Modify depth, weight, edges, and corners

One of the most obvious differences between 2D text and 3D text is that 3D text has depth.

Canvas showing the depth of a 3D text object

You can adjust text depth, as well as a number of other 3D text attributes (such as text weight, edge style, and corner style) in the Appearance pane of the Text Inspector.

Adjust 3D text depth

  1. In the Layers list, Timeline, or Canvas, select a 3D text object.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • In the 3D Text section of the Text Inspector’s Appearance pane, drag the Depth slider left or right.

      3D Text Depth parameter in the Appearance pane of the Text Inspector
    • In the HUD (press D if it’s not visible), drag the Depth slider left or right.

Change the direction of 3D text depth

You can set 3D text depth to extrude in different directions: forwards, backwards, or centered on the original text plane.

  1. In the Layers list, Timeline, or Canvas, select a 3D text object.

  2. In the 3D Text section of the Text Inspector’s Appearance pane, click the Depth Direction pop-up menu, then choose any of the following:

    • Backward: The text object is extruded backwards from the plane where the text was initially added.

      Appearance pane of the Text Inspector showing options in the Depth Direction pop-up menu
    • Forward: The text object is extruded forwards from the plane where the text was initially added.

    • Centered: The text object is extruded equally both forward and backward from the plane where the text was initially added.

To see the resulting effect, drag the Depth slider in the Appearance pane or HUD.

Tip: Setting an extrusion direction and then keyframing the Depth parameter lets you animate text so that it appears to extrude forward or backward or in both directions over time.

Adjust 3D text weight

You can adjust 3D text to appear thicker or thinner. Whereas increasing the Size value in the Format pane makes text larger by substituting a larger version of the font, increasing the Weight value uniformly thickens all the lines and serifs that comprise the letters in the text object.

Canvas showing 3D text with Weight set to 0 and 3D text with Weight set to 4
  1. In the Layers list, Timeline, or Canvas, select a 3D text object.

  2. In the 3D Text section of the Text Inspector’s Appearance pane, drag the Weight slider to the left to make the text appear thinner, or to the right to make it appear thicker.

    Appearance pane of the Text Inspector showing the Weight parameter

Set the style of 3D text edges

The places where the different facets of a 3D text meet are called edges. You can add bevels, ridges, rings, and other shapes to customize the appearance of these edges.

By default, the back edge of 3D text (between the back facet and the sides) is identical to the front edge (between the front facet and the sides). However, you can set the front and back edges to different edge shapes.

  1. In the Layers list, Timeline, or Canvas, select a 3D text object.

  2. In the 3D Text section of the Text Inspector’s Appearance pane, click the Front Edge pop-up menu, then choose an edge style.

     Inspector showing 3D text Front Edge shape options
  3. Click the Back Edge pop-up menu, then choose an edge style.

    If you choose Same As Front, the style you chose in step 2 is applied to the back edge of the 3D text object.

Adjust the size of 3D text edges

After you change the style of the front edge or back edge of a 3D text object to anything other than square, you can also adjust the size of that edge. If the back edge is set to something other than Same As Front (or Square), you can adjust the size of the back edge independently from that of the front.

Canvas showing 3D text with Front Edge set to 12 and 3D text with Front Edge set to 30
  1. In the Layers list, Timeline, or Canvas, select a 3D text object.

  2. In the 3D Text section of the Text Inspector’s Appearance pane, click the Front Edge pop-up menu, then choose a setting other than Square.

    The Front Edge Size slider appears.

    Front Edge parameters in the Appearance pane of the Text Inspector
  3. Drag the Front Edge Size slider to the left to make the edge smaller, or to the right to make the edge larger.

    You can also modify the width and depth of the edges independently.

    To modify the width and depth of the edges independently, click the disclosure triangle to the left of the Front Edge Size slider, then drag the Width or Depth slider.

  4. Click the Back Edge pop-up menu, then choose a setting other than Same As Front or Square.

    Back Edge parameter in the Appearance pane of the Text Inspector

    The Back Edge Size slider appears.

  5. Drag the Back Edge Size slider to the left to make the edge smaller, or to the right to make the edge larger.

    Note: You can’t see the back edge of the object unless you rotate the object or add a camera that’s pointed at the back of the object. See Move and rotate 3D text.

Set the style of 3D text inside corners

When the front edge or back edge of a text object is set to anything other than Square, you can customize the inside edge corners (such as the angles in a letter E).

3D text in Canvas with Inside Corners set to Straight, Round, and Miter
  1. In the Layers list, Timeline, or Canvas, select a 3D text object.

  2. In the 3D Text section of the Text Inspector’s Appearance pane, click the Inside Corners pop-up menu, then choose an option:

    • Straight: Sets all edge corners to sharp angles.

      Appearance pane Text Inspector showing options in the Inside Corners pop-up menu
    • Round: Softens the sharpness of edge corners by adding a round curve to each sharp angle.

    • Miter: Smooths the sharpness of edge corners in a more subtle way, by adding an additional angle, known as a miter.

Adjust the depth, weight, or edge size of individual glyphs

You can also create different depths, weights, or edge sizes for different characters (glyphs) in a 3D text object.

  1. In the toolbar, click and hold the 2D transform tools pop-up menu, then choose the Transform Glyph tool.

    Selecting the Transform Glyph tool from the toolbar
  2. In the Canvas, click the glyph you want to adjust.

    A 3D bounding box appears around the character.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • In the 3D Text section of the Text Inspector’s Appearance pane, drag the Depth, Weight, or Front Edge Size slider left or right.

      3D Text parameters in the Appearance pane of the Text Inspector
    • In the HUD (press F7 or D if it’s not visible), drag the Depth, Weight, or Front Edge Size slider left or right.

For more information about transforming glyphs, see Text glyphs overview.

For a complete list of depth, weight, and edge controls, see 3D Text controls.