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Importing a 3D model into Photoshop Extended in CS5.5 and earlier

From: After Effects Apprentice 11: 3D Space

Video: Importing a 3D model into Photoshop Extended in CS5.5 and earlier

In the previous two movies on Vanishing Point Exchange we created what was really a house of cards 3D model. That was just a series of flat surfaces arranged to create the illusion of a 3D object. In this movie, we're going to show you how to actually import a full dimensional 3D model, and note that you'll need Photoshop Extended CS4 or later to do this. I'm going to hide After Effects, I'm back in Photoshop, and to do this you need to start with a blank document. So I'll go to File>New, and as the Photoshop document size will be our beginning composition size, I'm going to go down to the Film & Video templates and choose NTSC D1 Square Pixel.

Importing a 3D model into Photoshop Extended in CS5.5 and earlier

In the previous two movies on Vanishing Point Exchange we created what was really a house of cards 3D model. That was just a series of flat surfaces arranged to create the illusion of a 3D object. In this movie, we're going to show you how to actually import a full dimensional 3D model, and note that you'll need Photoshop Extended CS4 or later to do this. I'm going to hide After Effects, I'm back in Photoshop, and to do this you need to start with a blank document. So I'll go to File>New, and as the Photoshop document size will be our beginning composition size, I'm going to go down to the Film & Video templates and choose NTSC D1 Square Pixel.

You could choose any of these, I'm choosing this one because it's nice and small and efficient. I'm going to set my Background Color to Transparent, since I might want a bit of background behind this later, and click OK. In addition to having a document with a clear background layer, you'll see that I already have action and title safe guides in this document. That's a feature of Photoshop's templates. Next, I'm going to go to 3D>New layer From 3D File. In this movie you won't actually be building your geometry inside of Photoshop, you'll be importing a model that you or someone else has made in a dedicated 3D modeling program.

Select this, and you'll see at the bottom I have a list of different formats that Photoshop can import. 3D Studio Max from Autodesk is a very common exchange format. You'll find a lot of libraries in this format. There is also DAE, Google Earth, Wavefront |OBJ, another common format, et cetera. We've provided you a TV saved in a 3D Studio Max format, select that and click Open. It will take Photoshop a second to think about it, and now we have our TV inside a Photoshop layer. To move around the TV I've got a few different tools, such as Object Rotate and Camera Rotate.

For now I'm going to rotate just the object and leave the invisible camera where it is. Select, you'll see I've some axis arrows up here in the upper left corner, click and drag, and here is my TV model. To see more details about how this TV was constructed, I can either look in my Layers panel, or even better, I'll go up to Window and open up the dedicated 3D panel. I'm going to tear it off and put it close to my model so I can see what's going on, and make it a little bit taller so I can see all these details. You are at the mercy of the person who created the model to name things in a manner that makes sense.

In this case the model's creator seemed to have kept the names for various primitive objects, like Box, Text, and Cylinder. So unless you're the one who created the model, you'll need to spend a little bit of time turning different pieces on and off and seeing just what they relate to. I can see that that is the back of the TV, text is indeed the little Samsung logo here at the bottom, and here are elements of the base that have also been built. The main screen is up here, under Box01.

I want to replace some of the colors and textures that came with this model. I'm going to start off with this white frame, it's a bit blown out for me. And again, you'll need to actually go through the individual textures applied to this model to get an idea for who is who. I see this first texture has Diffuse color of white. I suspect that might be this white plastic. I'll choose another color such as red, and I see that I did indeed pick the right texture for the white plastic. I think I'm going to go for something a little bit more in the beige range, to make this a little more understated.

A gotcha between Photoshop Extended CS4 and later versions is that for this particular model Photoshop CS4 saw the Ambient color, the additional Fill color applied to model, as a nice dark gray. For some reason on this same model CS5 and later sees it as white. That's what's blowing off the colors in this model. Since I do have my own lights in this scene, I'm going to knock down the Ambient to a very low value, almost black, with just a little bit of Fill around the edges, and I'll click OK. You'll notice that the person who created this model has used this texture N06 for several other pieces, including the pedestal for this, so changing one color changed multiple model pieces.

The next item I'd like to work on is replace this screen with a graphic, maybe even a movie. So again I need to do a little bit of hunting as to which of these textures represent that screen. Just from the colors, the darker gray is probably the speakers here on the left and right and this lighter gray is probably the screen. The person who created this model chose a neutral gray to start with, to simulate the screen being turned off. I'm going to replace this with my own graphic. Now, since computer monitors and TVs actually project light, I'm going to turn the natural color of this monitor basically off, I'll set it to black, and instead I'm going to go to the Illumination property for this monitor; what colors does this project other than just reflect the available light.

You can set a color or there is this little Folder icon to the right. It allows you to either create a New Texture in Photoshop or Load a Texture from an image or video you already have on your computer. I'm going to choose Load Texture. You can choose your own video or navigate inside the Source files provided with these Exercise Files. Open up movies. I want to pick the movie Clock. Click Open. I'll be given a warning about the pixel aspect ratio. This new document is using square pixels, that particular movie used non-square video pixels.

I'll go ahead and let Photoshop correct the difference between the two. And there is my video mapped into my 3D model in Photoshop. As soon as I click and drag, Photoshop employs a different rendering engine to make it more responsive. As soon as I let go, this is how the scene looks with the current lighting. Now, as I rotated this monitor, you might have noticed something odd, the video is also mapped onto the back of this particular monitor. That was an unfortunate choice by the person who created this model. They used the same texture, N08, for the back of this model as they did for the screen.

You cannot actually edit the 3D model geometry inside Photoshop, but you can turn layers on and off. I'll just turn off the back of the monitor and leave it at that, and I'll just make sure I see this primarily from the front angle inside After Effects. Now, you will be able to do your own camera move on this object later on inside After Effects. However, you cannot use lighting from After Effects. You need to decide on all of your lighting inside Photoshop. And you'll see down here we have a couple of lights already selected for this layer.

You can go ahead and edit Color, Intensity, and other parameters of the light, or pick among some Preset lighting that Adobe has provided. For example, Dawn is a warm Preset. You see this purple color. Day Lights are a bit more neutral. Fire is colorized red. Mardi Gras is -- well, I don't know how to describe that to be honest, and other options. I'll go ahead and go back to the Default Lights for now. Now, there is one more very important parameter you have to be aware of, and that is your Rendering Quality. Select the scene.

This is the container for the entire model. Then look at the bottom part of the 3D panel for Render Settings. You have some options for how this is rendered. For example, things such as Wireframe can create a very customized Illustrator sort of look. Indeed, Shaded Illustration is also kind of cool. It combines a Wireframe with the colors. But I'll go ahead and leave this at the default for now. Secondly, there's Quality. Photoshop defaults to Interactive mode, because that's basically the fastest and most responsive. However, you'll see the price here is a lot of aliasing, where you get a lot of jaggy lines.

For rendering inside After Effects you will want to use Ray Traced Draft. That will get rid of a lot of these aliased jaggy lines; you see how they smooth up there, and give you a better appearance at the expense of more rendering time. There is another option in here called Ray Traced Final, that's what you want to use for print, but it takes forever to render inside Affect Effects on every single frame. So stay away from this one when you plan to import them all into After Effects. By the way, the namings of these have changed a little bit between versions of Photoshop, just remember you want the middle one.

Now that you've set up your scene, all you need to do is save it as a Photoshop file. So I'll select Save, choose where I want to put this, perhaps in my 3D folder. I'll call this MyTV. Make sure we save as layers, Photoshop Format, and click Save. Go ahead and leave these Format options at their defaults, click OK, and now you're ready to go into After Effects.

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This video is part of

Image for After Effects Apprentice 11: 3D Space
After Effects Apprentice 11: 3D Space

54 video lessons · 14196 viewers

Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 4m 47s
    1. Welcome
      2m 47s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 0s
  2. 15m 12s
    1. Comparing 2D and 3D
      5m 30s
    2. Rotation in 3D
      4m 47s
    3. Keyframing in 3D
      4m 55s
  3. 15m 9s
    1. Multi-planing workaround in 2D
      3m 21s
    2. Using 3D views
      6m 45s
    3. Natural multi-planing in 3D
      5m 3s
  4. 13m 9s
    1. Keyframing a fly-in
      5m 24s
    2. Editing 3D motion paths
      5m 43s
    3. Auto-orienting a layer along its path
      2m 2s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. Adding a camera to a composition
      9m 0s
    2. Comparing camera presets
      2m 48s
    3. Using the camera tools with the active camera
      4m 48s
    4. Using the camera tools in the alternate views
      4m 50s
    5. 3D view options
      1m 58s
    6. Animating a 3D camera
      6m 20s
    7. Creating an orbit camera rig
      5m 42s
    8. Extending your camera rig
      4m 31s
    9. Auto-orientation with 3D cameras
      7m 33s
    10. Depth of field blur in CS5.5 and later
      5m 47s
    11. Controlling the focal plane in CS5.5 and later
      5m 12s
    12. Iris properties in CS5.5 and later
      6m 16s
  6. 29m 15s
    1. Creating a 3D light
      6m 35s
    2. Working with Point lights
      3m 20s
    3. Working with Spot lights
      3m 48s
    4. Creating shadows
      10m 13s
    5. The Light Falloff feature in After Effects CS5.5 and later
      5m 19s
  7. 48m 6s
    1. Enabling ray-traced 3D in CS6
      3m 26s
    2. Extrusions in CS6
      3m 39s
    3. Bevels in CS6
      5m 39s
    4. Bending layers in CS6
      5m 35s
    5. Transparency in CS6
      4m 20s
    6. Refraction in CS6
      4m 6s
    7. Targeting Surfaces in CS6
      3m 23s
    8. Reflections in CS6
      7m 35s
    9. Environment layers in CS6
      5m 40s
    10. Quality vs. speed in CS6
      4m 43s
  8. 11m 33s
    1. Quizzler challenge for CS6
      1m 42s
    2. Quizzler solution for CS6
      9m 51s
  9. 41m 6s
    1. Vanishing Point Exchange in Photoshop Extended
      9m 18s
    2. Vanishing Point Exchange in After Effects
      4m 38s
    3. Importing a 3D model into Photoshop Extended in CS5.5 and earlier
      9m 7s
    4. Creating 3D objects using Repoussé in CS5.5 and earlier
      9m 46s
    5. Live Photoshop 3D inside After Effects in CS5.5 and earlier
      8m 17s
  10. 20m 58s
    1. Introduction to dimensional stills
      3m 41s
    2. Cutting up the source image
      2m 25s
    3. Repairing the layers in Photoshop
      8m 26s
    4. Animating the resulting layers in After Effects
      6m 26s
  11. 25m 27s
    1. Rotation vs. orientation
      3m 15s
    2. Understanding the axis modes
      4m 4s
    3. Scaling issues in 3D
      4m 57s
    4. OpenGL acceleration in CS5 and earlier
      6m 23s
    5. Fast previews in CS6 and later
      6m 48s

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