How to Create 3D Text Without The Use of Any 3D Tools

When you saw the title, you probably said “Impossible, you can’t create 3D text with Photoshop!” Not entirely accurate. We can create extrusions even if the command isn’t available, adjust the depth and direction of the extrusion path or use shading and all we need is a different point of view on things. Sounds pretty good so far, huh?

Difficulty: beginner
Completion time: 3-5 min
Tools: Photoshop CS3 or later
Resources: Showcard Gothic font

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Final Image Preview

3D text


Create a document of 2000 x 2000 px in RGB color mode (File > New…) or a similar file size.

3D text


Grab the Horizontal Type Tool (T), draw a type box with the about the same width as the canvas. Type in your desired text and hit the “OK” button in the top side.

3D text


Duplicate this layer (CTRL+J). Select the original layer, make the text another color, go to the Layers palette and right-click near the layer thumb. Select “Rasterize Type”.

3D text


Hit CTRL+T to enter Free Transform Mode, click the chain between the percentile values and change the value to “99.5%”. Hit Enter.

3D text


Duplicate this layer (CTRL+J). Select its original and repeat STEP 4.

3D text


Repeat this step until you get a decent “extrusion” height.

3D text

3D text


Select all layers except the top-most one and “background” and hit CTRL+E to merge them. Click the “fx” in the Layers palette and select “Blending Options”. Use the settings below.

3D text

3D text


Select the top-most layer and add a similar blending setting, like below.

3D text

Done! 3D Text Without The Use Of Special Tools.

You can explore different extrusion paths if you change the reference point for the Free Transform mode.

3D text

3D text

So there you have it, a simple way to create 3D text by using only Photoshop.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2011 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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31 Comments on “How to Create 3D Text Without The Use of Any 3D Tools

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