In this tutorial we're going to create a photo-realistic key using the powerful capabilities of Photoshop's 3D feature. If you have no previous experience with the 3D feature, I strongly recommend that you experiment on your own before continuing to the tutorial.
- Program: Adobe Photoshop
- Version: CS6 Extended
- Difficulty: Intermediate/Advanced
- Estimated Completion Time: 1 hour
Create a new document in Photoshop.
Using the Pen Tool (P) draw the outline of a key. It's pretty easy, yet you can use a reference photo. Once you've done with the path, right click on the canvas and select Create Vector Mask. Fill the canvas with #c2c2c2. Then, pick the Ellipse Tool (U) and select the Subtract from Shape in the Path Operations. Draw a circle for the hole.
Now go 3D->Extrusion from Selected Path. Skip the Environment and Scene panels and select the Layer 1 (or whatever you named your layer). Start applying these parametres.
Now that your main shape is ready, switch to the Front Inflation Material panel (just click on it in the 3D layers stack). Apply these parametres.
Select the Front Bevel Material panel and apply the following parametres.
Do the same with the Extrusion Material panel. Since our key is placed on the floor, there's no need to tweak the Back Bevel and Back Inflation Materials.
Your key should now look something like this (depends on the orientation parametres you applied).
To create the hole simply select the Internal Constraint (inside the Boundary Constraint) panel and select Hole.
Next, select the Infinite Light 1 (you can add more light sources if you want) and move it around until you're satisfied with the result.
Our key is now ready. Hit the Render icon and wait a couple of minutes... or hours depending on your computer.
Switch back to your default workspace and place the Metal Scratches texture (the one you used before) on a new layer. Scale it down, rotate it and do whatever you want with it to give your key a random effect. Change the Blend Mode to Vivid Light and lower the Fill to 35%. Clip this layer to the original 3D key layer.
Create a new layer, turn it into a clipping mask and paint the whole canvas orange (#fbaf5d). Change the Blend Mode to Hard Mix and the Fill (or Opacity) to 25%. Then create another layer and this time paint it yellow (#b6b16a). Change its Blend Mode to Vivid Light and the Opacity to 40% (don't forget to clip it).
Next, create a new layer, clip it again and select the pixels of the 3D key. Paint the selection with a random color, turn the Fill to 0% and apply these parametres.
Create a new layer and add some scratches using the Brush Tool (B).
Finally, create a Solid Color Adjustment Layer (color: #000000) and change the Blend Mode to Color and the Opacity to 25%. Then add a Curves Adjustment Layer to tweak the contrast.
Step 16 - Background
Group and merge all the layers except from the background and the Adjustment layers. Paint the background layer with any color you like. Then, create a new layer and place the Metal Scratches texture. Clip it to the background layer and change its Blend Mode to Linear Light and lower the Opacity to something around 15%. Go Edit->Transform->Distort and experiment with the anchor points to give the texture some depth.
Grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw a shape like the one on the first image. Fill it with #c69c6d. Place the Wood texture on a new layer and distort it. Change its Blend Mode to Luminosity and clip it to the orange shape.
Duplicate the Metal scratches layer and distort it a bit more. Change its Blend Mode to Color Dodge and the Opacity to 80%. The idea is to make the wooden surface look old and used.
Create a new layer and grab the Pen Tool (P) again. Draw a shape like the one on the image below and add the following styles (color: #c69c6d).
Duplicate the Wood texture and distort it. Clip it to the layer created in the previous step.
Create a new layer and add some highlights.
Add some more shadows and highlights using a soft round brush.
That's it. The key is now ready. Feel free to add any effects you want to make it look even better. If you have any questions, post them in the Comments Section and we'll answer asap. We hope you enjoyed the tutorial.