Combine and convert 3D objects

  Discontinuation of 3D features in Photoshop

Photoshop’s 3D features will be removed in future updates. Users working with 3D are encouraged to explore Adobe’s new Substance 3D collection, which represents the next generation of 3D tools from Adobe. Additional details on the discontinuation of Photoshop’s 3D features can be found here: Photoshop 3D | Common questions on discontinued 3D features.

Combine 3D objects

Merging 3D layers allows you to combine multiple 3D models in one scene. Once combined, each 3D model can be manipulated separately, or you can use position and camera tools on all models simultaneously.

  1. Open two document windows, each containing a 3D layer.

  2. Make the source document (the file from which you are copying the 3D layer) active.

  3. Select the 3D layer in the Layers panel and drag it into the window of the target document (the file which will contain the combined 3D objects).

    The 3D layer is added as a new 3D layer in the target document. It becomes the active layer in the Layers panel of the target document.

  4. In the Tools panel, select a 3D camera tool.

  5. In the options bar, from the Position menu, select the layer name for the original 3D layer in the target file.

    After you match the camera position of the two 3D layers, the two 3D objects appear together in the scene. Use the 3D object tools to reposition the objects before merging.

  6. From the Layers panel options menu , choose Merge Down.

    The two 3D layers are combined into one 3D layer. The point of origin of each model is aligned.


    Depending on the size of each 3D model, one model may appear partially or completely embedded in the other model after merging 3D layers.

After merging two 3D models, all meshes and materials from each 3D file are contained in the target file and appear in the 3D panel. In the Meshes panel, you can select and reposition individual meshes using the 3D position tools in the panel. See 3D Mesh settings.


To alternate between moving all models at once and moving individual models in the layer, switch between the 3D position tools in the Tools panel and the tools in the Meshes panel.

Combine 3D and 2D layers

You can combine 3D layers with one or more 2D layers to create composite effects. For example, you can place a model against a background image and change its position or viewing angle to match the background.

  1. Do one of the following:

    • With the 2D file open, choose 3D > New Layer from 3D File, and open a 3D file.

    • With both a 2D file and a 3D file open, drag either the 2D or 3D layer from one file into the open document window of the other file. The layer you add moves to the top of the Layers panel.

    When working in a file with combined 2D and 3D layers, you can temporarily hide the 2D layers while working with the 3D layer.

Hide layers for better performance

In a multi-layer document with 2D layers above a 3D layers, you can temporarily move the 3D layer to the top of the layer stack for faster screen rendering.

  1. Choose 3D > Auto-Hide Layers For Performance.

  2. Select a 3D Position or Camera tool.

When you hold down the mouse button with either tool, all 2D layers are temporarily hidden. When you release the mouse, all 2D layers reappear. Moving any part of the 3D Axis also hides all 2D layers.

Convert a 3D layer to a 2D layer

Converting a 3D layer to a 2D layer rasterizes the 3D content in its current state. Convert a 3D layer to a regular layer only if you no longer want to edit the 3D model position, render mode, textures, or lights. The rasterized image retains the appearance of the 3D scene, but in a flattened 2D format.

  1. Select the 3D layer in the Layers panel, and choose 3D > Rasterize.

Convert a 3D layer to a Smart Object

Converting a 3D layer to a Smart Object allows you to retain the 3D information contained in the 3D layer. After converting, you can apply transforms or other adjustments like Smart Filters to the Smart Object. You can reopen the Smart Object layer to edit the original 3D scene. Any transforms or adjustments applied to the Smart Object are then applied to the updated 3D content.

  1. Select the 3D layer in the Layers panel.

  2. From the Layers panel option menu, choose Convert to Smart Object.

  3. (Optional) To reedit the 3D content, double-click the Smart Object layer in the Layers panel.


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