3D Cubes Photoshop Tutorial

I have been asked a few times, how to make a 3d cube in Photoshop. here is the manual method. This tutorial will show you how to transform shapes and work with gradients to add realistic shading.

INGREDIENTS

Difficulty 5/10
3dcube
  • Pin It

3D Cubes Photoshop Tutorial

If you are looking for skills that will help you in creating cubes, and understanding gradients etc, this tutorial is perfect for you. However, if you are wanting to make 3D photo cubes, I have written a new tutorial that let’s you use the 3D features in Photoshop to make this effect much quicker.

photocube

 

Otherwise, read on!

Step 1

cube1Start with a square. Here I made a new document 300X300, created a new layer and filled it with a gradient.

 

Step 2

cube2Press Crtl/Cmd+T to enter free-transform mode.

Right click/Cmd click… when the dropdown menu appears, select SKEW

Click on the right middle square and drag up until you get your desired angle. Press Enter/return to apply the transformation.

Step 3

cube3Duplicate the layer

Step 4

cube4Enter free transform again (Ctrl/Cmd+t) Right click and this time select FLIP HORIZONTAL.

Drag out the copy to the left. Hold down the shift key to keep the baselines aligned.

You may also want to make this side a bit thinner by clicking the left middle square (node) and drag it in a little bit.

Step 5

cube5Create a new layer and make another square and fill it with the same gradient, this time make the lightest color at the bottom left.

Step 6

cube6This time while in the free transform mode… when you right click/Cmd click select DISTORT

drag each corner until you get a good match. Be sure the corners fit nice and snug. This step will take a bit of practice to master.

Step 7

cube7Finally select the top of the cube.

Image>adjust>LEVELS slide the middle triangle over to the right to darken up the mid-tones. Repeat for the left side. This step adds more realistic lighting to the cube.

Step 8

3d-cube-picturesTa-da A complete cube. Don’t limit yourself to just cubes. You can use this effect for all kinds of shapes. You can even construct a cube out of pictures. Just use images instead of the gradients.

 

Colin Smith

Colin Smith

Colin Smith is founder of the #1 PhotoshopCAFE online community which has received over 30 million visitors. Colin has Authored/Coauthored 18 books. He has won numerous awards including 3 Guru awards. He’s been nominated for the Photoshop Hall of Fame twice. Colin is a regular columnist for Photoshop User Magazine. He’s been featured in almost every major imaging magazine, and is in high demand as a speaker at major industry events including Flash Forward and WPPI . He consults such companies as ABC Disney, Apple and Adobe

More Posts

Premium Tutorials

Colin Smith

About Colin Smith

Colin Smith is founder of the #1 PhotoshopCAFE online community which has received over 30 million visitors. Colin has Authored/Coauthored 18 books. He has won numerous awards including 3 Guru awards. He’s been nominated for the Photoshop Hall of Fame twice. Colin is a regular columnist for Photoshop User Magazine. He’s been featured in almost every major imaging magazine, and is in high demand as a speaker at major industry events including Flash Forward and WPPI . He consults such companies as ABC Disney, Apple and Adobe