You can transfer 2D vector images from Illustrator to Photoshop to make them 3D objects by copying and pasting paths between the programs. There’s more information on a Lynda.com tutorial for 3D objects here, but if you don’t have a subscription to Lynda, you can follow the directions below.
You will start with this:
And end up with this:
Photoshop 3D object from Illustrator Path
- Open your Illustrator file, select all the points in the path you’d like to use.
- Copy this information (ctrl+c / cmd+c, or using the menu).
- Open a new (blank) Photoshop project and paste this information (ctrl+v / cmd+v, or using the menu).
- There should be a pop-up box when you paste. Choose to paste as a “Path.”
- In Photoshop, open the Paths window and the 3D window, both from the Window menu.
- Go to the 3D window. Choose source “Work path” and choose “3D extrusion.”
- If there is a pop-up box asking you if you want to enter 3D workspace, choose yes/ok.
- You should now have a menu for your 3D object in the 3D window pane:
- Click on “Current View” to change the angle of the camera.
- Click on “Infinite Light” to change the direction of the lighting.
- Click on “Background” (or whatever you named the layer for this object) to manipulate the object.
- When you click on “Background” (the name of the object layer), the Properties window will show options. Click on the second small icon from the left on the Properties menu – deform.
- Click on the sliders on the deform menu to adjust the depth and shape of the object.
- Try setting extrusion depth to 0 and then rotating + or – 270 degrees on the “Vertical Axis” slider – this should make your vector drawing flat (2D) and then rotate it around a center axis to create a fully formed 3D object.