Adobe Photoshop 3d Menu

Adobe Photoshop 3d Menu

This is another Extended-only menu. It includes tools for working with 3-D images, like rendering and painting on 3-D objects. If you want to learn more about Photoshop’s 3-D capabilities, check out Dan Casey’s “3D Painting and Texturing” and Corey Barker’s “Outrageous 3D with Photoshop CS4 Extended”

Available Submenu in 3d Menu

New 3D Postcard From Layer

Use this option to apply 2-D layers to 3-D planes that Photoshop calls postcards. You can use postcards inside other 3-D objects.

New Shape From Layer

This feature lets you wrap a 2-D image around a 3-D shape. Photoshop CS5 Extended comes with a bunch of built-in shapes, including cones, spheres, and donuts.

New Mesh From Grayscale

This option changes black-and-white images into surface maps for 3-D objects. (Think of a surface map as a skin you can wrap around a 3-D object.)

New Volume From Layers

Choose this option to make a new 3-D volume for 3-D models. (A volume is a shape that represents part of a 3-D object.)


New in Photoshop CS5, this option lets you easily create 3-D versions of a variety of 2-D items such as text, paths, layer masks, and selections. It creates a 3-D layer that you can use with the full arsenal of 3-D tools in the extended version of the program.

Render Settings

Go here to adjust what your 3-D object’s surfaces look like, what types of edges it has, its volume styles, and its stereo image settings.

Ground Plane Shadow Catcher

New in Photoshop CS5, this option gives you an easy way to generate realistic shadows cast upon the “ground” (it’s actually a mesh) beneath 3-D objects.

Snap Object to Ground Plane

Also new in CS5, choose this option to align a shadow to your 3-D object.

Auto-Hide Layers For Performance

If Photoshop runs slowly when you work in 3-D files, select this item to make the program automatically hide layers you aren’t working with, which can help speed things up.

Hide Nearest Surface

This command temporarily hides parts of surface models (the outer skin of a 3-D object) that are inside or touching the area you’ve selected so you can see deeper into 3-D shapes.

Only Hide Enclosed Polygons

This option works with the Hide Nearest Surface option to make Photoshop hide only surfaces that are fully enclosed by the selected area on the 3-D object.

Invert Visible Surfaces

Choose this option to hide the currently visible surfaces and show the hidden ones.

Reveal All Surfaces

Select this item to see all your 3-D model’s surfaces.

3D Paint Mode

Use the items listed here to control how paint you’ve added to your 3-D object interacts with light.

Select Paintable Areas

Use this option to figure out which parts of your 3-D object you can paint.

Create UV Overlays

This option lets you map points on 2-D texture maps to your 3-D models for lighting effects. The points you map on the 2-D object line up with points on the 3-D object to make sure that the texture sits properly on the model.

New Tiled Painting

This option lets you convert a 2-D image into a nine-square by nine-square tiled painting that you can apply to 3-D objects. It lies atop the object in a repeating grid so you can’t see the painting’s edges. (Tiled paintings can free up memory and make your computer run faster when you’re working with 3-D objects, since Photoshop has to load the grid only once and then apply it many times.)

Paint Falloff

Choose this option to set how much paint gets applied to curved surfaces that bend away from your point of view.

Reparameterize UVs

If you change the shape of a 3-D object after applying a texture to it, your texture may look distorted. This option remaps the texture to remove surface buckles and bends from a model that’s been modified.

Merge 3D Layers

Go here to blend two 3-D layers so that both objects appear on a single layer. Both objects remain editable, but if one is substantially larger than the other, the smaller one may look like it’s embedded inside the bigger one.

Export 3D Layer

Use this option to make a new file that’s compatible with programs like Collada, Wavefront/OBJ, and Google Earth, or with the .u3d file format.

Resume Progressive Render

In CS4, this option was called “Render for Final Output”. It lets you resume the process of making a high-quality version of your 3-D object (or a selection of it) if you’ve previously paused it.

Progressive Render Selection

New in Photoshop CS5, this options lets you make a high-quality version of a selected portion of a 3-D object (instead of the whole thing, which takes longer) that you can use in animations, print, or on the Web. You can also pause the rendering process and start it back up again by using the menu command above.


This option converts your 3-D object to a flat, 2-D image.

Browse 3D Content Online

Choose this item to point your web browser to the Adobe website, where you can download third-party add-ons designed to extend Photoshop’s 3-D capabilities.

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