Create an Easy 3D Metallic Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Duplicating an element with a transformation is one of the easiest and fastest ways of creating 3D objects in Photoshop. This tutorial will guide you through creating a 3D text using that method, and then styling the different layers you get to create a metallic, retro-looking text effect. Let's get started!
The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial.
  • Nexa Rust font.
  • Free Pack 6000 photoshop gradients by Supertuts007 (Load theCHROMES.grd file).
  • Free Tileable Leather Patterns by WebTreatsETC.
  • In order to load the contours used, go to Edit > Presets > Preset Manager, and choose Contours from the Preset Type drop-down menu. Then click the little arrow to the right of the Preset Type drop down menu, and click Contours near the bottom of the pop-up menu. When the dialog box appears after that, just clickAppend, and you'll get the contours.
Create a new 900 x 675 px document. Set the Foreground color to #252927 and theBackground color to #0d0e0e. Pick the Gradient Tool, choose the Foreground to Background gradient fill, and click the Radial Gradient icon.
Then click and drag from the center of the document to one of the corners to create the background gradient, and duplicate the Background layer.

Background Gradient

Double-click the Background copy layer to apply the following layer style.
Add a Color Overlay with these settings:
  • Color: #1c1f26
  • Blend Mode: Color

Color Overlay

Add a Gradient Overlay with these settings:
  • Blend Mode: Overlay
  • Style: Reflected
  • Angle: 45
  • Check the Reverse box
  • Use the Silver 20ss gradient fill

Gradient Overlay

Add a Pattern Overlay with these settings:
  • Blend Mode: Soft Light
  • Pattern: webtreats_grey_leather.jpg
  • Scale: 50%

Pattern Overlay

This will apply a simple leather texture to the background.

Leather Background

Create the text using the font Nexa Rust Script. The Size is 245 pt and the color is#f4f4f4.

Create the Text

Duplicate the text layer and drag the copy layer below the original.

Duplicate the Text Layer

Enter the Free Transform Mode by going to Edit > Free Transform (Command-T). Tap the Right Arrow Key once, then tap the Down Arrow Key once as well, to move the copy text one pixel to the right and one pixel downwards. Then hit the Return key to accept the changes.

Transform the Text

Change the copy text color to #4e4e4e. Press the Command-Option-Shift-T(Control-Alt-Shift-T for Windows) keys 17 times to duplicate the layer with the transformation to create the 3D extrusion.

Create the 3D Extrusion

Select all the copy text layers, and go to Filter > Convert for Smart Filters. Rename the smart object's layer to add copy 1 after the text you have.
Duplicate the smart object's layer twice, rename the copy layers to add copy 2 andcopy 3, and then change the copy 3 layer's Fill value to 0.

Create and Rename the Smart Objects

Double-click the original text layer to apply the following layer style.
Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:
  • Style: Outer Bevel
  • Size: 3
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: 77
  • Altitude: 42
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
  • Highlight Mode: Linear Light
  • Shadow Mode - Opacity: 50%

Bevel and Emboss

Add a Contour with these settings:
  • Contour: Gaussian
  • Check the Anti-aliased box


Add a Stroke with these settings:
  • Size: 1
  • Fill Type: Gradient
  • Angle: -135
  • Use the aluminum 150e gradient fill


Add an Inner Glow with these settings:
  • Blend Mode: Color Burn
  • Noise: 10%
  • Color: #8c8c8c
  • Source: Center
  • Size: 18

Inner Glow

Add a Gradient Overlay with these settings:
  • Style: Reflected
  • Angle: 45
  • Scale: 150%
  • Use the aluminum 150e gradient fill

Gradient Overlay

This will style the original text layer. What we're going to do next is try to use other gradient fills and layer effects that match this one and style the 3D part of the text.

Styled Text Layer

Double-click the copy 2 smart object layer to apply the following layer style:
Add an Inner Shadow with these settings:
  • Color: #424242
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: -42
  • Distance: 57
  • Size: 16

Inner Shadow

Add a Gradient Overlay with these settings:
  • Style: Reflected
  • Angle: 45
  • Scale: 150%
  • Use the dark chrome gradient fill
Click the Gradient box to modify the gradient fill.

Gradient Overlay

Click the Color Stop of the light color near the end of the right side of the gradient bar, and then click the Delete button to remove that stop, as we don't need its light color there.

Modify the Gradient Fill

Add a Drop Shadow with these settings:
  • Opacity: 60%
  • Distance: 10
  • Size: 10

Drop Shadow

This will style the first layer of the 3D extrusion, adding the metallic-looking gradient.

Styled 3D Extrusion Layer 1

Double-click the copy 3 smart object layer to apply the following layer style:
Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:
  • Size: 0
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
  • Highlight Mode: Vivid Light
  • Shadow Mode - Opacity: 65%

Bevel and Emboss

Add a Contour with these settings:
  • Contour: Cone
  • Check the Anti-aliased box


Add an Inner Glow with these settings:
  • Blend Mode: Vivid Light
  • Noise: 10%
  • Color: #c5c5c5
  • Technique: Precise
  • Source: Center
  • Size: 46

Inner Glow

Add a Satin effect with these settings:
  • Blend Mode: Color Burn
  • Color: #717171
  • Distance: 7
  • Size: 18
  • Contour: Shallow Slope - Valley


This will intensify and enhance the 3D part of the text.

Styled 3D Extrusion Layer 2

Select the copy 1 smart object layer, and go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur. Change the Angle to 55 and the Distance to 100.

Motion Blur

Change the copy 1 layer's Blend Mode to Color Burn and its Opacity to 25%.

Shadow Layer Blend Mode and Opacity

Use the Move Tool to move the shadow so that it's extending from the top of the text downwards.

Move the Shadow

Click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose Gradient.

Create a Gradient Adjustment Layer

Use a Transparent to Color gradient fill with the colors #ebebeb to the left and#282828 to the right. Then change the Style to Radial and the Scale to 300.

Gradient Fill Settings

Finally, change the adjustment layer's Blend Mode to Multiply.

Gradient Layer Blend Mode

In this tutorial, we created a simple leather background, and applied some layer effects to it. Then, we created a piece of text, duplicated it, transformed the copy, and made a couple of other copies of it along with the transformation, which created the 3D extrusion.
We converted the 3D extrusion layers to a Smart Object, duplicated it, and styled it along with the original text layer.
Then we used many layer effects and gradient fills to achieve the retro, metallic look. We created the shadow using the Motion Blur filter, and modified its layer's Blend Mode and position.
Finally, we used a Gradient adjustment layer to add vignetting to the final result.
Please feel free to leave your comments, suggestions, and outcomes below.


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