How to create 3D abstract circles in Photoshop CS4

This is the first of a new series of tutorials about Photoshop CS4 and its new features.
We will create abstract circles in real 3D. To complete this tutorial you need Photoshop CS4 (…), a good graphic card and 5 minutes.
The effect i want to recreate is the typical style of James White but in “3D mode” and in a quickest way.

The ball created in that tutorial is amazing but has two disadvantages:

1) You have to complete 15 steps to obtain a good result and you have to change a lot of blending modes.
2) The final image is flat. A normal 2D layer.

With my tutorial you’ll be able to achieve the same effect but in 5 steps, without playing with the blending options and the result will be a REAL 3D layer.

So…we can start.

STEP1

Create a new document and set the color mode to RGB 16 bit

screen11

STEP2

Fill the first layer with the black and then create a new empty layer (rename it “Circle”).
Now, inside “circle”, with the elliptical marquee tool create a circular shape ad fill the selection with the white.

screen2

STEP3

Reduce the opacity of the new layer to 20%.
Make five copies (ctrl+j or cmd+j for mac users) and move them around the “circle” as shown in the next screenshot (the positions are random so feel free to move the layers where you want).
Leave the same opacity (20%) for all the copies.

circles

STEP4

Now, let the magic begin.
Group all the circles together (select the four layers holding down shift and press ctrl+g or cmd+g for mac users).

Go in the menù bar, under “3D” and choose “Sphere”.

screen4

After 1 minute of rendering the result will be something like this:

ball

A real 3D object that you can rotate and scale.

STEP5

Now simply add some finishing as James did for his tutorial.
Fill a new layer with a gradient e change its blending mode to “overlay”

gradient

After that add a levels layer and change the settings to add more brightness.

levels

and this is the final result…

ball3

OPTIONAL STEP

To improve the quality and remove some imperfections you can check the box “remove backfaces” under “3D” -> “Render Settings”

before

after

And then, if you want, you can group the “gradient” and “circle” layers and then you can copy the entire group.
In the new one you could change the color of the gradient and rotate a little bit the ball.
This is my final object with a yellow-orange gradient and a “cloud” filter in top.

ball_new

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24 Comments on "How to create 3D abstract circles in Photoshop CS4"

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Nick
Guest

It looks cool, but no offense, it doesn’t look anything like you say it should. I see a bunch of circle- like shapes, colors and two highlight spots.

alexy
Guest

wow cool tutorial, keep the great work

Marcel Akiyama
Guest

Cool, i have posted some stuff about your business cards collection on my blog, take a look, and i visit your blog almost everyday, thank you, good job.

Thomas | Tutorial King
Guest

Great tutorial, I featured it on Tutorial King

lawrence77
Guest

Good one dude! :)

soon, I’m going to buy CS4 :D

esanstudio.net
Guest

thanks on your sharing, if you wanna visit my web, my web is Malay In language

HereCreativityBegins
Guest

hey nice tutorial….i’m done till step 3, in step 4 i’ve grouped my layers but when i click on menu bar on 3D, the tools aren’t active…can u give me sum suggestions wat i can do to active my 3d tools..
thankss

Rick
Guest

Very cool and easy to follow for a beginner. Thanks!

marc andrew
Guest

Normally I don?t comment on sites but your article was good.

Xanthe
Guest

You’re so cool

tunde
Guest

you did a good job

MAGDAMMUS
Guest

Great work ! Congratulations Francesco !

govind Kumar
Guest

Hi

I am a Graphic Designer in Noida

Thanking
Govind Kumar
Graphic Designer

CMYK
Guest

Nice tutorial!!! thanks 4 sharing!

Steven Carmichael
Guest

hi
just wondered if you could help making a logo 3d for me i have an old one in tif

bilgi rehberi
Guest

very very nice :)

evert
Guest

When I group the 4 circles I can’t go to the 3D menu ..

zodyak
Guest

Thanks for this list.

zodyak
Guest

Thanks for this great list.

SAN
Guest

I loved it thnx……

evilkitty75
Guest

i did as u said n rendered it to a sphere but it isnt like urs its just a grey sphere with a hint of another shade of grey in it :(

sevgi
Guest
merhaba çal??malar?n?z? çok beyendim elerinize sa??l?k bizimle payla?t?n?z için t?k ederiz inglizce bilmed?im için çal??am?yorum bu dersleri bana yard?mc? olursan?z çok sevinrim sayg?lar?mla Hi I really liked your work with us, Thank you for sharing with us. I don’t know english so can not work these lessons, I’ll be glad… Read more »
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