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Case Study: Mux Mool Poster

Today I'm going to show a case study of a personal illustration I did recently. Having the will to experiment some new techniques, I found out that I should try more to include my drawings on my artworks, as artists like Sara Blake, Ian Macarthur, Gabz and others already do. Mixing manual and digital medias can be really handy, since at the same time that you got a unique trace on the original drawing, you can also erase the errors you did on the computer and enhance the details. Also, I thought about a tip that James White once said, about making a fan poster of a artist that you like. So I decided to do a series about it and the one I'm gonna show you is the second one poster, a tribute to the electronic musician Mux Mool, non commercial purposes, of course. So in this case study I will show you my creative process, from the first sketch all the way until the end. Sketching Ok, I must admit, my project sketches are horrible, I use it just to get a preview of what I'm going to do, but isn't that what a Sketch is all about? Don't worry guys, I put some subtitles so you could understand it better hehe. My initial concept was to make a joke with the name of the music, "No black crayon", using a carachter with many crayons on his hands, but I suddenly though that it would be more rad with I drew a more remarkable carachter and so I came out with this eyed old and dry tree. I also thought to use a Black Metal inspired typography for the name. Outlines I know this may sound obvious, but even if I'm doing a drawing in Photoshop, I always begin with the outlines and shapes and after I do the fill and shading. I'm just saying this because some people tend to think you should do the three steps at once. What may happen is that one will lost the proportion of things, so you better do first the outline before making the fill. Shading - iris Isn't that hard to make and iris, you just got to know how to fill it with dash in a circular direction, also add some reflects. Shading - body Achieving this type of wood texture it's about practicing and observation, later I will enhance the wrinkles on PS to give some depth. Adding color I've always found always better to add color on photoshop, but this is about my way to do things, of course, everyone has it preferences, I like because you can commit mistakes and experiment a lot of things. After I finished the drawing, I scanned it with 1200 dpi, it's a good resolution to get a lot of details and print it in a large scale, but you still can get great results using only 300 dpi scanned pics. Back to the coloring process, I basically make a layer above the drawing layer, I use some soft brushes to make the gradients and blends and use Multiply to apply it to the drawing. Outline Again, first i did the outline of this typography, I really wanted to give a strong lookto it, so I got inspired in some Black Metal Band logos. Dot Sading Dot shading isn't a new technique, but it's quite awesome and I must admit I'm quite addict to it lately. Basically, you make the shades and create depth by the distance of the dots, yep, this takes some good time to achive, the video bellow exemplifies this step. Dot Shading from Marcos Torres on Vimeo. Adding color Outline Dot Shading Adding color and gradients Final Result Well, there were some few experimentations till the final result, but the focus of this case study was about the drawing process, If don't got a good drawing, Photoshop won't save you probably. Some may say I should have used the white background instead of the black, but the idea was to make impossible to have a black crayon in there, If there was one, you wouldn't see it heheh just kidding. Hope you enjoyed and learned some quick tips.

Over Unity Case Study

In this case study you can see step-by-step how Chris Haines created the cover design for Cover Unity - Collide the Space EP. The artwork is a mix of 3D elements with photoshop touch ups, you can see it on videos and the steps in image. Check it out! For more from Chris Haines, visit NEON DREAMS It was a long process to finish this artwork, however it was well worth the effort. Hopefully the imagery matches the epic 8 minute plus songs on the record. Video Study Step By Step

Case Study: NINE by Perttu Murto

The wallpaper of the week is an artwork created by Perttu Murto for the UUtheory NINE contest. We really like the design and asked Perttu if he could send us a case study showing the process of creating it. He was super kind and send us a 10 step making of in which we can understand a bit more about how it was done. This artwork is originally made for UUtheory NINE contest, but it's also part of the desktopography 2010 exhibition. I wanted to create something mystic and scifi. I got this idea to make a big iron nine with apocalypse scenery. I worked this with the 3D artists Sami Kuronen, who made the 3d model of the 9. Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Step 7 Step 8 Step 9 Conclusion More Info about this artwork. Concept, illustration & post-production: Perttu Murto http://www.perttumurto.comhttp://twitter www.twitter.com/perttumurto3d model: Sami Kuronen http://www.samikuronen.com

Xmas Tree Typography in Photoshop

Christmas is already past and we are going to the end of another year. For this holidays season I created a simple card in which I designed a Christmas tree using the word XMAS, the idea was make some typographic experiment with that. After sketching and playing with Illustrator I ended up in Photoshop to finish the composition that was used for the card. So in this case study/tutorial I will show you my creative process on that, from the very beginning all the way until the end. Step 1 When I was thinking about creating a Christmas card I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do, then I got this idea of creating a little Christmas tree using the word XMAS. I got this idea while I was running. Then once I got back home I went straight to my desk and got my sketch book to see how that would look like in real life. My drawing skills are quite terrible, but at least I can have an idea of how things will look like. So I started off with a simple cone, then played with the word "xmas" to see how the characters would look like. In the end I played with some shades as you can see in the image below. Before we move to the next step I would like to reinforce the idea of the importance of sketching before going straight to the computer. You don't need to know how to draw perfectly well, the whole point of sketching is putting ideas on paper pretty quickly, you will never find another way as quick and that gives you more freedom as pencil and paper. Step 2 - Illustrator With the sketches, I took a photo of it and import it in Illustrator. After that using the Pen Tool (P) I started creating the basic lines of the XMAS tree. For the curved parts I used the Ellipse Tool (L) and then just delete some segments of it. You can have an idea of how the process went in the image below. Another very important detail is the space between the characters lie the X M A S. Without that the word would be unreadable. Step 3 After the vectorization part I started playing with colors and some 3D effects. However none of them caught my attention that much. Step 4 With the basic object done I started playing with some compositions. The first one was done in Illustrator and I just added an old paper texture over it with the texts and other elements. My first idea was exactly that, create a sort of vintage style card, however I wasn't still satisfied with the result. Step 5 As I wasn't pretty happy with the results in Illustrator I decided that it was time to go to the always reliable and savior Photoshop. So I copied the basic XMAS tree from in Illustrator and pasted in Photoshop. Step 6 To create the effect I wanted I imported a photo of a christmas wreath from Shutterstock. You can find the one I used at http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-63153112/stock-photo-christmas-wreath-o… Step 7 Once I had the christmas wreath with no background I duplicated it several times until I got a bunch of them covering all the area of the XMAS tree. Step 8 Here I grouped all the wreaths in one folder then I created a marquee selection of the XMAS tree vector from Illustrator. Step 9 Then I applied a mask in the wreaths folder so they would be visible only in the area of the XMAS tree. But as you can see in the image below, the result is not that realistic. The edges are too uniform and perfect, but to fix that problem is super simple. Step 10 - Creating a Brush Select some areas of the christmas wreath and copy then, after that duplicate and rotate until you get a uniform object with the edges with the leaves. Merge the layers into a new one and go to Image>Adjustments>Desaturate. Now that you get the object in greyscale, go to Image>Adjustment>Levels. Increate the black input so it gets very dark, also increase the white input to increase the contrast. Once you have the object in a very nice black and white tone, create a squared selection with the Rectangle Marquee Selection Tool (M) holding SHIFT. After that go to Edit>Define Brush Preset. Step 11 With the brush created in the step below, I started painting on the edges of the mask with white in order to make them more realistic. After that I duplicated the group and merged it into a layer so I could apply some layer styles. Step 12 With the layer selected go to Layer>Layer Style>Drop Shadow. Use Multiply for the Blend Mode with black for the color, 90% for the Opacity, 90º for the Angle. For the Distance use 15 pixels, the Spread use 0? and the SIze 30 pixels. Step 13 After that I used Inner Shadow to give some depth and create a sort of 3D effect. For the values I use Soft Light for the Blend Mode, 100% Opacity, -90º for the Angle, 25 pixels for the Distance, 0% for the Choke, and 20 pixels for the Size. Step 14 The last layer style was Inner Glow. I used Overlay for the Blend Mode, light grey for the color, Edge for the Source and 70 pixels for the SIze. Step 15 Here is the result I got after all these steps. It was already a much better result, however I wanted to add some cheesy Christmas decorations :) Step 16 The first thing I did before adding the decorations was to reduce the saturation. Step 17 Here I added some red christmas balls. I got them from a photo from Shutterstock. You can get it at http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-67508086/stock-photo-girl-with-christma… As you can see I used the same red ball several times, however I used different rotations. But they looked too fake in there because they looked like they were simply put on the wreath. Step 18 To fix the red ball problem and make them look as they were more integrated with the tree I duplicated the tree and cleaned the layer styles. Moved this new copy so it was in front of the other layers and then I went to Layer>Layer Mask>Hide All. After that with the Brush Tool (B) and the brush I created in the step 10 I started painting on the layer mask with black hiding some parts of the balls. Step 19 Here I added some cheesy light effects, as the tradition of my family's Christmas Tree, the lights are alway present, and lots of them. I used a photo of a light burst then simply duplicated it several times. LIke I did with the red balls, I changed the angle and the size of some lights. Step 20 For each light I applied a different Hue and Saturation, so I was able to create some red, green, blue, pink and yellow lights. Step 21 Select all layers and duplicate them, after that merge all the duplicated layers into a new one and go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Use 15 pixels for the Radius. After that duplicate this layer once. Step 22 For the 2 blurry layers use 50% opacity, however the Blend Modes will be different. For the one on top use Screen and the one beneath use Overlay. Conclusion The last thing I did was adding the text and the Abduzeedo logo. The font I used was Helvetica Neue Ultra Light. I also added an old paper texture on top of everything using Multiply for the Blend Mode at 20% opacity. So the whole idea of this case study/tutorial was show you how I went from a simple idea all the way till the final result. I hope that might help you on your future projects and also motivates you to try to sketch more before jumping to the computer. Click on the image for full preview

High-Rise B-Movie Poster Case Study by Falcon White Design

Inspired by such great artists like Drew Struzan I wanted to do a different kind of a promo photo that looks more like a kind of a lobby card with a mixture of painted touch and filthy film grain look. Step 1 First I needed some hilarious photos in front of a green screen to make the extraction in Photoshop easier. Step 2 After browsing through millions of photos I chose those body parts I would like to put together because the perfect image is mostly hard to find. So I did this “digital Frankenstein-ing” with layer masks. The models were mixed with different stock photo material, like falcons or owls. Why? ‘Cause Dinosaurs are extinct. ;) Step 3 With the combination of adjustment layers and the rectangle tool feat. Asphalt and wall textures I build a rooftop. Because I don’t have a helicopter anymore I had to buy an adequate stock photo. ;-) Step 4 Running dudes in front of a white layer doesn’t kick ass at all. So it’s better to place another stock photo – this time a high-rise skyline – in the background. With some self-made vanishing point lines it should fit right. I also build a quick helipad, to make it clearer that the helicopter already dropped the three amigos on the top of that building. Step 5 To make it look more Rock’n’Roll and not like a cheap montage, I played around with some adjustment layers like color balance or gradient maps. Step 6 I added a few shadows and a smooth vignette. For the contrast I gave everything a little bit more brightness. Step 7 The old-school method of dodge and burn helped me a lot giving everything a constant look. I matched the colors of the helicopter optically and a couple of adjustment layers later… I couldn’t believe it, but my image looked like this. ;-) Step 8 Finally brought it to an end with the finishing move “old movie projector lines” followed by some noise and a smooth blur to create the look of a sleazy, 70s B-movie scene. I hope you enjoyed this case study for abduzeedo.com. About the Author Hi, design lovers all over the web. My name is Ralf Krause and I am a freelance designer from Germany. Most of my artworks are “Straight outta the 80s” inspired and loaded with colors. To see them all, go to HYPERLINK "http://www.behance.net/eyeofthedesigner" www.behance.net/eyeofthedesigner or - even better - check out the wonderful print/web/motion works on HYPERLINK "http://www.falconwhite.com" www.falconwhite.com If you’re also twitter addicted you can stay in contact via twitter.com/falconsarego Cheerio!

Sonudos Case Study by Jennifer Cirpici

The image of this Study Case I'm about to explain is made for the client Soundos. She's a comedian in The Netherlands. I worked on it at work for 2 days, around 13 hours. It was a fun project and the client was very happy with it when it was done. And when the client is happy, I can consider it done. First version Here is the first version. Nothing special about it yet; basically I've rendered her and searched for a nice background to put her in. It was important that the whole image was capable for her site (www.soundos.nl) and that the perspective was right. The first idea was that she was boxing in a ring and that she knocked out someone... I couldn't find any good stocks for that though. Later I came with the idea of street fighting and a depressing ghetto area. Adding lighting Because the light comes from behind her, parts of her body and clothes need to have a lot of lighting and other parts need to be dark. I also added reflection in the rain water, although that still isn't 100% perfect, the rest will come later when we take care of the details. Welcome to Sin City! I made everything black and white and took care of more lighting. To create more depth I pasted a dumpster and blurred it a bit. Also on the top of the dumpster I took care of the lighting and shadow. Nothing has to be perfect, so I did the dumpster in a way that you cannot read ''Trash'' fully yet, or maybe you wouldn't read it at all and you would notice it the next time. It's always good to leave your work as it is and to look at it the next day. You'll notice mistakes or get new ideas then! So I decided to add the rain the next day of work. Adding rain! We came to the part I love the most! I created my own rain brush and brushed rain. I also painted rain on top her head, clothes, the background and the dumpsters. It's starting to be nice! But we're far from the end result yet (to give you an idea how far we are: we're now at layer 136 and the end is 389). Blood and lots of details! Sometimes black and white and just 1 colour works and sometimes it looks really ugly. In this case it works fantastic; it gives the whole image the extra touch it needed. To make the image a bit scarier, I only gave the blood colour. I created blood splashes on her arm, her clothes, her shoe (like she also kicked him), on the ground and on the body of the man she knocked out. Details are very important to finish an artwork. You really should take the time for it.Small details like 1 blood line on her arm or lighting on the blood on the ground, splashes of water under her chin, ripples on the rain water etc. really makes your work stand out. Don't be lazy and just take like 8 hours or more for the details. Look back at it at the end of the day and notice the difference! I also played with Noise and did it on soft light to create this old movie effect. About the Author Jennifer Cirpici is a 20 year old full time designer from Amersfoort, The Netherlands. When she is not hanging out with her friends and going to the cinema, shopping for sneakers, clothes or make up she makes Photomanipulations combined with Digital Painting for a wide variety of clients and herself. Art is and always will be a big part of her life.

Mentaway Logo Design Case Study

A few weeks ago my brother Eduardo Sasso showed me an idea he had for a web service that would be perfect for those who travel a lot or simply want to keep track of their adventures when they are away from their places. I loved the concept and I joined him along side with Gisele Muller and Fabiano Meneghetti to make that app become real. The name was already chosen, Mentaway. Talking to my brother and Gisele, the creators of the whole idea, they gave me some insights on how they see the service, the goals and philosophy behind it. My role would be come up with the design. The first thing I did was list some keywords: Traveling Map Route Compass Direction Away Pinpoint I started looking for compass, map and direction images. I collected quite a few images and got some ideas already in my mind. First concept: Lettering and Arrow. The first concept I explored was using an arrow in the lettering. Similar to the Fedex concept but using the A and the Y. After sketching I went to the computer and tried to come up with something based on those ideas. It turned out that it wasn’t a very solid concept, it was hard to apply it in the lettering especially because the A and Y would have to be aligned in a way in order to make the arrow visible. Plus I thought it didn’t have personality and uniqueness. The Mentaway logo had to be something with a symbol in my point of view. Second concept: Compass and direction sign Time for the plan b, I checked the images I had selected and decided to explore the compass element. I also liked the idea of those direction signs, it is pretty much what the service is all about. Then back to some more sketching.... I know I sucked at that. I wanted to use the compass but not exactly the same representation, so I created a 3 point compass only. After that I noticed that playing with negative spaces I could make that symbol looks like a direction sign as well. So here is what the symbol is all about. With the symbol pretty much done it was time to choose the typeface and colors. In my point of view a good logo is that one that can be very recognizable in either color or back and white. Below you can see the logo in black over white background and vice-versa. For the colors the goal was to make it super friendly and also a bit colorful, like when you travel and you get a map of the subway or train they always have the different colors for the routes. With that in mind we chose 3 colors for the 3 main directions, Blue, Yellow and Red, but less saturated hues. The typeface is always something that always takes a lot of time looking for and testing. Below you can see some of the fonts I tested. The final concept. I am still working on the logo, especially adjusting the proportion and sizes, the best way to do that is by optical adjustments using a grid. But as we needed to release the splash as soon as possible I completed the final concept with two variations, vertical and horizontal. For more information about Mentaway visit http://mentaway.com

Case Study: Nike Apparel

In this case study will go over step by step how the masters from Ars Thanea (Peter Jaworowski and Karol Kolodzinski) created this amazing photo illustration for Nike, to be part of Nike's 2010 t-shirt collection. This just opened my mind to so many ideas, hope the same will happen to you, check it out! Take It To The Max & Zero Gravity Agency: Ars Thanea Digital Artists: Peter Jaworowski, Karol Kolodzinski 3D Artist: Pawel Wilkos The Process Details Final Result

Mecanicow - Case Study by Marcos Torres

I'm pleased to announce that I was one of the artists selected for Cow Parade 2010 Porto Alegre, Brazil. My initial concept was to make a customized cow with gears like a engine, but it would take a lot of time and money. Since I didn't have that, I decided to try to apply a style of geometric/tribal illustration, that I have already created. After hours of work I was really happy with the result I got. So in this case study I will show you quite a few pictures of the whole process. I'd like to thank everyone whow supported me on this project. The photos were taken by Alexandre Raupp (http//:www.flickr.com/alexandreraupp) The process The final result About the Author Hey buddies! I'm Marcos Torres, a 19 year old art director/freelancer from Brazil, I'm here to bring some new interesting stuff to you. You can see my portfolio at http://flickr.com/marcostorres. Any request or jobs opportunities contact me via email to marcostorres90@gmail.com, also follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/marcos333 to get in touch with cool design news.

Case Study – Bleach by Sharon Milne aka ChewedKandi

Hey, my name is Sharon Milne and I go by the moniker ChewedKandi. I have a passion for vector art and have been creating digital art portraits and illustrations for the past decade. I’m self taught in the programs I use and especially love teaching others the benefits and wonders of Adobe Illustrator. All the vector work I produce is 100% vector with no raster effects. I now write tutorials and articles for sites such as VectorTuts+ and produce a variety of pieces for commercial and private clients. I can be found on Twitter, Facebook and deviantART, as well as my portfolio on ChewedKandi.net. I wanted to create a vector portrait with some of the facial features exaggerated, specifically the eyes. I had previously created a vector portrait in this style so I wanted to see if I could pull it off again. This time around, I wanted to make the focus the eyes. I picked out a stock image by Dagwanoenyent-Stock, one which I had previously seen and it had stuck in my mind. My tools of the trade are: Adobe Photoshop CS4, Adobe Illustrator CS5, A5 Wacom Bamboo... as well as a large glass of Dr Pepper Zero and the odd cat jumping up on my desk to try and play with my stylus! Step 1 By using the lasso tool to select areas and enlarge and shrink them, duplicating and flipping areas, I got a rough idea of what I wanted the piece to look similar to. My reference images post Photoshop aren’t the most polished of images, but they do what is needed. I get a rough idea of the dimensions of the face and a rough idea of the shadow/light cast on the face. I use the smudge tool to smooth out some of the areas to make the curves of the face seem more natural. Then I go into using colour balance and brightness/contrast to modify the colours slight. Step 2 Now my reference image is ready for Illustrator. Using the reference image I begin with doing some base layers which split the face and the neck/chest in two layer folders. I begin adding low opacity layers to build up on the shading. I use the reference image for each shape to make sure I’m following the curves of the face and lighting. Throughout this step I’m using only 2 colours, the base and the shading colour, no gradients or meshes are used at this point. Step 3 Thankfully due to completing many portraits, I’m able to not need to refer to the reference image now until later on. I begin adding lighter coloured shapes to give the skin shading more depth and to highlight features such as the nose, top lip and brow bones. I’ve now used my 3rd colour and still not using gradients or meshes. Step 4 Now I begin to add transparent radial gradients. I still use the same 3 colours I’ve previously used but changing the blending modes. Due to the neck area and face area being in separate layer folders, the shading is easier to do on the neck to give clear definition to the face/jaw line. I use light transparent gradients to highlight areas on the face, again using the same colours previously used; just changing the blending mode. Step 5 As the skin has a variety of tones and I don’t wish for the portrait to be too porcelain in appearance, I begin add blends within clipping masks to give blush to the cheeks, greys to the corner of the eye socket and more highlights on the chest area. Step 6 As I’m feeling the skin is almost complete, I begin to work on the lips more in detail. Using transparent gradients on a variety of blending modes, width profile brushes and many circles, I add shine and a dash of colour to the lips. In general when I’m shading skin, I see the lips as part of the skin and make the basic contrast while rendering the skin. This is so the lips don’t look as if they are floating on top of the skin. Step 7 I add further colour and some highlighting lines to give the lips a bit more of a shine and gloss appearance as well as a slight light reflection on the tip of the nose. This gives the nose a bit more definition. Step 8 I now refer back to the reference image to get the basic shapes of the eyes and basic details. I lower the opacities of the majority of the shapes so I can get a good idea of the colour effect I want to go for. I don’t copy and paste the eyes as I don’t wish for them to look perfectly identical, however whatever I do to one eye, I do to the other so the effects are balanced. Step 9 I now add transparent radial gradients, brush strokes and dots to add detail to the eyes. I use a variety of blending modes and opacities to give an interesting contrast effect. The strokes within the eyes are of a variety of colours and thanks to the lower opacities and gradients behind, they give a great effect. Step 10 Further transparent radial gradients and a variety of solid colour low opacity shapes to give further depth and detail to the eyes. I use many radial white gradients around the eyes to give a subtle highlight effect. This method was also added around and on the lips to give a highlight/sparkle to them. This also softens any harsh lines. Step 11 Now adding eyelashes to frame the eyes using the same width profile brushes with a variety of weights and colour. Step 12 I want to give a frame to the portrait using plain white hair so I try out a very basic style of hair. I don’t want the hair to be too detailed that it takes away from the eyes. So I use a white stroke rectangle to first frame the vector then build on it with strands of hair. I also add further colour to the lips to give them a little more attention. Step 13 I try adding the eyebrows, however once added it makes the hair look too simple and I feel I need to change the hair. Upon showing it to a friend he confirms this and it’s back to the drawing board! Step 14 After playing around with some sketches of framing hair and adding a few more gradients to give more depth in the skin, I add basic shapes to give a larger frame. With the hair in this style I feel it draws the viewer into the face and onto the eyes... which as I say I want as the focal point! Step 15 I add further details to the hair to make the base layer shape of the hair less chunky and add a beauty spot near the mouth. A lot of my portraits include moles and beauty spots as they have hidden meaning where ever they are situated. Although from time to time in my non-conceptual pieces I place them purely to highlight an area of the portrait. In this case, I want to balance the eyes and lips slightly so I place it on the top lip area. This completes my vector piece.

Old to Young Case Study in Photoshop by Cassio Braga

Reading the comments about the Photoshop Battle and I noticed the a lot of people were interested in knowing and seeing the images that were created during the event. Because of that I decided to recreate one of the images I did in my first battle, which was my favorite. This time however I had more time to pay attention to some details, in the event we had only 30 minutes to come up with an idea and make it come true. So as I mentioned before this image, I will present in this case study, was created in my first duel and the subject was water. I really like the result because besides the visual strength it has a simple idea that makes us wonder and think about life and aging. Video of the Photoshop Battle Abduzeedo - Battle of Photoshop from Alexandre Guterres on Vimeo. For the whole composition I used 6 other images as you can see in the case study that follows now. Step 1 The first image I selected was a photo of a little girl that we have taken last year in the end of a photo session back in the studio where I work, StudioMe. I chose this image because I really like the expression on her face, she is only 7 years old but was very comfortable in front of the camera. Right after this I placed the girl’s photo in my composition I selected a photo of an old lady that was taken again in another photo session at StudioMe. Step 2 Incredibly the two images matched pretty well one I put one over the other, so all I have to do was to create a good transition between the two faces right below the nose line. This transition was done simply by putting the image of the girl in a layer beneath the old lady layer in which I added a layer mask and hid the layer. Then with a very soft brush I started to make some areas visible, but very smoothly and natural. In order to make the transition very realistic I made some adjustments using the Liquify filter to move the nose a little bit down on the face of the girl. After that I did a color adjustment to make the hue of the skin of both photos match. To do that I used some Adjustment Layers such as Curves and Vibrance. Step 3 The next step I started to create the mood for the composition, sort of like how I would like to perceive the idea behind the composition. To do that I created a selection to separate the top from the bottom part. For the top part I created this sort of vignette effect to driver the user attention to the face, like the focal point. For the bottom part, I just did some color adjustments to make sure that the girl really looked as if she was underwater. Step 4 To make the scene more realistic, specially the underwater part, it was necessary to add some light effects. So in this part of the process I looked for an image to create the caustics effect. In optics, a caustic or caustic network is the envelope of light rays reflected or refracted by a curved surface or object, or the projection of that envelope of rays on another surface. The caustic is a curve or surface to which each of the light rays is tangent, defining a boundary of an envelope of rays as a curve of concentrated light. Therefore in the image to the right, the caustics can be the patches of light or their bright edges. These shapes often have cusp singularities. To add some depth I applied a blur to the caustic effect and I also added some blurry air bubbles. Still I thought the image needed even more depth. So I added a layer and applied a render clouds and after that used the Gaussian Blur to make it super blurry, enough to give the idea that the background wasn’t empty. Now for the underwater part I created a sort of inverted the illumination. To do that I used a Curves Adjustment Layer in which I pulled all the channels up increasing the brightness of the image. I also Inverted the mask to hide this adjustment and then with a very soft brush I started make the layer visible, that way the transition would be much more smooth. Step 5 The bubbles in the water made the difference in terms of realism. This part took me more time because I had to do some testing. To make the effect as realistic as possible the bubbles needed to reflect the rest of the image, but a little bit darker. However I didn’t like the result of none of the images I was testing, only after quite a lot of time I found the image I was looking for, with some subtle air bubbles. Even though the image might not be the most coherent in terms of photography and with the composition, in my humble opinion they were the ones that created the best effect. Those little bubbles really give this ideas that they are making the aging process turning the old lady into a child. Technically speaking, the bubble layers were a layer with a very light background with the bubbles, so I simply inverted it and change the Blend Mode to Screen. In case you don’t know, the Scree mode hides all black pixels of the layer. Still in this step I selected the lenses of the glasses of the old lady layer and then applied a blueish gradient as if it was reflecting the water. The gradient layer was created on top of the old lady layer and then I applied the Soft Light Blend Mode. Step 6 Here the process was almost done, just some fine tunes and little tweaks. I added some bright spots on the water surface, change the color of the old lady eyes to a more blueish tone and applied a Smart Sharpen only in the top part, that way the two parts would match a little better. The last thing I did here was to apply a Photo Filter Adjustment Layer with blue with 10% of Transparency on top all the other layers. That way all layers would sort of get better blended together. Step 7 The whole process to create this image took me like 10 hours, however a good amount of this time was just testing different images trying to find the best ones. I hope you like this case study and that it may help you. Feedback is always appreciated, so feel free to share your opinion with comments and tweets. About the Author Cassio Braga is an art director and digital artist from Candelária, RS, but currently based in Porto Alegre. He is graduated in advertising from ESPM and have already worked for some big Porto Alegre agencies such as Escala and DCS. Currently working at StudioMe.

Case Study: Isolation Abstract Illustration

In this case study Ali Al-Zahrani show the entire process of how he creates his abstract works from beginning to the end. It's really amazing to see how people create their work and this process it's totally different from what I have seen before. Check it out! For more from Ali Al-Zahrani visit www.time24.me

Reader Case Study: AeroStuff by Trisme

The tutorial of this week is from one of our readers, his name is Trisme and he is an illustrator, digital artist and web designer from Poland. Trisme will show us how he created the design called AeroStuff, it's a really cool artwork mixing photos and some 3D objects. The best thing about blogging is that we have the chance to see how digital artist from all around the globe overcome the challenge of making an idea come true. In this little tutorial/case study it's not different. The idea I had in mind was to show some sort of air/gravity applying a force on some objects in a very visual and sort of abstract form - inspired by some airy d'n'b beats I just started this piece. Resources Step 1 Firstly I imported and placed the sheep, because they remind me of light and soft stuff, I don't know why. The gradient and the rest of the composition was related to this idea I had in mind and want to turn into an real artwork. Step 2 With the sheep and gradient, the next step I started adding some abstract 3d shapes that I had rendered before. Step 3 Some other 3D render objects this time with a bronze color for contrast. After that, as you can see in the image below, the composition has some more coffee/creamy look which is exactly what I wanted to achieve. Step 4 Here I needed to do some changes like small details and shadows were added, also, those big 3D objects that you can see in the first plane. I still was just checking to see if that would work. Step 5 Time for a major resizing and I also replaced some elements and colorize some as well. Step 6 Here I added other 3D objects and had to make some little changes as well. Step 7 In this phase it was time to add clouds and try some different light effects. Step 8 Still playing with the clouds. Step 9 To create a better focal point I added some elements in the middle as you can see in the image below. After that some little adjustments and finished. Conclusion Looks easy but I have to say, I spent quite some time to create this. I hope it might help you. Thank you very much for following along. Details For more information about Trisme visit his Web site at http://cargocollective.com/trismeart. You can also check out his Behance Profile and his DeviantArt profile.

Case Study - Mosk "Escape"

Mosk is the moniker behind polish graphic designer, Illustrator & Art Director Maciej Mizer. In this video Case Study you'll the the step by step changes he has done on his personal project "Escape" Look out for his newest projects on http://www.behance.net/mOsk_ Escape Details Case Study Making of "Escape" illustration from mOsk on Vimeo.

Ursus - Brief Process Examination by Justin Maller

We love case studies especially because we can see how designers and digital artists come up with a ideas and make them come true. So in this post we are very pleased to share another great case study or a brief process examination sent by one of our most admired digital artists out there, Justin Maller in which he shows to us how he created the Ursus artwork. Poking around my folders, I realized I had all of these WIP images of this piece lying around, so I thought I'd share the evolution of this piece I created for The Depthcore Collective's new chapter 'Mythic'. It was a fun piece to work on; I started it whilst hanging with Chris Knight in Miami, and finished it up in late June after I returned to NYC. Hope you enjoy! First version So here's the first version. Pretty rough, basically I've just hit upon the idea I want to explore. I've found the stock, retouched it extensively and started fooling around with the concept. I'm more or less just using the masks of shapes I render as a layer mask for the animal. The effect is cool though, so I thought it was worth pursuing. End of the second day A fair bit of change between the first and second versions. Here I hit upon the bright idea of rendering something, and then using it as both the mask and the shape. I then tweak things a little so it doesn't look so flat. Taking shape, but a long way to go. This is the end of the second day, we're probably about 8 or 9 hours in. Experimenting takes time! Working some photography details Starting to look a little more like a finished piece of artwork. Working some photography details in and paying closer attention to shape, lines and composition. Using renders to fill out areas of the animals sillhouette and generally fleshing the piece out. Fine details Ah, there we go. That's more like it. Fine details are always fun. Added more depth, approaching completion now. Time to sleep on it and see where we end up. Put it up in the Depthcore panel to get some feedback from the lads and make sure we're on track. Conclusion The finished product! More fine details, a few compositional adjustments and better integration of stock etc. Tried to get a better sense of motion and depth in the piece, as well as improving the flow of elements. Density is good, composition is good, original experiment is nicely concluded. Good times! About Justin Maller I am a freelance Illustrator and art director from Melbourne, Australia, currently causing trouble in and around in Brooklyn, NYC. When not falling off my skateboard or concentrating on growing my hair, I produce artwork and digital illustration for a wide variety of clients, including Nike, ESPN, Verizon and many others. I aspire to some day be able to cook something more sophisticated than toast, and am inspired and influenced by people who can. I tweet and tumblr a lot, so keeping up with my various thoughts, musings and general procrastinations is an easy chore. For more information about Justin Maller visit his Web site at http://www.justinmaller.com/ and blog at http://realheadsknow.tumblr.com/ or read his interview here on Abduzeedo. You can also find Justin on Twitter at @justinmaller.

Abduzeedo Redesign Case Study

After months of study, designing, and developing, the new Abduzeedo is up. I know it might sound quite dramatic but this probably was the design I put most thought into. I tried to define exactly how the user experience would be and also what I could do to make that happen without losing reference from the previous designs. Now that the site is up, even though I am still fixing some minor issues and I know that will never end, I will share with you here a little bit of my creative process and what directed me to make some of the design decisions I made. Goals The first thing to do on any design project or anything you want to do is to define the goals of the project. For this new version of Abduzeedo I had tons of ideas and things that I wanted to do, but I am only one so I picked up just a few that I considered the most important, so the goals of this new design were: SIMPLICITY SHOW MORE CONTENT EASY TO BROWSE Simplicity The design must be simple in all senses of the word, the UI must be almost invisible in my point of view for a site like Abduzeedo in which the content is what matters and the only way to drive the user’s attention to the content is to make the UI as simple as possible. Show more Content After almost 4 years we have an incredible amount of content, and the best part is that most of this content is atemporal, they are pure inspiration and they will always be, so we needed to find a way to make this content more reachable to the readers like even random articles. Easy to Browse I love some iPad apps like Pulse for example because they are easy to browse through the content. Abduzeedo’s previous layout was very blog style with all the posts piled in a column. It was necessary to scroll down a lot to cover 10 articles. We needed to find a way to make that less of a hassle. Defining Constraints With the goals defined it was important to set some constraints so I would be able to start the labor work. In order to make a site simple my decision was to simply not use any graphics on the interface. The UI would be simply text and some gradients on the navigation to separate it from the rest of the content creating a hierarchy. To be able to show more content the site would have to use more screen area and also be fluid for some resolutions. Another really important thing in my case was the resources I had in terms of who would do what. Basically this was a project I did solo, with some feedbacks from Fabiano Meneghetti and a jQuery help for the User News form from my brother Eduardo Sasso, and I have to work with my available skills and also learn things that were necessary to make it happen, however I couldn’t try to reinvent the wheel because I wouldn’t be able to make it. It’s always good to know your limitations so we know where we can improve ourselves too. The visitors statistics were really important to set some constraints in terms of browser and resolution usages, important areas and what to show to them. Inspiration As I mentioned before tons of things inspired me for the new design. First and foremost I wanted to change the grid style to a more magazine-ish grid style, therefore I could present more content. Below you can see some of the references I took in consideration. Before going to Fireworks I sketched quite a lot especially trying to come up with a fluid grid. I also did something that I think was very good and I will definitely do that more often. Before designing the UI in Fireworks I went straight to HTML first. So I played with solid colors and basic shapes in order to have a look and feel of the real deal and not a static mockup. My first concept was a total fluid layout that would adapt to any resolution and fill the screen with content. I really like that idea, however after testing the HTML I noticed that in certain resolutions the main content was sort of weakened by the amount of content next to it on the sidebar. Once again, that was only possible after testing the HTML, because in my static sketches the idea looked killer but in reality it would be a flaw. Below you can see some of the sketches and the first HTML concept. Click on the image to see the grid in action. Resize your browser window to see what happens. I also tried some jQuery plugins for fluid layouts like the Masonry one, which looked awesome in their demo pages, however once again, as I tested it with the real Abduzeedo content it didn’t work well. I mean, the plugin did what it was intended to do, what happened was that some content would radically change its position depending on the resolution, weakening the consistency of the UI. For example, in my computer the User News is in the top left and in my iPad it’s in the bottom right. That would make the user think too much in order to surf the page and what I want them to do is to get inspired and not to learn how the Abduzeedo UI works. We use this plugin for the User News section. Final Design As you can see the final design is what your looking at right now. Just a few highlights about the design. Header The new header now uses much less of the screen, in the past it was like 250 pixels high, now we shrank it to 110 pixels. Therefore we gain more space for the content. We kept the original black style and added a gradient for the navigation bar so it differentiates itself from the content area. Background I am a huge fan of noisy backgrounds especially dark grey ones, probably because they remind me of the Atari 2660 console which has that rough texture very alike the noise background we have on Abduzeedo now. Home-page and Section pages The posts now have a smaller thumbnail with description and title. They are organized next to each other instead of piled up in a gallery style. We had this sort of style in the previous version but it was a different view option for the home-page and a laboratory for us :) User News and Tutorial of the Week This area is really important because every week we have a cool tutorial and lots of user generated content. In the former design the tutorial of the week was buried a day after it was published, which is really bad. Now it will be visible on every page till a new one comes along. The same applies to the User News...they will be visible on all pages. Random Inspiration This is a little experiment I wanted to do. We want to show you some random inspiration, let the odds show you what's cool and inspiring for you at any given moment :) Footer The tags are now in columns, the end of the tag cloud hehehe, and we have some other blocks with the link to our iPhone App, which wasn’t promoted in the previous design, and of course our magic mug for you to buy us some coffee because we are all human beings in the end and not aliens. Resolutions The site now has 2 layouts for different resolutions, so those with higher resolutions which represents more than 65% of our audience will have less scroll with the same amount of content. Layout for iPads, Mobile Phones, Netbooks based on 1024x760 pixels resolution Layout for resolutions higher than 1024x768 pixels Well there are many more new features like focusing all the sharing features to the Meebo Bar, the new post design with larger images, tons of CSS3 little effects and transitions such as the Not-found page and we are also working on new features while fixing some minor bugs the site might have. I hope you all like the new design and feel free to send us suggestions, opinions and critics about it. Our goal is always to deliver the best content to you and to ourselves because we use the site for inspiration as well, so it's as much mine as it is yours.

Express Newspaper Case Study

In this post we will take a close look at the final project of design student Yash Misra as he takes a new approach to newspaper design and shares his process and ideas with us. I'm always amazed by design process and here is a very interesting one, check it out! This project is a creation by Yash Misra Yash Misra is a graphic design student, continously exploring the field. As it is, the field had interested him from the very beginning. There has always been a sort of glamour in the posters, brochures, websites etc, which he saw. He likes to explore deep into print media, especially publication. Check out his works at www.coroflot.com/yashmisra Express One Page Newspaper As my final year class room project, I decided to take up the Newspaper design. A newspaper essentially poses a very complex system design and information design challenge. As for my insights which claimed: Newspapers and other printed modes of communication today face a severe onslaught from the digital media and platforms. They are fast becoming a commodity of luxury in terms of time, money and energy. Attention span of the user has grown lesser day by day. There is too much of distraction from all sorts of information being targeted for his attention.To get the real news/information, he needs to pass through many layers to get it. The complete newspaper of over 20 pages reduces to mere 4 pages of essential and selective reading, as the reader doesnt have the complete time to read the entire news, though he wished he had been able to read everything. I tried to see how much news can be accommodated into one page. I tried only the headlines. Kept the size of the newspaper same. This made me realize, that this is probably not the best solution. Too much text is intimidating. The news hierarchy is not clear at all. Only 35 news items were included, which excluded most of the economics and the complete sports Trying to figure out, how the gutter spaces work in this case. Here I was trying to figure out the different genres of the news After this I am straight away going to the final solution. There are intermediate steps which range from the twitter like solution to complete paragraph based news. Trying to get a balance out of the extremes, here I present the final solution. To keep few things in mind, my proposed newspaper has all the 50-60 news items, except editorial. Top 25 news are accompanied with a supporting paragraph which detail out the news ( of course we need to re-look at the way text is composed). After that the each item is a well written headline. Accompanied with each news item is the reporter/agency name and the place. We also have regulars like Market Indices/ temperature/ Currency/ Crude oil/ daily cartoon. All of this comes on the front side. The back is left for classifieds and the ads. A small space is also provided for the ads on the front page, depends on the number of news items. This is where I am able to achieve all the 53 news items which are the total items, excluding the editorial. The second side is left for the classifieds and ads. The top half contains the major news for the day from all the sections. It accompanies the first para of the complete article and is sufficient to have the complete summary of the news. The bolder the news the more important it is. The color of the captions on top tell which section the news belongs to. The lower half has got the remaining news items set nicely in comfortable columns. The legend on top helps the reader to navigate and relate various news items just by seeing the colors of the captions. The name explains the purpose and the function of the newspaper. The mast head. The lower half in detail. The daily cartoon, weather and the world economy at a glance. Feedback Tell us what you think of the project by sharing your thoughts with us!