#CreativeFriday – An hour in Photoshop CC #2

Whilst at the Met in New York city, I was inspired to re-create a Picasso painting using just the 3D features in Photoshop CC.

The piece that inspired me was this one :-

Nude on the beach (Nu debout au bord de la mer), 1929

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The final image from Photoshop CC, and one that we will walk through today is :-

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The final image is available on my Behance page .

The beauty of Photoshop CC when creating some components in 3D are that they are created from 2D source components. The image above was created just from 2D shapes within a standard PS 3D canvas.

N.B Each shape is made on a new layer, then merged once drawn.

This post is based on the previous blog post, which explained how to use Photoshop’s 3D move tools and the object widget, you can refresh yourself or read this tutorial by heading over to this page.

Back Leg

The legs need to be vertically extruded and a long taper applied. This will provide the desired effect.

Essentially the legs start out life as a rectangle. The rectangle is then extruded. The reason that I didn’t use a longer rectangle (for the length of the leg), is because it would be harder to taper vertically on all sides.

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This is then converted to a 3D Object by using 3D / create 3D extrusion from selected Path or selected Layer (from the 3D menu), then extruded upwards and a taper applied (see the yellow area below). It is worth while noting that it’s a good idea to structure and the label the model components (labeled in red below)

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Front Leg

Font leg is formed from a new 2D shape, which is the same as the back leg.

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The final 3D extrusion is created with a taper and a twist along with the extrusion (see yellow reference below)

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The body is a custom shape made by using the Pen tool in Photoshop, then extruded the same way as above (3D menu / Create Extrusion from Path or Layer)

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Once the object has been converted into 3D, it is extruded and a bend applied

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A bevel is then applied to the same object

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Cones on the back

Each cone is actually a lathed object. The source for each one of these is half an isosolese triangle, one side being vertical, the other forming half the vertical cone angle.

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A 3D Object is created from the layer or path, then extruded around it self. This is performed by changing the Deformation axis to the far right hand side (indicated by the white dot on the deformation below).

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If the cone is to large or small. It’s easy to reshape it by clicking on the object, then choosing source within the properties panel and editing the original shape with a combination of the direct selection tool and the pen tool.


The Pyramid is actually created from a pre – determined shape, and is available from the 3D menu / New Mesh From layer / Mesh Preset / Pyramid.

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The final shape is tweaked by using the scale controls on the 3D navigation tool. The 3D navigation tool can be found by making sure that the Photoshop move tool (V key) is selected (top of the tools palette), then clicking once on the 3D object that needs to be moved. The 3D navigation tool has three axis, each has three controls, the top most one is a move, the middle is rotate and the last one is the scale tool (The middle square tool is used to uniformly scale the object).

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The sphere at the top of the pyramid is created the same way as the pyramid. There is a mesh preset that can be created from a sphere template (see below).

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Once the sphere has been created, it can be scaled and moved into place by using the 3D navigator (explained in the pyramid section of this post).

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Bar through the model

The bar through the back of the model is an extruded ellipse shape, that has been created using the 3D circle tool and scaled along one of the axis.

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The object is been extruded and moved into position using the Photoshop 3D move tool

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Back arm and front arm

The back arm and the front arm have been created by using a path/shape (same as the body), then moved into place on the body, so that it interlock at the hands.

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Front arm

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Both arms are placed on the body and moved into position.

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The shape needs a background to come to life, for this, a new layer was created below the 3D model, then a gradient to simulate the sky and the ground placed on it.

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To set up a realistic lighting rig, the original infinite light that was created in the base scene is selected, and within the properties, the colour and intensity have been changed to simulate a warmer colour.

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To create better shadows than a basic lighting setup will create, i’ve added an Image Based Light (IBL). The IBL properties are available on the ‘Environment’ tab within the 3D menu (marked in red), and the IBL data is then accessible within it’s properties (marked in yellow). You are able to download IBL’s by navigating to this page, and locating IBL’s.

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The IBL I have chosen, looks like the following and simulates a studio. In this case a yellow reflector, two soft-boxes and a large white diffused light from the top of the scene.

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Once the IBL has been loaded into the scene, then it can be moved around and placed into position using the IBL move tool (marked magenta above).


The most important part of the job, is to render the scene. The objective of this is to throw light and create the shadows, textures etc within the scene. The render button in Photoshop is available in many places. One of the most accessible buttons is located on the properties panel (marked in red).

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Full Quality Rendering can take a while, depending on many variables (lights, textures, materials, number of objects in the scene etc etc).

Rendering settings

I usually set my renderer up with the following settings (Note that the shadow quality is set to very Low, this will give me back some performance when moving the model in the scene).

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I hope that you have fun with creating things using Photoshop CC. As an aside, there are something that Photoshop cannot create, you can always create the part required in 3D software, then import into Photoshop, merge into the 3D layer  and move into place.


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