Two of the great new enhancements in the new Photoshop CS6 are the 3D and the animation. These two features expand the possibilities of Photoshop users and allow them to use Photoshop to create and edit 3D content and create animations using a new, enhanced Timeline panel, similar to the one you can see in other professional animations applications, such as Premiere and After Effects. In our previous tutorial we have learnt how to create a 3D scene from scratch in Photoshop CS6 and today we will extend our experience to 3D text animation in Photoshop using the animation Timeline panel.
Also, we will learn how to import video animations into Photoshop files and how to handle them on the timeline. This tutorial requires that you have a basic knowledge of 3D and animation in Photoshop CS6. You can learn more about 3D and animation in Photoshop from my book 3D in Photoshop for Animators.
Below is a preview of the final result that you should achieve by the end of the tutorial:
Now, let us move on to the tutorial itself:
Create a new file from the File menu, and from the New File dialog box, choose Film and Video from the Presets drop-down list and set it to NTSC DV.
Now, we will import the animated video into the Photoshop file. You can download the free video footage from the following link.
From the Layer menu, choose Video Layer>New Video Layer from File, navigate to the video file we have downloaded and click Open. Note that it appears in the Timeline panel as a new layer.
In the Timeline panel you will notice that the video is less than 10 frames, which we will duplicate since it is a looping footage. On the right side of the video layer, there is a Plus icon, click it and navigate for the video to insert another copy of it.
From the Scale slider, zoom in the timeline for a better view of the animation and changes.
Make sure that the timeline indicator is on the first of the animation, and use the Text tool to write “PSD” and choose a large and bold font like the one in the preview below.
If the text appears on the same video layer, you can just create a new layer from the Layers panel to add the text to it.
Open the 3D panel; if it does not appear in the workspace, you can open it from the 3D menu. Select 3D Extrusion and click Create. Click OK on the alert message dialog box.
Now, we will add a texture to the 3D text, and we will use the bracket texture from this link.
From the 3D panel, click on the Show all Materials icon at the top of the menu; it will display the 3D faces and the materials applied to it. Click the first material from the list and in the Properties panel click the folder icon next to the Diffuse value, choose Load Texture and navigate to the bracket texture. Repeat this with all the materials from the Materials list.
After loading the bracket texture, click the folder icon again and choose Edit UV Properties. Set the U Scale V Scale as the following:
• PSD Front Inflation Material: U Scale 100%, V Scale 50%
• PSD Front Bevel Material: U Scale 60%, V Scale 30%
• PSD Extrusion Material: U Scale 500%, V Scale 100%
• PSD Back Bevel Material: U Scale 60%, V Scale 30%
• PSD Back Inflation Material: U Scale 100%, V Scale 50%
In the 3D panel, click the Filter by Whole Scene icon to display the whole scene structure. Make sure to select Environment from the list.
From the Properties bar, click the 3D Rotate icon and start rotating the 3D text as below. You can also use the 3D navigation arrows from the bottom left of the workspace.
From the 3D panel, choose Environment from the whole scene list. Then go to the Properties panel and Set the Shadows Opacity to zero percent and the Reflection opacity to 30%.
After building the basic scene, we will start creating the animation for the 3D text. If you open the Timeline panel, you will notice that the 3D text appears as a separate layer among the animation layers. Now, let us move on to the next steps where we will create the animation for the 3D text.
Click the arrow next to the 3D text layer to expand its properties. As you will see, the 3D layer has 3D animation properties compared to the 2D layer animation.
Click the Stopwatch icon next to the 3D Scene Position to activate the animation mode; any changes in the 3D text will appear as a keyframe animation. Make sure the Timeline indicator is on the first frame of the animation.
On the 3D navigation arrows, roll-over the arc on the red arrow to be able to rotate it on the Y axis and change its position as in the figure below.
Move the timeline indication to the frame number 15 (00:15F) and rotate the 3D text as below.
Repeat the above two steps to create other rotation steps for the 3D text. So, the timeline appears as the figure below.
Now we will make the 3D text fade at the start of the animation. Move the timeline indicator to the start of the animation timeline. Click the Stopwatch icon next to the Opacity property under the 3D text layer in the Timeline panel.
From the Layer panel, set the Opacity for the 3D text layer to zero.
Move the timeline indicator to Frame number 15, and set the opacity to 100%.
Now, we will remove the unwanted parts from the end of the animation. At the top of the Timeline panel, drag the Set End of the Work Area bracket to the end of the 3D text layer.
From the File menu, choose Export>Render Video.
From the Render Video dialog box, set the name of the video, the saving path and the format that you would like to export the video in and click Render.
The final animation should appear like the video below:
At the end of this tutorial, you should have an idea about how to create animation for 3D content in Photoshop, and how to export this 3D animation in different formats. You can practice using your own 2D or 3D objects and try to animate its different properties.
Feel free to ask questions and share with us your own examples to get feedback and exchange experience.