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Adobe Photoshop CC - Advanced Training

How to create fake 3D lines & type in Photoshop

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, are you ready to fake 3D? In the last video we learnt how to do it properly, in this video we're going to use a cheap trick. You don't need a 3D compatible version of Photoshop, just need a paintbrush, a gradient, and it worked all right. We'll even fake in some shadows, can you see in the background there? Fake shadows. Let's learn how to do a fake version in Photoshop. 

To get started let's open up ‘Fake 3D’ from our ‘15 3D’ folder. This background is just a pretty background, it's not going to have any influence on the 3Dness of what we're doing. Next thing we need to do is, down the bottom here, grab the 'Rectangle Tool', hold it down until we get the Ellipse Tool. This Ellipse needs to have the gradient we want to use, so it's probably going to have a normal fill. So click on 'Fill' at the top here and click on 'Gradient'. We're not too worried about the colors at the moment, click this first one, this 'Black vs White'. We're going to go and change it in a second. And draw out a circle. I'm holding down the 'Shift' key so that when I drag this out it's a perfect circle. How big should it be? Basically it's how big you want, the largest part of your kind of 3D text. You saw mine didn't get too big, so that's fine. It can be smaller, can be bigger. Let's change the gradient. 
With the Ellipse selected, in my 'Properties Panel' here, I click on the color, and I'm going to double click these bottom houses. You could pick one of the default ones. That would work, I'm going to jump out to Grabient, because I love stealing colors from these guys. I'm going to use the Page 2 option, where are you? Page 3 even, this one here. So I'm going to add three little points. Let's click a little color, grab the Hexadecimal number, click on this, double click this first icon, paste it in down the bottom here, jump back out. Thank you, Grabient. 

I'm going to add this middle one by just clicking anywhere in this kind of bottom part. Just appears magically. Actually I kind of like that with the orange. Now I'm going to stick to the original. I lie, I'm just going to leave the orange; crazy Dan. They can be your gradients itself. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to duplicate this layer, I'm going to click it and hit Command J'. I'm going to turn this off. I want this kind of editable shape for later on, because this tool is not going to work if this is a lovely live shape. What we have to do is right click 'Ellipse 1' and go to 'Rasterize Layer'. Destroying all the good updatableness to it, but it means this technique is actually going to work. 

So what we need to do is we need something called the Mixer Brush. It's hiding underneath your Brush Tool, hold it down, grab the 'Mixer Brush'. First thing you need to do is this little drop down here, you need to turn this off. It's going to be on by default, let's turn off 'Load Solid Colors Only', because we want to steal a gradient. Along here we want to set the Wetness down to '0', Load up to '100%'. Let's get the hardness of this brush. So I'm just going to click on the general brushes, and use this hard rounded one. The first thing we need to do is we need the brush size to be bigger than our Ellipse here. So make your brush just bigger than what you need it to be, because what we're going to do is hold down the 'Option' key on a Mac or the 'Alt' key on a PC to set this as a target. We're going to say, you. 

Yours is probably not going to work because it's going to say Sample All Layers. So it's going to grab my background as well as this. Look up here, so with it on it grabs too much background plus my Ellipse. I want to say, actually just sample the layer that I'm on, which is this. So this is where it's going to steal from. I'm going to lower my Brush Size to kind of what I want to use to draw with. We're going to create our own layer. This one's going to be my '3D Type Layer'. Actually you're not allowed to call it 3D, it's 2.5D, fake 3D. So let's get started, I'm going to draw-- terrible time with my mouse. 

So we're kind of there, it's doing kind of what we want. Let's undo that, we'll leave it there, and turn it off. Let's make another layer. What you can do here to make it look a little nicer than-- actually they came out all right, got to move fast. But let's say you want to smooth it out, you can go to this cog icon. Actually if you can't see this thing here, it's Smoothing, you might have to turn it on in your Brush Settings. So go to 'Window', and down to 'Brush Settings'. Just turn Smoothing 'on' if it's not already. It just means that I could just say-- doesn't have to be 100%, but if I crank it up to about 70, when I draw that same word, it's a bit slower, but it's averaging out my movements, and things are looking a whole lot nicer. I'm going to draw it again. Spend my time. 

Why am I using the word Queen? I like the word Q in 3D, and, I don't know, that's definitely Queen. That was meant to be an E. I'm going to redo my E. Oh, man! So bad. I'm going to get my Wacom tablet in a second, then I'm going to show you how awesome it is with the tablet. That will do. So smoothing helped but really this effect works great with one or two things. We're going to use a Wacom tablet now, and in the next video we will look at using paths. 

What is a Wacom tablet? It is that pen you draw with. Next is a mouse, but you get to hold it like a pen. I'll plug mine in now. I guess I'm reluctant to do this whole course with a Wacom tablet. Even though retouching is really handy with one of these, not everyone has one. Let's look at the perk of using it with this particular tool. So created a new layer, this is going to be my Wacom version. I use the Wacom Intuos Pro, the medium sized one. I like it, good size, looks really well. So now I'm using the pen, I'm going to pick a brush size probably. There is a chunk bigger. 

Other thing I'm going to do is I'm going to turn Smoothing down to '0', mainly because I'm reasonably good doing it with just the pen. You can see it's pretty smooth, you can turn on Smoothing maybe just a little bit, but now, drawing with the pen, I'll try and do a nice one. Q, no, Q. You can see, what's really nice about it is that the size of the brush changes depending on how hard you push. So now I'm probably going to do a zillion attempts at trying to make the word Queen again. There's the last one, I'm running out of room. I'm going to grab my layer, just going to move it across. So close. I can't finish it, but that will do. It's close enough, but you can see how nice it is, when you are using just a tablet just to do little dots and little things, and ruining it. 

What we will do to add a little bit more realism to this before we go, I'm going to switch back to my mouse. What I'm going to do is, with this layer selected I'm going to add a Drop Shadow. That all looks good. Click 'OK'. What I want to do is right click 'Drop Shadow', and 'Create Layer'. Thank you very much, and it just means this Drop Shadow is now on its own layer. What I'm going to do is maybe get it to, not sure how much, I'm going to break it into half at least, I'm going to grab you. Copy, actually cut it, so 'Edit', 'Cut', 'Edit', 'Paste'. I've got kind of two halves. Why? Because I want to use this fold in the floor. Let's work on the top half first. I'll turn the bottom half off, and that's kind of what I want to do, right? I want to look like the light's coming from up here, and kind of sticking it against the back wall. And with this layer, the bottom chunk, I want it to line up. Using my arrow keys just to make sure it lines up, then I'm going to go to 'Edit', 'Transform', and I'm going to use the 'Perspective' option. I'm just going to kind of try and do something like that, so it looks like it's kind of going across the floor. Drag it out a little bit. Hit 'Return', it's kind of working okay. Might as well play with a little bit more. 

I'm happy enough with it, what we're going to do is play around the Blending Modes. Both of these, what I might do is find a Blending Mode that works for this one. So 'Multiply', and let's look at something else, but more believable. That's got a nice soft light. Maybe just lower the opacity of soft light as well. I'll do the same for this one, you my friend are Soft Light. Then I lower the opacity. Even a little bit lower. It's super subtle, it's helping a little bit. So you make a circle, add a gradient, make sure it's rasterized. Use the mixer brush, sample that Ellipse, then paint it on its own layer. If you tie it in with a tablet, like a Wacom tablet, you can do some nicer stuff where it's not just one kind of thickness. Let's get into the next video. We're going to do a very similar thing but we're going to use paths instead, things like the Pen Tool. I'll see you in a sec.