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Photoshop Tutorial - Create a 3D Drinks Can

To perform this tutorial, you need Photoshop CS4 Extended or CS5 Extended. Whichever version you use, open the program and go to EDIT...Preferences...Performance and tick the 'Enable OpenGL Drawing' box. Here's the science:

Photoshop CS5 and CS4 leverage the video adapter's chip (the graphics processing unit, or GPU) instead of the computer's main chip (CPU) to speed some functions. Photoshop accesses and uses the GPU when the GPU:

  • supports OpenGL, a software and hardware standard that accelerates video processing when working with large or complex images, including 3D.
  • has at least 256 MB of RAM.
  • has a display driver that supports OpenGL 2.0 and Shader Model 3.0, which the GPU uses to perform rendering effects.
Pepsi Right-click and 'Save Image' and save the image to the left. (Of course it doesn't have to be Pepsi.  Try Google Images for Coke etc.)

Start a new file in Photoshop - I've used 1200 px x 1000 px high, 72 ppi. (The background doesn't matter as we'll manipulate that later).

Go to 3D...New Shape From Layer...Soda Can.

3D Shape From Layer

Pepsi Can

This will produce the above shape. Use the 3D Rotate Tool 3D Rotate View Tool to 'tilt' the can slightly backwards (roll over the image above to see what we mean)

3D Rotation

When you select this tool, the icon above will appear which, when dragged, positions your object in a number of ways.

Double-click on the thumbnail window of the background layer to bring up the 3D {Materials} pane and make the Cap_Material Gloss 50%

Background Layer

Cap Glossiness
Now click on Label_Material and make the Gloss 20%. .Label Gloss
Click the 'folder' icon next to 'Diffuse'.  Choose Load Texture and browse to where you saved the Pepsi label to. Load Texture

Now go to 3D...Rasterize.


Can 2


Learn how to make a 3D can in Illustrator here.

Finished Can
Or, for a far, far better background, check out this tutorial!