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How to create a stack of 3D characters in Adobe Photoshop



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One of my readers at Spoon Graphics recently sent me an email with a fantastic tutorial suggestion based on one of the promotional graphics of the free font called Manrope. The aforementioned work contained a collection of letters as long three-dimensional shapes of different heights, densely gathered in the scene. Clearly, a certain type of 3D modeling software was used to produce the original concept, but I experimented with Photoshop's built-in 3D tools to see if such an effect could be made. Follow today's tutorial to learn how to use Photoshop 3D features to create the effect yourself.

How to create a stack of 3D characters in Adobe Photoshop

The artwork we will create in this tutorial presents a group of long and extruded shapes of characters, arranged at various heights. With the simple configuration of some options, the Photoshop 3D features highlight the effect with realistic perspective, shading and lighting.

Create a new document with dimensions of about 2000x2000px. Set the first of many letters as a single text element using the font of your choice. Selecting the Shift option will make it easier to edit each successive character without having to hold down the Shift key to write the capital letter.

With the Move tool activated, hold down the ALT key and drag a duplicate of the text element into an empty space. Double-click to edit its contents and change the font. Continue to duplicate the item to arrange the entire alphabet.

Carefully arrange all the characters in the immediate vicinity. The numbers can also be used to fill in any empty spaces inside the composition.

Combine all letters in a level by activating the topmost layer, then hold down Shift and select the lowest level. Use the CMD + E shortcut for Merge layers, then rename this layer to "Letters".

To convert this flat graphic to 3D, go to 3D> New 3D Extrusion from the Selected Layer. The Photoshop workspace will then switch to 3D mode.

In the 3D panel, activate the Letters object, and then in the Properties panel, change the X-to-90 ° rotation value under the Coordinates section.

Activate & # 39; Current view & # 39; in the 3D panel, then in the Properties panel, change the View menu to Top.

Use the navigation tools in the top toolbar to orbit, pan and resize the view to position text effectively in a corner.

By default, 3D graphics are created as an orthographic view, but the Perspective control in the Properties panel generates an alternate effect.

Select the Letters object in the 3D panel again, then go to the 3D menu and choose Split Extrude to separate it into individual letter shapes.

Click on each letter in turn and use the blue arrowhead of the 3D tool to move the letter up or down along the Z axis.

Move each letter a random amount to set the shapes at irregular heights.

To make sure no letters float in space, Shift-click to select all letter elements in the 3D panel, and then click the Move to Ground button in the Coordinates section of the Properties panel.

Activate the & # 39; Current view & # 39; and, if necessary, restore the scene to center the 3D view in the drawing area.

Select the infinite light element inside the 3D panel and move the smaller handle of the icon on the screen to reposition the direction of the light.

In the Properties panel, increase the softness of the shade to around 70%.

Again in the 3D panel, select the first front inflation material, then hold down Shift and click on the last rear inflation material to make a selection of each.

In the Properties panel, change the Mirror color to white and reduce the Shine value to 0%.

The 3D effect currently does not seem exceptional. Now you need to render to process the finer lighting effects. Go to 3D> Render 3D Layer, then sit back and wait to complete. After a few steps, once most of the shading has been established, you can press the Esc key to stop rendering. Stopping the rendering in advance leaves a thin vein behind it, rather than a perfectly smooth surface, but it can actually improve the image.

To avoid making changes to the 3D layer and having to render the rendering again, use the CMD + Shift + E shortcut to create a merged copy of the drawing on a new layer.

How to create a stack of 3D characters in Adobe Photoshop

The end result is a fantastic 3D composition of extruded letter shapes with realistic shadings and light effects. This design was left with a basic gray look, but Photoshop color adjustments or alternative surface effects could be used to further enhance the effect.


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