In this tutorial, we will mix Photoshop CS6′s 3D tools with Filter Forge to create an "out of the box" stone and concrete 3D text effect. Let’s get started!
The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial.
- Chivo Black font.
- Travertine by funk24.
- Wall Distressed Section 01 by angelboiii.
- Rusted Metal by futuremotion.
- Bonez by Rawn (RawArt).
Downloading Filter Forge
First, you need to download Filter Forge from the plugin’s website. Once you download it, run the installation file, and that’s it! It will be added inside Photoshop under the Filter menu. Super easy to install.
To launch the plugin and start adding some filters, go to Filter > Filter Forge > Filter Forge 3. You’ll find a couple of already existing filters under a number of categories. You’ll also find a “Filter Library: Download more filters” link to the top right side of the plugin’s window. Click the link to start downloading filters.
The link will take you to the Filters page on the plugin’s website. You can search for almost any filter among the amazing 9000+ filters available. Just type the keywords you want to find filters for, and click the Search button.
Once you get your search results, click the filter’s name.
This will open the filter’s page. Click the “Open this filter in Filter Forge” button to install the filter. If you get a message asking you to confirm, just click Yes or OK. The Filter will then be added to the other filters you have.
You can search for the downloaded filters by typing their names or a related keyword in the plugin’s search box. Make sure to download all the filters in the Tutorial Assets section before you continue with the tutorial.
Create a new 1152 x 864 px document, and fill the Background with the color #c2c2c2.
Create the text in All Caps using the font Chivo (the font color is white), and type every word in a separate line. Next, we’re going to modify the Size and Leading values of the words.
Keep in mind that you might need to use different values if you have a different text or if you are using a different font. The values displayed here work for the specific text used in the tutorial.
Open the Character panel (Window > Character), then, use the Type Tool to select each line (word) by double clicking it. The word “THINK” is selected first here, then, the Size is set to 175 and the Leading to 100.
“OUTSIDE”: Font Size is 126 and the Leading is 110.
“THE”: Font Size is 295 and the Leading is 230.
“BOX”: Font Size is 275 and the Leading is 220.
The text sides should be aligned, and the distance between the lines should be as similar as possible.
Duplicate the text layer, then make the original one invisible by clicking the eye icon next to it. This is simply to keep a copy of the text layer in case you need it again later.
Right click the duplicated text layer and choose “Convert to Shape”, then duplicate the shape layer and make the copy invisible.
Pick the Rounded Rectangle Tool. In the Options bar, choose the Shape option, click the “Exclude Overlapping Shapes” icon, and set the Radius to 10. Click and drag a box around the letters, you can press and hold the Shift key while doing so to create a perfect square shape.
Once you release the mouse button, the letters will be excluded from the square shape. Make this layer invisible.
Make the text shape layer visible and duplicate it, select the original one so that it is the active layer, and decide which letter you want to pull outside the box. We will use the letter X.
Pick the Direct Selection Tool, click and drag to select the letter you want to pull outside the box. You don’t have to pick all the anchor points since the letters are pretty close to each other, but select as many anchor points as possible.
Then, you can press and hold the Shift key, and click any remaining anchor points (the ones that weren’t selected with the click and drag).
Make sure no other points are selected, then hit the Delete key to remove the selected letter.
Select the duplicated text shape layer, then select the letters you want to keep inside the box. Again, press and hold the Shift key, then click to add or remove the anchor points when needed.
Delete the selected letters.
Make the three shape layers visible.
Select the box shape layer, then go to 3D > New 3D Extrusion from Selected Path.
Select the inside the box letters shape layer and extrude them the same way.
Repeat the same step for the outside the box letter shape layer as well.
Select all 3D layers (Command/Ctrl + click each one), then go to 3D > Merge 3D Layers. This will place all the meshes in one layer, which means one scene as well.
This is an important step to keep things organized: Save the document you’re working on in a separate folder, as we’re going to save some other files later, and it’s better to keep them all in the same folder.
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.
One thing you’ll need to do often while working in a 3D scene, is change the camera angle (view). So click the “Current View” in the 3D panel, then pick the Move Tool.
In Photoshop CS6, there are no special 3D Tools anymore. If you check the Move Tool’s Option bar now, you’ll find a set of 3D Modes for the tool to the right of the bar. You can pick a Mode, then click and drag in an empty area to move the scene around.
The Move Tool 3D Modes can also be used for meshes. But an easier option is using the 3D Axis. You can get the 3D Axis by clicking a mesh (or its name in the 3D panel), while the Move Tool is active.
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 wanted part.
Move the meshes only if you want to make changes on them. If you want to view or place them in different angles, change the Camera View instead.
Select the letters you want to keep inside the box, then move them along the Z Axis to pop them a little bit outside the box.
Click the letter you want to place outside the box, then pull it out completely.
Rotate the letter and reposition it as you like.
Command/Ctrl + Click all meshes’ groups in the 3D panel, then go to 3D > Snap Object to Ground Plane, then select the letter outside and do the same thing to make sure nothing is floating above the ground plane.
(Each mesh is placed in a group that can be expanded or collapsed by clicking the small arrow next to it).
Select the box mesh name (inside its group) in the 3D panel, then, in the Properties panel, change the Texture Mapping to Tile and the Depth to 750.
Click the Cap icon at the top of the Properties panel, then change the Width to 3% and the Contour to Half Round.
Click the first text layer’s mesh name, then change its Texture Mapping to Tile and its Depth to 350.
Under Cap, change the Width to 5% and the Contour to Half Round.
Apply the same settings for the second text layer mesh.
Create a new 1024 x 1024 px document. It will be used to create two textures, because the textures used take quite a long time to be rendered. So instead of recreating them each time, we’ll save them as images.
Fill the Background with the color #a1a1a1.
Create a new layer and call it “Travertine”.
Go to Filter > Filter Forge > Filter Forge 3, and choose the “Travertine” filter under the Stone category. Use the default preset and click Apply.
Wait until the texture is applied.
Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation. Change the Saturation to -100 and the Lightness to -5, then click Ok. Save (File > Save As…) the file as a .jpg image in the folder you created earlier, and name the image “Travertine”.
Create a new layer and call it “Wall Distressed”.
Go to Filter > Filter Forge > Filter Forge 3, and choose the “Wall Distressed Section 1″ filter under the Building category. Use the last preset and click Apply.
This filter might take a while, but it’s a richly detailed one. Once applied, save it as a .jpg image as well with the name “Wall Distressed”.
You can save the textures’ psd file if you like, then close it (File > Close).
Create a new 500 x 500 px document.
Go to Filter > Filter Forge > Filter Forge 3, and choose the “Rusted Metal” filter under the Techno category. Use the last preset, then, under the Settings tab, check the Seamless Tiling box, and change the Size,pixels value to 166.67. Click Apply.
Go to Image > Adjustments > Desaturate. Then go to Edit > Define Pattern, and type in “Rusted Metal”.
Before moving on, it’s a good idea to rename the groups so that it’s easier to identify them.
To do so, double click the group’s name, change it, then hit Enter/Return.
Next is applying textures. Start with the “Box” mesh, and click the “Front Inflation Material” in the 3D panel. Then, click the Diffuse texture icon in the Properties panel and choose Edit Texture.
If you get a message warning you that the texture is used in multiple places in the scene click OK and continue.
This will open up the texture file. Since the mesh is originally created from a shape layer, the front texture will be based on that original shape.
Command/Ctrl + click the shape layer’s thumbnail to create a selection. Then, pick the Paint Bucket Tool, and in the Options bar, choose the Pattern fill, and choose the “Rusted Metal” pattern.
Create a new layer and click inside the selection to fill it with the pattern. Save this document.
We will be using this file to create the Bump texture as well. So go to File > Save As…, and save the file in the folder you created. Call the file “Box – Front Bump”. Close the file after saving it.
With the “Front Inflation Material” still selected, click the folder icon next to the Bump in the Properties panel, then choose Load Texture, and load the “Box – Front Bump” file.
Click the Bump texture icon and choose Edit Texture.
When the texture file is opened, delete the texture layer at the top, then create a selection and a new layer.
Go to Filter > Filter Forge > Filter Forge 3, and choose the “Bonez” filter under the Organic category. Use the default preset and change the Size,pixels value under the Settings tab to 500. Make sure that the Seamless Tiling box is unchecked and click Apply.
This will add some cracks to the texture, by making the lighter areas create raised surfaces and the darker areas create flatter surfaces. Save the file and close it.
You can see now how both textures work together on the front of the box.
Click the “Front Bevel Material” and load the “Box – Front Bump” file once again for the Bump. The Diffuse material is already applied along with the Front Inflation Material.
Click the “Extrusion Material” in the 3D panel, then click the Diffuse icon in the Properties panel and choose Edit Texture.
When the texture opens, go to Image > Canvas Size, and type in 2000 for both the Width and Height values.
Fill the layer with the “Rusted Metal” pattern, then save the file and close it.
You’ll notice that the texture looks distorted. To fix that, click the Diffuse texture icon and choose Edit UV Properties.
Change the U Scale to 1000%, the V Scale to 100%, and the U Offset and V Offset values to 0.
Click the Bump folder icon and choose New Texture.
Create a 2000 x 2000 px file and click OK. Then click the Bump texture icon, choose Edit Texture, fill the texture with the “Rusted Metal” pattern, save the file and close it. Back to the original document, click the Bump texture icon, choose Edit UV Properties, and apply the same values of the Diffuse texture and click Ok.
The sides of the box will be textured now. Don’t forget to Save your work.
Open the “Text” group, select the “Front Inflation Material”, then click the Diffuse texture icon and choose Edit Texture.
Open the “Travertine” image then place it on top of the Diffuse texture.
Right click the duplicated layer and choose “Create Clipping Mask”. This will apply the textures to the letters below. You can use the Move Tool to click and drag the texture if you want to move it around. Save this file.
Go to File > Save As…, save the file in the folder you created, and call it “Text – Front Bump”. Delete the texture layer, open the “Distressed Wall” image, and place it on top of all layers. Create a clipping mask, move the texture around, and resize it if needed (Edit > Free Transform). Then save this file and close it.
Back to the original document, click the Bump texture icon of the “Front Inflation Material”, choose Load Texture, and load the “Text – Front Bump” file.
Load the same file for the “Front Bevel Material” Bump texture too.
Click the “Extrusion Material” then the Diffuse texture icon, choose “Replace Texture”, and load the “Travertine.jpg” image.
Click the Diffuse texture icon once again then choose Edit UV Properties. Set the U Scale to 1000%, the V Scale to 100%, and both Offset values to 0.
Click the “Front Bevel Material” Bump folder icon, choose Load Texture, and choose the “Distressed Wall.jpg” image. Then, click the Bump texture icon, choose Edit UV Properties, and use the same Diffuse texture UV values.
Repeat the exact steps to texture the remaining mesh (of the letter outside). The only difference is in the “Extrusion Material” UV values. For the Diffuse, set the U Scale and V Scale to 100%.
For the Bump, set the U Scale and V Scale to 250%.
Those values depend on the covered area and the depth. So feel free to adjust any values if needed.
Time to adjust the Current View, or the camera angle. Click the “Current View” in the 3D panel, pick the Move Tool, then use the 3D Modes to change your camera view until you like it.
If you like the view, and want to save it, you can click the View drop down menu in the Properties panel, and choose Save.
Enter a name for the view and click OK.
The view will be added to the drop down menu, as well as the bottom of the 3D panel. So whenever you change the view while working on the 3D objects, you can go back to the saved view by clicking its name in the 3D panel, or choosing it from the View menu in the Properties panel.
Create a new layer on top of the 3D layer, then fill it with the color #beb8b2.
Go to 3D > New Mesh from Layer > Postcard. This will create a simple plane.
Duplicate the plane’s layer.
Select the duplicated plane Mesh name, then click the Coordinates icon and set the X Rotation Angle to 90°.
Select both planes’ layers then go to 3D > Merge 3D Layers.
Select “Current View”, then choose the main 3D layer name from the View drop down menu in the Properties panel. This will make sure that both scenes have the same camera view.
Select both 3D layers then go to 3D > Merge 3D Layers.
Select the planes’ groups in the 3D panel, then scale them uniformly. After that, move and scale each plane separately to fill the scene. Make sure you are working on the Final camera view. You can rotate the camera around to check how the scene looks, but make sure to get back to the final view to make sure things look right in that view.
As you are scaling and moving the planes, you’ll need to select each one then snap it to the Ground Plane (3D > Snap Object to Ground Plane).
Select the first plane’s mesh name then uncheck the “Catch Shadows” box.
Do the same for the other plane’s mesh.
Select the second (ground) mesh material then change the Reflection value to 10.
Select the “Infinite Light 1″ and change the Shadow Softness to 30%.
Click the “Add new Light to Scene” icon down the 3D panel, then choose New Point Light.
Change the Light’s color to #fff8ed and uncheck its Shadow box. If you can’t see the light inside the scene, click the “Move to view” icon down the Properties panel to move the light to the center of the scene.
Click the Coordinates icon, and set the values to 1600, 600, 500.
Click the “Infinite Light 1″, pick the Move Tool, and move the light around until you like the result.
You can render a certain area by selecting it, using any selection tool, then going to 3D > Render. You can stop the rendering by clicking anywhere inside the document.
You don’t need to use the same exact values presented here, especially if you have a different camera angle. Continue adjusting the lights until you like the result.
Once you like how the scene looks, make sure there are no selections, then go ahead and render it (3D > Render). This might take some time, but once its finished, make sure to save the file.
Create a new layer on top of all layers and call it “Smoke”, change its Blend Mode to Hard Light, set the Foreground color to #bcbcbc, and pick the Brush Tool. Choose one of the first three brushes from the “Fog Grunge” pack then resize it to a value around 250 px.
Add some smoke in the X empty area, and around a couple of other letters as well.
The effect might not be as obvious outside the X area, but it adds a nice hazy touch.
Create a new layer, call it “Dirt”, change its Blend Mode to Multiply, and change the Foreground color to #bdb8b2. Use the same brushes to add some dirt to the letters.
Use the Eraser Tool with a soft round brush to remove any unwanted parts.
And this is the final result. You can always add you own touch by creating some more meshes, or changing the colors and textures used. Please feel free to leave your comments and suggestions below.