How to Create a Realistic Coin Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

This tutorial will show you how to use Photoshop’s shapes and shape settings, along with its 3D tools and options, to create a 3D coin text effect. Let’s get started!

This text effect was inspired by the many Layer Styles available on GraphicRiver.

Tutorial Assets


The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial:

1. How to Create Basic and Custom Shapes

Step 1

Create a new 1500 x 950 px document. Pick the Ellipse Tool, make sure that the Shape option is active in the Options bar, and create a circle shape. Then rename the shape layer to Coin.

Create a Circle Shape

Step 2

Pick the Custom Shape Tool, and add any of the Laurel Custom shape Pack [Photoshop] shapes as a frame inside the coin shape you created.

Add a Laurel Shape

Step 3

You can use the Direct Selection Tool to select and delete the anchor points of any of the laurel shape parts that you don’t like or that you just want to remove in order to add text in their place.

Delete Anchor Points

Step 4

Feel free to try different things with the shape until you get an outcome you like.

Adjust the Shape

Step 5

Add a number as text in the middle of the coin shape. You can use any fonts and font attributes you like, depending on the type of coin you want to create.

The font used here is Bodoni MT, the Size is 120 pt, and the Tracking is set to -60.

Create Text

Step 6

Add some more text to the laurel shape where you removed the anchor points. The font used here is Poppins, the Size is 20 pt, and the Tracking is set to 200.

Add Laurel Text

2. How to Add Text on a Work Path

Step 1

Create another circle shape to create a new coin, rename its layer to Coin as well, and add any of the ORNAMENT CUSTOM SHAPE SET.csh shapes to its center.

It is a good idea to name each layer you create now to keep things organized and easy to work with throughout the tutorial.

Add an Ornament Shape

Step 2

Duplicate the coin’s circle shape and scale the copy down to create a smaller circle inside the original one. Change the copy‘s Fill value in the Options bar to None, click the Set shape stroke type icon, and click the More Options button.

Choose the dotted stroke preset, and adjust its settings as you like.

Adjust the Stroke Settings

Step 3

Pick the Ellipse Tool again, and choose the Path option in the Options bar.

Create a circular work path around the ornament shape in the center to add text on it.

Create a Work Path

Step 4

Pick the Text Tool, click on the path, and type your text.

The font used here is Indira K, the Size is 17 pt, the Tracking is 10, and the text is created in All Caps.

Add Path Text

These are some ideas to explain the tools you can use to create your coins, but feel free to try different shapes, settings, and fonts to create your own coins.

3. How to Create 3D Layers

Step 1

For each of the shape layers you have, select it and go to 3D > New 3D Extrusion from Selected Path, and for each of the text layers, select it and go to 3D > New 3D Extrusion from Selected Layer.

Create 3D Layers

Step 2

Select all 3D layers you have, and go to 3D > Merge 3D Layers.

Merge 3D Layers

4. How to Work With the 3D Scene

Step 1

To access the 3D mesh settings and properties, you’ll need to open two panels: the 3D panel and the Properties panel.

The 3D panel has all the components of the 3D scene, and when you click the name of any of those, you’ll be able to access its settings in the Properties panel. So make sure to always select the tab of the element you want to modify in the 3D panel before you change its settings in the Properties panel.

3D and Properties Panels

Step 2

If you select the Move Tool, you’ll find a set of 3D Modes for it to the right of the Options bar.

When you choose one of those, you can then click and drag to perform changes (on the selected element in the 3D panel).

Use those modes to change the Current View into an angle you like.

Move Tool 3D Modes

5. How to Group 3D Objects

Step 1

Select all the 3D mesh tabs of the first coin, click the 3D panel’s menu icon, and choose Group Objects.

Group Objects

Step 2

Repeat that to group the rest of the coin meshes you have.

Rename the groups to whatever you like. Here, we are creating a gold coin and a silver coin, so the groups will be named Gold and Silver.

Rename the Groups

6. How to Adjust the 3D Mesh Settings

Step 1

Select the Coin mesh tabs, and change their Extrusion Depth in the Properties panel to 10.

Extrusion Depth

Step 2

Select the rest of the Gold mesh tabs, and change their Extrusion Depth to 3.

Extrusion Depth

Step 3

Select the rest of the Silver mesh tabs, and change their Extrusion Depth to 2.

Extrusion Depth

7. How to Adjust the 3D Cap Settings

Step 1

Pick the Move Tool, select both Coin mesh tabs, and use the 3D Axis to move them back to separate them from the rest of the meshes.

The arrows at the ends of the axis move the mesh, the part below them is used for rotation, and the cubes are used for scaling. The cube in the center is used to scale the object uniformly. All you need to do is click and drag the part you want to use.

Move the Meshes

Step 2

Select the Gold Coin mesh tab, and click the Cap icon at the top of the Properties panel to create the coin’s edge.

Change the Sides to Front and Back, the Bevel Width to 5%, the Angle to -23, and the Contour to Cove – Deep.

Gold Coin Cap Settings

Step 3

Change the Gold coin’s Laurel and smaller text‘s Bevel Width to 10% and their Contour to Half Round.

Gold Coin Cap Settings

Step 4

Change the Gold coin’s bigger text‘s Bevel Width to 5% and its Contour to Half Round.

Gold Coin Cap Settings

Step 5

Select the Silver Coin mesh tab, click the Cap icon, and change the Sides to Front and Back, the Bevel Width to 10%, the Angle to -17, and the Contour to Cone – Inverted.

Silver Coin Cap Settings

Step 6

Change the Silver coin’s ellipse stroke‘s Inflate Strength to 20%.

Silver Coin Cap Settings

Step 7

Change the Silver coin’s text and ornament shapesBevel Width to 5% and their Contour to Half Round.

Silver Coin Cap Settings

8. How to Position 3D Meshes

Step 1

To better see the 3D meshes, click the Filter by: Materials icon at the top of the 3D panel, select all the material tabs, click the Diffuse texture icon in the Properties panel, and choose Remove Texture.

Remove Texture

Step 2

Use the 3D Axis to reposition the 3D meshes to create the final coins.

Reposition the 3D Meshes

Step 3

You can click the Coordinates icon at the top of the Properties panel to use numerical values.

Coordinates Values

Step 4

You can also choose between the different Current View presets in order to see things from different angles and make sure all the meshes are in place.

Camera Views

Step 5

Make sure to finish creating the coins now, because once you instance them, it will be much harder to reposition their meshes.

Finish Creating the Coins

9. How to Create Gold and Silver Materials

Step 1

Select all the Gold coin mesh material tabs, and create the gold material using these settings (the color values used are in RGB):

  • Specular: 241, 224, 155
  • Shine: 50%
  • Reflection: 50%
Gold Material Settings

Step 2

Select all the Silver coin mesh material tabs, and create the silver material using these settings:

  • Specular: 222, 223, 205
  • Shine: 50%
  • Reflection: 50%
Silver Material Settings

Step 3

Select the Gold Coin Front Inflation Material tab, click its Diffuse folder icon, and choose Load Texture to open the 2.jpg image from the Metal seamless textures pack.

Load Texture

Step 4

Click the Diffuse texture icon again to choose Edit UV Properties.

Edit UV Properties

Step 5

Adjust the Tile and Offset values to get a result you like.

UV Properties

Step 6

Click the Diffuse texture icon and choose Edit Texture.

Edit Texture

Step 7

Add a Solid Color fill layer with the Fill Color #f5cb71, and change its Blend Mode to Linear Burn.

Solid Color

Step 8

Select the rest of the Gold coin material tabs, click the Diffuse folder icon, and choose the texture name (2) from the list to apply it.

Apply the Texture

Step 9

Select the Silver Coin Front Inflation Material tab, click its Diffuse folder icon, and choose Load Texture to open the 2.jpg image again.

Load Texture

Step 10

Apply the texture to the rest of the Silver coin material tabs.

Apply the Texture

10. How to Create a Bump Material

Step 1

Select the Gold Coin Extrusion Material tab, and click its Bump folder icon to choose New Texture.

New Texture

Step 2

Set the dimensions to 100 x 100 px, and click OK.

Texture Dimensions

Step 3

When the new texture file opens, duplicate the Background layer.

Duplicate Layer

Step 4

Double-click the copy layer to apply a Pattern Overlay effect, and change the Pattern to 10px vertical stripes.

Save and close the file.

Pattern Overlay

Step 5

Select the Gold Coin mesh tab, and change its Texture Mapping to Tile.

Texture Mapping

Step 6

Select the Gold coin’s Extrusion Material tab again, and adjust the Bump texture’s UV Properties.

UV Properties

Step 7

Apply the same Bump texture and settings to the Silver Coin Extrusion Material.

Silver Coin Extrusion Material Bump

11. How to Instance 3D Meshes

Step 1

Select both the Gold and Silver group tabs, right-click any of them, and choose Instance Object.

This will create linked copies that reflect the changes made to the original meshes, like the material settings, for example.

Instance Object

Step 2

Rename the original groups to add Original to their names, and you can either use those groups or hide them if you need to keep the original copies aside.

Rename the Original Groups

Step 3

Select the Gold group you want to start using to create the text, click the Coordinates icon, and change the X Rotation Angle to 90.

X Rotation Angle

Step 4

Click the 3D panel’s menu icon, and choose Move Object to Ground Plane.

Repeat that to rotate and move the Silver group to the Ground Plane as well.

Move Object to Ground Plane

12. How to Create Text Using 3D Grouped Meshes

Step 1

Select a group, and use the 3D Axis to move and rotate it in order to start creating the text.

Start Creating the Text

Step 2

If you need to use the Coordinates values, keep in mind that you can check and uncheck the Uniform Scaling option as needed.

Uniform Scaling

Step 3

What you need to do next is keep instancing and transforming the coin meshes to create the shape of the letters you want. You can type the text using any sans serif font for reference if you like as well.

That can be a bit of a time-consuming process, in which you need to use different camera angles and views. You also need to keep making sure to move each coin to the Ground Plane once you place it, and adjust its positioning so that it sits properly on top of any coins it is above, as well as the Ground Plane itself.

You can simplify the process by placing the coins next to each other without stacking them on top of each other, and then add more coins on top of them, but keep them all horizontal.

It is basically up to you to decide how you’d like to create the text and place the coins, depending on the final result you want to achieve.

Place the Coins

Step 4

Make sure to group each letter’s coin groups to keep things organized.

Group the Meshes

Step 5

Create all the letters you need, and add any more coins around them if you like.

Create the Text

13. How to Add a Background Plane

Step 1

Open the Old Wooden Planks Texture 02 image, copy and paste it on top of the coins 3D layer, rename its layer to Ground, and go to 3D > New Mesh from Layer > Postcard.

3D Postcard

Step 2

Select the Current View tab, and choose the coin 3D layer’s name from the View menu.

Current View

Step 3

Select both 3D layers and merge them.

Select the Ground Mesh tab, change its X Rotation Angle to 90, and move it to the Ground Plane.

After you do so, increase the Y Position value very slightly, so to a value around 0.1, to avoid getting random lines when you render the scene.

Merge the 3D Layers

Step 4

With the Ground Mesh tab selected, click the Mesh icon at the top of the Properties panel, and uncheck the Cast Shadows box.

Reposition and scale the Ground mesh until it covers a good area around the text. After that, you can tile the Diffuse texture vertically if needed, or open the Diffuse texture file, and go to Image > Reveal All, to make sure that the scaling doesn’t affect the quality of the texture.

You don’t need to fill the whole document as we will crop it later on, but make sure to fill the area you want to have for the final outcome.

Adjust the Ground Texture

Step 5

Select the Ground material tab, remove the Opacity texture if there is one, and use these settings:

  • Specular: 210, 196, 164
  • Shine: 50%
Ground Material Settings

14. How to Generate a Bump Texture From a Diffuse One

Step 1

Click the Bump folder icon, and click Generate Bumps From Diffuse.

Generate Bumps From Diffuse

Step 2

Adjust the settings in the Generate Bump Map box as you like, and click OK.

Generate Bump Map

Step 3

This will create a more realistic effect.

Make sure to choose a final camera angle before you start adjusting the lighting of the scene.

Final Camera Angle

15. How to Adjust a 3D Scene’s Lighting and Render It

Step 1

Click the Infinite Light tab, and change its Intensity to 50% and its Shadow Softness to 30%.

Infinite Light

Step 2

Use the Move Tool to move the light around to an angle you like, or use the Coordinates values to do so.

Move the Light

Step 3

Select the Environment tab, click the IBL texture icon, and choose Replace Texture to open the Room image.

Environment

Step 4

Change the Intensity to 90%, and use the Move Tool to move the texture around until you like its effect.

Environment Settings

Step 5

Click the IBL texture icon, and choose Edit Texture to open the image file.

Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to change the Saturation to -60, and save and close the file.

HueSaturation

Step 6

Go to 3D > Render 3D Layer. The rendering might take a while, but you can stop it any time by pressing the Esc key.

After the rendering is done, right-click the 3D layer and choose Convert to Smart Object to avoid making any accidental changes.

Render 3D Layer

16. How to Make Global Adjustments

Step 1

Add a Vibrance adjustment layer and change the Vibrance value to -5.

Step 2

Add a Selective Color adjustment layer, and use these settings:

Reds

  • Cyan: 7
  • Yellow: 10
  • Black: 10

Yellows

  • Magenta: 3
  • Yellow: -10
  • Black: 10
Selective Color

Neutrals

  • Cyan: 3
  • Yellow: -1
  • Black: 1

Blacks

  • Cyan: 3
  • Yellow: 5
  • Black: 15
Selective Color

Step 3

Add a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer, change its Blend Mode to Luminosity, and set the Contrast value to 30.

BrightnessContrast

Step 4

Add a Curves adjustment layer, change its Blend Mode to Luminosity and its Opacity to 35%, and create a simple S-Curve to enhance the contrast some more.

Curves

Step 5

Add a Solid Color fill layer with the Fill Color Black, and change its Blend Mode to Soft Light and its Opacity to 43%.

Solid Color

Step 6

Select the layer’s mask thumbnail, pick the Brush Tool, set the Foreground Color to Black, and use a big soft round tip to paint over the text to create a quick vignette effect.

You can also decrease the mask’s Density in the Properties panel to get a subtler effect.

Vignette Effect

Step 7

Add a Color Lookup adjustment layer, and choose the 2Strip.look table from the 3DLUT File menu.

Change the layer’s Blend Mode to Soft Light and its Opacity to 30%.

Color Lookup

Step 8

Add another Color Lookup adjustment layer, and choose the Gold-Blue table from the Abstract menu.

Change the layer’s Blend Mode to Lighten and its Opacity to 50%.

Color Lookup

Step 9

Use the Crop Tool to get rid of all the extra areas you don’t need, and you can uncheck the Delete Cropped Pixels box in the Options bar if you want.

Crop the Image

Congratulations! You’re Done

In this tutorial, we used a bunch of shapes and shape settings, along with different text layers, to create coins.

Then, we converted the layers we created into 3D layers, adjusted their settings, and created their materials. After that, we instanced and positioned the coins to create the letters we needed for our text.

Finally, we adjusted the lighting, rendered the scene, and added some global adjustments to finish everything off.

Please feel free to leave your comments, suggestions, and outcomes below.

Final Result