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Adobe Photoshop CC - Advanced Training

How to add and change 3D materials & textures in Photoshop

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, this video is all about materials and textures. We'll make some kind of light blue acrylic, just some shiny green stuff, some glass. All right, let's figure out how to make it. 

So continuing on from our last tutorial, we're going to look at the materials or textures of our 3d Extrusion, specifically this Type here. So what we need to do is have the background layer selected, it's actually not going to be called background anymore, I'm going to call it '3D Type'. We're going to go to our 3D Panel, so the materials are these things here. You can see, inflation material, bevel material, we've got the front of it. The edges of it, the extrusion, which is the sides of it. They're back bevel and the backside, which we can't see. What we want to do is actually do it for all of them. So what we can do is just click on this one and select this. So we've got all of the different material selected. And what you'll see at the top here is your Properties Panel changes. 

So the starting off material, is if I drop this down, your basic one is this guy here, hover above him. He's No Texture, that's what we've got. This No Texture has a diffusion color of the green that we got from our type. This is how you change your color. Say you want it to be pink now. And we're going to hit 'Render'. You can see, it's using that color now. 'Esc'. So you can start with this basic color, and play around with things like the shine, reflection, roughness, bump, opacity, refraction. Experiment them, we're not going to go through all of them. Reflection's probably like a big shiny material. If you go 100% it's a complete mirror. It's not going to be that useful, so I'm going to reflect a bit of shininess. I'm going to hit 'Render', and I'm going to spend a little bit of time waiting for this to render so you can see what it is. Even I got bored of it, so we sped it up to here. 

What I'm going to show you is, while you're working, it's best to probably turn your Render Settings down to a really low quality, just so that you get a quick look of it without it going too far. But before we do that, you can see the shine and reflection appearing here, you can see the reflection of the background graphic, the wood cast in there. It's pretty amazing, you can see the reflection of each of the letters on itself. It's all very amazing, it's time to get nicer and nicer, but you can see it's got a lot more rendering to do before this thing is perfect. 

So things you can do to speed up your render time. First thing is, under your 'Image'-- oops, I'm going to have to 'Esc'. Under your 'Image', 'Image Size', you can work at it really small. We're working at 1500 pixels across, which is reasonably small, right? I did it for this exercise so that when you're playing along, it's not going too slow. The cool thing about it though is that Rad here is vector. So we can scale this right down to something really small, and work on it there. Just, you know, a really small version, and when we're finished, before we do our final render, just yank up the pixels to something larger. The only thing that's going to limit it is our background graphic. I made it 1500 pixels across, you might have to just work with a Smart Object that's a lot larger, so that you can scale it up. 

The other thing you can do to speed things up is under 'Preferences', and we're going to go to 'Performance'. You can yank this up even higher. You can switch it to this Huge Pixel Dimension option. And under 3D, make sure that your VRAM-- it's different from the regular RAM. This is your Video RAM, I've got mine at 100%, take over, please. Shadow Quality, low, High Quality, Threshold, low. Let's click 'OK', and now I'm going to do another render, well, I won't do another render, but it will go faster. So let's look at a little bit more materials. 

This 3D environment can get a little bit tricky. So what you can do, like on the Layers Panel, remember, earlier on we went, only show me stuff that has a Type Layer. You can do the same in the 3D Layer. I click on my-- in your Layers Panel you've actually got the layer selected. 3D here, you can say, actually just show me the meshes, which is the actual physical objects, here's my type, and there's my background. Or I can turn that off and actually just turn on the materials. So that's the material, that is my background. And these are the materials that are being used on this object. The front, back, left side, and any corners. Once we get into light you can turn those on as well, we set the One Overall Light at the moment. 

So under 'Materials' I'm going to select all of these. I want all of the materials for Rad. And you can play with these, but under this little drop down here there's a bunch of default ones as well. You just hover above them, they'll give you a kind of an explanation what they are. Cotton fabric, Denim. So you can play around with these and apply it. Let's look at maybe something like, kind of glass. Crystal glass, frosted glass, glass scratches. Pick one, Dan. Glass Smooth, I'm picking Glass Smooth and-- problem with the glass is, while I'm working on it, it's completely see-through. And when I hit render, it's quite the stress on the machine trying to render glass. So 'Render 3D', hit all the buttons. It's got started. But even on the lower qualities it's still not right. 
The one thing with the quality though, make sure you turn it back up when you do your final export, or you're ready for your final print. Before we move on, especially working with glass, it's just the rendering's taking too long. So what we can do is, you can grab the 'Rectangle Marquee Tool', and what we might do actually is turn up my rendering, so back to '3D', and I'm going to say, actually let's go for high quality. It's going to crank back up, because what I'm going to do is I'm going to use my Rectangle Marquee Tool. Select a chunk. I'm not able to see the whole thing, well I can, but I just want to see just this chunk. Maybe that bit there. And if I click on this Render button down the bottom, it will render just where I have a Rectangle Marquee Tool. So I can zoom in a bit. No, we’ll wait for it to finish. 

I said I'll try to render out the whole thing, I can just take a little snippet and get an idea of the material before I go and maybe commit to the whole thing being rendered. So make a selection, Rectangle Marquee Tool, and then just give that button a click. You can see, I cranked it up pretty high, and you can see it's going even slower than it was before, but I'm getting a good sense of the object here. That's enough for me, 'Esc'. I'm going to 'Select', 'Deselect', and I'm going to turn my Preferences back to something more manageable. Shadow Quality, back to low. 

A couple of things before we move on, about materials. One is, you can see, it's kind of rendering this dark black line through it. You might not be able to see it because you can't see this floor plane. To get rid of that kind of weird dark line, go to your-- back to this option here in the 3D Layer. It's showing me everything in my 3D scene. Click on the word 'Scene'. I like to click on the word Environment. There's the ground plane. Photoshop puts it in there by default, because it's cool. If you don't have this wooden background, at least the shadows get cast on the floor, which is pretty cool, but in our case I want to turn the opacity down to 0. 

The other thing is, because it's glass it's hard to see, what you can do is you can go to 'Scene', and show me the 'Lines'. They do render, so you can use it kind of to re-angle things, but then turn them off before you render it out. Let's grab our material for this guy, for Rad, and don't use glass, stresses the machine out. What you can do though is start messing around with some of these other colors. They're not just colors, some of them have what's called a Bump Map, which means they're actually going to give it a kind of a lumpy look. It's out of the scope of this video. If you want to go back to just a standard flat color, kind of about halfway down there's one called No Texture. Then click on the 'Diffusion Color', and pick a color, I'm going to go back to our little minty green. 

So there are some built in materials you can use. Once you've loaded them you can adjust them. Also know that there are actually some more that Adobe will give you. They give it to you free, if you go to '3D', and go to this option that says 'Get more content', it will load up the Adobe website. It will come to here, and down here you can-- there's materials that you can download. There's also some meshes. When they say mesh, they mean a 3D model. And down here there's different stages, kind of lighting setups for products, all sorts of awesome stuff. Once you have downloaded the materials and unzipped them, you can go into here and just go to the cog, and say 'Load Materials'. 

So that's going to be it for materials. Let's get into the next video where we look at using cameras.