Deke’s Techniques 010: Making 3D Type with Repoussé

For the last several months, the Online Training Library (OTL) has offered one and only one movie on Photoshop CS5 Extended's most significant enhancement, Repoussé. Which is a rare oversight on our part. Generally speaking, the OTL contains more videos on more topics than you can shake a forest-full of sticks at. And happily this time next month, we'll have 22 videos on Repoussé. But for the present, here's our second movie on the topic, which I call "Making 3D Type with Repoussé."

What is Repoussé you ask? It's a command that lets you extrude, inflate, and otherwise coerce 2D layers into 3D space. And it's available exclusively in Photoshop CS5 Extended (not the standard version).

Here's the official description:

Nothing gives your words more weight than adding a third dimension to your text. This week, Deke shows you how to create 3D text using the Repoussé feature in Photoshop CS5 Extended. With this command, you can take ordinary text, give it heft, add color to each of its newly created sides, and twirl it around to show off its facets. Deke also shows you how to smooth out the edges and polish up your object by applying ray tracing. It may take a few minutes to render, but, hey, it’s adding whole new dimension to your Photoshop repertoire. Here’s what I, a reluctant 3D-artist, created in a bit over 10 minutes, just by following along with Deke.

Deke's Techniques 010: A student's Repoussé result

By the way, if you like the background in this week’s project (especially since the infiniteness of synthetic space reduces your need to match perspective with your 3D object), you can see how to make it from scratch in last week’s free video technique.

And for members, there are two new exclusive videos available inside the Deke’s Techniques course in the Online Training Library, both of which further explore Repoussé in Photoshop CS5 Extended. In the first movie, Deke shows you how to use one 3D object to cast shadows on another. And in the second, you’ll see how to adjust the lighting in the scene and modify your shadows.

Meanwhile, we’ll see you back on planet earth next week for another free video from Deke’s Techniques.

Just so's you have a sense of those movies, here's a couple of graphical demonstrations of what lies in store. First we merge two Repoussé objects into a single 3D scene, so that they can interact with each other by trading shadows and reflections:

Deke's Techniques 010 follow-up: Casting 3D Shadows and Reflections

And in the next movie, I trade the infinite lights for spotlights and adjust the softness of the shadows.

Deke's Techniques 010 follow-up: Adjusting 3D Light Sources

And this is just the beginning. Wait until you see my Photoshop CS5 Extended One-on-One: 3D courses, which are set to begin releasing in just a few weeks. They'll take your skills to a whole 'nother, well, dimension.

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What font is used in this technique?