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Top 10 Tips for Working in 3D in Photoshop

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Steve Caplin, author of Adobe Photoshop for 3D Design and Printing: Learn by Video, shares techniques and shortcuts for being more productive and saving time when working with Photoshop's 3D capabilities.
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Photoshop's 3D capabilities have taken huge leaps forward, with the CC 2014 release providing many advanced new features. Here are 10 ways in which you can make your 3D experience smoother, faster, and more productive.

Tip 1: Master the Moving Methods

Photoshop has several ways of moving an object around, and you should learn them all so that you can use whichever method is appropriate for the task at hand.

When you first import a 3D model into Photoshop, you'll most likely have to reorient it: The object may come in lying on its side, floating in the air, and so on. Select the object and use the Move tool, set to Rotate mode, to drag the object around until it's in roughly the correct orientation. Then use the Coordinates pane in the Properties panel (see Figure 1) to orient the object precisely, which often involves setting the X, Y, or Z angle to 90°. When you've done this, click the Move to Ground button at the bottom of the panel so your object is firmly sitting on the ground plane.

Thereafter, you should move the object only by dragging a vertical side to rotate it, or dragging a vertical face to slide it. If you can't reach a side or edge, use the 3D Axis controller instead. But don't just drag anywhere with the Move tool, or you're likely to knock the object off the ground plane.

Figure 1

Figure 1 Use the Coordinates pane in the Properties panel to align objects precisely.

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