Published on March 22, 2023
Create a cube with photos in Photoshop
In this blog I’ll show you how to create a 3D photo cube in Adobe Photoshop.
If you want to watch the video with instructions, click here or scroll down to the end of this page.
Step 1: Create file and cube
First create a new file. My file is 1920 x 1080 pixels (resolution 150), but you can also use a different file size. My file has a white background.
Then navigate to ‘3D > New mesh from layer > Mesh preset > Cube‘.
Select 3D (next to layers). Click on the first icon and then select ‘scene‘. Then also select the first icon next to ‘3D mode’ (the orbit icon). Now rotate your cube until all 3 sides are clearly visible.
Step 2: Crop layer
Then select ‘layers‘ again. Navigate to ‘File > Place Embedded‘ and select the first photo you want to use.
You’ve added this photo as a new layer to this document now. If you’re using a rectangular photo, you need to make it square first. I’ll now show you how to do that. If you’re photo is already square, you can continue with step 3.
Right click on the layer with the photo and select ‘convert to smart object‘. Then double click on the thumbnail of this layer. Make sure you click on the thumbnail and not on the layer itself. This layer will then open in a new tab.
Select the crop tool and make this layer square (1:1 ratio). When you’re done, click on the ✓ icon (or press ENTER).
Then navigate to ‘File > Save‘ (or press CTRL+S). You can then close this tab to go back to the document with the cube.
You will see that the layer is square now!
Step 3: Photo cube
Select the move tool and press CTRL+T to activate free transform. First make the layer a bit smaller, so that it’s approximately the same size as the cube.
If you press and hold CTRL, you can move the anchor points individually. So hold CTRL and place the corners of this layer in the corners of the first side of the cube.
You have now placed your photo on the first side of the cube! Now you need to repeat this process for the other sides of the cube:
- File > Place Embedded, select the photo.
- Convert new photo layer to a smart object.
- Double click on the layer thumbnail.
- Select the crop tool and make the layer square.
- Save changes (File > Save or press CTRL+S). Close tab.
- Select move tool and press CTRL+T. Place corners of the photo in the corners of the cube (hold CTRL while moving the anchor points).
When all sides of your cube are filled with a photo, zoom in to make sure all the photos are properly connected. If not, select the layer you want to adjust and press CTRL+T again. You can then move the anchor points (press CTRL) to make sure everything lines up.
Step 4: Add background
The background is transparent now. To add a background color, create a solid color layer.
Pick a background color. Then place the color fill layer below all the other layers.
To make the shadow behind the cube a bit more subtle, select the cube layer and lower the opacity. You can tell which layer is the cube layer by the cube icon inside of the thumbnail. In this case that’s the background layer. If you don’t want a shadow at all, make the cube layer invisible (click on the eye icon).
To adjust the size and/or position of the cube, select all the layers except the color fill layer. Then press CTRL+T to activate free transform. If you get a notification that you have to convert the 3D layer to a smart object, select ‘convert’. You can then move and resize the cube.
And that’s how you make a photo cube in Adobe Photoshop!
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