Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Introducing the 3D shape presets, part of Photoshop CS5 Extended One-on-One: 3D Objects.
Here is the final version of the project that we will be creating over the course of this chapter. It's called XYZ cube deluxe.psd, found inside the 08_3D_shapes folder, and as I think it's evident we will be creating a cube and we are going to map X on to one side, Y on to another, Z on to the third. All of the letters are carved into the cube using bump maps and we will see how that works in the future exercise. We are going to be starting things off inside of this file. It's called Base shape.psd and notice among these other layers that are ready and waiting for us as we work our way through the project.
I've got this layer called base shape and it is the angled 3D cube. We are going to be creating the cube from scratch. The only reason I have this base shape layer is so we can lift the camera and object information and by that I mean orientation, position, and even scale and that's one of the great things about Photoshop. Once you set up a layer, you can duplicate that camera and object information onto other layers, which can be useful if you want a couple of layers to line up with each other. They are not going to cast shadows onto each other of course unless you merge them, but where I really find it useful is if I have to start a 3D layer over again.
For now you can go ahead and turn that layer off. Notice that I have an angled gradient in the background, that's one of the standard varieties of gradients that are available inside of Photoshop. We are going to create a new layer by pressing Ctrl+Shift+N or Command+Shift+N on the Mac and I am going to call this layer six-mesh cube. The reason being, that Photoshop is going to create an independent mesh for each of the six sides of the shape. Then go ahead and click OK in order to create that layer. Now to create a 3D shape you go up to the 3D menu, choose New Shape From layer and then choose the desired variety of shape.
We've seen Sphere many times, in my opinion it is by far the most useful of these shapes. Now few of these shapes are made of single meshes and those include Donut and I will show what I mean by that. I will go ahead and select Donut, so that we have this donut object and I will grab my Object Rotate tool, and then I will drag inside of the Image window to rotate this donut around a little bit, so that we can see that it's got an interior and an exterior, but it's all one mesh. If I double-click on the thumbnail for that layer to bring up the 3D panel, we've got one mesh and only one mesh.
Now that's important for a couple of reasons. First of all, that limits what you can do with the shape. Now I could flatten it of course if I want to. If I go ahead and change the angle a little bit here then I can gain access to this little gadget right there and make the donut very flat indeed. But I can't change the size of the hole relative to the size of the outside of the shape. So there are some limits going on, that's why I couldn't use it, for example, for the rings of Saturn back in Chapter 1 of the previous course. However, the good news is with one mesh you can easily combine it with other 3D objects inside of a larger 3D scene and you are not going to have the problem of trying to move all of the meshes around independently the way you are with some of the other shapes.
I don't want a donut, so I am going to bring up my History panel and go back to the New layer step there. Now let's go up 3D once again, choose New Shape From layer, I just want to make it clear, which of these shapes involve just a single mesh. Another example is Hat, you can try that out if you want to. It's just one mesh. Ring is also a single mesh. We've seen that Sphere and Spherical Panorama are single meshes as well. All of the others involve multiple meshes. For example, Pyramid is 5 separate meshes, one each for the sides, and then you've got a mesh on the bottom.
And that presents problems when you go ahead and merge those kinds of objects with other objects inside of a 3D scene because unless you have the position of that Pyramid exactly where you want it, it's very difficult to move those meshes around because they are going to move independently of each other and they are going to be added for a while. So that's just something to bear in mind. Those multi-mesh shapes work best on their own, so not combined with other 3D objects. Now some of them are quite impressive, actually one in particular is very impressive, the Wine Bottle, has three separate meshes, one for the green glass right there, another for the label, and then a third for the cork.
And it's probably the most fully realized of the shapes, I suspect because the product managers needed some really great shape to demo with. Anyway, I'm going to press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo the creation of that shape and I am going to show you something, very important here. Where these shapes are located? I will go ahead and minimize Photoshop so that we can see here inside this Meshes folder, which is a subfolder inside the Presets folder, which is inside the Adobe Photoshop CS5 folder, which is inside the Adobe folder, which is inside the Applications folder on the Mac, and it's inside the Program Files folder on the PC.
And you can see that each one of the default shapes is a COLLADA file, a .DAE file. You can add other DAE files to this folder if you like and they will populate that shape list. All right, I am going go ahead and switch back to Photoshop here. Go back to the 3D menu, choose New Shape From layer and notice that there are a couple of different cubes; one is called Cube Wrap, one is called Cube. I will go ahead choose Cube Wrap so that we can see what's up with it and double-click on its thumbnail to bring up the 3D panel and notice that Cube Wrap has one and only one mesh, making it very easy to deal with.
The problem is that the material is going to be repeated on each one of the six sides. Now it would be great if there were some sort of the UV map information associated with this shape, so that you could take one big diffuse texture and wrap it around the entire 3D shape. But that is not a possibility. I am just warning you in advance. For those of you who have a little bit of 3D experience, UV maps not work in where this shape is concerned, which means that we can't use it because I could put an X on each and every side but I couldn't put an X on one side, Y on a different side and a Z on the third side, just not an option.
I will go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac to undo the creation of that shape and then go up to 3D, choose New Shape From layer and choose Cube or of course I could also go down to the bottom of the 3D panel here, turn on New Shape From Preset, switch from Cone to Cube and then click on the Create button. That goes ahead and gives us six independent sides to work from. Notice though, we also have six independent meshes, meaning that this is an object that wants to be housed inside of a single 3D layer as opposed to being combined with other objects inside Photoshop.
So that's the big long-winded step one, you now have a sense of how the basic shape presets work inside of Photoshop. In the next exercise, we are going to assign some base materials.
- Spinning a 2D layer in 3D space
- Using basic 3D shapes
- Importing a 3D model as an OBJ file
- Exporting a 3D model to the DAE format
- Painting directly on a 3D layer
- Working with UV overlays
- Making a bump map
- Working with 3D depth maps
- The medical applications of Photoshop 3D
- Creating 3D motion effects
- Revolving objects in 3D space
- Adjusting the depth of field