Join Steve Caplin for an in-depth discussion in this video Manipulating the 3D object, part of Creating 3D Type in Photoshop.
Here's the 3D object we just created. And you can see by its bounding box that it's a selected object. As we roll over it, you can see different elements highlighted, and we'll look at this in a minute. There's a difference between manipulating the object and manipulating the whole scene. Let's look at the scene first. Now, you can see that the glass is selected in the 3D panel. Let's switch on to the Scene, and now the glass is not selected. With this first tool, as we drag around, you can see we're rotating this scene.
But as you can see, from the light icon and from the shadow, the object itself is not moving within this scene. There are several tools we can use here. The default tool is the rotate tool. We could also use the roll tool to spin this around the axis that we're looking at it from. We can use the drag tool, to move the scene around and we can use the Slide tool to move closer and further away.
And here I'm just dragging up and down to move this around. We can also use the scale tool to make the whole scene smaller and larger. So let's put it back, so we're viewing it more from the front. So far, we've been manipulating the whole scene. If we select the Glass, as we've seen, this bounding box appears. We could use the same tools to change the way the glass sits within this scene. You can drag it with the rotate tool, for example. And you can see that as we drag, it moves independently of its shadow.
And that's because we're dragging the whole object and not just the scene. Let's undo that. The trouble is, that dragging it around is inaccurate and we want to be able to control it more than that. As we roll over it, you can see these different parts highlighting. And you can see the pop up help text telling you what is going to happen if you drag. So here it says, Move on Z Axis. As we drag it, and it is indeed moved just on that axis. And you can see the readout showing you exactly how far it moves as you drag.
Dragging left and right moves it forwards and backwards. If we move over the top, well, we're going to move it on the Y axis. Once again, we can drag it up. You can see it leaving the ground, the shadows disappearing from it, and we can bring it back down again. Now, we want to position this exactly on the ground, but it's quite hard to do that simply by dragging. To fix that, we can always go to the Properties panel, click on the Final button, which gives you the coordinates. And here, it shows you exactly where it is.
By pressing Move to Ground, it now snaps it on to the ground plane. So by moving over a face, we can move along that face. Here for example, we move it backwards and forwards along the x axis. If we move it over a corner, we can rotate it around the axis parallel to that corner. So here, we're rotating around the Y axis. If we grab it directly on a corner, we can now move it in a plane. And this will move on the XZ plane.
And as we drag, we're moving it on this plane but the object is not moving up and down on the Y axis. We've also got this controller right in the middle. And this is particularly helpful for when you can't get to the side of an object. For example, if we had it rotated around like this, we wanted to move it backwards and forwards along the X axis. Well, we can't physically access either of the end planes. What we can do instead is go over the X controller, and as we go over it, the end highlights.
You can see that little cone changes from red to yellow, and we can now drag it along there. And of course, the same applies to dragging along the other axis as well. Just behind the move cone is one that allows you to rotate and you could see the wheel highlighting as you roll over it. Dragging will now rotate the object around that axis. Just behind that is the scale control and that will scale the object just along that particular axis.
If you want to scale the whole object, you go right to the middle, and now it'll scale the whole thing. And it'll scale it from the center, and you can see, of course, it lifts it up off the ground. And to drop it back onto the ground again, Properties panel > the Coordinates pane, and just drop it to the ground. You can also set the rotation scale in position here. So for example, if you wanted to rotate it around the Y axis, you can just either type in a number to rotate it.
Say, 15 degrees or you can click on the letter next to each of the fields, and you can drag left and right. And as you drag, it lowers and raises the numerical value, manipulating the object at the same time. And of course, you can change everything else by dragging in the Coordinates pane as well. If you want to put everything back to where it started, simply hit the Reset Coordinates button, and that'll put everything into its zero position.
You can see here, the glass is just off the bottom. We could move it up by dragging the object, but of course, that is going to lift it off the ground plane and leave it with a shadow floating. So let's undo that, instead go onto, choose the Scene rather than the object, and move the whole scene up. Knowing when to work on the object or when to work on the scene is key in being able to manipulate the object in your scene as you want it