Create a 3D planet in Photoshop

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a planet using the capabilities of 3D layers in Photoshop CS4 Extended.

Materials for the lesson:

Step 1. Create a new document.

Step 2. We will need a texture for our planet, you can use the planetpixelemporium.com resource, upload the image “color map” (available in the archive) and drag it into our document, name the layer “planet”.

Step 3. Next, follow the menu 3D \ new shape from layer \ Sphere (3D \ New Shape From Layer \ Sphere). This will be the basis for our planet.

Step 4. Now the “planet” layer is a 3D layer, the 3D icon appears on the layers panel.

Step 5. Select tool “Rotate 3D object “ (3D Rotation Tool) and rotate the earth as you wish, you can limit the rotation along the axes using the keys Alt or Shift

Step 6. Make the edges of the planet smoothed. Double-click the 3D layer icon on the layers palette to open the palette. 3D or Window \ 3D. At the top of the 3D palette, click Scene\ Scene and value Smoothing (Anti-Alias) put on The best (Best).

Step 7. Now click on Global illumination color (Global Ambient Color) and set the color R: 100, G: 100, B: 100. This will change the surrounding color to a brighter one.

Step 8. Now, we will create a relief on the surface of the planet using texturing (bump mapping) – a method of achieving the appearance of a relief on a surface using texturing (Bump – relief, Mapping – imposing a texture on the surface). Download the image “bump map” and save. Now let’s go to the palette 3D, select Material (Sphere_Material) and click on the texture map menu icon next to the texture map type and select Load texture (Load Texture) – image “bump map”. Set the value Gloss (Glossiness) on 100%

Step 9. On the palette 3D You see three types of light source. First choose Light source 1 (Infinite Light 1) and set the color R: 150, G: 150, B: 150. Next, select Light source 2 (Infinite Light 2) and set the color R: 180, G: 180, B: 180 and Light source 3 (Infinite Light 3) colors R: 130, G: 130,B: 130. You can also rotate the light source, keeping its position in 3D space – tool Turn, Dragging (Drag the Light) and Move (Slide the Light).

Step 10. Now change the position Source 3 (Infinite Light 3) – place the light source above the sphere.

Step 11. Now create clouds around the planet. Go to the layers palette and duplicate the “planet” layer, name the duplicate “cloud”, open the palette 3D for the cloud layer. Select Material (Sphere_Material), click Edit Diffusion Texture (Edit the Diffuse Texture) and select Remove texture (Remove Texture), set the color Diffuse color white. Now click Edit embossed texture (Edit the Bump Texture) and select Remove texture (Remove Texture), we will use a different cloud texture.

Now we have a white sphere. Click Edit opacity texture (Edit the Opacity Texture) and select Load texture (Load Texture) (use the image “clouds transparency”. Adjust the clouds, click Edit opacity texture (Edit the Opacity Texture) and select Open texture (Open Texture). The texture will open in a new document, next Image \ Correction \ Invert (Image \ Adjustments \ Invert), save and close the document, now you see that the opacity of the clouds has changed.

The weather seems to be too cloudy – we can see clouds on the other side of the planet. Uncheck Bilateral (Two Sided), change to white Lighting (Ambient) and Highlight color (Specular)

Step 12. Lift the clouds above the surface – change the color of all light sources to white. You can reposition the clouds using 3D object tools.

Step 13. Apply a layer style to the “cloud” layer. Shadow\ Drop Shadow

Step 14. Our planet is ready. Now combine the layers “planet” and “clouds”, name the layer “ground”, pull out the guides using the tool “Moving” (Move Tool). Choose a tool “Oval area” (Elliptical Marque Tool) and hold the keys Alt +Shift, draw a selection from the intersection point of the guides. Further Select \ Invert (Select \ Inverse) and click Delete, deselect Ctrl +D.

Step 15. Using the tool “Moving” (Move Tool), move the planet up a bit. Apply layer style Inner shadow\ Inner Shadow.

Step 16. Create a new layer and name it “shadow”, place a layer under the layer with the planet on the layers palette. Select tool “Oval area “ (Elliptical Marquee Tool) and draw a selection as shown below, fill the selection with black, remove the selectionCtrl +D. Next in the menu Filter \ Blur \ Gauss Blur (Filter \ Blur \ Gaussian Blur) radius 7 px and applicable Filter \ Blur \ Motion Blur (Filter \ Blur \ Motion Blur) angle (Angle) 0, bias (Distance) 150 px

Step 17. Duplicate the “shadow” layer and Ctrl + T and reduce the vertical and horizontal dimensions, this will make the shadow darker at the base.

Step 18. Duplicate the planet layer and name the “reflection”, delete the layer style Inner shadow\ Inner Shadow. Further Editing \ Transforming \ Flip Vertically (Edit \ Transform \ Flip Vertical) to reflect the image.

Step 19. Add a layer mask (Layer Mask) to the “reflection” layer, select the “Gradient” (Gradient Tool), black to white and draw a gradient as shown below.

Now click on the thumbnail of the “reflection” layer, then Filter \ Blur \ Gauss Blur (Filter \ Blur \ Gaussian Blur) radius 2 px, opacity (Opacity) for a layer 75%. Apply a gradient from blue to light blue on the background layer.

The author hopes that you enjoyed working with 3D-objects!

Author: Eren Goksel

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