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ABDZ 06 Strokes and Paths - Photoshop Tutorial

ABDZ 06 Strokes and Paths - Photoshop Tutorial

Week 6 and here we go again. This morning while I was looking for some references or inspiration on what to do I saw a post on Instagram from the Street League, it's the league of street skateboarders. I loved the logo and decided to try to create something with the same style in Illustrator to learn how to do that. After that I just went to Photoshop to add some flare. Below you can see the behind the scenes on how I achieved this effect. Step 1 I started in Illustrator with 3 circles with 1pt for the stroke. Step 2 For the outer circle I changed the stroke to be 5pt for the Weight and Dashed Line with 0.5pt for the dash and 1pt for the gap. For the inner circle, change the Weight to 0.5pt and for the dashed line use 0.5pt for the dash and 1pt for the gap as well. Step 3 With the Type on Path Tool I added the text you want using the Type on a Path Tool. Step 4 Here I cut the parts of the circles/paths that went over the text and then added the Abduzeedo symbol and with some paths I added the Since 2006. Step 5 Now in Photoshop I pasted the vectors and changed the color to #04D9AE using the layer styles. For the background I used #19242D for the color. Step 6 Here I added a stock photo from Shutterstock titled Black textured background by Valzan. I put it on top of all other layers and used Overlay for the Blend Mode. Step 7 Now to add some more realism and old school effects I used the Layer Styles in Photohsop. I added Bevel & Emboss and Drop Shadow. The values are below. Conclusion Here's the final result. It feels quite cool for my new hat. Maybe it will be available at the Abduzeedo store very soon. Download Photoshop file Download Photoshop file used for this tutorial

Playing with Fire - Photoshop Tutorials

Playing with Fire - Photoshop Tutorials

Week five and another image done. This time I went back in time and attempted a recreation of those crazy light effects I used to do in Photoshop back in 2006-2009. The main reason I wanted to do this was because I found out that with the new version of Photoshop we can now apply multiple layer styles, like multiple gradients, shadows, and inner shadows. That is something I always wanted to have and it's finally here. It saves so much time and also adds so much more power to one of my favorite features in Photoshop. Step 1 I started in Photoshop with a simple gradient from a super dark grey almost black to #453513 Step 2 Here I added an image to set the stage and make sure that the symbol looks great over a realistic metal background. The image I am using is courtesy of Shutterstock, it's titled Metal surface by Manczurov After importing the image make sure you change the blend mode to Soft Light and play with some masking. Step 3 Here I just added the Abduzeedo logo and went stright to Layer Styles. Step 4 Below you can see the layer styles I used for this image, the best thing about the new Photoshop is that finally you can have multiple styles, like more than one Gradient Overlay, or Shadows. For this image I took a lot of advantage of this features. Step 5 To add a little bit more realism I just added a flame, the image is from Shuttestock titled Fire flames collection by Lukas Gojda. I just imported to my image and with the Edit>Transform>Warp I made it match the design. Step 6 Here I created a new layer from a merged copy of all other layers. The shortcut is Command+Option+Shift+E. After that I appied a gaussian blur of 10 pixes for the radius and changed the Blend Mode to Soft Light at 60% Opacity. Step 7 Just duplicate the same layer and apply more blur. Change the Blend mode to Screen at 80%. Also use mask to make just the center visible. The sides should be super dark. Step 8 Here I just added a Photo Filter. Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Photo Filter. I used Colling Filter (82) to add a bit of blue to the image. Conclusion Here's the final result. It's a simple process but it's really cool that we have much more power now with Layer Styles in Photoshop. I always wanted that to happen and finally it's here. Now let's go to week 6. Download Photoshop file Download the Photoshop file used for this tutorial

Windows 10 Wallpaper - Photoshop Tutorials

Windows 10 Wallpaper - Photoshop Tutorials

Another week and another image to be done. The most difficult part is finding the inspiration point, this time however, I knew exactly what my mission would be. This week's image is my attempt at recreating the beautiful Windows 10 wallpaper created by GMUNK. In no way or form am I trying to take credit that this is my design, I just wanted to see if it was possible to create something similar just in Photoshop. The result you can see after the break. I am very happy with the outcome and I will share a little step-by-step on how I did it. Step 1 In Photoshop I started with a thicker version of the Abduzeedo logo in solid white. The background color also is important. I am using #101921 Step 2 After that I duplicated the logo and for the new copy I changed the opacity of the fill to 0 and added a stroke of 3 pixels in white. For the other solid one I just reduced the opacity to 30%. Step 4 Here I just applied a perspective to match the Windows 10 logo style. Just go to Edit>Transform>Perspective. I also created a new folder and moved the layers inside it. In addition to that I changed the Blend Mode of the group to Color Dodge. Step 5 Duplicate the layer with the stroke and go to Filter>Blur>Radial Blur. Use 100 for the Amount, Zoom for the Blur Method and Best for Quality. Step 6 The layer might not be visible or it's very subtle. Here's the secret, start duplicate that layer until you have the effect visible. Merge all the duplicated layers. Step 7 Apply the same Radial Blur to the merged layer. Repeat the same process again. Step 8 After a lot of times repeating the process you will end up with something like the image below. It's pretty straight forward, just duplicating the same layer. Step 9 Select the original layer with the stroke and duplicate it. After that change the stroke to a much thicker value. After that just create the layer from the layer style, add a layer mask to the layer and apply the Filter>Render>Clouds with black and white. The last thing to do to make some areas visible only, just change the Levels of the mask so you have just black and white. Step 10 Here's when I started adding some flares, literally. I used an image from Shutterstock titled Abstract image of lighting flare by 21. I added 2 copies of the flare as you can see in the image below. Step 11 Keeping with the details I used another Shutterstock image. This one is titled Abstract smoke moves on a black background by Vagengeim. The idea is to add that kind of fog/smoke effect you see in the original image. Conclusion To add the final details I simply created a new layer from a copy of all layers by using the shortcut, Command + Option + Shift + E. After that I apply a Gaussian Blur of 15 px radius. Duplicate the layer so you have 2. The one on top change the Blend Mode to Soft Light at 50% opacity. The other one use Screen at 70% opacity. That's it, the image is done. It looks much more complicated than it really is and of course the incredible image created for the Windows 10 was done with real photography and light coming from behind the symbol. Download Photoshop file Download Photoshop file for this tutorial

More Lines - Illustrator and Photoshop Tutorials

More Lines - Illustrator and Photoshop Tutorials

Let's go again. Third week and third image. I am taking my Sunday night to try to come up with something. I had forgotten how hard it is to start a new image from scratch. I must start paying more attention to movies and books so I can have more inspiration. For this week I tried to recreate a really cool shape I saw on Pinterest sometime ago that was about some hipster badges. I thought it was a great exercise and way to lose myself a bit more. I hope you enjoy it. Step 1 I started in Illustrator. With the Star Tool create a 4 sides star. Step 2 With the Direct Selection Tool (A) select the controller to round the corners. Use the maximum amount for the 4 point star. Step 3 Duplicate the rounded star and rotate it 45 degree. Step 4 Here I started to create some space when the lines intersect. Step 5 Here's the final result with the spaces. Step 6 I added the abduzeedo symbol and made the strokes a bit thinner. Step 7 With the Offset Path, the same we played with last week, I created 3 more lines for each path. They are closed though. Step 8 I delted the lines that connect the paths. That way they are now just 3 lines. There was some little adjustments to make them the same lenght as well. Step 9 I pasted the vectors in Photohsop and then added a Bevel & Emboss and Drop Shadow. You can see the values below. Conclusion To make the image a bit more dramatic I added a nice leather texture offered by Shutterstock, the image titled is Luxury black leather texture background by 123creative.com. The final result as yu can see is a simple yet elegant design. You can even try to add a more chrome style but I was very interested in getting that black on black look. Download Photoshop file Download Photoshop file

ABDZ 002: Playing with Strokes - Illustrator Tutorials

ABDZ 002: Playing with Strokes - Illustrator Tutorials

Second week of my little project of trying to create an image per week. This time I got inspired by simple vector illustrations I saw that had lines creating the logo. I've done something like this in the past but never with the style that I played with this week, completely out of my comfort zone. Below you can see the little step by step of this image done in Illustrator and Photoshop. Step 1 I started with the Abduzeedo logo in a simple line. Step 2 Then I used the Offset Path to create more lines. Step 3 The offset path is quite simple to use, just offset by 1pt and keep repeating that with the offset path result. Step 4 The end result of the offset path is always a closed shape. So with the Direct Selection Tool (A), I deleted the line that closed the shape to have open lines. Step 5 Now with the lines with a nice brownish color I added a solid and thick version of the logo with a redish/pink color under the lines. Step 6 To add more details I offset the outer path once again but for this one I used the dashed stroke with green for the color. Step 7 Here's in Photoshop already, I edited a bit the green path to make it less uniform. The background also was changed to a beige tone. Step 8 I added the logotype "Abduzeedo" trying to replicate the same effect. I just used copies of the text with different strokes. Conclusion Here's the final result of my second image. I had never played with this style and it was a good exercise for me, especially in terms of going out of my comfort zone. Download Photoshop file Click here to download the Photoshop file

ABDZ 001 - Illustrator and Photoshop Tutorials

ABDZ 001 - Illustrator and Photoshop Tutorials

In the past year I stopped writing tutorials and the main reason was that I thought they weren't relevant anymore given the copious amount of great websites out there. Also, I believe the audience of the blog has already matured and focused more on other areas of the design process such as ideations and the the process itself. The tools, as I always tried to emphasize, is the least important part of the process, but it's important to have command of them. As a good craftsman, knowing the best tool for each trade will save you a lot of time. The thing is, I miss creating new things and that helped me a lot in terms of productivity. With that in mind I will try to create an image per week for at least one year. Let's see if I can stick to my word. Step 1 In Illustrator I created a version of the Abduzeedo logo with a inner stroke. After that I just created a copy of the logo and moved it down and right to create a hard shadow. Step 2 I used the Blend Tool to create the lines for the highlighted area. The first part was kind of easy, just linear Blend. Step 3 For the edges that are curved it was a bit trickier. The biggest problem was the spacing between lines, so if you try to do it I recommend a lot of tweaking until you get a cool result. Step 4 Here's with both sides done with the Blend Tool. Step 5 Now in Photoshop I copied and pasted the composition in different layers. The idea is to manipulated each one individually. Step 6 For the lines created with the Blend Tool in Illustrator I just added a mask and with the soft brush I made them fade away on the edges. Step 7 Here's both sides once again. The bottom lefft is a bit too sgrong in my opinion. Step 8 With the brush tool I softed a bit more the bottom edged. Conclusion The last thing to do was to add a little noise and dust texture on top of everything. This image took me a few hours but most of the time was tweaking the details. At the end of the day that is what gives the level of refinement that I was trying to accomplish. Download Photoshop File Download Photoshop File

Native Android Prototypes with Android Studio - Introduction

Native Android Prototypes with Android Studio - Introduction

I have been working designing interfaces for the web for over 15 years and for the past couple of years I have seen the switch to native apps being a big shift in the industry. I am a huge fan of the web but it's important to keep up with the industry. The design process also has been evolving and getting close to the Industrial Design process I was taught in school, where prototyping is a crucial part of the process. So in order for me to test my designs I have been relying on different tools and techniques to prototype. From pure Javascript/CSS/HTML5 to Framer I have seen a lot of potential, however for me, especially at work, I felt that using the native tools would give me a much better understanding of how to talk to engineers, see how things really work and if possible, help with the front-end process. So for this tutorial and a new series of tutorials I will show you how to create Android prototypes using Android Studio. I am far from proficient in Java, but I have been self-teaching myself by trial and error and use Google Search for most of my answers. So, I will try to share a bit of what I've learned along this new journey and I hope you can avoid making the same mistakes I made and save some extra time. In the end, the most important thing you will be able to visualize is your prototype running on your phone. Step 1 First thing to do is to download Android Studio. Go to http://developer.android.com/sdk and download your copy of Android Studio. Step 2 After downloading, install the app following the recommended options Step 3 Select the Licences and then select the Accept options. I know this sounds obvious but it took me a bit of time to figure our how that worked, I am just trying to save you some time ;) Step 4 Wait for all components to be downloaded. It might take a little while. Step 5 All set? Now it's time to star our new prototype. Click on Start a new Android Studio project Step 6 Use whatever you want for Application Name. Also select the location of your project in your machine. Step 7 This is an interesting screen. It gives a lot of options: are you creating an app for Phone and Tablet, TV, or Wear? Then you can choose the Minimum SDK. The cool thing is that the tool gives an idea of the average of users with that SDK, in the case of API 19 (KitKat) it's 33.9%. Step 8 For our case, as we are building a prototype, I will use the API 22. If you want to test on you phone, use the API that your phone has. Step 9 Now the tool offers you some options for the type of Activity you want to create. Activity is the same thing as screen. If you think about in terms of HTML, that would be one HTML page. For our first prototype, let's use Blank Activity. Step 10 Now you need to give a name to the Activity. I will use Home. Step 11 This is the UI of Android Studio. It might look a bit overwhelming but we will go through the main things and you will see that it's not that complicated. Step 12 I like the dark theme of the Android Studio, so go the the Android Studio>Preferences>Appearance. Use Darcula for theme. Step 13 So let's go through the UI. The left column, you have the Project files. With the App, then 3 directories: manifests, java, and res. Res is where the layouts and assets will live. The Layout folder is where the layout of your screens will be. In our example, the activity_home.xml. Step 14 In the center of the screen is the visual UI. You can select the components, move them around, delete and do whatever you want. You also have 2 taps for Design and Text. That is pretty much a toggle between two ways to design the UI, via a WYSWYG or code. Step 15 Step 16 If you want to see how your prototype looks, just press the Play button and select the emulator option. Step 17 To change the app name, go to res>values>strings.xml. Change the App name to the name you want to use for your application. I am using Abduzeedo. Step 18 Now let's add some content. The first thing to do is to add a ScrollView. We want our content to scroll so we need to use that component. In Android all components are views. Step 19 To change the size of your scroll view you can go to the property options on the right corner of the screen. There you can see the first 2 options layout:width and layout:height. Click on the right side and select wrap_content for both. Step 20 Select the Relative Layout that was automatic added to your activit and then in the properties scroll to padding and change the all to 0. Step 21 To add an image to your layout the first thing to do is to add it to your project folders. Select the drawable folder and with the right click of your mouse select Reveal in Finder. Then move the any bitmap to that folder. There's one thing to note, the filename should be lowercase. Step 21 Select the ImageView from the component column, move it to your screen. Then in the property view scroll to src and click on the (...) to open the Resources window. Select your image (cover_img). Step 22 Resize your image to the size you want. I am previewing the layout on a Nexus 5, so I change the layout:height to 512dp. If you want your ImageView to be the exact size and aspect ratio of your image, select the Adjust Bounds options. Step 23 Now let's add the title. To do that select the LargeText View. Then move it to your layout. Position it at the bottom of the ImageView. Then make sure that the layout:width is fill parent, and layout:height is wrap_content. For the padding use 16dp. for the textColor use #ffffff, for the fontSize use 32sp (the screenshot is wrong) and for the background get one color from the image. In the next tutorials I will show you how to extract the color from images. Tip. To use rgba colors you have to use the hex values that include alpha. There's a screenshot with some basic values, but Google is your friend to find out other values. Step 24 This is the image and the title text with background color. Step 25 Now let's add another RelativeView and a normalText view in it for our content paragraph. Paste a copy you want for the text and our first layout will be done. Tip. If you want to preview the whole screenview in your WYSWYG view, just make sure that the parent view is a ScrollView. Step 26 Run the emulator to preview your prototype and scroll to see the text. In future tutorials we will get more advanced with some scroll effects as well. Step 27 To replace the launcher icon click with the right click of the mouse on Drawable>New>Image Asset. Step 28 Select the icon you want and the app will generate all sizes you need. Conclusion Run the emulator once again and you will see your prototype with the right icon. Also plug your phone and enable it for USB debug. Then press Play and your phone will be listed in the options for where do you want to run the app. Select the phone and run the app. You will have your first app/prototype.

80s Artwork - Photoshop Tutorials

80s Artwork - Photoshop Tutorials

This weekend I took 30 minutes of my time to watch Kung Fury. What a masterpiece! It's a true homage to the 80s actions movies full of the cliche styles that made that era the most creative and visually rich in my opinion. After watching the movie I had to go back and dust off my Photoshop skills to create something inspired by that. The movie is full of references and of course the computer glowing grid effect which happened to inspire this tutorial. So for this tutorial I will show you how to create an 80s style composition with the classic glowing grid. We will use Photoshop for most of the tutorial and a little bit of Illustrator for the vector part. Step 1 Let's start by creating the grid that we will use in Photoshop. The best way or the easiest at least, for me, is to use Illustrator and the Rectangular Grid Tool Options. Create a grid with 40 dividers for both horizontal and vertical. That's it, the next steps will be all in Photoshop. Step 2 In Photoshop, create a new document. I am using 2880x1800 for the size. Paste the grid in the document and then with layer styles change the color of the grid to white. Step 3 Go to Edit>Transform>Distort. Then just start distorting the grid till you get the effect you want. Step 4 I am pretty much using half of the screen, a little bit less actually. Below you can see my result. Step 5 Select the background layer and then go to Layer>Layer Style>Gradient Overlay. Change the colors for purple to blue and make sure that the Dither option is selected. Step 6 Select the grid layer and group it. Change the Blend Mode of the group to Color Dodge. After that duplicate the grid and first apply a Gaussian Blur (5px). Then for the same layer apply a Layer Style Outer Glow. Use 30px for the Size. As you can see you will have a nice glowing grid. Step 7 Duplicate the group and flip it vertically so you create the top part. Step 8 With the Ellipse Tool create an ellipse filling the center of the screen line the image below. Step 9 Go to FIlter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and apply a 60 pixels radius blur to the ellipse. Step 10 Add a new layer and fill it with black. After that with the Brush Tool create an oval brush and paint with white in the center of the document like the image below. Step 11 Change the Blend Mode of the layer with the white ellipse to Multiply. Step 12 Add a new layer and fill it with white. After that go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Use 8% for the Amount and Gaussian for the distribution. Step 13 Change the Blend Mode to Overlay.You can also add a new layer with a scanline pattern to create an even more retro effect. Conclusion Of course to finish the design we need to add our logo. This time we are using the beautiful SN Neo-Noire Font font by the mighty James White from Signal Noise. The font fits like a glove to this style and as you can see we are pretty much done here. You can create variations with or without the top part. I kind a prefer without it. It is up to you. Now take 30 minutes to watch Kung Fury and also get inspired to play and learn new techniques in Photoshop. Download the Photoshop File Download Photoshop file

Playing with Lines in Photoshop and Illustrator Tutorials

Playing with Lines Photoshop Tutorials

The last tutorial I wrote was back in January, it's been quite a long time and boy I missed it. I have been trying to organize myself to start playing more with not only Photoshop and Illustrator but also Sketch and other tools so I can share some new things with you. It's always a challenge due to my day to day job but it makes me feel so good when I finish something that went from my head to the final design in a very short period of time. Quite refreshing. So this week I will share a tutorial on an image I created inspired by some similar artworks I saw on Pinterest, more precisely, the project call Linea by Marcos Bernardes.. The tools I used were Illustrator for the basic vectors and Photoshop for the final details and shadows. Referencens Step 1 Open Illustrator and create a new document. After that with the Line Segment Tool create 2 lines like the image below. The rectangle size is for a 2880x1800 resolution. Step 2 Select the Blend Tool and create a blend object by tapping on both segments. After that double click on the Blend Tool icon to open the Blend Options dialog box. Change the Spacing to Specified Distance and use 30 pixels for it. Step 3 With the Pen Tool (P) create the shape you want to pop from the lines. I am using the Abduzeedo symbol. Step 4 After creating the shape you want duplicate it 3 or 4 times to make the symbol spread to more lines, like outer stroke. Also you will have to create a shape with the color of the background to hide the lines that go under the symbol. Step 5 After that with the Pen Tool and the Direct Selection Tool make sure to connect the new lines with the ones that they should diverge from. Step 6 Select the points that the lines connect and then change the corner option. I am using 90 pixels for the roundness. Step 7 Change the colors to the ones you prefer. I am using a dark grey and teal color. I like the dark themes, this one heavily inspired by Google Material Design. Step 8 With the Polygonal Lasso Tool select the symbol and create a new layer from it (Layer>New>Layer from Copy). After that go Layer>Layer Style>Drop Shadow. Step 9 For the shadow options I used Multiply for the Blend Mode, 120º angle, 20 pixels Distance, 40 pixels Size and the most important, 25% Noise. The noise is really cool because it adds some nice texture to a rather uniform vector illustration. Step 10 Group the layer and then apply a mask to hide the areas selected below. That way the shadow will give the perception that the lines are going over or popping from the rest of the composition. Conclusion You can also add some vignette and more textures if you want. For me it's pretty much done. I could go over some details that still bother me a little bit like some of the lines in the middle of my symbol. But that is beyond my little thought/practice exercise. I hope that is useful for you and you can play with that on your own ideas. Download Photoshop file Click here to download the Photoshop file

Abduzeedo Material Design - App Navigation

Abduzeedo Material Design - App Navigation

Last weekend I started the process to design the Abduzeedo mobile app and web for Android. The goal is to apply Google's Material Design style to the new app, but in order to do that we have to rethink quite a few things. The first thing we did last week was to get used to the spec, get files, assets and resources ready to start exploring. This past weekend, I spent more time thinking about how the navigation would be and then designing the look of the app. In this post I will walk you through some of the basic concepts I have in my head for the navigation of the app. Navigation One of the apps that I think has a great navigation is Newstand and the Play Store. There are a few things that I like about them: Gestures for navigation Seamless transition for different verticalsl The experience feels natural This model is not new, I remember some of the first iPad apps, was Wired Magazine, if I am not mistaken, used the same style. Actually magazines on tablets still use the same model. Vertical scrolling for the content about that topic and horizontal for different verticals. Some things bother me a little bit: The horizontal navigation limits the interactions for the specific vertical, we wouldn't be able to have another horizontal navigation Discoverability: It gets complicated for users to see all categories, either horizontal or vertical. If users scroll 3 panels to the right, it would take them another 3 screens to expose the navigation. Simple prototype in Keynote Keynote is a great tool for simple motion studies. You can simply create slides and use Magic Move to animate the objects from one slide to the other. Below you can see the simple prototype I put together to see how this idea would look. Based on the blog's stats, we know that users pretty much pass the second pagination. We also know that they don't click on the navigation very often either. The site is pretty much what they see. Because of that I think making the app more browsable will make a big difference. The cost of gesture seems to be much cheaper than the burden on clicks and page requests. The top navigation still bothers me. I would love to have just the content, and not navigation at all. One of the apps that does that really well is Facebook Paper. I like the way they handle the navigation by using real content. There are a few ideas to consider: Expose the navigation when user scrolls, both vertically or horizontally Use the pull to refresh style to expose the navigation Based on simple keynote animations I think a mix of both cases might do the job. The simple wireframes gave me an overview of how the navigation might work. In terms of UX/navigation, the app is quite straightforward and it won't have more than 2 levels of hierarchy. Users see an article teaser and then the full view. The full view might have some related articles, but the idea is that every article details would be a modal, by clicking on related articles, users would leave the modal. By clicking on a different article, users would go back to a modal again. Next week my goal is to prototype this model with HTML and Javascript to test on my phone. Nothing fancy, I just want to see how it feels on hand. After that we can go back to visual and motion design. It's important now to see the big picture, before getting too immersed in the details.

Abduzeedo Material Design

Abduzeedo Material Design

This weekend I started working on an Android mobile version of the site using the Material Design spec. The style-guide is super complete and covers a lot of basic visual design needs like grid system, typography and color palettes. Besides that Google was awesome to provide sticker sheets in Photoshop, Illustrator and Sketch. So for the next couple of weeks I will be exploring some new designs for Abduzeedo and will be sharing with you here. In this first post I will share my first steps, downloading fonts, files and basic layouts. I would love to hear your feedback and also if you want to join the redesign of Abduzeedo please do share and we can definitely apply your design tips and give all the credits to you. Getting started The first thing to do is head over to Google Design (http://google.com/design/) and check out the spec, communities and everything available. After that focus on the spec because there are so many cool things already done for you so you can spend time trying to solve your design problems and improving your product. Typography My idea is to design an Android app, so I will first try to stick with Roboto for the font, but later on I might try to bring back some of our current design which used Varela Rounded. So again, download the font and install it so we can get started. Resources Besides downloading Roboto, make sure you get other resources available on the site as well, including layout templates, sticker sheets and icons. I downloaded the Components sticker sheet for Sketch for my project. Example of the sticker sheet in Sketch. All components I need to start designing my mobile app. References Another important thing is to know where to look for some references. Of course there are much more than just digital references but it's good to see what others have been doing with the Material Design spec. That said, Materialup is a great website with tons of amazing examples from visual to motion design. Designing the app Abduzeedo is a website that is all about images, we started it as a way to share images and other things that inspired us and because we decided to write it in english we were always trying to be short because of the limits of our english skills but also because we knew that there was a universal language commonly understood by all and images do an amazing job of speaking to that. That said for the mobile app, based on stats, we believe there are some things we could explore: Horizontal navigation for different categories (tabs) Full screen images for the featured content like Flipboard Simple yet elegant grid for verticals. Questions we always ask ourselves: Do we need description text besides the title? What metadata do we need to display? Could we not show title at all, just the image? How will we handle ads? Those questions are extremely important for us to set some constraints. Advertising is always the most complicated, at least on desktop, due to the format sizes that usually are fixed and not responsive. For mobile, at least for the first part, I won't bother with ads. I know it's wrong but I want to focus on creating a super compelling visual experience. The first thing I did was to get one layout template. The dark theme looks interesting, but it's quite different from the desktop experience. I won't scratch it off my list but I decided to try a light theme using the tabs navigation. As you can see below, it definitely looks very coherent with our current experience. One version I also explored with the Abduzeedo symbol in the center of the app bar. I know that it's not in the spec, but as I said, I want to explore ways to apply the style but not get limited to it. Another thing that you can see in the mocks, is that I tried to use cards. I am not a fan of cards, but it's important to explore all possibilities. Explorations The navigation with tabs feels good to me, especially in apps like Newstand and Flipboard. There are a couple of issues I encountered: The navigation tends to take a lot of real state. Is there a smarter way to solve that? Facebook Paper does a great job with gesture navigation and pretty much a transparent UI. How discoverable will it be for the users and also how many tabs should the app have? Below you can see some explorations with the Featured screen which would have 1-3 articles using full screen images with big and bold text. Swiping to the left we would have the Recent tabs, which is the current stream of our website. For this session my idea is to have full width content with 8dps space between content inspired by the Inbox. For the vertical areas I explored a grid with just images. The idea sounded good in my head, but the first exploration looked a bit too overwhelming for the users, especially due to the lack of text. It's hard to understand what's going on. These explorations gave me some clear understanding of the direction to follow and that I had to simplify the design even more. Simplifying By removing the navigation the design gets to a level of simplicity that really pleases me. The featured screen really makes the image shine. The grid seems a bit weird, I tried to keep the 72dps left alignment for the title, it works for that screen, but for the Recent screen it was a bit to much, so I moved back to 16dps. To increase contrast, I decided to put the text over the images on a overlay block using a color extracted from the image. The first one you can see has a green color. To make it more subtle I changed the opacity to 70%, that way we can see the photo but still read the text quite well. The logo on the top right works really well, but I have to think about the navigation, that will be a much longer conversation To be continued... This is just the beginning of this process. I will try to keep this going for the next couple of weekends, going through the whole process and ending with dynamic prototypes. As I said, I would love to see you guys trying as well. I am curious to see what you guys would come up with for the Abduzeedo mobile design. So feel free to share with me via comments or via email at abduzeedo@gmail.com. Thanks so much and till next Sunday.

2015 Artwork - Photoshop Tutorials

2015 Artwork - Photoshop Tutorials

Since we started the blog in 2006 I have been creating an artwork to celebrate the new year. It's a way to start the year motivated and challenged. This year, 2015 we will celebrate 9 years on the road, so nothing better than put together the ninth installment of our series. This time I am using just Adobe Illustrator to create a simple and abstract 2015 poster. I will probably try to do that in HTML/CSS just for fun in the next couple of weeks. So I hope you enjoy and Happy New Year! Let's make it great! Step 1 Open Illustrator and create a new document. Start with 2 simple forms, a square and a circle. Step 2 With the Direct Selection Tool (A) delete the right side of the square. Also move the bottom part of the square to end at the top center point of the circle Step 3 Still with the Direct Selection Tool (A), delete the top left segment of the circle. Step 5 Now move the top part of the square to make it a little smaller. The number 5 will be pretty much done. Step 6 Create the number one using the Pen Tool (P) Step 7 Create a square to use as a frame/background for our logo. Step 8 As you could see in the previous step, I was playing with rounded corners for the numbers, however I think it's better to keep the edges sharp. So I moved back to the simple version. Step 9 Color selections. Here's the palette I decided to use. It's a pastels/80s style. Step 10 Time to apply the colors. The first thing to do is to make the strokes bigger and change them to white. Then start applying the colors from the color palette. Step 11 Create a rectangle and duplicate it 4 times to create a stripe effect. After that use the colors from the color palette in order, from the lighter at the top and darker at the bottom. Step 12 Select the 15 object and group it. After that copy it and paste it on top of the other objects. Select the top object and the color stripes (make sure they are grouped). Then press Command + 7 or Object>Clipping Mask>Make. Step 12 Now make sure that the background rectangle clips the numbers as well. Conclusion For the text I added a line per stripe to say "Welcome 2015 - Let's make it Great - ABDZ - Since 2006" and the design is done. It was a simple idea that I wanted to put together to celebrate the 9th year of Abduzeedo online. I hope you like it and happy 2015 to all.

ABDZ Constellation - Photoshop Tutorials

ABDZ Constellation - Photoshop Tutorials

This weekend I went to the movies to watch Interstellar in IMAX 70mm. This movie was for me the most anticipated one this year and I left the theater in awe. The movie is visually stunning and as expected from Nolan, a mind-bending experience in terms of storytelling. Still blown away, I decided to create an image in Photoshop inspired by my experience watching this incredible film. So in this little tutorial or case study, I will walk you through my process from Illustrator to Photoshop. I won't provide a lot of details because I think it's better for you to try and not follow instruction, but I think you can have a good idea of how the end result was achieved. Step 1 In Illustrator, create a new document and then with the Polygon Tool create a polygon with more than 8 sides. Step 2 With the Line Segment Tool start creating lines and connecting them to create the polygonal effect we want to achieve. Step 3 Once you finish the full sphere, delete some areas in the center like the image below. After that with the Ellipse Tool, create a circle for each intersection of lines. Step 4 I repated the same process for the Abduzeedo symbol. Step 5 In Photoshop, create a black circle in the center of the document. Step 6 Import the design you created in Illustrator to Photoshop. Step 7 To add stars in the background, an easy techinque is to create a new layer, fill it with black and then go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Use around 10% for the amount. Then go to Image>Adjustments>Levels. Adjust the black and the white leves until you have just a few white dots. Step 8 Add the text you would like to add to your design. I am using a quote from the Interstellar movie. Step 9 Using Google Image search I searched for a light leak image. Then with the Adjustments>Hue and Saturation I changed the colors to a cool, blue/purple palette. After that change the Blend Mode to Linear Dodge (add). That will make the image only visible over the dark areas of the composition and invisible over white. Conclusion The process behind this image is quite simple and it was something I used to do a lot in the beginning of the blog, just playing with Blend Modes and the space theme. With vectors and the white area the composition got simpler and more refined. It would work really well for a poster as well. Now it's up to you to come up with your own design, but first, got to the movies to watch Interstellar and get some inspiration.

ABDZ Paper - Photoshop Tutorials

ABDZ Paper - Photoshop Tutorials

I've recently written about Google's newly launched visual design language called Material Design. The goal of this new design is to create a visual language that synthesizes classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science. The idea is to create a UI that has the best of both worlds, digital and physical. Some of the imagery they presented in the spec share some common characteristics, like depth, paper style effects and vibrant colors. I decided to take a pass and try to create an image inspired by the Material Design styleguide. So in this tutorial I will show you how to create a simple composition in Photoshop inspired by the Material Design styleguide. The whole process will take over one hour or even more if you get into the details. Step 1 Open Photoshop and create a new document. I am using 2880x1800 pixels, the resolution of my Macbook Pro. Step 2 With the Rectangle Tool (U) create a rectangle and rotate it. For the colors I am using the Material Design color palette called Blue Grey (http://www.google.com/design/spec/style/color.html#color-ui-color-palet…). The colors I will use will come from the palette, the only different one will be the accent color. //--> Step 3 Again with the Rectangle Tool (U) add another rectangle and rotate it again to create the outer part of the A. Step 3 Duplicate the rectangle from the previous step and move it a little bit to the right to create a second pane for the left part of the A. Step 4 Do the same for the right part, but this time use pink for the accent color. Step 5 Keep adding rectangles until you have the form you like. Remember to keep the idea of pieces of paper stacked. Step 6 For the textures I used to different techinques. The first one is by using images and clip masking. The other one is by using patterns and layer styles. For this step we will use clip masking. Search for paper textures you want to use and paste in the document. Step 7 Change the Blend Mode to Color Burn and move the order of the layers. Step 8 For the Layer Styles, I used Bevel and Emboss, Pattern Overlay and Drop Shadow. Use the values below to see how I did. The biggest change for the other layers will be the Drop Shadow values. Step 9 Here's the first sheet of paper with the effects. Step 10 Repeat the same process for the other sheets of paper. The main difference will be the drop shadow values. Conclusion After all these steps you will end up with something similar to the image below. It's important to play with some values for shadow, bevel and also blend modes depending on the colors you choose. The palette I chose is not super vibrant so it's a bit different than if I used a more vibrant and saturated tone. The shadows also make a huge difference. Some will have to be more subtle while one or two will be long and strong. Those details will create the depth you want for the composition. Now it's up to you. I will keep playing with mine trying to improve the realism of the shadows and edges of the paper. I hope you have fun creating your own version. I also would like to thank Shutterstock for some of the textures I used in this tutorial.

Vector Polygonal Background - Illustrator Tutorials

Vector Polygonal Background - Illustrator Tutorials

A couple of weeks ago I posted an image with a polygonal background that I discovered on the Pattern Library website and got some requests to recreate so herein lies my attempt. So in this tutorial I will show you how to create a vector polygonal pattern using Illustrator and the Pattern make feature. The process is quite simple but there are some details that are very important to make sure your pattern is tileable. Step 1 Open Illustrator and create a new document. With the Rectangle Tool create a square like the image below. Step 2 Duplicate the square by holding Option+Shift. Make sure they snap with no space between them. //--> Step 3 Create a grid by repeating the step 2 process. Step 4 With the Direct Selection Tool (A) select the top and bottom points on the same column. Them move them to any direction. It's very important to do that for these points because that will make sure that the illustration will be tillable. Step 5 Here's the outside points that will connect when you create the pattern. Step 6 For the internal points you can do whatever you want. If you want smooth polygons don't move them too much. Also if you want to add more square to your grid that will allow you to give more details to your background. Step 7 Add some colors, I used greyscale because I can change the hues in Photoshop later on. Step 8 Select polygons that have the same color and duplicate them in place. Then go to Window>Swatch Libraries>Patterns>Basic_Graphics_Lines. Use one of the horizontal lines presets. Step 9 Select the image you created and go to Object>Expand. After that group the shapes and go to Object>Pattern>Make. Select Size Tile to Art and Move Tile with Art. After that change the H and V spacing until you have no space between the tiles. Step 10 Click done and you will have a nice poliygonal pattern to play with. Step 11 In Photoshop, create a new document. I am using 2880x1800 pixels. Copy a big rectangle with the pattern in Illustrator and paste it in Photoshop. Step 12 Add a new layer on top and change the color. After that change the Blend Mode to Overlay. You can try as many colors you want by doing that. You can also play with the Levels to reduce the contrast . Conclusion Add your logo and you are good to go. The process is quite simple, it's just about paying attention to the details and you will have a nice wallpaper for your laptop or new iPhone ;) Download Illustrator File Download the Illustrator file used for this tutorial

Playing with Ligatures - Photoshop Tutorials

Playing with Ligatures - Photoshop Tutorials

Last week I posted a couple articles on typography, more precisely ligatures, and despite the fact I have never been a huge fan of this style it is extremely popular. With that in mind I decided to practice and learn more about it. For this first image, I've created a simple composition in Illustrator using a popular quote. The process is quite simple, I just played with text sizes and tried to connect the ligatures albeit in different rows. So for this post I will walk you through my process very briefly though I must admit it took me quite some time to achieve a work that satisfied. Step 1 Create a new document in Illustrator and with the Horizontal Type Tool add the text you want to use for the composition. I am using a quote that was said to be Mark Twain's but there are controversies. The font I am using is PF Champion Script and it can be purchased at https://www.myfonts.com/fonts/parachute/pf-champion-script-pro/ Step 2 Reorganize the words and try to connect them by the ligatures. //--> Step 3 The font comes with fantastic glyphs and they are perfect to fill some areas between words. Step 4 For the "The" I used to glypch, one connected with the "T" and the other with the "e". Step 5 Here's the final text composition. Step 6 Now let's start adding some subtle shadows. I used this effect for letters that have crossing segments and any looping form. Step 7 The final colors I used were #242529 for the background and #D4EA61 for the text. Conclusion The final composition is fairly simple, the goal is to drive all the attention to the text and ligatures. I also added the Abduzeedo logo using #FF4240 to create some contrast. Besides that I also created another version with a super cool pattern from The Pattenr Library titled Shattered Island (http://thepatternlibrary.com/#shattered-island). You can try different variations, but now it's up to you, meanwhile I will keep playing and trying to refine my ligature skills.

Illuminating Motherboard - Photoshop Tutorials

Illuminating Motherboard - Photoshop Tutorials

For this week's tutorial I will extend the Chrome Effect in Photoshop tutorial and add a super cool light effect simulation featuring a fan hole in a computer. We will use some images and Photoshop's layer styles for the whole tutorial. The process is quite straightforward but it is a little time consuming, roughly one hour to create your own image. Step 1 Open Photoshop and create a new document, as usual I am using 2880x1800 pixels for the dimensions so I can use it as a desktop wallpaper. Using the Paint Bucket Tool, fill the bakcground with #201E1E for the color. Step 2 Add a new layer and fill with with black. After that go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Use 15% for the Amount, Uniform for the Distribution and Monochromatic. This is pretty much the same process we did to create the plastic texture in our previous tutorials. //--> Step 3 Duplicate the noise layer and then just flip it horizontally. After that group the 2 layers and apply a layer style for the group. Go to Layer>Layer Style>Gradient Overlay. Use Radial from mid grey to dark grey. Step 4 For the internal part of our speaker or computer search on Google Images for some videocards, they usually are super cool in terms of design. I also used an image with light effect I did a lont time ago for the Abduzeedo Book. You can use anything you want for the light effect. Merge both images and then go to Image>Image Adjustments>Hue/Saturation. Select Colorize with 40 for Hue, 50 for Saturation and -13 for Lightness. Step 5 Time to mask everything. For my design I used a vector I found online with the circles like a round phone speaker. Create a marquee selection of the shape and mask the internals. Step 6 This is what you will have after the masking. Step 7 With the shape you used to create the mask go to Layer>Layer Style>Blending Mode. Change the Fill Opacity to 0. Select Bevel & Emboss and then use the values below, after that select Contour and use 56% for the Range. In the end duplicate this layer and change the opacity to 10%. Step 8 Add a new layer on top of the other layers and fill it with black. With the Brush Tool (B) paint a circle with a dark grey like the image below. After that change the Blend Mode to Color Dodge. Step 9 Go to Layer>New Layer Style>Photo Filter. Use Warming Filter at 30% Density. Step 10 Select all layers and duplicate them. Merge the new layers and with the new layer selected go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Use 15 pixels for the Radius. Change the Blend Mode to Screen at 70% Opacity. Conclusion Now to finish the design just add your logo with the same nice chrome effect we created in our previous tutorial, Chrome Effect in Photoshop and your design will be done. Now it's up to you to come up with your own. I hope you have fun. Download Photoshop File Download the Photoshop file used for this tutorial