The perfect marriage:
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
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
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)
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.
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
<< click to enlarge
Next: Painting on 3D models
Other 3D tools:
Archipelis for iPhone
on the iPhone
and iPad too!
2D to 3D in just seconds!
Just trace an
outline and see it automagically
fully textured 3D shapes for Second Life, Google Sketchup / Google
Earth, Direct X & Games, Wavefront OBJ and other popular 3D file
3D model creation and prototyping from mere images - for 3D content
creation, games, IM Avatars, SL models, 3D illustration in Photoshop(R)
now also for
Mac and iPhone!