IN THIS CHAPTER
3D files in Photoshop
Using the 3D camera
Working with 3D models
Saving 3D files
It was a happy day for many designers back in 2007, when Photoshop CS3 made its debut, and we learned that Adobe's crack team of engineers had introduced support for 3D objects in the Extended edition of the software. With this new functionality, we can now import 3D models directly into Photoshop for real-time compositing with our photography and designs. In the past, if you wanted to do similar things, you simply couldn't without access to 3D authoring software, which can be prohibitively expensive and often comes with a serious learning curve.
For Photoshop CS4 (Extended), Adobe has made significant improvements to the 3D engine built in to the software — in fact, so much new functionality has been added that it merited the addition of a dedicated 3D menu. The long list of new features includes support for the use of 2-D images as 3D textures, and the ability to paint interactively on the textures of an object.
By nature, the world of 3D modeling, rendering, and animation is very complex, and it is far beyond the scope of this book to give in-depth instruction on all aspects of working with 3D. Also, there are limits to what you should expect from Photoshop's 3D capabilities, expanded though they might be (for instance, you still have to perform complex modeling tasks in 3D software like AutoDesk Maya or Modo). With that said, if you're new to 3D, ...