by Byron Hudson
In honor of Oktoberfest, we decided to go retro while exploring one of the coolest developments in the last few versions of the Creative Suite–the ability to render 3D models from within the Photoshop environment. No longer do we need to spend thousands of dollars on 3D software or face the steep learning curves. Now we can leverage the familiar tools of Photoshop in the service of 3D image creation.
Simple models can actually be built right inside of Photoshop from vector paths. This means you can extrude text or logo shapes to create professional quality 3D effects, or in the case of this tutorial, make a beer bottle that we then placed into a hokey retro ad.
STEP ONE: DOWNLOAD THE UPDATE
In the version of CS6 that shipped this spring, the memory management for the 3D tools was not ready for primetime. After running a rendering or two, I started getting disk-space alerts and serious lag.
For the most part, these issues have been fixed in the update. Do yourself a favor. Download it before you start.
STEP TWO: CREATE THE PATH
STEP THREE: EXTRUDE!
Create a new layer for your 3D object, and with the path selected, go to the 3D tab of the main menu. Select “New 3D Extrusion from Selected Path.” Then, in the properties window, in the top row of icons, select “Deform” (second icon). This will give you a set of parameters from which to choose. Select the deformation axis which will determine the point around which you want the extrusion to rotate. Click the “Bend” radio button, and set the Horizontal Angle to 360º. Lastly, set the “Extrusion Depth” — you may need to tweak this last parameter a bit if your bottle looks too fat or too skinny.
STEP FOUR: TEXTURE
Texture mapping is half the battle in 3D. Photoshop comes loaded with some default textures, but we are going to create our own glass and a separate label.
I made a large brown image to serve as the glass. Then, in the 3D window, I clicked on the “Extrusion Material” list item.
In the Properties window, clicking on the file icon to the right of the Diffuse color picker allows you to link up the texture image. You could also just set the color to an appropriate brown, but if you use an image file, you retain the option of adding noise and texture to the channel. Slide the various adjustors until you get a decent transparent glass effect.
STEP FIVE: REFLECTIONS
We will eventually superimpose the bottle on a background image, “oktoberfest female waitress” by altafulla. To create realistic reflections and integrate the bottle into the scene, I utilized an IMAGE BASED LIGHT (IBL). I copied some of the background image into a separate file, then placed a blurry white circle into it to mimic the reflection of the sun. I then desaturated it slightly and put a black gradient around the outside to avoid any sharp edges where the image tiles.
I applied this image to the IBL channel in the environment properties window.
STEP SIX: THE LABEL
Duplicate the bottle layer. Now we are going to apply the label image as an overlay.
Then I created a new material image file with the label on it and adjusted the size and placement until it appeared on the bottle where I wanted it. It’s important to use high-resolution images for textures, as pixelation can be amplified as the material follows the contours of a model. Then I created an opacity channel by creating a black-and-white version to punch out the label and make the rest of the model transparent.
I applied the full-color label to the Diffuse channel. Then I clicked the file icon to the right of the opacity channel and placed the black-and-white image there. This way, we can have a layer on which the label is isolated, so we can adjust the lighting and colors on the bottle and label separately.
Finally, I applied the full-color label file to the Bump adjustor to give it a slightly embossed look.
STEP SEVEN: THE LIGHTS
To mimic the lighting of the background photo, I added two spot lights, a white one on the left to mimic the sunshine, and a blue one on the right to fill the shadows.
I copied these lights to both the bottle and label layers so I could adjust them separately.
STEP EIGHT: RENDER
For each 3D layer, from the main menu select 3D > Render. This is going to take a while, so grab a sandwich. Your end results will be different from the onscreen preview you have been working with. You can go back and adjust your lights, etc. and render again. Once you get the images close to where you want them, rasterize the 3D layers and apply adjustments and effects as you like.
STEP NINE: THE BOTTLECAP
STEP TEN: THE FINAL COMPOSITE
I adjusted colors and levels to unify the space, applied a few filters and paper texture to lend the piece that 70s magazine-ad look we’re going for, and voila, you have a custom retro beer ad!
IMAGES USED IN THIS TUTORIAL:
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