Draw a 3D map in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a 3D map in Photoshop using various 2D and 3D models, such as cars, trees, roads, clouds. You can show your imagination and make your own island 3D in Photoshop. I used grass and water textures for this tutorial, but you can choose a different type of texture. You can also change the shape of the map. Using 3D-action (3D Action) to make the whole process easier.


Step 1

First of all, we will create a 2D base for the map. Activate the tool Lasso (Lasso Tool), draw the surface of the card and fill it with gray. You can also use the tool to create a map form. Pen (Pen Tool). Or, as a third option, you can use the silhouette of a real map (vector shape). Name this layer “Map”.

Step 2

Now add our grass texture to our surface. Copy the texture from the source materials and open it in a new PSD file. Next, go to Editing> Define a pattern (Edit> Define Pattern).

Return to the working paper with the map. Double-click the “Map” layer. This will bring you to the Layer Style menu. Select the tab “Stamping ” (Bevel and Emboss) and set the values ​​as shown in the figure below. After, go to “Pattern overlay (Pattern Overlay) and in the set menu, select the pattern with the texture of the grass that we created earlier.

Translator’s Note: colors that the author used: light green – # 78c112; the black – # 000000

Now your stock looks like this:

Create a new layer above the “Map” layer. Create a selection along the contour of your island blank (press Ctrl + click on the “Map” layer icon). Set foreground color to white and background color to black. Next, go to Filter> Rendering> Clouds (Filter> Render> Clouds). Change the blending mode of the new layer to Overlap (Overlay), and opacity (opacity) set – 65%

Step 3

In this step we will add to the map of the lake. Open the texture of water. Make, in any way convenient to you, one or several selections in the form of a lake. Transfer the “lakes” to the working paper and scale them to the size of the map. Name the new layer “Water Surface”.

Open the “Water Surface” layer style window and add Inner shadow (Inner Shadow) and Stamping (Bevel and Emboss).

You can add any other simple surface element to this map (for example, a road). When you are done with the plane design, select all layers (except the background layer) and merge them. Name the new layer “Surface 1”.

Step 4

Now I will use one of my 3D action games for Photoshop to create a voluminous image. So, download the free 3D action, load it in Photoshop and apply it to the “Surface 1” layer.

Use this useful article, which tells how to load the action in Photoshop. If you have problems using action, you can create the volume yourself. To do this, go to the “Surface 1” layer and go to “Editing – Transforming – Perspective”.

Transform the surface so that it “lay” on the plane. Next, duplicate 7-10 times the layer with the modified surface. Using the Move tool, move each copy (except the top one) 2-4 points down. When you are satisfied with the volume – merge all copies (except the top). Further lesson actions will not change (but you do not need to use the “Clear Layer Style”).

You will have a diagram of the layers as in the image above. Next, you need to clear the layer styles of both of the last layers (go to the layer, right-click and select “Clear layer style“(Clear Layer Style)). Name the first layer” Grass “and the second -” Surface of the Earth “.

Go to the “Surface of the Earth” layer and apply the “Dirt” texture to it (you can also use other textures – earth, stone, rock, etc.). After applying the texture, change its location and size as you wish. Add effect Inner shadow (Inner Shadow) to make the island more voluminous.

Step 5

Duplicate the “Surface of the Earth” layer and create a selection of the copy layer (press Ctrl + click on the “Surface of the Earth Copy” layer). Using the tool Move (Move Tool) drag duplicate slightly higher. Activate the tool Eraser (Eraser Tool) and erase the extra part of the surface that goes beyond the boundaries of the grass. You got two layers with the base of the island. Add a “ground copy” corrective layer Brightness \ Contrast (Brightness / Contrast) with these settings:

Add, also, effect Shadow (Drop Shadow) for both layers with the earth’s surface, as shown in the figure below:

Step 6

It’s time to add a background for our 3D map. Create a new layer of any color (above the background layer) and name it “Gradient”. Go to Layer style and activate the tab “Gradient overlay“(Gradient Overlay), gradient type – Linear (Linear Gradient); colors – from white to # 559abf.

Above the “Gradient” layer, create another layer and name it “Ocean”. On this layer, place the image, from the original materials, with the same name. Scale the image of the ocean so that it looks harmoniously (based on the size of your document). When you are satisfied with the result, change the layer blending mode “Ocean” to Overlap (Overlay), and opacity (opacity) lower to 50%

Step 7

Now our task is to connect the background and the island.
Go to the Grass layer and add a layer style. Inner shadow (Inner Shadow):

Go to the “Surface of the Earth” layer and adjust the style values. Shadow (Drop Shadow):

Above the “Earth copy” layer, create a new layer and name it “Waves”. Activate the tool Brush (Brush Tool). Choose a standard white round soft brush from the list, and paint the waves at the edges of the island.

Step 8

Add details. Create a new layer above all others. Open the tree image and place it on a new layer. Scale the tree and place on the map. Duplicate the tree layer several times. Change the size of copies and their position – create your park on the island. Refer to the image below:

Every tree (or group of trees) should cast a shadow. Use a soft black brush and paint on a new layer of plant shadow (guided by the basic lighting). Change the blend mode of the shadow layer to Overlap (Overlay), experiment with the opacity of this layer.

Translator’s Note: The layer with shadows should be under the group of layers with trees.

Create a new layer, on top of the rest, and draw clouds over the map using the Clouds brush. Remember to add the shadow of the clouds (draw them using the same method you used to add the shadows of the trees).

Step 9

To tie all the pieces together, I added a beautiful yellow tint using the adjustment layer. Photo filter (Photo Filter).

Step 10

Add to your work more elements such as: car, road, plane, ship, house, etc .. Be careful when choosing additional objects – try not to use images with the correct perspective (follow our viewing angle on the map).

The second idea is to use 3D icons and icons for this work. The kit also includes some interesting flags, plates and map symbols, maybe you decide to add them.

Translator’s Note: Add new elements under the Photo Filter adjustment layer.

You can find other interesting icons or even 3D models on the Internet.
My end result looks like this:

I hope you managed to create a unique 3D-map!

Author: psd-dude
Transfer: Sly @

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