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So those Photoshop extended users out there, you probably noticed that the new version of Photoshop has a lot of cool features for working with 3D models. This is great if you are an animator or doing modeling, architectural design, all sorts of things. And they have really extended the tool set. It first came out with photoshop CS3 extended but CS4 builds upon those strengths and add some very popular features. Let us take a look at some of the things we can do with 3D layers even if we are not working in an animation world.
So, I have opened up a model here and this model has a texture on it, for those of you at home who are not quite sure, yes we are indeed looking at a bug. And you see, it has a texture and model to it. And we can rotate this object. If we just click here, we actually get the ability to use a 3D rotate tool, and we can rotate the object and look at it from different angles.
Now, every 3D model generally comes with a texture or more that is used to actually modify the object and you can always double click here to actually open up that texture, this has not changed. If you look closely here you will see the subtle textures for the bug. Now, one of the ways that you can use this is to actually modify the textures. I often get textures from a website called Texture King so we can go ahead and flip over there now.
It is just textureking.com you will see they have also it is a free textures that you can use on your objects. Now, I have already downloaded one, some rust, and I have got it right here. Let us go ahead and select that and we will choose copy and switch back to our texture layer. I am going to go ahead and paste that in and transform it so it actually fits over the abdomen of the bug.
Let us just scale that down, rotate it and drop it into position. And what we need to do now is mask it. Now I am just going to flip over to channels, grab the blue channel and duplicate it and press command L for levels. Notice as we adjust the levels we get a nice clean selection for that texture. We can now command or Ctrl click on that to load it. Throw it away and just come back to the layer.
With the texture layer selected, click the add layer mask button, and it masks it to that shape. Go ahead and just paint with black to hide a little bit here so it does not spill outside of that shape. And you get the idea. You can go through and remap textures as you want to.
When we close that and save it, it saves it as a layered file and you will see here when we switch back to the model, that it actually updates. And notice that that texture has been applied to the bug, so we have been able to update that texture on the back of the bug. Now obviously you want to do the rest of the model and you can always double click here and take advantage of things like blending modes.
We could set that to multiply or to something like screen, and have it brighten that, lower the opacity a little bit and you get the idea. Now that is the same as Photoshop CS3. What is really cool here in CS4 is that you can actually go further and use your painting tools. So you could paint right on the model. You can grab the paint brush and we could sample a color here.
And then just paint right on the model and you will see that it is changing colors. So that worked very well. Let us go ahead with a slightly brighter color, you could see it even better. There we go. And as we paint here you will see how the model updates. So that works very well, if you want to make a direct modification on the image.
You can also go as far as using tools like clone. So I could sample here. The texture from the back of the bug, and come up top here and clones it in on the rest. And you see that it actually updates and it does a nice job of sampling that texture. So you could use that and build it up as you see fit.
So, overall quite a bit of flexibility as you are building your models and textures and you are going to want to check that out. Now you are saying that is great, I would like to start to use the 3D models in my Photoshop designs but where do I get them?
There are lots of places to buy a 3D model. But, Photoshop has built in a browser. We could find a bunch of free ones. It is pretty cool. So if you want to actually get some content, you will be able to click on the 3D menu and choose browse 3D content online. And that is going to work great. It is going to take you to a website that is going to be opening up soon with lots of 3D content both free content and some content you could purchase.
You can also take a look over at Google where they have the 3D image warehouse and all those Google models can come in too. So that is really going to open up things for you. Even if you are doing traditional motion graphic design or broadcast design, you will actually be able to use these objects and bring them into Photoshop. Plus, for those motion graphic designers out there, you will be glad to know that these 3D objects can come into after effects now.
And when you bring in a 3D object through Photoshop then import it into after effects, it actually comes in as a 3D model that can interact with the after effects camera. So, you kind of got a backdoor to getting true 3D into after effects with no third party plugins, which is great news for design.
Now what else can you do with these 3D layers? There are some cool things, we can take regular shape layers and turn them into three dimensional layers. Let us see how. So, I am going to go ahead here to a photo and this is just a photo of a mural that I took. Now, this image we want to wrap it to a surface, there are lots of coo l things we could do.
First off, we could simply choose 3D, new 3D postcard from layer. And when you do that you will essentially get 3D transform functionality. This is a lot like the free transformability except you can now rotate it in three dimensional spaces. So if you are creating backdrops for a maybe a chromic shot for portrait and you want to put a little dimensionality in it, or you are doing a mock up for a set design or product prototype, you now have 3D rotation inside of Photoshop which is a great design option.
We will go ahead in here and click and you will notice that we can actually rotate along all of our axes. So this gives us the ability to go along all the different axes and position that is in three dimensional spaces. Besides rotation you could also come up here and move the object. So you will see you have the ability to drag the 3D object which lets you just reposition it or actually use this tool here which will let you slide it. And you can push this further away or closer to the camera.
So, this is a great design tool it is going to give you a lot of flexibility for positioning layer in a true 3D environment and that comes in handy as you are building composted images. Now, these 3D functionality is only built into the extended version of photoshop but if you are working with a lot of the different suites out there like production premium or the master collection, that is the version of Photoshop you have. Let us see one more cool thing we could do for product prototyping using a texture.
Now, I am going to switch over to that same texture again and we are going to prepare this texture to use on a 3D object. To do that, we are going to make a seamless texture using two simple techniques. First off, we are going to crop this texture layer, so let us go ahead and crop and what I am looking for here is a straight line.
You will notice that it is just a little bit off, so I will just rotate the crop tool there just slightly and adjust that and what we have here is a good straight line that we can use for the object. So when we crop it, the image is now straight. What we are going to do now is make this into a seamless texture using the auto blend command which is part of CS4.
Here is how we do it, first off let us make this a layer by double clicking and we will just call it wall. I am now going to go ahead and split this in half. We will take our marquee tool and lasso along these edge here and I will press shift+command+J or shift+ctrl+J which essentially jumps tha