Create a mocap for a 3D box in Photoshop

In this tutorial you will learn how to create Mock-Up 3d boxes for software, but you can use it for different tasks.

Ready mocap will be quite flexible in setting. We will be able to add a reflection on the floor, change the background color, and use the smart objects to change the cover of the box with a few mouse clicks.

This is how the finished mocap looks like, which we will draw. It contains a reflection, customizable background color and a smart object with a cover.

Step 1. Preparation

In order for the mocap to turn out attractive, we first need to think about the composition. Drawing skills and an understanding of perspective will help us to make a rough sketch. Alternatively, you can take pictures of the finished boxes and use such a picture as a reference. Or, in any 3D editor, simulate a scene from simple shapes, render, and use the resulting image in the same way. Any method will do.

Using an ordinary ballpoint pen, I drew a simple outline of the boxes on paper, then scanned the drawing and transferred it to Photoshop.

The program has created a new file of 1000 x 600 pixels and pasted a scanned sketch on it.

Step 2

As you can see, we will draw three boxes. At the end of the lesson we will have a large number of layers, so it is very important to arrange them in advance by combining into groups. To do this, use the key combination Ctrl + G. Create three groups for each box.

Step 3. Draw the base

For work we will use vector tools. Activate Pen Tool (P) (Pen), select any bright color and on the top panel set the drawing mode to Shape (Figure). Bright fill color is needed to ensure that the base of the box does not blend into the background and looks contrast.

Step 4

Click the mouse and draw the front of the first box. Make sure that this part is in the Box 1 group.

Step 5

Draw the side of the box. This time choose another bright color.

Step 6

Now we have to add lighting on the front of the box. Layer styles are best suited for this task, as they are easy to apply and edit. Double click on the layer to open the window Layer Style (Layer style).

Step 7

In the window that appears, select Gradient Overlay (Gradient overlay). Use standard black and white gradient in blend mode. Overlay (Overlap). Adjustable angle depending on the imaginary light source. Using the parameter Opacity (Opacity) You can adjust the saturation of the effect.

Step 8

Repeat the same steps for the side and add Gradient Overlay (Gradient overlay).

Step 9. Draw a shadow

To add realism, we will draw a shadow under the box. Under the layers with the edges of the box add a new layer. Via Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) (Rectilinear Lasso) create a selection according to the shape of the bottom of the box. Fill the selection with black.

Step 10

Apply to fill the filter Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur). Set a radius to gently shade the edges of the shadow. In this case, we set the value to 1.6.

Step 11

In our case, the light source is close enough to the box, so we have to draw long side shadows. For this we use Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) (Polygonal lasso) to draw a selection, then fill it with black.

Step 12

Blur shadow with filter Gaussian Blur (Gaussian blur).

Step 13

Tool Eraser Tool (E) (Eraser) gently swipe over the tip of the shadow to create a soft fade.

Step 14

Decrease Opacity (opacity) layer with a shadow of approximately 10-15%.

Step 15

Repeat the process and add a long shadow on the opposite side of the box.

Step 16. Draw the second box

We continue to work with the next box. We are hiding the “Box 1” group so that it does not bother us. To do this, on the layers panel, click on the eye icon opposite the group name. The process of drawing is no different from the previous time, so we start with the basics. For the second box, we need to draw three faces: front, side and bottom.

Step 17

As with the previous box, we have to add a layer style. Gradient Overlay (Gradient overlay). Since the second box has a different position, we must adjust the angle and opacity so that they match the brightness and direction of the light source.

Step 18

Draw a shadow under the box. Under the layers with the base, create a new layer and draw a selection using Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) (Rectilinear Lasso). Fill the selection with black and blur it with a filter. Gaussian Blur (Gaussian blur).

Step 19

To add realism, we will create another layer of shadow, this time more and with a strong blur. Duplicate the previous layer (Ctrl + J), then apply the filter Gaussian Blur (Blur according to Gauss) with a large radius, in this case 6 pixels.

Step 20

Reduce the opacity of the second shadow so that the effect is soft and neat.

Step 21

At the moment, our mocap blanks look like this:

Step 22. Draw the third box

Go to the third box. Turning off the visibility of the previous boxes so that they do not interfere. We use Pen Tool (P) (Pen) to draw the base.

Step 23

Add a layer style Gradient Overlay (Gradient overlay).

Step 24

The third box is on the second, so a rather complex shadow is formed. Again, make visible the second box to analyze the shape and understand how the shadow should fall.

Step 25

Create a new layer. Between the second and third boxes we draw a thin shadow with blurred edges. To do this, use a small brush (B).

Step 26

We delete the excess ends, using Eraser Tool (E) (Eraser). Try reducing the opacity of the layer so that the shadow looks softer and neater.

Step 27

We must also draw a drop shadow on the side of the second box. Create a triangular selection and fill it with black, as shown below.

Step 28

Smooth the shadow with a filter Gaussian Blur (Gaussian blur).

Step 29

Via Blur Tool (Blur) and Eraser Tool (E) (Eraser) create a smooth attenuation at the tip of the shadow. Then reduce the opacity of the layer.

Step 30

Let’s make the shadow even softer. Select the outer half of the shadow and using the command Select – Modify – Feather (Selection – Modification – Feather) we smooth the selection.

Step 31

Reapply Gaussian Blur (Gaussian Blur) with a value of 7.6.

Step 32

Create a new layer. Draw a blurry shadow on the opposite side of the second box. Use the eraser (E) to remove unnecessary parts.

Step 33

We get this result.

Turn on the visibility of all boxes to see the current work result.

Step 34

I think the second box should add a long shadow. Add a new layer inside the Box 2 group. Create a triangular selection, fill it with black and blur the filter Gaussian Blur (Gaussian blur).

Step 35

Reduce the opacity of the shadow layer.

Step 36. Add a cover.

For this mocap we need three cover details: front, side and bottom.

Paste each cover detail on a separate layer on the working paper. Size do a little more than the box itself. You should not draw too large a cover so that when transforming on the sides a ladder does not appear that spoils the quality of the picture.

We will use these three parts of the cover in the mockup. Each of them must be on a separate layer.

Step 37

We transform every detail of the cover into a smart object. To do this, click on the layer with the right mouse button and select Convert to Smart Object (Convert to smart object).

Step 38

For convenience, we place the cover design in a separate group and place it above the groups with boxes. We will not work with parts of the cover directly, so click on the eye icon in front of the group to hide it.

Step 39. Apply the design to the mocap

For the first box, we only need the front and side of the cover. Duplicate the corresponding layers by pressing Ctrl + J. We transfer both copies to the Box 1 group.

Step 40

Select the layer with the front part. Press Ctrl + T to activate the free transformation mode. Click the right button on the document and select Distort (Distortion).

Step 41

Pull the nodal points until we cover the entire frontal part of the box. For convenience, we reduce the opacity of the layer with the cover. No need to waste time and adjust the cover to a perfect angle to the corner, let it stand slightly behind the edges of the box, as shown below.

Step 42

We check that the layer with the cover is immediately above the layer with the front of the box. Then press Ctrl + Alt + G to transform the cover into a clipping mask. Now our design fits perfectly into the box borders. Increase Opacity (opacity) to 100% and look at the result.

Step 43

Repeat the same steps for the side edge of the box.

Step 44

If you look at the design of the box, then in some places you can see inaccurately docked edges. We will fix this with transformation.

Step 45

Press Ctrl + T, then right-click on the document and select Warp (Deformation). Move the pivot points to align the design.

Step 46

Repeat the previous steps and add a cover on the second box.

Step 47

Then on the third.

Step 48

Basically, we are done. But I want to show you a couple of tricks with which you can improve mocap.

Step 49. A simple way to change the background color.

We need to add the ability to quickly and easily change the background color. To do this, create a correction layer. Solid Color (Color) by clicking on the button Create new fill or adjustment layer (Create a new fill or adjustment layer) at the bottom of the layers panel. In the dialog box that appears, select the gray color.

Step 50

Add style Gradient Overlay (Overlay gradient) to the previous adjustment layer.

Step 51

Above the layer Solid Color (Color) add adjustment layer Hue/ Saturation (Hue / Saturation). Activate the parameter Colorize (Toning). Now, by moving the sliders, you can easily change the background color.

Step 52. How to replace the cover

Let’s do a little test drive. To replace the front cover, double click on the smart front object.

Step 53

As a result, the front layer will open in a separate document. You can edit the design as you see fit. In this case, I changed the colors and added the icon of the personal computer from the iconfinder website.

Step 54

Save the updated design and close the document. Go back to the main working file. Please note that after editing the box design has changed automatically. And on all three boxes.

Step 55

We change the design on the side faces.

Step 56. Add Reflection

As you can see, technically we have finished creating a mocap. But it can be improved by adding reflection. In this composition, we will need duplicates of the front and side sides of the first box and the side and bottom sides of the second box. Select them and copy them using the key combination Ctrl + J.

Step 57

We add them to the separate groups “Box 1” and “Box 2”, and they, in turn, into the general group “Reflection”. This will help us not to get lost in numerous layers.

Step 58

Select a copy of the side face of the first box and press Ctrl + T to activate the transformation. All we have to do is drag the top point to the bottom. Having obtained the desired result, press Enter to apply the changes.

Step 59

Do the same with the front of the cover.

Step 60

You know what to do next – we transform copies of the second box.

Step 61

If you look closely, we will notice a gap between the reflection and the original. Naturally, this spoils the work, so you need to correct the error. To do this, move the offset reflection so as to completely close the gap.

Step 62

Inside the group “Reflection” for the group with the first box we add a mask. Hold the Alt button, press the button Add layer mask (Add layer mask) at the bottom of the layers panel. At the same time, a completely black mask should appear and the entire contents of the group will disappear. After that, take a large soft brush (B) and draw under the box to restore part of the reflection and create a smooth fade.

Step 63

Do the same with the reflection of the second box.

Step 64

Reduce the opacity of the Reflection group to get a neat and soft effect.

Step 65. Optimizing the source file with mocap

At the moment, the structure of the layers is as follows. We need to optimize them so that the finished source file is as easy as possible.

Step 66

To begin with, we can combine complex multi-layered objects into one layer. For example, a shadow consists of several layers. Select the layers that we want to merge, and press Ctrl + E. If the desired layers are in a separate group, then we can simply select the group itself and press Ctrl + E to merge it into one layer.

Step 67

Also, we do not need an original background layer. We already have an adjustment layer. Solid Color (Color) is filled, so we can remove the layer Background (Background) by dragging it onto the trash can icon at the bottom of the layers panel.

Step 68. Mocap Capabilities

We are done! Below you can see what the final version looks like along with reflections, shadows and a colored background. This is the opportunity to configure the mocap.

To remove the reflection, we simply click on the eye icon in front of the Reflection group.

We can also hide the third box, leaving only the first and second.

Or hide the second and third, leaving only the first.

Or hide the first, leaving the second and third.

Need only a second box? Done! Of course, the third box can not be used separately from the others, because it will look strange.

You can also return the reflection of the second box.

As you can see, creating a mocap is not such a difficult task. I hope that in this lesson you have learned new methods of work, in particular, have learned how to draw a compact but flexible in setting up a mocap, which can be freely used for any purpose.

Final result

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