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November 01 2013

13:41

Free Resources for Creating a Flat Design

Flat designs are taking over quite quickly it seems. I doubt anyone could argue against it being the latest and greatest for (fairly) new trends on the web, in mobile devices, and even in print. The simple description for a flat style of design is one that lacks 3D effects, such as bevels or drop shadows.

The stylistic details of a flat design can vary somewhat, just as with most design styles. Usually, though, a flat design is quite minimalist with primary-ish colors and lots of “white space”. The font is usually thin without too much flare. Boxes and buttons are, of course, without strokes or 3D effects. Some flat designs do contain shadows, but these are usually flat-ish as well.

Whether you are new to flat design or simply need some fresh, new resources for your next project, most should be able to find a few items below to help. The list below is divided into 5 categories: UI kits, icons, templates, WordPress themes, and tutorials. The best part? All are free. The ones that specifically mention “free for commercial use” are noted as well. Have fun browsing and be sure to let us know of any other amazingly free flat resources.

UI Kits

A UI kit is a user interface collection that comes with all the parts and pieces you need to design your own website. Usually they are PSD but sometimes will come with other components as well. While you can use the color scheme in the file, you can create your own color scheme. They also come with patterns, brushes, and much more. Hence, UI kits save a web designer a lot of time, improving workflow and decreasing time spent on projects.

DesignModo Flat UI

This free (commercial and personal) flat UI kit from DesignModo comes with all of the basics you’ll need to create a flat user interface – buttons, menu, input, tags, switches, icons, color swatches, glyphs, and much more.

Modern Touch UI Kit

PixelKit offers this flat UI kit. It comes with a very unique, slick look and feel and the free version is for both personal and commercial use.

Flat Design UI Components

A beautiful UI kit, this one from GraphicBurger comes in a well-organized PSD file. The color scheme is nice for when you need a darker look for a website or application.

Free Flat UI Kit

This amazing free kit includes flat icons, buttons, and more in a blue/white color scheme. Just be sure to contact the developer, Enes Denis, about commercial use.

Featherweight UI

Designed by Sarah Hunt of sarahjustine.com, this kit is completely free for both personal and commercial use. It is both vector-based and retina ready, and the font works both online and offline.

Flat UI Kit

Freepik.com created this aweome free UI kit for Webdesigner Depot. Enter your email address to download it for both commercial or personal use.

Icons

Flat icons are, as mentioned already, are those that have no 3D pop. They are simply flat. Most come in the normal, flat style of primary-like colors. However, you can find a few that are line style and others that are even a bit uniquely colored, for a flat design. Icons are another great way to save time in both web and print design.

Metro UI Icon Set

This fantastic set comes with 725 flat icons that also come with a reflective quality if you decide to go less flat in style. The designer, dAKirby309, has generously make them free for use as long as you credit him in your project.

180 FREE Flat Icons

On a mission to providing Open Source resources for the WordPress world, WordPress Design Awards created this icon set for anyone to use in commercial or personal projects.

Free Flat Icons

This collection does not contain very many icons, but they are very unique. These are free for both personal and commercial use and are perfect for adding a unique touch to any flat design.

Free Flat Icons by Studio 4

In this free collection, you will find 47 icons designed with flat colors and style. The details are phenomenal!

100 Free Vector Icons

This set of line icons work great for a flat design. The precision in the icons are superb, and the best part is that they are completely free.

90 Royalty-free Flat Icons

With round and square icons, social media icons, common objects icons, and more, this royalty-free icon pack is amazing!

Templates

For those with even less time, templates are a great way to quickly throw up a website in a matter of minutes. Unlike a UI kit in which you have to arrange every element onto a page, a template already comes with elements laid out. All you have to do is add content.

Free Flat HTML5 Website Template

This free template comes with a call-to-action section, header and footer, portfolio area, and menu. With it all located in a single HTML5 file, you can easily edit it for your own use.

Free Flat Design PSD Template

A very minimal, flat design, this template for a website is called Illustrate. A WordPress theme is also available in this design.

Free Flat Website Template

The colors in this flat template are very calming, making it a great website template to use for a company that wishes to instill trust in clients.

iPhone Flat Design UI Templates

This collection of iPhone templates come with different pages in a free sample project download. A sidebar, settings screen, activity feed, user profile, and login screens are all included. Each of the screens come with 2-4 design styles.

WordPress Themes

For those creating a WordPress website, there are a few new themes out there that fall under the flat category. All of the following themes, except the first one, are Open Source themes just like WordPress, so no need to worry about hidden prices or commercial-use.

Photo Free Responsive Gallery WordPress Theme

This absolutetly free theme is very minimal and flat in its design. It would be perfect for anyone needing a basic portfolio website.

Surfarama

Each of the content boxes in this Open Source theme can include an image to enhance the home page. You can even color code the categories, upload your logo, etc without coding.

StrapVert

This is a great flat theme for easily showcasing images with blocks of text. The theme now comes with the option to turn off either the featured section, just the top section, or just the secondary section off.

Attitude

This incredible Open Source WordPress theme is retina ready, responsive, and very clean. The other big bonus to this theme is that it is also available with 5 different translation options.

Iconic One

This WordPress theme is not only flat, clean, and simple but also it is responsive, has a page speed score of 95+, and implements SEO. It also uses Live customizer so that custom changes are easy to make.

Twenty Thirteen

This theme looks good on any device and comes in a blog format. The flat style gives it simplicity and the color scheme is a nice burnt look.

Tutorials

If you are just beginning or even if you have some areas in flat design you’d like to improve upon, the following tutorials are excellent. All give detailed instructions on how to create flat designs or flat elements in a design.

How to Create a Website in Flat Design Style

This 17 minute tutorial from Designmodo uses their free UI pack listed in the UI kits above. Learn how to create a flat website in Adobe Photoshop using an interface kit.

Flat Long Shadows

This step-by-step tutorial is from Awwwards and includes resources and examples as well. Easy to follow along, this is probably one of the best tutorials on flat shadow design on the web.

Make My Design Flat

This is not necessarily a tutorial but best fits under the “Tutorial” category simply because after using it several times, you will probably will learn how to change code around for flat designs. Using this tool, you can convert any button into a flat design. Simply upload your code to receive the “flat” version that you can then copy and paste or use as a guideline for your own flat code.

Flat Design Tutorial (part 2)

This video tutorial thoroughly walks you through how to create a flat design. The designer gets a little detailed on downloading the resources he uses, but once he gets to the designing part, he does a great job of making it easy to learn flat designing.

Mastering Flat Design

You’ll have to sign up on TutsPlus to see this full series, but it is very much worth it. TutsPlus provides a comprehensive video course on flat design comprised of over 2 hours worth of videos.

Remember to share in the comments below if you have a flat design resource you’d like to share with the rest of us!

October 18 2013

08:00

45 Photo Editing Tutorials for Photoshop

This post was originally published a few years ago, and since that time many of the tutorials that were featured in the post are no longer online. So we’ve revamped the article with a fresh selection of tutorials, some old and some new, that should prove to be very helpful.

Photoshop allows designers and photographers to improve photos in countless ways. Some photos are edited in a subtle way that the viewer may not even notice unless it is side-by-side with the original photo, and others are edited in more drastic ways. The good news is that there is a tutorial for just about anything you would want to do in Photoshop. Here you’ll find a collection of 45 different tutorials that teach the art of photo editing.

Telling Stories with Shadows

Telling Stories with Shadows

Create Vignette Effects with the Radial Filter in Photoshop CC

Create Vignette Effects with the Radial Filter in Photoshop CC

Water Reflection Effect in Photoshop CS6

Water Reflection Effect in Photoshop CS6

How to Add Reflections to Sunglesses with Photoshop

How to Add Reflections to Sunglesses with Photoshop

Learn How to Remove a Person from a Photo

Learn How to Remove a Person from a Photo

Remove a Person and Recreate a Busy Background Using the Clone Tool

Remove a Person and Recreate a Busy Background Using the Clone Tool

Black & White Adjustment

Black & White Adjustment

How to Replace a Sky Using Photoshop

How to Replace a Sky Using Photoshop

Dark Grunge Photo Effect

Dark Grunge Photo Effect

Vintage Cross Processed Photo Effect in Photoshop

Vintage Cross Processed Photo Effect in Photoshop

Six Ways to Create a Vignette in Photoshop

Six Ways to Create a Vignette in Photoshop

Creating Fashion Contrast Photo Effect

Creating Fashion Contrast Photo Effect

Handy Techniques for Cutting Out Hair in Photoshop

Handy Techniques for Cutting Out Hair in Photoshop

How to Reduce Digital Noise in a Photograph

How to Reduce Digital Noise in a Photograph

Professional Sharpening Techniques in Photoshop

Professional Sharpening Techniques in Photoshop

Apply a Color Effect to a Photo

Apply a Color Effect to a Photo

Create a Stunning High Key Portrait Photo

Create a Stunning High Key Portrait Photo

Old Fashioned, Hand-Tinted Photo Effect with Photoshop

Old Fashioned, Hand-Tinted Photo Effect with Photoshop

Ghosting an Image with Photoshop

Ghosting an Image with Photoshop

Gritty HDR

Gritty HDR

Star Diffusion

Star Diffusion

Selective Sepia

Selective Sepia

How to Create a Split Tone Effect in Photoshop

How to Create a Split Tone Effect in Photoshop

Hot & Fiery Photo Effect

Hot & Fiery Photo Effect

Turn a Photo Into a Collage of Polaroids with Photoshop

Turn a Photo Into a Collage of Polaroids with Photoshop

Pop Art

Pop Art

Vector Art with Photoshop

Vector Art with Photoshop

High-Key B&W Portrait Effect

High-Key B&W Portrait Effect

Coloring Effects

Coloring Effects

Bourne Ultimatum Color and Motion Blur Effect with Photoshop

Bourne Ultimatum Color and Motion Blur Effect with Photoshop

Selecting and Extracting Hair

Selecting and Extracting Hair

Phoenix Hair Effect

Phoenix Hair Effect

Basic Photo Editing Tutorial

Basic Photo Editing Tutorial

Edgy Style Photo Treatment

Edgy Style Photo Treatment

Perform Laser Eye Surgery on a Photo with Photoshop

Perform Laser Eye Surgery on a Photo with Photoshop

Make Eyelashes Thicker

Make Eyelashes Thicker

5 Second Eye Enhancement

5 Second Eye Enhancement

Artistic Sepia/Colorizing Effect

Artistic Sepia/Colorizing Effect

Boosting Contrast and Color with the Luminosity Mask in Photoshop

Boosting Contrast and Color with the Luminosity Mask in Photoshop

Enhance Your Image with Selective Color Adjustments

Enhance Your Image with Selective Color Adjustments

Applying a Realistic Tattoo

Applying a Realistic Tattoo

Add Dynamic Lighting to a Flat Photograph

Add Dynamic Lighting to a Flat Photograph

Add Dramatic Rain to a Photo in Photoshop

Add Dramatic Rain to a Photo in Photoshop

Creating Selective Contrast in Photoshop

Creating Selective Contrast in Photoshop

Realistic Makeup Application in Photoshop

Realistic Makeup Application in Photoshop

For more Photoshop tutorials see:

October 17 2013

08:00

40 Photoshop Tutorials for Lighting and Abstract Effects

This post was originally published a few years ago, and since that time many of the tutorials that were featured in the post are no longer online. So we’ve revamped the article with a fresh selection of tutorials, some old and some new, that should prove to be very helpful.

Photoshop gives designers the ability to create some amazing effects that can accomplish just about anything you can image. Lighting effects and abstract effects can be some of the most engaging and powerful effects created in Photoshop, and they’re also a lot of fun for designers. Fortunately, there are plenty of Photoshop experts who are willing to write detailed tutorials to show off the potential. Here is a look at some of the best tutorials for using various lighting and abstract effects. Follow a few of these tutorials to learn different techniques, and then put your creativity to work and find some ways to use lighting effects on your own.

Add Light Streaks to a Photo with Photoshop

Add Light Streaks to a Photo with Photoshop

Flaming Car in Photoshop

Flaming Car in Photoshop

The Revolution Artwork

The Revolution Artwork

Create Dynamic Lighting Using Custom Brushes in Photoshop

Create Dynamic Lighting Using Custom Brushes in Photoshop

Compositing Tutorial – Colors and Light Effects

Compositing Tutorial - Colors and Light Effects

Beautiful Lady with Flowing Light Effects

Burning Wishes – Abstract Photoshop Tutorial

Beautiful Lady with Flowing Light Effects

Sparkling Hot Girl in Photoshop

Sparkling Hot Girl in Photoshop

Fiery Photoshop Space Explosion Tutorial

Fiery Photoshop Space Explosion Tutorial

Really Cool Eclipse Effect in Photoshop

Really Cool Eclipse Effect in Photoshop

Electrifying Glow Album Art

Electrifying Glow Album Art

Mastering Light Effects

Mastering Light Effects

Luminescent Lines

Luminescent Lines

Creating Light Motion Trails & Glowing Sparks

Creating Light Motion Trails & Glowing Sparks

Super Slick Dusky Lighting Effects in Photoshop

Super Slick Dusky Lighting Effects in Photoshop

Create a Space Explosion from Scratch in Photoshop

Create a Space Explosion from Scratch in Photoshop

Add a Sparkle Trail to a Photo with Photoshop

Add a Sparkle Trail to a Photo with Photoshop

Space Lighting Effects in 10 Steps

Space Lighting Effects in 10 Steps

Seriously Cool Photoshop Explosion Effect

Seriously Cool Photoshop Explosion Effect

Advance Glow Effects

Advance Glow Effects

MSNBC Style Effect

MSNBC Style Effect

Super Fast – Speed Lighting Effect

Super Fast - Speed Lighting Effect

Fire Lines Photoshop Tutorial

Fire Lines Photoshop Tutorial

Dazzling Photoshop Smoke Unicorn Tutorial

Dazzling Photoshop Smoke Unicorn Tutorial

Creating Smoke

Creating Smoke

End of the World Photo Manipulation

End of the World Photo Manipulation

Design a Coldplay/Apple Inspired Portrait in Photoshop

Design a Coldplay/Apple Inspired Portrait in Photoshop

Magic Lighting Effect in Photoshop

Magic Lighting Effect in Photoshop

Classic Light Effect in Photoshop

Classic Light Effect in Photoshop

Old Signage in Photoshop 3D

Old Signage in Photoshop 3D

80s Christmas Artwork in Photoshop

80s Christmas Artwork in Photoshop

RAWZ Light Effects in Photoshop

RAWZ Light Effects in Photoshop

Light Effect Text Button

Light Effect Text Button

Create a Rocking Silhouette in Photoshop

Create a Rocking Silhouette in Photoshop

Using Custom Photoshop Brushes to Create an Immersive Lighting Effect

Using Custom Photoshop Brushes to Create an Immersive Lighting Effect

Create a Trendy Galactic Poster Design in Photoshop

Create a Trendy Galactic Poster Design in Photoshop

Abstract Lighting Effects

Abstract Lighting Effects

Drawing an Abstract Lightbulb

Drawing an Abstract Lightbulb

Create a Simple Vibrant Light Effect in Photoshop

Create a Simple Vibrant Light Effect in Photoshop

Chroma Wallpapers

Chroma Wallpapers

 

For more Photoshop tutorials please see:

July 26 2013

14:32

35 Photoshop Tutorials That Teach Photo Manipulation Techniques

Photo manipulations allow you to explore your creativity and create stunning and surreal works of art. If you like experimenting and learning new techniques in Photoshop, following along with some photo manipulation tutorials can be a great exercise. You’ll learn techniques that you can put into practice in your own manipulation experiments, not just for following along with the example in the tutorial.

Here you’ll find links to 35 outstanding tutorials that will teach you how to create a photo manipulation in Photoshop. With the skills and techniques you develop through these tutorials you will be able to stretch your creativity and create beautiful works of your own in Photoshop.

Create a Surreal “Parting of the Sea” Photo Manipulation

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Photo Manipulate a Beautiful Snow Queen Scene

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Wasted Time – Easy Manipulation Tutorial

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Create a Fantasy City Using Architectural Photos

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Combine a Crocodile and a Frog in Photoshop

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Create a Battlefield Scene Using Stock Photography in Photoshop

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Create a Red Riding Hood Themed Photo Manipulation in Photoshop

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Create a Serene Fantasy Photo Manipulation

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Create a Futuristic Matte Painting Landscape

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Photo Manipulate a Mysterious Steampunk Man in a Victorian Setting

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Creating the Elegant Photo Manipulation “Out of Reach”

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Create a Lone Ranger Photo Manipulation

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Welcome to Ghost Town – Manipulation Tutorial

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Alone – Surreal Manipulation Tutorial

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Dramatic Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Solitude Manipulation Tutorial

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Coming Home Photo Manipulation

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Advanced Lighting – Manipulation Tutorial

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Create a Post Apocalyptic Scene in Photoshop

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Combine a Crocodile with a Car to an Exotic Crocomobile

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

How to Create a Surreal Gothic Artwork in Photoshop

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

How to Create An Amazing Space Battle Scene in Photoshop

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Create This Breathtaking Photo Manipulation of a Tightrope Dancer in Photoshop

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Create “Surreal Head Stack” Photo Manipulation

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Snow, Ice, and Overpainting

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Create a Fantasy Photo Manipulation

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

How to Create an Awesome Splashing Sneaker in Photoshop

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

How to Make Angel Wings and Change Skin Colors in Photoshop

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

How to Create This “Into the Wild” Photo Manipulation in Photoshop

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Make a Surreal Loneliness Scene in Photoshop

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Song for a Raven – Manipulation Tutorial

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Photo Manipulate a Surreal Sky Station Scene

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

Create This Incredible Surreal Photo Manipulation of a Dancer in Photoshop

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

How to Create an Autumn Fairy Photo Manipulation

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

How to Create an Emotional Photo Manipulation of an Angel

Photo Manipulation Tutorial

April 24 2012

22:32

25 Outstanding Photoshop Photo Manipulation Tutorials

Photo manipulation can be one of the most fun things to do in Photoshop, and it also provides for an excellent creative outlet. The process of creating a detailed photo manipulation can be intimidating if you are new to the process or if you aren’t very familiar with Photoshop’s tools, but fortunately there are plenty of good tutorials that teach you how to create a sample photo manipulation.

One of the great things about photo manipulation tutorials is that you can follow along with the sample creation, but you’ll also learn techniques that can be used on your own original photo manipulations as you are experimenting.

In this post we’ve collected 25 tutorials that will lead you through the process of photo manipulation in Photoshop

Lonely – Manipulation Tutorial

Lonely - Manipulation Tutorial

Pure an Energetic Photomanipulation

Pure an Energetic Photomanipulation

Create a Surreal Apocalypse Photo Manipulation Photoshop Tutorial

Create a Surreal Apocalypse Photo Manipulation Photoshop Tutorial

Create a Surreal Out of Bounds Photo Manipulation in Photoshop

Create a Surreal Out of Bounds Photo Manipulation in Photoshop

Create a Surreal Landscape Using Photo Manipulation

Create a Surreal Landscape Using Photo Manipulation

Trip Home – Summer Scene Manipulation

Trip Home - Summer Scene Manipulation

Tribal Fighter – Manipulation Tutorial

Tribal Fighter - Manipulation Tutorial

Professional Widow – Manipulation Tutorial

Professional Widow - Manipulation Tutorial

One Moment – Manipulation Tutorial

One Moment - Manipulation Tutorial

How to Create a Retro Surreal Photo Manipulation Using Photoshop

How to Create a Retro Surreal Photo Manipulation Using Photoshop

Human Scarecrow – Manipulation Tutorial

Human Scarecrow - Manipulation Tutorial

Create a Dramatic Photo Manipulation of a Whale Stealing from a Seagull

Create a Dramatic Photo Manipulation of a Whale Stealing from a Seagull

How to Create a Sci-Fi Giant Tortoise Shelter Photo-Manipulation

How to Create a Sci-Fi Giant Tortoise Shelter Photo-Manipulation

Create This Amazing Fashion Photo Manipulation with Abstract Smoke and Light Effects

Create This Amazing Fashion Photo Manipulation with Abstract Smoke and Light Effects

Let Me Sink – Emotional Rainy Scene Photo Manipulation

Let Me Sink - Emotional Rainy Scene Photo Manipulation

How to Create a Photo Manipulation of an Assassin with a Flaming Arrow in Photoshop

How to Create a Photo Manipulation of an Assassin with a Flaming Arrow in Photoshop

Create a Fantasy Space Photo Manipulation Using Photoshop

Create a Fantasy Space Photo Manipulation Using Photoshop

Create a Serene Fantasy Photo Manipulation

Create a Serene Fantasy Photo Manipulation

Create a Dark, Conceptual Photo Manipulation with Stock Photography

Create a Dark, Conceptual Photo Manipulation with Stock Photography

How to Create a Photo Manipulation of a Flooded City Scene

How to Create a Photo Manipulation of a Flooded City Scene

Create a Surreal Smoking Photo Manipulation

Create a Surreal Smoking Photo Manipulation

Create the Emotional Photo Manipulation Firing Heart

Create the Emotional Photo Manipulation Firing Heart

Photo Manipulate an Artistic Cloudscape Scene

Photo Manipulate an Artistic Cloudscape Scene

Design the Retro Futurism Photo Manipulation ‘Cosmic Rocker’

Design the Retro Futurism Photo Manipulation 'Cosmic Rocker'

Create a Surreal Desert Scene in Photoshop

Create a Surreal Desert Scene in Photoshop

For more Photoshop tutorials please see:

Royalty-Free Graphics

April 20 2012

11:10

25 Photoshop 3D Effects Tutorials

Photoshop allows designers to do a lot of amazing things, including 3D effects. If you’re not familiar with Photoshop’s 3D effects or if you are interested in improving your own skills in this area, we have compiled 25 of the best tutorials that teach and demonstrate how to accomplish different things.

Many of the tutorials focus on 3D text effects, and others show various objects designed in 3D. Whatever you are looking to design, you should be able to find a tutorial here that will show the steps needed.

Easy 3D Globe in Photoshop

Easy 3D Globe in Photoshop

A Basic Guide to Photoshop’s 3D Tools

A Basic Guide to Photoshop's 3D Tools

Design a Retro Postcard with 3D Text

Design a Retro Postcard with 3D Text

Create Stunning 3D Text in a Grungy Landscape

Create Stunning 3D Text in a Grungy Landscape

Modern 3D Text Effect

Modern 3D Text Effect

Glossy Snow Globe Text Effect

Glossy Snow Globe Text Effect

“Pie of the Artic” Pie Chart Photo Manipulation

Create “Take a Break” 3D Text Composition

Create

How to Create a Clean 3D Notepad in Photoshop

How to Create a Clean 3D Notepad in Photoshop

How to Create a 3D Leaf from a Texture Photograph

How to Create a 3D Leaf from a Texture Photograph

Draw a Classy 3D Poker Chip in Photoshop

Draw a Classy 3D Poker Chip in Photoshop

Photo Strip (Photoshop Tutorial)

Photo Strip (Photoshop Tutorial)

Enhance Your Ad Designs with 3D Splashes

Enhance Your Ad Designs with 3D Splashes

Retro 3D Movie Effect in Photoshop

Retro 3D Movie Effect in Photoshop

Create a Cereal Box Cover from Scratch Using Photoshop’s 3D Tools

Create a Cereal Box Cover from Scratch Using Photoshop's 3D Tools

Real Apple Logo in Photoshop

Real Apple Logo in Photoshop

How to Create a Remarkable 3D Text in Photoshop

How to Create a Remarkable 3D Text in Photoshop

Colorful Plexi Text Effect Using Photoshop

Colorful Plexi Text Effect Using Photoshop

Metal Text Under 12 O’clock Spot Light

Metal Text Under 12 O'clock Spot Light

How to Create a Realistic 3D Typography in Photoshop

How to Create a Realistic 3D Typography in Photoshop

Create an Extruded Glossy 3D Text Effect in Photoshop

Create an Extruded Glossy 3D Text Effect in Photoshop

How to Create a 3D Text Photo Manipulation

How to Create a 3D Text Photo Manipulation

Integrating 3D Elements Into Your Designs

Integrating 3D Elements Into Your Designs

Rendering a Striking Matchbox in Photoshop

Rendering a Striking Matchbox in Photoshop

Create a Spherical 3D Puzzle with Photoshop

Create a Spherical 3D Puzzle with Photoshop

For more Photoshop tutorials please see:

Royalty-Free Graphics

April 11 2012

11:03

25 Tutorials for Learning Character Design

If you would like to be able to design awesome characters that could be as mascots or in illustrations, this post is for you. There are a lot of excellent tutorials out there that show how to design characters. In this post we’ll link to 25 character design tutorials. Some of the tutorials use Illustrator and others use Photoshop. Whatever your preference, you’ll be able to pick up some new skills and techniques from these tutorials.

Create a Cool Vector Panda Character in Illustrator

Create a Cool Vector Panda Character in Illustrator

Create a “Minion” Character from the Despicable Me Movie

Create a

Draw a Pirate Character in Photoshop

Draw a Pirate Character in Photoshop

Create a Textured Female Robot in Photoshop

Create a Textured Female Robot in Photoshop

How to Create a Fun, Red-Haired Boy

How to Create a Fun, Red-Haired Boy

Milk Monster and Chocolate Splash

Milk Monster and Chocolate Splash

How to Create a Vector Soldier Character in Illustrator

How to Create a Vector Soldier Character in Illustrator

Create a Cute Vector Reindeer Character in Illustrator

Create a Cute Vector Reindeer Character in Illustrator

Create a Simple Mechanic Character in Illustrator

Create a Simple Mechanic Character in Illustrator

Create an Elegant Patterned Vector Owl in Illustrator

Create an Elegant Patterned Vector Owl in Illustrator

How to Draw a Cute Vector Dog Character in Illustrator

How to Draw a Cute Vector Dog Character in Illustrator

Draw a Character Concept Using Drapery in Photoshop

Draw a Character Concept Using Drapery in Photoshop

Create a Cool Vector Yeti Character in Illustrator

Create a Cool Vector Yeti Character in Illustrator

How to Create a Cute Gooey Blob from Scratch in Photoshop

How to Create a Cute Gooey Blob from Scratch in Photoshop

Character Design for the Boomrock Saints

Character Design for the Boomrock Saints

How to Create Vector Mascot Characters Using a Graphic Tablet

How to Create Vector Mascot Characters Using a Graphic Tablet

How to Create a Stinking Zombie Flesh-Eater in Illustrator

How to Create a Stinking Zombie Flesh-Eater in Illustrator

Create a Simple Character Face with Vector Shapes

Create a Simple Character Face with Vector Shapes

How to Make an Animated Paper Robot

How to Make an Animated Paper Robot

How to Design a Cheeky Koala Mascot Head

How to Design a Cheeky Koala Mascot Head

Create a Dirty Water Drop Character

Create a Dirty Water Drop Character

Create a Happy Sun Character

Create a Happy Sun Character

Create the Face of a Greedy Monkey

Create the Face of a Greedy Monkey

Create the Face of a Grumpy Bear

Create the Face of a Grumpy Bear

Create a Simple Penguin Character

Create a Simple Penguin Character

For more Photoshop tutorials please see:

Royalty-Free Graphics

April 04 2012

10:54

25 Helpful Tutorials for Lighting Effects in Photoshop

Photoshop allows designers with unlimited possibilities when it comes to creative effects, including lighting effects. There are plenty of different ways to create lighting effects in Photoshop, and there are equally as many different possible uses for them. If you’re interested in learning more about how to create awesome lighting effects in your own work, here are 25 tutorials that can help.

Create a Glowing Superhero

Create a Glowing Superhero

Show Me the Light – Digital Art Tutorial

Show Me the Light - Digital Art Tutorial

Fly High – Light Effects Tutorial + Video

Fly High - Light Effects Tutorial + Video

Making a Color Wizard in Photoshop

Making a Color Wizard in Photoshop

Dance – Photoshop Digital Art Tutorial

Dance - Photoshop Digital Art Tutorial

Master Stylish Light Effects in Photoshop

Master Stylish Light Effects in Photoshop

Quick and Effective Lighting and Decoration Techniques for Photo Manipulation in Photoshop

Quick and Effective Lighting and Decoration Techniques for Photo Manipulation in Photoshop

Create a Magical Photo Manipulation with Flowery Effect in Photoshop

Create a Magical Photo Manipulation with Flowery Effect in Photoshop

Create a Unique Surreal Photo Manipulation with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Create a Unique Surreal Photo Manipulation with Nebula Effect in Photoshop

Design a Retro Futurism Space Scene Poster

Design a Retro Futurism Space Scene Poster

Design the Retro Futurism Photo Manipulation “Cosmic Rocker”

Design the Retro Futurism Photo Manipulation

Create This Amazing Fashion Photo Manipulation with Abstract Smoke and Light Effects

Create This Amazing Fashion Photo Manipulation with Abstract Smoke and Light Effects

Create a Dynamic Portrait with Light Effects

Create a Dynamic Portrait with Light Effects

How to Create a Dazzling Dance Photo Manipulation

How to Create a Dazzling Dance Photo Manipulation

Using Custom Photoshop Brushes to Create an Immersive Lighting Effect

Using Custom Photoshop Brushes to Create an Immersive Lighting Effect

Using HDR Toning to Create a Fantasy Forest Scene

Using HDR Toning to Create a Fantasy Forest Scene

Painting with Fire Using Photoshop’s Liquify Filter

Painting with Fire Using Photoshop's Liquify Filter

Making of What Are They Staring At?

Making of What Are They Staring At?

Digital Illustration Tutorial

Digital Illustration Tutorial

Create Realistic Laser Beam Effect

Create Realistic Laser Beam Effect

Give a Portrait a Cosmic Makeover

Give a Portrait a Cosmic Makeover

Create an Abstract Golden Circle with Smoke Brushset in Photoshop

Create an Abstract Golden Circle with Smoke Brushset in Photoshop

Make a Colorful Retro-Themed Space Scene in Photoshop

Make a Colorful Retro-Themed Space Scene in Photoshop

Flaming Car in Photoshop

Flaming Car in Photoshop

Create Revolutionary Cosmic Art

Create Revolutionary Cosmic Art

For more Photoshop tutorials please see:

Royalty-Free Graphics

March 22 2012

11:05

25 Useful Photoshop Background Tutorials

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Photoshop offers countless possibilities for creating stunning backgrounds for websites, posters, flyers, wallpapers, and any other type of design. Fortunately, there are a lot of good tutorials that show step-by-step how you can create a specific type of background. In this post we’ll link to 25 different tutorials for creating backgrounds. We recommend that you find a few that look interesting to you and work through the tutorial to see if you can learn something new.

Create Bright Abstract Diagonal Lines Background

Create Bright Abstract Diagonal Lines Background

Creating Unique Grunge Patterns for Your Website Backgrounds

Creating Unique Grunge Patterns for Your Website Backgrounds

Awesome Digital Bokeh Effect in Photoshop

Awesome Digital Bokeh Effect in Photoshop

Create a Wavy Blackberry Style Wallpaper Design

Create a Wavy Blackberry Style Wallpaper Design

Creating a Mac-Type Background in Photoshop

Creating a Mac-Type Background in Photoshop

Abstract Lines Background

Abstract Lines Background

Calculations and Colorization

Calculations and Colorization

Abstract Lighting Effects

Abstract Lighting Effects

Creating the New Retro

Creating the New Retro

Quick, Easy, and Scalable Photoshop Backgrounds

Quick, Easy, and Scalable Photoshop Backgrounds

Windows Vista Aurora Effect Photoshop Tutorial

Windows Vista Aurora Effect Photoshop Tutorial

Quickly Build an Abstract Background of Colored Bars

Quickly Build an Abstract Background of Colored Bars

Digital Star Effect

Digital Star Effect

How to Create an Abstract Kaleidoscope Poster

How to Create an Abstract Kaleidoscope Poster

Create Abstract Colorful Balls Illustration in Photoshop

Create Abstract Colorful Balls Illustration in Photoshop

How to Create Abstract Colorful Rainbow Background

How to Create Abstract Colorful Rainbow Background

How to Create Mosaic Effect in Photoshop

How to Create Mosaic Effect in Photoshop

Wave Texture Background

Wave Texture Background

Create a Light Burst Background

Create a Light Burst Background

Create an Awesome Background Using Patterns

Create an Awesome Background Using Patterns

Create a Wood Background in Photoshop

Create a Wood Background in Photoshop

Creating Smoke

Creating Smoke

Photoshopping Apple’s Aqua Wallpaper

Photoshopping Apple's Aqua Wallpaper

Create a Retro Cosmic Design in Photoshop

Create a Retro Cosmic Design in Photoshop

Hexagon Bokeh Effect in Photoshop

Hexagon Bokeh Effect in Photoshop

For more Photoshop Tutorials please see:

Royalty-Free Graphics

September 29 2011

10:00

How to Make a Light Textured Web Design in Photoshop

Advertise here with BSA


How to Make a Light Textured Web Design in Photoshop

This web page design tutorial on Design Instruct (our other website) will show you how to create a beautiful, modern and subtly textured web page layout in Photoshop.

Final Result

Click the preview image below to go to the tutorial on Design Instruct.

Create a Light Textured Web Design in Photoshop - designinstruct.com

Create a Light Textured Web Design in Photoshop - designinstruct.com

Related Content

About the Author

Jacob Gube is the Founder and Chief Editor of Six Revisions. He’s also a web developer/designer who specializes in front-end development (JavaScript, HTML, CSS) and also a book author. If you’d like to connect with him, head on over to the contact page and follow him on Twitter: @sixrevisions.

August 31 2011

11:01

30 Gadget Design Tutorials for Photoshop

Gadgets like smartphones, mp3 players, and tablets have become a part of our everyday lives, and they are often incorporated into designs. There are a lot of quality tutorials available that will show you step-by-step how to design a great-looking gadget. In this post we’ll showcase 30 of the best gadget design tutorials from various sources. They’ll have you designing stunning gadgets to use in your own work.

Create a Photo Realistic iPhone in Photoshop

Create a Photo Realistic iPhone in Photoshop

Create a Blackberry Torch Using Photoshop and Illustrator

Create a Blackberry Torch Using Photoshop and Illustrator

How to Create a Detailed Apple iPad Icon in Photoshop

How to Create a Detailed Apple iPad Icon in Photoshop

Draw a Sound Dock System with Photoshop

Draw a Sound Dock System with Photoshop

Design an HTC

Design an HTC

Learn How to Create a Nintendo WiiU from Scratch in Photoshop, Parts I and II 

Learn How to Create a Nintendo WiiU from Scratch in Photoshop

How to Create an iPad 2 from Scratch Using Photoshop

How to Create an iPad 2 from Scratch Using Photoshop

Learn to Create a Sleek Shiny Mouse

Learn to Create a Sleek Shiny Mouse

Create a Detailed Vintage TV from Scratch in Photoshop

Create a Detailed Vintage TV from Scratch in Photoshop

Make a Glossy Flash Drive Icon from Scratch

Make a Glossy Flash Drive Icon from Scratch

Create a Motorola Droid Style Phone in Photoshop

Create a Motorola Droid Style Phone in Photoshop

iMac Mini Icon Design Tutorial

iMac Mini Icon Design Tutorial

Create a Realistic iMac Icon in Photoshop

Create a Realistic iMac Icon in Photoshop

Created a Detailed Camera Icon in Photoshop

Created a Detailed Camera Icon in Photoshop

Draw an LCD Television in Photoshop

Draw an LCD Television in Photoshop

Design a Macbook Pro Illustration in Photoshop

Design a Macbook Pro Illustration in Photoshop

How to Create a Photo Realistic Camera

How to Create a Photo Realistic Camera

Create a Digital Camera with Wooden Accents Using Photoshop

Create a Digital Camera with Wooden Accents Using Photoshop

How to Create a Stylish Media Player in Photoshop

How to Create a Stylish Media Player in Photoshop

How to Create a Stylish Pair of Headphones

How to Create a Stylish Pair of Headphones

Playstation Portable Realistic Buttons

Playstation Portable Realistic Buttons

Sony Ericsson S500 Photoshop Tutorial

Sony Ericsson S500 Photoshop Tutorial

Bamboo Fun Tablet from Scratch

Bamboo Fun Tablet from Scratch

How to Draw a Realistic iPhone 4 with Photoshop

How to Draw a Realistic iPhone 4 with Photoshop

How to Draw a Realistic Mobile Phone with Photoshop

How to Draw a Realistic Mobile Phone with Photoshop

Create an Apple Mac Mini Using Photoshop

Create an Apple Mac Mini Using Photoshop

How to Design an LCD Monitor Using Photoshop

How to Design an LCD Monitor Using Photoshop

Render a High Detail Leica M8 Camera with Photoshop

Render a High Detail Leica M8 Camera with Photoshop

How to Draw a Photo Realistic iPhone 4 in Photoshop

How to Draw a Photo Realistic iPhone 4 in Photoshop

Creating an iOS Device Connector in Photoshop

Creating an iOS Device Connector in Photoshop

For more Photoshop tutorials please see:

Royalty-Free Graphics

August 16 2011

05:15

December 24 2010

21:55

How to Make a Modern UI Web Button Using Photoshop

How to Make a Modern UI Web Button Using Photoshop

This step-by-step design tutorial on Design Instruct (our other website) will show you how to create a slick web button in Photoshop, and also how to make it functional using HTML and CSS.

Final Result

Click the preview image below to go to the tutorial on Design Instruct.

Related Content

About the Author

Jacob Gube is the Founder and Chief Editor of Six Revisions. He’s also a web developer/designer who specializes in front-end development (JavaScript, HTML, CSS) and also a book author. If you’d like to connect with him, head on over to the contact page and follow him on Twitter: @sixrevisions.

December 01 2010

14:00

How to Make an Elegant Patterned Web Design Using Photoshop

How to Make an Elegant Patterned Web Design Using Photoshop

This web design tutorial on Design Instruct (our other website) walks the learner through the creation of a beautiful and trendy web layout using Photoshop. The web design is best used on a personal portfolio site.

Final Result

Click the preview image below to go to the tutorial on Design Instruct.

Other Things to Do

Related Content

About the Author

Jacob Gube is the Founder and Chief Editor of Six Revisions. He’s also a web developer/designer who specializes in front-end development (JavaScript, HTML, CSS) and also a book author. If you’d like to connect with him, head on over to the contact page and follow him on Twitter: @sixrevisions.

November 30 2010

21:56

Create a Stylish Coffee Cup With Smart Objects

Create a very realistic 3D coffee cup with a customizable label using Photoshop’s smart objects.

November 22 2010

12:45

How to Create a Web App’s Site Web Design in Photoshop

How to Create a Web App's Site Web Design in Photoshop

This web design Photoshop tutorial on Design Instruct, our other site, outlines techniques for making a layout comp that will work well for the sites of web apps, startup companies, SaaSs, and other modern, "Web 2.0"-themed, product-centric sites.

Final Result

Click the preview image below to go to the tutorial on Design Instruct.

Final Result

Other Things to Do

Related Content

About the Author

Jacob Gube is the Founder and Chief Editor of Six Revisions. He’s also a web developer/designer who specializes in front-end development (JavaScript, HTML, CSS) and also a book author. If you’d like to connect with him, head on over to the contact page and follow him on Twitter: @sixrevisions.

October 18 2010

13:00

Create a 3D Industrial-style Download Icon in Photoshop

This tutorial teaches you how to create a unique 3D download folder icon with textures. Learn some useful techniques for creating more visually impressive 3D icons.

Materials Needed:

Step 1: Setting Up The Document

New document

We’ll start with a canvas size of 512×512 pixel. Keep the background transparent. You can give it any title you want, I chose "Download" since it’s a download folder icon.

Fill (G) the first layer with #e6e6e6 and name it "Background" or "BG".

Icon Resolutions

Icons have standard resolution going in a pattern like so 512×512, 256×256, 128×128… Each time it will be divided or multiplied by 2. OSX can support up to 512×512 but Windows can only support up to 256×256.

Step 2: Laying The Foundation

Icon foundation

Let’s start by drawing important sections of the icon to make sure it fills the space well. Create two groups called "Top" and "Bottom", placing "Top" above the other. Create a new layer inside "Top" and draw a rectangle in the bottom two thirds of the canvas using the Marquee Tool (M) and Fill it with #fae129. Name it "Face" for reference later. Center this layer by ctrl+A and clicking on the "Align horizontal center" button on the Tools Options Bar while the Move Tool (V) is active.

Create another layer inside the other group and draw a rectangle below the previous one and Fill it with this color #fbec93. Call this "Front". Create a new layer below and call it "Front Bottom". Draw a smaller rectangle below it with this color #5c5c5c.

Once you’re done, it’s a good practice to place guides at important areas. In this case it would be the edges of the drawing. Enable it by displaying Rulers ctrl+R.

Guides and Marquee Tool

Using guides can help you easily snap your drawings to the same place every time so it becomes more consistent and efficient. Marquee Tool is great for icons because it helps to create crisp edges.

Step 3: Starting From The Top

Applting layer styles

Go to the "Top" layer and enter Free Transform ctrl+T > Perspective then drag the top corners in. Apply the Layer Styles above.

Step 4: Drawing Stripes

Drawing a stripe

Use the Line Tool (U) at 40px Weight to draw a diagonal line across the canvas. Then Duplicate ctrl+J it and move it evenly to the side so that it forms the following pattern. Try to space them evenly by using shift+arrow key, but it doesn’t matter that much. If you want to be precise, you can create a custom pattern (not covered in this tutorial).

Enter Free Transform and transform it, like below, by scaling and using Perspective. Delete the unwanted part by ctrl+clicking the thumbnail of "Face" and duplicate it ctrl+J, then deleting the previous layers. You can also use other techniques like simply Selecting Inverse ctrl+shift+I of the selection and deleting, or using layer mask. But the one I’m using also removes the part of the images which is not visible on canvas (outside the canvas area). Set the Blending mode to Multiply and Opacity to 80%.

Duplicating and transforming the stripes

Step 5: Adding Grunge

Preparing the grunge texture

For this step you need the grunge pack I found on Tutorial9. The link is above. We need something a bit rusty and metallic so let’s go for "dirtygrungecement08". Import it to Photoshop and choose a small area, somewhere below the center is my favorite part. Make sure it’s big enough. Copy ctrl+C and paste ctrl+V it into the icon document.

We’ll prepare the texture by Desaturating ctrl+shift+U it then go to Levels ctrl+L and push the sliders inward, like above. This will be our stock texture for later use, so I placed it outside the group and called it "Texture Stock".

Use the selection (ctrl+click thumbnail) of "Face" and Duplicate the texture layer and bring it above that layer. Set Opacity to 10% and Blending mode to Multiply. You can hide the stock texture layer.

Adding grunge

Step 6: Adding Details

Adding and edge

Create a new layer and get the selection of "Face" then Fill it with white. Nudge it up by 4px the press delete. Nudge the image down by 2px. The reason why the edge needs to be so thick is because the icon is very big, so when scaled down the edge needs to be thick to be visible.

Use the Eraser Tool (E) at 0% Hardness and about 500px in diameter to erase both sides of the edge. Use the tip of the Eraser and keep the edge fully visible. You may need to zoom out and vary the Eraser size.

Edges

Adding edges, black or white, helps to add contrast between different areas and make the image more realistic.

Create a new layer and get the selection of "Face". Use a soft Brush of a varying diameter of 400px to brush around the sides with black and white. Press D to reset the foreground and background color to black and white, pressing X to swap the two colors. Bring down the Opacity to 20%.

Shading

Step 7: Styles For The Bottom

Layer styles for "Front"

Go to "Front" layer in the "Bottom" group and apply the above Layer Styles. Then apply the following Layer Style to the "Front Bottom" layer.

Layer style for "Front Bottom"

Step 8: More Stripes

Stripes for"Front" layer

Create a new layer. Use the Marquee Tool (M) and draw the stripes with black. Zoom in to make sure the stripes are aligned. Use the selection of "Front " to remove excess stripes. Set Opacity to 60%.

Step 9: Shading and Textures

Shading for "Front"

Create a new layer and Brush within the selection of "Front" at the sides with black. Make the right side darker than the left. Set Blending Mode to Overlay and Opacity to 40%.

Use the process I taught above to create a texture for "Front" with the stock texture. Set Opacity to 20% and Blending Mode to Overlay.

Grunge texture

Create a new layer. Get the selection of "Front" and Fill it with black. Nudge the selection down by 2px and delete, then apply a 2px Gaussian Blur, Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Nudge it down by 1px and set Opacity to 20%.

This is a technique used to make edges pop and look more contrasting even though the effect is subtle.

Dark edge for "Front"

Step 10: Creating The Hole

Diagonal Guide

Create a new group called "Inside". Create a new layer inside and select the Line Tool (U) with 2px Weight and black in color. Draw a Diagonal line from one corner to the other end. When drawing the inside, make the corners intersect with the line.

Create a new layer and draw a rectangle with #b7b7b7 in the center. After this I’ve place two guides above and below the rectangle for convenience. Draw one triangle on the left using the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) and Fill it with #848484. Duplicate that layer and increase the Lightness by 80 ctrl+U. Flip it Horizontally by Free Transform > Flip Horizontal and place it on the right.

Name those layers according to their position i.e. "Left", "Center", "Right".

Drawing the inside

Copy the following Layer Styles to the three layers.

Gradient for three layers

Apply the following Layer Style to "Center".

Inner Shadow for "Center"

Step 11: Shading The Inside

Shading the corners

Create a new layer and get the selection of all three previous layers. Do this by holding down Shift while getting a new selection. Use a black soft brush with 30px diameter and brush the two corners of the inside. Set Opacity to 10%.

Step 12: Adding Details

Create a new layer called "Left Corner". Get the selection of "Center" and Fill it with black. Nudge it 2px to the right and press delete. Apply a 2px Gaussian Blur and set Opacity to 30%. Create a new layer called "Right Corner" and do the same thing to get a white line on the right side. But this time use 1px Gaussian Blur and leave Opacity at 100%.

Get the selection of "Left, Center, Right" and Select Inverse ctrl+shift+I. Then use it to delete extra pixels on "Left Corner" and "Right Corner". From now on when I refer to the three layers, I’m referring to "Left, Center, Right".

Bright edge

Create a new layer and get the selection of the three layers then Fill it with white. Go Select > Modify > Contract and key in 3px and hit enter. Press delete and shift the selection down by 3px then delete again. Set Opacity to 50%.

Dark edge

Create a new layer and get the selection of the three layers then Fill it with black. Shift the selection up by 3px and delete. Nudge it down by 1px and set Opacity to 10%.

Shadow for the inside

Create a new layer. Use the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) to draw the shape above and Fill it with black. Use the Blur Tool and brush the area as shown above using 100% Strength. Remove the area outside the three layers using the process we used above then set Opacity to 16%.

Step 13: Giving More Impact

Drawing the arrows

Create a new layer and use the Polygon Tool (U) to draw an upside-down triangle. Resize and position it in the center like show above. Use the selection of the triangle to delete a portion (about 20px above) of the triangle. Duplicate it and move it about 40px away. Merge ctrl+E the layers together and set Opacity to 40%. Use the three layers to remove the area that is outside it.

Adding shine to the inside

Create a new layer, get the selection of the three layers and brush the top center with a soft white Brush at 200px diameter. Set Opacity to 20%.

Add grunge to the inside

Use the three layers selection to Duplicate the Texture Stock and put it above the previous layers we were working on. Set Blending Mode to Luminosity and Opacity to 5%.

Step 14: Drawing The Board

Layer styles for the board

Create a group called "Board" and a new layer inside called "Board". Draw a Round Rectangle (U) with 10px radius in #f5e14b at the center. Then apply the following Layer Styles to it.

Layer styles for the board

Create a new layer and get the selection of "Board". Select > Contract by 15px then Fill it with black. Contract it again by 10px and delete. Set Opacity to 80%.

Board border

Step 15: Refining The Board

Adding edges to the board

Create a new layer and get the selection of the Board. Fill it with white then shift the selection down and right by 2px each. Delete and set Opacity to 60%. Create another layer and get the selection of the Board. Fill it with black then shift the selection up and left by 1px. Set Opacity to 40%.

Arrows for the board

Create a new layer for the arrow. Use the same process we used earlier to draw the arrows. Center it and set Opacity to 80%. Try to make it big so it will be visible on smaller resolution.

Board shading

Create a new layer and get the selection of "Board". Use a soft Brush with black and white to paint the edges like above. Set Opacity to 20% and Blending Mode to Pin Light.

Shadings

Even on flat surface, applying a subtle shade can give the subject more interest.

Board shine

Create a new layer and use the Pen Tool (P) to draw the shape above. Fill it by right-click > Fill Path with white. Then remove the area outside the board and set Opacity to 20% and Blending Mode to Soft Light,

Step 16: Grunge For The Board

Grunge on the board

Duplicate two Grunge texture from the stock and place one above the other. Set Blending Mode to Hard Light and Opacity to 10% for the bottom layer. Apply Filter > Stylize > Emboss for the second layer with 90 degree, 1px Height and 100% Amount. Set Blending Mode to Overlay and Opacity to 40%.

Nicer Textures

Using Emboss on textures can reduce the flatness of the surface.

Step 17: Drawing Screws

Drawing screws

Create a new layer and draw one Ellipse (U) on the left with #d7d7d7. Duplicate and mirror it on the right then Merge ctrl+E the two layers together. Apply the Layer Styles below.

Layer Styles for screws

Create a new layer and Zoom (Z) in on one screw. Use either the Marquee Tool or Line Tool to draw the cross of 2px with black. Set the Opacity to 40%. Then create another layer and draw a 1px edge on the bottom right with white. Set Opacity to 80%.

Cross

Step 18: Creating The Shadow

Draw the shadows

Create a new layer. Get the selection of "Face" and Fill it with black. Bring the layer just above the background layer. Convert it to Smart Object and resize it like seen above. Name it "Small Shadow". Create another layer and do the same thing, except without resizing. Nudge it 10px to the right. Call it "Big Shadow".

Smart Objects

Using Smart Objects you can easily experiment with different transformation and filters without destroying the original copy.

Blur and opacity for shadows

Apply a 3px Gaussian Blur to "Small Shadow" and set Opacity to 70%. Apply a 7px Gaussian Blur to "Big Shadow" and set Opacity to 30%. Now you’re done!


September 28 2010

12:58

Fuzz/Furry Text Effect (Works great as Grass!)

In this tutorial, I will show you a how to create a fuzzy text effect using a simple technique and a custom brush. This tutorial is written for users who have a basic understanding of the tools and techniques in Photoshop.

The Final Image

This is what we will be creating:

Fuzzy Text Final

Step 1: Setting Up the Document

Create a new document that is 1100 x 500px and fill with a brown color. For this image, I used a radial gradient to give the image a slight vignette.

Document with Brown Background

Step 2: Typing the Text

Select the Type Tool (T) and use a bold font to type anything you want. I’m using Arial Black set to a dark green color (#232B1E).

Type

Step 3: Rasterizing Type

To rasterize the font, right click on the text layer and select Rasterize Type

Raster Type

Step 4: Rounding Out the Text

To round out the sharp edges, apply the Median Filter (Filter>Noise>Median) with a setting of 14 px.

Rounded Text

Step 5: Setting Up the Colors

Set your foreground/background color to the following (this will be necessary for our custom brush to work properly):

BGFG Color

Step 6: Creating a Brush

Now, we want to add some fuzz to our text. To begin, we need to create a new brush. Open the Brushes Panel (F5) and use the following settings:

Brush Settings

Here are samples of the brush strokes using a pen tablet. If you dont have a tablet, go back in to your brush settings and go to the Shape Dynamics tab and set the Size Jitter’s Control to “Fade” with a setting of 35 or so.

Brush Test

We’ve made grass!

As you see the brush we’ve created allows the base of the stroke to be darker than the tip. This is important as it will mimic natural lighting.

Step 7: Starting The Fuzz

Create a new layer called ‘Fuzz Outside’ and start to draw in to fuzz, always starting your stroke from the base and moving out. you want to stay on the edge of the text for the first round.

Starting Fuzz

Finish each letter:

Outside Fuzz

Make it quicker!

To make this go quicker, copy and paste similar letters (as I did with the letter ‘Z’)

Step 8: Adding More Fuzz

Create a new layer called ‘Fuzz Middle’ and change your background color to a lighter shade of green. Start to make shorter strokes more inside of each letter as shown. These strokes should overlap some of the initial strokes.

Adding Fuzz

Pen Tablet vs. Mouse

If you aren’t using a pen tablet, you may have to adjust the bush’s Size Jitter in the Shape Dynamics tab and Background/Foreground Jitter in the Color Dynamics to get the right length of stroke with the right amount of color fade.

Finish each letter:

Middle Fuzz

Step 9: Adding Even More Fuzz

Create a new layer called ‘Fuzz Inside’. This time, make a few short strokes completely inside each letter as filler. It is not necessary to make alot of strokes. We will use a simple technique to add filler to the gaps.

More Fuzz

Finish each letter:

Guassian Blur2

Step 10: Adding a Blur

Select your text layer and give it a Gaussian Blur of about 3 px.

Text Blur

Step 11: Finishing The Fuzz

To complete the fuzz, we need to Add Noise set to 38%, Give it a Gaussian Blur of 1.3 px, and adjust the Levels (Ctrl + L) slightly to increase the contrast of the noise.

Fuzz Effects

Add a drop shadow to the Text layer:

Fuzz Shadow

Your image should resemble this:

Fuzz Final

Step 12: Starting the Highlights

If you want, you can add a highlight around the edge of the text to make it pop more. to do this, select all 3 of your ‘Fuzz…’ layers and merge them to a new layer.

Merging Layers

Step 13: Drawing Highlights

Next, Create a new Layer called ‘Highlights’ and with the color set to white, draw where you want the highlight to go.

Draw Highlights

Step 14: Adjusting the Low Lights

Adjust the Blending Mode of the ‘Highlights’ layer to Overlay and make this layer a clipping layer to the newly merged Fuzz layer

Clipping Layer

Step 15: Adjusting the Low Lights

To Finish, just give the ‘Highlights’ layer a large Gaussian Blur. You’re Done!

Fuzz Text Final


September 07 2010

13:00

Custom Wood Texture in Adobe Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you a simple, yet creative, technique that results in a realistic wood texture. This tutorial was written for anyone with a basic understanding of Photoshop.

The Final Image

This is what we will be creating:

Wood Texture: Final Image

Step 1: Setting Up the Document

Create a new Photoshop Document (File>New) to be 1500 x 1500px.

Document Setup

Step 2: Adding Background Color

Select a dark brown color and Fill the canvas with it. For this image, I used #5a3222.

Add background

Step 3: Adding a New Layer

Create a new layer and name it ‘Grain’. Before we do anything to this layer, make sure your colors are reset to black and white.

Grain Layer

Step 4: Rendering Clouds

Add some clouds to this layer by going to Filter>Render>Clouds.

Clouds Menu

Your image should resemble the following:

Clouds

Step 5: Stretching It Out

Transform (Cmd/Ctrl+T) the height of the ‘Grain’ layer by 600%.

Stretch Clouds

Step 6: Blurring It Up

Add a strong Motion Blur (Filter>Blur>Motion Blur) to the ‘Grain’ layer. I used a setting of 236px

Motion Blur Menu

Your image should now look like this:

Motion Blur

Step 7: Posterizing Magic

This next step is what makes this texture possible. Go to Image>Adjustments>Posterize and set it to 25 Levels. You can see that our image has some good separations that we will use to create wood grain.

Posterize Menu
Posterize

Step 8: Making the Grain

To get the wood grain to show, go to Filter>Stylize>Find Edges.

Find Edges Menu

You’ll notice that we have a pattern that resembles wood grain, but it’s not quite there yet. Let’s darken this layer by adjusting its Levels (Ctrl/Cmd+L) :

Darken Edges

Step 9: Adding Noise

We want to add some texture to the grain (as well as break it up). To do this, go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise and set the Amount to 65%.

Noise

Step 10: Blurring the Lines

Next, go to Filter>Blur>Motion Blur and give it the following settings:

Blurred Grain

Step 11: Setting Up for Depth

This next step is optional, but if you want to add some depth to the wood grain, then we need to set it up now. Go ahead and make a copy of the ‘Grain’ layer and rename it to ‘Specularity’ (this will become our specularity map). Position the layer as shown below (you can hide this layer since we wont need it just yet):

Copying Layers

Specularity:

Those who have used 3D software will recognize this word. It simply refers to a specific kind of highlight—usually a very focused spot of light on an object. A Specularity map is just an image that defines where the specular highlights go.

Step 12: Finishing up the Wood

Set the Blending Mode of the ‘Grain’ layer to Multiply. At this point, you have a finished wood texture. However, we can continue from here and add some depth to the wood grain using the ‘Specularity’ layer.

Finished Wood Polished

Step 13: Working with Specularity

Now, let’s start to refine the ‘Specularity’ layer. First, hide the ‘Grain’ layer and make the ‘Specularity’ layer visible

Reversing Layers

Step 14: Refining the Specularity Map

We need to Invert (Ctrl/Cmd+I) the ‘Specularity’ layer. Once this is done, bring up the Levels (Ctrl/Cmd+L) and adjust them as follows (the result will be our specularity map):

Specularity Map

Step 15: Applying the Specularity Map

Change the Blending Mode to ‘Screen’ and set this layer’s Opacity to 10%. Go ahead to unhide the ‘Grain’ layer.

Screen Specularity

Step 16: The Final Adjustment

To fully get the effect of the specularity map, nudge the ‘Specularity’ layer down and right a few pixels. This effect is subtle, but worth it!

Screen Specularity

Step 17: Finishing the Texture

If you want, you can add some color variation to your texture by selecting the ‘Background’ layer and using the Dodge and Burn tools as shown:

Burn and Dodge

Your final image should resemble the following:

Finished Wood Rough

Feel free to adjust the color of the ‘Background’ layer to acheive the wood coloring of your choice.

Wood Color Option


August 18 2010

13:00

Correcting Exposure with the Shadows & Highlights Tool

Bring out the best in your photos by correcting exposure problems using the Shadows & Highlights tool.

Introduction

Today we’re going to take a look at an incredibly useful, amazing tool: the Shadow/Highlight adjustment.

Often when taking pictures, it’s difficult, sometimes impossible, to get perfect exposure on everything within the frame. Especially shooting outdoors with a bright sun and shadows on the landscape you’re bound to over—or under-expose parts of your shot. The Shadow/Highlight adjustment is another great tool to help you maximize the potential of your shots.

Let’s take a look.

Shadows/Highlights Overview

Image Description

First, this tool doesn’t come as an adjustment layer yet, so you should duplicate your image: Ctrl+J (Win) or Command+J (Mac). This way you’ll be able to work on the image and, if you need, revert back any time.

So, we have our duplicate. Let’s get to work on it.

Second, open up the Shadows/Highlights adjustment: Image > Adjustments > Shadows/Highlights…

Image Description

At the bottom of the adjustment window you’ll see a Show More Options checkbox. Make sure it’s checked. The additional options may look a little complex to first-time users, but we’ll go over them now. And trust me, you’ll appreciate the controls.

Our third step is optional. This is what suits me. There are default values set that come with Photoshop. These are unnecessary as you’ll use different values for each image you process. I like to start my work with a clean slate so I suggest to set the Amount, Tonal Width, and Radius for both the Shadows and Highlights to 0 (all the way to the left). Set the Color Correction and Midtone Contrast in the Adjustments box to 0 (that’s in the center). Next, hit the button at the bottom, Save as Defaults. Now every time you open Shadows/Highlights you’ll have it set with no changes to the image.

Amount, Tonal Width, and Radius

You should see three sliders within both the Shadows and Highlights sections. We’re going to work with the Shadows sliders first.

Image Description

Amount

Pretty self explanatory—this is how much you’ll affect the image. (It’s also the lone visible slider when the Show More Options checkbox is not selected.) This is where you’ll lighten the shadows or darken the highlights respectively in the Shadow or Highlight sections. This slider paints with a wide brush. I doubt you’d ever want to use it alone. We’ll refine it with the next two sliders.

Image Description

Tonal Width

Here we define how much of the tonal range will be affected. Leaving the slider closer to 0% will mean only the darkest of the dark shadows will be affected. Increasing the percentage, sliding to the right, will start to affect more of the midtones.

Image Description

Radius

The radius slider will determine how the adjusted areas blend with the rest of the image. You’ll want to input a value above 0px—if not it’ll leave the image looking a little grey and washed-out. You’ll see how this slider really affects the image quite nicely. Values from 3-15px, more or less, add real crispness—a nice harshness—to the image. This look I really like. Around 20px and above the effect blends or blurs much more discreetly in the image. The higher you go, the more it blends.

Note

You may find, as I have, that you can’t really perfect each slider alone. The way I usually do it is I push the Amount slider to around 35%; push the Tonal Width slider up; and then push the Radius slider to around 5px. Then I can see what the adjustment is doing and I refine it from there.

Highlights

These work the same as the Shadow sliders—just instead of decreasing shadows they decrease the highlights. If you do find you need to work on the highlights, take it easy: Any work you do here has a large impact on the overall contrast. I find that I don’t often use the Highlight section. Find out what works for you.

Adjustments

We’ve come to the last two sliders: Color Correction and Midtone Contrast. The Color Correction slider should really be called a Saturation slider as its sole function is to increase/decrease saturation. I use it to readjust the saturation to what it looked like before the Shadows/Highlights adjustment. Further saturation adjustments I prefer to do with an adjustment layer that can be altered more easily.

The Midtone Contrast slider can be used to increase or decrease the midtone contrast. Nice and simple: aptly named this time. Again, I do the same as I did with the Color Correction slider, this time returning the contrast to how it looked originally.

Rollover Image

In the picture above, after making adjustments to Shadows, I readjusted the Color Correction and Midtone Contrast sliders to make the leaf (circled) look as similar to the original as possible. (No changes were made in the Highlight section.) After correcting the Shadows/Highlights, I can work more specificially on the Hue/Saturation or customize the image with other adjustment layers.

Examples

Image adjustments are up to the editor’s preference. So there’s no right or wrong way to do this. Nonetheless, here are a couple examples of pictures optimized with Shadows/Highlights. I’ll put my settings alongside the images, so you can see what I did. Try using this tool yourself. I think you’ll find that this is a great tool for optimizing your images and making little fixes that may make the difference between a good picture and a great one.

Rollover Image

Rollover Image

Rollover Image


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