Create a Retro Gold Leather Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating
Creating 3D text effect does not always require using the 3D tools. This tutorial will show you a simple way of using the shape attributes in Adobe Photoshop CC, along with a couple of layer styles, to create a retro, leather-like, 3D text effect pretty easily and quickly. Let's get started!
The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial.
Create a new 1000 x 750px document. Set the Foreground color to #e4e4e2 and the Background color to #0b0b0b. Pick the Gradient Tool, choose the Foreground to Background gradient fill, and click the Radial Gradient icon.
Then, click-drag from the center of the document to one of the corners to create the background gradient. Duplicate the Background layer.
Gradient Fill
Double-click the Background copy layer to apply a Pattern Overlay effect, by changing the Blend Mode to Hard Light, and using the Carbon Fibre Big pattern.
Background Pattern Overlay
This will apply a simple pattern to the background.
Pattern Applied to the Background
Create the text placing each letter in a separate layer. The font used is Courgette, the color is #debc8b, and the Size is 350 pt.
Creating the Text
Pick the Rectangle Tool, and create a rectangle below the text. The rectangle's fill color should be the same as the text color.
Add a Rectangle
Pick the Convert Point Tool, then start clicking and dragging each of the rectangle's corners to convert the corner anchor points into smooth anchor points.
Modify the Rectangles Corners
Pick the Direct Selection Tool, then you can click and drag an anchor point to move it around, or you can click the Direction Points at the end of the two Direction Handles, then move them around to change the orientation of the curve, or drag them outwards and inwards to make the curve wider or narrower.
Shaping the Rectangle
Keep modifying the anchor points until you get a shape you like, then place the shape layer below all the text layers.
Final Shape
Place each letter's layer in a group that has the letter's name.
Grouping the Letters
Now you can either work on all the letters simultaneously, or work on each one separately. In this tutorial, only one letter will be used to demonstrate the process, and then you can follow the exact same steps for the rest of the letters, and copy and paste the layer styles and shape attributes as well.
So all the groups will be made invisible (by clicking the eye icons next to them) except for the first letter's group.
Making the Groups Invisible
Duplicate the text layer, change the copy's Fill value to 0, and duplicate it.
Duplicate the Text Layer and Change the Fill Value
Duplicate the original text layer, drag the copy below the original text layer, right click it and choose Convert to Shape, then rename it to [the letter] Shape.
Duplicate the shape layer and drag the copy below it.
Converting to Shape Layers
Duplicate the copy shape layer and drag the final copy on top of all the layers you have in the group.
So now the layers you should have from top to bottom in the group - the letter E's group in this case - are:
  • E Shape copy 2
  • E copy 2
  • E copy
  • E
  • E Shape
  • E Shape copy
These names will be used throughout the rest of the tutorial, so please make sure you have a similar naming and order.
Layers Names and Order
Select the Shape copy 2 layer, and pick the Direct Selection Tool. In the Options bar, you'll get a couple of shape attributes that you can modify.
Start off by changing the Fill to None, the Stroke color to #91741c, and the Stroke Width to 1. Then, click the Set shape stroke type icon, choose the dashed line preset, and make sure that the Align is set to Inside. This will create the stitches.
The Stitches
Select the original Shape layer, change the Fill color to #e4e4e4, the Stroke color to #d4d4d4, the Stroke Width to 5, and change the Align to Outside.
Stroke Shape Layer
Select the Shape copy layer, make sure that the Fill color is #e4e4e4 and the Stroke is set to None, then go to Edit > Free Transform. Press the Right Arrow Key once and the Down Arrow Key once as well to move the shape 1px to the right and 1px downwards. Then hit Enter/Return to accept the changes.
Transform the Shape copy Layer
Now press the Alt-Ctrl-Shift-T or Option-Command-Shift-T keys 5 times to duplicate the layer and the transformation. This will result in a simple 3D extrusion.
Duplicate with Transformation to Create 3D Extrusion
Double-click the Shape copy 2 layer to apply the following Layer Style:
  • Size: 0
Bevel and Emboss
  • Check the Anti-aliased box.
  • Contour
    • Color: #edd67b - but you can choose any other color you like as well.
    Color Overlay
    • Color: #5b3e03
    • Distance: 0
    • Size: 1
    Drop Shadow
    This will style the stitches.
    Stitches Styled
    Double-click the original text layer to apply the following Layer Style:
    • Size: 18
    • Check the Anti-aliased box
    • Shadow Mode - Color: #93804d
    Bevel and Emboss
    • Pattern: Large leather
    • Depth: 60%
    • Check the Invert box
    • Blend Mode: Linear Burn
    • Noise: 65%
    • Color: #e6d842
    • Source: Center
    Inner Glow
    This will create the leather-like part of the text.
    Leather Styling
    Double-click the first copy text layer to apply the following Layer Style:
    • Size: 21
    • Soften: 5
    • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
    • Angle: -108
    • Altitude: 58
    • Check the Anti-aliased box
    • Shadow Mode - Opacity: 0%
    Bevel and Emboss
    • Contour: Cove - Deep
    • Check the Anti-aliased box.
    This will add some highlight areas to build up the 3D look of the leather.
    Leather 3D Highlights Layer 1
    Double-click the second copy text layer to apply the following Layer Style:
    • Size: 21
    • Soften: 5
    • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
    • Angle: 99
    • Altitude: 58
    • Check the Anti-aliased box
    • Highlight Mode: Hard Light
    • Color: #fffbe2
    • Opacity: 100%
    • Shadow Mode - Opacity: 0%
    Bevel and Emboss
    • Contour: Half Round
    • Check the Anti-aliased box.
    This will enhance the 3D look of the leather part and give it some more depth.
    Leather 3D Highlights Layer 2
    Double-click the original Shape layer to apply the following Layer Style:
    • Size: 1
    • Check the Anti-aliased box
    Bevel and Emboss
    • Contour: Ring
    • Check the Anti-aliased box.
    • Range: 100%
    This will style the edges of the extrusion.
    Extrusion Edges Styling
    Double-click the first copy Shape layer to apply the following Layer Style:
    • Style: Reflected
    • Angle: 45
    • Choose the steel pipe 20 gradient from the CHROMES.grd file
    Gradient Overlay
    • Distance: 15
    • Size: 7
    Drop Shadow
    This will create a simple reflective 3D extrusion.
    Styling the Extrusion
    Repeat the same steps for the rest of the letters if you haven't already, and place them as you like in the document. Making them overlap a bit will make the effect look more interesting.
    Placing the Letters
    Once done, click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon down the Layers panel and choose Gradient Map.
    Add Gradient Map
    Choose the CSP True Sky Sunradial gradient from the True Sky Gradients.grd file, then change the layer's Blend Mode to Multiply and the Opacity to 10%. This will help slightly adjust the coloring of the final result.
    Modifying the Gradient Map Settings
    In this tutorial, the text and a simple shape were created in separate layers, then grouped, duplicated, and re-arranged. After that, some more copies of the text layers were created after converting them to shape layers, in order to style them.
    A couple of shape attributes were modified for the shape layers, and one was duplicated with a transformation, to create the stitches, the extrusion edges, and the 3D extrusion,.
    After that, all the layers were styled to create the leather center and the metallic reflective extrusion.
    Finally, the letters were placed in the document, and the coloring was slightly enhanced by adding a Gradient Map adjustment layer.
    Please feel free to leave your comments, suggestions, and outcomes below.



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