Space Ramblings

Working with 3-D in Photoshop CS3 Elements

My first impression of Photoshop CS3 was admittedly dour. From the ugly icon to an interface that like Vue 6 seemed to be optimized for a black and grey Vista environment I found quite ugly, Photoshop CS3 was just downright depressing.

Inside after the usual rearrangements required from learning where everything is after you skip a version the results aren’t bad. The feathering controls are over complicated and comes with the bulky Adobe Bridge junk and the rest of the bloatware that Adobe insists on shoving on their users, but there’s really only one real reason to upgrade Photoshop CS3 and that is the 3D features found in CS3 Elements.

I mean the Smart Filters are cute and non-destructive editing is obviously the image editing wave of the future. Especially once we’re all playing with terrabyte hard drives and expanded sets. Improving the Vanishing Point was nice and comes in handy on some pictures. But it’s 3D that is the star.

Back around Photoshop 6 I believe, Adobe introduced basic 3D features into Photoshop that basically allowed you to draw a 3D sphere or cube and then map textures around it. Possibly minus the texture part. I haven’t noticed it in a while so I suspect the feature never survived. But what Adobe has done with Photoshop CS3 Extended Edition is far more useful, letting you import 3D DXF and OBJ files and models and arrange them in the program. Texture handling is another issue but even what CS3 Extended allows you to do opens up a lot of possibilities. Of course the 3D models don’t compare to what you would get with fully rendered texture mapped models but it’s handy for adding in 3D clip art.

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