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Distorted retro style 3d text


New Member
A style popular in video games of a certain era, how would it be possible to recreate this in photoshop? Preferably without using the 3D tools? Is there a shortcut to getting that kind of depth that changes direction to make the text look like it bends away from you?

dragonquest logo.jpg
Not perfect by any means - this was a quick job you would need to add shadows and textures to your liking.


  • I took a standard font (in this case Impact) and typed GOLDEN SHARK in red
  • I rasterised the Type
  • Then I used the rectangular marquee tool and selected the right hand side of the image and promoted this to its own layer.
  • I did the same again for the left hand side of the image.
  • Now I had the left and right sides of the image on their own layers
  • Now hide one of the sides
  • On the visible side I created a copy using Ctrl + J
  • I changed the colour of this copy to orange using a colour fx - I then rasterised the layer style
  • I then copied this layer a further 4 times giving me a total of 5 copies.
  • working from the first copy to the last I shifted the position by 2 additional pixels for each layer (tip select the move the move tool and tap the cursor keys - each tap will move the image 1 pixel). For the right hand image you go down 2 pixels and right 2 pixels - increase the count by 2 for each of the copies (copy 1 moves by 2 pixels, copy 2 by 4 pixels copy 3 by 6 pixels etc.)
  • Repeat this for the other side.
  • Make sure that the original red copies are above the orange copies.
You should now have a reasonable 3d representation of your text. (seriously it is much quicker to do than to describe :)).

  • On the top layer use the following combination - Ctrl + Alt + Shift + e, this will create a merged layer on top of the stack (try to make sure you have a transparent background before you do this.)
  • Now hide all the other layers
  • Now use the transform tool (Ctrl + T) to change the image. Once you have selected transform right click on the selection and you will have a variety of transform tools available. I suggest playing with perspective and distort. If you hold down shift while dragging out one of the corners in distort it will ensure you have a perfectly horizontal transform.

Hope this helps


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Just a quick tip following on from John's excellent tutorial above

When you entered Free Transform right click and then select Perspective, then hold the Shift key and drag one of the corner handles out

View attachment 76644

Then right click again and select Warp

View attachment 76645

Then pull the two top handles down and the two bottom handles up

View attachment 76646

This should give to the distortion effect your looking for

View attachment 76647
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