Beginner's Guide To Working With 3D in Photoshop®

Lesson 13/16 - Compositing and Animating Fuse CC Characters in Photoshop


Beginner's Guide To Working With 3D in Photoshop®


Lesson Info

Compositing and Animating Fuse CC Characters in Photoshop

I'm going to add a background to this. So that he could have a background that he can be interacting with. So I'm going to go into the Creative Cloud library, again, and I have this street here that I'm going to click and drag and press OK. And I'm just going to scale this up so that he's in, or scale it wider so that the image fits the canvas. So there he is. He's standing right on there. We need to work with perspective. For those of you that saw my creative class on compositing, one of the most important things when you put two images together in this case a 3D model in an image, is that the perspective needs to match so that it looks realistic. If I click on the 3D model and with my move tool selected, I have the ground plane here. And by the way, if you don't see the ground plane, you can go into view, show ground plane. There it is. And with the ground plane active, you'll see that all the lines on the ground plane are converging onto this horizon line and you can see the horizon...

line back here. That's our horizon line, that line and I'll zoom in so you can see it. This gray line here? That's our horizon line. That's where all the converging lines on our 3D scene are merging into. In our background, if we look at our converging lines, we have these lines here on the street, we have the buildings, they're all converging somewhere, and it's right about here. You don't even have to draw out guides or anything like that. You can just see it. It's right about here. Another way to think about it is where does the ground plane meet the sky. That's our horizon when talking about compositing. So now that we know that, we could bring the 3D model in the horizon. So if I click and drag on the camera, I can drag it down and try to match it. So there it is. I think that's a good spot for the horizon line. I can also pan camera down or up. So notice that the horizon line doesn't move. But now maybe he's floating but he's still in perspective or he's down here. So we sort of have to match the horizon. Notice how this blue line sort of matches the line on the street so that's pretty good. It means that it's really close. So now this 3D model has some perspective. And if I select the 3D model this is just like the 3D models that we were working with before. The Earth, the sphere, you get those same 3D handles here. You can click and drag them. Sorry about that. You can click and drag him in 3D space, like so. And you can move him around anywhere you want. And notice that the shadow is interacting with the ground plane, but since we have a graphic behind it and it's a line in perspective, it looks like the shadow is actually on the street. With this 3D layer selected, which is a 3D layer from Adobe Fuse, in the properties panel, notice that now we get different properties. Notice that the first one here is this animation property and if I make a large thumbnail, you can sort of see what that animation looks like. If I click on it, he gets into that pose. If I go into window, timeline, it opens up the timeline panel and I can scrub this slider and now he's dancing on the street. Pretty cool, huh? And you can find the right frame stop the animation and that could be your final pose. You can just continue working on that and you can rotate him, maybe scale him so he fits. And something we haven't talked about yet is if you scale something, notice that he's now floating. He's no longer on the ground plane. You can click on the move Y axis and sort of eyeball and see where he sort of looks like he's standing on the ground plane. But a better way of doing it is by clicking on coordinates here and the coordinates little icon tab here and click on move to ground. Notice how Photoshop automatically sets him on the ground plane. So if you're scaling something... Now he's under the ground plane. I can click on move to ground. And he pushes up and I can just keep moving him around. I'm going to go back into these animations and just show you a couple of things. You can actually search for animations. There's a ton of animations that Adobe has that if you're just scrolling through them, you're never going to get through them all. So you can just type for something maybe like walking, for example, and then from that search... And for some reason, it's not coming up. Let me try that again. For some reason, it's not performing the search but usually you can just search for the type of animation that you want. Let me try that again. Let me just do animations only and do that one more time. Oh, here we go. For some reason, that... I'm sorry about that. I have these giant thumbnails that I didn't see was behind. So notice that I typed in crawl in the search result is right after the first one. So I kept looking at the first one earlier because the thumbnail was so large. So anyway, so we have this crawl animation here. So he's now kind of doing a Spiderman sort of sort of walk there. He kind of looks like Peter Parker now. So now that you have your animations set, you have another options that you can set. Let me find a better one because I don't want him crawling for the next thing I want to show you guys. The one where he's standing is good for that. So I'm going to zoom into his face. And we have this little icon here. This little mask icon, and if I click on that, you can see that I can give him different facial expressions. And again, you can search for a facial expression or you can just click on the different ones and his facial expression changes and you can also control the strength of that expression. So now he's looking more surprised or less surprised. And then you can adjust his eyes so now they're looking to the right. The other side. He's worried. You can go up and down. And you can also tilt his head like turn it, up, down, and then tilt it. So those are the type of controls that you have in Photoshop. So once you find something that works, you can just finish compositing through your scene. For example, maybe this is actually right here doesn't look too bad. So let me double-click on the hand tool and let me close the timeline panel. So right there. If that were our final scene, I mean, that almost looks like a finished product. I could just come in and render this image so that so that the lighting will be applied. Obviously, in this example, I haven't shown the infinite light. So I would, of course, adjust the infinite light so that it matches the scene and you could also do the image based light. We can use the background like we did for that flyer layer as image based light so it reflects the light. In this case, he's not reflecting anything. He's not wearing anything shiny or he doesn't have any mirrors on him, but if he were a reflective object, it would reflect the environment around him. Also I want to show you the 3D model itself. So we already saw how to animate the 3D model, how to adjust the settings for his face, and if we actually open up the 3D model, we see that he's divided into several different shapes. Let me push him out so that we could see that and I know we won't be in perspective or he'll be a giant rather. He's still in perspective but we have this body map. And notice how his body gets highlighted and we highlight that. If we go into edit texture, you'll see what the texture looks like. That's his body. So we can maybe give him an arm tattoo or something like that maybe. If you want to get creative, you can actually Photoshop somebody's face on there. You sort of have the template on here. So that's one way of doing that. His teeth, eyes, so his whole body is your asset to the texture that you can edit in any way that you like. The same thing is true for his shoes, for his hair, for his pants, for his shirt. So if I open up his shirt texture, you'll see what that looks like. So one thing I do want to mention is that this particular texture is actually quite small. It's about 500 pixels wide and tall. So 500 by 500 and it's not very large. So you really won't get a high resolution render but you can increase the size of this texture and maybe replace it with your own texture. Maybe you could take a picture of like an actual shirt that you have and just overlay it on top of that you can use this sort of as a template. It's already set up for you that way and you can also enable the UV overlays that show you exactly what areas of the 3D model are going to be affected by the layers below it. So you can do that. And in the example that I'm going to show you, in the zombie example that I created, I'm going to show you that I replace the zombie textures from Fuse just because... I mean, as you can see here if I zoom in, they're a little cartoony. They're not too realistic, but if you wanted to take it to the next level then you would take a picture of a shirt that you own or a texture and then replace it and it'll look more realistic. And then you can apply a bump map to make it seem like there's actual detail in clothing or any other clothing articles that the character might be wearing. Now I want to show you some other quick examples of Fuse characters that I imported into images so you can see how you can work with them. So let me just close this one for now. And I'm going to go into file, open, and we have this woman walking here. And I'm just going to show you how I use a group with a layer mask and a Fuse 3D character in a background. So we have the background. Then I imported that Fuse 3D character and I matched the perspective just like I showed you earlier by matching the horizon lines. In this case, the way I found the horizon line was just by looking at the crease here in the sidewalk and just trying to seeing where all those converging lines meet. And it's right about here. And then I animated the woman walking, the 3D model, and you could see her walking. Let me disable the 3D elements so you can't see them as I scrub through the timeline. So see how it looks like she's walking behind the tree and she sort of takes this weird step onto the bench. That was created by using a layer mask. So again, sort of like we did with the planet Earth example, you can bring in your 3D models. Once you have them ready to go, you can always use any other Photoshop tools, layer mask, adjustment layers, anything you want. In this case, I simply created a group, nothing else in there, then added a layer mask and painted... Oops. Sorry about that. I accidentally turned on that selection. And essentially painted this quick layer mask. Notice that it's not even that perfect but it does the job. It hides the 3D model when she walks in front of those objects. It just creates that illusion that she's really walking in that scene. Also notice the shadow. I match the infinite light coming behind her. So it's pushing the shadow in front, much like the shadow that's already in the scene. So that's another thing you can do. You can look at the scene and look at how the shadows are and that can help you place your infinite light and you can match the lighting in that way. So in this case she's just simply walking through. And you can create an animated gif or maybe just a still photo or something like that. And another reason that I wanted to show this as an example is the first time that I ever presented Fuse to a class, one of the students came up to me afterwards and they came up with like a great way of using it that I probably would have never thought of. The student told me that she was an architect and she creates a lot of renderings of buildings and things like that and she was going to use Adobe Fuse characters to place people in her scene and she didn't have to worry about either finding photos that she could mask that were in the same angle because you could put whatever. You can put your character in whatever angle you want in any scene. And that's sort of where I got that idea for this particular example for this class. She's not really the main focus of this scene but she could definitely be a background element that can help enhance the final look of the image. So sort of relates back to what I said before. The 3D elements may not be the main focus. They could just be a background detail that just brings the whole project together. Let me show you some other thing here that I wanted to show you. And so this is a project that I did for fun and it was created using that 3D zombie from Fuse. But you can see what that looks like. You could see that his jeans no longer have that cartoony texture. And I applied a lot of lighting and different techniques and I'm briefly going to go through the (inaudible) so you can sort of see how you could create something like this. Earlier, again, when I started, I said that illustrators could use Fuse to create illustrations so you could see it as being maybe like the cover for like a game or a movie or something like that. But anyway so I'm just going to disable the layers just so that you can see how I just built... I created a 3D model and then I used Photoshop traditional tools to enhance it to this level. So I'm just disabling layers. So notice that this particular layer here created sharpening and some shadow detail and then I'm just removing layers here. See how the original... that lighting was not part of the original render. That was me hand painting it in afterwards. A lot of times, it's really difficult to create multiple lights in a 3D scene and get them to look the way that you want. So what I did in this case is get the main lighting which is behind them in 3D but the bounce light from the ground and the light to the side, that was 2D just hand painted. What I'm really trying to do here is getting to the 3D model and how it looked when it was rendered. So there you go. That's what the 3D model looked like when it was rendered. So I brought it into Photoshop. I got it to this. I lined it in perspective, added the 3D light behind them, rendered it. This was the result. And then just using traditional tools in Photoshop just added the necessary shadows and highlights and things like that. And let me just disable all of this and show you what the 3D model actually looks like. It's still here. So that's the 3D model. If I enable it, you could see that I could rotate in 3D. And this is actually a large file so I don't know. You can see the wheels spinning here. So maybe that wasn't such a good idea. But anyway. I hope that I was able to point out that you can easily bring in a 3D model from Fuse and in Photoshop enhance it to a level like this.

Class Description

This class demonstrates the power of the 3D tools in Photoshop. Join Jesus Ramirez to explore the 3D interface, learn 3D concepts, and acquire new techniques through project-based examples. You will also take advantage of Adobe Stock to import templates and 3D models to quickly start and complete our creative projects. You’ll work with Fuse CC and Project Felix, two new user friendly 3D apps from Adobe, which work together with Photoshop. 

Through a series of design projects, this class covers: 
  • Using Adobe Stock for templates and 3D models to complete a design project 
  • Using Adobe Fuse CC to create custom 3D characters and animate them 
  • Compositing 3D objects into a design 
  • Creating photorealistic images without complex workflows 
After completing this class, you'll be ready to include 3D elements into your design projects.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2017.0.1



Very informative class! I was expecting only basic information, but Jesus went into quite a few specific details and showed some useful tricks. Many many thanks!

Chouaib Rama

Of Course this is amazing class

Jesús Ramirez