Oct 13, 2016

How to Make a 3D Extrusion in Photoshop

Prepare Your Images

Start by dragging your Logo (or the subject you want to make 3D) onto your image. Then, go to ‘Window – 3D’ to open the 3D workspace. It’s important that your subject is on a Transparent Background, as this technique will Extrude the entire layer.

In the 3D tab of the workspace, choose “Selected Layer(s)” as your source. Select “3D Extrusion” in the bullet list below that, and then hit “Create.”

Working in 3D

Now in 3D View, you should see Grid lines around your subject. Go to ‘View – Show’ and make sure 3D Ground Plane, 3D Lights, 3D Selection, and UV Overlay are all selected.

With the Logo layer selected, there are a variety of 3D Tools that you can now use: Rotate, Roll, Drag, Slide, and Scale. Rotate allows you to rotate the subject around in all directions in 3 dimensional space. Roll spins the subject around the Z axis. Drag lets you position the subject around the 3D space. Slide zooms the subject closer and farther away from you on the Z axis. And Scale adjusts the Size of the subject.

If you click on the Infinite Light option in the 3D tab, you can manipulate the Light source as well to change the lighting cast on the subject.

Clicking on the Current View option allows you to adjust the Angle you are viewing the subject in.


In the Properties tab, use the slider to change the extrusion Depth – in this case, we want it to be relatively thin. We can also look at shape Presets here, which add some 3D detail to the subject. We chose the first one on the second row here.

From the icons on the top of the Properties window, select “Coordinates”. Another way to move and rotate your subject is by changing the number values here. Feel free to explore with this.

In 3D, click “Environment” and return to Properties. You can play around with your subject’s Shadow qualities here.

Lying the Logo on the Car Hood

With the Logo layer selected, hop in to Properties and adjust the number values for the X axis to lay the Logo on its back. A value of 90 should work. Tap “Move To Ground” if your subject is floating above the Grid.

Now that the subject and its Shadow are in the right place on the ‘ground’, we simply need to move our camera view until the subject looks like its lying on the car.

Go back to the 3D tab and choose Current View. Click on Properties with Current View selected, and you can adjust the rotation of the current view until it looks just right.

Finishing Touches

Now that you have the Tools, you can work on the Lighting and Shadows of the subject until it blends in with the image. Here, the goal is to look pretty realistic.

When you are satisfied with the look, go the ‘3D – Render 3D Layer’, and Photoshop will work to analyze the environment of the object and adjust lighting and details to make the subject fit in as well as possible.

After the wait, you are all set!

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  • user image
    Steven maguire

    Aaron, great job. I’ve been doing 3d since CS6. A tip for future tutorials. If you use a selection to select the 3d object, it will cut down render times. Also you can do faces as a depth map as it creates a unique effect

    Photoshop Tutorials: How to Make a 3D Extrusion in Photoshop

    • Msh Abu

      what do you mean? can u explain ho aaron do it and how you do it?

  • user image

    I would have placed the light at 90° above the logo to cast the shadow below the logo. This would match the light on the car, which is clearly from above.

  • user image
    Deane Biggart

    Came on to comment on the lighting coming from the wrong angle but it’s been mentioned a bunch of times already. I understand there is far more info here than can normally be squeezed into a 25 min tut and admittedly it’s a minor point but matching lighting to the BG stock image is what usually makes or breaks a faked 3D render. Your logo looks like an emboss not an extrusion. This subject matter has to be one of the most powerful but confusing and (therefore IMHO) underused PSD functions. Please note, this is not a complaint, I feel there is not enough currently out there explaining Photoshop’s 3D capabilities and if there’s anyone that can guide people through this heady subject matter it’s probably going to be Aaron.

  • user image

    Maybe the logo’s shadow doesn’t match the lights of the strobes which seem to come from above.

  • user image

    You forgot to slope or angle the logo at the same degree as the hood. If you did this, the center round part of the logo would not still be perfectly round, it would be oval shaped. You might want to redo your tut.

  • anthonyw.stanton

    Extraordinary video sir! I do have one request however. Will you please make your pointer larger? I have some sight issues close up and I am sure this would benefit others as well!

  • user image

    We are your humble 😉 followers and are looking forward to the next tutorial.
    You are really able to show everybody how to work with photoshop on a really easy to know bases.

    I really thank you Aaron, hope to see much more from you and your team.
    You are a great help in my voyage of discovering Photoshop.

    Greetings from the Netherlands


  • user image

    Nice tutorial. I see the most of your episodes and am very interested in 3D. this summer I worked a lot with 3D text and it took quite a while to find out how you can make different text layers with the same properties. Perhaps it would be a suggestion to make a tutorial with that item. In the end it was not so difficult as expected. Perhaps the image gives a better impression what I have to say.
    Thank you for your wonderful tutorials,
    Greetings from the Netherlands,

    Photoshop Tutorials: How to Make a 3D Extrusion in Photoshop

  • user image
    Ryan Peterman

    I took my logo and it says it is too complicated for extrusion. I took some simple text and got the same thing. Thoughts?

  • user image

    i don’t have the 3d workspace on my photoshop….how can i add if on my photoshop? am using Photoshop cc

  • user image
    Unathi Motsamai

    I am studying photography and I’ve been selected to branding by my doctor/dentist parents; what should I do?

  • user image

    Thank you for the tutorial. 3D in Photoshop is something I find hard to explore, so if you plan to do more on 3D functions, that would be great.

  • Msh Abu

    aaron, why did you use shift click and drag at minute 1.17?
    can you explain more?
    and why does my 3d panel cannot be click

    • Msh Abu

      “and why does my 3d panel cannot be click”
      i’m sorry, it is my fault. my mode was cmyk