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Illustrator Quick Tips #1 - Complex Symbols with Pathfinder

Last week I posted an article showing some great logos using 3D effects and colorful gradients. There are quite a few ways to do create those effects in Illustrator, however for most of them you will have to use the Pathfinder tools. Because of that I will show you an example based on a few logos from that list. References When I was looking for references for a logo design project that I'm still working on, I selected some awesome logos. Below you can see some of them. You can visit the sites of these logos at: Qwell - http://logopond.com/gallery/detail/14996 Terra - http://www.terra.com.br South Creative - http://southcreative.com.au/ Aramova - http://aramova.com/ Step 1 Open Adobe Illustrator and create a new document. With the Ellipse Tool (L), create a circle. Step 2 Duplicate the Circle and resize it, but just the width. Align it to the Left. Also change the Blending to Multiply and use cyan for the color. Step 3 Repeate the same process of the previous step, this time however reduce the height of the new circle. Also use green for the color. Use the image below for reference. Step 4 Repeat the Step 2 again, this time align to the right and use yellow for the color. Step 5 Repeat the Step 3 just aligning the new ellipse from the top. Use red for the color. Step 6 Select all ellipses and go to the Pathfinder panel (Window>Pathfinder). Click on Divide, it's the first option in the Pathfinders. This command will divide all the elements allowing us to use different colors for each one. Step 7 Playing with the Abduzeedo colors. Step 8 You can try gradients with the Gradient Tool (G) to create a nice 3D Effect. Step 9 If you need the logo in one color over light or dark backgrounds, the best thing to do is add a stroke to the elements. Conclusion Even though it looks complex, this technique is quite simple and it results in a very nice effect. That's why we've seen more logos using it. Also one of the coolest things is that you can try different shapes and colors that will result in another type of effect. If you seen thee logos I used for reference, Terra, Qwell and South Creative, they use this effect just changing shape sizes and colors, while the Aramova, uses the same technique but forming a triangle instead of a circle.

Retro Geometric Vectors in Space with Illustrator and Photoshop

Last week I was talking to Aloa, one of the Abduzeedo writers, and he was showing me some images that he thought were cool for tutorials, one of those had this mix of vectors and gradients but very geometric. It was a nice inspiration so I decided to do something mixing Illustrator and Photoshop. In this tutorial I will show you how to create an abstract image for a poster using Illustrator and Photoshop. We will do all the vectors and shades in Illustrator then in Photoshop we'll give to the image a nice retro style using some textures and brushes. Step 1 Open Adobe Illustrator and with the Rectangle Tool (M) create some rectangles. Make sure they are aligned and, also, that you have different heights and widths. Use the image below for reference. Tip: you can duplicate the rectangles by holding the ALT key and moving the object. Step 2 Select a few rectangles, move them to the right holding the ALT key to duplicate them. Now you will have 2 columns. Step 3 Repeat the same thing, but now to the left to create a third column. Step 4 Again repeat the same thing you did in the previous steps, now to create the fourth column. Notice that I also added a few new rectangles. You can create more rectangles or columns if you want as well. Step 5 Select the first column and go to Object>Transform>Shear. Use -40 for the Shear Angle and Vertical for the Axis. Step 6 Repeat the Shear transformation to the other columns. Use 40º, -40º, 40º and -40º for the angles. Step 7 Now start filling the rectangles with gradient and solid colors. I used 3 colors to create the shades. Pink, Yellow and Cyan. Use the Gradient Tool (G) to create the gradients, such as: Pink to Yellow and Cyan to Yellow. Also leave some white rectangles. Step 8 Apply line patterns to some elements. I used the Basic Graphic_Lines library that comes with Adobe Illustrator. Just go to Window>Swatch Libraries>Patterns>Basic Graphic_Lines. Use different patterns to the elements (1-4). Step 9 One of the best features in the new version of Illustrator is that now we can have different opacity for the gradient colors. What I did here was pretty simple. Duplicate some rectangles and move them to the opposite column so the angle will be the opposite. Then add a Gradient from Black to Black but in one end change the opacity to 0, so it will be from black to transparent. That will add a nice style to some areas of the image, creating nice shades. Step 10 Now just create a black rectangle beneath the vectors so you can make some adjustments. Notice that the there are more elements like black rectangles. Here you work on the final adjustments and details, because in Photoshop you won't be able to edit the elements, unless you come back to Illustrator using the Smart Objects feature. Step 11 - Photoshop Select all vectors but the black recangle. Copy them in Illustrator and then open Photoshop. Create a new document. I used the A4 format. Fill the Background layer with a very dark grey #080a0f, then paste the vectors as Smart Objects. Step 12 Duplicate the vectors layer, that is a smart object then go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Use 20 pixels for the Radius and change the Blend Mode of the layer to Screen. For the opacity use 80%. Step 13 Create 6 rectangles and fill them with a gradient from Black to Transparent. You can use Black and White with Multiply for the Blend Mode. Just make the Gradient size different for each element like the image below (1-6) Step 14 Now lets add some space effects. First, create some stars using the Noise Filter. You can follow that from another tutorial I wrote you can find it at http://abduzeedo.com/surprise-behind-curtain-photoshop, the Step 3. Also let's use a nice flare effect. I used a photo to do that, you can find it at http://weheartit.com/entry/327989. Place the image and just change the Blend Mode to Screen. Step 15 To get a very vintage style to the image I used a paper texture. You can download it at http://www.danevins.com/_wizardimages/old_paper.jpg. Change the Blend Mode to Multiply and the Opacity to 80%. Step 16 Create a new layer right below the paper texture. Then using some Grunge Brushes paint some areas to give that old style effect. Use white for the color, but as the layer will be beneath the paper the color will be a sort of beige. Tip: The brushes I used are from misprintedtype.com, created by the Master Eduardo Recife. Conclusion The new version of Illustrator has very useful features, like the opacity in gradients. Also the Smart Objects integration between Illustrator and Photoshop allows us to edit vectors in illustrator while working on the image in Photoshop, what is really useful too. I'm a big fan of vintage style images and in this tutorial I showed some techniques to create that. I hope you like the tutorial. Enjoy. Download the PSD File Click here to download the Photoshop file used for this tutorial.

New Year Creating a New Typeface in Illustrator

When I created the very first version of Abduzeedo I did a simple logo because I didn't have much time back in 2006, I wanted the blog up and running as faster as possible. However after a few months I decided that it would be cool to have a nice and unique logo, but without using any symbol. That's why I chose to create a font instead of using an existing one and with Adobe Illustrator new anchor point features this task is much easier. Now that we celebrate the 2nd anniversary of Abduzeedo, and the new year that's about to begin we want to share with you how the new Abduzeedo logo will look like. In this tutorial I will show you how to create a nice typeface using Illustrator CS4 and its new, and very useful, features for editing anchor points. Step 1 Open Illustrator and create a new document. Select the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a square. To do that just hold SHIFT while using the Rectangle Tool. Step 2 Select the square you have just created and go to Effect>Stylize>Round Corners. Use 8pt for the Radius, but if you want to make your typeface more rounded just use a higher value. Step 3 Duplicate the rounded square. You can do that by moving the object holding ALT. Also hold SHIFT to keep the same vertical alignment. Make sure you have the Smart Guides enable too, this way you can see the X and Y values and the alignment guides as well. Step 4 Now select the the 2 objects and go to Object>Expand Appearance. That will transform the object allowing you to edit the points with the Direct Selection Tool (A). Step 5 Now the best part will begin, editing the points and create the characters. Let's start with the numbers to create the 2009. As you have already created the number 8, to create the 9 is easy. With the Direct Selection Tool (A) delete one of the round corners (1), in this case the one going up. After that still with the Direct Selection Tool, select the point (2) and move it down to close the object. Step 6 One of the very useful new features in Illustrator CS4 is the Anchor Point Tool Bar. You can Join points, convert the anchor points to corner or smooth, and one of the great additions, align the points. Then witht the Direct Selection Tool (A) just create the other numbers by deleting or duplicating corners. Step 7 With the number 0, create a line that crosses the number. Use the Line Segment Tool (\) to do that. Step 8 To create the number 2, just duplicate the 9 and then go to the Transform box. At the very top left corner click on the icon to open more options. Then choose Flip Horizontal. Again with the Direct Selection Tool (A) just delete the marked segment and you will have the number 2. Step 9 As the numbers are all lines, you can make them thicker by just increasing the value of the Stroke. Step 10 To create the other characters, in this case I will do the Abduzeedo word, you will only need to duplicate a number and with the Direct Selection Tool, delete some segments. Here to create the B and D I used the number nine, flipped it vertically and horizontaly, and then delete some rounded corners. Step 11 The A was a bit tricky but it's the same process, deleting corners. Use the Smart Guides to keep the alignement and also the Anchor Point Tool Bar to join points. Step 12 For the other characters repeat the previous steps, you can try different shapes for some characters, like the E, you could just flip the A vertically and horizontally to create the E, but I thought it would be better make it a bit different, then I used the Z for reference. Step 13 If you want to transfor your characters from just lines to shapes, select all characters and go to Object>Expand. Make sure that Fill and Stroke are selected and press OK. That way what was line become shape. Step 14 With the shapes you can apply gradients to them, and the new gradient tool in the CS4 version of Illustrator has improved a lot. Now you can change opacities of colors, like we could do in Flash. Step 15 The whole process is really fun, you can try lots of different variations for each character and see which one is the best for you. The only problem is that you might get some doubts when choosing the final version, like happened to me. That's why I'd like to ask you which one of these 3 version you think it's the best for the new Abduzeedo logo. Conclusion The new version of Illustrator, the CS4 has improved a lot when editing anchor points, now you can align them, make the smooth or corner much easier. The whole idea behind this tutorial was playing with basic shapes to create a nice typeface, and as I've received lots of emails asking me what's the name of the font I used for the Abduzeedo logo, it was a custom font I did using the same process. Also, I wish you all a great New Year, and that in 2009 we can improve our design skills even more by sharing our knowledge. Video Tutorial New Year New Typeface New Logo from fabio sasso on Vimeo. Download the Illustrator File Click here to download the AI file used for this tutorial

Super Cool Abstract Vectors in Illustrator and Photoshop

One of the best tools in Illustrator in my opinion is the Blend Tool. There are so many things we can do with the blend tool, mixing shapes, replacing the Spine path to create crazy forms. Also I try to learn how the real masters like Andy Gilmore create those fantastic pieces. I don't even know if he uses Illustrator but some of his artwork can be done with the Adobe vector app mixing with a bit of Adobe Photoshop. In this tutorial I will show you how to create a abstract sort of flower using the Blend Tool in Illustrator then playing with it in Photoshop to produce a very colorful wallpaper. Step 1 Open Illustrator and create a new document, then with the Arc Tool create an arc. Duplicate the arc and rotate it to create a sort of leaf. With the Direct Select Tool (A) select the to 2 top vertices and Join them, go to Object>Path>Join. Repeat the same thing for the 2 bottom vertices and you will have a nice shape. Step 2 Duplicate the shape and rotate it 90º. Then select the Blend Tool (W). Click on one shape then on the other one to create the blend. After that with the Ellipse Tool (L) create a ellipse holding shift. Then with the Direct Select Tool (A) delete 3 segments of the circle. Step 3 Select the path of the Blend Object and the arc you created and go to Object>Blend>Replace Spine. That command will replace the line SPINE, that is the Blend Object default path with any path you want. Step 4 To edit the Blend Object just double click on the Blend Tool icon or go to Object>Blend>Blend Options... Change the Spacing to Specified Steps and use the number of steps you want. Also for the Orientation use Align to Path. You will have to rotate the 2 shapes because the Blend Options will automatic rotate the shapes. So double click on the Blend Object to edit the Blend and rotate the 2 shapes. Use the image below for reference. Step 5 Change the color of the 2 shapes you used for the blend. I used red and yellow. The go again to the Blend Options and increase the number of steps. Use 4 or 5. You will notice that the Blend Tool will create the tone colors from red to yellow. Step 6 Duplicate the blend object, rotate, and align it with the first blend object. Also replace the colors to yellow and green and send ir to back, go to Object>Arrange>Send it to Back. Step 7 Duplicate the blend object, rotate, and align it again, now with the second blend object. Replace the colors to green and blue. Also send ir to back, go to Object>Arrange>Send it to Back. Step 8 Duplicate one object one more time and close the flower using blue and red. Again send it to back. Step 9 Go to Object>Expand. Then with the Direct Select Tool (A) select the red, yellow, green, and blue shapes. Delete them because they are duplicated from the blend. Step 10 Ungroup the objects, go to Object>Ungroup. Then select all elements and go to Window>Transparency. Change the Opacity to 75% and play with the Blend Modes. Below you can se some of the Blends I tested. Step 11 Just an experiment trying to create a typeface, my cousin said it looks like a caterpillar, so I named it catypellar. Step 12 Copy the flower from Illustrator and paste it in a new document in Photoshop as Smart Object. I used 1900x1200 pixels. Also the background has to be black. Position the flower at the bottom of the document like the image below. Step 13 Go to Layer>Layer Style>Bevel and Emboss. Use Inner Bevel for the Style, 1% Depth, Direction Up, Size 1px and soften 0px. For the Shading use 90º for the Angle. For the Highlight Mode use Color Dodge in white and 100% opacity. For the Shadow Mode use Color Burn in Black and 15% Opacity. Also change the Blend Mode of the layer to Screen. Step 14 Duplicate the layer and resize it, make it a bit smaller, like the image below. Step 15 Again duplicate the layer and resize it, make it a bit smaller than the previous layer. Use the image below for reference. Step 16 Repeat the same thing as the previous step, this time however change the Blend Mode of the layer to Darker Color. Step 17 Again, duplicate the layer and resize it. Use Multiply for the Blend Mode and also add a Color Overlay. Use black for the Color and 100% Opacity. Step 18 Once again duplicate the flower, not the one with the black color overlay. Resize it and change the Blend Mode to Normal. Then duplicate the layer again and just change the Blend Mode to Color Dodge. Step 19 Add another layer on top of the others and with the Gradient Tool (G), select Radial for the type and black and white for the color. Then fill the layer with the gradient, start from the center and bottom of the page exactly where the flower starts to grow. After that change the Blend Mode of the layer to Multiply. Step 20 Add another layer again and go to Filter>Render>Clouds, make sure that you had black and white for the colors. Then go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Use 5 pixels for the Radius. Change the layer's Blend Mode to Multiply as well. Conclusion You can add a bit of noise or more elements if you want. The idea is play with the blend modes and of course Illustrator, where all the magic was done. If you want to create a version with a lighter background you will have to change the blend modes. Instead of Screen, use Multiply and play with the opacities like I did in the lighter version in the image below. It's just a nice tecnique, inspired, again, by the incredible Andy Gilmore. Click here to view the Light version and here for the Dark version. Download the Photoshop File Click here to download the Photoshop file used for this tutorial

Hell of Tutorial in Photoshop

A few days ago I took sometime to try some tutorials I read such as the really cool Dramatic Text on Fire Effect in Photoshop by Collis from PSDTUTS, and put some 3D typography ideas into practice. My idea was to create a 3D text with fire coming from the inside of the document like a hole. Step 1 The first thing you will have to do is create the 3D text. To do that you can use Illustrator. It has a very nice 3D filter and it will work just fine. Type the text you want and go to Effect>3D>Extrude & Bevel. Change the Position to Off-Axix Bottom. Then you just rotate the X,Y, and X Axis until you get the result you want. Follow the image below for reference. Tip: It's very important that you select Draw Hidden Faces. Otherwise Illustrator will not create some faces that will be very important for the end result. Step 2 Now you will have to expand the 3D effect in order to select and change the color of the faces you want. Go to Obejct>Expand Appearance. First select the top faces, and move them away. Then select just the outer faces and fill them with black. Step 3 - Photoshop Create a new document in Photoshop and fill the background with Black. Copy the 3D text without the top faces and paste it in Phothoshop. Position it in the middle of the document and reduce its size. Step 4 With the Magic Wand Tool (W) select the black faces and delete them. Step 5 Go to Images>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation, change the color of the text to Orange. Step 6 Make sure you have black and white for the background and foreground colors. Then go to Filter>Render>Clouds... After that, resize the layer. Make it smaller just to cover the word. Then just change the Blend Mode to Color Dodge Step 7 Now create a new layer on top of the others and fill it with black, then with the Brush Tool (B) select a regular brush, very soft, like 0% hardness, and white for the color. Then just paint over some ares to make them brighter. (1-4) Step 8 Apply a Layer Style to the 3D word, use Stroke with 1px Size, 40% Opacity and Black for the color. Step 9 Let's add a Gradient Overlay to the background. It will be necessary in order to make some of the light effects work. Use Radial for the Style and use Black and #412e1d(brown) for the colors. Step 10 Now duplicate the 3D layer and go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur use 30px for the Radius. Position this layer beneath the Hell layer. Step 11 With the Ellipse Tool(U) create an ellipse like the image below, then go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Use 70px for the Radius. After that, just change the Blend Mode to Overlay. Step 12 Create a new layer on top of the Backgroud layer. Fill it with white and go to Filter>Texture>Texturizer. Use 60% for Scaling, 15 for the Relief and Top for the Light. Change the Blend Mode to Multiply. Step 13 Here I wanted to add a nice texture to the floor, so I used a wooden texture. You can find the one I used at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/947335. Or you can check the Great Wood Textures at http://abduzeedo.com/great-wood-textures. Paste the image in the document and resize it to make it cover the gradient area. Then go to Edit>Transform>Distort. Move the vertices to apply a nice perspective to the wood. After that just change the Blend Mode to Multiply. Step 14 - Fire Now let's create the fire. To do that I will use what I learnt from the awesome Dramatic Text on Fire Effect in Photoshop by Collis from PSDTUTS.com. Basically we will get a photo of fire with flames and use the Warp tool to create different variations of the flame. Download the image at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/985088 and paste it in the document. Make sure that it's in front of the other layes. Then with the Eraser Tool (E) delete some areas. Also go to Edit>Transform>Warp and distort the flame to get a nice effect. Then just change the Blend Mode to Screen. Step 15 Create more flames using the same technique, you can even use the Smudge Tool (R) to change the form of the flames. Step 16 Create a new layer in front of the other layers and go to Filter>Render>Clouds. Make sure you have selected Black and White for the Background and Foreground colors. Then you can resize the layer a bit to make the smoke smaller. With the Eraser Tool (E) delete some areas and just leave smoke over the text. Then change the Blend Mode to Soft Light. Step 17 Repeat the same thing as the previous step, this time however use Hard Light for the Blend Mode. This step will create a more volumetric smoke to the image. Step 18 Let's create the cracks on the floor. To do that let's use another image from sxc.hu, you can download it at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/995884. Place the image on the document and resize it to cover the gradient area. Then like we did before with the wood texture, go to Edit>Transform>Distort. Distort the image until you get a nice perspective, then change the Blend Mode to Multiply. Step 19 This step might look complicated but it's not. Actually it's quite simple. Duplicate the crack layer and change the blend mode to Normal again. Go to Image>Adjustments>Invert, then go to Image>Adjustments>Desaturate. This will invert the colors so what was once black will now become white and vice-versa. Now go to Image>Adjustments>Levels and use 40, 1.00, and 226. Right after that select the Magic Wand Tool (W) and select the black part of the image. Then go to Select>Similar, Photoshop will select all the black from the layer. Then delete the blacks and you will have the cracks in white. Now just apply a Layer Style. Go to Layer>Layer Styles>Color Overlay. Use #ffba00 for the color. Step 20 Select the Eraser Tool (E) with a big soft brush, use 0% hardness. Then start deleting the layer. Leave just a small area close to the word. After that go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Use a small value 0.5%. Then the last thing here, move this layer 2 pixels left and bottom, so it will create a nice 3D effect. Step 21 Here you can duplicate the yellow crack layer and apply a another gaussian blur, this time use a greater value and change the Blend Mode to Color Dodge. If you want you can duplicate it one or two more times to make the effect brighter. Conclusion You can add more cracks or change the flames, now it's up to you. The idea of this tutorial was to create an image using fire coming from hell, like a deeper place using 3D typography. It's basically a mix of tutorials and techniques. It's all about playing and looking on the web, there are really great tutorials out there. Click on the image to see a full preview Download the Photoshop File Click here to download the PSD file for this tutorial

Crazy Cool Vectors in Illustrator and Photoshop

In this tutorial I will show you how to create a very nice image inspired by the amazing work of Andy Gilmore. If you don't know who he is, I highly recommend you to check his work out. He creates images combining vectors and blend modes to create astonishing designs, and that is what we are going to do. We will use Illustrator and Photoshop in this tutorial. Step 1 The base for our design will be done in Illustrator. Open Illustrartor and with the Ellipse Tool (L) create an ellipse, then select the Gradient Tool (G) and add a Gradient. Use Linear type, -90º for the angle and red, yellow, green, and blue for the color. Step 2 Create another ellipse, much smaller this time. Fill it with white and align it in the center of the big circle. Step 3 Select the Blend Tool (W) and create a blend from the 2 circles. Just click on the first than on the second. After that double click on the Blend Tool icon and change the Blend Options. Use Specified Steps for the Spacing and 7 steps. The last thing here, go to Object>Blend>Expand it will break the blend and you will be able to select all steps of the blend. Then just go to Object>Ungroup. Step 4 - Photoshop Now copy each element from Illustrator and paste in Photoshop in different layers. That will be necessary to create add a layer mask to each element. Step 5 Now select the biggest circle and go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal All. Then select the Brush Tool (B) a regular brush, very soft, like 0% Hardness. The select black for the color and paint the mask to hide some areas (1-2). Step 6 Now just repeat what we did in the previous step to all the other circles. But use smaller brushes to each one. Step 7 Group all circles and merge the group, to do that just go to Layer>Merge Group. Step 8 Select the merged layer and go to Filter>Brush Strokes>Crosshatch. Use 9 for Strong Lenght, 6 for Sharpness, and 1 for Strong. Step 9 First lets create a small circle, select the Ellipse Tool (U) and make sure that you select the Shape Layer option. Then create the circle using black for the color and align it in the center of the other circles. Then, create a new layer and go to Filter>Render>Clouds... make sure you used black and white for the colors. Change the Blend Mode to Overlay. Step 10 Now create a new layer on top of the others and fill it with white. After that go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Use 14% for the Amount and Gaussian for the Distribution.Then change the Blend Mode to Multiply. Conclusion Just group the black circle with the circle layers and then duplicate it. Change the Blend mode to Screen and position the new group next to the other but let a part of it over the other circle. That will create a nice blend of colors. In this tutorial we learned how powerful is the Blend Tool in Illustrator, and combined with all the things we can do in Photoshop, we can create very cool images blending vectors and colors. Now it's up to you. Click on the image to see the Full Preview. Video Example of this tutorial This is just an example of how to create some cool vector blends using Illustrator. Instead of creating the circles I will use stars. Crazy Cool Vectors in Illustrator and Photoshop from fabio sasso on Vimeo. Donwload the Photoshop File Clic here to download the PSD file for this tutorial.

Swirl Mania in Illustrator & Photoshop

There are lots of ways to create swirls in Illustrator, you can even download vectors from sites such as bittbox and dezignus, and if you are using Photoshop you can download brushes with those sorts of symbols. However in this tutorial I will show 4 ways to create swirls, and by mixing them you will learn some very powerful techniques that will allow you to easily make tons of different styles of swirls and crazy sperm vectors. 1st Way - Arc, Circle, and Path tool Select the Arc Tool and create an arc. You can change the arc's properties by holding the mouse button and pressing the UP and DOWN keys for the angle of the arc, SPACE to move it, and ALT to change the center point. Now create an ellipse using the Ellipse Tool (L). After you create the arc go to Object>Path>Outline Stroke. The stroke will be converted to a shape, the select the Direct Selection Tool(A). 2nd Way - Blend Tool(W) Create 2 circles, one will be the start and the other the end points of our swirl. Then select the Blend Tool (W) and click on the small circle and after that on the big circle. Double-click the Blend Tool icon to open the Blend Options, there you will be able to change the spacing of the elements and the orientation. Select Specified Distance and use 1pt, for the Orientation use Align to Path. The spine is the path along which the steps in a blended object are aligned. By default, the spine forms a straight line. To adjust the shape of the spine, drag the anchor points and path segments on the spine with the Direct Selection tool. To replace the spine with a different path, draw an object to use as the new spine. Select the spine object and the blended object, and choose Object > Blend > Replace Spine. To reverse the order of a blend on its spine, select the blended object and choose Object > Blend > Reverse Spine. You can test different styles for the blend, like adding a dark stroke with some light color. 3rd Way - Spiral Tool Select the Spiral Tool and create a spiral, you can change the style of the spiral by holding the mouse button and some keys like CMD/CTRL, ALT, SPACE, UP, and Down. You can go to Object>Path>Offset Path and specify the offset to 3pt, you will create a uniform spiral. But if you want to make the start point smaller than the end or vice-versa, you can use the spiral as spine for a Blend. 4th Way - Twirl Tool Create an ellipse with the Ellipse Tool, after that select the Twirl Tool and double click on the icon to open the Twirl Tool Options. Deselect the Simplify option and use 10 for detail. Then go with the center of the twirl tool over the edge of the circle and press and hold the mouse button to create a spiral. Mixing Techniques Step 1 Create the first swirl using the first technique. Use a very long line with a circle at the end. Step 2 Duplicate the swirls and resize it, repeat that to create another one, so you will have 3 swirls. Step 3 Create a spiral applying the 3rd or 4th technique, actually you can do that with blends too. Step 4 Create another swirl this time make the circle or much bigger. Step 5 Duplicate the new swirl, resize and make it a bit smaller than the other like the image below.   Step 6 Duplicate again the swirl, now go to Object>Transform>Reflect. Change the color to yellow. Step 7 Create a new spiral like the image below, then duplicate it again resize it like and place it above the other spiral. Step 8 Keep adding swirls. Step 9 Now we will add some 3D effects using the Mesh Tool (U). This tool allows us to apply multiple gradients to one object. Just select the object then with the Mesh Tool click where you want to add a new color. Here in our swirl we will create a highlight area and a dark area. Repeat the process to the other swirls. Step 10 With the Pen Tool create two lines following the shape of the tail of our "sperm" shape, then apply the Blend Tool with 5 Specified Steps. After that duplicate and resize the blend and use it on the other swirl Step 11 Add more shapes and apply the Mesh Tool. Duplicate the yellow swirl and make it really bigger like the image below. Step 12 For the spiral add a gradient from pink to cyan, then go to Effect>Stylize>Inner Glow... Use Screen for the Mode, 75% Opacity, 5pt Blur and Center.   Step 13 For those stripes following the spiral we will create a brush. To do that is really simple in Illustrator. Just create a rectangle and drag and drop it in the Brushes Palette, then in this case select New Pattern Brush. Use the image below for reference. After that create a spiral exactly like the one you want to add the stripes, and apply the brush. Step 14 Select the spiral without the Brush Stroke and copy it. Then select the spiral with the stroke and go to the Transparency Palette (Window>Transparency). Double click the area next to the thumbnail, it will create a new thumb all black, select this thumb and paste the spiral. It will create a mask, just move the mast to align it with the original spiral. It looks complicated but it's easier than the explanation ;) Step 15 Use the blend tool to add more elements and details to some shapes. Step 16 Create more swirls using the techniques we've seen before and just change the sizes and colors. After that group all swirls. End result in Illustrator. Step 17 (Photoshop) Create a new document and place your image, I used a photo from http://sxc.hu and 1440x900px for the document size. Step 18 Copy the swirls in illustrator, the group with all swirls we have created, and paste it in Photoshop. Select Paste As Smart Objects. After that go to Layer>Layer Style>Bevel and Emboss, use the image below for reference. Step 19 Duplicate the layer and go to Edit>Transform>Flip Vertical, and reduce the size of the layer and move it like the image below. After that select the 2 layers and convert them to Smart Objects and rename it to "Swirls" Step 20 Duplicate the new "Swirls" and rename it to "Swirls Glow", then go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur, use 3px for the Amount, place it behind the "Swirls" and change the Blend Mode to Hard Light Step 21 Duplicate the "Swirls" layer again and go to Edit>Transform>Flip Horizontal, again reduce its size and move it like the image below. Then go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur, use 3px for the amount again, but don't change the blend mode. Step 22 Duplicate the "Swirls" layer one more time and this time just rotate it like the image below. Then go again to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur, however this time use 5.5px for the Amount and reduce the opacity to 70% Conclusion Just place your logo and that's it. You can add more elements, you can even copy and paste each element separately and apply different layer styles to each swirl. There are many options and tons of different results from these methods, now it's all about trying different combinations. Download the Files Click here to download the files used in this tutorials

Creating a crazy cool logo

I’m a huge fan of typography and logo design, even though I havent worked on too many logo design projects I had the opportunity to express my love on a few, but at the same time, very pleasant ID projects. One of them was in 2005 for a company called Zagora. When they hired us to create their ID design they said that they wanted something very unique and modern. Besides of that we spent like 4 hours talking about ideas and concepts in order to know exactly what we would have to do. In this post I will show you how we created the logo. I will skip the drawing parts, yes there were tons of drawings before going to the computer, because when they stole my computer and backups in 2006 they took all my photos of the drawings. This logo is pretty much a bunch of circles, I used a circle for the module and deleted some segments in order to create the characters. Step 1 In Illustrator, using the Ellipse Tool (U) create a circle. Step 2 Select the Circle and hit the Enter Key (return) the Move dialog box will open. Now we can move the circle horizontally or vertically and create copies as well. First we will create the horizontal one, so just add the width of the circle in the horizontal field and click on the copy button. Repeat this process until you have 6 circles side by side. Step 3 Lets create a circle below the first and the third circle. Those will be the Z and the G letters. Step 4 Using the Direct Selection Tool(A), select some segments of the circles and delete them like the image below.   Step 5 Select all objects and change the Stroke Weight to 20pt, After that add 2 more elements above the Z and the R like the image below, and delete a segment of the last A. Tip: Use the Object>Transform>Move and Object>Transform>Reflect commands for more precision. Step 6 Change the stroke colors. I used green for the Z, brown for the As, red for the G and R, and blue for the O. Step 7 Select the A or the second circle and open the Move dialog box. Move it closer to the first letter, Z. Repeat that for the other letters. After that change the order of the letters so the R goes in front of the last A, but through the O. Tip: To do that you will have to create new elements in order to mask them. Use the Move command for precision. Step 8 Once you have a nice spacing and all the letters are well positioned, select all objects again and go to Object>Path>Outline Stroke. This will convert the Strokes to Fill. Step 9 Select the G and the R and apply a linear gradient. Use Orange to Red for the colors. Step 10 Duplicate the element above the Z and change its color to black. Go to Effects>Blur>Gaussian Blur and use like 3.5pt. After that place it beneath the Z and the R like the image below. Conclusion After we had an idea of what we were looking for, the design process became pretty straight forward. That means that once you know what you have to do the tool is just part of the process and you will find many ways to achieve the same result.

Creating a new Business Card

This week I had to create a new Business card for my company, ZEE. I have to say, this sort of work, like creating a business cards, is not as easy as some people think. Actually it’s pretty hard to condense our business to a size of a business card. "The business card... is kind of an extension of yourself. It's a little bit of giving yourself to someone else."— Ken Erdman, founder of the Business Card Museum, Erenheim, PA Looking for some ideas We started looking for some references and we found good sites like: http://creativebits.org/cool_business_card_designs http://www.flickr.com/photos/dailypoetics/sets/72057594104389710/ http://veerle.duoh.com/blog/comments/the_new_duoh_logo_identity/ http://desktoppub.about.com/od/businesscards/a/bcard_parts.htm Creating the card With some references in mind we had the idea of using a tag cloud showing what we do and the technologies we work with. So one side would be white with our logo and addresses, while the other side in blue with the tag cloud in white.The final result:Front Side: Back:

Displace filter with vector effects

After one month traveling I’m back and trying to get back to my routine. First of all, I’d like to thank all comments and emails about the blog and the tutorials. Now talking about Photoshop, I started using the new CS3 programs on my mac and I have to say, they are really faster, and I can finally use the Illustrator more often. On this article I created a design inspired by the work of Nik Ainley. He’s one of my favorite Photoshop Masters and his work is really impressive. For this design I used the Displace filter in Photoshop, I think it’s one of the most obscure filters because most the majority of users don’t know how to use it, and that includes me, lol. The vectors were created in Illustrator with, again the blend tool. 1 - Create a new document and in the layer style create a gradient. 2 - Select a person to use: I used a nice photo taken by John Arlington for the Udox website. The new select features in Photoshop are amazingly cool, it’s pretty easy to cut a person off the picture with the Quick Selection Tool and the Refine Edge options. 3 - Add a Diffuse Glow: Go to Filters>Distort>Diffuse Glow 4 - Exploding the guy: Use the displace filter to explode the guy. I used a crazy image as a displacement map, though you can use any image. 5 - Refining everything: Apply a mask in the layer of the displace and in the guy’s. Start erasing the displace layer, after that use the Smudge tool to blend them together. 6 - Giving a blur: Duplicate the guy’s layer, apply the filter Pixelate>Mezzoting and choose the type as Medium Lines. After that apply a motion blur. 7- Creating the vector lines: That is pretty simple in Illustrator, just create some lines with the pen tool and use the blend tool. Repeat it as many times you think it’s ok. 8 - Using the vectors: In Photoshop again, paste the vectors there as Smart Objects, and apply a Layer Style. In that case I added a glow and a color overlay. Try different colors and glows to the different vectors. 9 - The final result: I played with the graphics a bit more like adding new elements and filters such as the noise filter in the background. I have to say that I’ve learned a lot creating this image. It took me some time to create everything, the displace filter and the vector lines that we see a lot out there. I want to say thanks to a visitor of my blog who sent me an email asking how to do an image similar to this one. That was my motivation to create this article. Download the Photoshop File You can download all the files used here.

Vector effects

Last week I had posted an article about Photoshop Masters, it was really good to see their works and how they used the tool to achieve those amazing effects. I really like the style of some guys there, particularly Adhemas Baptista, Eduardo Recife and Nik Ainley. Now in this post, I created a really cool design mixing a photo with vector elements using Photoshop (lots of brushes) and Illustrator. Pretty much everything needed was downloaded for free on the internet in sites like magurno and brusheezy.com. This tutorial may look complicated and long, but in reality it is really easy to do and follow, you'll only use brushes and masks.? 1- Choose a cool photo: This can be the most complicated part, in this case I was lucky, a photographer friend of mine had taken some pictures for a website really cool called UDOX and he allowed me to use one of those photos. 2 - Adding some vector elements: The first symbol I got from a cd that came with the computer arts magazine. 3 - Mixing Apply a color Overlay on the Layer Style preferences 4 - Using the first Brush: First you paint over the photo, and after that you start deleting some parts. It'll give the imprresion that the elements are sometimes in front and other times behind of the guy Apply a layer mask and delete through the mask Here I wanted to put the pink element behind the legs. 5 - Adding more colors and elements: As with the previous element, we used another brush and deleted some parts to put it behind the guy. 6 - One more: All of these elements are from the Vintage by in Vogue brushes, you can download them here. 7 - Some Illustrator: Adhemas uses this effect a lot, basically it is a Blend between two elements, and it can be done pretty easily in Illustrator. Just create two elements and blend them together You see that it creates a path Edit the path with the pen tool Double click on the blend icon and you have the Blend Options, where you can edit the blend properties 8 - We need some blue: I added another element beneath the guy's foot. 9 - Final refinements: Now it's time to refine the design, delete some parts of each element to make them look like they are mixed. Sometimes the orange element goes in front of the blend, other times it goes behind, the same applies to the others 10 - Now we need some light: Duplicate the orange element, create a new folder in the layers pallet, put it inside this folder, set the folder to Color Dodge, and add a Gaussian blur to the element inside the folder. Final Result: All files used can be downloaded. Download the Photoshop File You can download all the files used here.