Colorful Candy 3D Text Effect in Photoshop and 3D Studio Max Tutorial

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Text effects are a common way to spice up typography for graphic design.  Instead of using a plain font with a solid color, a text effect can create a visual impactful design.  There are a variety of effects that can be applied, from 3D to inset typography and everything in between.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create colorful candy 3D text using Photoshop and 3D Studio Max, and how to incorporate a few other 3D elements into a final Photoshop artwork.  You’ll get a great look at how to model and texture 3D text and how to render it using v-ray, and how to then composite it together in Photoshop.

Let’s get started!

Tools used:

  • 3D studio max – Vray (not required)
  • Adobe Photoshop

Final Image Preview:

Step 1: Text creation

First off we will need to open up 3D studio max. If you are unfamiliar with 3D studio max you should read up on my other 3D text tutorial here : http://design.creativefan.com/create-a-beautiful-3d-text-composition/

Next we will go to the right hand side and choose the text tool like in the below screen shot.

Once you have selected the text tool go ahead click somewhere on the screen, this will drop the MAX TEXT into your perspective.

Now we need to go into our texts parameters and change them so they look a little better. We can also go ahead and change the text from MAX TEXT to Hello.

As of now, our text should look something like the below screen shot.

Now create another text object, set it with the same settings but change the text to Color. Once you have done this move your Color text over to the right as I have done in the below screen shot.

Next, with our Hello text selected, we will go to our modifier drop down and select Bevel. This modifier will turn our flat 2D text, into 3D text.

Once you have selected bevel, set your screen shot up as mine in the below screen shot.

Now we can click our drop down modifier (still with the Hello text selected) and choose bend. The bend modifier will obviously bend the text, this will in turn make it much more interesting.

Our text should now look like the below screenshot but your text color may look a little different.

Now just apply the same effects to the Color text.

Now its time to start building our material, so to start off press M on your keyboard to open the material dialog box. The dialog box should look something like the below screen shot, granted, yours will be all grey.

If you do not have Vray, yours will all say standard rather than Vray. In this case, click the button and change it to “RayTrace” it should transfer over nicely.

Now, on to the diffuse map creation. Click the box next to the Diffuse color and select falloff. Once you have done this set your bar graph and all the settings as I have done below.

Then you will select two noise maps, one for the yellow color and one for the red. To set these you just need to click where it says “MAP #” and select noise.


Next we can go back to the first dialog on our material editor. Once you have done this click the small gray box next to the reflection color. Once you have done this set your map as a falloff, then set your gradient off as mine Is in the below screen shot.

Your material should look similar to mine in the top left hand corner.

Now just drag and drop your sphere onto your two text objects. Doing this will apply the new material to the text.

Step 2: Light setup and rendering

Now we need to go back to our creation tool bar on the right hand side. Once you have done this select the light icon, if you don’t have Vray you will select standard and then choose omni.

Once you have created the light pull it way down beneath the text.

Now set yours up as mine is. You can see where I circled Vray, on this, if you’re not using Vray select standard here.

Next create another light and place it way above the text as I have done here.

The settings for this light should be like the below screenshot.

Below is screen shot of my left view frame. You can see from here how far away both my above text light and under text light are from the text.

Now just render! To bring up your render settings press F10 on your keyboard. This will allow you to set up your size and any alternative settings. I rendered my text at 4500*4500, but you can do whatever size you like.

Step 3: Extra shape creation

Before starting we need to remove our text, but you want to keep the lights as are. After this we can continue on.
Ok, to start off we need to examine our creation tool bar located on the right. In the below screen shot you can see the standard object creation menu. Listed are all the basic shapes you can use in 3DS.

If you check standard parameters and then select extended parameters It will look like the below screen shot.

Now, if we look at both dialog boxes we can see all of the shapes we will be using to create our shapes. We don’t need any fancy modifiers or anything just the basic shapes. Below I marked all the shapes I used to create my set of shapes. All you need to do is click and drop them on the canvas!

My perspective view now looks like the below screen shot.

Once you have done this open up your material editor once again. This time we will make two new materials. Everything will be the exact same as our last material except this time we will not use a map for our diffuse, instead we will use just a standard color.

Now we will create the yellow. Again, it will be the same as the previous material but with yellow as our diffuse color rather than red.

Now just randomly apply these three mats to your shapes and hit render!

Step 4: Photoshop work, document creation and basic setup

First off we will need to create a new document. You will want to base this off your text size; I went with 3500*2500. Next we need to drop our text in and size it to fit in the center as I have done in the below screen shot.
The text dropped in:

The text sized:

Now we need to start on our back ground. To do this create a new layer under your text. Next fill it with black and draw all over it with white as I have done in the below screen shot.

Now just apply a few Gaussian blurs with a radius of 250px. After you have done this your document should look something like the below screen shot.

Next we need to color our gradient. To do this choose a dark aqua blue and fill it on a new layer. Once you have done this, just set the layers blending style to overlay and your done!

Step 5: Text manipulation and shape incorporation

Now we need to duplicate our text layer and set it to overlay. Once you have done this we can go to our filter drop down and select Filter>Artistic>Plastic wrap. Once you have select plastic wrap (while on your overlay layer) set yours up with the below settings:

  • Highlight strength: 20
  • Detail: 1
  • Smoothness: 15

Now just apply the filter. Your result should look something like the below screen shot when zoomed in.

Next you need to drop in a few of your shapes as I have done in the below screen shot. Once you have done that you will need to apply the same effect as we did above. My document now looks like the below screenshot.

Now we can set a few a few more shapes in and blur them. This will create a nice light effect as well as helping to create a sense of depth. I applied my blur with a radius of 34px, but yours will depend on the initial size of your shapes.

Step 6: Drip painting, finishing touches and closing

Now its time to start adding in some drips and blobs to our text. There are various ways to do this; I will be using my brush tool as I have done in previous tutorials. I would suggest you use this method unless you’re fairly well versed with the pen tool. A tutorial on how to paint drips is located here on creative fan at: http://design.creativefan.com/create-a-fantastic-environmental-awareness-composition/

Now just start painting on drips! Its important that your color is the same as the part of the text where we begin painting, to ensure that your color is the same use your eye drop and select a color from your start point. I went with the top section of the H and choose a deep red that’s almost brown. Once I did that I painted the first drip.

As you can see in the below screenshot its important that you have highlights as well as shadows. Below you can see an example of this.

You can create the shadows and highlights using the burn tool/dodge tool. You could also set your brush up as overlay and paint these on with your brush. But its up to you, there’s no easy way to do this.

Now continue on painting.

Try to spread your drips around and change their size up as well as their color.


Once you have created enough drips to where you are satisfied. My document now looks like the below screen shot.

Now we need to create our shadow. To do this grab all of your layers except the background layers and merge them. Once you have done this duplicate this layer. The newly duplicated layer will be our shadow. To create the shadow go ahead and go to your edit tab, once you have done this select transform > distort. Once you have selected the distort tool go ahead and use the points on the sides and corners and smash the text down as I have done in the below screen shot.

Once you have done this go ahead and press enter to apply the effect. Now we need to make the text completely black, you can do this with your level editor. Just move the triangle on the far left hand side all the way over to the far right hand side. Now apply a Gaussian blur with a radius of about 10. Once you have done this set your layer up as overlay. Your shadow should look something like the below screen shot.

Now its time to create some simple light effects using the Gaussian blur tool. So to start off create a new layer and make a small thin line using the marquee tool.

Once you have done this we can apply a motion blur, the motion blur filter is located at Filter>Blur>Motion blur. Once your dialog is open set your blur up as mine is in the below screenshot.

Our line now looks like the below screen shot.

Now duplicate your layer and go to your edit tab, then select Transform>rotate 90 degrees. Once you have done this you should have a cross as I have below.

Now just merge these two layers down and set it up as a screen layer (or linear dodge) and place a few on some of your texts highlights.

And we are done! My below image looks like the below screen shot.

I hope you enjoyed reading my tutorial! I hope you came out with a nice piece, learned a thing or two or at least got some inspiration for your next creation. Remember if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask. And if you have any ideas for future tutorials please don’t hesitate to let someone know!

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