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One of the most impressive new capabilities in Photoshop CS4 is direct integration between Vanishing Point and Photoshop's 3D Layers.  Why is this cool?  Because you can turn this still photograph (a higher-res copy, obviously):

photoshop-vanishing-point-3d-tease1.png...into a fully-navigable 3D scene, letting you do things like this movie (download MOV):
...without ever leaving Photoshop.
Note: I'm working on a video tutorial for the following steps, but I live in a swamp with very limited bandwidth.  I'll put the video up the next time I drop by the office - which will be before I write Part 2 of this series.  If you'd like to experiment -- and I encourage you to -- read on:

Look for a high-res photo, preferably of an area with square corners.  Although you can finesse the Vanishing Point tool a little bit, it really is best suited to scenes like alleyways and rooms.

Once you have the photo, bring it into Photoshop.  Go to Filters -> Vanishing Point -- if it's greyed out, make sure that the photo layer you're working on is unlocked.

When the Vanishing Point window comes up, you'll have a crosshair for your mouse cursor.  Find a flat, rectangular surface in your photo, and click on its four corners to draw a rectangle around it.

photoshop-vanishing-point-3d-1.png

Now, you can use the Create Plane tool (keyboard shortcut is "C") to "pull off" planes that are perpendicular to the one you just created.  With the Create Plane tool selected, grab one of your planes at a "stretch" point on an edge, and as you drag away, you'll notice that it's creating a creepily-accurate plane based on the one you just drew.


As you use the tool, you'll begin to get a feel for what kinds of pictures would work well with it.  Play with it for a while, and we'll revisit it to bring it back into Photoshop in a couple of days.

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about.this

Advanced GOP-ology was the previous entry in this blog.

Making Mouse Cursor easy to find is the next entry in this blog.

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