Turn your 2D designs into 3D product shots

Paul Boag

There are some tasks that are as fiddly as hell to do in Photoshop. An example of this is applying textures to 3D objects.

I had to do this recently when working on the collateral that supports my new book “Client Centric Web Design”. I had to superimpose my book cover on a real book and also show a page on an iPad. In both cases getting the perspective right turned into a real headache. Something that should have taken seconds, took far too long.

My dodgy perspective work in Photoshop

I am the first to admit that this is probably a sign of my outdated Photoshop skills, but even taking this into account there has to be an easier way.

It turns out the answer is a website called PSDCovers. The site includes a large range of 3D objects from books to iPhones. Each item has an associated Photoshop action.

To put your texture on the object, download the action and run it in Photoshop.

There are two steps with each action. The first produces a flat template that you post your texture into. This template also includes detailed instructions on each part of the template.

Example of a flat template

Step two is where the magic happens. By running the second part of the action it transforms your flat template into the final object. It takes a few seconds to run but the results are amazing. Best of all the object has a transparent background meaning it can be easily added to any image or combined with other objects.

The final example book cover

I am sure that a Photoshop expert could do this easily. However, I see this as a superb way for non Photoshop experts (clients) to apply their branding to a range of objects.