In Photoshop CS6, 3D functionality was part of Photoshop Extended. All features in Photoshop Extended are part of Photoshop CC. Photoshop CC does not have a separate Extended offering.

Create 3D repoussé | CS5


Beginning in Photoshop CS6, the repousse feature changed and is now called 3D extrusion. For details, see Create and adjust 3D extrusions.

The term repoussé describes a metalworking technique in which object faces are shaped and patterned by hammering on the opposite side. In Photoshop, the Repoussé command converts 2D objects into 3D meshes, which you can precisely extrude, inflate, and reposition in 3D space.

The Repoussé command works with RGB images. If you start with a grayscale image, Repoussé converts it to RGB. The Repoussé command is not available for CMYK or Lab images.

Photoshop Applying repoussé
Applying Repoussé to a pixel selection

A. Increasing the depth of extrusion B. Twisting the extrusion 180° C. Inflating the front 
  1. Create a pixel selection, or select a text layer, layer mask, or work path.

  2. Choose 3D > Repoussé, then choose the item that reflects your selection in step 1.

  3. Set the following options:

    Mesh tools

    Available along the upper left of the dialog box, these tools function like 3D object tools. See Move, rotate, or scale a model with 3D object tools and Move, rotate, or scale selected items with the 3D Axis.

    Repoussé Presets

    Apply a predefined group of settings. To create your own preset from custom settings, click the pop-up menu , and choose New Repoussé Preset.


    To organize groups of presets, see Work with the Preset Manager.


    Extends the original 2D shape in 3D space. Depth controls the length of extrusion; Scale controls the width. Select Bend for a curved extrusion, or Shear for a straight one, then set X and Y Angle to control the horizontal and vertical tilt. If desired, enter Twist in degrees.


    To change the bend or shear origin, click a point on the reference icon .


    Expands or collapses the middle of the front or back. Positive Angle settings expand, negative collapse. Strength controls the level of inflation.


    Apply materials such as brick or cotton either globally or to various sides of the object. (Bevel1 is the front bevel; Bevel2 the back.) For more information, see Apply, save, or load material presets.


    Applies beveled edges to the front or back of the object. Contour options are similar to those for layer effects. See Modify layer effects with contours.

    Scene Settings

    Lights in the form of a spherical panorama shine onto the object; choose a style of lights from the menu. Render Settings control how object surfaces look. (See Select a render preset.) Higher Mesh Quality settings increase mesh density, improving appearance but reducing processing speed.


    The Shaded and Solid Wireframe render settings superimpose the 3D mesh on objects, revealing any mesh distortion that will distort textures.

Readjust repoussé settings

  1. Select a text layer, layer mask, or work path to which you previously applied repoussé.

  2. Choose 3D > Repoussé > Edit In Repoussé.

Split repoussé meshes

By default, the Repoussé command creates a single mesh with five materials. If you want to separately control different elements (such as each letter in a string of text), you can create separate meshes for each closed path.


If numerous closed paths exist, the resulting meshes can create highly complex 3D scenes that are difficult to edit.

  1. Select a text layer, layer mask, or work path to which you previously applied repoussé.

  2. Choose 3D > Repoussé > Split Repoussé Meshes.

Understand internal constraints

Internal constraints let you improve mesh resolution in specific areas, precisely vary inflation, or poke holes in surfaces. Along a path you specify on a repoussé object, constraint curves extend away from the object for an expansion, or toward the object for a contraction. You manipulate these curves using constraint tools that are similar to 3D object tools.

Inactive constraints

Guarantee sufficient mesh resolution, creating smooth paths.

Photoshop Inflated object with inactive constraint
Inflated object with inactive constraint

Active Constraints

Expand or contract the surface along constraint paths.

Photoshop Dragging active constraint
Dragging active constraint to different position in 3D space

Hole Constraints

Cut out the surface along constraint paths.

Photoshop Panning hole constraint
Panning hole constraint to increase depth

Create internal constraints from selections, work paths, or text

  1. Do one of the following:

    • Create a selection or path that falls entirely within the front surface of a repoussé object.

    • For text objects that already have internal paths, like the letter A, skip to step 3.

  2. Choose 3D > Repoussé > Create Constraints From Selection or Work Path.

  3. In the Repoussé dialog box, click the triangle to expand the Internal Constraints section.

  4. Choose a Type option. For Active or Hole, the following options are available:

    Constraint tools

    Adjust the constraint curve and function similarly to 3D object tools. See 3D object and camera tools.


    If the repoussé object contains multiple internal paths (for example, both ovals in the number 8), select each path individually with the constraint tools.

    Position coordinates

    Let you precisely place constraints in 3D space.


    Lets you apply uniform Strength and Angle settings to both sides, or unique settings to each.

    Each constraint curve has two sides; the orientation of those sides depends on how a curve divides the surface. The Left and Right menu options reflect a vertical constraint. For a horizontal constraint, Left and Right mean up and down, and for a closed constraint, those options mean inside and outside.

    Photoshop Side settings
    Side settings

    A. Both creates consistent deformation. B. Left or Right allows for varied deformation. 


    Controls the level of inflation along the path.


    Controls the direction of inflation.

Remove an internal constraint

  1. Select a 3D repoussé layer that includes an internal constraint.

  2. Choose 3D > Repoussé > Edit In Repoussé.

  3. In the Internal Constraints section, click Delete.


To reapply a deleted constraint, click Add Selection or Add Path.

Create 3D objects from 2D images

Photoshop can build a variety of basic 3D objects using 2D layers as a starting point. After creating a 3D object, you can move it in 3D space, change render settings, add lighting, or merge it with other 3D layers.

  • Convert 2D layers into 3D postcards (planes with 3D properties). If your starting layer is a text layer, any transparency is retained.

  • Wrap a 2D layer around a 3D object, such as a cone, cube, or cylinder.

  • Create a 3D mesh from the grayscale information in a 2D image.

  • Simulate a metalworking technique called repoussé by extruding a 2D object in 3D space. See Create 3D repoussé.

  • Build a 3D volume from a multi-frame file such as a DICOM medical imaging file. Photoshop combines the individual slices of the file into a 3D object that you can manipulate in 3D space and view from any angle. You can apply various 3D volume render effects to optimize the display of various materials in the scan, such as bone or soft tissue. See Create a 3D volume.

Create a 3D postcard


You can add a 3D postcard to an existing 3D scene to create a surface that displays shadows and reflections from other objects in the scene.

  1. Open a 2D image and select the layer you want to convert to a postcard.

  2. Choose 3D > New 3D Postcard From Layer.

    • The 2D layer is converted to a 3D layer in the Layers panel. The 2D layer content is applied as a material to both sides of the postcard.

    • The original 2D layer appears in the Layers panel as the Diffuse texture map for the 3D postcard object. (See 3D panel overview.)

    • The 3D layer retains the dimensions of the original 2D image.

  3. (Optional) To add the 3D postcard as a surface plane to a 3D scene, merge the new 3D layer with an existing 3D layer containing other 3D objects, then align it as necessary. (See Combine 3D objects.)

  4. To retain the new 3D content, export the 3D layer in a 3D file format or save it in PSD format. (See Export 3D layers.)

Create 3D shapes

Depending on the object type you choose, the resulting 3D model can contain one or more meshes. The Spherical Panorama option maps a panoramic image inside a 3D sphere.

  1. Open a 2D image and select the layer that you want to convert to a 3D shape.

  2. Choose 3D > New Shape From Layer, and select a shape from the menu. Shapes include single-mesh objects like a donut, sphere, or hat, as well as multiple mesh objects such as a cone, cube, cylinder, soda can, or wine bottle.


    You can add your own custom shapes to the shape menu. Shapes are Collada (.dae) 3D model files. To add a shape, place the Collada model file in the Presets\Meshes folder inside the Photoshop program folder.

    • The 2D layer is converted to a 3D layer in the Layers panel.

    • The original 2D layer appears in the Layers panel as a Diffuse texture map. It may be used on one or more surfaces of the new 3D object. Other surfaces may be assigned a default diffuse texture map with a default color setting. See 3D panel overview.

  3. (Optional) Use the Spherical Panorama option if you are using a panoramic image as your 2D input. This option converts a complete 360 x 180 degree spherical panorama to a 3D layer. Once converted to a 3D object, you can paint areas of the panorama that are typically difficult to reach, such as the poles or areas containing straight lines. For information on creating a 2D panorama by stitching images together, see Create 360 degree panoramas.

  4. Export the 3D layer in a 3D file format or save in PSD format to retain the new 3D content. See Export 3D layers.

Create a 3D mesh

The New Mesh from Grayscale command converts a grayscale image into a depth map, which translates lightness values into a surface of varying depth. Lighter values create raised areas in the surface, darker values create lower areas. Photoshop then applies the depth map to one of four possible geometries to create a 3D model.

  1. Open a 2D image and select one or more layers that you want to convert to a 3D mesh.

  2. (Optional) Convert the image to grayscale mode. (Choose Image > Mode > Grayscale, or use Image > Adjustments > Black & White to fine-tune the grayscale conversion.


    If you use an RGB image as input when creating a mesh, the green channel is used to generate the depth map.

  3. (Optional) Make adjustments to the grayscale image if necessary to limit the range of lightness values.

  4. Choose 3D > New Mesh From Grayscale, and then select a mesh option.


    Applies depth map data to a planar surface.

    Two-Sided Plane

    Creates two planes reflected along a central axis and applies depth map data to both planes.


    Applies depth map data outward from the center of a vertical axis.


    Applies depth map data radially outward from a center point.

Photoshop creates a 3D layer containing the new mesh. It also creates Diffuse, Opacity, and Planar Depth Map texture maps for the 3D object, using the original grayscale or color layer.

You can reopen the Planar Depth Map as a Smart Object at any time and edit it. When you save it, the mesh is regenerated.


The Opacity texture map does not appear in the Layers panel, because that map uses the same texture file as the Diffuse map (the original 2D layer). When two texture maps reference the same file, the file appears only once in the Layers panel.

Create 3D animations

Using the Photoshop Animation timeline, you can create 3D animations that move a 3D model through space and change the way it displays over time. You can animate any of the following properties of a 3D layer:

  • 3D object or camera position. Use the 3D position or camera tools to move the model or 3D camera over time. Photoshop can tween frames between position or camera movements to create smooth motion effects.

  • 3D render settings. Change render modes, with the ability to tween transitions between some render modes. For example, change Vertices mode gradually to Wireframe over time, to simulate the sketching-in of a model’s structure.

  • 3D cross section. Rotate an intersecting plane to display a changing cross section over time. Change cross section settings between frames to highlight different model areas during an animation.

For high quality animations, you can render each animation frame using the Render for Final Output render setting. See Change rendering effects.

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