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3D Skyscraper Text Effect in Photoshop CS5 – Part 1

This tutorial will explain how to create a nice 3D skyscraper text effect in Photoshop CS5, and will cover a couple of basic 3D concepts in the Photoshop 3D environment.

** Update: If you are using Photoshop CS6, you can check the updated version of this tutorial to create the 3D part.

This part (Part 1) will explain how to create the basic 3D scene, apply the different needed materials, and adjust the lights for rendering. The next part (Part 2), will explain the remaining steps needed to get the final result.

The Final Result

Tutorial Details

  • Software Used : Photoshop
  • Version : CS5 Extended
  • Time : 1:30 – 2:45

* The tutorial will explain the basic steps, but won’t get into the details, as the details are already covered in the previous 3D tutorials. But feel free to ask about any unclear steps or concepts.

Resources

* Enabling OpenGL
The Repoussé will not work unless OpenGL is enabled. So go to Edit > Preferences > Performance, and make sure Enable OpenGL Drawing (under GPU Settings) is checked.

2011 enable OpenGL

Also, go to Edit > Preferences > 3D, and make sure OpenGL (under Interactive Rendering) is enabled.

2011 OpenGL

Step 1

Create a new 1024 x 768 px document. Start with a Black Background, and create your text in White. The font used is Geometry Soft Pro, the Size is 150 px (you’ll be able to scale the 3D text anytime though), set the Tracking value to 25 to leave more space between the letters, and click the All Caps button.

Skyscraper 3D step 1

Go to 3D > Repoussé > Text Layer.

A dialog box will appear telling you that this will rasterize the type layer, and you will no longer be able to modify your text. If you are sure you don’t need to modify your text, click yes and continue.

In the Repoussé dialog box, set the Depth to 5.5 or any other value you like depending on the length of extrusion you want. Change the Scale to 0.8, the Texture to Tile, and check the Shear button.

We are also going to add some Bevel to the Front side, so change the Height to 10, the Width to 7, and the Contour to Cone.

Skyscraper 3D step 1

Use the 3D Object tools and Camera tools to resize and position your 3D text as shown below.
(Read more about the 3D Axis and 3D object and camera tools).

Skyscraper 3D step 1

Step 2

Time to create the patterns we are going to use for texturing. Open a new 50 x 50 px document with a Transparent Background. Create 2 lines, each one 2 px width, as shown below.

Skyscraper 3D step 2

Make sure the Background is transparent, and go to Edit > Define Pattern, and type Diffuse in the Name field.

Skyscraper 3D step 2

Create a new layer, fill it with Black, then create the pattern shown below:

Skyscraper 3D step 2

Once you created the pattern, create another new layer on top of it, and fill it with White.

Skyscraper 3D step 2

Press Ctrl/Cmd + T and move the white fill to one of the corners so that it covers the white part below it only as shown below. Hit Enter/Return to confirm.

Skyscraper 3D step 2

Double click th White fill layer to apply an Inner Shadow, just change the Distance value to 0.

Skyscraper 3D step 2

This should apply a soft shadow on the inner corner.

Skyscraper 3D step 2

Repeat that for the remaining corners, (you might as well duplicate the layer and move it around over each corner), then again go to Edit > Define Pattern, and type Bump in the Name field this time.

Skyscraper 3D step 2

Step 3

Back to the original document, open the 3D panel (Window > 3D), and select the Extrusion Material. Remove the Diffuse texture.

Skyscraper 3D step 3

Now click New Texture to add one.

Skyscraper 3D step 3

Type in 750 for both the Width and Height values.

Skyscraper 3D step 3

Click Open Texture to modify it.

Skyscraper 3D step 3

Create a new layer and make the Background invisible (click the eye icon next to it), and fill the new layer with the Diffuse pattern.

Skyscraper 3D step 3

Double click the layer and add a 2 px Stroke to make the pattern a bit thicker.

Skyscraper 3D step 3

Save your work and close the texture file.

Skyscraper 3D step 3

Back to the original document, change the Diffuse color to #5d727e.

Skyscraper 3D step 3

Click Edit Properties to modify the scaling of the pattern.

Skyscraper 3D step 3

You can play around with the values to see how the texture changes, or you can use the values shown below to get the same result in this tutorial.

Skyscraper 3D step 3

You can see how the values changed the texture without the need to modify it.

Skyscraper 3D step 3

Step 4

Create a new texture for the Bump the same way you did for the Diffuse, and open it to modify it.

Skyscraper 3D step 4

Fill the texture with the Bump pattern, save and close the file.

Skyscraper 3D step 4

Change the Properties so that they have the same values as the Diffuse texture. Change the Bump value to 10. You can see now how the Bump adds more depth to the texture.

Also, change the Reflection to 30, the Gloss to 20%, and the Shine to 50%. This will add the Glossy look to the extrusion.

Skyscraper 3D step 4

Now select the Front Inflation Material to modify its settings. Change the Diffuse color to #b4b4b4, the Reflection to 20, the Gloss to 80%, and the Shine to 50%.

Skyscraper 3D step 4

Step 5

Finally, select the Front Bevel Material, and create a new 1024 x 768 px Diffuse texture. Open the texture to edit it.

Skyscraper 3D step 5

Set the Foreground and Background colors to Black and White, then go to Filter > Render > Clouds.

Skyscraper 3D step 5

Go to Filter > Artistic > Watercolor, and change the values as shown below:

Skyscraper 3D step 5
Skyscraper 3D step 5

Go to Filter > Sketch > Chrome, and change the values as shown below too:

Skyscraper 3D step 5
Skyscraper 3D step 5

Save the work and go back to the original document. Change the Reflection to 90, the Gloss to 80%, and the Shine to 60%.

Skyscraper 3D step 5

That’s it for the texturing and materials part!

Step 6

Select the Infinite Light 1, and change its color to #ebe5d5.

Skyscraper 3D step 6

Select the Infinite Light 3, and change the Light Type to Spot.

Skyscraper 3D step 6

Finally, select Scene at the top of the 3D panel, and choose Ray Traced Final from the Quality drop down menu.

Skyscraper 3D step 6

Save your work after the rendering is finished (this might take some time).

Skyscraper 3D step 6

This is the final result for this part, see you in Part 2!