How to Create a 3D, Shiny, Inflated Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop
This is a very special tutorial as it celebrates ten wonderful years of Envato Tuts+, and what better text effect to celebrate with than one inspired by balloons and confetti? This tutorial will show you how to use Photoshop’s 3D tools and settings, along with brushes and adjustment layers, to create a fun, shiny, inflated text effect. Let’s get started!
Create a new 1000 x 1000 px document with a WhiteBackground, place the Volume scene poster nobody room image on top of the Background layer, and resize it as needed.
Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation, and change the Hue to 35 and the Saturation to -80.
Change the texture layer’s Opacity to 50%.
2. How to Create a Text Shape Layer
Create the text using the font Sofia Pro Black, and change the Tracking value to 75. Use a big font Size to create the final shape more easily.
Rename the text layer to Text, and Command-click it to choose Convert to Shape.
Pick the Line Tool, choose the Shape option in the Options bar, and set the Weight to 1 px.
Press-hold the Option key to subtract from the text shape, and start drawing lines over the text to divide it.
Make sure to create the lines at different angles, and add just a few so that the sections don’t overlap very much.
Once you’re done, click the Path operations icon in the Options bar, and choose Merge Shape Components.
3. How to Create 3D Element Layers
Create a new White-filled layer, and name it Sphere.
Pick the Brush Tool, and open the Brush panel. Choose the Hard Square 20 pixels tip and use these settings:
Brush Tip Shape
Set the Foreground Color to Black, create a new layer and name it Confetti, and start painting to add confetti to the layer.
Make sure nothing overlaps, and don’t worry about filling the whole area, since you can duplicate what you create when you convert it into 3D.
4. How to Create 3D Layers
Select the Confetti layer and go to 3D > New 3D Extrusion from Selected Layer. Select the Sphere layer and go to 3D > New Mesh from Layer > Mesh Preset > Sphere. And select the Text layer and go to 3D > New 3D Extrusion from Selected Path.
Select all 3D layers you have, and go to 3D > Merge 3D Layers.
5. How to Work With the 3D Scene
To access the 3D mesh settings and properties, you’ll need to open two panels: the 3D panel and the Properties panel (both found under the Window menu).
The 3D panel has all the components of the 3D scene, and when you click the name of any of those, you’ll be able to access its settings in the Properties panel. So make sure to always select the tab of the element you want to modify in the 3D panel before you change its settings in the Properties panel.
If you select the Move Tool, you’ll find a set of 3D Modes for it to the right of the Options bar. When you choose one of those, you can then click and drag to perform changes (on the selected element in the 3D panel).
Use those modes to change the Current View into an angle you like.
6. How to Adjust the 3D Mesh Settings
Select the Text 3D mesh tab in the 3D panel, and change its Extrusion Depth in the Properties panel to 100.
Click the Cap icon at the top of the Properties panel, and change the Bevel Width to 5, the Contour to Half Round, and the Inflate Strength to 25.
Change the Confetti mesh’s Extrusion Depth to 1.
7. How to Scale 3D Meshes
Pick the Move Tool and select the Sphere mesh, and use the 3D Axis to scale the sphere into a size you like.
The arrows at the ends of the axis move the mesh, the part below them is used for rotation, and the cubes are used for scaling. The cube in the center is used to scale the object uniformly. All you need to do is click and drag the part you want to use.
You can also click the Coordinates icon at the top of the Properties panel to use numerical values.
Click the Scale icon and check the Uniform Scaling option to scale the sphere uniformly.
You can always go back to the sphere and change its Scale values, but just scale it down to a value you like for now.
8. How to Move 3D Meshes
Hide the Sphere mesh by clicking the eye icon next to its tab.
Select the Confetti mesh tab, click the Coordinates icon, and change the X Rotation Angle to 90.
Click the 3D panel menu icon and choose Move Object to Ground Plane.
9. How to Create 3D Materials
Select all the Text Material tabs, click the Diffuse texture icon in the Properties panel, and choose Remove Texture.
Use these material settings (the color values used are in RGB):
Diffuse: 122, 95, 22
Specular: 224, 219, 208
Show the Sphere mesh, select its Material tab, remove the Diffuse texture, and use these settings:
Diffuse: 72, 35, 140
Specular: 191, 189, 185
Select all the Confetti Material tabs, remove the Diffuse texture, and use these settings:
Diffuse: 128, 128, 128
Specular: 235, 229, 229
10. How to Split 3D Meshes and Save Camera Views
Select the Text mesh tab and go to 3D > Split 3D Extrusion. This will split the sections of the text into separate meshes.
You can hide the Sphere and Confetti meshes to better work with the text.
What you need to do next is select a couple of random pieces, and slightly rotate each of them in different directions. Don’t worry if they overlap as it’s a part of the effect anyway.
Choose a final camera angle you like, and make sure that the Current View tab is selected.
Then, choose Save from the View menu in the Properties panel, type in a name for the view in the View Name field, and click OK.
This will add the view to the 3D panel as well as the View menu. So when you place the spheres later on, you can change the view and get back to the final one simply by clicking its name or choosing it from the menu.
11. How to Instance 3D Objects
Show the Sphere mesh, right-click its tab, and choose Instance Objects.
This will create a linked copy that reflects the changes made to the original mesh, like the material settings, for example.
Instance as many spheres as you need, and place them all around the text.
To keep things organized, you can select all the sphere mesh tabs, right-click any of them, and choose Group Objects to place them all in a group.
Do the same with the Confetti mesh to cover the ground around the text with confetti. You can move, rotate, and scale the instance objects to get a more dynamic outcome.
12. How to Adjust a 3D Scene’s Lighting
Select the Infinite Light 1 tab, and change its Intensity to 50% and its Shadow Softness to 30%.
Use the Move Tool or the Coordinates values to move the Infinite Light until you get a result you like.
Select the Environment tab, click the IBL texture icon, choose Replace Texture, and open the Sofa image.
Change the Intensity to 80%, and move the image around to get a result you like.
You can go back and forth between the Infinite and Environment lights, and change their settings or move them around, until you achieve the result you want.
13. How to Add Depth of Field and Render a 3D Scene
Select the Scene tab, and choose Hidden Wireframe from the Presets menu.
Click the Current View tab, and change the Depth of Field‘s Depth value to 3. Play around with the Distance value until you get a result that you like.
Click the Scene tab again, and change the Presets back to Default.
Once you like the final result, go to 3D > Render 3D Layer. The rendering might take a while, but you can stop it any time by pressing the Esc key.
Once the rendering is done, right-click the 3D layer and choose Convert to Smart Object to avoid making any accidental changes.
14. How to Add Global Adjustments
Add a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer on top of the 3D layer, right-click it and choose Create Clipping Mask, and change the Contrast value to 15.
Pick the Brush Tool, pick the Hard Square 20 pixels tip and use these settings:
Brush Tip Shape
Create a new layer on top of all layers, name it Confetti, and paint some confetti over and around the text.
Double-click the Confetti layer to apply the following layer style:
Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:
Gloss Contour: Rolling Slope – Descending
Check the Anti-aliased box
Highlight Mode: Vivid Light
Add a Gradient Overlay with these settings:
Use the Gold Pipes X3 gradient fill
You can now use the Eraser Tool to get rid of any unwanted parts of the confetti if you like.
15. How to Add Curves Adjustments
Add a Curves adjustment layer on top of all layers, and drag the middle of the curve very slightly upwards.
Select the Curves layer mask’s thumbnail, and go to Image > Apply Image.
Change the Source Layer to Merged and its Channel to Blue, change the Target Blending to Linear Burn, and click OK.
Change the Curves layer’s Blend Mode to Luminosity.
Duplicate the Curves layer, and drag the middle of the curve slightly downwards.
Create a new layer on top of all layers, name it High Pass, and press the Shift-Option-Command-E keys to create a stamp.
Convert the layer into a Smart Object, and change its Blend Mode to Soft Light.
Go to Filter > Other > High Pass, change the Radius to 1, and click OK.
Congratulations! You’re Done
In this tutorial, we created a simple background and a divided text shape, and modified a brush tip to create confetti.
Then, we turned the layers into 3D meshes, adjusted their settings and created their materials, and instanced them.
After that, we adjusted the lighting and rendered the scene. Finally, we added some more confetti, as well as a bunch of final global adjustments.
Please feel free to leave your comments, suggestions, and outcomes below.