Jungle 3D text in Photoshop

Jungle 3D text in Photoshop

This is a funny Photoshop tutorial that explains how to realize a 3D jungle text effect. We will create the text in Xara3d and we will use Photoshop to texturize the letters using animals’ skin. Don’t forget to download the jungle wallpaper!

What is you monitor size?

Preview of the final result:


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Step 1

Lets start creating 3D letters. For this purpose I used a simple 3d tool: Xara3d. You can use your favourite 3d software, Illustrator or Photoshop (CS4).

Step 2

Create a new document in Photoshop and use the gradient tool to add a radial gradient from a light green (#cef2b4) to a darker one (#2ba631). Paste in the 3d letters.

Step 3

Lets focus on the J. I want to apply to it this zebra skin texture. At first we have to change the letter’s color. So apply a gradient map (Image>Adjustments>Gradient Map) going from a dark grey (#0f0f0f) to a lighter one (#858585).

Step 4

Paste in the texture. Resize it (Press ctrl+T to activate the transform tool) and place above the letter. If you reduce the opacity everything will be simpler.

Step 5

Duplicate the texture layer 4 times. We need one copy for each letter face.

Step 6

Hide all the textures layers for the moment. Grab the pen tool, zoom in and make a selection of the frontal text face.

Step 7

Press ctrl+enter to activate the selection tool. Make visible one of the texture layer and select it. Now click on the “add layer mask” button (at the bottom of the layers window). Change the layer blending mode to overlay.

Step 8

Make visible another texture layer. With the selection tool, make a selection as shown in the following screenshot:

Step 9

With the copy of the zebra texture selected, go to Select>Inverse and press delete. Then press ctrl+D to deselect.

Step 10

Go to Edit>Transform>Distort and reduce the height of the shape.

Step 11

Hide for the moment the zebra texture. Grab the pen tool and make a selection of the upper face of the letter.

Step 12

Make visible and select the texture. Add a layer mask and set the layer to overlay.

Step 13

Use the same technique to cover all the letter sides.

Step 14

Select all the layers that we have used to create the J (all the visible layers except the background) and press alt+ctrl+E to merge the selected layers into a new layer. From now on we need only the last created layer, so select again all the J layers, group them (ctrl+G) and hide the group.

What is the aim of this step? I needed to merge all the J layers in order to apply the smudge tool, but I preferred to create a new layer for this purpose. In this way I can preserve the other layers in case I had to modify the letter details later.

Step 15

Select the smudge tool. Choose a 1px brush, normal for mode and 70% strenght. Now zoom in and start painting the letter’s hair. For this step my wacom tablet is really useful.

Step 16

Use different brush sizes to obtain a better result. The zebra/J is now complete. Really funny, don’t you think?

Step 17

Use the same process to create the other letters. All the textures I have used are free and come from stock.xchng. In order from the left I have used the skin of a zebra, a leopard, a monkey, a giraffe, an elephant and a tiger.


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(+add yours)
  1. I would love to see the other letters too! The idea is brilliant ! I love it thanks for sharing!

  2. Outstanding tutorial folks :) It was surprisingly simple considering the professional look of the result!

    • Thanks David, I really appreciate your comment that I take in high consideration

  3. Great tutorial, Just added to TutorialKing :)

  4. Great tutorial. Outcome was amazing :)

  5. Excellent tutorial, Sebastiano… I would suggest you one thing. Instead of the smudge tool, you can use the brush tool for creating the hair/fur. That is relatively easy and quick to accomplish. I think the particular fur brush is in ‘assorted brushes section’.

    Just brush the edges with and use the fur layer of zebra as a clipping mask. Hope, I was clear enough!

    Nonetheless, this is something different and amazing. Thanks for the tutorial

  6. Love the post, really helpful, thanks for everything.

  7. hildergarn

    I just did the J letter with another animal skin. GREAT!!!

    one concern Sebastiano: is it possible to create the same type of letters using only photoshop or we need Xara3D?


    • Hi Hildergarn,
      You can use the new 3d feature in Photoshop CS4 or create the 3d text in Illustrator.

  8. excellent sebastian – I like your site : )

  9. stunning 3D effects……gr8 accolads to u ……..
    sebestiano can u illustrate how to create 4D effects with Text as in 3D surround and timed Photoshops sizzling effects…..
    reply soon dear…………

  10. Jesse

    Real cool Seb…GR8 job….

  11. Lucy

    GENIUS! I created a birthday card for my aunt (who happens to be a veterinarian and absolutely loves animals of course) and she LOVED IT. Thank you! Keep up the great work :-)

  12. sgonzalez'

    estaa muy dificil!

  13. Thanks Sebastiano your tut is awesome i really liked it

  14. Hi, I m Harsh.

    So nice tutorials, i really loved it. If u don’t mind can u send me more easily designing tutorials.

    Harsh Knasara
    Vadodara, Gujarat,

  15. Very inspirational, it helps me boost my skill

  16. Ramish Saeed

    Nice tutorial! BTW which font did you use?

  17. Daniel Ballauf

    Love it !!!

  18. Really nice and professional Thanks!

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