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2.1 Introduction to Creating 3D Mockups

In this brief lesson we’ll download a PSD mockup template and look at how the layers of the file are structured. We’ll consider the pros and cons of using 3D photographic-style templates for projects, and explore a few of the options available on Envato Elements to get an idea of the range of styles available.

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2.1 Introduction to Creating 3D Mockups

Hi, guys. So I want to ease us into the world of project mockups by looking at something that's probably going to be your new best friend for future projects, especially when you have a tight deadline. So there are two main approaches to creating product mockups. One which we're going to look at in the next section of the course is to create your own mockups completely from scratch. And this is a really great skill to have and can help you have complete control over how you want your mockups to appear. The other way of creating mockups is to edit a pre-prepared template, which is usually a Photoshop file, where you can search your flat packaging design via a small object. Or by playing a Photoshop action, which will generate the 3D mockup once you've placed your artwork into a flat template. Using a pre-prepared mockup template has both advantages and drawbacks which you need to know about, so that you can make the best decision for your project when it comes down to it. On the plus side, templates are really convenient and quick. You can search for one on a template site like Envato Elements. Download it and feed in your artwork to it almost immediately, which makes it a huge time saver if you need to show some mocked up designs really quickly. You can also find templates that look really, really good. They'll have often been put together by expert Photoshop designers, who will have put in hours of work to make the template look exceptionally realistic. The final main advantage of using templates is that they are the best choice for when you want to graft your designs onto packaging that's a bit more complex than a standard box shape, so things like bottles, unusual packaging, or product shapes. And they're also fantastic for when you want to give the mockup a more complete real life scenario like this coffee cup and donuts image. This kind of image would take a lot of work to create from scratch. And you'd probably spend a lot time either the shooting the perfect photo or trying to find the perfect stock photo. So this is where a template is going to save you a lot of time. Okay, so what are the drawbacks of using these templates? Well the first and most obvious drawback is that they rarely come free. And often the free templates you can track down are simply not that good. So you do have to invest a little to get a better template result. But there are loads of good value options out there. And with something like in Envato Elements, you can even get a monthly subscription with unlimited templates to download. So if you're often doing branding projects, this is going to work out as really good value in the long term. The other drawback of templates is that you can't have complete control over how accurate your project design is represented. So you may have to work with a template that doesn't have the exact same dimensions as your finished product, like a slightly wider or narrower box shape than you want, for example. But in reality, this is a pretty minor drawback. And the choice of great templates you can download online now is just getting broader by the day. So you can find some really neat templates that will fit your product design really well. Okay, so I want to take you on a little tour of one of these template market sites, and show you the sorts of designs you can get hold of. And we'll also identify a template to download and edit for the next lesson. You can browse online alongside me if you'd like, so head over to elements.envato.com. And when you've got there, head up to the Graphic Templates menu over here. And this is what we're looking for, Product Mockups. Click on that, and we've got over a thousand templates to choose from, pretty cool. And using the search bar, you can filter the templates to see your product more specifically. So let's try coffee and see what we get. Okay, so we get a whole range of mockups from coffee cups to whole branding mockups for the interior of a coffee shop. And within each template, you're usually provided with several related Photoshop files to help create a holistic design, covering every aspect of your brand or product. Let's head back to the search bar again, and this time type in cosmetics. So cosmetics packaging is one of those things that can be really time consuming to create as a mockup from scratch. Because often you're designing a whole range of products, which is going to include a number of different types of container such as jars, tubes, boxes, and sachets. So it's the sort of project that suits the use of a mockup template that's ready made, just to save you that bit of time. In the next lesson, we're going to download one of these templates and actually look at how to prepare the artwork for it and feed the designs into the template itself. So if you'd like to follow along with the project lesson as I do it, you'll need to download this template, which is called Cosmetic Mock-Up 6. And you can find that on Envato Elements at the following address, elements.envato.com/items/type/graphic-te- mplates/cosmetic-mock-up-6-DLMGZ7. I've picked this one because it's got a nice range of packaging shapes. And it also has a few different material textures like card and shiny and matte plastics, which we'll be able to take a look at too. So click the Download button. It might take a couple of minutes to download as it's quite a large file. And then save the zip file in a folder that you can easily find your way back to on your computer. I'll see you over in the next lesson, where we'll open up the template file and take a good look at it.

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