How to create 3D Retro text effect in Adobe Photoshop

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  • Tut

    This tutorial will show you how to use smart objects, with some textures and layer styles, to create a 3D, retro text effect in Photoshop.

    Tutorial assets:

    What we’ll create

    56f41ebb-0e81-4149-a36e-e42612bf56cb

    1. Create the background

    Step 1

    Create a new 1000 x 700px document, then click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, then choose Solid Color.

    Step_01

    Step 2

    Use the color #549094.

    Step_02

    2. Create the text

    Step 1

    Create the text in All Caps using the font The Bold Font. Set the Size to 200pt, the Tracking value to 50, and the Color to #d3813f.

    Step_03

    Step 2

    Rename the text layer to Text, then right-click it and choose Convert to Smart Object.

    Step_04

    Step 3

    Duplicate the Text layer, then make it invisible, and drag it on top of the copy.

    Step_05

    3. Create the extrusion

    Step 1

    Duplicate the Text copy layer by pressing Command-J.

    Step_06

    Step 2

    Hit the Right Arrow Key once, then hit the Down Arrow Key once as well, to move the copy 2 layer 1px to the right and 1px downwards.

    Step_07

    Step 3

    Repeat that 12 more times to create the extrusion. The last layer should have the name Text copy 14.

    Step_08

    Step 4

    Select all the copy layers you have, then go to Layer > Arrange > Reverse, to reverse the order of the extrusion layers.

    Step_09

    Step 5

    Deselect the Text copy layer at the top, then group the rest of the copy layers and name the group Extrusion.

    Step_10

    4. Create the top layers

    Step 1

    Rename the Text copy layer to Text Top, then duplicate it, and change the copy’s Fill value to 0.

    Step_11

    Step 2

    Duplicate the Text Top copy layer.

    Step_12

    5. Style the extrusion layers

    Double-click the Text copy 2 layer inside the Extrusion group to apply the following layer style:

    Step 1

    - Bevel and Emboss

    Depth: 250

    Size: 0

    Uncheck the Use Global Light box

    Angle: 123

    Altitude: 45

    Check the Anti-aliased box

    Highlight Mode:

    • Color: b5b5b5
    • Opacity: 100%

    Shadow Mode:

    • Color: #363636
    • Opacity: 100%
    Step_13

    Step 2

    Contour

    • Contour: Half Round
    • Check the Anti-aliased box.
    • Range: 100%
    Step_14

    Step 3

    Color Overlay

    • Color: #f0ecdd
    Step_15

    Step 4

    Right-click the styled layer, and choose Copy Layer Style.

    Step_16

    Step 5

    Select the rest of the layers inside the Extrusion Group, right-click any of them, and choose Paste Layer Style.

    Step_17

    6. Style the Extrusion group

    Double-click the Extrusion group to apply the following layer style:

    Step 1

    - Drop Shadow

    • Opacity: 35%
    • Distance: 8
    • Size: 2
    Step_18

    Step 2

    Add another Drop Shadow effect by clicking the + icon next to the Drop Shadow tab, and use these settings for the new effect:

    Drop Shadow 2

    • Opacity: 35%
    • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
    • Angle: 126
    • Distance: 23
    • Size: 2
    Step_19

    Step 3

    Add one more Drop Shadow effect with these settings:

    - Drop Shadow 3

    • Opacity: 5%
    • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
    • Angle: 124
    • Distance: 37
    • Size: 0
    Step_20

    This will create the shadow.

    Step_21

    7. Style the top layers

    Step 1

    Double-click the Text Top copy layer to apply a Pattern Overlay effect with these settings:

    • Blend Mode: Soft Light
    • Opacity: 35%
    • Pattern: 11px sawtooth stripes
    • Scale: 50%
    Step_22

    This will just add the pattern. You can choose any other pattern you like.

    Step_23

    Double-click the Text Top copy 2 layer to apply the following layer style:

    Step 2

    - Stroke

    • Size: 1
    • Position: Inside
    • Color: #fbf9ef
    Step_24

    Step 3

    - Stroke - 2

    • Size: 1
    • Position: Outside
    • Color: #fbf9ef
    Step_25

    Step 4

    - Inner Shadow

    • Color: #545454
    • Opacity: 35%
    • Distance: 5
    • Size: 0
    Step_26

    Step 5

    - Inner Shadow - 2

    • Color: #545454
    • Opacity: 35%
    • Distance: 10
    • Size: 0
    Step_27

    Step 6

    - Inner Shadow - 3

    • Color: #545454
    • Opacity: 35%
    • Distance: 15
    • Size: 0
    Step_28

    This will add a couple of layers of stroke and inner shadow to the text.

    Step_29

    8. Add the texture overlay

    Step 1

    Place the Background 7 texture from the Abstract grunge backgrounds Free Psd pack on top of all layers, and resize it as needed.

    Then, change its layer’s Blend Mode to Soft Light and its Opacity to 50%.

    Step_30

    Step 2

    Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation, then change the Saturation value to -100.

    Step_31

    Step 3

    Go to Image > Adjustments > Levels, then change the Shadows value to 35.

    Step_32

    That’s it!

    Anytime you want to change the text, here’s what you do:

    • Double-click the original Text layer’s thumbnail.
    • Change the text in the file that opens.
    • Go to Image > Reveal All.
    • Go to File > Save, then File > Close.
    • The effect will be applied to the new text!

    Conclusion

    In this tutorial, we used smart objects to create a text and its extrusion. Then, we used a bunch of layer styled to create the retro 3D effect. And finally, we added a simple texture overlay to finish off the effect.

    Please feel free to share your work in the comments section below.

    56f41ebb-0e81-4149-a36e-e42612bf56cb
  • About

    This tutorial will show you how to use smart objects, with some textures and layer styles, to create a 3D, retro text effect in Photoshop.

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