Best Photoshop Tutorials For 3D Modelers


Photoshop is one of the most versatile tools for any 3D design company, because it isn’t limited to just photo editing. What originally started out as a photo editing software by Adobe has now blossomed into a versatile piece of software which extends to 3D design. It allows you to import, rotate, scale, and even work with meshes, create textures, add lighting, etc. Most people don’t know much about these features unless they have used Photoshop for years.

Why 3D Modelers Should Know Photoshop?

Our answer to anyone who asks this is why shouldn’t they learn Photoshop? We think every self-respecting artist should know their way around photoshop and every good 3D modeler should know about its 3D modeling capabilities. Sure you may not want to use Photoshop for 3D modeling because there are other more powerful pieces of software like 3DS Max, Blender, etc. But Photoshop’s 3D features are not meant to replace these types of professional software. Though much of the graphics you see is designed partially if not entirely in Photoshop. Professionals use it for everything from texture editing to finalizing a mockup.

All versions beyond CS3 Extended allows users to open 3D files directly in the software and some features can be directly edited like lighting and textures. Though later versions have enhanced capabilities putting it nearly on par with commercially available 3D specific software. Sure, Photoshop can’t edit a 3D model by itself, it does help to create materials, lighting, and textures. Tools like the Brush Tool helps to paint directly over a 3D surface.

Now that we have piqued your interest in using Photoshop for 3D modeling work let’s get into which tutorials should be worth checking out.

How to Create an Apple Watch in Photoshop?
Photoshopstar has an excellent tutorial which walks Photoshop beginners through creating an Apple Watch. The process uses a mixture of 3D tools within the software, as well as layers and numerous other techniques to produce a photorealistic 3D model. One of the primary reasons for us recommending this tutorial above every other is because it is beginner friendly. Even if you have never used 3D software before, you can follow through and pick up a number of useful skills along the way. Though we will encourage people, who follow the tutorial to experiment once the model has been completed because there are many cool things which can be done.

Create a Vintage TV in Photoshop
Photoshoptutorials’ excellent tutorial on how to create a vintage TV set helps newbie Photoshop users get to grips on the basics of its 3D tools. It walks people through every step of creating a realistic looking, yet cute TV which for the most part looks as though it was built using professional 3D software. However, it is entirely done in Photoshop as the tutorial explains.

The primary reason why we recommend this tutorial is because it helps teach people the basics of creating textures. As a 3D modeler, the one reason why you would want to import a model into Photoshop is to create textures. Photoshop makes creating textures easy and quick. So, learning it can help take you a long way.

Create an iMac with Magic Mouse
Design.tutsplus’ tutorial is a great way to get into 3D modeling using only Photoshop. Now let’s make one thing clear the tutorial isn’t meant for seasoned 3D modelers who are already using a professional piece of software. However, they too can use the tutorial to learn how Photoshop can be used to model. While the tools are limited compared to dedicated 3D software, they are still extremely powerful.

We recommend the tutorial to anyone who wants to start 3D modeling. Photoshop makes modeling easier which makes it a good launchpad for beginners. You will learn how to use the mesh tool to sculpt the model, i.e. the iMac and Magic Mouse. If anything it works to open your eyes to the possibility that Photoshop holds for 3D design professionals.

How to Create a Realistically looking DSLR Camera Tutorial
Design.tutsplus’ yet another tutorial is a step more advanced compared to the iMac and Magic Mouse tutorial we mentioned above. It goes in depth when it comes to teaching people how to sculpt advanced shapes. Plus, it also goes into things like texturing. Seasoned 3D modelers will want to pay attention when working through this tutorial mainly because texturing is worth learning.

Texturing is the cornerstone of 3D modeling and Photoshop makes that job easy. The tutorial will help newbies learn all the basic tricks when it comes to creating realistic textures. However, the only drawback to the tutorial is that it will take you a while to work through it. Even seasoned designers will require 3 hours from start to finish.

Retro Style Game Controller Design in Photoshop
Yet another tutorial by Design.Tutsplus and this time around the tutorial takes you deeper into Photoshop’s 3D modeling capabilities. It is, for the most part, a comparatively short tutorial, but many people new to 3D modeling may take longer since some aspects are difficult. Especially getting specific shapes to look exactly as it does in the pictures is difficult. Though it is one of the most essential tutorials for both beginner and advanced 3D modelers. If anything it highlights how powerful Photoshop can be when it comes to 3D modeling.


While we have listed a certain number of tutorials in order of their difficulty, you can choose any one of these you are comfortable starting with. Designing 3D models should be fun, and nobody understands that more than our 3D design company. We love designing, and we have all learned the art of 3D modeling because we found it to be blissful. That said there could be some frustration associated with learning the ropes, but it is all well worth it. Plus, tools like Photoshop are so good and easy, that it can help just about anyone design what they want, in a comparatively short period of time.