Chapter 2. Manipulating 3D Objects, Cameras, and Lights


  • Viewing a 3D object

  • Repositioning a 3D Object

  • Setting the Camera in a 3D scene

  • Fine-tuning the Light Settings

Imagine you are standing in a room. As you move in a straight line left to right, you are moving along the X-axis. If you were to jump up and down in place, you would be traveling along the Y-axis. This is a two-dimensional plane, in which coordinates can be given with two numbers: an X location and a Y location. When you work with a two-dimensional file in Photoshop, you are working with an XY plane. If you want to create a third dimension, the Z-axis is added. The Z-axis creates a cube by adding depth to the XY plane. To move along the Z-axis you would walk front to back within the room.

The 3D tools in Photoshop allow you to move 3D models within all three of these planes. If you are already familiar with any 3D modeling software, you will find that the tools used in Photoshop are very familiar. Photoshop designed its manipulation tools to a very standard look and feel. If you have never used 3D tools, then you will find that they are fun and easy to learn to use. Jumping in and working with them as I introduce them to you in this chapter is the best way to familiarize yourself with them very quickly.

As you work with your 3D model, keep in mind that your final product in Photoshop will be a two-dimensional view, not a 3D scene or animation. This will help you keep in perspective what you can accomplish ...

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