Make 3D Photo Cube in Photoshop (and animate it)

Here is a fun tutorial. I’m going to show you how to wrap your photographs onto a 3D cube. Don’t worry if you have never done 3D before, this is really easy.  If you have an older version of Photoshop that doesn’t have 3D, I have a manual way of doing it here.

(Note, at the end of this tutorial (bottom of page) I show you how to animate the cube)

Video tutorial



Start with a square photograph. In this case, I’m using my aerial Tiny Planet photos. You can learn how to make those here. 



Time to put it on a cube.

Choose 3D>New Mesh From Layer>Mesh Preset>Cube

Photocube02You will see an option to with to the 3D workspace, accept this option


you will see some tools at the top, grab the tumble tool and drag on the screen to rotate the cube


Your photo on the front face of the cube, cool!




Let’s add an image to a different face

Choose the 3D panel. Click on the 3rd button across, this is the materials panel where all the textures (images) are controlled from.

Choose the Top_Material




Choose the Properties panel, this is where you can use an image for the texture.

Click on the icon to the right of the Diffuse


Choose Replace Texture




Navigate and select the photo to use from your computer




The image will now appear on your cube. Pretty easy huh?



To add images to each surface, you are repeating the steps above for each face.  We are adding another photo to the right face now. Click on Right_Material form the 3D panel.



Choose Diffuse from the 3D panel and select  photograph




We now have images mapped to all the visible faces.




Let’s dress it up a bit and finish it.

What we need to do is get the lighting all set up to make the cube appear how we want.

On the 3D panel, choose the Lightbulb icon to switch to the Lighting options.



You will see a Lighting widget (a ball with a stem)

Click and drag with this to set the lighting direction. (You can also Shift+Drag on the shadow)



To make the shadow softer, Change the Softness amount in the Properties panel.



And here is your Final cube. Press Cmd+Shift+Option+R (Ctrl+Shift+Alt+R -windows) to render. Photoshop will create a higher quality purview when you render the 3D model and Lighting, this can take a while.


How to animate a cube in Photoshop

Ok, once you have made the cube following these written instructions, or the video at the top, here is how you can animate it!

Step 1

Open the timeline and click the Create Frame Animation Option


Step 2

Move the playhead to frame 1 if it isn’t already there.
Find the cube under material. Click the stopwatch as shown

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 12.41.05 PM

Step 3

Move the playhead to the end of the timeline.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 12.42.26 PM

Step 4

Make sure you have selected the 3D panel and choose the materials tab. Choose Cube.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 12.42.05 PM

Step 5

Open properties and look for the Y axis rotation

Change the y-rotation, you should see your cube spin in the main window.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 12.42.14 PM

Step 6

A new keyframe will automatically be added to the timeline.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 12.41.42 PM

Press play in the timeline to see the cube rotate.

Time to Render the animation to video

Step 7

Choose Export>Video

In the bottom, Under Render Options, you will see 3D quality.

Step 8

Select raytraced draft to test the animation. This will render somewhat crappy, but it’s faster and lets you see what the final will look like.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 12.39.04 PM

Step 9

If you like the video, export to video again. This time, change the 3D quality toRay Traced Final.

Now, it will take hours to render, but the quality will be great. (Make sure you hit render when you can go away and do something else).

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 12.44.42 PM

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial. Add a comment and let me know what you think and let me know what types of tutorials you will like to see here at PhotoshopCAFE!

See you at the CAFE


CS6 Superguide

All the CS6 information and more is available as a PDF magazine called the CS6 Superguide. If you’re on our list, you will receive it free by email as soon as it’s available. If not, sign up now and get the CS6 Superguide for free. Or click the image below.

The post Make 3D Photo Cube in Photoshop (and animate it) appeared first on PhotoshopCAFE.