Create a 3D Cafe Sign Using Adobe Photoshop and Filter Forge

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating
Finding the right textures for a 3D artwork can sometimes be a bit of a hassle. Filter Forge is a great Photoshop plugin that comes in handy in such cases, with more than 5,000 Texture Filters that have different presets, settings, and options to control the textures' appearance. This tutorial will show you how to use a couple of those filters to create a simple 3D cafe sign. Let's get started!
The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial:
Create a new 750 x 1000 px document. Pick the Ellipse Tool, create a 435 x 435 px circle, and then duplicate the Ellipse 1 layer and rename the copy Frame.
Create the Main Ellipses
With the Ellipse Tool still active, change the Frame shape's Fill in the Options bar to None, the Stroke Color to a light gray, and the Stroke Size to 30 pt. Then click the Set shape stroke type icon and set Align to Outside.
Frame Stroke Options
Create another 50 x 50 px circle and rename its layer Hand.
Pick the Rounded Rectangle Tool, set the Radius to 35, and create a 250 x 250 pxrounded rectangle. Rename its layer Plate.
Creating the Hand and the Plate
Pick the Rectangle Tool, and create 737 x 15 px rectangle. Rename its layer Wall, and then duplicate it twice. Rename the first copy Ceiling and the second copy Edge.
Creating the Rectangle Layers
Finally, add the text in the center of the big ellipse using the font Nexa Rust Script L 0. The color and size don't matter since we'll be able to modify them when we convert the text into a 3D mesh.
Create the Text
For each shape layer you have, select it, and then go to 3D > New 3D Extrusion from Selected Path. For the text layer, select it, and then go to 3D > New 3D Extrusion from Selected Layer.
Create the 3D Layers
Select all the 3D layers you have, and then go to 3D > Merge 3D Layers, and rename the merged layer 3D Scene.
Merge the 3D Layers
To access the 3D mesh settings and properties, you’ll need to open two panels: the3D panel and the Properties panel (both found under the Window menu).
The 3D panel has all the components of the 3D scene, and when you click the name of any of those, you’ll be able to access its settings in the Properties panel. So make sure to always select the tab of the element you want to modify in the 3Dpanel before you change its settings in the Properties panel.
Select each of the Mesh tabs in the 3D panel, and change the Extrusion Depth values in the Properties panel as follows:
  • Ellipse 1: 50
  • Frame: 55
  • Text: 25
  • Hand: 500
  • Plate: 50
  • Wall: 1000
  • Ceiling: 1000
  • Edge: 50
Change the Extrusion Depth Values
Change the Texture Mapping to Tile for each of the WallCeiling, and Edgemeshes.
Change the Texture Mapping
Select the Frame mesh tab, and then click the Cap icon at the top of the Propertiespanel. Change the Bevel Width to 7%, and the Contour to Half Round.
Do the same for the Text mesh tab, but set the Bevel Width to 10% instead of 7%.
Adjusting the Cap Settings
One way to position the 3D meshes in the scene would be by changing theirCoordinates values. So click the Wall mesh tab, and then click the Coordinates tab at the top of the Properties panel. Change the Y Rotation Angle to 90, and the Z Rotation Angle to -90.
Change the Coordinates Values
Another way is by using the Move Tool's 3D Modes and 3D Axis.
So if you select the Move Tool, you’ll find a set of 3D Modes for it to the right of theOptions bar.
When you choose one of those, you can then click and drag to perform changes (on the selected element in the 3D panel). You can also use that to work with the 3D Meshes you have.
As for the 3D Axis, the arrows at the ends of the axis move the mesh, the part below them is used for rotation, and the cubes are used for scaling. The cube in the center is used to scale the object uniformly. All you need to do is click and drag the relevant part.
The Move Tool 3D Modes and 3D Axis
Use the Move Tool and the Coordinates values to move and place the 3D meshes around in the scene, as well as the camera view, until you get a result you like.
Moving the 3D Meshes and Placing them in the 3D Scene
Click the Ellipse 1 Front Inflation Material tab in the 3D panel, and then click theDiffuse texture icon in the Properties panel and choose Edit Texture.
Edit the Ellipse Texture
This will open the texture file. Create a new layer on top of the shape layer, and then go to Filter > Filter Forge > Filter Forge 4.
Select the Grainy Wood filter, choose the 9th preset, and click the Apply button.
Grainy Wood Filter
Once the texture is applied, add a Levels adjustment layer, and change the Gammavalue to 0.90.
Save the file (File > Save) and close it (File > Close) to go back to the original document.
Levels Adjustment Layer
Change the Shine value to 90, the Reflection to 10, and the Roughness to 5.
Ellipse Mesh Material Settings
Select the Frame mesh's Front Inflation Material tab, click its Diffuse texture icon, and choose Edit Texture.
Create a new layer on top of the shape layer, and then go to Filter > Filter Forge > Filter Forge 4. Select the Super Brushed Metal filter, choose the 9th preset, and click the Apply button.
Save the file and close it, and repeat the same steps to apply the same texture to both the Frame mesh's Back Inflation and Extrusion Materials.
The Super Brushed Metal Filter
Select all the Frame mesh Material tabs, and change the Shine to 80%, theReflection to 21%, the Roughness to 23%, and the Refraction to 1.100.
Frame Mesh Material Settings
We won't apply any texture to the text. Instead, we will apply a color fill, and you can choose any color you like.
To do so, select all the Text mesh Material tabs, click the Diffuse texture icon, and choose Remove Texture.
After that, change the Shine to 89%, the Reflection to 35%, and the Roughness to5%. Choose a Diffuse color you like—the RGB values of the one used here are (13010112)—and change the Specular color to (898989).
Text Mesh Material Settings
Select all the Hand and Plate mesh Material tabs, and then change the Shine to80%, the Reflection to 21%, the Roughness to 23%, and the Refraction to 1.100.
Hand and Plate Mesh Material Settings
Deselect the Plate Inflation Material tab, click the Diffuse texture icon, and choose the Frame Extrusion Material from the list.
As for the Plate Front Inflation Material, edit its texture separately to apply the same brushed metal texture. This way you won't need to edit the UV values.
Hand and Plate Textures
Select the Wall Extrusion Material tab, click the Diffuse texture icon, and chooseEdit Texture.
Go to Filter > Filter Forge > Filter Forge 4, choose the Brick factory filter, and select the 11th preset.
Brick Factory Texture
Click the Settings tab, and change the Color 1 of bricks to #EDECEA, and theColor 2 of bricks to #EAEAEA. Then click the Apply button.
Once the texture is applied, save and close the file to go back to the 3D scene.
Brick Factory Filter Settings
Click the Diffuse texture icon again, and choose Edit UV Properties.
Edit UV Properties
In the Texture Properties box, you'll need to play around with the Scale or Tilevalues to get a result you like.
This basically controls how the texture is applied to the wall mesh's extrusion, and how it's tiled vertically and horizontally.
Texture Properties Values
Change the Shine value to 90%. Then select the Bump folder icon, and choose theWall Extrusion Material texture from the list. If needed, edit its UV Properties to match those of Diffuse.
Add the Bump Texture
Edit the Ceiling Extrusion Material texture to apply the Wall1 - AngelBlame filter.
When you choose the filter, click the Settings tab, check the Seamless Tiling box, and click the Apply button.
Wall1 - AngelBlame Filter
Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, and change the Saturation value to -75. Save and close the file.
HueSaturation Adjustment Layer
Once again, you'll need to adjust the UV Properties for this texture. Try different values until you like the result you get.
Ceiling Texture UV Properties
After that, select all the Ceiling and Edge Material tabs, apply the Ceiling Extrusion Material texture (from the textures list), and change the Shine value to 90.
Ceiling and Edge Material Settings
Click the Infinite Light 1 tab in the 3D panel. Then, in the Properties panel, change its Intensity to 80%, and its Shadow Softness to 30%.
Then, pick the Move Tool, and move the light around until you get a result you like.
Infinite Light Settings
Click the Environment tab, and then click the IBL texture icon, and choose Replace Texture.
Load the Art Gallery Background image, and change the Intensity to 40%.
Environment Settings
Click the Add new Light to Scene icon at the bottom of the 3D panel and chooseNew Point Light.
Add New Point Light
Place the light on top of the sign and slightly behind it, and then change its color to (248245237), its Intensity to 30%, and its Shadow Softness to 10%.
Check the Light Falloff box, and change the Inner and Outer values depending on how you'd like the light to fade out.
Point Light 1 Settings
You can take a bit of time to move the lights around and change any of their settings, until you're satisfied with the outcome.
Move the Lights Around
Move the camera around until you get an angle you like. Then select the Scene tab in the 3D panel, and choose Hidden Wireframe from the Presets menu in theProperties panel.
Hidden Wireframe Preset
Click the Current View tab, and then change the Depth value to 5. Start trying different Distance values until you get the focus on the sign, and the blur on the surrounding areas.
Once you're done, click the Scene tab again, and choose Default from thePresets menu.
Adding Depth of Field
After the scene is ready, you might need to make some changes on any of the meshes you have.
For example, you can select the Frame mesh tab in the 3D panel, and click the Edit Source button in the Properties panel to modify the frame shape options.
Frame Mesh Edit Source
When the frame shape file opens, change the Stroke Size to any value you like. Here, it is set to 5. Save and close the file when you're done.
Change the Stroke Size
You can see how the 3D frame is updated in the 3D scene as well. This applies to the rest of the 3D meshes, and comes in handy when you decide that you want to change a 3D mesh's settings after you have the 3D scene ready.
Updated Frame Mesh
When you're done working on the 3D scene, go to 3D > Render. The rendering might take a while, but you can stop any time by pressing the Esc key.
Render the 3D Scene
After the rendering is finished, add a Gradient Map adjustment layer using a Black to White gradient fill, and check the Dither box. Then, change the adjustment layer's Blend Mode to Linear Burn, and its Opacity to 30%.
Add Gradient Map Adjustment Layer
This will enhance the coloring of the final result.
Final Result
In this tutorial, we used a couple of different shape tools to create the main shapes that will be a part of the 3D scene, and then we converted those shapes into 3D meshes.
After that, we modified some of the Mesh and Cap settings for the 3D meshes, and used the Coordinates values and the 3D Axis to move those meshes around and place them in the 3D scene.
After the meshes were placed, we started using some Filter Forge filters to create the textures and apply them to the different materials, as well as to adjust the settings of those materials.
Finally, we worked on the lighting, added depth of field, and rendered the scene. Then we added an adjustment layer to enhance the coloring of the final result.
Please feel free to leave your comments, suggestions, and outcomes below.


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