Working with Photoshop's 3D Interface


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


Lesson Info

Working with Photoshop's 3D Interface

- [Jesus] Let's get started with the first project, which I've already mentioned, is creating a 3D planet. So I'm just going to open up one starter file here. So let me just open this up and it's just a blank layer with a white background, and in Photoshop, you can create 3D... And actually, before I get started, let me point out one thing, I'm in the 3D work space. So you can click on this icon here on the top right and select 3D. And the reason that you want to work in your 3D work space is because you'll have the 3D panel available to you, and also the Properties panel, which is two of the panels that you're going to be working with the most when you're working in 3D. So, I'm going to go back into the Layers panel and with the Earth layer selected, I can create a mesh preset. So if I go into 3D, New Mesh from Preset. Excuse me, New Mesh from Layer. I can go into Mesh Preset and these are the presets that are available that you can create. The one that we used earlier, in the earlier...

examples when I was describing the different 3D words that we were looking at. We have a Hat, so that's what I used earlier. So we have our 3D mesh. It's a hat. And very important to note is that as soon as we create the 3D object, we see all these 3D elements. We have the ground plane, which we talked about. We have these tools here on the Options bar, but they only appear if you have the Move tool selected. If I select a different tool, such as the Marquee tool, you will notice that those disappear. So you only get those 3D guides when you have the Move tool selected. And usually, I'm right handed, so I usually like having my left hand on the V key on the keyboard for the Move tool and on the M key for the Marquee tool, so I switch back and forth between them. So I may be working on a 3D model, and I want to remove all those distractions so I could see what it looks like, I can just quickly hit the M key. And go back into the Move tool and continue working on the 3D model. Earlier I talked about the camera and how you can move the camera. You can move yourself or you can move the 3D object. You can move the camera by clicking and dragging on these icons down here in the bottom-left. Let me zoom into those so you could see them. These guys right here. We have the Orbit tool, Pan tool, and Dolly tool. And I can click around. I can click and drag and orbit around the 3D object. The 3D object is not moving, I'm moving. I can pan the camera, and you can think of the Pan tool as sort of the Hand tool when you're clicking and dragging on the canvas. And we have the Dolly Camera tool, which is a lot like the Zoom tool. You can zoom in and out and rotate. Now, you can also use these tools here in the Options bar to sort of do the same thing. You can click on them and you can click and drag. And they work just as well, but I don't like using them because sometimes when you're working with a lot of elements in 3D, you may accidentally hit something, for example a 3D model. And when you click on it and you click on one of these tools and drag, now you're adjusting the 3D model. So it's really easy to make that mistake. So I rather use these tools here on the bottom to control the camera. And if I want to work directly on the 3D model, I can just click on it, and then this little widget appears which contains these elements here that you can click and drag on. So, you have the green, red, and blue handles. The green ones move, rotate, and scale the object on the y-axes, the red ones in the x-axes, and the blue ones in the z-axes. And you can sort of see that in the ground plane as well. So the little tip, the point, moves it in that direction, if I click and drag on it. The little arc rotates it in that direction. The cube scales it in that axes. And the cube in the center, it's sort of like holding SHIFT when you're transforming a layer. It scales uniformly. And also if the little widget here is too small or too big for you and you want to make it maybe larger or make it smaller, if you hold SHIFT and you click on the cube, you make that little display larger or smaller so you can really see those cube, arcs, and the little tip there, or you can make it smaller if it's too big. So hold SHIFT and click and drag on that cube. So, now that we know how to move the 3D object and how to move the camera, we can actually start working in the actual 3D layer. Right now, we're in the Layers panel, and we have the Earth layer selected. I can double-click on the little layer thumbnail. Notice the cube there, that's a 3D layer. So I can double-click on that layer thumbnail, and you'll see the 3D elements. I'm going to go through each of them really quickly, just so you can see what they are. Obviously we have the Hat, which is the 3D mesh. And I can also control its rotation, and movement, and scale by clicking on the Coordinates tab here, and just clicking and dragging on these sliders. Or they're not really sliders, they're the labels. If you hover over the label, you get the double sided arrow, and you can click and drag on that double sided arrow. Then we have the Material. The Material is what applies the look of the 3D model. Earlier I mentioned that Photoshop had presets, and we have these presets here. I'm just going to click on a few so you can see how that changes. You can quickly give it this little cool pattern. But anyway, so you select one and you can adjust these settings. I'm not going to go through all of them, but basically the ones on the top here control the color, so you can add... Diffuse is the color of the 3D model, but if you have a texture, it will take the color of the texture instead. A texture, once again, is just a 2D graphic that you can wrap around the 3D object. And you can tell whether any one of these settings has a texture or not by looking at the icon here. If I zoom in, you'll see that this icon is of a little file. That means that there is a texture attached to it. If I hover over it, you'll see it appear there. A folder indicates that there is no texture. Then we have the Infinite Light. If I click on the Infinite Light here, you'll get this display here on the canvas, and I can click and drag on it. And notice that I'm applying a light to this image and there is a shadow that interacts with it. The shadow is being cast onto the ground plane, and we can control the ground plane by clicking on Environment. And right here where it says Ground Plane, we can select the color of the shadow. So maybe if we wanted a red shadow, for whatever reason, we can have a red shadow. And we can change the Opacity of the shadow. If you want to change the softness of the shadow, you have to go back into the Infinite Light and adjust the softness here. Notice how I drag this slider and it adjusts the softness of the shadow. Then we have the Camera option. So we have a Camera here, we can change the Camera to different views. So we can do a top view. So there it is. It's on top, right, any way we want or you can go to default or we can just create our own. We can just move it around, rotate. And if we like this angle, we can come here and just save that angle, and we can just call it... I'll just call it "saved" for now, saved. And if I rotate my camera again and I want to come back into that view, I can find it in that drop down and it's called "saved." And it'll bring me right back to that spot. So you always want to save your final camera view in case you got to move around and look at a different angle, and you want to get it back to whatever you decided you're final view was, because if you don't save, it'll be really difficult to get it back to that exact same spot. You also have, when you're in the top view or any of the orthogonal views, during the Orthographic mode, and that means that there is no perspective. So, usually when you have a final render, you want to make sure you have some perspective. So you got to click on that Perspective button. But if you're just rotating around the image, then you should have perspective. Let me get back into that "saved" view. There it is and it's got perspective. The camera also works like a real world camera where you can set a lens size. In this case, I have a 35-millimeter lens. I can adjust the depth of field and I can simulate how a real camera works in the real world with the camera in 3D. And finally, we have the Scene here. And the Scene, you probably won't be working too much with it, but you can do some things like show the Lines, which are the 3D mesh. So if I change it to red, you can see what the 3D mesh looks like. And you can just adjust a couple other things that are, again, you probably won't be using too much, at least when you're starting out. So now that you have a good understanding of the different tools that are available in Photoshop to work with 3D, let's actually start working on that planet. Before I go any further, do we have any questions? Jim, any questions online? - [Jim] Thank you for asking. We had a question a little bit earlier. And it might be... And I think it's something we're talking about a little bit later in the day. Folks wanting to know about source files for Photoshop 3D and which programs you prefer to create with them. - Okay. I mean, I can answer it now, or should we... - Give us a little teaser for what's coming later because you have the Fuse, correct? - Yeah. We're going to be... In this class, towards the end, we're going to talk about Adobe Fuse CC, which is a application that allows you to create 3D models, characters, and you can import them into Photoshop. So that's one of the apps that I recommend, not only because it imports directly into Photoshop, but it's really easy to use. You don't need any 3D modeling experience. - Cool. - There's other apps out there, but they require a lot more. The learning curve is steep, let's just put it that way. - Cool. Great. Thank you. - Yeah, you're welcome.

Class Description

This class demonstrates the power of the 3D tools in Photoshop. You will 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