This tutorial will go over creating a ‘theater sign’ text, like the SMASH text.
If you haven’t heard about Smash, it’s a new show by Steven Spielberg, where you can become a glamourous star, and all this fun stuff, but what’s really neat, is they are releasing the complete pilot for the show exclusively online! So before or after this tutorial, click the link below to check it out. This is a partial sponsored tutorial, so watching the pilot does help me out, but I’m not going to run away without giving you a full tutorial.
Starting with the font, you’re free to use any font that you wish. I found that a thicker font produced better results, as it allows us more room to place the bulbs. I chose the Streetvertising font, which I found over at DaFont.com, set the Style to Bold and the Size to 300 points. Then type your word of choice.
Once your text is typed out, let’s start applying Layer Styles. There are a lot to go through. If you use a larger or smaller font, you may need to tweak the Layer Styles to get the result you’re looking for.
Once you’re added all the Layer Styles to your text, your result should be looking similar to this:
Now we’re going to create the bulbs, which go inside of the text. With your Ellipse Tool selected, draw out a perfect circle somewhere inside the text.
Once the circle is created, double-click on the color box beside it’s layer, to bring up the color picker for that shape.
We’re looking for a nice orange for the color. (ee8537).
Now let’s start with Layer Styles all over again!
At this point, we want to duplicate our bulbs throughout each letter. A quick way to do this, is to hold down your Option key on a Mac, Alt key on Windows, and drag the bulb to it’s new location. The spacing it completely up to you, but I found that if they are too spaced apart, the light effect isn’t as effective. Once you’ve placed all the bulbs in their spots, you may have something that looks like this:
When you’ve finished all the duplications, the bulbs need some glare! In your Layers Panel, create a New Layer at the top, then grab your Brush Tool. Photoshop has a few handy brushes to help create these types of effects. Under the Brush Picker, click on the arrow at the top right corner, select Assorted Brushes, and append them to your list.
The Starburst brushes will work great for this design.
Initially, you want to use a 50% brush and add a single spot to each bulb, then once you’ve gone through all of them, turn the Opacity back up to 100%, and add a few more spots to select bulbs. Here’s what your result could look like once you go through all the bulbs.
If you have the Extended version of Photoshop, we can go a step further and add a 3D effect to our text. Typically, we’d head up to the 3D menu, and add a Repoussé effect to our type layer. However, I’ve found that, for whatever reason, when turning text with Layer Styles into 3D, some of the Layer Styles get blended in with the extrusion. In this case, we would loose the border.
So instead, right-click on the type layer, and convert it to a Shape.
Now, head up to 3D > Repoussé > Selected Path. When the Repoussé window comes up, the only option we want to adjust is the Depth. Set that at 0.2 and press okay.
Now there are a few things you might notice. The edges are jagged, and the color of the extrusion is ugly. Let’s deal with both of those. Bring up your 3D Panel. Window > 3D.
In the list, under Scene, there are two materials that we want to change. First, find the Extrusion Material, and change the Diffuse color to the color you want for your border.
Now you may notice a grey border around the text. This is the Front Inflation. Find that material, and change that to a color similar to your text.
Once that’s set, click on Scene at the top of the list, and change the Quality to Ray Traced Final in order for Photoshop to render and smooth out your 3D text.
And that’s that! It’s not identical to the SMASH logo, but we made it our own. If you want to check out the SMASH pilot, click the link below.