Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator and Photoshop
Last week the new Man of Steel trailer was released and it is simply amazing. I remember watching the Superman movies when I was child and seeing the reboot of the movie brings me back to a lot of good memories. The visuals of this new movie are also really something, much darker and realistic than the previous ones. The Superman logo follows this same aesthetic and since the first time viewing the trailer I knew it must be the subject of a tutorial.
So in this tutorial we will show you how to create the Superman, Man of Steel logo using Illustrator and Photoshop. We will also utilize some stock photos for textures and the original poster for reference. The whole process will take from 3-5 hours depending on your pace. In the end it will be really fun to create and well worth the time spent.
Let's start the symbol in Illustrator. With the Pen Tool (P) start creating the shield. Maker sure you have red for the stroke with a nice weight and using round corners.
Now still using the Pen Tool, start creating the S. You can use the real logo for reference.
If you notice, the Man of Steel logo has some details in the center, so let's try to replicate that using the Pen Tool. The stroke here is not really necessary because we will edit that in Photoshop later on.
Go to Effect>3D>Extrue & Bevel Options. For the Angle use: -4º, 0º, 0º with 120º for the Perspective. Change the Depth to 35pt.
Remove the caps of the 3D and then change the color to grey. Go to Object>Expand. Then go to Window>Pathfinder. Select Unite for the Shape Mode so you have one object.
Now let's go to Photoshop. Create a new document. I am using 2880x1800 pixels. For the background use a gradient with white in the center and black on edges.
Copy the objects from Illustrator and paste them in Photoshop. It's important to make sure that each object has its own layer, so you will have one for the 3D extrusion, one for the red symbol and 2 layers for the yellow details.
Select one of the yellow details and go to Layer>Layer Styles. Select Bevel and Emboss and use the values below.
Select Inner Glow and use the values in the image below.
Last but no least, select Drop Shadow. Again use the image below for reference.
You will have an effect like the image below. The idea of the layer styles was to add a subtle white stroke with a shadow.
Group each layer into a folder, then for each folder do this: Go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal All. With the Brush Tool (B) and a very soft brush using black, paint in the areas marked below to hide some parts of the details.
With the Brush Tool (B), and using a hard brush, paint a little dark detail in the center. If you look at the orginal, they have some sort of the same detail. Let's create now and adjust later on in the tutorial.
Add a layer on top of the red symbol, the one that has the S and the shield. Group this new layer into a folder. With the Brush Tool (B) and a very soft brush, paint some dark areas with black at 20%.
Select the layer of the red symbols and go to Layer>Layer Style. Start by selecting Bevel & Emboss and use the values below.
Select Contour and use the default values.
Select Inner Shadow. The idea of the inner shadow is to increase the strenght of the highlights.
Now let's add a radial gradient on top with Multiply to create a more dramatic light effect.
You can add more layers to make the dark areas a bit more strong, but in the end of these steps you will probably have something similar to the image below.
Let's start adding some textures. Select the 3D layer and go to Layer>Layer Style>Color Overlay. Use yellow for the color. Place your metal texture on top of this layer, the one we are using is courtesy of Shutterstock and it's titled Metal plate steel background. Hi res texture by R-studio. After that, holding the Command(MAC)/Control(PC) keys, click on the thumb of the layer of the 3D object, that will create a marquee selection of the 3D area. Select the texture layer and group it into a folder, then with the folder selected go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection. You will mask the layer and make just the 3D area visible. Change the Blend Mode of the folder to Multiply.
Add another layer and group it into a folder, repeat the masking process to make sure that everything you do will be only visible over the 3D area. Change the Blend Mode of the folder to Color Dodge, then with the layer select, paint some highlights with the Brush Tool (B) with a very soft brush and white for the color. Note: Start painting with 30% opacity to not make it too bright.
Repeat the same process, but this time it's going to be to create the shadows. Use Linear Burn for the Blend Mode for the folder however. Also use the Lasso Tool (L) to create the nice transition in the 3D sides (1-4)
Select the 3D layer and the red symbol layer and duplicate them. After that merge those 2 layers into one and fill this new layer with black. Move the layer down to create a little shadow and go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Use 10 pixels for the Radius, also change the Blend Mode to Multiply at 80%.
Duplicate the texture layer and move the layer position so it is on top of all other layers. Maker a Marquee Selection of the symbol only and go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection. The only area visible of the texture will be the one over the symbol. Change the Blend Mode to Overlay.
Let's add another texture. This one this time is from Google Images and you can find it here http://www.texturex.com/albums/Metal-Textures/TextureX%20steel%20texture.... Place it at the top of all other textures and use Soft Light for the Blend Mode at 70%.
Now let's add the final texture, this one will be underneath the last 2, but still on top of all other layers. You can download it at http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs50/f/2009/262/3/f/Scratched_Steel_Texture_b... . Use Soft Light for the Blend Mode as well.
Add another layer on top of all layers and group it into a folder. Change the Blend Mode of the folder to Linear Dodge at 80% Opacity. Select the layer in this folder and then with the Brush Tool (B) and a very soft brush, paint a spot light with white at the top of the symbol. After that your design is pretty much done. You can of course improve the details and textures, but the process won't change, so now it's up to you to make it the way you want it.