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3D text in PSP 8 or 9

This is a beginner to intermediate level tutorial. It assumes you have a basic knowledge of PSP. We will use features native to PSP 8. They include the Layer Palette, the Text Tool, Drop Shadow, and the Fill Tool. We're going to make some 3D text.    :)

NOTE: If you have PSP 7, you can find instructions for this effect HERE

You will need:

Ok, ready to begin?

1. Create a new image. New Image
  • 400x200
  • Raster Background
  • Transparent

2. Go to your Materials Palette.
  • Set your foreground color to null (no color)
  • Set your background color to a medium/light brown. (I used #BB7D05)

3. Activate the Text Tool text tool and use the following settings:
  • Create as: Floating
  • Font : Blatant (or some other "fat" font)
  • Size: 45 (or something that suits your chosen font)
  • Alignment: Center

4. Click in the center of your image and type:
  • 3D Wood (hit the Enter key to drop to the next line)
  • Now, in the Text Entry area, highlight the word Text and change the Size to 60
    (I love that you can do this starting in PSP 8!)
  • Click the Apply button

5. Ctrl+Shift+P to promote the selection to a layer.
(Or go Selections > Promote Selection to Layer)

6. Ctrl+D to deselect the text.
(Or go Selections > Select None)

7. Double click on the layer name (Promoted Selection) in the Layer Palette and rename it to Text

8. Go to the Materials Palette and click on the little double headed arrow switch color swatch to switch the color to foreground and null/no color to background. Then click on the foreground color swatch:
  • Change the color to a darker brown (I used #744F08)
  • Add the Woodgrain Texture and set the Angle to 45
  • OK

9. Go to your Layer Palette and click the little gray lock on the Text Layer.

It will turn blue to show that Transparency is locked for that layer. Anything that you do to that layer (paint or flood fill for example) while its in lock mode will only work on pixels that already contain information/color. All transparent pixels will remain transparent.

10. Activate the Flood fill tool flood fill tool and click anywhere on the Text layer with the color and woodgrain texture set in step 8. Repeat the flood fill 2 more times to darken up the woodgrain in your text.

11. Click the lock on the Layer Palette to UNlock the Layer Transparency.

12. Go Effects > 3D Effects > Drop Shadow and use the following settings:
  • Vertical: 1
  • Horizontal: 1
  • Opacity: 100
  • Blur: 0
  • Color: #744F08 (color used in steps 8-10)
  • Shadow on new layer: CHECKED
  • OK
NOTE: You may change the vertical and horizontal offsets if you want to experiment but keep them close... 0 and 1, -1 and -1 etc.

13. Ctrl+Y - 5 or 6 more times to repeat the drop shadow . (Or go Edit > Repeat Drop Shadow 5 or 6 times)

Don't be tempted to cheat and only apply the Drop Shadow one time with a setting of 6. The effect won't work correctly.   :)

6 Drop Shadows applied
Looks 3D

1 Drop Shadow applied
Looks like a Drop Shadow

14. Go to your Layer Palette.
  • Click the eye to hide the Raster 1 and Text layers.
  • Ensure that one of the drop shadow layers is active and right click.
  • Choose Merge > Merge Visible from the drop down menu.
    (Or go Layers > Merge > Merge Visible)

15. Change your foreground color to yet a darker brown. (I used #432E05)
Keep the woodgrain texture set as before.

16. Lock the Layer Transparency of the Merged layer and ensure that it is the active layer.

17. Flood fill the merged layer with the dark brown woodgrain. Repeat 2 more times to darken that woodgrain.

18. Click the lock on the Layer Palette to UNlock the Layer Transparency.

19. Turn the visibility of the hidden layers back on. Voila! Text that looks like its been carved out of wood. :)

20. Flood fill your bottom layer (Raster 1) with a color of your choice.
Merge your Text and Merged layers and apply a drop shadow if desired.

Try the same sort of technique with different textures. Granite works well. :)


Pinwheel gives a nice effect too:

You can also experiment with gradients as well as textures. :)

If you enjoyed this tutorial I'd love to hear from you. If you need help with anything here or if the steps aren't clear, please let me know and I'll try to explain it better.

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