Lesson 12 – Advanced Techniques: Intro to 3D

CIOS F255 - University of Alaska Fairbanks


The increased  availability of technology for 3D printing at home is so exciting! Even more exciting is  that Photoshop allows us to create 3D designs and send them to a printer, our own or an online service! Although Photoshop is not the industry standard application for truly complex 3D creation, we can still do a lot in this software. This week, we’ll explore the 3D interface and try making something with some depth!




Working in 3D requires a bit more processing power out of your computer than the flat 2D files require. If your 3D menu is greyed out, you must enable the graphics processor in the Photoshop preferences panel (Top Menu -> Photoshop -> Preferences)

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 11.11.13 AM


What this will do is allow your computer to use more Video RAM (VRAM) for processing 3D, which does require more processing power. (Let me know in advance if your computer is not sufficient   – I have provided an alternative assignment for you just in case.) When you’re not working with 3D, you can leave the Graphics Processor turned off.

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12a Requirements

  1. You must use a 3D creation space – this means a space with an x, y, and z axis. This can be in Photoshop or Tinkercad (or other 3D software)
  2. You must take at least 3 screenshots during your process
  3. Create a new post on our website titled  ‘Assignment 12a – yourname’
  4. include your process notes of the steps you took on your post
  5. Answer these questions on your post:
    1. What parts of creating your piece, if any, did you have trouble with?
    2. Did you send your design to be printed?

Assignment 12a

Earrings that I made in Photoshop and had printed at Shapeways in black plastic.

Last week you did some research on 3D tutorials using Photoshop. This week you will follow a tutorial and post screenshots of your progress. You do not have to send the final file out for printing but you can if you like (it’s not very expensive if you use a basic plastic material) – it’s pretty fun to get your creation in the mail a couple weeks later – a few students have done this in the past!

Choose one of the following to complete:

  1. The 3D tutorial you found and posted about last week.
  2. The tutorial I created for making a 3D object for printing.  
  3. The tutorial for creating the ‘Visit Paris’ tag (use whatever text you want)

Alternate – Assignment 12a  

If your computer is not able to run the 3D interface, you can use a free online tool like  Tinkercad  instead to create your 3D object. Tinkercad will also let you send it for printing if you like. If you choose to use Tinkercad, there are many lessons and tutorials available on their website to get you started.

Take notes as you create your design in Tinkercad   and post a screenshot of your final design on the course site. Let us know what you think about the interface, what trouble you ran into, and let us know if you decided to send your design out for printing!

Assignment 12b – Final Project Proposal

Create a post with an outline of your ideas for the final project. If you don’t know what you will do, then spend a bit of time thinking about it and researching. Include an image if you like of an approach you want to try or something that you will use for inspiration. Title your post ‘Assignment 12b – yourname’


No quiz this week. 🙂


Comments on other student’s work is encouraged!