Product Mockups for Designers
I mostly design for stationary and other paper products and I like to include 3D product mockups in my sell sheets. But I also use them in the final design stage to envision how the individual patterns work together as a collection. I might notice that the color palette just isn't working or that I need to add more secondary or blender patterns.
When creating 3D product mockups, you have several options, from online mockup generator sites to using Smart Objects in Photoshop.
Photoshop ActionsOne option that has been my favorite since 2010 is PSDCovers.com by Simon Lord. These mockups don't use smart objects. They are Photoshop actions, but the result is the same. Your design is placed on the 3D object. PSDCovers has come a long way since 2010. In fact, I have several of these original actions installed in my CS6 version of Photoshop (see screenshot). These Photoshop actions are found in the Actions panel.
But for Photoshop CC, you will need to download and install the PSDCovers Photoshop extension (see screenshot). Then you can access the mockup actions from the PSDCovers extension panel. This extension offers 100 free actions but with a Premium subscription, you can use many more. The next evolution of PSDCovers is AR mockups that spin 360 degrees.
Photoshop Smart ObjectsMost of the .psd mockups today use smart objects to place your design on to the 3D object. There are many marketplaces that sell these Photoshop files. I get most of my mockup files from Creative Market. To place your design, just double-click on the smart object layer. This will open a second temporary file. In this file you replace the default design with your own design. When you save this temporary file, your design appears on to the mockup object.
Online Mockup GeneratorsThe newest way to create product mockups is using an online tool or mockup generator. There are several sites that offer this online tool via a subscription. You just choose your mockup template and upload your design. The online tool does the rest and you can download the finished image for use on your website or store.
For example, AppLaunchpad.com specializes in digital device mockups for app developers. Placeit.net and Smartmockups.com offer digital device mockups and also mockups for apparel and print products. With Placeit.net, you can even create cinemagraphs of your mockups. Some of these online tools offer a few free mockups but to create other mockups requires a subscription. You might want to check out Artboard Studio, which is now in beta.
*Used in the example: Package Box Mockups by akropol at Creative Market and MUG by PSD Covers.
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