Following our series of Pixelmator tutorials, this week we will show you how to create an abstract wallpaper using the Quartz Composer filters. Even though the effect seems a bit complex, you will be surprise how easy is to create it in Pixelmator. It won't take you more than 10 minutes to reproduce this tutorial. And to make you really keen on doing that we will give away 2 copies of Pixelmator.

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Step 1

Create a new document in Pixelmator, I used 1920x1200 pixels.

Abstract Wallpaper in Pixelmator

Step 2

Select the Gradient Tool (G) and fill the background layer with a gradient from blue (#336699) to black.

Abstract Wallpaper in Pixelmator

Step 3

Create a new layer and go to Filter>Quartz Composer>Generator>Moving Shapes. Change the Primary Color to ##554C87 and use the default options. After that change the Blendings to Multiply.

Abstract Wallpaper in Pixelmator

Step 4

Create another layer again and go to Filter>Quartz Composer>Generator>Grid. Change the Primary Color to a very light grey or even white and the Secondary Color to Black. Also, increse the Density to .3 or more. You can even move that little dot attached to a string. That is the position of the effect.

Abstract Wallpaper in Pixelmator

Step 5

Here just go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Use 4 for the Radius.

Abstract Wallpaper in Pixelmator

Step 6

Now change the Blendings of the layer to Color Dodge.

Abstract Wallpaper in Pixelmator

Step 7

If your effect wasnt bright enough you can go to Image>Levels and increase the white. To do that just move the white slider to the right. I use 145 for White.

Abstract Wallpaper in Pixelmator

Step 8

Create a new layer, change the Blendings to Color Dodge, and lets repeat the same steps we did to create the first element. First go to Filter>Quartz Composer>Generator>Grid. Change the Primary Color to a light grey and the Secondary Color to Black. Also increase the Density to .5.

Abstract Wallpaper in Pixelmator

Step 9

Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur, use 2 for the Radius, or if you want it smoother you can use a bigger value.

Abstract Wallpaper in Pixelmator

Step 10

Let's rotate the layer. Go to Edit>Transform>Rotate.

Abstract Wallpaper in Pixelmator

Step 11

Now let's create another layer and apply the grid filter one more time. This time however move the direction, like the image below.

Abstract Wallpaper in Pixelmator

Step 12

Create another layer and change its Blendings to Color Dodge, again. Go to Filter>Quartz Composer>Generator>Image Hose. Use the image below for reference. But just make sure to reduce the Opacity to 50-60%.

Abstract Wallpaper in Pixelmator

Step 13

Now you can add some colors if you want. To do that, just create a new layer right on top of the background layer and fill it with a gradient color. I used a default gradient that comes with Pixelmator. Select the Gradient Tool (G) and drag a diagonal line like the image below. Don't forget to change the Opacity to 40%.

Abstract Wallpaper in Pixelmator

Conclusion

In this tutorials we used some of the cool Quartz Composer filters that come with Pixelmator. The best thing in this filters and in Pixelmator is how fast it manages the previews and the quality. I've been telling this since the very first Pixelmator tutorial I wrote, and I really wish that Photoshop was fast and beautiful as this amazing app.

Abstract Wallpaper in Pixelmator
Check the full preview of the Blue Version and the Color Version

Video Tutorial

This is just a quick video showing how to create this effect in Pixelmator. The values used are not the same, it's just a visual guide if you have any problems following the written tutorial.


Abstract Wallpaper in Pixelmator from fabio sasso on Vimeo.

Download the Pixelmator File

Click here to download the Pixelmator file used for this tutorial.

Editor: David Parrott

About the author of this post

Abduzeedo is a blog about design. There are all sorts of articles for those who want to look for inspiration. Also you will find very useful tutorials for the most used applications out there, with a special selection of Photoshop Tutorials and Illustrator Tutorials. Of course there are other softwares conteplated like Pixelmator, Fireworks, and web design tutorials.