Create a three-dimensional drawing in Photoshop

Drawing a side view of an object seems to be the most simple and intuitive – without a “perspective”, drawing is easy and fun. However, because of its simplicity, the side view drawings are also quite boring, and it is very problematic to convey the character and qualities of the object in them. In this short tutorial, I will show you how to turn them into an interesting, three-dimensional drawing with a simple trick in Photoshop.

1. Prepare a side view drawing.

Step 1

Open Adobe Photoshop. Create a new document (Ctrl / Cmd-N) and draw a side view of your character on a new layer (Ctrl / Cmd-Shift-Alt-N).

Step 2

Install Opacity (Opacity) layer by 20%. Then create a new layer.

Step 3

On this new layer, draw a simplified version of the character. Use the forms as simple as possible, forget the details for a second.

2. Build the connecting box

Step 1

Each three-dimensional object, regardless of the level of detail, can be enclosed in a so-called box. Similarly, a side view (2D) can be enclosed in one side of this box – a rectangle. Let’s build it!

Select RectangleTool (The Rectangle Tool (U)) and change its settings as shown below.

Step 2

Draw any rectangle. Do not bother to create a new layer – for the figures they are created automatically.

Step 3

Use the tool FreeTransformTool (Free Transform (Ctrl / Cmd-T)) to resize the rectangle and closely place the character inside. Hide the character (click on the “eyes” icon next to the corresponding layer on the layers panel).

Step 4

Duplicate (Ctrl/CmdJ) a rectangle and hide the original.

Now we need some rules of perspective. You can find them in my other lessons on perspectives – they are not as complicated as you might think. Here is an example!

  • If you want to see the front of the character, make a rectangle on the left.
  • If you want to see the back of the character, make a rectangle on the right.

  • If you want to see the top of the character, make a rectangle shorter on top.
  • If you want to see the bottom of the character, make the rectangle shorter below.

Step 5

Side view must be distorted to transform into a three-dimensional view. Return the visibility of the layer to the original rectangle and lower it. Opacity (Opacity). Use DirectSelectionTool (Node selection tool (A)), hold down Shift and click on the points on the side near the “space”.

When both points are selected, click the down arrow to move them down. Now we have one side of the connecting box!

Step 6

The side view carries information about the height and length of the character, but 3D is three measurements.

Create a new layer. Remove the visibility of the rectangle, but return the visibility of the layer with the character. Turn on the rulers (Ctrl / Cmd-R) and drag them horizontally to the picture to measure the most important parts of the character. Use these lines to draw a simple top view.

Hint: you can draw only half the top view and then duplicate it (Ctrl / Cmd-J) and Edit > Transform > FlipVertical (Edit> Transform> Flip Vertically).

Step 7

Create a connecting rectangle for the top view, as before.

Step 8

Return to the distorted rectangle. We can create from it the second part of our “box”. Pull it while holding Alt to duplicate it. Move it according to the rules of perspective:

• If you want to see the front, move to the right.

• If you want to see the back, move it to the left.

• If you want to see the top, move down.

• If you want to see the bottom, move up.

As for the distance:

• The narrower the length, the greater the horizontal distance.

• The lower the height, the greater the vertical distance.

• The distance cannot be greater than the width in the top view.

Step 9

Connect the parties with PenTool (Pen (P)) (using the same settings as the rectangle). Our box is ready!

3. Adjust side view for three-dimensional junction box.

Step 1

And now we need to fit the character inside the box. First use FreeTransformTool (Free Transform (Ctrl / Cmd-T)) with the Shift key pressed to adjust the height of the character to the height of the box.

Step 2

Hold Ctrl / Cmd and drag the bottom point to the bottom corner of the far side. Do the same with the top point. Our goal is to “attach” the character to the distorted side.

Step 3

Hold Alt and drag the character to place a copy on the other side.

Step 4

The problem is that not every element of the body is the same width. Let’s look at the example of the face. Create a new layer to draw a line between the bases of the face on both sides.

Now draw the same line between both sides in the top view.

Step 5

As you can see, the muzzle begins a little deeper, and not right near the sides.

Try to simulate similar proportions on this line:

Step 6

Choose a face on one side with LassoTool (Lasso (L)). Cut and paste it into place on the new layer.

Step 7

Drag your mouth along the line in order to move it to the right place.

Step 8

Do the same with the other side.

Step 9

Look at the top view and decide which parts should also be moved inwards. You can even measure them only visually, if you feel confident.

4. Complete the drawing

Step 1

Combine all parts and lower them. Opacity (Opacity). Then create a new layer and merge the lines. You will need a little creative thinking, but it should be much easier than drawing without any help lines.

Step 2

Lower the opacity and create a new layer. Draw all the details as you would in the side view.

It’s all!

At first this may seem a bit confusing, but once you understand what it all means, you can skip most of these steps and do them all in your mind. In the end, you will be able to present your character as it deserves to be shown!

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