Tutorials - 3D Effects
Part 1: working on the channels
Well, the first thing that you
need to know is that to make 3d effect you should use the channels.
Combining the channels and the layers you'll get all Photoshop's
Ok, let's start!
To begin you need a simple black
shape to work on it. For this example I've made a PSD
file (zip format)
that you can download and work on it following this step.
This image has two layer.
The first at the bottom has a background
and the second at the top has a shape that you'll turn in a
Now you need to save the shape
selection into a channel. To do this first select the shape
transparency. Press hold the CTRL key and then click on the
From Select menu click on Save
selection: if you want you can give a name to the selection,
for example "shape".
Go to the channel window: here
you'll find the Shape selection.
Press CTRL/d to deselect the current
Now drag the shape channel on the
new channel icon.
By this way you'll have a new channel
that is a copy of the shape channel: its name by default is
Alpha 1 (you can change its name simply with a double click
on the channel).
The next steps are basics for the
Filter Menu, Blur, Gaussian Blur:
This value fix the 3d effect: more
greater it will be more higher will be the 3d effect.
Here's the current image:
Well, now start the fun!
Fileter Menu, Stylize, Emboss:
angle=150, height=3, amount=140. Also for the emboss filter
more greater the height and amount values, more higher the 3d
Duplicate the Alpha 1 channel and
then press CTRL/i to invert the current image(or Image menu,
Here's the channels:
Ok. Press CTRL/L (or Image menu,
Adjust, Levels). Press on the first picker.
Now move your mouse on the image
and click on a 50% gray area.
Repeat the same operation for the
channel Alpha 1.
The original shape layer has a
black shape (do you remember?). It's good to work on the channels
but the final shape must have a more realistic color.
So, select the shape layer, press
CTRL/a to select all, press CANC to clear the layer. Go to the
channel window, press hold the CTRL key and click on the shape
Choose a color that you want to
use to fill the final shape. Click on the shape layer, press
hold the ALT key and then press CANC to fill the selection.
(Since you should use still the
channels, it will be a good idea make the channel window visible:
you can make this also from Window menu, Show Channels).
Press hold the CTRL key and click
on the channel Alpha 1.
So you have loaded the Alpha 1
selection keeping active the shape layer.
(You can make the selection invisible
and at the same time active simply pressing CTRL/h).
Go to the Image menu, Adjust, Brightness/Contrast:
Now load the Alpha 2 selection.
Again Image menu, Adjust, Brightness/Contrast: brightness=100,
You can still improve the brightness
values repeating the previous steps. This once you can use the
Curve instead of the Brightness/Contrast.
In the next image I've loaded the
Alpha 2 selection and I've used the curves (CTRL/m).
And here's the final image: