I have a text (see picture below) on a page that has been tilted some 45 degrees and then expanded down in a cylindrical fashion to form a 3D effect. I would like to ask you for help to identify how this 3D effect on the text was made. Please suggest a method to recreate it.

enter image description here

  • 2
    One option would be Photoshop, if you have it. Link to a video tutorial.
    – Joonas
    Commented Jan 28, 2019 at 23:17

5 Answers 5


Use a real 3D program.

Your best option is probably Blender. It is great, and I mean great 3D program, for modeling and rendering (besides a tonne of other things); and that is what you need.

This image was done in 5 minutes.

enter image description here

You probably need to look for some tutorials to move around.


But the basic stuff is

  • Add text
  • Extrude and bevel
  • Add a material
  • Add a camera
  • Add a light
  • Render

Odds are very high this was produced in a 3D DCC* (**Digital Content Creation) program like Modo, Maya, 3DS, Cinema 4D, Blender, Houdini or Lightwave - I say this because you can clearly see some subtle details like incident light bouncing, most commonly called Global Illumination (GI), AO (Ambient Occlusion), and even a hint of SSS (Sub-Surface-Scatter) none of which are easy to do with Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop.

Note that of course one could start with the illustrator 3D extrude effect and then duplicate the outputs and explode them to then add layers of other effects to roughly achieve the effects I've mentioned - but that's both time and error intensive - so possible, yes, likely, no, efficient - definitely not.

And honestly it's pretty quick to create an image like the one you show - here's one I recently did for a specific client - and the text portion of that was by far the easiest and fastest element.

enter image description here

  • 1
    yes, I do agree with you that some Ray Tracer program was used for the rendering -- one can see that easily by observing that the cylindrical walls are not uniform and the shading varies with the location. What program did you use for the above image?
    – Paulo Ney
    Commented Jan 28, 2019 at 19:35
  • 1
    I use modo for most of my 3D work, but Blender, as @Rafael mentioned in his excellent answer, is more than capable for such work. Moreover, since Blender 2.8, with both changes to the UI to make it more intuitive to learn and the addition of the eevee realtime render environment, it's probably the best time to be learning Blender in some time. I've been using Modo since 2007, so I have deep familiarity, considerable investment in assets, plugins and scripts, and to me, modo's workflow is still uniquely artist-friendly; Blender 2.8 is catching up fast on UI, and it's very powerful too. Commented Jan 28, 2019 at 22:18

Using Adobe Illustrator

In an editable text → Menu Effect → 3D → Extrude & Bevel

enter image description here

  • 2
    This is a good example of using 3D effects of Illustrator alone, but the shadows in particular of the original image suggest that it was done using something a bit more robust.
    – Abion47
    Commented Jan 28, 2019 at 19:59
  • Yes, I think so.
    – user120647
    Commented Jan 28, 2019 at 20:06

I agree with what was said before: use a real 3D program. I'd do this simpler stuff directly on Photoshop, it's just quicker.

That said, recently I came across a very good free online alternative called Vectary, with which I produced the image below very quickly. It's quite a powerful alternative if you don't have much 3D experience or budget:

enter image description here

What I did:

  • Open Add-Ons and add a 3D text object
  • With the object selected, add text in the textbox (in the Parameters side menu)
  • Increase Depth value
  • Under Material, adjusted the base color / roughness / reflectivity
  • click on the rotate axis in the object and type -90 (you'll know which axis when your object rotates in the correct direction) - I did this so I didn't need to add any extra light (default light comes from the top)
  • Drag an empty area to rotate the view until you get the angle you want
  • Zoom in / out (mouse wheel)
  • Click Render, select the Render quality (I used Ultra)

This took less than 5 min, you can customize even more by adding lights, a different camera, adding a different material, bevel, environment lights, etc. There are some tutorials from the developer here: https://www.vectary.com/3d-modeling-how-to/

  • that looks pretty good, specially for something like an on-line tool. Would you sumarize the steps you took to get there?
    – Paulo Ney
    Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 17:41
  • @PauloNey edited to add general steps I took, play with the settings to get better results.
    – Luciano
    Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 9:18

Art Text (Mac-only) is also a great tool if you don't want to get into a full 3D modelling program.

  • 3
    Wow that's a very specific tool! Would you mind sharing some steps on how to do it? Your answer is a bit of a link-only, and we prefer something more explanatory. Check How to Answer and take the tour to learn a bit more how the site works.
    – Luciano
    Commented Oct 16, 2019 at 12:44

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