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This article is from March 31, 2017, and is no longer current.

Free Video: Making 3D Presentation Materials and Mockups

In our heart of hearts, I think most InDesign geeks are really makers. We love making something, whether it’s a book, a brochure, or a business card.

I think it goes back to the joy of being a kid, drawing, folding, cutting, and gluing stuff together, and the feeling of “I did that!” Some of us never lose that feeling. That’s why I keep some of my favorite books I’ve produced on my bookshelf, even though I’ll never actually read them. It’s why I’ve written posts on using InDesign to make anything from Christmas ornaments to mini-books. And it’s why I love a new course by Todd Gallopo, Making 3D Presentation Materials and Mockups.

The course shows how to craft mockups of labels and packaging to produce real, tangible items you can show to a client (or just amuse yourself or your friends). It’s one thing to send someone a PDF showing what a product would look like. It’s another thing altogether to hand them the actual thing, with size and weight, that they can feel, open, and use.

It’s true that most label and package design is done with other apps like Illustrator and Photoshop, but since most of us are at least somewhat acquainted with InDesign’s Creative Cloud siblings, I’m betting you can still find professional or personal projects where making a physical mockup would be fun and useful.

Here’s the official course description:

3D mockups are a unique and impactful way to convey your ideas. If making 3D presentation materials seems like a big or complex undertaking, then this course is for you. Todd Gallopo introduces you to the process of visualizing designs and then shows you how to translate your concepts into measured, constructed, tangible mockups. Learn how to select the tools you need, set up your workspace, and assess the structure you will be working with as part of your initial prep. Then, see how to create, print, cut, and fold materials into 3D forms you can present. Along the way, Todd also explains how to make materials last, how to photograph mockups, and how to present both physical and digital forms of your designs.

Topics include:

  • Making templates
  • Taking measurements
  • Preparing digital layouts to make mockups
  • Printing designs for each mockup
  • Sourcing materials
  • Photographing mockups
  • Retouching and adjusting mockup photos
  • Presenting physical and digital mockups

In the free video below, Todd discusses what exactly are 3D mockups and why you might want to make one. Check it out!

3D mockups: What they are and why they’re important


For members, if you are currently signed in to your account, you can also check out these videos from the series.

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When to make a mockup

Overview of the general tools and workspace needed

Preparing your digital layouts to make your mockups

Editor in Chief of CreativePro. Instructor at LinkedIn Learning with courses on InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, GIMP, Inkscape, and Affinity Publisher. Co-author of The Photoshop Visual Quickstart Guide with Nigel French.