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Transparent 3D Objects - viewed times


In this Photoshop tutorial we show you how to create transparent 3D objects. The final image is not as important as how you actually achieve this transparent 3D look. Use the Photoshop technique for any kind of project you have in mind. Try to experiment with some of Photoshop's default vector shapes.

1. Prepare the background and draw the shape

Open a new document in Photoshop, 500x500 pixels.
Press the letter D on your keyboard to set the foreground color to black and background color to white Fore- and backgound
Grab the Paint Bucket Tool Paint Bucket Toolfrom the tool bar and fill the background layer with the current foreground color (black).

Select the Custom Shape Tool by clicking on its icon Custom Shape (B) in the tool bar:

Custom Shape Tool


Go to the options bar and click on the area marked with A to show all shapes. Then continue by clicking on the little black triangle in the upper right corner (B) to open the fly-out menu:

Custom Shape Category


In the menu select Ornaments:

Ornaments Category


The following window will pop up:

Replace Current Shapes Window

It's up to you what you want to answer here; click OK to replace the current shapes or click Append to append them to the current ones.

Now select the Spiral shape by double clicking on it in the preview window...

Spiral Shape

...and make sure the option Shape Layers in the options bar is selected:

Shape Layers

2. Add the shape and add the transparent 3D effect

Click on the foreground color icon in the tool bar marked with red:

Foreground Color

In the Color Picker window that opens you enter the value 699EE0 in the area marked with A.

Color Picker Window


Click on the Custom Shape Tool icon Custom Shape again if it's not active or press U on your keyboard.
We're now going to draw the shape. Hold down the shift key while you do that to constrain its proportions and draw something like this:

Blue Spiral Shape

Don't make the shape too big, we need the extra empty space around it in one of our future steps.
Don't you worry if you can't get the shape centered the first time; just draw the right size while holding the shift key like I told you earlier and then use the Path Selection Tool Path Selection Tool to move it into the right position.

Make sure that the shape layer is active (a Brushin front of it)...

Layers Palette

...and press Ctrl+E (Command + E on the Mac) to merge the shape layer with the background layer:

Background with Shape Merged


Now go to the menu and select Filter / Blur / Motion Blur... and select -30 for Angle and a Distance of 30 pixels and click on OK:

Motion Blur


Duplicate this background layer by clicking on its icon in the layers palette and while holding the mouse button, drag and drop it on the Create a New Layer icon New Layer:

Duplicate Background Layer


Again, go back to the menu but this time select Filter / Stylize / Glowing Edges... and enter

  • 1 for Edge Width
  • 20 for Edge Brightness
  • 1 for Smoothness

Glowing Edges

..and click OK.

The last thing we have to do now is changing the blending mode of the Background copy layer to Lighten:



This is the final result:

Final Result

Final words

Try to experiment with different settings, different blending modes, add some color, other shapes or effects, just use your imagination as much as possible (don't underestimate yourself) and experiment (that's how I learned Photoshop).
I showed you a technique that explains how make 3D objects and it's now up to you take it a step further.

Here are two other examples, this time using text:




I hope you enjoyed this Photoshop tutorial.

For more help with Photoshop check out ourPhotoshop Trainingsection.

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