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Leopard Starburst effect in Photoshop

Here we are, in June, another WWDC with Steve Jobs and lots of cool stuff. This time what impressed me the most was the new Mac OS X, called Leopard. The finder has changed, finally, besides that, some cool features like the cover flow for files, quick view and time machine are great and make me really want to use it. Well, one thing that I loved was those new Mac OS banners, like the space, stars and those dust and flares. Awesome. So I tried to do that in Photoshop, and I have to say, it’s not that difficult, and this is what I want to show here. 1- Create a new document: Fill the background with black; 2 - Create the small stars: Duplicate the layer and add a noise>15%>gaussian>monochromatic. 3 - Adjust the Brightness/Contrast so there won’t be too many stars. 4 - Big Stars: Duplicate the small stars layer and apply a Brightness / Contrast again. 5 - Scale it like three times its size, we want to create bigger stars. 6 - Apply Images>adjustments>Threshold: This will show only a few stars. Apply SCREEN as blending options 7 - Refining the stars: Apply a mask on the layer and with the eraser with like 200px start deleting some parts of the layer. after that the stars won’t be too uniform anymore. 8 - Create some light: Add a new layer and create Clouds. Filters>Render>Clouds. Your background color has to be white and the foreground black or vice-versa. 9 - Apply a Hue/Saturation in the cloud layer and COLOR DODGE as a blending option. 10 - Now apply a Hue/Saturation in the big stars layer. 11 - Create some flares: I did that using some free ps brushes which you can find for free at or Change some presets like Diameter, Spacing and play with that, testing the Shape Dynamics, Scattering, Other Dynamics and etc... Don’t forget to add some glow in the stars through the Layer Styles. 12 - Creating the Starburst Light: Create a Custom Shape, like the one I chose in white, apply a Gaussian Blur and after that a Twirl. Scale it down until it gets a perfect circle. 13 - Create a new Layer: Fill it in black and merge it with the Starburst layer. 14 - Add a Radial Blur to the Starburst and after that change the Hue/Saturation. Colorize it until you get a green color. 15 - Duplicate the first Starburst Light, reduce its size and apply again a Hue/Saturation, this time set a red/orange color to it. 16 - Addin the Text: For the X or Z just apply a simple Bevel and Emboss plus the Contour option. 17 - Create the reflections on the type: Create a mask and fill it with a gradient from white to black. Set SCREEN as blending options. Final Result: Download the Photoshop File Click here to download the Photoshop file used for this tutorial Plus, there are good sites with tutorials showing how to create a galaxy, stars and stuff like that. Bellow some that I used as reference.  

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 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.

10 Photoshop Masters

I've been working with Photoshop for some time now. I really like the software and what can be achieved using it. What amazes me more is the quality of works that were done using it. There are people who really know how to push the boundaries of the tool and produce astonishing pieces of work. It is exactly those people, whom have inspired me that i want to list in this post. 1 - Adhemas Batista (Brazil) - 2 - Bert Monroy (USA) - 3 - Derel Lea (Canada) - 4 - Eduardo Recife (Brazil) - 5 - Ian Keltie (U.K) - 6 - Joan Charmant - 7 - Joshua M. Smith - 8 - Justin M. Maller (Australia) - 9 - Nik Ainley (U.K) - 10 - Scott Hansen (USA) -

Magic lighting effect in Photoshop

Since my last article on how to create smoke generated lots of traffic, I decided to write another one on some of the photoshop effects. Although I use Photoshop on a daily basis, I am by no means a photoshop expert. Well what I want to show here is how to create a nice light and magic effect. 1 - Create a radial gradient, in this case from a purple to a really dark purple 2 - Here I added a really cool Icon of a magic hat from the Crystal Clear Collection by Everaldo 3 - Add some text, I used the source code of a site to get the text and apply the Distort >Wave filter Create two stripes of text 4 - Rotate and place the text 5 - Add some light using glow : Use different values for each line of text, the secret here is the blending option COLOR DODGE.. Change the values of Spread, Size and Range 6 - Group the 2 lines of texts and with one apply a mask to make the stripes disappear at their ends. 7 - With the other group of text apply a gaussian blur, after that delete some parts to show the non-blury text. This will add a movement feel to the text, like they are really being magically created. 8 - Create a new layer below the text and with a regular big brush like 100px add a spot of light in white. The layer must be below the text, otherwise the glow will not affect the white spot 9 - Make some smoke again, I used the eraser, I could've used the liquify as well 10 - Create a cloud: to do that make use a marquee with feather set to a value bigger than 20 and apply the render>clouds holding the command key(mac), ctrl key(win). The same as the previous post, and the most important thing apply the COLOR DODGE blending options on it 11 - Sparks: For the sparks create a brush, play with the shape dynamics, scattering, and other dynamics. After that, apply a Outer Glow and Inner Glow to create the magic effect. End - The result is really simple but at the same time it looks beautiful. The whole process took me about 35 minutes, one thing I think is really cool is to apply the color dodge blending option to folder, and put blurred elements inside of it. Using it you can create some really amazing light effects. The PSD files can be downloaded. Click here to Download the Photoshop file used for this tutorial

Creating Smoke

Some time ago I had posted an article showing how to create a smoke effect in photoshop, and to achieve that I used a photo of smoke and some photoshop filters. However, some people had said at the time that I should have done the smoke as well and it´s exactly what I will show on this post right now. I had previously thought about what would be the best way to create smoke in photoshop, and I’ve read some tutorials online and watched some episodes of the amazing pixelPerfect podcast, to find a good and easy solution for the matter at hand. Actually it was easier than I had expected. 1 - Create some Shapes: I created some random shapes. 2 - Apply a Gaussian blur on each shape 3 - Using the liquify filter 4 - Positioning the shapes 5 - Adding some colors Add a background color on the layer of the shape, otherwise the Hue/Saturation won't work 6 - Creating a cloud behind the smoke Set a feather with a high value, like 40 to 80, and after that apply the hue/saturation on the cloud too 7 - Adding a gradient to create an atmosphere The gradient will give a atmosphere and more depth to the image Final Result The whole process took me about 30 to 40 minutes tops, it’s pretty simple, although it can be quite hard to create a natural smoke with the liquify filter, the best thing to do is to play with the brushes and with the tools to achieve the desired effect.

The Joomp wallpaper

The Joomp wallpaper

Here I'm again writing about some stuff that I have done or seen online. In my last article I had shown how to create a wallpaper with some free stuff like icons and textures. Well in this article I wanna show you another wallpaper that I did using basically photoshop, for a company which I have been working for, Joomp. The idea for the wallpaper was a dark image with some light and smoke effects. Below there are images showing step by step how I created that. Step 1: Using the lasso tool, I set a feather of 60px and drew an abstract shape like a cloud. Try to create a small shape, it will get bigger when you add the clouds though Step 2: Filter > Render > Clouds The cloud is black and white Step 3: Image > Adjustments > Hue /Saturation, to make a bluish cloud. Choose colorize to be able to change the colors of the cloud Step 4: Using an image of smoke. I found this image at, it was one of the most dugg posts there, really amazing p>Step 5: Mixing the images; set color dodge as blend mode to both layers. I just used some parts of the image and mixed them up Step 6: Adding the company's logo and a bit of glow. The joomp logo is behind the cloud Step 7: With a custom brush, I added some sparks over the double blue Os of the logo. Just play with the options there, I changed the scattering, shape dynamics and... I think I tried all of them Final step: The last thing was the address and slogan. The end result The .psd file used here can be downloaded, and if you have any doubt or want to ask or suggest something, just let me know.UPDATE: TAKE A LOOK HOW TO CREATE THE SMOKE FROM SCRATCH IN PHOTOHOP

Using some free stuff to create a wallpaper

Last week, I had some free time while waiting for some layouts to be approved, so I thought that it was a great time to test some free stuff that I had gotten and never used before. As everybody knows there are tons of free icons, textures, clip arts and stuff like that on line, and every time that I find something I automatically download it, what makes my computer's desktop a mess. Anyway, with a lot of brushes, textures and icons, I started to create my abduzeedo's wallpaper. The idea was pretty simple a collage of elements such as icons and brushes with a light beam coming from the sky as a UFO was abducting somebody. I started using a wooden texture and a gradient color to give it a bit of depth. Firstly I used a wooden texture with a gradient overlay After that I basically put some elements like a building with a woman, a crazy dude with a mask, an little deer on the top of the building. Started messing around The next thing that I did was pretty simple, I mirrored the elements, and aligned them in the center of the page. Same elemets, duplicated and reflected The image needed more elements, I put a rainbow behind the towers, added some more elements like those balloons over the girl, those tribal elements behind the buildings, everything downloaded and free. Spice it up a little bit The abduction laser bean was created and, basically, it's a gradient mesh with the hard light blend effect. The abduction part 1 To give more the idea of abduction, I put an illustration of myself behind the laser with a motion blur effect, so it looks like Im being abducted. The abduction part 2 At last but not least I added another illustration in the middle of the page, with some green branches behind it. The final result, really simple and fun. The whole image is nothing else than just a bunch of free stuff that can easily be found on the web. Anyhow, below there are some of the sites that I visited to get the elements I used on that wallpaper. Brushes J3Cons.07 Updated (icons) More Icons Textures and Patterns Podcast