I see options to add materials in various ways to 3D surfaces of my extruded text. What is the correct procedure to project a photographic image onto a 3D surface, such as the front inflation material?
To map for example a Photograph onto a surface, select the material in the 3D panel then in the Properties panel click on the folder next to "Diffuse" and choose New Texture.
This will open a .psb file with the UV mapping shown. Add your image as a new layer above that - I like to bring it in as a smart object that I can manipulate to fit onto the UV. As with any other 2D image the tools to warp and transform are all available to you.
When you are done - close and save the .psb
In my other 3D apps, it is possible to project an image map onto all sides of extruded text (planar projection) so that the image is projected into the surface normals for each plane (front, sides, etc) Is that possible with PShop CC?
It depends on how the mesh and model is built. With the Text extrusions the Materials for front and Extrusion are mapped separately. So you can have a different texture mapped onto the extrusion from the front. It is not as simple as just unfolding the mesh in the way you would do it in Blender for example.
Some of the other models - e.g. cylinder and cube - can be unwrapped fairly simply. You can map an image fairly simply onto a sphere for example and view from the inside to look around.
Is it possible to create a 3D image map (or bump map) from a photo and and make it a MATERIAL in the 3D material library?
I have covered how to use an image above. You can create a bump map from an image using Filter - 3D - Generate Bump Map. You can then use the bump map by clicking on the folder next to the "bump" slider in textures and clicking on Load Texture or New Texture. If you pick new texture you will open a flat layer with the UVs so you can manipulate your bump map as required
Hope that helps