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The advanced 3D features in Photoshop can help you to create 3D scenes directly in Photoshop without having to learn complex 3D applications. These features are suitable for graphic designers and web designers who would like to build simple 3D work without leaving their favorite Photoshop application. In our previous tutorial we have learnt Building a 3D Scene in Photoshop CS6. In today’s tutorial we will continue learning about the 3D features in Photoshop and see how to create a 3D scene of a spaceship cruising beside the planet Jupiter.

The final result of the tutorial will be as follows:


Now, let us move forward and see how to create the spaceship scene in steps:


Create a new Photoshop file with the dimensions 800px x 600px. Place in it a space background. In this tutorial, I used a background from the following URL.

3dSpace_fig02.jpgFigure 1. Adding the space background to Photoshop


Create a new layer. From the 3D menu, choose New Mesh from Layer > Mesh Presets > Sphere.

3dSpace_fig03.jpgFigure 2. Creating the 3D sphere object


Use the Slide 3D Object and Scale 3D Object icons from the Properties bar on the top to position the 3D sphere as in the figure below:

3dSpace_fig04.jpgFigure 3. Scaling the 3D sphere object.


From the 3D panel, select the sphere material from the Show all materials icon.

3dSpace_fig05.jpgFigure 4. Select the sphere material from the 3D panel


From the Properties panel, click the icon next to Diffuse and choose Replace Texture. In this example, I will choose a Jupiter surface map from the following URL.

3dSpace_fig06.jpgFigure 5. Adding the Jupiter material to the sphere.


Now we will bump the texture to give the Jupiter map some depth. In the Properties panel, scroll down to Bump value and choose Load Texture.

3dSpace_fig07.jpgFigure 6. Adding the Jupiter image as a Bump material


Navigate to the Jupiter map image and load it. Set the Bump value to 10%.

3dSpace_fig08.jpgFigure 7. Jupiter model after applying the Bump material.


From the 3D menu, choose New 3D Layer from File.

3dSpace_fig09.jpgFigure 8. The New 3D Layer command from the 3D menu.


Navigate to the 3D spaceship and click Open. I used a 3D spaceship from the following URL.

3dSpace_fig10.jpgFigure 9. The imported 3D spaceship in Photoshop


Use the Rotate the 3D Object and Slide the 3D Objects from the top Properties bar to position the 3D spaceship as in the figure below:

3dSpace_fig11.jpgFigure 10. Positioning the 3D spaceship in the Photoshop scene.


While the 3D spaceship is selected, choose Environment from the 3D panel. Go to the Properties panel and set the IBL color to dark brown to create a light reflection of the Jupiter on the spaceship.

3dSpace_fig12.jpgFigure 11. Setting the IBL color to dark brown.


From the Shadows value in the Properties panel, set the opacity to 30%.

3dSpace_fig13.jpgFigure 12. Setting the Shadows opacity to 30%.


From the 3D panel, choose Filter by Light icon, this will display the light properties in the Properties panel.

3dSpace_fig14.jpgFigure 13. Selecting the light from the 3D panel.


In the Properties panel, choose Dawn from the Presets drop-down list.

3dSpace_fig15.jpgFigure 14. Applying the Dawn light preset.


Now, go to the Layers panel and select the space background. Click on the Adjustment icon and choose Hue/Saturation.

3dSpace_fig16.jpgFigure 15. Applying the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to the background.


From the Properties panel, Check the Colorize checkbox and set the Hue to 260 and the Saturation to 40.

3dSpace_fig17.jpgFigure 16. Setting the Hue/Saturation properties.


Select the mask on the Hue/Saturation layer.

3dSpace_fig18.jpgFigure 17. Selecting the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer mask.


Select the Gradient tool and set it to Foreground to Transparent and the gradient type to radius. Make sure to check the Reverse checkbox to flip the gradient.

3dSpace_fig19.jpgFigure 18. Set the mask gradient to Foreground to Transparent preset.


Apply the gradient to the adjustment layer. The final look will appear like the one below.

3dSpace_fig20.jpgFigure 19. The background after applying the gradient mask.


While the 3D spaceship is selected, click on the Render icon in the Properties panel to start rendering the model and see it in higher quality.

3dSpace_fig21.jpgFigure 20. The final look for the 3D spaceship scene.

At this stage, we have learned how to use 3D and to build a space scene in Photoshop. You can use the same steps to create other types of scenes and backgrounds. You can learn more about the different 3D features in Photoshop as well as animation in Photoshop through my book 3D in Photoshop for Animators. Feel free to submit your comments and questions and I will be glad to reply to them.

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