Creating product mockups everyone will love
by The Creative Cloud Team
posted on 02-13-2018
Dimension brings images to life by compositing 2D background images with 3D assets. In this post, we’re featuring designer Zuzanna Czerny and a Valentine’s Day-themed product mockup she has created for Adobe Dimension. Zuzanna accessed her 3D assets for free through Adobe Stock, and compiled them together for you to tailor for your own project. Download those assets here.
We’re going to let Zuzanna walk you through her creative process step by step. You can follow along and customize the assets in Adobe Illustrator to incorporate your own aesthetic. Share what you’ve made on Behance and Twitter using the hashtag #adobedimension. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Hello, everyone! My name is Zuzanna Czerny, and I’m currently working as a UX designer. In my line of work, I scramble to find mockups that help my designs come to life. I post my work on Behance, and I often see the same basic assets for a mockup used several times in the same designer’s portfolio. This means a portfolio that should showcase a variety of work that excites and engages the viewer instead can seem stale and fall flat. During the past year, I have figured out how to make my own unique mockups that fit and elevate my designs: I use Adobe Dimension with Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop.
Here is an example of my everyday process. It’s not as difficult as you think it is. It’s actually very simple and straightforward. My challenge that I pass on to you is to create a Tea Box design and place it into a 3D mockup using Adobe Dimension. You can follow along with my files!
Step 1: The initial design
The first step in creating a mockup is to find the right 3D assets to showcase your design. I love downloading free 3D assets from Adobe Stock and customizing them to fit my needs. I’ve put together an Illustrator file with my tea box design. To open it just double click on the “Teaboxdesign.ai” in the project folder.
Step 2: Make design edits
Using Illustrator, go ahead and make edits to the box details to customize your tea box design. Change the name, switch up the color or the font, and make it whatever type of tea you desire it to be!
Step 3: Add your design to a library
Select your artboard and right click. Find “Add to your library” and select that option. You will be prompted to select a library. You can either make a new one, or you can simply add it to an existing Adobe Creative Cloud library.
Step 4: Download Dimension
Now that your file is in one of your libraries, you can move on to Dimension. Adobe Dimension is available for download on the Creative Cloud app. Once you have it installed on your computer, open up the application.
Step 5: Import background image
After Dimension opens on your computer, select “new project.” Once the new project opens, find the project folder you downloaded and drag in the image called “Background.jpg.” You can also use the file menu to import as shown in the image below. We’ll use this image for the tutorial but you can bring in any image file to use as a background scene in Dimension.
When the image has loaded, you will see a box pop up with the title “Match Image.” Here you will be able to match the lighting and perspective of the scene from the image. Some of your check boxes might be grayed out depending on the photo. If your photo does not allow you to match the camera perspective, you can easily adjust that yourself in the next step.
If you were not able to match the perspective to your image, you can click on the Horizon Tool which is located on the bottom left side of your tools area. Click and drag the line until the perspective visually matches your image. If you feel like your image does not match the perspective or vice versa, I advise looking for a different image with a defined horizon or perspective. Usually editing the horizon is a quick and easy fix. However, if your background image was taken with a unique lens or has many different angles, then it might be more difficult to match up the perspective to the image. If you don’t like the image you selected, you don’t have to start over to bring in a new background image. Simply drag a new image onto your scene or import a new background image and your project will update.
Step 6: Bring in objects
Drag in the object file called “box.obj” from the asset collection for this tutorial. A box will show up on your screen in the new background scene. You can adjust its location by using the various move tools located on the left side. Experiment with different placements, and don’t worry about the color or exterior yet. Drag in the object file called “teacup.obj” and “teabag.obj.”
Adjust their location to your liking using the “select and move” and “select and rotate” tools.
Step 7: Modify colors
On the right side of the Dimension screen you will see your objects in order in the screen panel. Double-click on the box’s material in the canvas to adjust the color. Same with the rest of your items.
Here I applied an image as the material of the box. You can simply select a file to act as a color or coating for your box. I added a rose background to my box, and the material automatically updated.
Step 8: Apply decals
On the bottom left side of your screen, you will see the Creative Cloud Libraries panel. Open this tab and select the library where your Tea Box design is saved. Once you find your design, drag it onto the box in your scene. At this point, you can adjust the placement of the decal and how big it is on the box. I used the widget to expand and move the decal to the center of the box because I felt like that was a real representation of how tea boxes are usually designed.
Step 9: Save your work and lighting
Once you are happy with your decal location, go ahead and save your work. It’s a good idea to save your work frequently, but I like saving here when all my elements are in place before rendering especially. This file will be saved as a Dimension file (.dn) that contains all the elements of your scene.
After your work is saved, click on “Environment” in the scene panel located in the upper right side of the screen. This will reveal your environment properties in the contextual properties panel in the lower right. In this area you can adjust your lighting and the overall look of the mockup. I advise you to try out several styles of lighting by playing around with the sliders, reflection amount, and lighting area. You can also use the “Match Image” action to rematch to the image lighting or use any new light profile from the Assets panel to experiment with different looks. I usually move the light around with the sliders to emphasize the decal so that it stands out more.
Step 10: Render
Now it’s time to render all of your hard work. On the top left, you will see the render button. Select “render” to go to the render page. On the right, click on “Export Path” to name your file and save it in a specific location.
The render will take some time to calculate all the shadows and edges of your piece. Your image will begin to appear and will become clearer and clearer as the render reaches the finish.
Using these steps, you can create your own 3D renderings, and even easily recreate this scene with a completely different background. I really like using Adobe Stock to import objects into my library because you can get a lot of great assets for free. Download several background photos or import your own personal images, select new 3D objects, and just try placing your designs in different scenarios. This way you can see what you like and get a feel for what looks best.
Also, don’t be freaked out! 3D compositing is super easy with Dimension. Play around with the materials. Mess with the lighting. You have endless amounts of possibilities, and you can always drag down an object or press undo.
I would love to see all of your designs, so please share them on social media with #adobedimension and tag me on Instagram and Twitter @Teawithzgram.
Ready to get started? Download Zuzanna’s asset library and follow her steps in Adobe Dimension, available for download through Adobe Creative Cloud. Share what you’ve made on Behance and Twitter using the hashtag #adobedimension.
Topics: Creativity, Creative Inspiration & Trends
Products: Photoshop, Illustrator, Creative Cloud