3D suites such as Cinema 4D or Maya are capable of some amazing renders, but adding textures and colour adjustments to achieve believable results can be a complicated process. The same is true for Photoshop’s built-in 3D tools.

See also: 86 Best Photoshop tutorials

Often it can be faster to use Photoshop’s standard, manipulative tools. The results are often better too, as there’s a lot you can do to quickly bring dull renders to life.

In this tutorial, Thomas Burden will show you how to create this Tom Waits-inspired piece, with a grubby old-school New York coffee house aesthetic. He’ll use a mixture of textures, pre-made brushes, Curves adjustments and colour overlays. 

You don’t need any particular 3D suite as you’ll be working from Thomas’ base rendered artwork. This, plus some texture elements, can be found in the project files. 

Time to complete 

2 hours


Photoshop CS5 or later


Files for this tutorial are downloadable from here

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