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I've been trying to find a way to create layouts like this for a while, and now that I have the time to try, I'm wondering if anyone knows how to do this? Where do I start in trying to create images like this, especially like the second image in the link provided.

I am fairly advanced in Ai, Ps, and some of the other applications in the CC suite, but I never really use inDesign. Is that the tool used for these layouts?

Any help would be greatly appreciated, for I would really like to learn how to do this.


This question is collecting close votes because it's similar to some that have been asked before. It's sufficiently different, though, that I'm going to give it a (possibly unexpected) answer. There are some great-but-impractical answers to those other questions that don't answer this one.

This particular layout, as with many of that designer's portfolio images, is a photograph. We're so used to "mocked-up mockups" that the default assumption is it was created with a software tool. It was certainly worked on in Photoshop after the fact, but it's a photograph.

It's not hard to set up soft light (a window and a white card reflector will do it) and a decent background, then take a photograph. In fact, if you were to compare the time it would take you to create this kind of 3D mockup in software with the time it would take to set up and take a good quality photograph (or have a friend do it), there is no reason to reach for a 3D program. When I do after-the-fact portfolio images of books, stationery, packaging, etc., I use my camera. It's way faster than toiling away in Photoshop.

If you need to create a mockup to show a client, there's a great website called "Pixeden" that can help. They have free and inexpensive paid Photoshop mockups that have high-resolution photographs as their starting point. You can quickly customize by replacing the contents of the Smart Objects in the PSDs.

As a designer, you need to think of how much your time is worth. It can be fascinating to spend hours in Photoshop creating a photo-realistic 3D mockup, but it's expensive if that's time you could be producing paid work.

  • What makes you think its a photo? Just cause of the imperfection in the stack? And even so if I wanted something like this I would find a photo of business cards stacked, with or without the imperfection, and then edit the top. Maybe add an imperfection for more realism if it didn't have. Or take a photo of any stack of business cards around my office and again edit the top. Just curious as to why you think this is straight photograph. I do agree that the people giving 3D responses below are crazy, which is why I downvoted them. Way overkill. – Ryan Jun 10 '14 at 1:01
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    The bonus with 3d and photoshop trickery is that it can allways be reused quickly. So you loose on initial investment win on long term. Learning how to photograph is also not really easy. But yes 3d may be overkill as learning it is even harder. In anycase a good 3d artist will fool most of you any day, imperfections and all. And it would take about as long as photographing set up. – joojaa Jun 10 '14 at 6:03
  • @Ryan Just familiarity, from having taken hundreds of shots like this. It could certainly be a photograph of blank cards to which the specific logo was added, but it's a photo nonetheless. As for imperfections, when you're doing images for portfolio purposes, you don't spend time adding dust motes (see some of her other Behance images) or depth of field blur. – Alan Gilbertson Jun 11 '14 at 8:55

If you are referring to the 3D rendering in the second image (the two stacks of business cards) you could use any 3D modeling software for that.

I am comfortable with Cinema 4D, so that's what I would use, but you could check out 3DS Max or Maya too.

If you are referring to the 3D logo that is printed on the business card, Illustrator (or any other vector graphics software) would be your best bet


You could try out Strata 3D for the 3D. If you are new to 3D it's a super easy program to use and there is lots of tutorials. It's not the biggest and baddest out there, but it gets the job done and plays well with Photoshop.


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