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Photoshop Quick Tips #7 - Edgy Style Photo Treatment

Following our series of Photoshop Quick Tips, today we have a really nice tip from Cameron, a photographer and digital artist working at BOXeight Studio. Cameron will show us a really cool photo treatment that will give an edgy, surreal look and feel to a regular photo. Step 1 Open the photo you want to appy the effect in Photoshop. Step 2 Duplicate Background Layer. Step 3 Go to Image>Adjustments>Hue and Saturation (CTRL/CMD+U). Use -60 for the Saturation. Step 4 Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Gradient Map. Use Black and White for the colors and change the Blend Mode to Soft light. Step 5 Select the Brush Tool (B) and use a Hard Edged brush at 30% opacity and paint some light back into the iris by just painting over the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Step 6 Create a new layer and fill with 50% gray and set the Blend Mode to overlay. Also use Dodge Tool to bring out eyes. Use Midtones and 60% exposure then repeat steps 5 & 6 except use a smaller brush and focus on more detailed areas to bring out. Step 7 Create a new gradient fill layer and set to angle gradient. invert layer mask and paint the iris. Set Blend Mode to Color. Opacity: 50% Step 8 Apply image to a new layer Ctrl/Cmd + shift + alt/opt + e. Set to Overlay the Blend Mode, then go to Filter>Other>High Pass with a radius of 5. Conclusion Here's the final result. You can use different colors or even add some glow, now it's up to you. Download the PSD file Click here to download the Photoshop file used for this tutorial.

Photoshop Quick Tips #6: Cloudy Text

Last year I wrote a tutorial showing how to create clouds using Adobe Photoshop. However, I have received quite a few emails asking me how to create a text made with clouds. Because of that I decided to write a very quick tutorial showing how to do it. Following our Quick Tips series, in this tutorial I will show you how to create a text with clouds, using brushes and other few interesting light effects. Step 1 Create a new document in Photoshop, I used 1920x1200 pixels for the size. Then using the Layer Style apply the Gradient Overlay to the background layer. Use Normal for the Blend Mode, 100% Opacity, Radial for the Style and #07090b and #27160a for the Colors. Also increase the Scale to 115%. Step 2 With the Horizontal Type Tool (T) type CLOUDS, all caps. I used Helevtica Neue Ultra Light. It's important that you use a very light font because we will concert it to a path. After that go to Layer>Rasterize>Type. That will rasterize the layer, then in the Layer Palette, hold the Command(mac)/Control(pc) key and click on the thumbnail of the layer. That will create a marquee selection from the text. Step 3 With the marquee selection from the previous step, go to the Path Palette and click on the icon Make Work Path from the Selection (1). Then Save the path so you can use it later on. You can do that by clicking on the icon that is on the top right icon (3) and click Save Path. Step 4 With Direct Selection Tool (A) let's edit the path. Start deleting the inner part of the paths like, each letter has to have only one path like in the image 2. Step 5 Let's create a brush that will be used to create the clouds. I have already published a tutorial showing how to make this brush, you can check out at . But below you can see what's necessary to create the brush. Go to Window>Brushes. Select a regular and very soft brush. Select the Shape Dynamics, Texture and Other Dynamics. For the Texture is very important that you change the scale every time you change the brush tip scale. Step 6 Again with the Direct Selection Tool (A), click with the right button of the mouse over the path in the image and select Stroke Path. A dialog box will appear, the stroke path window, where you can select what you will use to stroke the path. Make sure you have the brush we have just created selected and then select Brush. Also make sure that you have the color white selected for the brush color. (1). We will repeat that 2 more times, but each one in a new layer. The first time we used white, the second let's use black and the third, white again. That will add volume to the clouds and make them more realistic. Step 7 Let's add create some more clouds, (image 1), then add another layer and go to Filter>Render>Clouds. Make sure you had black and white for the colors. After that change the Blend Mode of this layer to Color Dodge and with the Eraser Tool (E) delete some areas leaving just the ones closer to the clouds text. Also let's add some light effects. To do that add a folder in the Layer Palette, this folder has to be beneath the clouds we created with the brush tool. Change the Blend Mode of the folder to Color Dodge. Inside this folder add a new layer. Then with the Brush Tool (B) and white for the color, start painting some clouds. These clouds we will be painting will be light effects so if you want you can change the opacity of the brush by clicking on the number keys (1-0). Use the image below for reference. Step 8 Now just add some stars. To do that create a new layer and fill it with black. Then go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Use 10% for the Amount and Gaussian for the Type. After that go to Image>Adjustments>Levels. Increase the Black until you have just a few stars then increase the white to make them brighter. Also change the Blend Mode to Color Dodge. Step 9 Select all layers and duplicate them, then go to Layer>Merge Layers. After that go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Use 12 for the amount. Also change the Blend Mode to Screen. That will create a nice glow and make the clouds more realistic. Conclusion You can add more light effects like some bigger stars or even play with colors, the idea of this tutorial was to show you a very quick tip on how to create clouds and a text made with clouds. Now it's all about playing and testing different variations. Click on the image for full preveiw Donwload the PSD File Click here to download the Photoshop fileused for this tutorial

Reader Tutorial: Starting with After Effects

Hi, my name is Pascal Verstegen, aka Enkera from Noa Studios. In this tutorial i'm going to explain how easy it is for any photoshop users out there that create a lot of effects-added branding to transform their work into a great and simple animation using After Effects, presumably to spice up your client presentation or intro to your website. Step 1 First, let's take a look at what the kind of work would be that would fit this purpose greatly! This image is great for use because it’s primarily build up out of pen tool shapes, rasters are ok as well, but will greatly increase the loading rendering and wait in After Effects later on. As you can see you can leave any layer styles on, because it’s the miracle of Creative Suite, and these styles will all import directly into After Effects. Step 2 Now, after you have saved your image as a .PSD, we’re going to open After Effects, if you’ve never opened this app before, now is a good time to get familiar with the interface. On top is the toolbar, similar to photoshop’s, on the left you can see the info about your currently opened project and the files you have loaded into AE for easy-access. In the center is the screen that’s going to show previews of your movie. On the right is info about your cursor’s whereabouts and what colour it’s touching. Under that is a preview pane, then it shows Effects & Presents, the latter also holds all the photoshop effects and the AE animation effects. On the bottom is the layer menu and the timeline, the most important part of AE in this tut. Step 3 We’ll now open up a new file, this isn't done in the traditional fashion (file>new), rather we have to open up a new composition. On top of the screen press Composition and choose New Composition. This will pop up a screen with settings for your new composition, if your in America you’ll be wanting to choose a pre-made NTSC format, and for Europeans it’ll be a PAL format, these are video settings supported by your localized DVD player and television set. To see what setting you have to use if your outside of these areas goto: This shows a map of regions. After you’ve picked the correct setting, adjust the size of the composition to the one of your PSD file, or whatever size you’ll be working in. I normally choose 1920x1080 as this is full HD and most of my presentations are on an HD screen. Remember that the higher your resolution the longer the render time will eventually be, rendering an HD movie with all these photoshop effects will take around 3 hours on the highest-end iMac. You might want to judge what your machine can handle too. You can just leave it on the standard settings if your not sure. Make sure it’s set to something above 24 frames per second (fps). Press OK. Step 4 You now see an empty presentation in the size you choose, it’s time to import your .PSD. Goto File > Import > File... Find and open your .PSD Another settings window will pop up, check if Editable Layer Styles and Live Photoshop 3D are marked (if you used 3D in PS). Hit OK. In the Project window left of your preview you can now see an image of your PSD on top. Double Click this. Your screen should now look like this: The timeline now shows each of your Photoshop layers individually, you should play around with it by pressing the white arrows in each layer, under Transform you can find the ways to edit the layer you selected. Step 5 We’re now going to animate something simple, using this method you can also edit the other transformation settings. Select any part of your image that’s small yet easy to see, i picked one of the starts on the ball. By pressing the white arrows in the timeline you can drop-down all the available options, layer styles like in my case Outer Glow, can be animated to pulse subtly etc in the same way the location, shape, rotation and transparency can be animated. First step I’m going to take is I’m going to bounce this little star into view. Step 6 (important, stay focused) This is the hardest part, once you know how this works you’ll have the all-clear in your brain to edit anything you like. The timeline works with the Time-Vary Stopwatch, which is the little stopwatch in front of any given option. On top of the timeline is a yellow slider, this manages where you are on the timeline. If you would press the stopwatch it will save the current state of the selected option onto the timeline where the yellow slider points towards. We will leave the slider at the start for now. Press the Stopwatch icon before Opacity, a yellow point will appear on the timeline marking the 100% visibility at the start of the movie. We’ll want the star to slowly become visible over about a 2 second period. Move the slider over to 02s (2 seconds), and press the tilted square icon in front of the stopwatch icon: This will mark another spot in time that we will insert an option, using the arrows in front and behind the tilted square we can quickly travel to the next and previous assigned options. Press the arrow pointing left to go back to the previous 100% visibility we created. Now, press and hold your left mouse button while holding your mouse above the 100% next to Opacity. Slide your mouse to the left to get a 0%. You can also click on the 100% once and type 0. Now, by pressing the spacebar, After effects will slowly render every image to reveal your star in 2 seconds. The green bar on top of the timeline indicates what frames have been rendered, you can put the slider back on 00s and press space again to see the animation’s result. Step 7 We’re now going to make the star or whatever object you’ve selected “bounce” into view. This will go in the same manner as with the Opacity, first put the slider back to 0 seconds, now press the stopwatch icon in front of Scale, slide the timer to 01s, and adjust the scale value to 120%, slide it to 02s and adjust the scale value to 80%, 03s on 110%, 04s on 90%, 05s on 100%, now press space to see the star or whatever you’ve used bounce into view. Step 8 You should really play around with the time bar in order to get to know how it works a little better, by expanding the Layer Effects portion of a layer you can also adjust the magnitude or visibility of Bevel, Outer Glow, Inner Glow, or whatever you used in photoshop. You can also click on one of the yellow squares and hold shift to select multiple of them, then press Cmd+C (Ctrl+C on PC) and slide the slider to where you want the copies to go to, then press Cmd+V (Ctrl+V on PC). This will duplicate the values, making it more easy to make animations run longer. Extra Step, Motion Blur, 3D. To turn on motion blur on a layer, click this symbol: In order to make a layer 3D press this symbol: A 3D layer can be moved using the X,Y and Z axis which will be added to the properties of the layer in Transform, this works the same as other options do. My Final Result: Thank you for reading and i hope you understood the tutorial! Next time you do a presentation you'll blast those bastards away! Quick holler @ my boys Julien Kraal & Emin Sinani!

Photoshop Quick Tips #5 - Typographic Portrait

Following our series of Quick Tips, we have a nice video showing how to create a Typographic Portrait using Photoshop. There are other ways, one in particular is really cool too, it's using Flash. You can check it out at Also, a long time ago Computerarts magazine published a tutorial from the creators of of where they offer an in-depth look at their experiments in digital type showing how to create this type of effect as well, they used Flash and you can download the tutorial in PDF here. Typographic Portrait - Quick tip from ikab on Vimeo. Another very nice tutorial is the How to Create a Simple Face Text Portrait in Photoshop from Ronald over at Naldz Graphics. It's definitely worth checking it out.

Illustrator Quick Tips #2 - Scatter Brushes

Brushes are very useful in Photoshop. We may create all sorts of effects, from clouds to grunge brushes and many others. In lllustrator it is no different, actually it's easier to create and use brushes than in Photoshop because you can preview how they will look and edit them in real time, what makes a big difference. Creating brushes is really simple: just drag a shape to the brush panels and that's it! You got yourself a brand new brush. Step 1 Open Illustrator and create a new document. Type the text you want or use your logo. I've used the Abduzeedo logo for this one. Step 2 Create some basic shapes that will be used to create the brushes. I've used an ellipse, a triangle and a square. Then go to Window>Brushes to open the Brushes Panel. With the Brushes Panel opened now just drag the shapes into it to create a new Brush. A dialog box will appear, then choose New Scatter Brush and press OK. Step 3 Let's edit the first Scatter Brush. You will have 4 main settings: Size, Spacing, Scatter, and Rotation. Change the size, spacing and scatter to Random and use the values below. Also for the Colorization use Hue Shift. Step 4 Apply the brush to the logo. I used a light blue for the stroke. Step 5 Repeat the same thing using the triangle brush, you may open the Edit Dialog Box by double clicking on the brush. Use yellow for the color. Step 6 Now let's edit the square brush, repeat the same technique used for the other brushes and use pink for the color. Step 7 Click on the Brush Library Menu icon (1) and select Decorative then Decorative Scatter to open that library. Select the Dot Rings brush (2). Then edit the brush and once again play with the Size and Spacing, after that just apply it to another copy of the logo. Step 8 Now just align the 4 different versions of the logo and you will have a very nice effect. You may try differentthe stroke orders, like pink in the front or yellow for example. Step 9 Just another variation using only the dot rings brush and then apply a Gaussian Blur (Effect>Blur>Gaussian Blur) to some elements to create a depth of field effect. Conclusion The brush engine in Illustrator is as powerful as in Photoshop or maybe even more powerful because we can edit the stroke settings anytime. It's a nice technique and if you want, you can expand the appearance creating shapes from the stroke and apply the 3D extrude filter to create a very cool effect. Click here to download the AI file Click here to download the Illustrator file used for this tutorial

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 - Terra - South Creative - Aramova - 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.

Photoshop Quick Tips #4 - Color Dodge Blend Mode for Light Effects

Color Dodge is one of the Blend Modes I use the most. It's in my opinion the easiest and best way to create light effects, and, even though I have already written quite a few tutorials showing how to use it, I decided to write a quick tips all about this very useful blend mode. Because of that in this Quick Tips I will show you how it works. You can use this technique in all programs that have Color Dodge, such as GIMP, Pixelmator, Fireworks, and others. Step 1 Open Photoshop, the size of the document is not important because the idea is to learn how the Blend Mode works. So the first thing is fill the Background with Black. Step 2 With the Ellipse Tool (U) create an ellipse in white. Then go to Filter>Convert to Smart Filter. That's available in Photoshop CS4, if you're not using the CS4 just skip this part. Step 3 Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Use 10 Pixels for the Radius. Step 4 - Understanding the Color Dodge Blend Mode First change the Blend Mode of the Ellipse layer to Color Dodge. You will notice that the layer simply disappear. That happens because the color dodge doesn't work over Black. Change the color of the background to a very dark brown (#15100c). You will see that the ellipse will be visible, but without the effect we want. Now add a folder, or group the ellipse layer in a folder, and change the Blend Mode of the folder to Color Dodge. That's the effect we want. In Photoshop that's the best way, in my opinion, to use the Color Dodge for light effects. Another way, and that works for the different apps is to create the ellipse in a layer with black background. For example: Add a new layer and fill it with black Create an ellipse in the black layer and fill it with white and apply the Gaussian Blur. Change the blend mode to color dodge When you have a layer filled with black with white objects, it's not necessary to group them and apply the Color Dodge. Step 5 - Real Example Create a group and rename it to Light. In this folder create 5 lines using the Rectangle Tool (U), then apply a Gaussian Blur to them. Use 2-3 pixels for the Radius only. Right after that with the Ellipse Tool (U), create some ellipses and apply a Gaussian blur to them. Use a much bigger value, 15-20 pixels for the radius. After that add a text. I used Zapfino for the font. Again apply a Gaussian blur to the word layer. Use a small value, 2 pixels for the radius. Use the image below for reference. Step 6 Now, change the Group Blend Mode to Color Dodge. You will have a very nice light effect. Step 8 Create a new layer on top of the others and not inside the Light folder. Make sure you have black and white for the background and foreground colors, then go to Filter>Render>Clouds. With the Eraser Tool (E) delete some areas like the image below. Step 9 Change the Blend Mode of the Clouds to Color Dodge and you will add a nice smoke effect. Conclusion You can create all sorts of light effects, glows, stars and many more using the Color Dodge. But remember it won't work over black backgrounds, so for example if you want to make it work over black you will have to create another layer between The color dodge layer and the black layer with another color. Also if you want to try different colors, just create another layer on top of the others using the Overlay Blend Mode, but that's for another Quick Tips. Another Example

Photoshop Quick Tips #3 - Enhancing Photos with High Pass Filter

Following our series of quick tips, I will show you how to enhance a regular photo in Photoshop and make it look better. Of course you can change the presets in order to make it look more subtle, my idea was to exaggerate a bit. Also we will use the Shadows/Highlight adjustments showing how you can easily simulate a sort of HDR style. Step 1 Open a regular photo in Photoshop. I used a photo of a cat that I found on Step 2 Duplicate the layer and go to Filter>Other>High Pass. Use 5 pixels. Then change the Blend Mode of the layer to Hard Light. Step 3 Duplicate the High Pass layer. Keep the blend mode with Hard LIght. Step 4 Duplicate the original photo and change its Blend Mode to Screen. Then with the Eraser Tool (E) or with a Mask. Delete the dark areas of the photo. Leave just the light areas, the eyes, nose, and mouth. Below you can see the areas I kept, the marquee selection. Step 5 Group all layers and convert them to Smart Objects, Layers>Smart Objects>Convert to Smart Objects. Or if you prefer just merge the layers. Then go to Image >Adjustments>Shadow and Highlights. Use the values from the image below. With this adjustment you can edit how the shadows and highlights will be displayed, and you can simulate the HDR effect by increasing the Tonal Width and Radius on the Shadow and Highlights, and, also the Midtone Contrast. Conclusion This is just one way to enhance your photos, you can use the Unsharp Mask filter as well. But I prefer the high pass with hard light, I think it gives a better result, however that will depend the photo you are working on. The most important thing is test and play with the settings and of course add more techniques to your repertoire. If you have a different quick tip, leave a comment sharing and explaining it to us ;). Click Here for Full Preview

Fireworks Quick Tips #1 - How to use QuickMask

One of the best functions we can use in Fireworks is Mask. It's a basic command that can make our life easiser when working with images or when we need to hide some part of an object. In this tutorial we will create a Polaroid photo using amazing and inspirational illustrations from Adhemas. We already talked about him, but if you don't know the work of this Brazilian artist yet, please check out his site after the tutorial! But for now, let's take a look at how this command works. STEP 1 - Open a new file Open Fireworks and choose a 600x600 size for canvas. STEP 2 - Creating the paper Our first element will be a Rectangle with 400x500px and color #DDDDDD. After creating it apply some shadows and a texture like the image. STEP 3 - Creating the canvas Now you will create another rectangle. This will be the limit of our photo. So draw a white rectangle with 345x370px and place like the image. Apply some shadows to create depth in the paper. STEP 4 - Choosing the image As I said before, we choose work with Adhemas images (that is bringing a lot of value to the tutorial). Select the image you want and place inside the file. We will now use 2 techniques to make the mask. They both are very easy and will take us to the same result. STEP 5A - Applying mask In the first one, first select the image, place above the white rectangle, and Cut it (Ctrl+X or Command+X). Now select the white rectangle, and paste pressing Shift (Ctrl+Shift+V or Command+Shift+V). You will see the image inside the rectangle and at the same position that it was before. STEP 5B - Applying mask In this method, we will first place the image inside the file. After that, move the image layer above the white rectangle (just to see the rectangle to select it!). Now let's cut the rectangle (Ctrl+X or Command+X). With the rectangle in the clipboard, select the image, go to Modify > Mask > Paste as Mask. You will see that the rectangle made a mask in the image, the same way that we made it before. STEP 6 - Playing with the mask This step is mostly a Tip! If you look at your layers, note that the layer of the image has a mask. If you unlock this mask you can move the image and the mask separately. This way you could place your image with the exact focus you want. FINAL RESULT Now you can play with the mask. Use your imagination, explore backgrounds, textures and whatever else you want.

Photoshop Quick Tips #2 - Neon Effect with Animation

Back in July I wrote a tutorial showing how to create the effect I use on Abduzeedo's logo, a very subtle light effect, sort of neon style. The tutorial is the Shining Neon Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop if you want to check it out. Also I decided to mix it a bit with the animation features that we have now in Photoshop. Even though the effect was simple a lot of people complained that got stuck on some steps or their result was not the same, because of that, I decided to do a video showing how to create the same effect. Video Tutorial Photoshop Tips #2 - Neon Effect with Light Effec Animation from fabio sasso on Vimeo. Animation End Result Image Download the Photoshop File Click here to download the PSD file used for this tutorial.

Photoshop Quick Tips #1 - Quick Mask Mode

We've been posting tutorials showing a bit of our creative process turning ideas into reality, either in Adobe Photoshop or other tools. These tutorials sometimes are quite long or we show lots of techniques that beginners can find quite difficult. Because of that we will start posting some dirty quick tips that we use all the time. In this first article we will show you how to use the Quick Mask in photoshop, and how it can be really useful saving us a lot of time. This is aimed to those that are starting with Photoshop, also if you have a nice dirty little tip to share with us, send us an email and let's help the design community. Step 1 Open Photoshop and place an image in your document. I used a screenshot of a website. Step 2 Select the Gradient Tool (G). Use Black and White for the colors and select the Reflected Gradient type. Step 3 Now click on the Quick Mask Mode icon, or just press Q. Then with the Gradient Tool (G) paint a gradient in the area you want highlight. The Quick Mask uses a red color to show the area you are masking. After that just press again on the Quick Mask icon or Q. You will get some marquee selections. Step 4 Now go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Use 2 pixels for the Radius. Tip: Remember, what was black won't be affected while what was white will, then in the quick mask, what is red won't be affected. Conclusion Quick Mask is very useful and as I said before, it saves a lot of time. You can create simple mask or apply filter to specific areas very quickly. It's up to you now. Video Tutorials Quick Mask in Photoshop from fabio sasso on Vimeo. Quick Mask in Photoshop #2 from fabio sasso on Vimeo.