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Comic Style effect in Pixelmator

I know it's been quite awhile since the last time I published a Pixelmator tutorial, but the wait is over. This weekend I took some time to play around with Pixelmator and I also had the opportunity to test out the new beta version called Tempo. I must say, the new features are really neat. That’s all I can say about that. In this tutorial you’ll see how easy it is to create a comic style effect inspired by the stupendous work of Roy Lichtenstein. Pixelmator has very useful and fast Halftone filters that allow us to reproduce this effect from regular photos. Inspiration Step 1 Open Pixelmator and create a new document. I used 500x500 pixels. That's just for the first frame of my comic book. Step 2 Over at OfficialPsds you can download nice images without a background ready to be used for this project. Download the image below at Step 3 Place the photo in your document. Resize the image a little bit and move the girl to the right side of the document. Use the image below for reference. Step 4 Click on the Magic Wand Tool (W). Create a marquee selection like the image below. Step 5 Go to Edit>Refine Selection. Then change the Contraction/Expand to -11. Step 6 Create a new layer, rename it to "color 1", and fill select the Paint Bucket Tool (N). Use a cyan or very light blue and fill the layer with the blue color. Step 7 Duplicate the "Color 1" layer and go to Filter>Halftone>Line Screen... Use 114 for the Angle, 6 for the Width, and 70 for the Sharpness. After that, change the blend mode of the layer to Screen. Step 8 Select the "girl" layer, then with the Magic Wand Tool (W) create 2 marquee selections in the areas between the arms and body. See the image below for reference. Then go to Edit>Refine Selection. Use - 8 for the Contract/Expand. After that, create a new layer and with the Gradient Tool (G) fill the marquee selection with the gradient. Step 9 Repeat the same thing you did in the previous step, but now in the top right area. This time fill the new layer with magenta. Duplicate the magenta layer and go to Filter>Halftone>Line Screen. Then change the Blend Mode of this layer to Multiply. Step 10 Select the "girl" layer and go to Filter>Halftone>Dot Screen... Use 30 for the Angle, 4 for the Width, and 70 for the Sharpness. Step 11 Go to Edit>Select All, then go to Edit>Refine Selection. Use - 9 for the Contract/Expand. Then go to Edit>Inverse. Step 12 Create a new layer on top of the others, and fill it with white. Step 13 Add a new layer behind the white border layer you have just created. Repeat Step 11. Go to Edit>Select All. Then go to Edit>Refine Selection. Use -14 for the Contract/Expand. After that, select black for the color and go to Edit>Stroke. Use 4 for the width, and select Inside. Step 14 Select the black stroke layer and the white frame layer, then go to Layer>Merge Layers, and rename it to border. After that go to Filter>Distortion>Glass. Use 12 for the Scale. That will create a nice effect on the stroke. Step 15 Go to Image>Canvas Size. Change the Width to 1000 pixels, and the anchor to the right part of the canvas. Step 16 Duplicate the "border" layer twice and position the new layers like the image below. Now you will have a layout like a comic book. After that, with the Magic Wand Tool select the bottom frame. Step 17 Add a new layer, and with the Gradient Tool (G) fill the selection with a gradient. Use one starting at orange and fading to yellow. Step 18 Here I used another image from the site. You can download the image at Step 19 Select the bottom frame again and mask the "Pimp" layer. To do that, just make sure that the "Pimp" layer is selected and go to Image>Add Layer Mask. Step 20 Now let's repeat the Halftone filter again. This time apply it to the "Pimp" layer. Just go to Filter>Halftone>Dot Screen. Use 30 for the Angle, 4 for the Width and 70 for Sharpness. Step 21 Now select the orange to yellow gradient layer, behind the "Pimp" layer. Go to Filter>Halftone>CMYK Halftone. Change the Width to 6 and the UCR to 50. Step 22 Add a new layer, and create a selection from the top frame layer. You can use either the Magic Wand Tool (W) or the Rectangular Marquee Selection Tool (M). Fill this layer with a beige. After that, select the layer, and add another layer on top of it. Fill this new layer with a black to white gradient. Step 23 Change the gradient layer Blend Mode to Overlay and the opacity to 70%. Then go to Filter>Halftone>Hatched Screen. Use 35 for the Angle, 6 for the Width, and 75 for the Sharpness. Step 24 Now just add the title and the other text. You can download pretty cool Comic style fonts at The ones I used in this tutorial are: Badaboom BB for the Pixelmator word and Comic Book for the other text. Also, every time you create a new element like rectangles use the Glass filter. That will give a drawing look to the element. Conclusion Pixelmator has very powerful Halftone filters that allow us to create super cool comic style effects. Also, they are incredible fast. You can preview the effect in real time which is always helpful. The important thing is to always look for inspiration, try different colors, and as usual play with the tool you are using. Pixelmator is a really cool app with great filters, and it's getting better with each new release. Video Tutorial This is just a short video showing how to create this effect. It's not the whole tutorial, but it will help you to execute the written tutorial. Comic Style Effect in Pixelmator from Fabio Sasso on Vimeo. Download the Pixelmator File Click here to download the Pixelmator file for this tutorial.

Light Painting in Pixelmator 1.2

We've already written 2 tutorials for the Light Painting Effect, one for Photoshop, one for Fireworks, and now we will show you how to create this effect using the new version of Pixelmator , the 1.2. The idea is create some lighting effects and the process is very similar to the Photoshop version. One thing I'd like to mention is that this new version of Pixelmator has some very nice features, which we will be using some of them during the tutorial. Step 1 Create a new document and place the image of the street, you can download the one we used here, it's is from Marco Arment. Step 2 Now we need a photo that will be the light painting model. I used a photo from a cover of The Beatles Abbey Road CD. Step 3 Now this is one of the new features of the 1.2 version of Pixelmator, the Polygonal Lasso Tool is really good for this sorts of selections. So select the Lasso Tool (L), then on the Tool Options box, you will have 2 types the Free Form, and the Polygonal. chose the Polygonal and select the Anti-alias option. Now create a marquee selection for each beatle. Tip: use SHIFT to keep adding selections. Zoom Step 4 After you select all dudes, create a new layer, then go to Edit>Refine Selection, just increase a bit of the Smooth, to 2. Now go to Edit>Stroke(Shift+Cmd+O). Use 6 for the width. Zoom Step 5 Create a new layer and choose the Brush Tool(B). Change the diameter of the brush to 5px and 90px for the hardness. Select white for the color and paint more details for the stroke. Add details like hair, hands, feet. Zoom Step 6 Create another layer and fill it with black. Then move it behind the contour and details layer. After that select these 3 layers and merge them. Step 7 First thing here is to change the blend mode to Color Dodge, the black will disappear. Then scale the layer, make a bit bigger. Go to Edit>Transform>Scale and use 110%. After that go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian... use Radius of 2px. Zoom Step 8 With the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) make a rectangular selection and create a new layer. Then repeat the same thing we did before, go to Edit>Stroke. Now duplicate that layer untill you get 10 rectangles. Now lets use 2 other nice features in this new version of Pixelmator, Rulers and Guides. Just add a guide so we can align the rectangles like I did in the image below. Step 9 Go to Edit>Transfor>Distort. Then just move the vertices trying to follow the perspective of the street. Step 10 Again, create a new layer, fill it with black and move it behind the crosswalk layer. Then merge both layers and go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian, this time however use 1px for Radius. Zoom Conclusion This is the third program we used to create the same effect. I really like to use Pixelmator and these new features, specially the Polygonal Lasso Tool, really make the process much easier. As I've been writing here, every time I use Pixelmator I get really impressed with how fast it is, using filters like Gaussian Blur and other blurs is much faster and pleasant than Photoshop. Zoom

Retro light effects - Pixelmator Tutorial (2 copies of Pixelmator to give away)

A few days ago we published an excellent video from a French band called Justice, the name of the clip was DVNO and the coolest thing was that it was full of references from the 80’s. Besides that, there was the great interview with James White, and again, his work is full of elements from the 80’s. With all that retro inspiration in mind, I decided to write a new Pixelmator tutorial. So in this Pixelmator tutorial I will show you how to create a very fast retro design coming straight from that old Atari 2600 that we used to play Decathlon and get our hands full of blisters... We have 2 copies of Pixelmator to give away, so just leave a comment and you can get a free copy of this nice software. The final day will be April, 1st. Step 1 Create a new document, 800x600 is fine, then select the Gradient Tool (G) and create a new gradient color in the Gradient Palette, use black and purple (#332233) for the colors and use Radial for the type. Step 2 Create a new layer and go to Filter>Quartz Composer>Generator>Floor. This filter will create a nice light effect. Step 3 Create a new layer, name it "lines", fill it with black and change the Blend Mode to Color Dodge, then go to Filter>Generator>Stripes. Make sure that the foreground color is white. Use 6 for width and 0 for hardness. Step 4 Go to Edit>Transform>Perspective. Move the vertices until you get a nice perspective like the image below. After that go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur, use 2 for the Radius Step 5 Go to Layer>Add Layer Mask, then get the Brush Tool(B), select the white color and a medium brush, like 100px width and hardness 0. Start deleting the end of some lines, make some shorter than the others. Step 6 Select the Type Tool(T) and add your text, the font I used was Bauhaus. After that go to Layer>Rasterize Type Layer. Then go to Edit>Transform>Distort. Then just pull the vertices to make the text follow the line’s perspective. The last thing here is holding the Command Key, click on the layers thumbnail to create a selection of they 80’s layer. Then select the mask of the "Lines" layer and fill the selection with white. Step 7 Duplicate the layer and go to Filter>Quartz Composer>Stylize>Neon. Select pink for the color and use the Amount of 0.08. Step 8 Duplicate the layer and go to Filter>Blur>Zoom… use the Amount of 50 like the image below. Step 9 Create a new layer, beneath the layer with zoom blur. Fill the new layer with black and change the Blend Mode to Color Dodge. After that select the Brush Tool(B), white for the color, and a brush with a medium size like 80-100px, the hardness has to be 0%. Now just paint some parts of the lines, just one click and you will create a nice light effect. Step 10 Create a new layer and go to Filter>Generator>Random Generator. This filter will create a sort of noise effect. Then just change the Blend Mode to Screen and use like 10% opacity. Step 11 Create a new layer and fill it with a linear gradient, use Red, Green, and Blue for the colors and change the Blend Mode to Overlay. Conclusion This image was experiment I did just to learn a bit more of Pixelmator. The more I use it the more I like it, even though it lacks some very important features like the Layer Styles and the powerful brush engine that Photoshop has, I think Pixelmator is a great tool and it will probably get much better in the newer version. Download the Pixelmator file Click here to download the file for this Pixelmator tutorial. More Pixelmator Tutorials Aurora Borealis Effect in Pixelmator Filter and blending effects in Pixelmator

Aurora Borealis Effect in Pixelmator (Win a Pixelmator Copy)

A while ago I had the opportunity to be a Pixelmator beta tester, and let me tell you, it sure has been a fun experience. Pixelmator is now on its 1.1.2 version with new features such as the Quark Composer Filter that uses the same image system as the Mac OS Core. It’s now amazingly faster and much more stable; the blurs and filters are in real time; no preview windows, nothing. It has one of the most beautiful interfaces I’ve ever seen, and that’s no exaggeration there, folks . Pixelmator, the beautifully designed, easy-to-use, fast and powerful image editor for Mac OS X has everything you need to create, edit and enhance your images. If you’re not looking to spend a lot of money or you just simply want an easy to use application to do some image adjustments on and create very nice effects, then Pixelmator is the tool for you. No need to search far to get your hands on it though because I have a copy of Pixelmator to give away right here. To win just leave a comment below and don’t forget to leave your email too. You have until Friday, February 15th. I wrote you guys another tutorial to help you get started using Pixelmator. In this tutorial I’ll show you how easy it is to create the Aurora Borealis effect which I’ve previously created in GIMP and Photoshop. I must say, Pixelmator is by far the fastest of the three though. Step 1 Open Pixelmator and create a new document. Then select a very dark blue and fill the background layer with it. Step 2 Create a new layer and select the Gradient Tool (G). If the Gradient box is hidden go to View>Show Gradient or just (shift+command+5) to show it, select the gradient that starts with yellow and go to cyan, pink, and red. Fill the layer with that gradient. Step 3 Using the Lasso Tool (L), create a selection like I did. After that go to Edit>Inverse and delete the selection. Step 4 Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and add a blur. Then select the Eraser Tool (E) and delete some parts of our shape, like the image below. After that go to Filter>Stylize>Pointilize and apply the filter. Step 5 Go to Filter>Quartz Composer>Stylize>Zoom Blur and apply the filter. A dialog box will open with a rope and a controller. Move the rope to change the direction of the effect like the image below. After that change the Blend Mode to Hard Light. Step 6 Create a New Layer, fill it with black, and change the blend mode to Color Dodge. Then select the Brush Tool (B) and open the Brush Box. Create a new Brush with: Diameter 41px, Hardness 13px, Spacing 1px. After that select white for the color and start creating some stars, it’s not necessary to create lots of stars because we will use a filter to do that. Tip: click 2 or more times without moving the mouse to create bigger stars. Step 7 Go to Tile>Affine... and apply the filter. This filter will create more stars for us. Step 8 Now just add your logo to the image and that’s it. Conclusion You will need less than 20 minutes to create this image. As I said before the filters in Pixelmator are really fast, and there is good variety of effects you can do. Some of them you won't need to change any property to get amazing results. Even though it lacks some filters and feautures like Render Clouds, the Layer Styles, and non-destrcutive filters, Pixelmator is an excellent tool, and with the price of $59 dollars, it's much more affordable than Photoshop and definitely worth downloading and testing out.

Filter and blending effects in Pixelmator

After a week on vacations, I’m back and lots of things happened while I was off. One of the coolest things was that the Pixelmator was released and everybody can get it for 59 dollars, that is a really affordable price. However the sad part of the story is, as I was fortunate to be a beta tester, I lost the beta user’s discount because I was away. As I said, I’ve been using it since the early versions. It has evolved a lot since then. The interface is one of the most beautiful I have seen, although sometimes I get lost because my background usually is dark and the interface seems to blend with it. In terms of functionalities it cannot be compared to Photoshop or even GIMP, however it’s the very first version and probably the further updates will make it more powerful. But I have to say it has some very nice features, like very fast real time preview of filter effects, the gradient editing tool, and the iPhoto library integration. Here I show a tutorial testing the Layer Blending options and some filters. 1 - Create a new document, any size, here I used 1440x900. 2 - Create a gradient: Go to Views>Show Gradients, then click on the add gradient button (+). Just drag the colors to the create the gradients. The circular controllers are for the gradient distribution. 3 - Add a new layer and fill with black, after that change the blending options to Color Dodge. 4 - Using the Ellipse Selection tool, create an ellipse and fill it with white. 5 - Apply a Gaussian Blur, a sort of glow will be created. 6 - Rotate the Layer in Edit>Transform>Rotate. 7 - Duplicate the ellipse layer, resize it in Edit>Transform>Scale and change its position to something like the second photo below. After that use the Text tool. 8 - Create another layer fill it with black, put it below the Text Layer. after that select both layers and merge them Layer>Merge Layer. 9 - Apply the gaussian blur to the merged layer, the same as the step 5. 10 - Create one more layer, fill it with black. Set the Background Color to a dark blue and the Foreground Color to black and go to Filter>Generator>Stripes. 11 - There it goes, the first effect completed. Second effect 12 - Using the same document, create a new layer and fill it with a beige. Put it in front of the others and set the blending options to Exclusion. 13 - Now it looks like a burned paper or something like that. Anyways, create a new layer and go to Filter>Halftone>Hatched Screen like the image below. 14 - Place the image to your document using the very handy Photo Browser tool ( the image used can be downloaded here). Set the blending options to Color Burn. 15 - Create another layer, go to Filter>Generator>Random to add a bit of noise to the image. Change the blending options to Color Burn 35%. 16 - Using the text tool, add the tag line. 17 - Create another layer and fill it with a gradient. Put it in front of the tag line layer and go to Layer>Create Clipping Mask. Your text will get the gradient effect. Final Result