Great-looking 3D typography often involves the use of several applications. In this tutorial, we will show you how to create a vintage lightbulb sign using Adobe Illustrator to create and export the basic paths, Cinema 4D to create the 3D render, and Photoshop for post-production. Let’s get started!

Creating paths in illustrator

Stroke

Save

Import paths from illustrator

Sweep

In Attributes panel set radius to about 4 cm

Sweep

Now again from upper menu choose sweep nurbs.

Sweep

Sweep

Background

Background

G

G

In Extrude NURBS attrbutes set movement to 2 cm.

G

Now it should look like this.

G

G

And move it a bit forward.

move

G

And set movement to 1 cm

G

null

And put all created objects to that object and rename it to Base.

base

copy

And in circle object check Ellipse and set radius Y to 3 cm.

elipse

copy

In circle attributes uncheck Ellipse and set radius to 2cm

uncheck elipse

In Sweep NURBS Attributes now we have to change End Growth to 60%

growth

atributes

final

null

null

animation

screws

Create Cloner from upper menu MoGraph > Cloner. Make that Cylinder as a child of Cloner.

screws cloner

cloner

In object part of these Attributes set copied Text object as Object which Cloner will suggest. It should look like this.

cloner

cloner size

And in Cloner Attributes change object to duplicated text. Create new Null Object, rename it to Screws and put both Cloner objects and both text objects to that object.

cloner size

screws final

bezier bulb

Now select Lathe Nurbs

lathe nurbs

And make created half of bulb as a child of Lathe NURBS. Now press F1 and we can see something like bulb.

lathe nurbs fin

Select Both objects and click “make editable.” Now click on object and press CMD/CTRL + C. Select Window and on the bottom select project with G letter. Click CMD/CTRL + V.

lathe nurbs fin

G

circle sett

And move it a bit backward. Back end should look similar to this.

circle sett

vray mat

That’s it. Now we have Black material and we need to create green and yellow materials. Click on created black material and copy that by shortcut CMD/CTRL + C, CMD/CTRL + V. Double click on copied material and in Diffuse Layer change color to green and do the same with yellow material.

• Green: #75b624.
• Yellow: #ede336.

vray mat

vray mat

vray mat

vray mat

vray mat

vray mat

vray mat

And now we have all materials, which we need for our project. Apply all the materials to created objects. You should get similar result:

vray mat fin

vray mat

light mat

light mat

softboxes

copy sett

Back to your document and go to the render settings and click Paste.

paste sett

render

When the file is rendered the project should looks very similar to this:

render

photo

Cyan: -50%
Magenta: + 20%
Yellow: + 5%
Black: 0%

yellow

Now go to the Greens section and apply the settings below.

Cyan: + 50%
Magenta: -19%
Yellow: + 40%
Black: + 10%

green

After this operation, the project should look like this:

fin

pen

Add a vector mask to the shape layer then grab a black soft brush and try to mask hard edges of the shape.

mask

Repeat this step few times to create nice glass reflections on the letter.

mask fin

light splines

After creating a spline set the blending mode to Linear Dodge (Add).

light splines

light splines

Repeat this step few times to create a light effect.

light splines

bulbs

bulbs

Repeat this step to create more cables.

bulbs

In this tutorial, you learned how to create a vintage 3D lightbulb sign using Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Cinema 4D. I hope that you learned something from this tutorial that you can apply to your own work.

Creating paths in illustrator