The 3D features in Adobe Photoshop have come a long way in recent years. Improvements in Photoshop CS5 Extended give designers full control over 3D scenes, including the materials, lights, and even individual meshes. Using both the 3D and 2D tools together helps designers create professional 3D scenes and concept art.
In this tutorial, I show you how to create an interior living room 3D concept by using imported 3D models for the room elements and applying effects such as shadows, light, and reflections using the 3D tools. This tutorial requires some basic knowledge of the 3D tools in Photoshop CS5 Extended. To learn more about these tools, you can find a variety of videos on Adobe TV.
To download the source files for this tutorial, including the 3D models and an image of the final result, visit http://archive3d.net.
To begin, open a new Photoshop file. Set the dimensions to 1440x960 pixels. Then add the living room image from the source file folder to this new Photoshop file. Now you should have an empty room that you can fill with furniture (see Figure 1).
Now it’s time to import the first 3D model to the stage — the sofa. From the top of the 3D menu, choose New Layer From 3D File, navigate to the source files for the sofa model, and click OK.
Select the 3D Camera tool. This activates the 3D Axis Widget. The 3D Camera tool lets you modify the view position of the model to meet with the room perspective. You will use this tool repeatedly with every model to make sure that all the models have the same perspective as the room.
Use the 3D arrow navigation to rotate the 3D model view camera so that the ground plane of the 3D model matches the vanishing point of the background photograph (see Figure 2).
Now select the 3D Object tool and place the sofa in the position shown in Figure 3. Use the 3D arrows to change the position and rotation of the sofa.
Let’s change the color of the sofa to green. Open the 3D panel, and select the Materials icon to see the materials applied to the object.
Select PS Material 01 from the list. Make sure there is not a texture applied to it in the Diffuse value. Click the Diffuse color picker and change the color to green (see Figure 4).
After changing the sofa color, you need to change the light direction to complement the position of the sofa in front of the windows. From the 3D panel, select the Light icon from the top of the panel.
Choose the Light Rotate tool and use the 3D arrows to change the light direction to be behind the sofa (see Figure 5). Make sure that the light is not very sharp because the windows are actually adding global light everywhere. (Note: When you are in interactive mode, you won’t see the shadows, but you will see them when you render the final lighting using RayTracer.)
To add the second sofa to the 3D scene, duplicate the sofa layer and change its position (see Figure 6).
Now, you need to import the table that sits between the two sofas. From the 3D menu, choose New Layer From 3D File, and place the table in the space between the two sofas (see Figure 7).
After placing the table in its position, you need to change the material that is applied to the table.
From the 3D panel choose the Materials icon. Select Brushed_Silver-B, and set its Diffuse color to light gray. Then select Window_glass, and set its diffuse color to blue and the opacity to 28%.
Next, import the 3D TV console model by choosing New 3D Layer From File and then place it along the far wall (see Figure 8).
From the 3D panel, select the Materials icon and find the Diffuse value. Click the icon next to Diffuse and choose Load Texture from the pop-up menu. Navigate to the wood texture and click OK.
The TV console should now have the wood texture (see Figure 9). You may notice that the quality of the texture is not final. This is because the Render Quality is set to Interactive. From the 3D panel, click the Scene icon, and from the Quality drop-down list, choose RayTraced Final.
While this option renders the 3D model in high quality, it’s not recommended that you use this mode while editing because it takes much longer to render.
Now you need to change the light source for the table and console the same way you did for the sofa to make the light come in from the windows. From the 3D panel, select the Light icon. Choose the Light Rotate tool and use the 3D arrows to change the light direction.
Import the TV model and the vase model by choosing New 3D Layer From File. Place the models on the TV console. Then apply a shadow of each model on the ground by selecting each model and choosing Ground Plan Shadow Catcher from the 3D menu. Again, you won't see any shadows when you are in interactive mode, but you will see them when you render for final lighting using the RayTracer.
Figure 10 shows the final 3D living room scene. Now that you know how to build a 3D scene in Photoshop using the 3D tools, models, and features — and without using third-party 3D applications — you can use these skills to create different 3D scenes in Photoshop CS5 Extended.