How to create a mysterious poster design with 3d text
Today we will learn together how to realize a marvelous poster design using Photoshop and Illustrator. I’ll show you some useful IIlustrator tricks to create the 3D text effect of the piece, then we will switch to Photoshop to complete the scene with textures and color corrections. This tutorial is very simple to follow, so I suggest also to beginners to give a try.
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Let’s start from Illustrator. Create a new document and write “lost” using a bold sans serif font. Mine is Myriad Pro (Default), but you can experiment with a different one (I suggest you to try with a very bold font like Mod).
We have to duplicate the text “lost” many times horizontally and vertically; a trick for you: go to Effect>Distort&Transform>Transform, enter 20 copies and move the text horizontally for 46pt.
At this point we need to duplicate the entire line of text vertically. Before applying again the Transform filter, we need to expand the text. So go to Object>Expand Appearance. Then switch to the Transform effect and this time move it vertically (-16pt). Finally go to Object>Expand Appearance to expand the text again after the second transformation.
Write again the word “lost,” this time increase the font size (around 200pt). Then go to Type>Create outlines to turn the text in shapes.
Now we need to remove the the word “lost” (great) from the repeating grid of small “lost” words. To do this, start selecting the grid of words and go to Object>Compound Path>Make, then select both the grid and the large LOST word and press the Minus Front button from the pathfinder window.
We are ready to give depth to the grid. Firstly switch the grid color from Black to White, then go to Effect>3D>Extrude&Bevel and enter the following values:
Why do I have to switch the grid color from black to white? Because white, once given depth with the 3d Illustrator tool, will be turned in a greyscale 3d object whose color will be more easy to customize later in Photoshop.
Let’s switch to Photoshop. Create a new document. Mine is 1920×1200 px at 72 pixels/inch of resolution since it is destined to be a wallpaper. From Illustrator copy the 3d text (ctrl+C) and paste it in Photoshop (ctrl+V) as a smart object.
Select the background layer, grab the Paint bucket tool (G) and fill it with black.
Now we have to modify the colors of the 3d text. So select its layer and go to Image>New Adjustment layer>Gradient map and add a gradient going from #0f0e0f to #727272.
Since we want to affect only the 3d text with this adjustment layer, add a clipping mask by holding down alt and clicking between the adjustment layer and the 3d text one (a little arrow will appear near the gradient map layer – into the layers window).
To darken the edges of the composition, create a new layer, grab a large soft (hardness 0%) brush and paint over them.
The text is too clean in my opinion. To dirty it, we can use one of our resources: download our scratched metallic textures, choose the item you prefer from the pack, then paste it into the Photoshop canvas and desaturate it by pressing shift+ctrl+U.
Set the layer blending mode to overlay and reduce opacity to 40%.
The center of the composition is too dark. To lighten it create a new group and set the blending mode to overlay. Create a layer inside the group, grab a large soft white brush and click over the center:
I don’t like this black/white color combination. So, to add more color, let’s create another gradient map adjustment layer and place it on top of all the other layers. Add a gradient going from blue (#002874) to yellow (#f9e600) and set the layer to overlay with opacity 35%.
The tutorial could stop here, the result looks cool in my opinion. At this point of my work I asked Piervincenzo for a critic and he suggested me to add the photo of an island to the background to enrich the scene. Nice idea! Download this photo of an island and place the image between the 3d text and the background layer. Press ctrl+T to activate the free transform tool and re-size the photo.
With the eraser tool (or a layer mask if you prefer), eliminate the exuberant part of the island photo:
The last touch is to remove the texture’s effect from the island photo. Select the texture’s layer, ctrl+click on the 3d text thumbnail (in the layers window), and add a layer mask by pressing the apposite button in the layers window. In this way we will retain only the area of the texture that covers the 3d text. Finito!
Here is the result of our efforts:
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