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I am trying to achieve something similar to the following photo-realistic image in Photoshop:

example of a photo-realistic image

So far, I have tried copying and pasting a basic object, then distorting it and applying new layer styles. However, I am sure there is a much more efficient way to do it using some sort of 3D 'spin' function. I've never come across one, so wondering if anyone had any tips.

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Are you looking to actually spin something (animation) or just looking to make something appear as it it's spinning? – SOIA Jan 31 '13 at 1:10
By spin, I mean rotate a basic shape around the x axis will offsetting it so that you get the tapered effect you can see above. – jacktheripper Jan 31 '13 at 7:30
I think you're barking up the wrong tree with "spinning" and "x axis". All you need do is use a warp transformation to taper the ends of a shape. I can't understand why you feel you need 3D here. – SOIA Jan 31 '13 at 8:02
I tried that, but putting in the shadows on each one was a pain, so I was looking into 3D methods – jacktheripper Jan 31 '13 at 8:31
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I don't think Photoshop is the tool you should use for this. However, Illustrator has the "rotate around the z axis" function you are describing.

In a nutshell, you trace the shape of half of the object:

Traced object

Then use Effect3DRevolve... on that object

Revolved object

Then you can map whatever are you need to make it look as photo-realistic as you like.

"Finished" Product

I didn't spend much time on the texture for this example, so mine looks like crud. The rendering will improve when you export the image as a PNG:

Rendered output

I think you are much better off using an actual 3D modelling program, but if you need a quick and dirty solution within Adobe's Creative Suite then this could work.

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