How and where - (in what application Photoshop, Corel or something else) can I make a 3D design that looks like the illustrations, for example?

http://logopond.com/logos/2114e74cf4b2c03d63e960e5d0bfa5c3.png enter image description here

Images from Logopond.com

Thanks in advance. Best regards

  • I answered below, and provided an example. You can do it with Photoshop CS3+ (Extended), but with CS6 you can do it easier and simpler. Also, there's several rendering settings to make it look photorealistic to cartoonish. Cheers! – Kevin Bomberry Feb 4 '13 at 20:46

You can render a 3-D image using 3-D rendering and modeling software, or you can draw a 2-D image that looks 3-D. (or, in many cases, a bit of both)

The left logo appears to be modelled, the right logo appears to be a 2-D illustration.

To do 3-D modeling, you'll need to get some 3-D software and learn it. Options include SolidWorks, SketchUp, Maya, and many, many others.

To do 2-D illustration that looks 3-D, you'll need to learn some basic illustration skills (perpective, shading, scale, etc.) and then learn some software to draw it. Options include PhotoShop, Illustrator, InkScape, The GIMP, and many, many others.


Photoshop CS6 Extended has strong 3D capabilities, vastly upgraded, faster and a lot simpler to work with than CS4 or CS5. PS brings all the power of Photoshop to the party, which becomes important when you're working with custom textures and bump maps, or for subtle shading and blend mode effects, and has the advantage that you're already familiar with most of it. You can download the public beta as of today (April 13, 2012) for free, so it's worth a try.

PS Extended imports most standard 3D formats, so if you create something with Blender or Sketchup you can still work with it in Photoshop. Maya has specific round-trip functionality to allow an artist working on a 3D object to take it into Photoshop for texture, shading, etc., and bring it back into Maya for final rendering.

If you'll be getting into extensive 3D work (and you have the budget!), then a full-blown application like Maya, 3DS Max or SolidWorks would be the way to build your 3D objects, using Photoshop to enhance as needed. (The fact that 3D artists use Photoshop so heavily is the reason the program acquired 3D features in the first place. Nothing moves on a video screen without being kissed by Photoshop somewhere along the line!)

  • 1
    "faster and a lot simpler... than CS4|5" You just talked me into it... – Farray Apr 14 '12 at 1:05
  • :) They really heard our howls of pain, and there was a lot of back and forth with the prerelease (aka beta) testers to make sure the end result was something actually usable. There's more radical change in CS6 than in any one release since about CS3 I think. Paragraph and Character Styles that actually work like you'd expect? Yowza! (Still no Glyphs panel, though. I did ask, plaintively. Maybe next time.) – Alan Gilbertson Apr 14 '12 at 3:54
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    Photoshop CS6 3D is a thing of beauty. – Scott Apr 16 '12 at 11:00
  • It is indeed! Repousse drove me crazy in the beta and in the release. You had to have the time-frame of a Lazarus Long to get anything useful done, which doesn't sit well with deadlines. This time they got it mature, and they got it right. – Alan Gilbertson Apr 16 '12 at 23:09
  • +1's for Photoshop's 3D tools and user experience refresh. I can't post an image in the comments so I'll post one below of a quick example of the first logo. Cheers! – Kevin Bomberry Aug 15 '12 at 9:10

You can easily make something similar to the first logo using the 3D revolve tool in Adobe Illustrator. For more complex icons, a possibility would be to use Illustrator's gradient mesh tool or to create the logo in a dedicated 3D design program such as Autodesk Maya or Cheetah3D and then can be augmented in Photoshop.

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    Illustrator could create the basic shape, but it doesn't do ray tracing, which is required for generating realistic reflections and shadows. The second logo would be easy to do in Illustrator though. – Lèse majesté Apr 13 '12 at 15:16

Here's an example of the fist logo example done in Photoshop CS 6 Extended. Note that I only let it go for 5 (rendering) passes; the longer it renders the more noise is removed... enter image description here

As you can see, for some of your 3D needs Photoshop CS 6 Extended can be your goto app. After all, as a designer, you're probably already there... and it comes with a/the Creative Cloud. (^_^)

Check out Photoshop.com for more information. Or comment below and I'll update this post with a few steps on making the rings and text (3D Extrusions). Cheers!

Disclaimer: I am the editor-in-chief of Photoshop Dimensions.


Rendering in 3d software allways produce bitmaps and these pictures are only suitable for presentation of a logo, not for use outside of web. Resolution problems occurs with resizing, even printing. So... The real logo is only vector based illustration, suitable for all purposes.

Best regards, and good luck! by DESIGNO

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    Yes, however, you can render at any resolution you'd like, non-destructively, whenever you'd like, much like an EPS. So if you need 72 dpi for screen and 300 dpi for print, it's all the same... 3D is very much like vector, the (non-shader) textures are the raster portion, but everything else is quite scaleable—and if the raster information is even average resolution it should not be an issue unless you're very close to a low res surface. Cheers! – Kevin Bomberry Aug 22 '12 at 4:46

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