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3D can photoshop tutorial

Realistic 3D Coca Cola Can in Photoshop

In this tutorial I will show you how you can make a realistic soda can using Photoshop’s 3D features. I will show you how to make the label design and also how to turn that design into a 3D can. I will show you how to change materials properties and how to change light directions in order to create a realistic 3D soda can. Enjoy

You need Photoshop CS4 with 3D features in order to follow this tutorial.

Photoshop 3D tutorial
Preview of the final result
Icon Download: Coca Cola Can Resources
Download files (36 MB)
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Step 1

We are going to start by making the design of the can. You can create a your own design or download one from internet. I chose to recreate the coca cola design.

Open Photoshop and create a new document 800px wide and height 700px. Unlock the background layer and open the Layer Styles window. Activate Gradient Overlay and use a Radial style with the settings shown in the image below.

Step 2

Download the Loki Cola font from any font website and type the text vertically as you see on the image below.

Step 3

Add some drop shadow. Use 3px for distance and 3px for size as well. Also add a very subtle gray to white gradient on the text. See image below.

Step 4

Time to add some details to the red background. The best way to do this is to take a look at a real coca cola can and try to replicate it. The more details you add the more realistic it will look.

I took the Pen Tool (P) and created some white shapes and then changed their blend mode to Overlay and reduced the opacity.

Step 5

Draw a shape like in the screenshot below using the Pen Tool and add drop shadow with Distance 0px Size 26px, Opacity 70%, Color Black and Angle 150º.

Step 6

Add more details to the white shape created on step 5. I used the Pen Tool once again to draw two thin shapes which I used to mask the bigger shape.

Then I created a clipping mask layer for the white shape and I painted over it with gray and a halftone brush. There are lots of halftone brushes available for free on deviantART (click here if you want to download a pack)

Step 7

I added some more details. I used a scattered round brush with variable size and I painted along the edges of the white shape. I also added a recyclable icon, a barcode I found on internet, the registered trademark icon and I created a fake nutritional info table. You can add anything you want. Use real cans for reference.

Step 8

I also created some fake water drops using a really easy technique I learned from a video tutorial:

Step 9

Now that the design is ready, you can turn it into 3D. First, select all the layers you have on the palette and press Ctrl+G to create a new group. Rename the group to body design. The name will help us distinguish it from the other 3D layers we will have once we turn this into 3D.

Step 10

In order to turn this design into an editable 3D layer you have 2 options. Importing a detailed can model in .3ds format or using the premade mesh that comes with Photoshop. I tried both versions but I will only show you how to do it with Photoshop because it’s easier although the 3D model is not the nicest one in the world.

So, select the group you created on step 8 and go to 3D>New Shape From Layer>Soda Can. You should get something like in the screenshot below.

As you can see on the image above, the group was converted into a 3D layer with two sub layers, one for the cap and the bottom and one containing your design (which has the name of your group body design)

Step 11

The design of the can’s body is ready but you can still edit it at any time by double clicking the body design layer which will open on a new document but with the extension .psb and you will see all the layers of your design.

What you can do now is create the aluminium texture. For that I used a texture I found on internet at You can get the texture here:

Doubleclick on the Cap_Material layer to open it. Once it opens, paste the metal texture and center it on your canvas. After that, save the file (Ctrl+S) and close the .psb document. Go back to the 3D can and you will see that the new metal texture has been applied.

Step 12

The next step is to adjust the lighting because as you can see the can is too dark. First of all turn the can so that you can see the design better. For that, select the 3D rotate tool from the left toolbar (K) and from the top settings bar set the Position to Front.

Step 13

Ok now we can move on to the lights. In order to open the 3D settings, double click the can thumbnail on the layers palette or click the cube icon next to the Navigator tab. When the new window opens, click on the light bulb icon.

Step 14

By default, Photoshop adds 3 infinite lights but you can add more if you want using the new layer icon on the bottom of the 3D Lights window.

For now, we will stick with these ones but we will edit them. Enable the lights visibility by clicking the Toggle Lights icon on the bottom of the window. After that, select Infinite Light 1 from the list and click the Rotate icon and click and drag on the canvas to rotate the light.

The position and color of the lights depend on where you want to put your 3D object and also on the ambient and light sources. Instead of increasing the light intensity, you can always use a brighter color which will make the light look stronger.

Step 15

Photoshop also allows you to change the materials properties. Go back to the 3D properties window and click the Filter by Materials icon next to the light bulb icon.

Then, select the Cap_Material and set Glossiness to 90% and Shininess to 30%. If you want to change the color of the shine, change the color on the Specular option.

Now do the same for the Label Material. Increase Glossiness to 80% and Shininess to 90%. That will create a series of light streaks simulating glossiness which gives the can much more realism.

As a final step, render the 3D shape because if not, you will get really jagged edges. So, right click on the 3D object layer and select Render For Final Output. You will see a significant quality improvement.

Final result

For the final result I used a slightly greenish light and I positioned the light to create the effect that the light come from the right so that the left side is darker.

Below you can see other designs that I made using the same process.

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