Create 3D type art using Photoshop CS5

The new 3D tools in Photoshop CS5 Extended are more advanced than ever. In this tutorial we will use the new Repoussé tool to extrude some text in a way previously only possible in a full 3D application. 

As well as exploring the capabilities of this exciting new feature, we will explore the traditional 3D settings to get the most out of the different material and rendering options. 

Get started with type art

Type art is popular at the moment for all sorts of reasons – and it’s a highly versatile skill to have. You can use illustrated lettering in projects ranging from posters to brochures – making it a great technique to add to your creative toolset.

But beware: type art is so popular at the moment that there’s a lot of crud out there. The rules are the same as for any aesthetic style: learn the basics carefully, and then be original. Follow Pomme Chan's tutorial to learn more.

Master 3D type effects

Taking 3D objects into Photoshop is going to get more popular thanks to the latest release of Photoshop Extended. But you don’t need Adobe’s latest high-end version of Photoshop to create some unique 3D effects – this masterclass works for Photoshop CS and above. In it, type-effects guru Nik Ainley shows how to create the above image.

The key is to create the letters in a 3D package first as individual characters, then bring them into Photoshop for further post work. Through clever use of Photoshop’s masking tools and layers, Nik has created type with characters that weave in and
out of each other. The characters’ faces also provide a handy canvas for further effects, such as patterns, gradients and lines.

Spice up 3D type

Thomas Burden will show you how to create this Tom Waits-inspired piece, with a grubby old-school New York coffee house aesthetic. He’ll use a mixture of textures, pre-made brushes, Curves adjustments and colour overlays. 

You don’t need any particular 3D suite as you’ll be working from Thomas’ base rendered artwork. This, plus some texture elements, can be found in the project files.

Read on >> Beginner's tutorials for Photoshop