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When you press Enter, Photoshop merges your new 3D shape with the original image. Because the 3D Transform filter provides no lighting controls, the shape may be virtually indistinguishable from its background, as Figure 11-46 makes abundantly clear. And that, dear friends, is a giant drag.

Figure 11-46: By default, the 3D Transform filter merges the 3D image into the original image, making for an extraordinarily subtle effect.

Tip Luckily, you can force Photoshop to deliver the 3D shape on a separate layer. Here's what you do. First copy the image to a separate layer by dragging it onto the page jF icon at the bottom of the Layers palette. Then choose Filter Render 3D Trans form and click the Options button inside the dialog box. Turn off the Display Background check box, spotlighted in Figure 11-47, and press Enter.

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Figure 11-47: Copy the image to a separate layer and turn off the Display Background check box to make the area outside the 3D shape transparent.

Figure 11-47: Copy the image to a separate layer and turn off the Display Background check box to make the area outside the 3D shape transparent.

Not only will the 3D Transform filter restrict its efforts to the active layer, it will also make the area outside the 3D shape transparent, as in the first example of Figure 11-48. Then you can apply layer effects or other lighting techniques to distinguish the 3D shape from its background, as in the second example.

Figure 11-48: After applying the 3D shape to a separate layer (shown by itself at left), I used the Drop Shadow and Inner Bevel effects to add some fake volumetric lighting to my goblet (right).

Color Plates 11-8 and 11-9 demonstrate some of the fun you can have with 3D Transform. In Color Plate 11-8, I relied entirely on the Drop Shadow and Inner Bevel layer styles to light the layered 3D goblet. I also added a bit of red to the goblet using Image ^ Adjust ^ Hue/Saturation to distinguish the layer from its sandy background.

Color Plate 11-9 illustrates the merits of manual lighting techniques. After setting the goblet against a different background, I applied the drop shadow and haloing techniques that I discuss in the section "Selecting the Contents of Layers" in Chapter 12. I also applied the airbrush tool set alternatively to the Multiply and Screen brush modes to hand-brush some natural tinting. Finally, I darkened the top of the goblet with the help of the elliptical marquee tool. After drawing my initial marquee, I chose Select ^ Transform to rotate and scale it into position, pressed Ctrl+J to send the selection to a separate layer, and applied the Multiply blend mode set to a low opacity. Admittedly, the finished effect involved a lot of effort, but it looks significantly more realistic than anything Photoshop can approximate automatically.

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