It's not clear what you are having issues with. Element can natively only open PNG and JPEG, but they need to be saved as RGB with no fancies. All other texture types will have to be referenced as layers from the comp in the Element interface. Other than that calling your workflow less than ideal would be an understatement. The conversion in PS almost definitely screws up your UVs/ texture coordinates, even more so if the original 3DS file only contained projections, not an explicit UV set. You won't be able to resolve this in any way in Adobe software and will have to use some sort of alternate 3d tool, be it just for the conversion. No need to learn Blender in full for that...
Thanks for your reply. As you can see, I am pretty green when it comes to 3D. I opened the model in Photoshop and it looked as it should be. I then went to "export 3D layer" and exported the model as a .obj for Element to read. Photoshop then displays a dialogue asking what format you want the exported texture files in. This is where I tried original, jpeg and png. None show up in Element.
Is there another step I am missing in Photoshop to prepare or export the textures? My model is RGB 8bit in Photoshop.
I have heard of textures being "baked" which would solve the texture issue but is know is not good for resolution. I mainly do video but am looking to add some graphic elements in my work. Being able to download models and incorporate them is all I am really after. Nothing crazy and I hope I can accomplish this without needing to become a 3D wizard.
Thanks for your help!