3D Improvements – Photoshop CS6 Beta

Skill level

If you used the 3D feature in Photoshop CS5, you know it wasn’t the most user friendly experience. In Photoshop CS6, 3D has been completely overhauled! Check out the new improvements!

Download the Sunrise image used in this tutorial!

If you ask the average user what “Repousse“, they would give you a blank stare. This was the option you chose in Photoshop CS5 in order to extrude your text. It was far from user friendly. Now, in Photoshop CS6, still under the 3D menu, the option has been changed to New 3D Extrusion from Selected Layer. Makes a lot more sense, if you ask me!

Once you have converted your text to 3D, you’ll notice the completely new 3D interface. No more dealing with the clunky Repousse window! Everything is now built into your workspace!

There are two panels on the right side of your workspace to take note of. The 3D Panel, on the bottom, and the Properties Panel, on top. the 3D panel contains all of the elements that are part of your project, similar to layers. This is where you’ll find your cameras, extrusions, materials, and lights. As you select these elements, the Properties Panel will update to display the necessary information.

One huge improvement over Photoshop CS5, is that you’re now able to edit your text even after you have converted it into a 3D object! You can change the color, the font, and even the wording by selecting the extrusion in your 3D Panel, the using the Edit Source button in the Properties Panel!

Another big change is the way you interact with your 3D scene. By simply clicking on the object you want to interact with, you can move, scale and rotate it right on your workspace, in real-time! When you click on an object, you’ll see an axis pop up, allowing you to mouse-over the option you want to perform.

In addition to these great changes, shadows and reflections have also been updated! Shadows, which can be edited by selecting the active light source(s), and reflections, which can be added/edited under the Environment section, now display on your workspace as you’re editing.

However, these are still only previews. Until you render the scene, they may not accurately reflect the final result. Rendering can be activated at the bottom of the Properties Panel, or under the 3D menu.

Tip! Hopping back into your Layers Panel, you’re able to add a Layer Mask to your 3D objects, in order to mask out any part of the 3D object that you don’t want visible, such as a shadow or reflection!

Stay tuned for more in-depth tutorials on the new 3D features within Photoshop CS6!

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