I'm new at making 3D mockups. I have tried making 3D mockups(attached one) but they don't look like a real image. I have used both CorelDraw x5 and PhotoShop CS6 to achieve the necessary results.

How can I make these more realistic like real images? should I use Photoshop or is there any other software that I can use for this purpose? And yes, If there's any good tutorial about making real imagery 3D mockups kindly share Thanks

enter image description here

5 Answers 5



You need to add some directional lighting to create more shadows and highlights.

The canned "drop shadow" never works. You should remove that and manually create cast shadows.

I'd use Photoshop, but you can use whatever works for you.


Another late reply. Shadows, and shadows.

A 3D mockup should be thought as a Photography.

The original image looks as if someone used the built in flash, which is almost always a bad thing.

Scott, commented it. In photography you use directional lights to cast directional shadows.

enter image description here

There are two types of shadows. Projected (A) and self-cast shadows (B). They are not flat, depends on distances and reflections.

To make the ground less flat, we can also add a gradient (C), which decreases from the lightsource into the horizon.

enter image description here

This shadows are done in Corel, but can be done in Photoshop or inclusive you could prepare a real 3D model with a photorealistic render engine, like Blender, which is my favorite aproach.


The shadow-thing is already well presented in other writings, but the background should have much less strong details. It catches the eyes.

Another irritating background-thing: Its perspective seems different than the perspective of your box. They simply do not fit. It's like the ceiling or it's a rotated or skewed straight onto face image. (It resembles some of my own trials when I flipped the image without seeing the wrong perspective until some nearly physical education was given by the owner).

Proper backgrounds can be bought or downloaded or they can be synthesized from scratch. If you want use your own real backgrounds, build and photograph them carefully - as carefully as your main target is wanted to be shown. Note: this is a demanding job in terms of skill, talent and equipment, too.

If your target is only a synthetic mockup, then take the picture with proper lights and background with other box that has nearly the same size and form. This is to see how all should fit. Take a photo also without the fake box for the final use. You must make the shadows and the reflections, but you have now a model.

This is unreal, but can still present the product well: Put the box and maybe the packed tools also to levitate in the air - no contact with the background at all.


There's a 'plugin' in Illustrator called Esko, you may use to convert your artwork to 3D view in just two or 1 click based on prepared dieline. :)

Or else, I prefer to use Photoshop to demonstrate the view of the packaging. It's more precise and free to imagine.

Attached my 3D work as reference. enter image description here

In Photoshop you may use the "Smart Object" to provide an object where you can put your artwork in.

  • 2
    Hello Supian Mustapa, thanks for your answer. Could you please clarify? Where can we find this plug-in, and what does it do? Why is the solution to the Asker's question? Please explain more. As is, your post looks a lot like a spam advertisement for the product in the image, which does little to help clarify your point. Please consider editing your post to clarify and make it look less like spam. Thanks! If you have any questions about this site, have a look at the help center.
    – Vincent
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 12:18
  • The plug-in that Supian is referring to is called "Studio" by esko.com. Commented Mar 23, 2019 at 22:52

Lots of great advice here.

I could only add that you can use tools like unbleach.net , generate a mockup and then adjust it in ps afterwards. Its great for setting shadows and other stuff.

  • 1
    Although it's impressive for certain product mockups, I'd not recommend it for packaging since it only has a coffee cup available.
    – Luciano
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 8:51

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