Create a Realistic Wooden 3D Text Effect in Photoshop

In Artwork Skills, Graphic Designing Skills
Create a Realistic Wooden 3D Text Effect in Photoshop

Today, you can find so many quick typography artworks that rely on the 3D software to do all the work. However, you need advanced realistic artwork skills in creating 3D text effect with creating 3D text with just Photoshop, to work with all the details. Therefore, in this Photoshop tutorial, you will start your work with slight 2D textures and some quick functions in Photoshop to create a realistic wooden 3D text effect.

Preparation

  1. Run your Photoshop on your PC. Within this post, you are going to follow the steps how to create a realistic 3D text effect in Photoshop CS6. However, other versions of Photoshop may work too.
  2. A Wood Texture image. This tutorial uses a Wood Texture image from Xsc.hu by Kovic.

    Wood Texture Plank
    Image credit: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA (Kovic/Sxc.hu)
  3. A Wooden Plank image. The following image is a wooden plank background from Imageafter.com by Image*After.

    Wooden Plank Background
    Image credit: Image*After/Imageafter.com
  4. A Red Brick Wall image. Again, the image below is from Imageafter.com by Image*After.

    Red Brick Wall
    Image credit: Image*After/Imageafter.com
  5. A Lonely Tree. You can use the following lonely tree image. This image will be used to make a realistic shadow effect exposes the 3D texture image.A Lonely Tree

Step by Step How to Create a Realistic Wooden 3D Text Effect in Photoshop

The following photoshop tutorial will guide you how to work on all little details in your hands in order to make a natural look wooden 3D text effect. After you prepare all of the pictures above (instead, you can use other images that are according to your needs), now you are going to start it.

Step 1: Start a New Canvas

Firstly, after your Photoshop is ready, go to File → New, then set the canvas size. Here I’ll set it to 1200×600 Pixels. However, you can adjust the canvas size to the number of letters and their size that you would like to create.

Step 1: Sizing the Work Canvas
Sizing the Work Canvas

Step 2: Open the Wood Texture Image

Now, you are going to open the wood texture image in your Photoshop (File → Open → Click you wood texture image). Make sure you remember the directory or folder of the wood texture image to your PC. Then, set the size and the resolution (72 pixels/inch).

Sizing the Wood Texture Image
Sizing the wood texture image

Step 3: Add the Text to the Wood Texture Image

At this tutorial, I use Chunk Five font. But you can use any other bolt font as your wish.

Adding Text to an Image in Photoshop
Adding the text to the wooden texture image

Specify the text and make sure you’ll not override it. Because changing the text after a few steps ahead would be tiresome. Now, you are going to get the marquee outline of the text. To do so, stay your work on the text layer, and then simply go to Select → Load → Selection. The marquee will select all the text you just specify. Then, go to the wood texture layer, and make sure the selection marquee of the text stay persist. Now, load the selection into a new layer by clicking (at the top menu of your Photoshop) Layer → New → Layer via copy. It’s time to delete both wood texture layer the original text layer. Afterward, the following is the preview of the last added layer of mine.

Adding the Wooden Texture to the Text
Create a Realistic Wooden 3D Text Effect in Photoshop (Step 3)

Step 4: Create Edges to the Text

To create the edges of the text, firstly you need to duplicate the wooden text. On the top menu of your Photoshop, click Layer → Duplicate Layer. Take the selection of the wooden text into a new layer by simply going to Select → Load Selection. Give a black color to the duplicate text layer.

Now, place the black text layer just under the wooden text layer and resize it a little bit using Transform tool (Ctrl+T). To transform the size, pull each side of the black text layer towards the center. But make sure you specify the center point of the recent transformation based on the 3D view angle. In which, this tutorial should place it in the very middle because the 3D view angle is simply straight forward. From the left side of the black text layer, pull a bit to the right, from the right side pull a bit to the left, and so do from upper and bottom sides. At this step, my work ends up like the following image.

Create the Text Edges in Photoshop
Create a Realistic Wooden 3D Text Effect in Photoshop (Step 4)

Step 5: Creating the 3D of the Text

At this step, you’ll have your detail work to create the 3D of the text using the Polygonal Losso Tool (L). You can use this tool to connect every letter to its black edge by corner-to-corner. You are going to use your logical 3D to block a certain area of every text’ edge and letter and filling the blocked area with black. Use the Paint Bucket Tool (G) to fill the black. To easier your work, place the black edges layer under the wooden text layer.

Connect Every Letter and the Edge of the Text

The Connection between Letter and Edge in Black

The following image is the preview of the connection of the entire letters and edges.

Entire Letters and Edges Have Been Connected

After you finish creating the 3D to the text, place back the black edges layer under the wooden text layer. The preview should be like the following image.

3D of the Text
The preview of your work after creating the 3D to the Text.

Step 6: Displace Both Wooden Text and Black Edges Layers

Here you’ll replace the texture of the text to make the edge grooves more natural by changing the vertical and horizontal scales. To do so, on the top menu of your Photoshop, click Filter → Distort → Replace. Then change both horizontal and vertical scale to 1.

Displacing the Wooden Text Texture Layer
Displacing the wooden text layer

Do the same way to the black text layer.

Displacing the Black Text Layer
Displacing the black text layer

The result would be like the following preview.

The Result of the Displacing
Create a Realistic Wooden 3D Text Effect in Photoshop (Step 6)

Step 7: Changing the Color of the Wooden Plank Image

Now, it’s the time to work on the wooden plank image. Firstly, open the wooden plank image. You need to change the color of the wooden plank image to make it darker. The texture would replace the black text layer. So, simply press Ctrl+M (Curves settings), the curves window will open. Change the Input value to 140 and the Output value to 25.

Color Correcting Using Curves function in Photoshop

The result above is really bright. Then, you need to make if soft using Hue/Saturation settings (Ctrl+U). Give a value to the Hue at +15, Saturation at -40, and Lightness at -20. Those settings would give the layer a dark brown color.

Color Correcting in Photoshop using Hue/Saturation Settings

Step 8: Replacing the Wooden Plank Texture

Firstly, you need to adjust the size of the wooden plank layer as same as the size of the previews layers by going to Image → Image Size. Now, you are going to bring the layer to your main work document, and place it above the black text layer. Then, remove the excess wood texture. On the black text layer, make a load selection by clicking Select  → Load Selection. Then, go again to Select → Inverse and Delete. Then, the preview would be like the image below.

Create a Realistic 3D Text Effect

Step 9: Correct the Color of the Red Brick Wall Image

Open the red brick wall image, and you are going to make the color becomes more intensity. Then, go to Image → adjustments → Levels (Ctrl+L) and change the Input Levels value like the following.

Color Correcting the Red Brick Wall Image

After that, bring the red brick wall image layer to your main work document and place it just above the background layer. Then adjust the size using Transform Tool (Ctrl+T).

Now, the 3D text effect has done, but to create a realistic wooden 3D text effect, you are going to work in details in some of the following steps.

Step 10: Creating the Text Bevel

Here, you move back your work to the wooden text layer. Create the text bevel using Bevel and Emboss setting. Go to Layer → Layer Styles → Bevel and Emboss. Change the Depth percentage value to 1000 percent and 2px for the size. Make changes also to the Highlight color to #FFCC33 and the shadow color to #663300. Instead of the default colors, those colors are softer and fit to a wooden texture art.

Adding Bevel to the Text in Photoshop
Create a Realistic Wooden 3D Text Effect in Photoshop (Step 10)

Step 11: Make the Bevel More Stand Out

At the top menu of your Photoshop, go to Layer → Layer Styles and thick the Inner Shadow option to activate it. The inner shadow function is useful to give the wooden text effect more stand out and wooden.

Setting an Inner Shadow in Photoshop
Create a Realistic Wooden 3D Text Effect in Photoshop (Step 11)

The wooden text should be like the following image.

Step 12: Making a Shadow to the Text

At this step, you will make a shadow to the text. Move your work to the wooden text layer and on the top menu click Select → Load Selection and from the options choose “Add to Selection“. Then, add a new layer by going to Layer → New → Layer or simply by pressing Ctrl+shift+N. Give black to the selected area. After that, place this layer above the red brick layer. Now, give Motion Blur effect to this layer by accessing Filter → Blur → Motion Blur and then give 20 degrees to the Angle value and 200 pixels to the Distance value.

Adding a Shadow to Text in Photoshop

Step 13: Make a Mask and Blur Effect to the Text Shadow

You need to eliminate some areas of the shadow you just created. At this tutorial, I made the light casts a shadow in the direction of the bottom left of the wooden text. So, you are going to eliminate the shadow effect on the top and right sides of the wooden 3D text. So, on the top menu options, select Layer → Add Layer Mask → Reveal All. This way will create a layer mask to the layer.

Then, use Brush Tool (B) with a black brush at 100% of wide, 0% of hardness, and 50% of opacity. Paint the top and right sides of the wooden text to eliminate unwanted shadow.

Follow the following arrows to get rid of the top and right shadow area.

After that, use a Motion Blur tool to make some harsh edges to the area you would like to soften. To do so, click Filter → Blur → Gaussian Blur, then change the Radius value to 8.5 pixels.

Step 14: Make an Additional Shadow Again

Here, you will repeat the 12th and 13th steps. But give 15 degrees to the Angle value and 240 pixels to the Distance value when setting the Motion Blur.

Step 15: Finishing the Shadow

Now, you are going to have some detail work on each of the wooden letters to refine the shadow. So, go to Layer → New → Layer to add a layer for the refined shadow. Then, use a Gradient Tool (G) to refine the logical shadow of each wooden letter.

After here, the 3D effect and shadow effect of the wooden text have been done. But, to create a realistic wooden 3D text effect, you are going to add some natural elements in the following steps.

Step 16: Lighten the Wooden Text Surface

Before you are adding some lighting shelf on an area, here you are going to make it’s effect first on the wooden text surface. To do so, enter Image → Adjustments → Curves, or simply press Ctrl+M. The Curves window will appear, then give 107 to the Input value and 150 to the Output value.

Lighten the Text Surface in Photoshop

Step 17: Creating a Natural Element to the 3D Wooden Text

At this step, you will add a realism to create the realistic wooden text effect looks more natural. Now, it’s the time to work on the tree image. So, open the lonely tree image, the ngo to Select → Color Range. After the color range window appears, click on the dark areas. Then change the value of Fuzziness to 200.

Adding Fuzziness effect in Photoshop

You should look a marquee around the dark areas of the lonely tree image. Then, load the selection of dark parts of the image to a new layer, and give it a black color. After that, place the layer into your main work document at the very top of the layers. If you place it rightly, the result would be like the following preview.

Adding a Natural Element to the Image in Photoshop

Step 18: Convert the Tree Layer as a Natural Tree Shadow

Still, work on the lonely tree layer, simply select Filter → Blur → Gaussian Blur. Then, reduce the Opacity to 50%. Take a look the following image how to do so.

Step 19: Drop a Lighting Effect

A realistic natural lighting should be inconsistency. Therefore, you need to add a lighting effect in a certain part of the wooden 3D Text. To do so, make a new layer and drop a white blurred color at 0% opacity gradient. Drag the white circle at the middle left of the visible part of the entire image.

Then, You need to change the Blend Mode to Overlay. So the white color looks like a realistic lighting.

Step 20: Color Correcting

Next, you need to do some simple color adjustments. The first color correcting is using a Gradient Map tool. To open the Gradient Map settings window, go to Layer → New Adjustment Layer → Gradient Map and thick the Reverse box.

Color Correcting in Photoshop
Create a Realistic Wooden 3D Text Effect in Photoshop (Step 20 part 1)

After that, go to Layer → New Adjustment Layer → Hue/Saturation.

Color Correcting Using Hue/Saturation in Photoshop
Create a Realistic Wooden 3D Text Effect in Photoshop (Step 20 part 2)

The Final Result of Creating a Realistic Wooden 3D Text Effect

Finally, the following is the final result of a Photoshop Tutorial on how to create a realistic wooden 3D text effect.

A Realistic Wooden 3D Text Effect
A Realistic Wooden 3D Text Effect

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