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How to Create a 3D Gold Layered Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

This tutorial will show you how to use Photoshop’s shape attributes, 3D tools and settings, and adjustment layers to create a 3D gold layered text effect. Let’s get started!

This text effect was inspired by the many Layer Styles available on GraphicRiver.

Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial:

1. How to Create Text Shape Layers

Step 1

Create a new 1250 x 900px document, and create the text using the font Bebas Neue. Set the Size to 250 and the Tracking value to 100.

Create the Text

Step 2

Right-click the text layer and choose Convert to Shape, and rename the shape layer to 1.

Convert to Shape

Step 3

Duplicate the 1 layer twice, and rename the copies to 2 and 3.

Create Copies

2. How to Modify the Shape Attributes

Step 1

Pick the Direct Selection Tool (A) to adjust the shape attributes in the Options bar.

Select the 2 layer, and change its Fill to None and its Stroke Size to 5. Click the Set shape stroke type icon to change Align to Outer.

Shape Attributes

Step 2

Select the 3 layer, and change its Fill to None and its Stroke Size to 10. Click the Set shape stroke type icon to change Align to Outer.

Shape Attributes

3. How to Create 3D Layers

Step 1

For each shape layer you have, select it and go to 3D > New 3D Extrusion from Selected Path.

New 3D Extrusion from Selected Path

Step 2

Select all the 3D layers, go to 3D > Merge 3D Layers, and rename the merged layer to 3D Scene.

Merge 3D Layers

4. How to Work With the 3D Scene

Step 1

To access the 3D mesh settings and properties, you’ll need to open two panels: the 3D panel and the Properties panel (both found under the Window menu).

The 3D panel has all the components of the 3D scene, and when you click the name of any of those, you’ll be able to access its settings in the Properties panel. So make sure to always select the tab of the element you want to modify in the 3D panel before you change its settings in the Properties panel.

3D and Properties Panels

Step 2

Select the Move Tool to access its 3D Modes to the right of the Options bar.

After you choose one of those, you can click-drag to perform changes (on the selected element in the 3D panel).

Use the 3D Modes to change the Current View to an angle you like.

Move Tool 3D Modes

5. How to Adjust 3D Mesh Settings

Step 1

Select all 3D mesh tabs in the 3D panel, and change their Extrusion Depth in the Properties panel to 10.

Extrusion Depth

Step 2

Click the Cap icon at the top of the Properties panel, and change its Bevel Width value to 2%.

Bevel Width

6. How to Move 3D Meshes

Step 1

Pick the Move Tool, select the mesh tab of the text layer you want to move, and use the 3D Axis to move it in order to stack the meshes you have.

The arrows at the ends of the axis move the mesh, the part below them is used for rotation, and the cubes are used for scaling. The cube in the center is used to scale the object uniformly. All you need to do is click and drag the part you want to use.

3D Axis

Step 2

You can click the Current View tab in the 3D panel, and use the different View presets under the Properties panel to help you place the meshes more easily and precisely.

Change the Current View

Step 3

You can always select and adjust the meshes position any time, especially after applying the materials, so don’t worry about perfecting that now.

Position the Meshes

7. How to Create 3D Materials

Step 1

Select all the Material tabs of the meshes you have, and click the Diffuse texture icon in the Properties panel to choose Remove Texture.

Remove Texture

Step 2

Use these settings for the rest of the options (the color values used are in RGB):

  • Diffuse: 152, 106, 25
  • Specular: 246, 240, 234
  • Shine: 80%
  • Reflection: 20%
  • Refraction: 1.2%
Material Settings

Step 3

Select the 1 Front Inflation Material tab, click the Bump folder icon, and choose Load Texture to open the 3b.jpg image from the Metal seamless textures 7 pack.

Load Bump Texture

Step 4

Click the Bump texture icon and choose Edit UV Properties.

Edit UV Properties

Step 5

We just need to add a slight texture to the front material, so you can zoom in on the text quite a bit, and change the Tile values to get a result you like.

Tile Values

Step 6

Change the Bump value to 2%.

Bump Value

8. How to Create a Background Mesh

Step 1

Pick the Rectangle Tool, and click anywhere inside the document to get the Create Rectangle box.

Set the Width value to 1350 px and the Height to 1005 px, and click OK.

Create Rectangle

Step 2

Rename the shape layer to Wall, and go to 3D > New 3D Extrusion from Selected Path.

New 3D Extrusion from Selected Path

Step 3

Change the mesh’s Extrusion Depth to 10.

Extrusion Depth

Step 4

Select the Current View tab, and choose 3D Scene from the View menu.

Current View

Step 5

Select both 3D layers and go to 3D > Merge 3D Layers.

Use the 3D Axis to move the Wall mesh behind the text.

Merge 3D Layers

9. How to Create a 3D Brick Material

Step 1

Click the Wall Front Inflation Material tab, click the Diffuse texture icon to choose Replace Texture, and load the Brick-08.jpg image, or any other image you like, from the 10 Seamless Clean Brick Textures pack.

Adjust the Diffuse‘s UV Properties Tile values to get a result you like, and use these material settings:

  • Specular: 0, 0, 0
  • Shine: 90%
Material Settings

Step 2

Click the Bump folder icon and choose Generate Bumps From Diffuse.

Generate Bumps From Diffuse

Step 3

Check the Invert Height box, adjust any other settings you want, and click OK.

Invert Height

Step 4

Once the texture is generated, adjust its UV Properties to match the Diffuse‘s, and increase the Bump value to 35%.

Bump Settings

10. How to Modify the Final Document

Step 1

This is an optional step, but you can now downsize the document if you want, by going to Image > Image Size and changing the Width value to 850.

Image Size

Step 2

Once you’ve chosen the document’s final dimensions, change the Current View to an angle you like, and make sure to scale the Wall mesh so that there are no empty areas around the text.

Final Camera View

11. How to Adjust a 3D Scene’s Lighting

Step 1

Select the Infinite Light 1 tab, and change its Color to (249, 246, 239), its Intensity to 50%, and its Shadow Softness to 50% as well.

Infinite Light 1

Step 2

Use the Move Tool to change the light’s position, or click the Coordinates icon at the top of the Properties panel to use numerical values instead.

Move the Light

Step 3

Click the Add new Light to Scene icon at the bottom of the 3D panel, and choose New Point Light.

Add New Light to Scene

Step 4

Change the Point Light‘s Color to (253, 251, 244), its Intensity to 70%, and its Shadow Softness to 50%.

Then, check the Light Falloff box, and change the Inner value to 800 px and the Outer to 2500 px.

Point Light 1

Step 5

Move the Point Light until it touches the Wall mesh, and place it anywhere you like around the text.

Move the Light

Step 6

Select the Environment tab, click the IBL texture icon, and choose Replace Texture to load the Futuristic vestibule underground station image.

Replace Texture

Step 7

Change the Intensity to 50% and the Ground Plane Shadow Opacity to 0%.

Use the Move Tool to move the texture around until you like the outcome.

Environment Light Settings

12. How to Apply Adjustments to a Rendered 3D Layer

Step 1

Go to 3D > Render 3D Layer. The rendering might take a while, but you can stop it any time by pressing the Esc key.

Once the rendering is done, right-click the 3D Scene layer, and choose Convert to Smart Object to avoid making any accidental changes.

Render the 3D Scene

Step 2

Go to Image > Adjustments > Vibrance, and change the Vibrance value to 30.

Vibrance

Step 3

Go to Image > Adjustments > Selective Color, and use these values:

Reds

  • Cyan: 50
  • Magenta: 5
  • Yellow: -2

Yellows

  • Cyan: -10
  • Magenta: -10
  • Yellow: 20
Selective Color

Neutrals

  • Magenta: 5
  • Yellow: 2

Blacks

  • Cyan: 10
  • Magenta: -2
  • Yellow: -10
  • Black: 5
Selective Color

Step 4

Go to Image > Adjustments > Levels, and change the Shadows value to 9 and the Highlights to 229.

Levels

Step 5

Go to Image > Adjustments > Color Lookup, and choose the Smokey table from the Device Link menu.

Color Lookup

Step 6

Expand the layer’s Smart Filters list, and double-click the Color Lookup tab’s Blending Options icon.

Change the Opacity to 50% and click OK.

Blending Options

Step 7

Go to Image > Adjustments > Color Lookup, and choose the Gold-Blue table from the Abstract menu.

Color Lookup

Step 8

Double-click the second Color Lookup tab’s Blending Options icon, change its Blend Mode to Soft Light and its Opacity to 30%, and click OK.

Color Lookup

13. How to Add the Final Global Adjustments

Step 1

Click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose Gradient.

Create a Transparent to Fill Color gradient fill using the Colors #b8b4a7 to the left and #111a19 to the right.

Change the Style to Reflected and the Angle to a value that suits the text angle you have, and change the Gradient layer’s Blend Mode to Hard Light and its Opacity to 70%.

Gradient

Step 2

Create a new layer on top of all layers and press the Shift-Option-Command-E keys to create a stamp.

Rename the layer to High Pass, convert it to a Smart Object, and change its Blend Mode to Soft Light.

High Pass Layer

Step 3

Go to Filter > Other > High Pass, and change the Radius to 1.

High Pass Filter

Step 4

Create another new layer, name it Noise, and go to Edit > Fill.

Change the Contents to 50% Gray and click OK.

Fill

Step 5

Convert the Noise layer to a Smart Object, and change its Blend Mode to Soft Light.

Noise Layer

Step 6

Go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise, change the Amount to 5 and the Distribution to Gaussian, and check the Monochromatic box.

Noise Filter

Congratulations! You’re Done!

In this tutorial, we created a couple of text shapes and adjusted their attributes to create the text layers. Then, we converted the shapes to 3D meshes, adjusted their settings, and created their materials. After that, we added a background wall, adjusted the lighting, and rendered the scene. Finally, we added a couple of adjustments to finish off the effect.

Please feel free to leave your comments, suggestions, and outcomes below.

Final Result

If you’d like to learn more, I recommend the following tutorials: