December 13, 2010


Making a 3D New Year Wallpaper in Photoshop

As twenty-ten draws to an end we look forward to the new year and all the fun celebrations, so I thought I’d get those creative minds working in time for the festive season. This tutorial will require Illustrator as well as Photoshop, but don’t worry if you do not have Illustrator you can easily download the PSD for that step!

3D New Year Wallpaper in Photoshop

3D New Year Wallpaper in Photoshop

Here are the few steps to making 3D text in Illustrator:

1. New Document

  • Open Illustrator, the menu will appear, select Basic RGB Document…
  • Settings of your document are as shown: Size 1024 x 768, Raster Effects: High
New Document

New Document

2. Add Text on separate layers

  • Using the Text Tool (T) write your words as shown: Happy, New Year, 2011
  • All on individual layers, create new layers (on the layer toolbar 2nd from right):
  • To see the layers toolbar go, View –> Layers (F7)
  • Make sure that for your text colour you use the second/third whitest in the toolbar, as shown in the top left:
  • I am using Museo 500 at 210 pt:
Adding Text

Adding Text

3. Extrude & Bevel

  • Select all layers (the little circle on each layer), hold down Cmd/Ctrl to select all at once:
  • Now go, Effect –> 3D –> Extrude & Bevel…
  • Settings as shown: -18, -26, 8 Perspective: 45, Extrude Depth: 50 pt (no Bevel):
  • Once you have finished go, File –> Export… as a .psd!
Extrude and Bevel

Extrude and Bevel

Now for the Photoshop part, if you’d like to download the 3D Text click here!

1. New…

  • Open Photoshop and make a new document, File –> New…
  • Settings as shown, or use your own desktop resolution:
  • Mine: 1600 x 1200, 300 ppi:
New Document

New Document

2. Background

  • Using the Gradient Tool (G) with settings: Radial, Violet-Orange, Reverse:
  • Stroke from the centre outwards past the edge of your document:
  • Now, using the Custom Shapes Tool (U) – select ‘Customs Shapes’ with Registration Target 2 stretch this out over your background, make sure your foreground colour is White first:
  • Set that layer ‘Shape 1’ to Soft light, Opacity 30%
  • Note: If you cannot see Registration Target 2 go to the Shape drop-out and on the side there is an arrow *Click* and select Symbols!


3. Open 3D Text in Photoshop

  • Open the PSD in Photoshop:
  • Scale it for your wallpaper size go, Image –> Image Size (Shift + Cmd/Ctrl + I): I scaled down to 1200 x 1027 for my 1440 x 980 screen:
  • Now, Duplicate the layers to your psd that you’re working on, Layer –> Duplicate Layers… (select all layers – hold Cmd/Ctrl when selecting):
Open 3D Text

Open 3D Text

4. Blending Options

  • Now in your main document on the text layers that you just duplicated across:
  • *Right Click* > Blending Options… on any of your text layers:
  • Settings as shown:
  • Now, *Right Click* > Copy Layer Style and paste it on the other text layers by *Right Click* > Paste Layer Style, if they did not go on all layers:
Blending Options

Bevel and Emboss

  • Gradient Overlay
Gradient Overlay

Gradient Overlay

5. Fireworks + Pen Tool

  • This is quite time consuming so you may download the PSD here or the PNG here! Or if you like a good challenge carry on!
  • Create a new layer ‘Trail‘ and group as I did to contain all the layers, ‘Fireworks‘:
  • Using the Pen Tool (P) draw an arching trail along the side, *Click* for the foundation then *Click* + Hold to adjust the curve:
  • Now select the Brush Tool (B) and settings,Window –> Brushes (F5) with the settings as shown: Fade: 800 (only the first Control: you see)
Fireworks + Pen Tool (P)

Fireworks + Pen Tool (P)

  • Go back to the Pen Tool (P) and *Right Click* > Stroke Path – anywhere on your document:
  • Select Brush, press ESC twice to exit the Pen Tool path!
  • Make sure your Foreground colour is White first!
Stroke Path

Stroke Path

  • Blending Options for the ‘Trail
Layer Styling

Layer Styling

6. Making the Outer Spark

  • Create a new layer ‘Outer
  • Using the Pen Tool with the same brush settings as before but make Fade: 150:
  • Make a straight line with the Pen Tool and as before *Right Click* > Stroke Path…
Making the Outer Spark

Making the Outer Spark

  • Now duplicate that 8 times!
  • Rotate and Flip them so they fit equal in a circle, go Edit –> Transform and Rotate/Flip… (will be 45° increments)
  • Once finished select all the layers and *Right Click* > Merge Layers!

7. Making the Inner Spark

  • Duplicate the ‘Outer‘ layer that you just merged:
  • Now we have to scale it down go,  Edit –> Transform –> Scale (hold Shift to retain the aspect ratio)
  • Simply rotate it to fill in the gaps in between the bigger ‘Outer’ sparks: Edit –> Transform –> Rotate:
Making the Inner Spark

Making the Inner Spark

8. Layer Styling

  • *Right Click* > Blending Options…
  • Settings as shown for Outer and Inner:
  • Drop Shadow is the same!
Layer Styling

Layer Styling (click to view larger)

9. Sparklings

  • Using the Brush Tool with the settings as shown:
  • With the same bright yellow as with the Inner Spark: fcff00 set that as your foreground colour!
  • Simply make short strokes around and in between the sparks:
Sparklings: Brush Settings

Sparklings: Brush Settings

10. Glow Effect

  • Create a new layer below all your other Fireworks layers called ‘Glow‘:
  • Using the Gradient Tool (G) with a only Foreground dark yellow: f2b20a, Radial:
  • Make a stroke from the centre to just to the Outer spark edge:
  • Repeat twice if needed!


11. Duplicate Fireworks to make a Mini copy

  • Duplicate the entire Fireworks Group and rename it ‘Mini‘:
  • Change the Layer Styling in the Blending Options to opposite colours, like blue and green!
  • I changed the Color Overlay to de00ff for the outer spark!
Duplicate Fireworks Group

Duplicate Fireworks Group

12. Cloud of Smoke (optional)

  • Create two new layers
  • You can make a small cloud of smoke like a real launch or a rocket using the Brush Tool:
  • With a grey (808080) colour, Size: 50 px, Hardness; 100%
  • Just dot around making a cloud like structure, and split half onto the other layer!
  • Set both layer styles to have the standard drop shadow:
  • Note: I have my two layers at 80% and 75% Opacity! And you may want to erase the ‘Trail‘ slightly with the Eraser (on ‘Trail’ layer)!
Cloud of Smoke

Cloud of Smoke

13. Fireworks Two or Your Choice

  • You may choose a nice little icon from IconArchive to place in the empty spot or make your own secondary Firework!
  • Create a new layer ‘Firework Two’
  • As with the ‘Trail‘ layer step we will use the Pen Tool to make a series of curves:
  • Settings vary, but generally it will be these as shown: Brush Size: 9 px Fade: ~200
  • Make multiple strokes all from a single origin, as shown:
Fireworks Two

Fireworks Two

  • Layer Styling
Layer Styling

Layer Styling

14. Glowing Centre

  • Create a new layer above all the layers of your Fireworks Two:
  • Set the Blending Mode to Overlay:
  • Have your Foreground as White, and using the Gradient Tool FG only make a small white dot in the middle
  • Duplicate this layer multiple times until it is a glowing centre:
  • As before in step 9. Sparklings, scatter some light around the centre on a new layer ‘Sparks‘!
Glowing Centre

Glowing Centre

That’s it!

You may download the PSD here (4.8 mb)!

You can also download the complete JPG for personal use!

It is a very long and challenging method, so please comment if you get stuck and I’ll respond ASAP!

All images here are copyrighted© – All Rights Reserved.

Written by Mike

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Michael Scott is the publisher and photographer behind Scott Photographics! He is very passionate about his photography and enjoys sharing the best of his experiences for others to enjoy too! Contact Mike via email!
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6 Comments Post a comment

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  1. Nov 15 2011

    nice tutorial and thanks for the psd

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  3. ssentamu charles
    Feb 9 2011

    nice work and we applicite your guidelines, they have helped us to know photoshop. thanks. help me and direct me how to use vectors and how to create them in photoshop.

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  5. Feb 5 2011

    Hi! I just love your tutorial! Congratulations!
    I know this is not the best way to say it, but I`we just opened a tutorials indexing website and I would like to ask you to submit your tutorials, it will bring you some extra traffic
    Please give a chance for my website:


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  7. Dec 29 2010

    good go on.

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