How to make a simple 3D text effect in Photoshop


Adobe has been working hard to give us a better 3D tool in Photoshop. And I have to say, I love it!

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use the Repousse tool to create a 3D grungy text effect. We will be using Adobe Photoshop CS5 — unfortunately, the Repousse tool is not available in older versions of Photoshop. So if you have CS3 or 4, let this inspire you to upgrade.

Let’s get grungy!


We will be using the 2 textures below to give our 3D text some character.

Material 1: This texture will be used for the text.

material 1

Material 2: This will be used as the background.

material 2

First, use the Type tool (T) to type a word — I’m using “BOOM!”


With the text layer selected, go to 3D > Repousse > Text Layer.


You can change the text perspective to whatever you like.


With the text layer still selected, go to Window > 3D.

Then, in the 3D (materials) tab, choose Load Texture and pick Material 1.


Insert Material 1 into both Front Inflation Material and Extrusion Material.


Now that you’ve placed your texture on the letters, we want to smooth the edges.

In the 3D (Scene) tab, scroll up and select Scene, and in the Quality dropdown menu select Ray Traced Draft. Sit back, relax and wait while the rendering process is complete.


Now, all we have to do is place Material 2 behind the 3D text to give the background some texture.

BOOM! This is the final result:


What tools do you use to create 3D text?


  • Stephanie

    It will not allow me to even Click anything in the 3D drop down menu, Could this be a settings error?

    • Abhay

      When such an option is inactive, its probably because you’ve not selected anything in the layers tab on the right bottom of screen.

    • kim

      youre in cmyk, you have to be in rgb.

  • Dude


  • sam

    how do i make my repousse available if you have cs5.

  • ellen

    Someone please help me. I am NEW to all of this, but want to learn. I have macbook pro. Want of make my own 3d text effect. Tell
    me step by step how to begin. Thanks