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How to Create 3D Typography in Procreate
  • By Design Bundles
  • 15 Aug 2021
  • 12 Mins
  • Procreate Tutorials

How to Create 3D Typography in Procreate

In this step by step tutorial, discover how to create 3D Typography in Procreate.

3D typography is a great way to add dimension to your drawings and designs. In this tutorial, we will go over the steps for how to create 3D typography in Procreate.

Note: This tutorial will only show how to create 3D typography with a single letter, but this technique can also be used on whole words or phrases.

3D Typography in Procreate Design Usage Example

Pick a serif font or any of the modern sans serif fonts available on Font Bundles. We'll be using the Wild Mango font for this tutorial along with the Monoline brush and the Soft Brush.

As you can see in the first image of this tutorial, you can use any colors you would like.

But the color palette we'll be using today consists of four shades of blue, white, black, yellow, and pink.

The shades of blue will be used to create the 3D typography, white will be used for highlighting, black for the shadow, and yellow is only used in tutorial images to help give you a better understanding of a few steps.

Pink is the color of the canvas background, which you could leave white if you'd like.

3D typography color palette

Step 1 - Create Basic 3D Text

We will first add the font to Procreate. Select the second lightest blue from the color palette. Tap the Actions button that looks like a wrench. Then tap Add and choose Add text. Type out your letter. We have a tutorial on how to edit text in Procreate if needed. You could also draw your letter instead.

Select color and add text to canvas

Tap the layer thumbnail in the Layers panel and choose Rasterize.

Rasterize the text

In the Layers panel, swipe the layer left, and duplicate the layer. Select the bottom layer, and enable Gaussian Blur. Slide your pen to the right on the canvas, and set Gaussian Blur to about 5%.

Enable Gaussian blur

Duplicate the bottom layer multiple times, and mergethe layers by pinching the layers together. Continue duplicating and merging the layers until the letter has a solid edge. Make sure you don't merge the top layer.

Duplicate and merge layers multiple times until edge of letter is solid

To make the letter look 3D, we need to make the letter appear as if it has depth.

Duplicate the bottom layer. Then select the last layer. Choose the darkest blue from the color palette. You won't be able to see the change in color, but drag and drop the darkest blue color onto the letter.

Make sure the ColorDrop Threshold is at 100%. Our tutorial on how to fill a shape in Procreate can help you better understand the process of filling shapes by using ColorDrop.

Tap the Transform button that looks like a cursor. Shift the letter diagonally to the lower right. The further away the letter is, the thicker the letter will appear.

Shift bottom dark blue letter down and right

Add a new layer above the last layer. Using the Monoline brush draw lines to connect the letters. To help create smoother lines when drawing, you may want to turn on Streamline.

In the following image, the lines are shown in yellow, so you can see them better, but you'll actually want to draw them with the darkest blue color.

Connect the two letters by drawing lines

Staying within the lines and the letters, fill in the areas between the letters. Again, the areas you want to fill in are yellow in the following image, but you'll want to use the darkest blue.

Fill in areas to create dimension

Fill in areas using the same color as the letter on the bottom layer

Merge the last two layers together. You should now only have three layers.

Step 2 - Add a Shadow to the 3D Text

Duplicate the second layer and the darkest blue letter layer. Merge the duplicate layers together to create the shadow layer. Make sure the shadow layer is at the bottom of the layer list.

Enable Alpha Lock on the shadow layer. Tap the shadow layer's thumbnail and choose Fill Layer. Again, you won't be able to see the color change. Turn off Alpha Lock.

Fill in layer with black using Alpha Lock

Decide where your light source is located. Our light source is in the upper right corner.

Light source in upper right corner

With the light source in the upper right corner, we will shift the shadow layer in the opposite direction towards the lower left. Enable Gaussian Blur for the shadow layer, and set it to about 10%.

Shift shadow layer down and left and enable gaussian blur

In the Layers panel, lower the opacity of the shadow layer to about 20%.

Lower shadow layer opacity to 20%

Step 3 - Add Highlights to the Sides of the 3D Text

Keeping in mind where the light source is coming from, we will add highlights to the sides of the 3D letter.

Add a new layer above the darkest blue letter layer, and enable Clipping Mask.

Add new layer above dark blue letter layer and enable clipping mask

Select the second darkest blue. Using the Soft Brush, add highlights where light would be hitting the sides of the 3D letter. The highlights should fade out as they get closer to the darker areas. In the following image, the highlighted areas are shown in yellow.

Where to add highlights to the sides of the 3D text

Note: You could add shadows to the sides instead of highlights. Remember to think about where your light source is located.

The results are pretty subtle as shown below. You can use a lighter blue if you'd like.

Add highlights to the sides of the letter

Step 4 - Create a Beveled Edge on the 3D Text

This step isn't necessary, but we will be adding highlights and shading to the letter's edges to make the edges look beveled.

Add a new layer above the second layer, and enable clipping mask.

Add new layer and enable clipping mask to add additional highlights and shading

Select the color white. Using the soft brush again, add highlights to the edges. Think about where the light is coming from. Again, you want the highlights to fade away as they get closer to the darker areas.

Add highlights to edges using a soft brush and white

Add a new layer below the edge highlights layer. Select the second darkest blue. Using the soft brush again, add shading to the edges. The shading will also fade away as it gets closer to the highlight.

Add shading to the edges of the 3D letter

You can create all sorts of different 3D typography looks. How and where you place highlights and shading can affect the 3D look.

3D Typography Example

3D Typography Example

If you enjoyed this tutorial, maybe you'll enjoy learning how to create a marble effect in Procreate, how to draw ribbon lettering in Procreate, or how to make a floral wreath in Procreate.


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