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3d Cube in Photoshop

Colin Smith Tutorials Jul 29, 2004

Start with a square. Here I made a new document 300X300, created a new layer and filled it with a gradient.

image 1

Press Crtl/Cmd+T to enter free-transform mode.

Right click/Cmd click... when the dropdown menu appears, select SKEW

Click on the right middle square and drag up until you get your desired angle. Press Enter/return to apply the transformatoion.

image 2

Duplicate the layer

image 3

Enter free transform again (Ctrl/Cmd+t) Right click and this time select FLIP HORIZONTAL.

Drag out the copy to the left. Hold down the shift key to keep the baselines aligned.

You may also want to make this side a bit thinner by clicking the left middle square (node) and drag it in a little bit.

image 4

Create a new layer and make another square and fill it with the same gradient, this time make the lightest color at the bottom left.

image 5

This time while in the free transform mode... when you right click/Cmd click select DISTORT

drag each corner until you get a good match. Be sure the corners fit nice and snug. This step will take a bit of practice to master.

image 6

Finally select the top of the cube.

Image>adjust>LEVELS slide the middle triangle over to the right to darken up the mid-tones. Repeat for the left side. This step adds more realistic lighting to the cube.

image 7

Ta-da A complete cube. Don't limit yourself to just cubes. You can use this effect for all kinds of shapes. You can even construct a cube out of pictures. Just use images instead of the gradients.

3d Cube in Photoshop


Colin Smith

Colin Smith is a best-selling author, trainer, and award-winning new-media designer who has caused a stir in the design community with his stunning photorealistic illustrations composed entirely in Photoshop. He is founder of the world's most popular Photoshop resource site,, which boasts more than two million visitors.

With over 10 years of experience in the design industry, Colin was formerly Senior Editor and Art Director for VOICE magazine. He is a regular columnist for Photoshop User magazine,, and the official site of the National Association for Photoshop Professionals. He also contributes to a number of other graphic art publications and Web sites, such as Mac Design magazine, Web Designer magazine and Computer Arts Magazine.

Colin's graphic design work has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Guru awards at Photoshop World 2001 and 2002, for his work in both Illustration and Web Design. He's authored or co-authored more than ten books on Photoshop, including the best-selling How to Do Everything with Photoshop CS (McGraw-Hill/Osborne, 2003) and award-winning Photoshop Most Wanted: Effects and Design Tips (A Press/Friends Of Ed, 2002). Colin is also creator of the Photoshop Secrets Video training series ( He is in high demand across the United States as a lecturer, presenting his Photoshop techniques to Web designers and other graphics professionals across the nation.

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