Photoshop has featured 3D workflows for years, but significant challenges for designers remain. With its recent purchase of 3D specialists Mixamo, Adobe has turned its attention to realistic 3D character models, the kind designers are working with more and more. The result is Fuse CC (Preview), a new desktop app that lets anyone easily build animated human models for composite images, layouts, concepts, and artistic projects.

Fuse gives designers who have no 3D expertise an easy workflow to incorporate into their projects. It’s often hard to find the exact image you want for a layout in 2D, so with Fuse, you can start off with your own vision and make it happen.

Fuse lets you mix and match different faces and bodies, as easily as building an avatar for a computer game, to quickly assemble unique combinations of existing body parts, clothing items, and texturing options from a library of some 3000 images.

With Fuse, you can click to select nearly every region of the face and body to customize the model: Change hair style, facial expression and shape, skin colour, clothing fabric, texture, and colour and nearly everything about the figure and body type in vast detail and real time. After you create your characters, you can save them to your Creative Cloud Library for posing and animating in Photoshop CC.

I've spent some time with Fuse and was able to create some very presentable models within a few minutes. Building them felt like a game using the app's simple interface and minimal controls. It automatically moves you through a variety of facial and body options, though you can always move back and forth between the four major modules (Assemble, Customise, Clothing, and Texture) at will. Read on to find out how to do it.

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