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Animating a 3D Layer in Adobe Photoshop CS5


  1. Animating a 3D layer

Article Description

This excerpt from Adobe Photoshop CS5 Classroom in a Book shows you how to animate a 3D postcard.

Note: This excerpt does not include the lesson files. The lesson files are available with purchase of the book.

Now you’re ready to have some fun with your 3D postcard. Not only can you swivel it in 3D space, but you can record its movement over time in an animated QuickTime movie. To see the finished animation, play the Lesson12_end.mov file in the Lesson 12 folder. You must have Apple QuickTime installed to view the animation.

  1. Rename the Background layer CD Cover.
  2. Choose Window > Animation to open the Animation panel. The Animation panel lists both layers.
  3. In the Animation panel, click the triangle next to the CD Cover layer to display its keyframe attributes. You may need to resize the panel to see the attributes.
  4. Click the stopwatch icon (stop_watch.jpg) next to 3D Object Position to create an initial keyframe. The initial keyframe marks the position of the object at 0 seconds.
  5. Drag the current-time indicator to 3:00f. This is where you’ll set the next keyframe, which will record the object’s position at that point in the timeline.
  6. Select the 3D Object Rotate tool (rotate-tool.jpg) in the Tools panel.
  7. Hold down the Shift key as you click on the center-left edge of the canvas, and drag the cursor all the way to the right of the canvas. The postcard flips so that you’re seeing its back. Photoshop adds a keyframe at 3:00f to mark the new position.
  8. Move the current-time indicator back to the beginning of the timeline, and then press Play. Press the spacebar to stop the playback.

It’s a catchy little animation, and it’s ready to export.

  1. Drag the end point of the work area to 3:00f, so the entire work area spans from 0:00 to 3:00f. Photoshop will render the frames included in the work area.
  2. In the 3D Panel, choose Ray Traced Final from the Quality panel in the Render Settings area.
  3. Choose File > Export > Render Video.
  4. In the Render Video dialog box, select QuickTime Export, and choose QuickTime Movie from the pop-up menu. Then click Settings.
  5. Click Settings again in the Movie Settings dialog box. From the Compression Type menu, choose H.264. Choose 15 from the Frame Rate menu. Set Quality to Medium, and select Faster Encode for Encoding. Click OK, and click OK again to return to the Render Video dialog box.
  6. In the Render Video dialog box, make sure Currently Selected Frames is selected in the Range area. Change the Size to 700 × 700. Then click Render.

Photoshop renders the movie to your Lesson12 folder.