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Thread: Photoshop 3D Tools

  1. #1

    Default Photoshop 3D Tools

    Photoshop CS4 and higher have some 3D tools built in (have it at work) and was wondering if anyone has used them in their map construction? Not intuitive to me but I did a few experiments with the 3D Plane using cloud layers and a brush. This is a 'just curious' question.

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  2. #2
    Guild Artisan Guild Supporter
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    Meshon's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
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    Wow, those look pretty cool! I actually just started playing around with the 3D layer a couple of days ago, to see if I could make a brush for market tents (jugabyte's thread on the topic here). I didn't get too far but the things you've made here look great! So in answer to your question I guess, no, I haven't used those features, but I'm going to try them out soon!


  3. #3
    Guild Adept
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    Jul 2011
    Rome, Italy - New York, USA


    Interesting. It's very unclear to me how the 3d is supposed to work though, is there any good guide (for dummies) to consult?

  4. #4


    Well, being a dummy myself I am not sure. It is not friendly for me - I'd prefer something like the level makers in some games where you can just paint the maps- but one way basically you can

    -render clouds
    -use the freehand selection tool and Shift key to select multiple areas you want to be mountains
    -feather a little
    -Menu: Layer/New/Layer via Copy
    -Menu: 3D/New Mesh from Gray Scale / Plane

    You get your mountains.

    You can also apply the 3D effect to the entire cloud layer but will need to resize or crop as you'll see the transparent edges as it 'shrinks' when the mesh is rendered.

    Either way in your Layers panel you will see the 'Depth' map which you can open and add layers to (best), or modify then when you save it will render the new map (so you can cut rivers in this way).

    Under Menu: Windows/3D if you open the 3D tools you will see some basic tools to rotate.

    Here is an example where I opened the depth map and used a brush, Sharpen and Burn.

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    Sorry looks crappy but on my lunch break at work and rushed it off.

    I guess it might be useful at that. I would be more comfortable with a more painting type solution - for a visual artist type I think a tool to paint and view landscape live is all I would want; perhaps just simple 'erode' and the like but too many buttons and I burn brain cells. Thanks for that link going to post something in a second.

    Ok I poked around with this a bit more before lunch ended and found that you can edit the depth map live which makes it interesting. I think I will put up a short tutorial after work.

    EDIT: I did a very quick video showing the very basics used here
    Last edited by stormweasel; 06-30-2014 at 11:48 PM. Reason: add link to tutorial

  5. #5
    Community Leader Guild Sponsor - Max -'s Avatar
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    Hi Stormweasel, I merged your posts here. You can use use the edit button to avoid double/triple postings

  6. #6


    very impressive

  7. #7


    Thanks for your PS explorations. I have seen the button and even clicked it but didn't know what to do with it after that so I just closed and went about my business. This however might be worth looking into a bit more.
    “When it’s over and you look in the mirror, did you do the best that you were capable of? If so, the score does not matter. But if you find that you did your best you were capable of, you will find it to your liking.” -John Wooden

    * Rivengard * My Finished Maps * My Challenge Maps * My deviantArt

  8. #8
    Guild Apprentice
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    May 2009


    Yeah, I used it to better illustrate the mountain shape of a map I'm making.

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    It's really easy to make animations too.

  9. #9


    @Fluesopp That looks awesome.

  10. #10
    Guild Artisan lostatsea's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    Ohio USA


    Only the extended versions of cs4-cs6 have the 3D features enabled . I have tinkered with them but never came close to the results that Fluesopp and stormweasel have . congrats to both these are very promising results. If you ever feel like filling the rest of us "Dummies" in on your respective workflows I am sure we'd all be appreciative. As incentive How about a bonk with the rep wand for each !
    "Aye The skies be clear , the seas be calm and the winds be with us .....

    ARGH!! but the damn compass be broken!! "

    Capt. Noah Swalter Last voyage of the " Silver Crest"

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