 6

Create a new layer and select the Gradient tool. Drag within the text selection to make a gradient from top to bottom—then drag the opacity slider down until you can see some of the texture behind the gradient.

Step 7

Now add a drop shadow to your text—have a look at the Drop Shadows tutorial if you need help with that.

Example 5

Step 8

You could stop right there if you want, but you can keep adding on if you’d like. Here’s an example with a bevel applied (check out Layer » Layer Style to create your own effects).

Example 6

Back to top