I was browsing through psdGraphics.com when I ran into a nice blue 3D product box. These types of things are fairly common nowadays, but I have never worked on one before. I downloaded the template psd and investigated how they built it. I though it was nice but if I wanted to edit that template to work for myself I would not really be able to do it because many of their layers were flattened. After trying to sort through it I decided it was best to just recreate it on my own.
When I was trying to create the file (in Photoshop) I was most worried about how to create the perspective. Each element on the cover of the box had to recede into the background evenly or it would not look right. I created the title and used Transform (Command + T) to create a quick perspective effect. Then I create the sub title and repeated the transform and immediately realized this is not an efficient way to achieve the perspective results. I would have to create the entire front of the box and then transform them all at the same time. While thinking about that process I wondered how I could do this in such a way that would enable to me to recycle this Photoshop file in the future… Smart Object Layers would be the solution.
The photoshop file is really very basic. There are 2 layers that do all the work, and then some shadows. The FRONT and SIDE layers are Smart Objects that were transformed to create the illusion of 3 dimensions. One of the really handy things about Smart Objects is that you can have multiple instances of them in the document, and when you edit it ALL instances are updated. So as you can see the SIDE Smart Object is highlighted twice in the layer screenshot above. The second instance is flipped upside down to create a perfect mirror reflection of the upright instance.
Above are both of the Smart Objects I created, side by side. You can see that they are two separate PSB files once opened from within the master Photoshop document. Working on them side by side like this enables you to create the desired image without using transformations.
This might not be the best way to do it, but it worked for me very well, I think. I just selected the FRONT Smart Object and then hit Command + T to get the Free Transform tool, and then held the Command key while dragging the corners of the layer inwards until it looked like the above image. I repeated that for the SIDE Smart Object as well.
I wanted the SIDE of the box to have a rounded edge, so I used Edit > Transform > Warp, as seen above.
The last thing to set it off was to duplicate the FRONT and SIDE Smart Object layers, and flip them upside-down, Transform them into position under the box, and then fade them to create the mirror reflection effect. The final product looks like this:
Photography Credit: The photographs used in this project were taken by In the Moment Photography, 2010.