How to Make Metallic Text

Discover how to create metallic text, perfect for logos and title intros.

Length:
47 mins
Software:
Blender 2.66
Difficulty:
Beginner
Rate:
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.6/5 (117 votes cast)

In this tutorial you will discover how to:

  • Quickly create 3d text
  • Create a grungy metallic texture
  • Fake a volumetric spotlamp

3D typography has a big place in the industry. Any company with a message to tell can use a designer who knows how to make attention grabbing 3d typography.

So it makes sense to hone your craft now so you can make yourself more employable.

In this tutorial we’ll be creating a typical, big, bold, attention grabbing title.

Finished Result

Download the Finished .blend

Resources used in the tutorial:

  1. Bebas Font
  2. Grungemaps0119
  3. Grungemaps0088
  4. ConcreteDamaged

Text Summary

(Russian Translation)

Creating the text

1. Delete the default cube and lamp, replace it with text (Add>Text).

 

2.  Rotate the text by 90 degrees so it’s standing upright.

 

3. Go to the font settings and click the folder icon to change the font.

 

4. You can use any font you like, but I’ll be using Bebas.

 

5. Set the text extrude to 0.5.

 

6. So that the edge catches more light, set the Bevel to 0.007 and the resolution to 4.

 

7. Now we’ll create the text outer shell. To do this, duplicate the font (Shift+D) then press Escape.

 

8. With the new text object selected, go the font settings and change these settings:

 

9. With both text objects selected, press Alt+C to convert the object to a mesh.

 

Setting up the scene

1. Position the camera so it’s facing directly infront of the text, and set the focal length to 18.

 

2. Go to the world settings and set the color to almost solid black.

 

3. Add a plane and scale it along the x-axis to create a rectangle. Position it directly above the text, looking down:

 

4. Set the material for the plane to an Emission shader, with the strength set to 10.

 

5. Add a plane and scale it so it fits the grid floor.

 

Render it and you should see this:

Just getting started…

 

Creating the material

1. Select the inner text mesh, go to the node editor and add a new material.

 

2. Add a mix and glossy shader. Connect them as shown:

 

3. Add an Image Texture node and load in the Grungemaps0119 texture.

 

4. In edit mode, go into front view then press U and select Project from View.

 

5. Next add an RGB curves node and connect it between the image and glossy shader. Create a bow in the curve to increase contrast:

 

Render it and you should have this:

 

6. To make the texture have even more of an impact, connect the output of the RGB curve node to the Mix Shader Fac input.

 

Like some sprayed with a fine layer of molasses

 

7. Change the color of both the Glossy and Diffuse shader as shown, to create a gold material:

 

Mmm dirty gold

 

8. To give the material a fine brushed metal look, add a noise texture and Bump node (Add>Vector>Bump). Connect and set the settings as shown:

 

In order to make the texture looked “brushed” we need to fake it, by stretching it along one axis. To do this, add a Texture Coordinate and Mapping Node and connect as shown. Set the X scale to 0.01.

 

It’s subtle but it adds an extra element to the material

 

MOAR LIGHTS!

The scene is alright, but the text is reflecting too much black background. It needs more highlights and edge lights.

1. Add two planes on both sides of the text, and set the material as Emission and Strength 3.

 

2. Add two rectangular planes behind the camera as shown, with an emission of 3.

 

3. Place a spotlamp behind the text, set the size 0.5 and strength 60.

 

You should now have this:

 

The outer shell material

1. Select the outer text mesh and add a new material.

 

2. Go to the Node editor, and setup a mix node with a glossy shader as shown:

 

3. Set the diffuse color to dark grey:

 

4. UV unwrap the text, by going into side view mode and selecting U, Project From View.

 

5. Go back to the node editor and add an Image Texture node. Load in the Grungemaps0088 texture, and connect to the Mix Shader Fac input:

 

6. Add a Bump node (Add>Vector>Bump) and set the Strength to 0.001, connect it as shown:

 

Gettin’ there!

 

Texturing the Concrete

1. Select the floor plane and in top view mode press U, Project from View (bounds).

 

2. Go the node editor and a new material.

 

3. Add a mix and glossy shader and connect as shown. Set the glossy roughness to 0 and the Mix Shader Fac to 0.7.

 

4. Add an image texture node and load in the ConcreteDamaged (tiled) texture:

 

5. Add a Mapping and Texture Coordinate node and connect it as shown. Set the Scaling to 16:

 

YEEAHH now we’re really getting there

 

6. You may also like to add DoF (Depth of Field). To do that, place an empty at the front of the text:

 

7. Next, select the camera and set the Focus point to the empty, and the Aperture to F/stop 3.2.

 

 

Volumetric background

To make the background less dark and heavy, we’re going to lighten it with a foggy spotlamp from behind. Unfortunately at the time of writing this (March 2013) Cycles does not support volumetric lighting, so we’ll have to do some trickery by combining a blender internal scene with our current render.

1. In the top toolbar find the box that says ‘Scene’ click the + next to it and select new.

 

2. A new scene should open, rename it volumetric spotlamp.

 

3. Go back to your previous scene, and select the floor plane, spotlamp, camera and both text meshes, then press Ctrl+L. In the popup select Objects to Scene > Volumetric Lamp.

 

4. In the newly created scene, go to the lamp settings and check Halo and Step 1.

 

5. In the newly created scene, select the spotlamp and move it to a separate layer.

 

6. In the render panel, go to the layers section and select the layer which the spotlamp is on. In the Mask Layer section, select the layer that the rest of the scene is on (this is for blocking out the rays of light).

 

Coming to a theater near you

Coming to a theater near you

Compositing

1. Go to the original scene and set the screen mode to Compositing.

 

2. Add a new RenderLayer (Add>Input>Render Layers) and from the dropdown box, select the ‘Volumetric Spotlamp’.

 

3. Add a Mix node, and connect it to both Render Layers. Set the blend type to Screen and Fac to 0.2.

With the foggy spot lamp, the background is less heavy

 

4. Now we’ll do some color grading. Add a Color Balance node and connect as shown. Push the midtones (middle wheel) to light blue, and the highlights (right wheel) to light yellow.

 

5. Now we’ll create a vignette. Add an Ellipse Mask and change the settings as shown:

 

6. Add an Invert and Blur node and connect it to the Mask node as shown. Set the Blur settings as shown:

 

7. Finally, add a Mix node, set the blend type to Mulitply, and connect as shown. Change the bottom input to a grey color:

Final compositing setup:

 

Finished!

Further Inspiration

Not sure where to take this tutorial? Here’s some 3d typography inspiration:

  • Shiny Binary – Awesome website by an awesome UK based typographical artist
  • Typography 10 – Clean, funky 3d text.
  • Harley Davidson – Cool fabric themed text. The detail in the stitching is great.
  • AT&T – Great poster that shows typography embedded into architecture.

If you create something cool, post it in the comments below!

If you like this tutorial you may also like, How to Create a Professional Logo Animation.

Russian Flag IconRead the Russian Translation

How to Make Metallic Text, 4.6 out of 5 based on 117 ratings

About Andrew Price

User of Blender for 9+ years. I've written tutorials for 3d World Magazine and spoken at three Blender conferences. My goal is to help artists get employed in the industry by making training accessible and easy to understand. I'm an Aussie and I live in South Korea ;)