articles on

Dark Knight in Pixelmator

The year's most anticipated movie for me with no doubt is The Dark Knight Rises. I had high hopes for Prometheus, but in the end it was underwhelming. But the new Batman I am sure will not disappoint. With that in mind we decided to come up with some tutorials playing with the subject. So in this tutorial I will show you how to create a nice composition using the Batman logo in Pixelmator. The technique is quite simple, we will play with some basic techniques and the brush tool. The whole process won't take more than 45 minutes. Step 1 Open Pixelmator and create a new document. I am using 2560x1440 pixels for the size. After that with the Gradient Tool (G), fill the background layer with a radial gradient with dark grey in the center and black on the edges. Step 2 Add a new layer and go to Filter>Generator>Clouds. Use black and white for the colors. After that change the Blending to Color Dodge. Step 3 With the layer with the clouds selected go to Layer>Add Layer Mask. Select the mask of the layer and go to Filter>Generator>Clouds. Apply the clouds filter in the mask to make it a bit more real. Step 4 Add another layer on top and fill it with orange. Change the Blending to Overlay and again add a layer mask to the layer and apply the Clouds filter to the mask. Step 5 Add a new layer on top and fill it with black. Change the Blending to Color Dodge and go to View>Show Brushes. Click on the settings gear icon on the Brushes Panel to select a new preset. Select the Smokes one and pick one of the smoke brushes. Then with the Brush Tool (B) start painting with white on the black layer to create some highlights, like a cloud of fire. Step 6 Add some dark areas as well, but to do that you will have to add a new layer just for the dark areas. Try to create the bat symbol of light and shadows in the center. Step 7 Do a Google search for the Batman symbol. Then place it on the center of your document for reference. Change the opacity to 40%. Step 8 Drag the batman symbol to the brush preset panel. After that change the presets based on the image below. That will create the bats for our composition. Step 9 With the Brush Tool (B) start painting some bats using black for the color. Start from the outline of the symbol that way you will have an idea of the area you will be able to paint. Step 10 Change the size of the brush and keep painting to create the bat. Step 11 Add some smaller bats. Step 12 Make the center much more dense with smaller bats. Step 13 Now try to fill some of the empty spaces to make sure that when you hide the reference symbol you will be able to see the big bat based on the Gestalt Principles :) Step 14 Hide the symbol and see if it's easy to spot the batman symbol. If not, just add a few more using the Brush Tool. Step 15 Still with the Brush Tool, increase the size quite a bit to create some bats flying in to form the big symbol. Step 16 Now add some bats on the edges of the image. Step 17 Select all layers and duplicate them. With the new layer selected go to Layer>Merge Layers. You will have one layer with the composition. After that go to Filter>Blur>Zoom Blur. Use 10 for the Amount and center the control in the center. Duplicate this layer so you will have 2 layers with the composition. Step 18 Go to Image>Desaturate. After that change the Blending to Soft Light at 70%. Conclusion With the other copy of the layer with the zoom blur selected, change the opacity to 20% and the design will be done. You can always tweak it a little bit more if you want, like adding noise or motion blurs. Now it's your turn to come up with your own version. Enjoy. Download the file Download the file used for this tutorial