cool tools for cool artists 3D scultping for 2D minds...

New 3D Layer from File

Photoshop makes it easy, Curvy makes it possible

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Also supports
3D Layers:

powerful animation software, Anime Studio Pro

Curvy 3D fast and easy 3D modeling, sculpting, painting, posing for 2D artists

postwork shop, filter effects, graphics art FX, styles editor

 Poser 7 and Poser 8 on sale

The perfect marriage:

Poser + Carrara
+ Project Dogwaffle

Create a 3D Layer: Load a 3D file

Click the "3D" menu and select the first item: New Layer from 3D File... It's that easy to add a layer in which your saved 3D object file will be added to your Photoshop composition, maintaining the full 3D interactive viewing capabilities that 3D offers.

You'll be asked to browse to the folder that contains your desired 3D file and select it.


In this example, an Elephant.obj model file (in Wavefront .OBJ format) is selected. It was created in Curvy 3D v2 and saved to .obj. The folder also contains a few support files, such as the Material (Elephant.mtl) file and supporting image files (a texture map and a bump map).

And voila, there it is already: the Elephant 3D model loaded by PS CS4 as a 3D layer, rendered in PS over the lower layer, i.e. the background image.

You'll notice that there are a few 'streaks and bumps' along the elephant's trunk (nose). Those are from the bump map. Photoshop is indeed able to load not just the 3D model, not just the colored texture map appearance, but also knows what to do with the bump map that we created in Curvy and saved as well.

Taking a look at the layers, you now will see a new layer on top of the background layer: that's the newly added 3D layer, named 'Elephant' in this case. It took the name from the selected 3D file's basename.

What's great is that you can see both maps: the Diffuse representing the texture map, and the Bump map below. When you place and rest the mouse cursor over either one of these, you can see after a second or two that a tooltip appears, in the form of a small thumbnail image representation of your map. In the example below, we pointed at the Bump map, and recognize various features such as the trunk's streaks (upside down in this view)

It's 3D! Look at it from a different side

Now you can use those interactive 3D viewing tools, to orbit the camera or orient the 3D object.

Try them all, and use shortcuts if possible. The faster you can move and view in 3D the better you'll focus on the editing tasks, such as changing and further painting over the texture map or bump map.

And here's the first look at the elephant after rotating it, looking at it from a different angle. Isn't 3D grand? Try doing that with purely 2D drawings... :-)

<< click to enlarge

Next: Painting on 3D models

Beginner Tutorials
Getting Started
New 3D Layer
Painting on 3D Models
Taking it even Further

Probing Further
Layers Magazine
Steve Burns' Tutorials:
hot! 3d object painting
hot! 3d bump maps
hot! editing uv maps

Other 3D tools:

Archipelis for iPhone
  3D sculpting
on the iPhone

 Archipelis for iPhone runs on iPad
and iPad too!

from 2D to 3D in just seconds!
create realistic textured 3D models in seconds
Just trace an outline and see it automagically turn into fully textured 3D shapes for Second Life, Google Sketchup / Google Earth, Direct X & Games, Wavefront OBJ and other popular 3D file formats!

simply trace a shape from a backdrop image, and see it turn into 3D
rapid 3D model creation and prototyping from mere images - for 3D content creation, games, IM Avatars, SL models, 3D illustration in Photoshop(R) and more
New! now also for
Mac and iPhone!