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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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up vote 6 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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I actually LOLed at this comment. JohnB, your results could not have been better and the fact that you deflected it as possibly better done in other software makes me laugh louder. There is no way it could have been done any finer than what you did in Illustrator. – Brenn Apr 1 at 2:13

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