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Put a 3D spin on your next design without the learning curve

Added on Saturday 16th of May 2009 12:47 am EST
 

Application:

Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended

Operating Systems:

Macintosh, Microsoft Windows

Sure, 3D modeling is fantastic, but for those of us who are stuck in a 2D world the learning curve is huge. But that doesn’t mean you can’t utilize some of Photoshop CS4 Extended’s 3D options. We’ll show you how to add dimension to your next design project without extensive training sessions.

To add a third dimension to your designs, we’ll:

• Create a pattern and apply it to a layer to use as the foundation for our design element.

• Model a 3D sphere from our pattern layer.

• Manipulate the 3D sphere and then save it for use in a design project.

So you consider yourself dimensionally challenged? You’re not alone. While some folks pick up 3D modeling software like it’s second nature, others struggle with the whole X-Y-Z axis relationship. And with good reason. When you’re treading water just to stay afloat in your daily duties, who has time to unravel the complexities of 3D modeling? Well you don’t have to understand it all in order to utilize some of the features. We’ll show you how to create the checkered sphere shown in Figure A so you can add a simple 3D element to any logo or design project.

A

Create a pattern

First, you’ll need a pattern of some sort. We’ll show you how to create a checkered pattern, and then create a new document and apply the pattern to it.

To create a pattern:

1. Create a new 200 x 200 pixel, 300 ppi RGB document with a white background.

2. Press D to set the foreground color to black.

3. Choose the Rectangle Marquee tool from the Tools panel.

4. Choose Fixed Size from the Style pop-up menu.

5. Enter 100 px in both the Width and Height text boxes on the tool Options bar.

6. Click in the top-left corner of the image to add a selection marquee to the image in the top-left corner. Tip: If the marquee doesn’t fall directly in the top-left corner simply click and drag inside the marquee to move it or press the arrow keys to nudge the selection into place.

7. Choose Edit > Fill to display the Fill dialog box and choose Foreground Color from the Use pop-up menu to fill the selection with black; then click OK for results shown in Figure B.

8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 except click the Rectangle Marquee tool in the center of the canvas to add the marquee in the bottom-right corner.

9. Press [command]D ([Ctrl]D in Windows) to Deselect All. Your finished pattern should look like ours in Figure C.

B

C

Create a pattern preset

Now that you have a pattern in place, you have to create a pattern preset so you can apply it on a larger scale.

To create a pattern preset:

1. Choose Edit > Define Pattern to display the Pattern Name dialog box.

2. Enter Check in the Name text box, as shown in Figure D, and click OK.

3. Close the untitled document; it isn’t necessary to save the file.

D

Apply the pattern to a new document

Now you’ll create another new document — but this one will serve as the foundation for your 3D sphere, so you’ll apply the pattern to the entire document.

To apply the pattern to a new document:

1. Create a new 4 in. x 4 in. 300 ppi RGB document with a white background.

2. Choose Edit > Fill to display the Fill dialog box.

3. Select Pattern from the Use pop-up menu.

4. Click the Custom Pattern pop-up menu to display the pattern preset picker, and then select the new Check pattern you just added.

5. Keep the Mode set to Normal, Opacity set to 100%, and then click OK for results sh...