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3.1 Introduction to Creating 3D Mockups From Scratch

In this lesson we’ll take a look at how you can create your own 3D mockups in Photoshop using imported vector shapes. We’ll take a look at a final mockup design that I created in Photoshop, and look at the pros and cons of creating your own 3D mockups from scratch.

3.1 Introduction to Creating 3D Mockups From Scratch

Hey guys, welcome back. We had a look in the last section of the course at how you can edit pre-prepared templates and customize them with your own packaging artwork. But what if you can't find a template that fits the portions of your packaging? And what if you have a little bit more time to devote to creating something more custom and unique for your design? This is when creating a product mockup from scratch is the best option for giving you complete flexibility over how you want the product mockup to look. And also is a great design skill to just have as well. In this lesson I want to briefly introduce you to the process of creating your own product mockups from scratch and talk about the technical aspects of creating 3D designs. In the next lesson we're going to create a product mockup from scratch together. So let's take a look at what we'll be creating. So this is the scenario. A client wants us to create a new logo and a complete packaging design for a chocolate brand he's launching in stores. I've already created the basic brand look of the product. We've got a logo, brand colors, and some graphics for the packaging that are ready to go. And I'm going to provide these artwork files for you so you can dive right into the product mockup stage. To showcase our designs to the client, we'll be creating four product mockups, boxy packaging for a chocolate bar, a magazine cover, an open spread featuring the chocolate brand. A label for attaching to product packaging, and a paper bag showcasing the logo. So this is going to give the client a sort of narrative for the brand, how the product itself will appear on the shelves. How the designs will look in the press and how people will take away the product from stores. For the purposes of this course, this is also going to give you a great overview of many techniques that go into creating product mockups. From creating perspective, working with light and shadows, integrating subjects into your mockups and working with different material finishes and textures. Now let's take another look at our chocolate bar packaging. This is what we're going to create in the next few lessons of the course. And there's a good reason why we're starting with this first. Packaging comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but the most common, and luckily for you, the most simple shape to work with is the box shape. Think about the types of packaging that you've got hanging around your house right now. No doubt most items like food, cosmetics, DVDs, electronics are contained in some sort of box. A box can be square, rectangular, broad, narrow, made of a really hefty cardboard or a thin card. But ultimately that shape is going to be roughly the same with six sides of varying dimensions. Now with this in mind, the process of creating a packaging mockup for a small box of cereal or for a large item of flat pack furniture is actually pretty similar. Once you get the box shape in place, you can create any sort of design for a huge range of products. So this is where we're gonna start, creating a simple box mockup for the chocolate bar packaging. And the process is pretty simple. Let's have a look at the steps together here. If you want to refer back to these in the future, you might want to take a screenshot of this checklist or make a note of it. So first, you need to create a 3D box shape that matches the dimensions of your packaging. There are different ways of doing this, but the way I like is to use the custom bevel function in Adobe Illustrator, which we're going to look at in the next lesson. The most important thing to achieve in this stage is accurate perspective. If the perspective of your mockup looks a little bit off, the realism of your mockup will be lost on the viewer. But don't worry, this is easier to achieve than it sounds, and we'll tackle it together in the next lesson. Next up we need to graft the 2D artwork on to the box shape in Photoshop. Then it's time to make the mockup appear more photo realistic by manipulating light and shadows. The interplay of light and shadows, as with any image whether it's an oil painting or a photograph, is key to making the image appear 3D like it's appearing in real life. Finally, you can take the mockup a stage further and bring in different materials to the design, adding gloss varnish, plastic film, crimpled paper textures. Or imitating the effect of materials like leather, cotton, wood, or metal can bring a whole other dimension to your mockup, and make it look particularly interesting and realistic. Okay, so with this checklist at the back of our minds, let's get started. For the next lesson, you'll need access to Adobe Illustrator. So open the program up, get ready for creating your first 3D box shape.

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