In today’s tutorial we’re going to play around in Photoshop to create an illuminated bulb sign similar to those used on Las Vegas casinos and Broadway theaters. The sign will be created as a standalone piece of text, using Photoshop’s powerful 3D tools to simulate a hyper realistic setting within a warehouse. We’ll then add lots of subtle lighting effects to add a series of bright bulbs. If you’ve ever wanted to see your name in lights, this is your opportunity!

How To Create a Realistic 3D Casino Style Bulb Sign in Photoshop

Here’s the artwork we’ll be creating as part of this tutorial. It’s based on those awesome vintage style bulb signs that illuminate casinos, theaters, cinemas and carnivals. We’re going to use Photoshop’s 3D tools as part of the process, which means you’ll need version CS6 or higher. It’s entirely possible to create a more stylised effect using the Bevel & Emboss layer styles for the letters, but the 3D tools really help produce a beautiful realistic image.

Find a photograph of a contemporary living room or an empty warehouse scene to contain your casino sign letters. I’m using this old abandoned empty warehouse interior image from Shutterstock.

Use the Type tool to enter your chosen wording. Select a nice thick font so there’s plenty of room to add the bulbs in the centre. I’m using a font named Eleveth, that I picked up from a recent font bundle that I shared on my newsletter.

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  1. This is really useful but if I could just make a small point that reflections don’t have perspective.

  2. Wow, this really shows the power of Photoshop. I’ll have to do this at home since at work I only have CS5.

  3. Thanks for this. Never used the 3D tools before but definitely will now! Can’t wait to experiment more with different settings.

  4. Great stuff, I will be using this later today to make a belated birthday card for a friend’s daughter. I think the effect will be impressive enough to gain forgiveness for being late!

  5. Chris, your posts are always so inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing your great talents.

  6. Hey Chris, love your site. Was super keen to complete this tut but was unable to start as my 3d extrusion is greyed out, i looked into this and found out it is because Adobe is enforcing its requirements on hardware. Its mandatory to have 512mb video card in order to use 3d in Photoshop :( what a bum@!

  7. great tuto chris and this tuto don’t have a video …a like so much thx chris

  8. This is looking very realistic. But it’s kind off hard to follow due to lenghty instructions, but can’t blame after seeing the result

  9. Awsome affect, I really liked it!
    You could also do one with some other lighted signes like neon signs

  10. Have you never thought on try the tutorials also in Spanish? Would you do me a favor…

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