We look into PixelSquid and the Photoshop plugin that every designer should have!
PixelSquid describes itself as the World’s most powerful 3D image library. Though there are many 3D image libraries online, none integrate with Adobe Photoshop as simply as PixelSquid. Furthermore, this is currently a free service.
What can PixelSquid do?
You begin by searching for something or browsing collections of images in much the same way as you would on any other stock imagery site.
Once you’ve selected an image, you can preview and rotate it in your browser.
To download the image, you will need a free PixelSquid account and the Photoshop plugin.
When you’ve logged in on the website, you can then add images you find to Photoshop, at which point they’ll appear in the plugin window in Photoshop.
You can then add the 3D model to your image, but what makes PixelSquid really useful is that you can rotate the image to any angle to fit your design.
The models are available in low and high resolutions, shadows can be turned on and off, and you can embed your models as layered smart objects.
We’ve played around with it, and we’re pretty impressed (apart from the annoyance of having to log in through the plugin every time you use it).
PixelSquid has the potential to be a very useful tool for designers. Being able to rotate and scale the models means that you can add a wide range of imagery into your designs very quickly. Before PixelSquid, if we wanted to add coins to a design, we would have had to have obtained stock imagery, meticulously cut it out, and even then would have been at the correct angle, so it sits on the desk in a photo-realistic fashion? Probably not.
PixelSquid is currently completely free of charge, and they say on their website that they plan to introduce paid premium features in the future.
Their terms and conditions are a little confusing, so I’m still not sure whether or not you are able to use the images for commercial projects, but for non-commercial use (such as demoing the service for a creative blog), then it’s absolutely fine.
I recommend everyone go to the PixelSquid website now and have a play around with the service. You may not need it right away, but I guarantee you will find it useful at some point in the future.