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3D Effect On iPad Lettering

by Designhill Tweet - in Webinar

iPad Lettering

Last updated on February 27th, 2023

Lettering is a great art that is today increasingly sought-after for a variety of purposes. Right from invitation cards to creating marketing materials, lettering is surely central to making a desired impact on the audience. But, the 3D effect gives letters all together with a third-dimensional impression. That is right but do you know that you can create the impact using your iPad? Designhill conducted a lettering workshop where lettering expert Yethsa showed the right use of iPad to easily design 3D lettering.

Most clients ask for letter designs that give the 3D impression. This is because such letters look lively and they can speak to the viewers. Such a lettering art can even tell a story to the viewers. For example, the third dimensional lettering on cards can give a message of a certain occasion or festival. In marketing, 3D lettering helps businesses stand out from their competitors.

Using the new technologies, designers can surely create the designs today in a much easier way than ever before. Most designers use iPad to satisfy their creative urge with the help of techniques. It also is a way to increase productivity for designers. While iPad itself will not turn you into a professional designer but it surely facilitates you in being the one due to its design technologies.

Since designers frequent iPad, Designhill, the leading creative marketplace, thought it fit to bring in a lettering expert to show how to do this job best. So, the marketplace conducted an online workshop on 27th February 2021 with the lettering art expert Yethsa on the topic of the 3D effect on iPad lettering. She taught the attendees how to use the brushes for shading. Also, she shared some useful tips to create different layers and their combinations as well as the use of the brushes to create the letters.

About Yethsa

Yethsa is a lettering artist from Venezuela known for her unique style and calligraphy skills. She has been a passionate lettering enthusiast and has created numerous cards, custom mugs, shirts, graduation cap toppers, and other products with lettering art.

In this post, we have shared the workshop video and transcript in the form of Q/As where you will be learning everything you need to know about 3D effect on iPad lettering. Have a look!

3D Effect On iPad Lettering

Yethsa: What we are going to do right now is the 3D effect using our iPad. The program that I’m using is Procreate. And I have right now on iPad Air, and I used to have an older iPad . The most important thing is that it works with your app open or, or with a pen that leads you to work and in your artwork.

Create a new artboard

Yethsa: So, the first thing is to create a new artboard. We go with the screen size. I like that I want to fit my entire screen to start working. In procreate, we have too many brushes that we can use. And one of my favorites, of course, is the Brush Markers, the one that has that kind of effect. So, I create this one in a style similar to the pens that I love the most. I go to black color. And let’s start writing with this like the one that I showed you previously.

Thick and Thin Strokes

Yethsa: If you are familiar with lettering, we try thick and thin strokes. So this is what I’m doing right now. But the 3D effect you can also do with another kind of letter. I mean it doesn’t necessarily have to be this style. But you can try it and giving thin and thick strokes is going to make you look even better. I am going over the lines to start creating that effect.

Now that we have our word created we will start working with layers. So, the first layer we are going to swipe and duplicate and we keep on this hidden with the Select tool. Go to automatic click on on your lettering and now you see that that becomes transparent switch to the color that of your choice. We will go to color. I pick the pink and I’m going to the wind and we feel the color. When we select this tool we are only working on the selection area okay on the area that is selected.

Creating the Light and Shadow Effects

So, this is very important because from now on we are going to think about lighting. If we go if we give light to this design from this side so we have to think where this shadow goes because that is very important that is going to give us the 3D effect we are going to start forming.


Yethsa: Let’s switch the brush and to start we go with the airbrushing. We have all kinds of brushes in here we have painting brush, drawing brushes, we have also calligraphy, airbrush texture, etc. We go now with airbrushing, select the soft and go to the, it could be like dark grey or black.

Giving shadows to the design

Yethsa: Let’s start giving some shadows to our design. Let’s start with this, if the light is coming this way, the areas of the world that are lighter are like this bar. If the light hits here is going to create a shadow behind that line.

Let’s start with this. As I mentioned, we are working on a new layer. If I try to paint here, nothing happens. Okay, if I paint outside my selection area, nothing is going to happen. But if I paint inside, it’s going to happen. We are going to create that effect. Let’s undo that and start working. My shadow is going to start here. You can see if I only do these two lines, we start thinking like the line behind the line is going behind.

But, now what we want to do is extend this a little, and we go from darker and fading. We do the same on this site, if you have an iPad, this is perfect for you. And it’s going to be of course, easier than if you try it on paper. But you can also try it on paper and to get that effect.

Shadows are crucial design elements experienced designers use to create a 3D effect. With shadow incorporated, it makes a design look alive and a near real-life visual. Also, while working on iPad, you should use only a high-quality animation app for iPad that helps create the best-animated designs. With such apps, you can animate shadows and the entire design to drive viewers’ attention and convey a brand message.

Choose brush size for shadows

Yethsa: So, I think that this line that goes behind to make it like a turn to get the light. This is why I am calling here and the same I am doing a fading design. Then, if you see my brush size, this tool will change the brush size. The brush size is very small and I’m gonna make it a little bit bigger to feel this despite the spaces. We are working with this cut in this part and we are going to do this all over the design. Then, we will think about the part where the line cuts and the shadow that is made to our letter to the light every time a letter across with another letter we want to try this.

We have a curvy side, like in this for example. This is because we are changing from going down to going up. Then, when that letter encounters another letter, we want to do the same. So, we have a turning like a curve here with not many details. Because after we go through this we will make it look better.

Again, every time we add a darker color, we have to think about the light. Where is the light coming from, and what part of the letter we want to have darkness to make that impression that it is behind.

So I’m going to zoom out, and then you see that the effect is starting to create. I will change the size of my brush. And I’m connecting, for example, this dark side with the one on the bottom and, and so it’s not necessary to be, perfect.

Make the design look softer

The next thing that we are going to do is to make it appear a little bit soft. So I am going to erase but as you can choose a brush to paint, you can choose a brush to erase. I go with a soft brush, but it is from an airbrush. With the airbrush just touch the screen softly. You don’t need to go too hard on the screen because then it is going to erase everything you did. But since you selected the airbrushing tool, it should be very soft. It will give you an effect like it is devastating. So this is the first part. It’s very important to start with this.

Change Opacity

Yethsa: So, what do we know whether what I see is still very dark, this part. And what I want to do is go to the same layer that I’m working on, click on the letter N and change the opacity. I like it close to 50% not too dark not to lighten. If I go like 20% I don’t see any difference or is a very slight difference. So I prefer to go around 58%. I can still see the darker shadow, but it’s not too dark like it was before. If you see I go 100% is too rough. So let’s try 58-60%. I think it’s good. Our next step will be going to a new layer. And if you see I’m always on the selection tool. I keep selected or the area that I need to work on.

Clean the design with an eraser

Yethsa: One thing that I like to do when I have the time and I go very slowly, I go again with my eraser, I put it very small. And then I fix all these little spaces like where it’s not supposed to be black, and I fix it. If you want, if you want a perfect design or very close to doing what you think it’s going to be the best. So, go and clean with your eraser tool, and make it look super neat.

Add some light

Yethsa: The next thing to make this light-up is to add the light. We already did the shadows and now we go to the light. Again, we go to brush, library, airbrush, and a soft brush.

But now the darker color will give us a shadow, we go to a light color. Okay, to create that light effect, I already have a white here, but you can also use your color wheel and go to the white to change the size of your brush.

Think like using the real tools

And the secret to creating 3D designs is to think of the virtual tools like you are using them physically. Think like you are using a real airbrush. So, you need to go very soft like barely touching the screen. And then it’s going to start looking like fading on the corners of the design, and then it will be a little bit lighter in the center.

So, in every part of the design of our letter that is without the shadow that we did, we are going to try to do the lighting effect.

What we want to create is the effect that the light is getting at that point. It will start to get that effect and make you feel like it’s copying like it’s starting to become 3D. If you see this one, compared to the two ladders that already have the shadow, you already can notice the difference. And they feel like oh really they are starting to look different from the other ones. So we have to try that with all the letters okay.

Now, we are in the middle of our design. It is starting to look like oh wow really is popping out from the artwork.

Create another layer

Yethsa: As the next step, I create another layer and go to the brush library. I like very much the effect from these are Sharples brushes for the design. So, let’s change again to a dark color. It could be black again and we started touching softly. We need to start touching only the parts of the design that we just live in.

Now, we go to the parts that we live in just a few spots. We don’t need to fill it. So, we got here and this is why because we want to live like a text idea. Every time I do something and we compare it to the letter that doesn’t have that effect. We see a huge difference and the only thing that we are doing is taking one single step.

So far, I have used all my brush and charcoal burnt trees. As I started touching with a small charcoal thing to make it look more realistic. Good so far. What do you think? Looking good. So, next step, same brush, but go to white again. Because when we have light, we have black and white.

This is like creating the same texture but some of these parts are very light with the lighter design that is just a few spots. Need to fill it. Make sure that your lighting layer is always on the top. So, I created a new layer to give all this texture but I need to have this one on the top. Always move your layer that has the light to the top.

That will be my first layer. And after this, remember the first one that we duplicate the original design. Okay. Let’s click on that one. Once we have it there let’s go to that layer, change the opacity. This time, yes, I’m going on the 40%. Let’s move it and we’ll see where it goes. Before doing that, yes, we need to unselect the, I mean turn off the selection so we go to this perfect and just move it. Remember that we already changed the opacity and okay.

But, I want this shadow to be like, a little bit lighter. So I think I’m gonna go to 20 to 23% looks good. Still working on that layer. Let’s go to adjustments. I am a blue blur. layer. Let’s move it just a little bit. This tool blurs the layer that you have. But you know, the shadows aren’t perfect. That’s why I’m using this to make it a little bit blurry. And then, you will see it as it looks like a shadow, like the shadow of your design.

Play with elements

Yethsa: At this point, we can start playing a little with the elements. This is one of my favorite parts. We can play with the layer where we choose the color of our design, go to the wheel. And let’s say I don’t like pink. Come on, change the color. What about this and you can feel your design and now you get another color. But maybe like an orange thing. It looks good. Let’s try again with this, choose a color that gives you the contrast with all the effects that you apply to your design.

After having that we need to select a color for our background. Do you can add a new layer, move it to the bottom and change that color. And we have our 3d effect. From there we were able to go wanna show you this quick. So we were able to go from this.

So, if you like to add more channels or change something on any other layer that you work on. Just go to the layer, select the layer and then start changing. I prefer darker or I need to add more light and you can go again to your airbrushing to select the light. Let’s say no I think I need more light here. You can do that. You can always change your design. The best part of these tours you can have a lot of choices, a lot of brush to try, and colors to experiment with.

Designhill: How do you deal with plagiarism when you see other artists or companies copy your work?

Yethsa: Oh, when you see other artists’ work, I recommend always give them the credit. Also, when you learn from others, like appreciate all the things that you learned from them. This is because when we create something we are giving a part of ourselves. So, it’s always good to appreciate other artists’ work.

Designhill: What brush you use for the lettering?

Yethsa: The brush that I used for the lettering today is one that I created. I want the thin and thick stroke to go in a very similar way to that of my favorite real marker. But now if you want to use another one from the brush library, you could always do it, or go with the brush pen. Okay, or the scrape works as well. But today I used my brush.

Designhill: Can you name out the software or apps besides procreate that people can use on other devices apart from Apple?

Yethsa: There’s also a place where you can buy different brushes from other artists that create their brushes, like watercolor, and maybe Ivy’s paint. And as I mentioned before, if you want to try this effect on paper on your canvas, I think by trying the basic shadows and lighting, you can get this effect as well.

Designhill: What software do you use in digital illustrator aside from calligraphy?

Yethsa: I use Illustrator when I need to vectorize all my designs.

Designhill: How to feel the character of lettering?

Yethsa: I like the lettering, and you can choose the lettering style of your choice. And I’m very passionate about this style. It is very free. It’s not like doing calligraphy in the old-fashioned style. This is a very fun way to do it. You can choose your style.

Designhill: What makes you sure about choosing this lettering field and how to make a career out of it?

Yethsa: When I started watching videos, and other people that were doing it, I liked it. And since I was very little, I always liked to have a pen with me and a notepad. So, I wanted to try it, and started copying what I saw on the screen. I see thick strokes and I will try. I started practicing. I liked it. I think this activity is mindfulness. Because to concentrate on this, when you’re doing it, it’s very relaxing.

When you do things with passion, the next thing your work becomes very easy. Because people will see that you love what you do. And they want to, to get in touch with you to have your work with them. So, one thing takes you to the other one. But the most important thing is to enjoy what you do.

So, pay heed to the steps shown by Yethsa to create a 3D effect on iPad lettering iPad. With some practice, you will surely get the desired effect on the letters you need to create.

You can also practice your lettering art regularly by participating in design contests specific to lettering on Designhill. The leading creative marketplace gets hundreds of design jobs posted by business owners or clients from the world over. The tips you learned from this blog will help you create impressive letters. So, you can win more clients and work assignments repeatedly using this platform.

Wrapping Up

3D effective on iPad lettering gives the letters all together with a different look and impression. Business owners use the 3D effects to create marketing visuals to stand out from competitors. The lettering expert Yethsa shows the right use of the tools to virtually create the desired effect on the letters while using the iPad.

Find Freelance Graphic Design Jobs

Designhill is the most reliable and fastest-growing custom graphic design crowdsourcing marketplace that connects a thriving community of graphic designers from across the globe with clients looking to source high quality graphic designs such as logo designs, banner designs, packaging designs, merchandise designs, web designs and many other designing works at affordable prices. In just six months of going live, the startup has helped more than 1500 businesses source unique graphic designs and has paid out more than $70000 to its ever-growing community of 29,000+ graphic designers, logo designers, visual artists and illustrators from all over the world. Facebook | Twitter | Google+

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