How To Create a Vintage Marquee Bulb Sign in Adobe Photoshop [w/ subs]

00:00:00 – Hello everyone this is Chris from Spoon Graphics
00:00:07 – back with another video tutorial.
00:00:10 – Today I'm going to show you how to create a vintage style marquee bulb letter sign in
00:00:13 – Adobe Photoshop. We'll use Photoshop's 3D feature to quickly build each letter with
00:00:18 – realistic depth and shading, then also add realistic surface materials and illuminated
00:00:23 – bulbs using photographs of real world objects. The result is a great looking effect you can
00:00:28 – use to add broadway style type to your designs.
00:00:32 – Since this tutorial makes use of a number of resources, you can find links to the font,
00:00:36 – textures and photographs I've used in the description area below.
00:00:41 – So begin by opening up the image of the wooden panelling into Adobe Photoshop to use as a
00:00:45 – background for the marquee sign artwork.
00:00:48 – Double click on the background layer to convert it into a normal unlocked layer, then add
00:00:52 – a new empty layer.
00:00:53 – Use the CMD+Backspace shortcut to fill it with black, then click and drag this new layer
00:00:58 – below the wooden image.
00:01:00 – Select the wood image layer and reduce its opacity to around 30% to darken it, but so
00:01:05 – you can still see the texture emerging from the black background.
00:01:08 – Switch to the Type tool and set out the first letter of your chosen word. I'm using the
00:01:13 – free font Bebas Kai, but you could also experiment with Slab Serifs and even script fonts for
00:01:18 – some cool results.
00:01:21 – Change the fill colour to white, then scale up the letter so it fills the canvas area,
00:01:25 – leaving enough space for the other letters in your chosen word.
00:01:29 – Go to the 3D menu and choose New 3D Extrusion from Selected Layer to convert this text into
00:01:35 – a 3D object. The workspace will switch over to Photoshop's 3D mode.
00:01:41 – Now the reason we're working with each letter individual is if you set out the full word
00:01:45 – in one go, the 3D model will be created in perspective, which in a sense is more realistic,
00:01:51 – but it makes adding the bulbs in a later step much harder because the letters at each end
00:01:55 – of the word aren't viewed from straight on.
00:01:58 – In the Properties panel, change the Extrusion Depth to zero.
00:02:02 – Navigate to the Cap section by clicking the third icon at the top of the panel.
00:02:07 – Change the Bevel Width setting to 10%, then max out the Angle at 85 degrees.
00:02:13 – Click the contour graphic to create a custom profile. Click on each point and check the
00:02:18 – Corner setting.
00:02:20 – Drag the second point down towards the bottom right, then add a new point and drag it towards
00:02:24 – the top left. Check the corner setting for this point too. Alter the values to move it
00:02:30 – as far along the graph as possible, using the figures 2 and 100.
00:02:35 – Add another point, check the Corner setting and drag it to the top right. Edit the values
00:02:40 – to 98 and 100 to push it as far as it will go.
00:02:44 – Back in the 3D panel, click the Infinite Light to edit its settings. Soften its shadow by
00:02:50 – moving the slider to 100%.
00:02:53 – Alter the angle of the light by moving the smaller handle on the on-screen widget to
00:02:57 – alter its direction. Aim it vertically, then position it depending on the size of the shadow
00:03:02 – you want to be cast across the letters.
00:03:06 – Click on the Front Inflation Material layer in the 3D panel to begin editing the surfaces.
00:03:12 – In the Properties panel, click the little folder icon next to the Diffuse option and
00:03:16 – select Load Textures. Navigate to the red metal texture image you've downloaded from
00:03:21 – the resources mentioned below.
00:03:25 – Alter the Shine setting to 100%, then click on the next material in the 3D panel, which
00:03:29 – is the Front Bevel Material.
00:03:33 – In the Properties panel, select a preset from the menu with the sphere icon. I'm working
00:03:37 – with Metal Steel. If you don't have this particular option on your list, you can download a pack
00:03:42 – of extra materials from the Adobe website.
00:03:46 – Increase the Reflection setting to around 20%, just so this metal rim reflects the red
00:03:50 – centre a little more.
00:03:52 – Switch back over to the Layers panel and drag the 3D object layer onto the new layer icon
00:03:57 – to make a copy. Turn off the visibility of the original layer.
00:04:02 – The live preview of any 3D model in Photoshop looks terrible. You need to render it to see
00:04:07 – all the realistic shading and texturing. To speed this process up, draw a marquee around
00:04:12 – the letter to restrict the size of the render area, then click the little Render icon at
00:04:16 – the bottom of the 3D panel.
00:04:18 – You'll notice in my example there's a strange glitch that occurs with the rendering. If
00:04:22 – this happens to you, a quick fix is to select the main 3D object in the 3D panel and edit
00:04:27 – the Extrusion Depth by adding a couple of pixels to the value.
00:04:31 – In turn this also resets the cap settings, so switch over to that menu and replace the
00:04:36 – figure to 85 degrees. Click the render button to try again!
00:04:41 – After a few passes you'll begin to see the 3D model come to life. You could leave this
00:04:45 – to render fully for the best result, but I find the quality suffices after 5-6 passes,
00:04:51 – so you can hit escape to save some time.
00:04:55 – Switch over to the Layers panel and right click on the 3D layer. Select Rasterize 3D.
00:05:01 – Open up the bulb graphic in Adobe Photoshop, which is a quick little snap I took on my
00:05:06 – iPhone at a Christmas market a couple of years ago. Select the Elliptical Marquee tool and
00:05:11 – draw a selection around the main bulb. Hold the ALT and Shift keys to draw a perfect circle
00:05:15 – concentrically from the centre.
00:05:17 – Go to Edit > Copy, then close this image. Paste the graphic into the main document and
00:05:23 – press CMD+T to Transform. Scale and position it within the letter outline.
00:05:29 – Double click the layer to add some layer styles. Begin with an Outer Glow. Change the settings
00:05:35 – to Color Dodge and sample a light yellow colour from the bulb image. Play around with the
00:05:39 – Size and Opacity sliders to find a nice balance to form a vibrant glow emitting from the bulb.
00:05:44 – I ended up with the figures of 60px size and 70% opacity.
00:05:51 – Next add an Inner Glow. Use the Color Dodge blending mode again, this time with white
00:05:55 – as the colour. Edit the Size and Opacity to form a illuminated ring around the bulb. I
00:06:01 – settled with the figures 30px Size and 30% opacity.
00:06:07 – Finally add a Drop Shadow. Use the default black colour, but change the blend mode to
00:06:11 – Overlay. Edit the Angle to 90 degrees, then a distance of 8px, size of 30 pixels and an
00:06:17 – opacity of around 80%.
00:06:22 – With the Move tool selected, hold the ALT key while dragging the layer to make a copy.
00:06:26 – Continue dragging out additional copies and space them around the letter. Hold the Shift
00:06:30 – key when duplicating along a straight edge to keep the bulbs in line.
00:06:35 – To space out the bulbs perfectly, shift and click them all the select all the layers,
00:06:39 – then click the Distribute Vertical Centres button in the top toolbar.
00:06:44 – Select any bulbs that also need placing on the other side, then hit CMD+J to duplicate
00:06:48 – the layers. Press CMD+T to Transform, then select Flip Horizontal from the right click
00:06:53 – menu. Move these duplicates into place.
00:06:58 – Scroll to the top of the layer stack, select the last bulb copy layer, then click the new
00:07:03 – layer icon to add an empty layer above it.
00:07:06 – Select the brush tool and set up a standard round tip with zero hardness, then sample
00:07:10 – an orangy-yellow colour from one of the bulb graphics.
00:07:12 – Increase the brush tip size so it encompasses one of the bulbs, then place a dab of colour
00:07:14 – over every bulb around the letter.
00:07:16 – Change the blending mode of this layer to Overlay to add a warm illuminating glow to
00:07:21 – each bulb.
00:07:24 – Scroll right down to the basic letter layer in the Layers Stack, hold Shift and click
00:07:28 – it to select all the layers that make up this complete letter, then press CMD+G to Group.
00:07:34 – Rename the group to identify which letter it represents, then toggle off the visibility
00:07:38 – for now.
00:07:39 – Turn on the visibility of the original 3D layer again. Select it and switch over to
00:07:43 – the 3D panel. Select the 3D object from the list, then click the Edit Source button in
00:07:49 – the Properties panel.
00:07:51 – Edit the text element to another letter from the word you want to build, then Save and
00:07:55 – Close this PSB file.
00:07:57 – Switch over to the Layers panel and make a duplicate of the 3D layer so you still have
00:08:01 – a copy of the original to edit for the next letter.
00:08:05 – Draw a marquee selection around the letter and render this updated 3D model.
00:08:10 – Don't forget to follow the steps to fix the glitch if you experience it again, by increasing
00:08:14 – the extrusion depth by a couple of pixels and reset the cap value.
00:08:18 – Once the render has reached the desired number of passes, hit Escape to finish it. Right
00:08:23 – click on this duplicate 3D layer in the Layers panel and select Rasterize 3D.
00:08:29 – Open up the Group from the previous letter and duplicate one of the bulb layers. Drag
00:08:32 – it out of the group then position it over the new letter.
00:08:36 – Hold the ALT key and continue making copies of this bulb to fill out this particular letter,
00:08:41 – using the distribute centers button to even out all the bulbs.
00:08:46 – Add a new layer at the top, then dab those orangy-yellow spots over each bulb and set
00:08:50 – the blending mode to Overlay.
00:08:53 – Group all the layers, rename the group, then toggle off the visibility to do it all again
00:08:56 – with the next letter.
00:08:59 – Follow this same process of editing the source of the 3D model to reproduce the effect for
00:09:03 – each letter you need. Remember to keep a copy of the original 3D layer before rendering
00:09:08 – and rasterizing so you don't lose the ability to reproduce more letters.
00:09:13 – Make copies of the bulb graphic around the letter shape, then group everything together
00:09:16 – to keep the document organised.
00:09:19 – Once you've completed all the letters you need, turn on the visibility of all the groups.
00:09:24 – Select each one in turn and press CMD+T to Transform, which will allow you to move the
00:09:28 – letters into place to spell out your desired word.
00:09:32 – The final result is a really cool vintage style marquee bulb sign. Thanks to Photoshop's
00:09:37 – 3D tools the letters look pretty realistic with natural perspective and shading. The
00:09:41 – addition of an actual bulb photograph also keeps the lights looking as real as possible,
00:09:46 – while a few layer style effects help to enhance the glow a little.
00:09:49 – If you enjoyed this tutorial, or learned anything new, a thumbs up to spread the word would
00:09:53 – be really appreciated.
00:09:55 – If you want to show some Love yourself, why not pick up this exact design on a t-shirt
00:10:00 – from my little merch store?
00:10:01 – I'll probably release a full character set of these marquee letters over on my website
00:10:05 – as a freebie, so be sure to join the mailing list to be the first to get your hands on
00:10:09 – it in the coming weeks.
00:10:11 – Subscribe to the Spoon Graphics YouTube channel to stick around for all my upcoming tutorials,
00:10:15 – otherwise thank you very much for watching, and I'll see you in the next one!

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