Join Bert Monroy for an in-depth discussion in this video Explore 3D objects in Photoshop, part of Pixel Playground.
- [Instructor] What makes something look three-dimensional? Basically, it's how it reacts to light. You take some ornate object and turn off all the lights, and you won't see it. Turn on the lights, and you'll see how it reflects light, how it catches light, how shadows hit it, how reflections hit it. It is the effects of light that make something look three-dimensional. What we're going to do this week is take four different types of objects and make 'em look three-dimensional. I have some Paths that I've created. First one is this W here.
So what I'm going to do is to make this look like it is, in fact, three-dimensional. So I'm going to go to my Layers here and create a layer. And this will be the l, for the lights. Okay. And we'll pick a nice, light color. Let's say we pick this light blue right here. And I'm going to select the panels in the front, which is this one and this one, right here. I'm going to go ahead and fill those with that color. So let's go to Paths and say fill. There they are. So and then, in a layer behind them, I'm going to create one with d, for the darks.
So I'm going to go in here and pick this and this guy, right here, and pick a darker version of that same color. And we'll throw those colors into there. Go to our Paths and say fill those. See. Now, this guy right here, this is the little overlap. So what we're going to do is create another layer, and we'll call it overlap. And we'll get this, we use the same color that we had here. Okay, and we'll throw that a little Path, fill it up.
All right, turn off the Paths, there we go. We have this object. Now, we need to really make it look three-dimensional. So what I'm going to do is, right on top of the darks, I'm going to go ahead and create a new layer and call it shadows. Okay, and I'm going to go in there, and, you know what? We'll just go with black. And I'm going to create another selection, right from this corner here, and go up to about here like this, right there. And in that layer, just fill it with black, right there like that.
I'm going to duplicate that over to this guy right here, and do the same thing right there. Now, I'm going to take those, and I'm going to clip 'em with the dark. Command + Option, click between them, and they clipped right in there. Now, we can see that the one on the right is a little off. So we can easily move him over, just so he's tucked right in there like that. There we go. I'm going to bring down the Opacity for those, so that they're just a little hint of a shadow back there. And put them in Multiply mode, so we get this nice tone happening, right in there like that.
See. Right off the bat, we see that this thing has been folded over. Now, under here, in that same shadow one, we're going to go in here and just get a soft edge brush. Get a nice edged, soft edge brush like this one here. Okay, and we'll make it a little bigger. So we'll just make it a little bigger. And we'll throw in some tone, right under there like that. We'll go in there, we're set to 30 right now, let's just bring it up to 50, and slowly start to add a little darkness up there 'til it starts to match that one below, see.
There we go, now we got that little darkness right there. And then, on the overlap one, right here, we can either lighten it, or we can darken it. But in this case, since the light's coming from above here, and we see the lights coming from this direction, right here, 'cause that's the way the shadows are going, I'm going to go in there and just lighten it, or we'll paint a little white on top of that. So in a layer on top, I'll just throw a little white right in top, right up there like that, and clip that with the overlap. And there, you can see that we have this nice, simple shapes that suddenly became three-dimensional.
Okay, let's take that whole batch, put them into their own little group, right here. New Group from Layers, and we'll call it the W. Okay, and we can turn it off. Let's look at our next shape, Stripes. So, I'm going to create a color for each one of these. So let's just say we're going to feel very patriotic. So, in a new layer, right on top here, we'll call this one red, and I'll get a nice red. So we'll pick up a nice red from here, and I'm going to select this Path right there and say fill it with red.
Now, the middle one, we'll go with a very light, grayish kind of a tone, 'about like that. And we'll fill that in the second layer, or we could even do it in the same layer 'cause they're pretty separated. So it's no problem. We'll just go ahead and fill that with that. And then, this one right here will get a blue. So we get a nice blue, 'about like that, and we fill that one. So there, we have these three tones. So now, what's going to happen is we need to make these look three-dimensional, like they're actually dripping over this plane here.
So what I'm going to do is, right off the bat, I'm going to create a new layer, right on top of these. Create a layer right here, and we'll call this one hilites. Okay, and what I'm going to do is I'm going to take white and that soft edge brush, just like before. And I'll make it a little bit smaller, just to kind of fit that little edge right there. I'm going to click here and go straight across here, hold down my Shift key and click. See, there, we got this highlight. Might want to come back and do it one more time.
There we go. And the same thing right here, I'm going to click here, let's make the brush a little bit smaller, Shift click, over to that side. There we go. Now, I'm going to go to my Layers, make sure those are clipped inside, so we don't any spill anywhere else, right. Now, now, we have this, all of a sudden, we have this little bend. Now, right in here, right in here, we need this darkening tone. So what I'm going to do is I'm just going to select a nice, big area right through here, just like this, right in here, right there.
And we might just kind of take a little bit off of this top here, so it's, there it is, just at the edges there. And I got black, right. So in a new layer, and we'll call this darks, I'm going to go ahead and fill it with that black. I'm going to clip it, like I did with the others. I'm going to set it in a Multiply mode and bring down the Opacity considerably. So it's just this little tone, right up in there like that, little darker tone than the others.
Okay. And then, just to soften up that edge, we'll go ahead and give it a little Gaussian Blur. See, so we soften that up. Click OK. And we can bring up the Opacity a little bit more. There we go, get that nice, dark tone happening in there. Click OK. And we might even want to add another little darkness along the top here. So what we'll do is we'll just go right up in here and throw a little gradient up in there, little gradient from black. And we'll go to our Gradient tool, and we'll say black to transparent.
And we'll throw it right up in there, into that area right there. Wrong direction, this way like that. Deselect, and there you can see how we just added dimension to three simple colored lines. Okay, we'll take those three, put them into their own little group, and we'll call it stripes. Okay. New layer, this shape here. Let's turn off that last bunch.
Okay. Here, we have these shapes. This is very simple. So what we're going to do here, is we're going to take a red, and we're going to take this shape right up here, right there. And we'll call this red, r for red. And we'll fill that shape with that color. 'Kay. Then, down here, we'll pick up the blue. And in a new layer, which we'll call b for blue, we'll go ahead and fill it.
Then, this little guy right in between, this is where they're meeting or where they're being twisted. We'll call it edge. And we'll get a light gray. Let's make it somewhere like that. And we'll go ahead and fill that last little piece, right in there. All right, so there, you get the sense that these guys have been bent, but you don't get the full feeling of the third dimension. So here's what we're going to do now. We got that center's part, that little edge. What I'm going to do is I'm going to go in here, and darken this edge right here 'cause the light's going to be coming from this side.
So I'm going to go in here and get my brush a little bigger, and I'm going to just kind of darken this edge, right here. And let's work with our Midtones. And there, we get this little shadow right through there. Then, we'll get our little Dodge tool, and we'll kind of throw a little highlight right through here, right there like that. See, right in there, let a little darkness go up to the edge. Now, the light's coming from here, which means this is bending this way, which means the red should now get darkened.
So we're going to darken the red right into this area here. We're in the red, and we got our Midtones. Let's go in here and increase the Exposure to about an 80, and let's start to throw a little tone right inside here like this, right in there like that. And then, for the blue, we're going to highlight 'cause it's picking up some light in there, and we're going to go in there and add a little highlight right into this area. Let's set this up to our Shadows here, and go in there and start to lighten up the blue, just in there like that.
You'll see we get a nice tone in there. And we start to lighten that up. In fact, if you can't get it just right, that's okay. We'll Lock the Transparency on it. We'll pick up that blue. And we'll just get a lighter version of it. And with our paint brush, Opacity is lowered, we'll just go in there and just make that little tone right inside there, just a little bit of a lighter tone, undo that, just there like that. And there, you can see how we now have that third-dimensional kind of a look to a simple strip.
Then finally, let's turn these guys off. Let's turn this off, and we could put them in their own group too, right. Why not, let's do it the way we've been doing it. New Group from Layers, and we'll call this one strip. Then finally, we got this guy, a cylinder. So what we're going to do in our layers, let's create a new group. This time, we'll put it right in a group, and we'll call it cylinder. And we got this blue.
Let's use that blue. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to take the body of this thing here, and in a new layer right there, we'll call it body and fill it. And then, we'll take the top, right here. And we'll get a lighter version of that. And in a new layer for the top, we'll throw in that color. So there's our little cylinder. Okay.
Startin' to look like something, but we'll go ahead and make it look even better. So right now, I'm going to go in here, and I'm going to take the body, right there. And I'm going to have a light coming from this direction here. So what we can do is simply go in there and add a little highlight right across the front of this thing here. We got it set to our Highlights. Let's go to our Midtones here. And we'll just throw a little highlight right through the middle there like that. And it's a little stronger towards the top 'cause the light's coming from the top.
Then, we'll take a little Burn tool, make the brush a little bigger, and we'll just kind of darken this backside just like that. See, there, that's starting to look three-dimensional. Now, this is really in space, right. So what we're going to do is we're going to take the two of 'em, right here, and we're going to just merge one down into the other 'cause we pretty much have it the way we want. We could even add a little highlight there if we want, but we're going to just leave it the way it is right now. And what I'm going to do is I'm going to merge this down, and I'm going to give it a Drop Shadow.
Little Drop Shadow, click OK. Now that I have my Drop Shadow, I'm going to go in there and say, Layer, Layer Style, Create Layer. So now, I can take the Drop Shadow, I'm going to say Command + T, so I can distort it. And I'm going to grab this guy and bring him back, right into here. Put this right into place, right where I want it, and kind of shrink this side up, make this side a little thicker, bring it up a little bit, just like that, and bring this guy down and into there, click OK.
So now, I can erase the parts I don't want. Right through here, don't want any of that. And this guy should be kind of getting softer as it gets further back. Let's bring down the Opacity a little bit. And what I'll do is I'll give the shadow a layer mask. And instead of totally disappear, I'm going to make it kind of get lighter. So I'll use a gray to white, and with my Gradient tool, in the mask, I'll just throw a little tone, right back in here like this. And you can see that it gets lighter as it gets further away. And let's set this to foreground to background.
And we'll just do a little thing like this. And there you can see that now, the shadow is getting softer as it gets further away, and that looks three-dimensional, like it is sitting in space. So it's just a question of how you handle light. Now, the best way to understand how it works is to go in there and actually look at things. Set little models up for yourself. See how the light hits something, and how it catches onto a surface, and how it bumps onto a surface, and so on. So it's basically just a question of watching and looking at reality in order to be able to recreate it.
And I am, because I'm looking at it, is I am going to go in here and create one more layer. Going to take some white, and I'm going to take a paint brush, make it really small, real small. And I can either have it fade out, let's do it, let's have it go in there and fade out. So if we go to our Brush Engine and we say Transfer, Fade, and let's use 75, that looks good. So I'm going to make the brush a little bigger, and I'm going to go right in here and follow that edge, follow this edge right here like this, and this edge, go like that. And, you know, if you want to do it right, and we do, don't we? So let's do this.
Let's take off those, and what I'm going to do is create a little Path, right here from, in this direction, going like this, following that curve, and then another one, going in this direction, following this curve. And then, put 'em real close to each other. But they're two separate Paths. So I get my paint brush. And let's see how, that's a little long. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to go into my Brush Engine and bring that Fade down to about say, 50.
Let's see if that's going to, that's going to be perfect. So now, I take those two Paths, let's go over here to our Paths, and in that layer, we just say stroke 'em. There we go. We could stroke 'em again, get a little stronger. And we'll just make the brush a little bigger and just give it a little touch right there in the center. Boom, just like that. Pull back, and there you can see that now we have a three-dimensional looking little cylinder. It's just how light hits it, and how light affects it, and even how it gets reflected to give us a three-dimensional look.
Skill Level Intermediate
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