Join Steve Caplin for an in-depth discussion in this video Drawing the body, part of Creating Printable 3D Art in Photoshop.
- To draw our lizard, we're going to start with a new Photoshop document. Now even though we're going to be using the pen tool to draw the outline, let's begin by making a new layer. We'll call it Lizard. And that's because Photoshop will create the new 3D object based on the name of this layer. So we'll switch to the pen tool, and we'll start drawing. I don't know how adept you are at using the pen tool, but it can take a while to get the kind of shape that you want.
That doesn't matter though, because one of the great things about the pen tool is that you can always go back and edit your shape later. So here I'm drawing the bottom half of this lizard, here's the tail, I'll bring the tail back up here to start making the body, now in again for the neck, and now I can draw the other side of the head. As I said, you absolutely don't have to get it right the first time.
So I'm going to just make a few adjustments here, smooth off that curve, adjust the bulge allowing the eyes, so that it's symmetrical both sides, and so on. You can make the body of the lizard a little bit fatter here, and there. But as I said, you can always go back and change it later, one of the great things about using a path to draw the outline with a 3D object, is that it's very easy to edit it later, even after it's been extruded.
So there's the outline of the lizard. Let's now add a leg. And I'm going to do this by just drawing a very simple leg shape, with a slight bulge at the end for the hand, and I'm going to loop it around, that's where it's going to join the body. Let's pick that up now and drag that into place. Now in fact, I wanted to draw in the body more smoothly than this.
So let's take one of these points, and bend it around so that it appears to come out of the body shape. While we're here, let's make this leg a little bit wider, and maybe make the hand just a touch larger. Of course, we want to have some fingers on this hand, but we don't have to draw them as part of the main arm. Just as we drew the arm as a separate object, so we can do that with the fingers as well.
Let's start by drawing the back of the finger, and we'll have it getting narrower, coming out to a bit of a blob on the top for those suckers that they use to hold on to trees. And there's our basic shape. Once again, we can pick up any parts of this, and refine them as we want. Let's now pick up this whole object. We can switch to the Direct Selection Tool, but I find it easier to keep the pen tool selected, hold Command on a Mac, Control on a PC, and select the whole thing.
You can now drag it over, and let's put that in place on our hand. That's a bit too big, so we'll use Free Transform to scale it down, and hit enter to apply that transformation. Much better. Let's take a copy of this, we can do this by holding the Alt key as we drag it to make a copy. And we can use Free Transform again to rotate that around to make the second finger.
And let's make another copy for the third finger. And there they are, neatly splayed around that hand. All we need now is take one more copy, and move it up here, and we'll take this around, to make the thumb. And that goes a little further down the length of that arm. So there is the completed arm, and of course we can use this to make the other arms.
Let's now switch to our Path Selection Tool. We can select all of this arm, and we've a copy. Once again, hold Alt on a PC, Option on a Mac, and drag to make the copy. We can use Free Transform again to rotate this around, and I'm going to move this so that those points where it joins the body more or less align to the body.
We'll hit Enter to apply that transformation, and now let's switch to the Direct Selection Tool, this allows us to access individual points, and we can just move those so that they do in fact come smoothly out of this body shape. Now I want to move this further back, so let's select the fingers and the front of the arm on here, and now we can use Free Transform once again.
And good we've already got those parts selected, those are the only element that are going to be affected by our transformation. And we can turn this around, hit Enter to apply that transformation. And maybe change the shape of this back leg slightly. That's a bit too close to the tail, so I'm just going to move this tail out of the way to make more space for it.
Let's now take this leg, and copy it above. I'm going to flip it vertically. And put it into place. Now this time I'm going to use Free Transform to rotate the whole leg around, so it's pointing much more forwards, and now with the Direct Selection Tool, I'm going to move these individual points here, so we get more of an elbow-like kink, as this hits the body.
So let's bring that one around, there's our elbow coming in up there, and we can bring the other half up to make a nice curved bend in that leg. And that's the kind of effect that I'm after here. We'll need to move these fingers around. Select them, Free Transform, and just move them into place.
And let's take a copy of this leg, to make the front arm or leg. I don't know if you should call these things arms or legs on a lizard. I'm going to stick with arms for the front and legs for the back. If there are any reptiliologists out there, then please do write in and disabuse me of the fact if I've got it wholly wrong. There we go, and there's a nice bit of a kink in that front arm as well.
And there we have it. It's by no means perfect, but it's a good starting point for building our lizard.