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Adobe Photoshop CC - Advanced Training

How to make 3D text & 3D logos in Photoshop

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, welcome to the 3D section of the Photoshop Advanced course. In the next few videos we are going to explore how to make things 3D, extrude them like the text here. We'll work with different materials, like up here, glass, and plastics, and perspex. We'll export cameras, we'll export lighting, shadows. So you know, this is I guess, still an introduction. Not a super quick one, but know that 3D in Photoshop is quite a big topic. We could spend 50 videos on it. Hopefully here, this will get you going. It will let you create the majority of the stuff most designers and photographers want to do with 3D. Let's get started with the first video. 

To get started let's open up 'Wood Background' from our '15 3D' folder. You can work with any image. Let's click 'Open'. Now before we get started we're just got to make sure, you actually have 3D in your version of Photoshop. Not all of them do, if you can see this little panel up here that says 3D, you're in luck, you can carry on. If it's not there, unfortunately you just, can't make it work on your particular machine. Two reasons, the main one is that you need what's called a 64-bit version of Photoshop. You can check it here, under 'Help', 'System Info'. At the top here you can see, this is a 64-bit version, but say it's 32, unfortunately you just can't do it, your machine, in its heart is 32, and it can't be upgraded, so you need a different computer unfortunately. If you do have a 64-bit, and you can't see it, the other thing is something called VRAM. It has a minimum requirement, I think of about 500 Megabytes of VRAM. So pretty nerdy stuff, but I guess if you are looking to buy a computer, make sure it has loads of VRAM, as much as you can get. More than half a Gig, or 500 Megabytes, and just make sure the operating system is 64-bit. 

The other thing we'll do is we'll set up our workspace. Go to 'Window', 'Workspace', and make sure it's set to 3D. I'm going to hit 'Reset 3D'. The other thing you might do is under your 'Preferences', remember, 'Edit', 'Preferences' on a PC, or up here on my Mac. Go to 'Performance', 3D is real stressful. So you might yank this up a bit higher to say, Photoshop can have a bit more of my RAM. 83%, everything else is going to run slower, but at least Photoshop is going to work okay. So we're going to look at two kinds of 3D in Photoshop. We'll look at something called Postcard, and one called Extrusion. 

Before we get started I'm going to grab my 'Type Tool', pick a font, pick a size, and type a word, 'Rad', for no good reason. Pick a color for it. You might have switched back to your layers Panel. If you're freaked out by this 3D, we'll get into him in a second. Pick a color, it doesn't matter what color you pick. Now picking your color here is just going to save time later on. You can change it once it's 3D but it's easier to pick your color here. Now if you are doing two words that are on separate layers, you will have to merge them into one layer. Let's just quickly do that in case you-- we're not going to do it for this one but let's say we've got the Rad, and you want to do 3D for this. What you're going to have to do is select both of them, right click them, and say 'Convert to Shape'. Then right click them and say 'Merge Shapes'. That's if you're using more than one word. I'm going to undo. I don't want more than one word, so the text is fine. 

So let's look at the two ways of creating 3D. So the background layer here, we're going to do what's called Postcard 3D. So we're going to right click it and say, you are a 'Postcard'. The 3D world opens up. So the navigation tools for 3D are along the top here. We're going to use this first one, just click, hold. It's easier to click, hold, and drag the outside than it is the actual object, until you know what you're doing. So I'm just clicking and dragging, you can see I can rotate it around. So that's what postcard does, it makes it super thin, which is going to be fine for us because we're going to use it as a background. So you might be laying out your UI Web Design template, something like that. So you might be laying out, say a Web Design or UI mock-up that you've created in Photoshop. You just want to kind of move it on an angle to make it look like it's a cool angle or maybe mocked up on to a cell phone. So Postcard will be perfect. 

What we want to do is add some full 3D, some extrusion. We'll do it to this text here. So right click the text, and I'm going to use this other option that says 'New 3D Extrusion from Selected Layer'. And that's it, same tool as before, and I'm going to click and drag in this area over here. So that is how to add 3D. This is your Extrusion Depth, how thick you want this thing, do you want it to be-- not negative? This little slider is a little bit weird, kind of resets itself every time. So if you wanted to be positive, I'm going to type in 100 pixels and see what it looks like. So we're going to undo a few times, because what I want to do is I want to show you something first. 

We want to connect these two because at the moment they're actually two different 3D worlds, so I'm going to keep undoing. So back to the beginning. So in my Layers Panel, this guy's 3D, this guy here, so he's flat. This guy's not 3D yet, so I'm going to right click him, make him a '3D Extrusion'. And to get them living in the same world, you go back to 'Layers', and just join the two. You hold 'Shift', click both of them and then hit 'Command E', or you can right click here and go to 'Merge Layers'. The difference now is if I drag it around, you can see, they're actually a part of the same world. So that's what we want to do. 

Now we want to work on these two things separately, mainly just this extrusion here, I want to have it not so thick. So go to the '3D Panel', click on 'Rad'. And the Extrusion, I'll just type it in. I don't know if pixels is going to work for me. So now brings up an interesting navigation rule. If I click and drag this now I'm actually just moving the text, separate from the background. How do I move them both at the same time? So there's two ways of moving, you move the scene or the camera, or you move the object. How do you know if you've got one selected on the other? You can see it over here, see Rad, I have him selected, if I click on my 'Background Mesh', that's background, I'm using these tools along the top, they actually only affect the object I've selected. 

So what you can do is you can click on 'Current View' or 'Scene', and move that around. It was the camera that we're looking through. The objects aren't moving at all, just moving the camera. So what I'd like to do is move it, so I can see the sides, and I want to move this fella back. So I clicked on the object, I want to move it closer. There's a couple of ways, this one right here, the Move Tool, I can click and drag it and just get it closer till it pokes out the back, or I can grab this blue handle here, this moves the Z axis. Z is forward and back, towards the camera, away from the camera. And the green one is up and down, and it's really hard to get the Rad one there. So you might have to rotate it around, but remember, if I rotate it here, I'm rotating the object. So I'm going to click on 'Current View ', and then move it around. 'Move Tool'. 

So we're going to get our angle now, so I'm going to get it like this. And before we go on what I want to do is quickly show you how you do it with a logo. We've done it with text, what I'm going to do is, just turn the Eyeball off on the Rad layer, and the Background Mesh, and we're just bringing a logo before we go any further. Because the rules apply whether you're bringing in somebody else's logo or using your text, or any sort of shape you've drawn in maybe Illustrator. So I'm going to go 'File', 'Place Embedded'. And in your '15 3D' folder, I've got a logo in here, it's just the Twitter logo. Bring it in. Cool thing about it, it's vector. Hit 'Return'. Actually going to make it a bit smaller. And all we need to do is, we can go to 'Layers', right click 'Extrusion', or in this 3D layer, it doesn't really matter, I want to make it a 3D Extrusion, and hit 'Create'. You get to the exact same place. 

So whether we used our Rad text, or you want to do it with a logo, there is no real difference. Here we go, I'm going to undo, bye Twitter. I'm going to turn these back on. So what I want to do is, I want a kind of an angle that looks cool. It's a little hard because you can't see all the shadowing here. We'll add lights and stuff later, but I'm going to get to kind of an angle that I like. And I'm kind of guessing here, so what I want to do is do a Render. So rendering is going to at least get started, under '3D', there's this option here. It's all the buttons plus R. What it's going to do is it's going to stress your computer out. It's going to start trying to render it like it would be when it's finished. It's going to take a long time. So often I don't wait for this to finish, I'm just doing this thing, I'm just like, you keep going, until I get a sense of like, yes I like that angle, or I don't. To get it to stop, you hit the 'Esc' key. To figure out how much longer it's got, see down the bottom left here, time remaining, about five minutes. Never worry about the minutes, goes up and down. Kind of in crazy steps, so you can kind of get a sense, we're 10% through, so it's going to be a while. 

And all that's going to happen is it's going to get more and more realistic. So I'm just going to hit 'Esc', just kind of freezes it there, half way through its render. So you might say, I like it, but what I want to do is maybe, at the Current View, I'm going to use the Move option. I'm just going to click, hold, and-- actually no, the Slide option, really hard to use one, I'm going to slide this camera back, and then I'm going to zoom it in using this last option. Because I want a really cool kind of like Depth of Field, or I want the perspective to be quite strong. Kind of in the center there, maybe zoom out a little bit. Remember, Render, on my Mac its 'Command-Option-Shift-R', on a PC it's 'Ctrl-Alt-Shift-R'. I'm happy with that angle and that composition; actually I'm not. 'Esc', and it's going to kind of come back a bit.

So a couple of things I want to do, is I need this background to be larger. So I've got to kind of extend it out this way. And because I'm pedantic, I kind of want it like that. So my Background Layer, there it is there. So what I need to do is make the background just larger. So click on this last option here. This only appears if I have an object selected. Either the Rad text or the Mesh Background. And all I need to do again, click out here, I'm just going to make it bigger. Feels like it's big enough, I do need to slide it though. I'm going to grab my 'Move Tool', I'm actually going to use this Rad guy, because I can kind of see him there. Almost there, needs to probably come down green. So you're playing with the XYZ, there it is there, a little bit more scale. If you find 3D really tough to work with, and you're like, "Man, this is quite hard", don't worry, it took me ages to get used to 3D. Even now, can be a little bit tough when you're using a different program like Photoshop. 

Some other stuff when I'm doing 3D, I'll use something called Cinema 4D. It's kind of more for animated motion graphics. Photoshop does it fine, but my poor little computer here is, it's a really good computer but it is stressed, trying to render this stuff, whereas something like cinema 4D is purpose built, for doing 3D, especially movement. Photoshop does it fine though, especially for static graphics. Anyway that's enough for rendering; 'Esc'. Didn't actually tap 'Esc', now I have. I'm going to just play around with my adjustments. I want to click on the Current View. I'm just going to rotate this around until I find something I'm a little bit more happy with. And while I wiggle this around and find something that I like, I will see you in the next video. You don't have to watch me. And in the next video we are going to look at materials and textures, because at the moment, what I basically use is just jpg in the back, and our little Type here, just a kind of a really plain solid color. Let's look at doing different materials and textures in the next video.