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Deke's Techniques is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.
Hey, gang! This is Deke McClelland. Welcome to Deke's Techniques. This week I am going to show you how to create 3D type using Repousse, which is part of Photoshop CS5 Extended. Now note, if you want to follow along with this movie, you have to own Photoshop CS5 Extended, not the standard version of the software. Having said that, the great thing about Repousse is that it limits your reliance on imported 3D wireframes, so that you can directly extrude text layers and shape layers and so on. In our case, we are going to start with a shape layer and then we are going to rotate that layer in 3D space.
We are going to slide it forward and backward along the Z axis. We are going to drag it along the X and Y axis as well, possibly scale it if we need to, and we are going to go ahead and color the surfaces of the letters as well as the beveled edges and the extruded edges, and then finally--and this might be the most important step-- we are going to get rid of the jagged edges around the letters using ray tracing. So we will apply the Ray Tracing feature that's available to you inside of the 3D panel.
I am going to show you how this and all of those other options work inside of this movie. In this movie, I am going to show you how to create beautifully executed 3D type inside of Photoshop using Repousse, which only exists inside Photoshop CS5 Extended. But notice that we get all this wonderful shading going on inside the type--beautifully rendered as well-- using something called Ray Tracing, which takes a while for Photoshop to render. So be prepared for a period of waiting inside of Photoshop.
And I will even go so far as to say you want to wander away from your machine while the rendering is occurring, because it's going to take a good five to ten minutes, and that's even inside of a low-resolution file. If I go up to the Image menu and choose Image Size, you will see that this file measures a scant 1,200 pixels wide by 420 pixels tall. I can see the entire image here on screen at the 100% view level. If you decide to work at a higher resolution, then be prepared to wait a longer period of time for the ray tracing. All right! We are going to start off inside of this file here. It's got some life type set against that star field background.
I'll press Shift+Tab in order to bring up my right-side panels and zoom out a little bit. Now Repousse wants to convert your type to pixels. There's no way around that. You can't apply Repousse to a Smart Object, for example. So if you want to retain your original editable type, then you need to duplicate it. Now, I am going to go over to my Layers Panel flyout menu, click on it, and choose panel Options. And if you're working along with me, I suggest you turn this final check box off, "Add 'copy' to Copied layers and Groups." That way you won't append the word 'copy' after your layer name when you duplicate it. All right! I am just going to cancel out because it was already deselected for me.
And then I am going to press Ctrl+J, or Command+J on the Mac, to duplicate that type to a new layer, and I am going to turn off the original editable text layer. Now go up to the 3D menu. Again, you'll only see it if you own Photoshop CS5 Extended; the standard version does not have this menu. Then drop down to Repousse and choose Text layer. Photoshop is going to tell you that it needs to convert the text to pixels. Go ahead and click Yes, because there is no way around that, and then a moment later, up will come the Repousse dialog box. Now, you can safely ignore most of the settings for now.
The only options I want you to change are the Depth setting. Let's go ahead and reduce that to 0.5 like so, and you may get a little bit of delay because Photoshop is updating your image in the background. There is no preview check box that you can turn off. It's always previewing the effect. Then I want you to add a little bit of a bevel by changing the Height value to 1 and the Width value to 2. By the way, this isn't the amount of bevel at the width and height edges of the letters. This is rather, if you were looking at a cross section of the bevel, how tall it is and how wide it is.
After having done that, don't do anything else inside this dialog box. Just go ahead and click OK in order to apply the effect, and you'll get something along these lines. Now, we can edit the text directly inside of the Image window using the 3D tools. So drop down here to the Object Rotate tool--it should be your default tool--and now just go ahead and drag inside of the image like so. Now, as you drag your type, you are going to have nothing to compare it to, by default. That's a Preference setting, by the way, and you could change that if you want to see the type and the background at the same time, but we're just going to work with the default settings.
Once you get your type looking about like this, I want to see the under side of the letters, then go ahead and release. Now, we need to scale the text and move it into a better position. So I am going to start things off by switching to this tool right here, the Slide 3D Object tool, located up here in the Options bar. You can also choose it, by the way, from this flyout menu. And using this tool, I am going to drag down in order to increase the size of the letters, and then I am going to drag over to the right as well in order to scoot them over to the right. Now, that's not quite the effect that I'm looking for, not exactly anyway.
So, I am going to move the text a little farther over like so, and then I'm going to grab the next door tool right here which is the Drag-the-3D-Object tool, and I will drag my text over to the left and down slightly as well, and this looks like a pretty good position to me. You can fool around with your text a little while longer, using all of these various tools that are located up here in the Options bar, to your heart's content. Anyway, as I say this works for me. Now I am going to bring up my 3D panel, and the easiest way to bring up the 3D panel is to double-click on the thumbnail that's associated with your 3D object.
So just go ahead and double- click that thumbnail. Up comes 3D. It will say 3D (Scene). You can also, however, go to the Window menu and choose the 3D command if you prefer. Now, we want to change the colors of a few of the faces of our text. So I'm going to start off with this guy right there, dimension Front Inflation Material. Now, for purposes of this movie, we are going to steer clear of materials because they fairly complicate the process. We are just going to go with flat colors. So what I'd like you to do is click on this little sphere right there in order to bring up your Material Selector and select this one, the one that's called No Texture when you hover over it, and that will go ahead and render in the background.
Then click on this little color swatch next to the word Diffuse in order to bring up the Color Picker dialog box. And the values that I am going to enter, feel free to go your own way, but I am going to change the H value to 215, the S value to 65, and the B value to 50, like so, in order to dial in the shade of blue. Click OK and you should see the face of your letters change in the background. Now, I am going to click on dimension Front Bevel Material, and I am going to change it to No Texture as well, and then I'll click on the color swatch next to Diffuse, and I'll change these values to 50, which is a shade of yellow.
And we want a pale yellow, so we'll dial down Saturation to 15%, and I'll increase the Brightness value to 100%. Click OK. Then finally, we want to change the extruded edges. So I will click on dimension Extrusion Material, then I'll click on my sphere, change it to No Texture once again, click on the color swatch next to Diffuse in order to bring up the Color Picker dialog box, dial in 215 for the Hue value, 65 for the Saturation value, and then finally for Brightness, I am going to take down that down to 15. Click OK in order to accept that modification.
At this point, if you go ahead and hide the panel for a moment and zoom in, you'll be alarmed how horrible this effect looks. And I think this is where most people run into a kind of stumbling block when they are applying 3D for the first time inside of Photoshop. You look at the results and you think, "My gosh! This program is terrible. Why is it delivering these horrible hideous jagged edges, whereas everything else inside of Photoshop is so beautifully rendered?" Well, that's because so far we are working in a kind of Draft mode. We haven't applied the ray tracing which is necessary in order to see the finished result, and we are going to do right now.
By bringing up the 3D panel once again, by double-clicking on that layer thumbnail, and what you need to do is click on the word Scene. This is a very difficult option to find. You click on Scene, and then you will notice this option right here called Quality, and you'll change it from Interactive (Painting)--and what it means is that everything is going to update very quickly as you are working on the object. But we are done positioning the object and defining the materials and so forth, so you can go ahead and choose Ray Traced Draft, and I recommend that over final files when you're really sure you are done. That's like a very long process.
It takes about twice as long to apply. But Draft goes relatively quickly by comparison. It takes maybe five minutes. So go ahead and click on Ray Traced Draft, and you'll see this grid sort of whip across the image, and you see things get better very, very quickly. What I don't want you to do-- this is very important--do not click anywhere inside of Photoshop because if you do, you'll interrupt the process. So you can't do anything else while this is happening. You can switch to a different application if you want to, and get some work done there.
But what I really suggest you do is walk away from the machine. Go get a cup of coffee, because as long as that cursor is spinning, that means that Photoshop is working. All right! Now, thanks to the modern miracle of video editing, I'm done. Your process will take longer than this, but I can tell I am done because now I have my familiar arrow cursor. I'll go ahead and hide the 3D panel because now I want to add a little bit of faux lining to the scene with a gradient overlay, which is easier to do than actually playing with the lights at this point.
So go down to the fx icon and choose Gradient Overlay, and then I am going to change the gradient as follows. I am going to click on this color bar here, double-click on the first color swatch and change the Brightness value to 60, click OK, and then I am going to Alt+Drag or Option+Drag that color stop till I see a location value of about 15%. I'll double-click on it, and I'll change the Brightness value this time around to 15. Click OK once again. I'm going to click on this little midpoint skew, that diamond, and I am going to change the Location value to 35%. Then I will click OK in order to accept that modification.
I am going to change the Angle value to 115 degrees, and I am going to change the Blend mode from Normal to Overlay and reduce the Opacity value to 60%. Click OK to accept that modification. And here's the final 3D type, beautifully executed, wonderful highlights and shadows going on here, thanks to the power of Repousse here inside Photoshop CS5 Extended.
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