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How to Create 3D Typography Simply


Time to complete: 1-2 hrs


This tutorial will teach you how to create text in 3D in 3D studio Max and finalise in Photoshop easily and quickly. We will cover creating text and saving in the right file format so its easy to edit in Photoshop. The basic idea is to create the 3D text in the 3D program then save as a Tiff with an alpha channel, once this part is done, its simply up to your creativity to add a background and the effect you want on the text itself.

If you would like to start off in Photoshop here are the you will need.


Media Fire – (1.14mb)

Step 1

Open 3d s max – this should work on most versions,we will use the font Frutiger 65 Bold although any medium sans serif or serif font will do, create the text around the size of the grid.

Step 2

In the command panel under the create tab choose shapes and click the text button. Type out ‘DAE’ , for Digital Art Empire. Change the colour to a light grey.text-panel-command-DAE3

Step 3

Add extrude modifier and set the amount to 9.5, to do this go to the command panel and under the modify tab select extrude from the list of modifiers.4

Step 4

Right click the text and select clone  – click copy , because copy we want to change each copy to a different angle. Select the text and grab the y axis ,making sure its yellow and drag the copy directly upwards.4--step-1

Keep doing this process until you have around 6 copies.


Step 5

Move the view-port until you are at this angle –


Step 6

Select the first block of text – and add a bend modifier form the modifier tab , we will go through each block and add a separate bend modifier to each one.


Step 7

Make sure the axis is set to z and set the angle to around 13 , use your eye to make the text look like its going in a wave shape. Go through each block of text adding a bend modifier and changing the angle, starting with 13 and ending with – 13.


Step 8

Go to rendering and environment or press 8 on the keyboard and set the background environment colour to white.enviroment-white

Step 9

We’ll now add some free lights , this part is up to your judgment , use the positioning tools to get them in the right place with the Y,X,or Z axis.lights-panel


Step 10

Hit shift + W to get to the move tool and position the perspective view port so you looking at the text at an angle, this is the angle the text will be viewed at so take your time.move-tool


Step 11

Render the object when you have the right camera position and lighting by hitting F9, if the angle needs to be changed, change it and hit F9 to render the text again.


Step 12

With the render port open save the file as a Tiff file, make sure you select alpha channel so we can easily cut out the text. Also use 8 bit colour and 300 DPI with no compression. That’s all for 3D S Max if you want to pick up from here the file you need can be downloaded now.


Step 13 Now we’ll edit in Photoshop

Place the tiff image into Photoshop, there will be a nicely cut out alpha channel ready for us to start editing the text .


Media Fire – (1.14mb)

Rapid Share (1.14)

Step 14

Select the text in the alpha channel in the channels palette by ctrl clicking it . The select the image and hit Ctrl + J to copy the text into a new layer. This will be the cut out text we will work on . This is the way to create 3d text and edit in Photoshop very easily it means we don’t have to cut out the text by hand.selecting-alhpha-channel-in-ps


Step 15

Go to select, refine edge and set feather to 0.3  – select inverse [Ctrl + Shift + I]  and delete do this until our edge is refined and there is no white on the edges.


Step 16

Create a new document in Photoshop the same dimensions as your tiff text image. We will now create the back ground. Draw out a gradient from top to bottom starting with 5ca9ed and finishing with 7bc9f9. background-1

Step 17

Download these amazing cloud brushes and install them. Choose a similar cloud to the one pictured, make the brush large and brush a soft cloud towards the bottom of the document. Once done  merge the layers and bring it into the 3D text document holding shift to get it in the centre, it should fit perfectly.


Step 18

Cut out front of letters with pen tool, here it is best to work systematically from one end to the other saving each block of text as you go. cut-out-letters-with-pen-tool

So, start working from left to right from the front to the back, cutting out the face of the letters with the pen tool.  Save the path for each letter by double clicking it in the paths


Step 19

With each face cut out, we’ll Ctrl click the path so it’s selected, create a new layer and fill it with this light blue colour: 9ad9ea



Step 20

Shift select all the face layers , copy them with Ctrl + J and merge them with Ctrl + E, double click to the right of the this layer to bring up layer styles dialogue and select stroke use these settings.stroke-settings

Step 21

Now we’ll add the texture and colour to the sides of the letters. Download these wonderful brushes, and select the fifth brush. Brush onto the letters in a new layer like the image shown, use this colour d9ff08.

kinetic-brushes1Step 22

Select the outline of the 3 D text, the one we refined the edges of , inverse the selection [Ctrl + Shift + I ] and delete the excess. Finally reduce this layers opacity to 28 %.


Step 23

Select the star brush that comes with Photoshop and in a new layer with white as your foreground colour , paint some shine on the edges of some of the letters , use this sparingly and reduce the layers opacity to 85 %.shiney-stars

Step 24

As you can see its easy to create a smart looking image with text from 3D S Max, we’ll now add the final touches to help the image look more professional. Download these pretty brushes and select the second brush. Paint this in the lower left hand corner using ‘0f2904′ as the colour.

Select the fifth brush in the ‘flower power’ pack and brush it on the right hand side so it fits in the lower corner snugly. Then add a gradient overlay layer style, from black to white.


Step 25

Download this font , which I love, and type out’ Digital Art Empire’, using this dark green colour ‘0f2904′. Reposition it in the top left hand corner.


Step 26

Download and install these brilliant brushes.Create a new layer beneath the letters and above the background then using the first brush in the set, paint a large splatter on the left and right side , one in yellow[d9ff08] and one in green [0f2904]. Reduce the layers opacity to 35%. Using the same colours throughout creates a sense of consistency in our design.



That’s a wrap for now having gone through the tutorial you will now know how to create text easy to create 3D text in 3D S Max and edit it in Photoshop easily and enjoyably. There are numerous ways to get this effect and things we can alter , so go ahead and create 3d text, I would be interested to see what designs you come up with.

Thankyou to the artists who provided the materials ,please remember to follow these artists rules and credit them where appropriate.

Sign up for HP0-S25 training program to learn web designing basics. Download our SK0-002 design guides and JN0-304 tutorials to learn the typography art.

3 thoughts on “How to Create 3D Typography Simply”

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    jeprie says:

    Thanks. I learn something from the 3Ds max section.

    Digital Art Empire says:

    great , Jeprie glad it helped just pm me if you need any help : )

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