Learn how to create a super cool illuminated text effect using Photoshop’s 3D Layers. We’ll make your text really stand out by making it glow. Read on to find out how.

What you’ll be creating

In this tutorial we are going to create a super cool illuminated text effect using Photoshop’s 3D Layers. The key to making your Layers glow lies in exploring the hdr based Illumination property, and in providing another item mesh from which light can then be reflected. Firstly we’ll be creating 3D layers from Text and then merging 3D layers to create a single unified scene. Once we’ve done that we’ll create a wireframe, adjust the UV Scale and wrap and then work with roughness and reflection to get the glow effect just right. You’ll need Photoshop CS6 or newer to follow this tutorial.

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Step 1

Use Cmd / Cntl +N to create a new document. In the dialog box, set the following properties: Width x Height: 1400 x 700 pixels Color Mode: RGB Background Color: White

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Step 2

First we’ll create the background environment for our scene a simple ‘L’ shaped profile. Use the shortcut Cmd/Cntl + Shift + N to create a New Layer. Name it ‘Wall and Floor’. Select the Rectangular Marquee tool (M) and draw a rectangle shaped selection, centred in the canvas. Press ‘D’ to reset the toolbox colors and use the shortcut Alt. /Option + Backspace to fill the selection with black.

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Step 3

Use the keyboard arrow keys to nudge the selection 3 pixels up and 3 pixels left. Press Backspace to delete the selected area, and use the shortcut Cmd / Cntl +D to drop the selection

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Step 4

Next we’ll turn the L shaped profile into a 3D Extrusion. Go to the 3D menu > New 3D Extrusion from Selected Layer command:

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Step 5

The initial 3D extrusion will need a little more depth. Go to the Window menu > 3D Panel and select the Mesh item in the list. In the Window menu > Properties Panel, increase the Extrusion Depth slider to 30 cm:

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Step 6

We’ll now add some text as another 3D Layer. Select the Type Tool (T) and click on the document to create a Text Layer. Set the character attributes and colour using the Options bar. In our example, we’ve used the font Chalet Tokyo, 200 px size and colour R0 G0 B0. Enter your text and press Cmd / Cntl + Enter to create the Type Layer

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Step 7

Go to the 3D menu > New 3D Extrusion from Selected Layer. In the Window > Properties Panel, set the Extrusion Depth to 1 cm. Select the Cap tab in the Properties Panel and set the following Bevel and Inflation values: Sides: Front and Back Bevel Width: 10 % Bevel Angle: – 60 degrees Inflation Angle: 25 degrees Inflation Strength: 12%

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Step 8

In order for our text to illuminate the background, we need to have both mesh items on the same 3D Layer. In the Window > Layers Panel, select both 3D Layers. Go to 3D > Merge 3D Layers command:

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Step 9

Select the Move tool (V) and click on the text mesh in the document window. Using the Move handles that appear, reposition the mesh so that it’s closer to the wall and resting on the floor. Use the Rotate handles to orient the mesh so that it faces away from the wall:

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Step 10

Next we’ll reposition the render camera. Click anywhere in the document outside the meshes with the Move tool – a yellow frame will appear around the edge of the document window to indicate that the camera position controls are now active. Click and drag on the Dolly and Move tools in the bottom left corner of the document window (highlighted in red in the following screenshots) to move the camera closer to the text. Click and drag on the Rotate tool to adjust the camera angle. Continue adjusting the camera angle and position until you have a nice front on view: