Learn how to create real 3D text all inside Photoshop CS5 Extended! This tutorial will show you how to create a grungy poster out of the modern 3D text effect that you will learn how to make. You will also learn some tricks such as how to randomize brush settings to avoid “clone-stamp patterns”.

Photoshop Tutorial

Downloads you need for this Photoshop tutorial

To follow this Photoshop tutorial, you’ll need the following stock image and Photoshop brushes. You also need Photoshop CS5 Extended.

Step 1

Start this Photoshop tutorial by creating a new Letter sized document at 300 DPI. Using a high DPI lets you print out your artwork at the best quality.

Step 2

First, we’re going to darken the background slightly so that it’s a light-gray. The quickest way to do this is to press Ctrl+U (Command+U on a Mac) and reducing the lightness. Reduce the Lightness to –15 then click OK.

Your document will now just be a plain gray color.


Step 3

Use the Text tool to type in some text using the font of your choice. Position it in the center and adjust the text-size so that it fits the width of the image (without going over the edge).

Step 4

Go to 3D > Render > Repousse. You need Photoshop CS5 Extended to get access to this tool. Photoshop will give you a warning telling you that it will rasterize the text. This is okay – just click Yes.

In the Reposse setting, set the Depth to around 0.3. In the Materials, click on the top left drop down and select the no materials preset. Click OK.

Here’s what your 3D text looks like!

Step 5

Select the 3D Object Rotate tool.

Hold down the Shift key then drag upwards on the text. Holding the shift key snaps your rotation so that it is only moving in 45 degree increments – basically, this lets you rotate it perfectly straight.

Step 6

Press Ctrl/Cmd+T (or you can go to Edit > Free Transform if it doesn’t work). Photoshop will ask if you want to convert it to a smart object – click yes.

Rotate and scale your text like this. Hold down the Shift key while you’re making the adjustments so that the aspect ratio of your text stays the same (in other words, so your text doesn’t get taller or shorter)