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Photoshop CS6 3D Controls

Many years ago, I experimented with 3D art but the high learning curve turned the process into a chore instead of an artistic expression. So, I decided to wait until the 3D tools became much more user friendly before I started to write tutorials for the 3D artists. PhotoshopR CS6 now has some new tools that make creating 3D art much easier. These new tools pop up on the canvas workspace when you need them, making it as easy as click and drag to create your artwork. Of course, with the new Adobe Mercury Graphics Engine, your creative process is much faster.

New 3D Mesh Cage Control

In our example, we have some 3D text that we wish to manipulate by scaling, rotating or moving. The new Cage Control is very intuitive and easy to use. When we click on the text with the Move tool, we see the yellow overlay indicating the Cage Control around the word art and the familiar 3D Axis control in the center. Depending where we place our cursor, we will see a pop up info message that tells us what we can do at that spot.

  1. If we select the face of the Cage Control with the Move tool and drag, we can move the word art 3D mesh on one axis.

  2. If we select the corner of the Cage Control, we can rotate the 3D mesh on the axis.

  3. If we select the edge of the Cage Control, we can move the 3D mesh on a two axis plane.

  4. If we Control-click on the mesh, we will see the pop up properties panel that displays information about the area or object we've clicked on.

  5. Finally, we can press the V key and click on the canvas to get the Cap and Deform widget where we can manipulate the depth of the mesh, twist, taper, bevel and inflate the mesh.

Draggable Lighting

We can control the lighting and shadows with the draggable pop up lighting control. Click on the Infinite Light Icon found along the edge of the canvas, to see the pop up lighting control overlay.

  1. When we drag the top of the overlay control, we can change the direction of the lighting and the Infinite Light Icon will also move to indicate the new direction.

  2. When we Shift-drag the shadow, we can change the location of the shadow and the lighting source. Depending on the change in the lighting source, the size of the shadow will also change.

*Adobe provided a copy of this software to me for review purposes.



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