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Procreate Tutorial: How to create 3D Lettering on your iPad
Learn how to create impressive artwork. It's simple!
Procreate has become one of the most popular digital design tools. This app allows you to create beautiful illustrations, edit your photos, and create graphic compositions. If you learn how to use it correctly, you will be able to use it as professional software.
This app is a must for digital lettering lovers. The wide variety of edition resources that the app brings will help you create unique artwork. In today’s post, we are going to give you an example of this tool’s creative possibilities. This technique is only one way to create 3D lettering (there are plenty full of alternatives). Follow the steps under the captions as a guide. We hope you find it inspiring!
Select a Brush
As we’ve previously mentioned, Procreate offers a lot of brushes by default. It’s good to take the time to try them as much as you can. This way, you’ll know which ones work for you. You might also discover that you need extra brushes to get the effect that you want. In that case, we’ve got you covered! You can find a lot of Procreate brushes in our Add-ons library. If you don’t know how to import brushes to your iPad, make sure you check this article.
Start by opening a new canvas. Go to the Brush Library and pick a brush. Press the brush of your choice to open the Brush studio.
The Brush Studio interface allows you to edit the properties of a brush before using it. This step is optional but useful. On the right side of the screen, you can see the Drawing Pad. Here you can practice your strokes and see how they will look like in your drawing. Bear in mind that, with the Apple Pencil, you can modify the aspect of your strokes by adding or reducing pressure.
Take a look at the Stroke Properties. Our advice is always to test the impact of Streamline in your strokes. Think about Streamline as an automatic corrector that will sharpen the aspect of your drawings. The higher the value is, the strongest will be the correction. Some creators believe that this “little help” is a way of cheating. Some others find it useful. Test both options and decide what is best for you.
Draw a word
Lettering is not about writing: it’s all about drawing. The final goal is to illustrate with letters. Letterings can be a great complement to a text, but we should never treat them like texts themselves.
Let’s start this illustration by drawing a word that you like. Take your time and make sure all the strokes are in place. After this step, it will be harder to edit the original shape without affecting other elements.
Select the word with the arrow that you’ll find on the upper toolbar. Place it wherever you want it to be in the composition.
Duplicate the original layer (twice)
Open the Layers Panel. Swipe right in the current layer. You’ll see three options. Press “Duplicate.”
Repeat this action, so you’ll have three different layers with the same image on them. Your Layers Panel should now look like the one on the image from above.
Change the color of the layers
We recommend you to rename your layers. In this case, we have called them “Surface,” “Shadow,” and “Blur.”
It’s time to color the second layer (the one in the middle, the one that we have called “Shadow”). Choose a color that is slightly lighter than the one in the original layer. Drag the swatch on the top right corner and drop it over the image.
Now it’s time to color the third layer. It’s the one on top, the one that we have called “Surface.” Pick a lighter color and apply it to the drawing.
Move the layers
You’ll have to move the layers to get the 3D effect. Let’s start from top to bottom. Select the top layer (“Surface”) with the arrow from the upper toolbar.
Slide the layer to the top left corner. There is no need to move it much. Try to fit it, so the layer behind looks like a shadow.
Bear in mind that you can slide the layer in any other direction. Decide where do you want to place the source of light and move the top layer towards that point.
Select the first layer, the one on the background (“Blur”). Move it in the opposite direction, getting far from the source of light. It must fit behind the “Shadow” layer.
The composition already has a 3D aspect. Let’s add some adjustments to make it look even better!
Make adjustments to the layers
You can find the Adjustments panel in the upper toolbar. We are going to apply two adjustments to each one of our three layers: Motion Blur and Noise.
To get a coherent aspect, you must add a bit of Motion Blur to all the layers. In the bottom layer, this value must be higher.
To apply Motion Blur, select the parameter. You’ll see a blue bar appear below the upper menu. Swipe left to decrease the value—swipe right to make it higher.
Let’s repeat the same procedure with Noise. Just as we did with Motion Blur, the value must be higher in the bottom layer.
The new textures will boost the 3D aspect of the composition.
Add a clipping mask
This step is optional, but we’ll explain it so you can add extra details to your drawing. If you are not familiar with clipping masks, check this article before you start.
Open the layers panel. Create a new layer and turn it into a clipping mask.
Use the clipping mask to add some modifications to the layer below. The clipping mask is an independent layer, so you can remove it without changing the rest of the drawing.
Export your drawing
To export your drawing, go to the “Actions” menu. You can find it in the left corner of the upper toolbar. Press “Share” to visualize all the options.
You can save the whole project or just some layers. Select the format that you want. A new window will appear, asking you where to export it.
By default, Procreate will add a background color to all your drawings. For a transparent composition, remove the background color in the Layers Panel.
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