3D Shadows to Add Depth to Text Effect | Photoshop Tutorial


In this Adobe Photoshop tutorial, we will create a small piece of text and use the Pen Tool to create exact selections and create small custom shadows to transform our gradient text into a 3D ribbon that wraps in and over itself. It’s a cool effect that you’ve just got to see and try for yourself. I hope you enjoy the video!

Choosing the Right Typeface


For an effect such as this, it’s a good idea to have a script or flowing text that has overlap so we have somewhere to actually apply our custom shadows. I went with a typeface called “Bukhari Script” and typed out text at 300pt.

Using the Pen Tool to Create Precise Shadow Selections


Grab the Pen tool and set it to draw Paths from the drop-down menu up in the control bar. Draw out simple paths along areas where you want a little bit of shadow to appear. TIP: It may be best to watch the video at the top of this post to see exactly what how I do this. It’s pretty simple, but it may be much easier to just watch somebody do it and then try it for yourself.

Creating the Shadows with the Brush Tool


Convert each little path to a selection as you create them and grab the Brush tool and set the Brush to an Opacity of 10%. Set your foreground color to black and with a medium-size, soft-edged brush, gently paint in a little shadow until you get the exact shadow that you need. Repeat this step for every area that needs some shadow and be sure to place shadows thoughtfully so you can build a 3D style effect that makes sense and looks great at the same time!

Tags: Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Tutorial, Photoshop Tutorials, Text Effect, Typography, Type Effect, Special Effect, 3D Effect, Shading, Shadows, Type

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