How to Create 3D Text

How to Create 3D Text

On this tutorial you ‘ll
– learn how to make 3D text in Illustrator and bring it over to Photoshop to edit
– learn how to make grunge background (optional)

Step 1

Open illustrator and create a new document the document size that I used was 1000x800px. Next choose the type tool and set the text color to 4d4d4d (R=77, G=77, B=77). The font that I’m using is Passion One bold. It’s nice and fat font for this purpose. The font size I used was 340pt. Once you got all that set, type your text.

Step 2

Right click the text you wrote and choose Create Outlines. After doing that choose Unite from the Pathfinder panel. If your Pathfinder panel isn’t showing on the right hand side, you can find it under Window -> pathfinder.


Step 3

Next we are going to do the actual 3D effect. Go to Effect -> 3D -> Extrude & Bevel.


Step 4

Then we are going to convert the 3D text in to a shape and ungroup it so that we can separate the 3D and text and copy it to Photoshop in a specific way. First Choose Object -> Expand Appearance and right after that continue to Object -> Ungroup.

Step 5

Select only the text part with out the 3D and copy it (Ctrl/Cmd+C)


Open a new photoshop file 1200x800px paste the text (Ctrl/Cmd+V) and choose paste as pixels once the pop up appears. Name this layer Text

Go back to Illustrator and choose the 3D part of the text and repeat the previous steps to bring it to Photoshop. Name this layer 3D


Aling the 2 layers so that it looks like the original 3D text over at illustrator.

Now we are done with Illustrator and the rest can be done with Photoshop.
Let’s edit the text to make it look more appealing. We are going to add the text some Gradient, Stroke and Inner Shadow. The gradient color used: #545353 to #242424


Now the text shoud look like this

Step 5

Next we’ll ad the text some shadow. We need a copy of the top text layer. To do this Click Ctrl/Cmd and click on the layer thumbnail. Once selected copy the selection (Ctrl+C), add new layer and paste (Ctrl+V). Put it below the 3D layer and name it shadow.

The color of this newly copied layer is most likely too light, so you can use the color overlay layer style to change the color. I used #545454 on mine. Next add Gaussian Blur to the shadow layer (Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur). Set the radius to 2px. Nudge the shadow layer few pixels up and right by using your arrow keys.

Doublicate the shadow layer and add Gaussian Blur of 5px.

Your text should look like this now

Step 6 – Background

Now we are done styling the text. Next we move on to the background.

Set the background color to #9d9c9c. Choose a large brush and paint on the center of the document. Set the blending mode to Overlay. Name this layer Light.


Step 6 – Grunge Effect

If you are satisfied with the look of your 3D text you can leave it at that or you can continue to add some more details to the background.

We are going to give the background a scratched look by using some grunge brushes. You can download your brushes Here. Load the grunge brushes to Photoshop and create a new layer called Texture. Choose white color and paint on the canvas with the new brushes. Use different brushes to make more interesting background.

Lets ad some layer style. Double click on the Texture layer and under blending options reduce the fill to 0%. Then add some Drop Shadow and Inner Shadow.


That’s it. Our 3D text is ready. You can also add this 3D style to any custom shape. If you are using the custom shape tool on Photoshop, create your shape and copy it to Illustrator and jump to the 3D step.

There it is, that’s yet another way to do 3D text.


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