In the previous tutorial, we created our 2D version of our gift card. In this second part of the tutorial we are going to finish the gift card off with a nice 3D effect using the following tools.

  • Shape Tool (to create a black square box)
  • Blur Effect (to create our 3D look using a shadow)

Now that we have our textured greeting card, the next step is to make the card appear as though it is lifting off the background by applying a 3D shadow effect.

Photoshop comes with built-in Layer Effects that can be applied for creating drop shadows and other effects. However, the drop shadow effect available in the Layer Effects cannot create a bending effect as we will be creating in this tutorial. To create the bending effect we have to use another method.

First we will create our shadow by drawing a black rectangle that is slightly smaller than the card itself.

Click on the “Rectangle Tool”:

Click on your “Fill color” at the top of the screen and set the color to black, as shown below.

Make sure your stroke is set to no color (a white box with a red line through it).

Now draw your rectangle with similar dimensions as you see in the image below.

We will now work with the shadow effect in front of our card so we can see what we’re doing. Once we have finished creating the effect, we will move it behind the card.

Next we will create a border shadow effect on the black rectangle by clicking on “Filter”, “Blur” and then “Lens Blur”.

Again, you are going to be asked to rasterize the layer. Click “OK”.

We will be blurring the black rectangle quite a bit, so we need move the radius up to around 85, as shown in the image below.

Configure the other settings as shown below and then click “OK”.

Your black rectangle should now be blurred and look similar to the image below.

Step 2 – Creating the 3D Effect

We’re now going to Warp the box we created in the previous step to create a bending effect.

To do this, make sure you have your black rectangle selected in the Layers Pallet.

Now click on “Edit”, “Transform” and then “Warp”, as shown below.

You’ll see a grid-like box appear over the top of your black rectangle, as shown below.

You’ll notice that the grid has a point on each of the corners and along the edges of the rectangle. Try holding down the left mouse button on one of these points and moving it around. Play around with it a little and you should get an idea of how the Warp Tool works.

Use the points on the black rectangle to bend it into a shape similar to the one shown below.

The main objective is to achieve an arched, blurred shadow effect at the bottom of the card. Try not get any of the solid black color below the bottom of the card.

Now that we’ve finished with our black rectangle object, we can move it behind the card so it acts as a shadow.

Click on the black rectangle Layer in the Layers Pallet (as shown below).

Drag it below the card Layer (thus placing it behind the card Layer).

You should now have an image similar to the one below.

You may be happy with effect as it is, but I personally find the shadow a little too dark.

To fix this, simply change the Opacity of the black rectangle Layer to make it more transparent. I changed the setting to 50% (as shown below), however you can choose the setting you like best.

You should now have a 3D card similar to the image below.

To add some text, simply select the Text Tool:

You now have a personalized card to use as you please. Go through this tutorial again to familiarize with the tools and explore different color combinations!