How to Create Fancy Decor 3D Text Effect in Photoshop

Special events have all sorts of fancy decor elements everywhere, one of which is always a big, bright welcome sign. This tutorial will show you how to use Photoshop’s 3D tools and settings, with a couple of textures and images, as well as adjustment layers and filters, to create a bright fancy decor sign. Let’s get started!

Create a new 25 x 25 px document with a Black Background, and use the Ellipse Tool to create a White 14 x 14 px circle in the middle of the document.

Create a Circle

Create three copies of the ellipse shape, and place each of the shapes’ centers in one of the document’s corners.

Add to the Corners

Go to Edit > Define Pattern, and change the Name to Illumination Pattern.

Define Pattern

Double-click any of the ellipse shape layers to apply a Gradient Overlay effect with these settings:

  • Check the Dither box
  • Style: Radial
  • Use the Black, White gradient fill
Gradient Overlay

Right-click the styled shape layer, choose Copy Layer Style, select the other ellipse shape layers, right-click any of them, and choose Paste Layer Style.

Copy and Paste the Layer Style

Go to Edit > Define Pattern again, and change the Name to Bump Pattern.

Define Pattern

Create a new 500 x 500 px document, and duplicate the Background layer.

Duplicate the Background Layer

Double-click the Background copy layer to apply a Pattern Overlay effect with these settings:

  • Pattern: Illumination Pattern
  • Scale: 50%
Pattern Overlay

Add a Solid Color fill layer, set the Color to #fff4b4, and change the layer’s Blend Mode to Multiply.

Save this file with the name Illumination Texture.

Illumination Texture

Double-click the Background copy layer, select the Pattern Overlay tab, and change the Pattern to the Bump Pattern.

Pattern Overlay

Delete the Solid Color layer, and save the file with the name Bump Texture.

Bump Texture

Create the text in All Caps using the font Sofia Pro Bold, and set the Size to 175 pt and the Tracking to 50.

Create the Text

Rename the text layer to Textright-click it, and choose Convert to Shape.

Convert to Shape

Use the Rectangle Tool to create a 10 px high rectangle below the text, and rename its layer to Top.

Create a Rectangle Shape

Create another rectangle with the same length but with a Height value of 5 px, and rename the layer to Bottom.

Create a Rectangle Shape

Create a small 15 x 5 px rectangle shape, and duplicate it five times.

Place one small rectangle below the right side of the Bottom rectangle shape, and place another one below the left side.

Select all the small rectangle layers, pick the Move Tool, and click the Distribute horizontal centers icon in the Options bar.

Add Small Rectangle Shapes

Select the Bottom layer along with the small rectangle shape layers, and go to Layer > Merge Shapes.

Merge Shapes

Create a new Black filled layer on top of all layers.

Create a Black Fill Layer

Go to 3D > New Mesh From Layer > Mesh Preset > Sphere.

Create a 3D Sphere Layer

For every shape layer you have, select it and go to 3D > New 3D Extrusion from Selected Path.

New 3D Extrusion from Selected Path

Select all the 3D layers you have, and go to 3D > Merge 3D Layers.

Merge 3D Layers

To access the 3D mesh settings and properties, you’ll need to open two panels: the 3D 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 3D panel before you change its settings in the Properties panel.

Click the eye icon next to the Sphere mesh tab to hide it.

3D and Properties Panels

If you select the Move Tool, you’ll find a set of 3D Modes for it to the right of the Options bar.

When you choose one of those, you can then click and drag to perform changes (on the selected element in the 3D panel).

Use those modes to change the Current View to an angle you like.

Move Tool 3D Modes

Select the Text 3D mesh tab in the 3D panel, and change its Extrusion Depth in the Properties panel to 25.

Extrusion Depth

Change the Top mesh’s Extrusion Depth to 100.

Extrusion Depth

Change the Bottom 3D mesh’s Extrusion Depth to 10.

Right-click the Bottom mesh tab and choose Instance Objects. This will create a linked copy that reflects the changes made to the original mesh, like the material settings, for example.

Extrusion Depth and Instance Object

Select all the 3D mesh tabs you have, click the 3D panel menu icon, and choose Move Object to Ground Plane.

Move Object to Ground Plane

Pick the Move Tool, and use the 3D Axis to move the 3D meshes into their final positions.

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 part you want to use.

The 3D Axis

You can also click the Coordinates icon at the top of the Properties panel to use numerical values.

The Coordinates Values

Change the Current View angle while moving the meshes to see the result from different angles if needed.

Change the Camera Angle

Show the Sphere mesh, and select its tab.

Click the Diffuse texture icon and choose Remove Texture, and use these material settings (the color values used are in RGB):

  • Diffuse: 255, 195, 101
  • Specular: 252, 249, 239
  • Illumination: 255, 239, 165
  • Ambient: 255, 237, 188
  • Shine: 50
  • Reflection: 10
Material Settings

Create instance objects of the Sphere mesh to place one in front of each letter. You can change the Current View to Front to make the process easier and more precise.

Sphere Instance Objects

Select the Text Front Inflation Material tab, click the Diffuse texture icon, and choose Edit Texture.

Edit Texture

This will open the texture file. Go to File > Save As, and name the file Text Illumination Texture.

Text Illumination Texture

Double-click the shape layer to apply a Pattern Overlay effect with these settings:

  • Pattern: Illumination Pattern
  • Scale: 25%
Pattern Overlay

Add a Solid Color fill layer, set the Color to #fff4b4, and change the layer’s Blend Mode to Multiply.

Save the changes.

Add a Color Overlay

Double-click the shape layer again, select the Pattern Overlay tab, and change the Pattern to the Bump Pattern.

Pattern Overlay

Delete the Solid Color layer, and save the file with the name Text Bump Texture.

Text Bump Texture

Select all the Text Material tabs, click the Diffuse texture icon, and choose Remove Texture.

Remove Texture

Use these material settings:

  • Diffuse: 109, 60, 34
  • Specular: 112, 85, 61
  • Shine: 50
  • Reflection: 10
  • Bump: 20
Material Settings

Select the Front Inflation Material tab, click the Illumination folder icon, and choose Load Texture to open the Text Illumination Texture file.

Repeat that to load the Text Bump Texture for the Bump.

Load the Textures

Select the Text mesh tab, and change the Texture Mapping to Tile.

Texture Mapping

Select the Text Extrusion Material tab, click the Illumination folder icon, and choose Load Texture to open the Illumination Texture file.

Then, click the Illumination texture icon, and choose Edit UV Properties.

Illumination Texture

Change the Tile values to get a result that you like.

Edit UV Properties

Click the Bump folder icon, choose Load Texture, and open the Bump Texture. Then, edit the Bump‘s UV Properties so that they match the Illumination‘s.

Bump Settings

Select all the Top Material tabs and use these settings:

  • Diffuse: 47, 36, 22
  • Shine: 70
  • Reflection: 10
Material Settings

Select the Top Front Inflation Material tab, click the Diffuse texture icon, choose to Replace Texture to open the WoodFine0058 image, and edit the texture’s UV Properties.

Select the rest of the Top Material tabs, click the Diffuse texture icon, and choose WoodFine0058 from the list.

Select the Top mesh tab, change its Texture Mapping to Tile, and edit the UV Properties of each of the Top mesh materials as needed.

Add the Top Mesh Materials

Select all the Bottom Material tabs, and use these settings:

  • Diffuse: Use the 5.jpg texture from the Metal seamless textures 7 pack, and adjust its UV Properties
  • Specular: (67, 64, 60)
  • Shine: 70
  • Reflection: 20
  • Bump: 10 (Use the same Diffuse texture and UV Properties)
Add the Bottom Mesh Materials

Select the Infinite Light 1 tab, change its Color to (239232219), its Intensity to 60%, and its Shadow Softness to 30%.

Infinite Light 1 Settings

Use the Move Tool or the Coordinates values to move the Infinite Light until you get a result you like.

Move the Infinite Light

Select the Environment tab, click the IBL texture icon, choose Replace Texture, and open the Early In The Morning image.

Change the Intensity to 30%, and move the image around to get a result you like.

You can go back and forth between the Infinite and Environment lights, and change their settings or move them around, until you achieve the result you want.

Environment Settings

Next we are going to add the background textures and adjust the camera angle accordingly, which might require increasing the canvas size.

So keep in mind that you can use the Crop Tool to increase the canvas size any time you need until the text fits perfectly within the document.

Crop Tool

Start by adding the Stock Cobblestone Large image on top of the Background layer, by going to File > Place Linked.

This will add the image as a Smart Object, which will let you apply non-destructive adjustments to it.

Rename the layer to Floor, resize the image to fit within the document, and change the 3D layer’s Current View accordingly.

Add the Floor Texture

Place the Wall image on top of the Floor layer, resize the wall texture as needed, and rename its layer to Wall.

Add the Wall Texture

Place a couple of the tree png images behind the text, and transform them to create a more dynamic result.

Then, put all the tree layers in a group and name it Bushes.

Add the Tree Images

Make sure that the Bushes group is selected, and use the Rectangular Marquee Tool to select the part of the trees you want to show.

Make a Selection

Click the Add layer mask icon to mask out the selected area.

Add a Layer Mask

Right-click the Bushes group and choose Convert to Smart Object.

Convert to Smart Object

Open the Bench Building image, and use the Polygonal Lasso Tool to select the side of the pavement.

Go to Edit > Copy to copy the selected area.

Select the Pavement Side

Go back to the original document, and go to Edit > Paste, rename the layer to Edge, and convert it to a Smart Object.

Transform and move the image to cover the bottom edge of the trees.

Add the Edge Image

Select the Floor layer, and go to Image > Adjustments > Selective Color, and use these settings for the Neutrals channel:

  • Magenta: 1
  • Yellow: 2
  • Black: 9
Selective Color

Go to Image > Adjustments > Levels, and change the Output Levels Highlights‘ value to 200.


Select the Wall layer, go to Image > Adjustments > Levels, and change the Output Levels Highlights‘ value to 175.


Select the Bushes layer, go to Image > Adjustments > Levels, and change the Output Levels Highlights‘ value to 185.


Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation, choose the Yellows channel, and change the Hue to -30 and the Saturation to -20.


Choose the Greens channel, and change the Hue to -35 and the Saturation to -25.


Select the Edge layer, go to Image > Adjustments > Selective Color, and use these settings:


  • Magenta: 9
  • Yellow: 24
  • Black: 85
Selective Color - Whites


  • Yellow: 8
  • Black: -5
Selective Color - Neutrals

Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation, and change the Hue to -10 and the Lightness to -30.


Double-click the Bushes layer to apply a Drop Shadow effect with these settings:

  • Opacity: 10%
  • Uncheck the Use Global Lightbox
  • Angle: -91
  • Distance: 35
  • Size: 30
Drop Shadow

This will add a subtle shadow on the wall.

Added Shadow

Double-click the Edge layer to apply the following layer style:

Add an Inner Shadow with these settings:

  • Opacity: 35%
  • Distance: 5
  • Size: 13
Inner Shadow

Add a Drop Shadow with these settings:

  • Opacity: 70%
  • Uncheck the Use Global Lightbox
  • Angle: 0
  • Distance: 10
  • Size: 27
Drop Shadow

This will better blend the edge with the background elements.

Styled Edge

Select the Wall layer, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, and change the Radius to 0.5.

Gaussian Blur

You can apply the Gaussian Blur filter with any values you like to the other background elements as well, like the Bushes and Floor layers.

The goal here is to achieve a bit of a low-quality event photo effect, so you can play around with all the adjustment and filter settings to get a result you like.

Gaussian Blur

Once you like the background elements, make any necessary changes to the 3D scene based on that.

Then, go to 3D > Render 3D Layer. The rendering might take a while, but you can stop it any time by pressing the Esc key.

Once the rendering is done, right-click the 3D layer and choose Convert to Smart Object to avoid making any accidental changes.

Render and Convert to a Smart Object

Go to Image > Adjustments > Color Balance, and use these settings:

  • Tone Balance: Shadows
  • Color Levels: -5, 3, 10
Color Balance - Shadows
  • Tone Balance: Midtones
  • Color Levels: -5, -8, 3
Color Balance - Midtones
  • Tone Balance: Highlights
  • Color Levels: 2, 3, -10
Color Balance - Highlights

Duplicate the Text layer twice, and hide the second copy.

Duplicate the Text Layer

Select the Text copy layer, and go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur.

Change the Angle to -56 and the Distance to 5.

Motion Blur

Change the Text copy layer’s Blend Mode to Soft Light and its Opacity to 70%.

Layer Settings

Make the Text copy 2 layer visible, go to Filter > Blur Gallery > Field Blur, and change the Blur value under the Blur Tools tab to 3.

Then, under the Effects tab, check the Bokeh box, change the Light Bokeh value to 33%, and the Light Range‘s Shadows value to 98 and the Highlights’ to 245.

Field Blur

Change the Text copy 2 layer’s Blend Mode to Lighten and its Opacity to 30%.

Layer Settings

Add a layer mask to the Text copy layer, and make sure to select the mask’s thumbnail.

Add a Layer Mask

Go to Image > Apply Image, and change the Layer to Text, the Channel to RGB, and the Blend Mode to Hard Light.

Apply Image

Press-hold the Option key, and click-drag the Text copy layer’ mask to the Text copy 2 layer to duplicate it.

Duplicate the Layer Mask

Place the Lens Flare 23 image from the 30 Awesome Lens Flare pack on top of all layers, and change its layer’s Blend Mode to Screen.

Add a Lens Flare

Double-click the lens flare layer’s thumbnail to open the original image’s file. Add a new layer below the flare’s layer and fill it with Black Merge both layers, and save and close the file.

Add a Black Background

Go to Image > Adjustments > Levels, and change the Gamma value to 0.75, or any other value needed to get rid of the flare’s border edges.


Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation, and change the Hue value to 15.


Transform the flare image to place it on top of the first illuminating sphere you have.

Transform the Flare Image

Duplicate the flare layer to add a copy to each remaining illuminating sphere, and place all the flare layers in a group with the name Flares.

Duplicate and Group the Flare Images

Pick the Brush Tool, set the Foreground Color to #e9c24d, and pick a soft round tip.

Create a new layer at the bottom of the Flares group, name it Light, and change its Blend Mode to Soft Light and its Opacity to 20%.

Then, add a dot on top of each illuminating sphere to brighten it up even more.

Brighten the Illuminating Spheres

Add another new layer on top of the Edge layer, name it Light as well, and change its Blend Mode to Soft Light and its Opacity to 10%.

Use a bigger brush tip size to paint some light below the letters to brighten up that area.

Brighten the Area Below the Text

Add a Color Lookup adjustment layer on top of all layers, and choose the FoggyNight.3DL table from the 3DLUT File menu.

Change the Color Lookup layer’s Blend Mode to Soft Light and its Opacity to 20%.

Color Lookup

Add a Gradient Map adjustment layer on top of all layers, check the Dither box, and create the gradient using the Colors to#44386e the left, #716d7c in the middle, and #d4a987 to the right.

Change the Gradient Map layer’s Blend Mode to Soft Light and its Opacity to 20%.

Gradient Map

Add another Color Lookup adjustment layer on top of all layers, and choose the Smokey table from the Device Link menu.

Change the Color Lookup layer’s Blend Mode to Soft Light and its Opacity to 20%.

Color Lookup

Create a new layer on top of all layers, name it Vignette, and set the Foreground Color to Black.

Change the Vignette layer’s Blend Mode to Soft Light and its Opacity to 50%.

Use a big soft round tip to paint some vignette all around the document’s edges. You can lower the brush tip’s Opacity value in the Options bar to get a subtler outcome.

Add Some Vignette

Create a new layer on top of all layers, name it Motion Blur, press the Shift-Command-Option-E keys to create a stamp layer, and convert it to a Smart Object.

Create a Stamp Layer

Go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur, and change the Angle to -60 and the Distance to 2.

Motion Blur

Create a new layer on top of all layers, name it Noise, go to Edit > Fill, and change the Contents to 50% Gray.

Convert the Noise layer into a Smart Object.

Add a Gray Fill Layer

Go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise, and change the Amount to 5 and the Distribution to Gaussian.

Add Noise

Change the Noise layer’s Blend Mode to Soft Light and its Opacity to 50%.

Layer Settings

In this tutorial, we created simple illumination and bump patterns and textures, as well as a couple of text and shape layers.

Then, we converted the layers into 3D meshes and worked on their settings in the 3D scene.

After that, we adjusted the lighting of the 3D scene, added a couple of background elements, and rendered the final 3D layer.

Finally, we used a bunch of adjustment layers, layer styles, and images and textures to finish off the effect and achieve the final result.

Please feel free to leave your comments, suggestions, and outcomes below.

Final Result