Depth Maps Become Reality

In the entirely artificial digital sense, of course.

I’m midway thru recording Part 2 of my Photoshop CS5 Extended One-on-One series for my beloved video publisher, And, lo, it will go by the name 3D Objects. Photoshop CS5 Extended offers six classes of 3D objects: postcards (flat images projected into 3D space), preset shapes (spheres, cubes, but you can make more), imported models (from a real modeling program), 3D volumes (of use primarily for medical folk), the wide world of Repoussé (which I highlighted in this week’s Deke’s Techniques), and objects projected from depth maps (as I’ll explain).

The upshot is that the Photoshop we know and love is secretly a 3D beast. Seriously, the stuff you can do with it is as bottomless as it is topless. (And side-to-sideless, too.) Just today, I was exploring the world of depth maps. These damn things have been around forever—they’re responsible for those stereoscopic dolphin images that you have to uncross your eyes to see—so I was initially a bit bored. But in truth, depth maps are awesome architectural tools. For example, I built this:

Photoshop CS5 Extended: 3D Objects,

What the Sam Heck is it? I think it’s an alien temple. You know, you press a brick and it opens. But I really don’t know. I’m still exploring.

Meanwhile, here’s the thing: It all starts with a gradient that looks like this:

Photoshop CS5 Extended: 3D Objects,

You extrude that and, eventually, you get an alien temple. Later, I make a ravaged U.S. flag. Which is cool, b/c Old Glory must’ve survived whatever onslaught came her way. She’s beaten, she’s bruised. But gosh, she rocks.

Photoshop CS5 Extended: 3D Objects, Depth Maps

You and I create this image with a few simple, clumsy brushstrokes. For you experienced people, depth maps are ultimately displacement maps with a 3rd degree of attitude. Which I assure you, will serve you exceedingly well in your future day-to-day. Stay tuned.

Next entry:Deke’s Techniques 019: Masking Highlights and Shadows in Photoshop

Previous entry:Brushing Up on Photoshop’s Advanced Painting Tools

  • exciting stuff indeed

    exciting stuff indeed! The extended version of PS is a lot more extended than I originally thought it was. Depth maps looks like a killer feature to me.

  • U r my master(GOD).......

    U r my master(GOD)....... Some or the other day in my life….. I will definitely take a photograph and an AUTOGRAPH from U :)

  • Depth maps of my mind

    Zing…buzz…fuse blown.
    Too much information..cannot compute..

    My neural cortex has just overloaded.

  • It is very interesting for

    It is very interesting for me to read that post. Thank you for it. I like such topics and everything that is connected to this matter. I would like to read a bit more soon.

  • How exactly will your online

    How exactly will your online pharmacy help me with learning Photoshop? Do you really think one of those little blue pills will do the trick?

    Any chance you can hook me up with some of those clear gelatin capsules they had in the movie “Limitless”?

  • Dropping out a white background & Blending inside blend modes


    I just watched these two episodes from your title “Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery” and was TOTALLY BLOWN AWAY.

    Just thought you’d like to know.

    Jay Lichtmann

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