Build a 3D Bottle in Photoshop
The Extended edition of Photoshop CS5 comes with a range of tools for creating and handling 3D objects. None is more powerful, or more surprising, than Repoussé. For the first time, Photoshop users can create real, editable 3D objects with unparalleled ease, and then place them into a photographed environment.
In this tutorial, I'll show how to build a wine bottle, add a label, position the bottle within a scene, and add reflections.
Start by drawing the outline of half the bottle. I've used the Pen tool, but if you're not comfortable with this tool you can always paint the outline, on a new layer, with a hard-edged brush. Either way, make sure that the right-hand edge is vertical, as seen below. If you choose the Pen tool route, you'll need to make a new layer and fill it with white: curiously, Repoussé needs a filled layer before it can get to work.
Choose 3D > Repoussé > Selected Path if you've used the Pen tool. If you used the Brush, hold Ctrl (Win) or Command (Mac) and click on the layer's thumbnail in the Layers Panel to load it as a selection, then choose 3D > Repoussé > Current Selection. The Repoussé dialog will open, and the bottle half will be extruded. Because it's filled with white, you can barely see it.
You can see what's happened more clearly if you rotate the object—simply click and drag anywhere in the window while the Repoussé dialog is open. As you spin it around, you'll see the extrusion.
You want to revolve the bottle, rather than extruding it. In the Extrude section of the dialog, set the Depth value to 0, and the X Angle value to 360. This revolves the bottle outline. But why have you ended up with a cylinder rather than a true bottle shape?
The reason is that Photoshop, by default, will revolve an object around its center. To the right of the Bend button, an indicator shows the axis of rotation. Click on the marker on the center right, and the outline will be revolved around the right edge, producing the bottle shape below.
Now add a texture so you can see what's going on. From the Materials section in the top right of the Repoussé dialog, click the button next to All, and scroll down to choose the Tiles Checkerboard texture. It will immediately be wrapped around the bottle. And that's it: You can now click OK to exit Repoussé.
When you now look in the Layers Panel, you'll see the bottle's icon has an indicator in the corner to show that it's a 3D object. Beneath this there's a Texture section, which lists the Tiles-Material-Checkerboard texture. Double-click this texture to open it in a new window.
The texture opens in a new .psb window—that's the format Photoshop uses to hold internal files. You can rotate the bottle using the Object Rotate Tool (shortcut: K) so you can see it from above. This is interesting, because it shows how the texture has been mapped onto the bottle. Although the texture itself is a plain checkerboard, it has been distorted as it wraps around the bottle, with the squares on the sides being greatly elongated, and those on the cap being compressed to a tiny size. That will affect how you place new items onto the texture.
Make a new layer inside the .psb file (the texture file) and fill it with green. To do this, choose green as the foreground color, and use Alt-/Option-Delete to fill the whole layer with that color.
Now to add the foil at the neck of the bottle. Make another new layer, and use the Marquee tool to draw a horizontal rectangle around the middle of the artwork. Choose a deep red, and fill this selection with that color.
Choose Save and the changes in the texture layer will be mapped onto the bottle. And you can see that when Photoshop maps the texture, it rotates it by 90 degrees.
Experiment with placement and size of this red layer, choosing Save each time you transform or move it, until it correctly covers the top of the bottle. As you can see below, the perfect position is for the foil to occupy most of the right hand side of the texture file. Why is this? Think back to step 8, where you saw how the checkerboard texture was mapped: it's an uneven distortion, with most of the pattern confined to the neck.
Time to add a label. Make another new layer, make a rectangular selection somewhere in the green part of the texture, and fill it with any color. I've chosen yellow because it stands out. Save the texture file, and you'll see how that label appears on the bottle.
The texture distortion produces surprising effects, so you may have to transform and move the label in the texture file before it fits in the right place on the bottle. Remember to save the file each time as you experiment.
Once the label is in the right place and at the right size, you might notice that the bottom of the bottle appears to be segmented, rather than a smooth curve—and this has affected the shape of the label as well. Let's fix that next.
Switch from the texture (.psb) file to the main document. Make sure the bottle is still selected and choose 3D > Repoussé > Edit in Repoussé. This opens the dialog once more. That's one of the great things about Repoussé: the objects remain live, and you can edit them at any time.
In the Scene Settings section (bottom right), change the Mesh Quality from Draft to Best. The bottle will smooth itself out and the label may rotate slightly as it applies it to the new surface, as you see below. Press OK to close the dialog window.
Begin creating the label contents by making a new Photoshop document at the same proportions as the label. I've chosen 400 by 600 pixels.
Setting the text is easy enough; I've also added some grapes, which I've created by first drawing an ellipse and filling it with brown, and then using Dodge and Burn to add a highlight and some shadows. I then duplicated this grape to make an entire bunch, drew in some leaves at the top, and added a shadow beneath them.
Before adding the label to the bottle, first turn it into a Smart Object. To do this, select all the layers in the label file, and choose Convert to Smart Object from the pop-up menu in the Layers panel.
Look at the size of the texture file. By default, it will be very small—around 600 pixels square. Because of the distortion of the squares, this will make our label look too rough. Use Image > Image Size to increase the size of the texture file to, say, 2000 pixels: This gives the resolution you need to make the label look good.
Drag the label Smart Object you created in Step 15 into the texture file. Use Free Transform to rotate and scale it so it fits the shape of the label rectangle you made in Step 12. Note how distorted it appears in the texture file. Save this file, and the label will appear on the bottle. As you can see, it appears back to front.
The back-to-front appearance has to do with the odd way in which Photoshop sometimes maps textures. To fix it, select the label Smart Object, and choose Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical. Save the file again, and the label will appear correctly on the bottle.
Because you turned the label into a Smart Object before distorting it, it's easy to edit the contents. Double-click the label layer in the texture file, and it will open in a new window—and at the original proportions. Make any changes you like, and when you save it will reappear at the distorted size and shape in the texture file.
Let's now place the bottle onto a background. I've used a photograph of my kitchen, which you can download here if you don't want to photograph your own kitchen.
You can manipulate the position and size of the bottle using the Object Rotate Tool (shortcut: K). Click and drag to rotate it, or drag on any of the handles on the 3D axis to rotate it in one dimension. Drag the arcs to rotate, drag the arrows to move, and drag the center square to scale the object.
Once the bottle is in the right position, it's time to add the reflection. And the best reflection is the room itself. So switch to the room layer, Select All, and Copy.
Select the bottle layer again, and open the 3D panel. You'll see Layer 1 listed in the Materials section, and you want to select Layer 1 Extrusion Material from the list. Click on the Environment icon in the lower half of the panel, and choose New Texture. Then go to the Reflection field, and type a value for the reflection strength: I used 20 for this image.
The reflection material will appear in the Layers panel, beneath the 3D object, so double-click it and Paste the copied room into it. When you Save, the reflection will be applied to the bottle, giving it a much more glassy appearance.
All very well so far, but the light in this scene should appear to be coming from the lamp. Open the 3D panel once more, and switch to the Lights section (the rightmost button at the top of the panel). Select the first light, then click on the icon toward the bottom of the panel to move the light around.
You can now drag within the image to move the direction of that light. The 3D axis icon isn't all that helpful here, but it doesn't take a lot of effort to drag it until the light comes from the right direction.
Finally, it's time to render the scene. Open the 3D panel again, and select Scene at the top of the list. By default, the quality will be set to Draft. Change this to Ray Traced—there are two quality settings, take your pick—and Photoshop will render the scene bit by bit.
To finish the scene, I added a shadow on the table by drawing a rectangle, feathering the selection (Select > Modify > Feather) by 6 pixels, and then filling it with black on a new layer. I then distorted it using Free Transform so it pointed towards the light, and used a Layer Mask to paint out the bottom of the shadow so it was less strong as it receded from the bottle.
Click the image below to see a larger version:
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