Archive for August, 2011

3D Objects in Photoshop CS3+

August 3, 2011

Hi Everyone,

Its been a while.
I’ve been busy with re-organization and re-scheduling things around for the coming Fall 2011 semester as well as for my company. Any way, let’s jump right in with a sweet little workflow to go from creating a 3D Text to importing it into Adobe Photoshop CS3 or newer.

This goes out to all of my Graphic Designers, Comic Book Creators, Animators, Motion Graphics Designers and anyone who is interested in creating 3D Graphics and using Photoshop.

Keep in mind the following ONLY works with Photoshop CS3 and UP.

1.0 – Create, say, some text in any 3D program.
Use: Maya, 3DS Max, LightWave or Blender (which is FREE to download).

2.0 – Give your text a 3D look via the EXTRUDE tool.
You’ll need to become familiar with the interface of the software you’re working with.

3.0 – Set-up the lights around your text.
I usually set-up a three-point lighting scheme – sometimes more lights depending on the complexity of the design. I found 3-pt lighting works well on 3D static text.

4.0 – Save your work in its native format. Then EXPORT your work as an OBJECT (.obj).

5.0 – Open Photoshop CS3 or higher.
I’ve tried in Photoshop CS2 and the tools needed to pull off the following are not available in this version.

6.0 – Open a new canvas with the desired aspect ratio.
Your aspect ratio is based on the final outcome of your design. In other words, what do you wish to do with the finished design? Will it be wallpaper? What is the aspect ratio of your desktop? If you’re going to use it in video – what was the video shot in 4:3 (standard) or 16:9 (widescreen)?

7.0 – Once this new canvas is open – go to LAYERS > 3D Layers > New Layer from 3D File Browse for the OBJECT (.obj) you saved earlier.

8.0 – Your 3D Text will now appear on the screen. Look at your LAYERS palette. You’ll notice there is a small icon within the icon of the layer. Double-clicking this small icon will give you a 3D Toolbar at the top of the Photoshop interface.

9.0 – With these new tools, you will be able to manipulate the angle of your text and position it exactly how you want it.

10.0 – There are several ways to add color to your 3D text. One is to place your mouse on the larger icon in the LAYERS palette, hold down CTRL and click to select the entire 3D Text.

10.1 – Add a new layer. Select a color and apply it. Use the BLEND modes til you see something you like.

[design sample]

Educational Technology

Let me know what you think of this feature and I’d like to see some of your creations.

Currently designing 3D/Photoshop workshop for the 3rd or 4th week of the semester. If you have any ideas for a workshop, please let me know – A.S.A.P. since I have to request the lab very soon.