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Tip 10: Remember, It's Photoshop!

When you're working in 3D, it's tempting to try for perfection within the modeling environment—getting the color of the lighting exactly right, aiming for precisely the correct fade on the shadow, producing the precise distance blur to make the scene work. But each tweak, adjustment, and modification will mean an extra render, and all that takes time.

Rather than aiming to make the entire image come out of the render exactly as you want it, remember that you still have the full range of Photoshop tools available. Consider getting the render as close as you need it to be, and then make a merged copy of the 3D layer, as described in “Tip 9: Select Your Render Area.” Then you can use Photoshop's full range of adjustment layers, layer masks, and retouching tools to make the render blend perfectly into the scene, just as you would if it were a regular photomontage (see Figure 10).

Figure 10

Figure 10 Using the standard Photoshop tools to make adjustments can be far quicker than setting up a new render.

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