PixelPerfect #126: Make Your Own 3D Coins

Posted in Graphics, Podcasts on May 22, 2009

Learn to make your own money in Photoshop! Bert teaches you how to make coins by applying textures to a 3D cylinder object.

Gather your materials
The first step of making a 3D coin in Photoshop is to get an image of the front and back side of the coin. You can use a scanner to capture both sides of a quarter at 300 dpi. When you have the image, use the marquee tool to copy and paste each side into a new file.

Make a 3D replica of the coin
Create a grey 3D cylinder in your original image file by choosing 3D > New Shape from Layer > Cylinder. Shrink the cylinder's height using the 3D controls that exist in your image canvas so that the shape looks similar to a quarter. Then, rotate and scale the diameter to match the size of the coins in your scan. You no longer need your original image, and you can fill the background with white.

Apply textures to different parts of the 3D object
In the 3D Materials panel, you will see that the coin is made of 3 parts: the Cylinder Material, the Top Material, and the Bottom Material. Each are indicated with different colors. Clicking on any of these materials activates that particular area of the image, and we can apply a texture. Place the face of the coin on the Top Material alongside the area where Diffuse is defined. Place the tail side of the coin in the Bottom Material, also alongside Diffuse. The ribbing of the coin will go in to Cylinder Material.

Create ribbing texture for the Cylinder Material
Bert creates a vertical strip filled with grey and applies a bevel. We need a continuous tone of highlight to shadow, so create a pattern from this image (Edit > Define Pattern). Apply this pattern to a new image file, and save as a file such as "ribbing.psd". Then, apply this file as a texture to the Cylinder Material alongside the Bump definition area.

Apply lighting to the 3D coin
Add a spot light to the coin. Adjust as necessary to create the desired luminance. Rotate the coin to see the lighting effects on your finalized coin.

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Tags: Photoshop, Design, 3D, Revision3, PixelPerfect, Broadcasting, Screencasts, Coin, Quarter