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3D Effekt in Photoshop

Posted on 2007-04-04
Last Modified: 2013-12-04
Hi Experts:

This is difficult to explain.... I am trying to simulate a flag. It is supposed to be a flag which is say 50cm wide and 600cm long. I want to twist the flag so that it looks a bit lke as if it is in the wind waving. Furthermore, the flag should be in perspective (so it shoudl look like as if the top end of the flag is closer to me than the bottom end.

My question is this: Can this be done in Photoshop? If not which program should be used? The texture of the flag is simply stripes (gradient colored but straight). These stripes should be twisted and in perspective as well.

I could not find anything on google, as I am not sure which keywords to use and, like I said, I am not sure if it can be done in PS at all.

Looking forward to your input!

Question by:kracklt
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 18852597
i know you are asking to do this in photoshop, and this is the photoshop section.

contrary to all that, i would recommend illustrator for this task.

here is a great example:

hopefully you have illustrator, if not forget my input.
LVL 26

Assisted Solution

by:David Brugge
David Brugge earned 100 total points
ID: 18855773
Russell Brown used to have a two very nice tutorials on creating a waving flag--one using a displacement map, the other using the liquefy filter. Unfortunately they have both been taken down.

Here are two more simple tutorials on displacement maps:

To make it appear that you are looking at the flag from an angle, go to Edit>Transform>Perspective and pull the top corner of the flag that is closest to you up and push the top corner of the flag that is farthest from you down. Adjust to your liking!

Author Comment

ID: 18857883
Hi Brugge & sibgig:

Thanks for the pointers. This already looks promising. We have been looking also for a possibility to do this in another program, so if illustrator is the way to go, great.

But let me clarify a little....Flag was maybe not the right term to use. It is more of a ribbon. Yes it should wave like a flag, but it should also be possible to twist it complely (like a DNA Helix).... Any ideas how to do that?

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Accepted Solution

tucuche earned 200 total points
ID: 18858155
Twisting in 3D like a DNA helix sounds like an interesting problem. Although Photoshop and Illustrator both have some 3D effects tools, you may want to look at another solution.  

To achieve a totally realistic twist like you are describing as well as waving it around in the wind you may want to consider looking at something that is designed to handle 3D.  CADD is one option, Maya, a 3D animation package is another. I realize you are not animating the ribbon but the specs you are describing are a pretty tall order for even the likes of Photoshop.  

One last suggestion which although elementary, may yield the results iyou are looking for s a pencil and some sheets of tracing paper.  Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.

Author Comment

ID: 18858420
Dear tucuche:

I did think about Maya, but it seems to be quite a mighty program....nothing I could learn in a short amount of time. Initially, we will need this as a still image. Further down the line, it could become necessary to animate it....

Would you (or anyone else reading this) be capable of creating such an object (also animated later on)?

LVL 11

Assisted Solution

sibgig earned 200 total points
ID: 18858461
i still think illustrator can handle this. it is a rather tall order, after all they publish books on topics like creating dna. "illustrator gone wild" is one of them. you can see a synopsis and even download a 'ribbon like' sample at:

scroll down till you see the 'happy holiday seasons' green and red twirling ribbon artwork. clicking on that should download an .ai file of the artwork (at least it did for me). maybe that will be enough to get you going.


Expert Comment

ID: 18858575
Dear Krackit,

Yes I can draw it for you.  That is no problem at all as I'm pretty accomplished in the "old methods"  :-)
You can email me specs, surrounding content and whatever else you have and we can discuss it further. I will be taking the pencil approach before switching to Photoshop to do finishing touches. I can also do animation. You can reach me at tucuche@gmail.com
LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:David Brugge
ID: 18862509
I find it best to sketch your idea out on paper. At the end of the day, both illustrator and Photoshop are 2D programs, and your final result will be 2D. If you can make a rough pencil sketch first, it makes working in whatever medium that you choose, that much easier.

I did this in illustrator, then pasted it into Photoshop in order to add some shading.

I got sloppy of the lettering, but you get the idea. Is this anything like what you are looking for?

David B.

Author Comment

ID: 18904845
Dear All:

Thanks for your help! The pointers to the tuturials were very ggod as well as your help with real examples.

Our customer decided not to go the "ribbon" way, which is a bit sad, but thats how it is....

Thank you all again,

kracklt :-)

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