Photoshop 3D Part I – Fully Supported Formats

Veysoft Team

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One interesting and very creative way to use Photoshop in game design is to import 3D models from other applications. Then you paint a texture and use this model in the games, animations and such. To create the model that can be import in Photoshop you can use all popular 3D applications such as Autodesk 3DS Max, Autodesk Maya, Google Sketchup, etc..

Adobe Photoshop supported formats are:

  • DAE (Collada)
  • KMZ (Google Earth)
  • OBJ (Wavefront)
  • U3D (Univerzal 3D)

The first and the most important rule is to be imported object without textures (materials) on it, so called clay model.

DAE (Collada)

Very common format. Format name is an abbreviation of collaborative design activity. File extension is DAE of Digital Asset Exchange. This file format is not linked to any 3D application, but the result of an agreement or standardization. Founded by a consortium Khronos Group, it is an XML-based format, conformance with the ISO standardization, it is very popular on the market. For example, the largest free exchange of 3D models, the Google 3D Warehouse, favors it compared to other 3D formats.

KMZ (Google Earth 4)

This format is linked to the Google Earth application. Therefore, except 3D models, it supports the data on latitude, longitude, etc.. Its specificity is that it is zipped (compressed). Nonetheless, it is used in Photoshop for the same purpose as the above mentioned files.

OBJ (Wavefront)

Like a .3ds, this is the standard because its active on the market of 3D models over 30 years. According to its structure, it is a text format, and file parameters are stored as a series of data. 3D software in which the file is opened is fully responsible for the interpretation of those strings of parameters. So, all restrictions are because of the interpreter – 3D software, not the .OBJ format. With such a simple approach, it is possible to keep the data on the geometry, material, animation and so on. This format is still developing by Autodesk who owns this format.

U3D (Universal 3D)

This format was created as a result of the agreement by more companies (Intel, Adobe Systems, HP, Bentley, Boeing, etc..) that are united in a consortium called 3D Industry Forum. As a result there is widespread support and is also one of the standard formats. It was developed with the intention to set a standard for 3D files that are used in industry, production and design. The file is developed by ECMA standards. It is supported by all 3D applications and large systems for a broad market. Its most important advantage is that you can add it to .PDFs, and there manipulate (rotate) in order to better perceive a 3D model. Adobe Reader 8.1. and later versions fully support this format.


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