When looking at a website or interface, there are few things more annoying than half pixels. The resulting blurred edges make your potentially great product look hastily designed, uncared for and unfinished. Admittedly, if you are working with company logos, especially type-based ones, half pixels are a fairly regular occurrence and potentially frustrating to deal with. When it comes to icons, buttons or any other interface elements however there are no excuses. So, today I thought I’d share some tips on Pixel Hinting - which very simply means moving your vector points so that they fall on the pixel grid. Dealing with type logos If you are working with a non-vector logo, you’re going to have to redraw it to be able to get the best, pixel-perfect results. For this example however, we already have a vector ready to go in Photoshop. Download example.psd As with any vector adjustment work, your best friends are going to be the Path and Direct Selection Tools as well as 3200% zoom. The actual process for doing this is very simple but depending on the size of the vector, it can get quite time consuming. Tip: When using the Selection Tools, CMD+Click to quickly switch between the two. Getting set up Make sure that the “Snap Vector Tools and Transforms to Pixel Grid” option is deselected in your Photoshop preferences (Cmd+K). This will allow us to move our vector point in increments rather than 1px at a time. Let’s get started As this is a fairly repetitive process, we’re just going to fix the “R” here. It doesn’t have very good edges at the moment so should make for a good example. You will then be able to apply what you’ve learnt to the rest of the shapes. Here is the before and after of our example logo. As you can see, when we’re done pixel-hinting it we’ll have a much crisper, better looking shape. Now let’s get started. This is the “R” zoomed up to 3200%. I like to begin at the top of a shape and work down. As you can see, the top part isn’t too bad here. We’ll just nudge it up a little. Make sure you select all of the appropriate anchor points with the Direct Selection Tool. Next we’ll fix the left side. Start by nudging in the top two anchor points then the second two out. The bottom part isn’t too complicated either, just make sure you’re selecting the correct anchor points. Finish up the outer part of the shape by bringing the last few points. Now for the inner section. Nudge in the left anchor points then nudge out the right ones. And we’re done! As you can see, it’s a very simple process that produces good results. Not all shapes are as straight forward as this one though. There are times when you might have to compromise and use a half pixel to keep the recognisable features of the shape intact but as a general rule, pixel hint! Dealing with icons Using icon sets is fine for quick mockups, but for final releases you should always make custom icons. I don’t pixel hint in quick mockups because they serve only to get your ideas out there and your time can be much better spent elsewhere. However, when the time comes to do your final icons here are a couple of tips: Setup: I like to do icons in a separate PSD. Start by setting your background to #ffffff if it isn’t already and your vector colour to #000000. Black on white is the easiest way to spot those half pixels. Know your dimensions: If your icons are going to be displayed at 32x32, there’s no point in making them at 46x46 or any other dimensions. Setup some guides in your new PSD and design for the size they’re going to be displayed at. I hope you found this article helpful, and be sure to let me know on [Twitter](http://twitter.com/ElliotEKJ) if there are any other Photoshop topics you’d like me to cover in future posts The original version of this article was published on the Realmac Software blog. Guest Author Elliot Jackson (http://twitter.com/ElliotEKJ) is a designer at Realmac Software, a small, award-winning independent iOS and OS X development studio behind Clear, Ember and Rapidweaver
This weekend I was waiting for my flight sitting at the airport with no internet and decided to create a new wallpaper for Abduzeedo. I started in Photoshop, but then I decided to play a little bit with Pixelmator. After 1 hour and lots of experimenting the final result looked really nice and that's what I want to share with you in this tutorial. So in this tutorial I will show you how to create an abstract image using Pixelmator. The process is super simple and it won't take more than 30 minutes for you to achieve the same result. Step 1 Open Pixelmator and create a new document, I am using 2880x1800 pixels for the dimensions. Step 2 Fill the background layer with black, and then add a new layer. Fill it with black as well and the go to the Effects Panel and select Light Leaks. Step 3 Select Nebula for the Light Leak. Step 4 Increase the size of the effect by moving the controllers Step 5 Back to the Effects panel, select the Tiles option. Then select Bug Eye. Move the center point up a little bit. You can also play with the values to change the preset the way you think will look better. Conclusion This technique is super simple but you can put together a really nice wallpaper, it works really well with photos and others colorful background colors. Now it's up to you, just experiment and have fun.
We all know that hyperrealist icons are over, the new trend now is flat and either hard shadows or super soft and subtle ones. You can also try to mix both styles, there are a lot of people actually doing that and the results are quite beautiful. With that in mind I decided to give it a try in Illustrator and recreate this effect. So in this tutorial I will show you how to create a simple soft shadow effect uing the Blend Tool in Illustrator. We will also use the 3D features to create some sublte 3D effects. Step 1 Open Illustrator and create a new document. Select the logo or symbol you want to apply the effect. I am using the Abduzeedo symbol. Step 2 Select the black outer circle and then go to Effect>3D>Extrude & Bevel. Use Front of the Position, 50pt for the Extrude & Bevel, 20pt for the Height and classic for the Bevel type. Also select the inner bevel option. For the Lighting use the values in the image below. Step 3 Repeat the same process for the symbol. You will have to change some values depending on the complexity of the symbol you will be using. Step 4 To create the shadows we will use the Blend Tool (W). So copy the symbol and paste in the same place. After that duplicate the symbol and move it down and left. Change the opacity of the symbols, one to 50% and the other one to 0%. Also use multiply for the transparency mode. Click on both symbols with the Blend Tool to create the blend. Change the Specified Distance to 3pt. Step 5 Repeat the same thing to other elements. Conclusion Create a rectangle to use as a background, then create another soft shadow using the Blend Tool again. Your design will look like the image below. The whole process is quite simple but the result is quite elegant and if you want to be reproduce this effect I believe Illustrator might be the best tool for that. Now it's up to you, time to have some fun! Download Illustrator file
October is Halloween's month and for this week's case study we will feature not one but three inspiring digital artworks by Wojciech Magierski that will definitely give you some inspiration and references for your Halloween design. Wojciech Magierski an illustrator and digital artist with a degree from Cracow Academy in Applied Graphics. Born in 1983, Magierski lives and works in Cracow (Poland). His main focus is on digital illustrations, photo manipulation and broadly defined “design”. With 7 years experience in the industry, Magierski brings a unique style and exceptional techniques and has been appreciated by various international graphic magazines. His designs and illustrations were published on front pages of UK Advanced Photoshop Magazine, Computer Arts Magazine and Practical Photoshop Magazine in Poland. AWAKE This image was created for slashthree NEW ERA BOOK, presented at OFFF Festival in Barcelona. Freed to kill This is the first illustration made for Goverdose Collective from Poland. The theme of the artpack was "I kill you". Gateway to hell This is the second illustration made for Goverdose Collective from Poland. The theme of the artpack was "I kill you". For more information visit http://www.magierski.pl/
Last week we posted about some new trends in icon design and illustration. Today after spending hours watching Breaking Bad, I started to watch it a couple of weeks ago and now I am on season 5 already - I decided to create an illustration for a desktop wallpaper for my laptop and of course share with you the process in Illustrator. So in this case study/tutorial I will show you how to create an illustration inspired by Breaking Bad. Step 1 Start with the basic shapes and outlines. Use the Stylize>Round Corners to create the rounded shapes for doors, windows and the RV itself. Step 2 Once you have the basic shapes, make the outlines of the RV much thicker than the rest. Also play with different strok weights. Step 3 Keep adding more details. Step 4 Time to add some colors. Let's add the basic stripes first. Also the wheels and the bullet holes in the door. Step 5 Use a beige color for the RV. Step 6 Use the Blend Tool to create the metal texture of the RV. Step 7 Here's the basic vector. Conclusion Just add a nice blue for the background and the logo to finish this simple piece. There's nothing new but it's nice to play with Illustrator after having fun watching Breaking Bad. Download the Illustrator files Download the vector file used for this tutorial
It has been quite a long time I've been thinking about creating a design with those very realistic shadows. This weekend I decided to give it a try. I started to think about what would be the best way, manually recreating that would be too much work. So I decided to try the 3D capabilities of Photoshop. It turned out to be the easiest and quickest way. The result was also very good. So in this tutorial I will show you how to create a design with beautiful and dramatic shadows using the 3D in Photoshop CC. The process is very straightforward and it will take you less than 1 hour to achieve the same result. Step 1 Open Photoshop and create a new document, I used 2880x1800 pixels for the size. After that add some letters or the text you want to apply the shadow. I used "ABDZ" using Futura Medium for the font. Step 2 Go to 3D>New 3D Extrusion from Selected Layer. Then select the 3D layer. In the 3D panel select the Extrusion layer and then start editing the properties. Step 3 For the Extrusion Depth use 300. Also Rotate the object so you can use the Top view. Step 4 For the Cap, use 100% Width with Contour and 45º for the Angle. For the Bevel use 45º too. Step 5 Select the Infinite Light and rotate it a little bit. In the Properties, use 1000 for the Intensity and 75% for the Softness. Then go to 3D>Render. Step 6 After a few minutes this would be the result you will get. If you are not happy with the results, change the extrusion and the light source. Also, make sure that the object is right on the floor. Step 7 Add a layer underneath all the other layers and fill it with a Pattern. I used one from Subtlepatterns.com Step 8 Add some more elements just to fill the canvas and to create a nice composition. Step 9 Import a paper texture. I used an old paper texture that I found on Google Images. Step 10 Change the blending mode of the texture to Lighten at 50%. Conclusion Select all layers and then merge them into one. Change the Blend Mode of the merged layer to Multiply and your composition will be done. Photoshop CC has improved the 3D features quite a bit and it's way faster to experiment, especially if you want to create this type of effect. Now it's up to you, have fun! Download Photoshop File Download the Photoshop file used for this tutorial
I am huge fan of pixel art, I even dabbled with the form in 2004, however after my studio got robbed, I lost my backup disks including my pixel work and I've never tried it again. As of late, I've been following the work of Alex Griendling and some of his amazing pixel arts. Inspired by that I decided to give it a try though I streamlined the process a little bit just to make my life a bit easier in Illustrator. So in this tutorial I will show you how to create a nice pixel art from an existing photo, in my case, the great Mohammed Ali. We will use Illustrator for most of the tutorial and I have to say, the whole process will take quite a few hours so be sure to find your patience. Step 1 The first step is to find the image that you want to pixelate. I am using one from Neil Leifer of Muhammad Ali, you can find it at http://abduzeedo.com/inspiring-photography-muhammad-ali-neil-leifer Step 2 There are lots of ways to pixelate a bitmap. It's nice but it's not scaleable as a vector. One of my favorite tools for that is Pixelmator. So I open the image in Pixelmator and then using the Pixelate tool, I used 20px for the scale. That means that each pixel will be 20px; Step 3 Open the image in Illustrator and now it's time to recreate the image in vector. The first thing to do is to create the basic pixel, in my case a 20x20 square. Duplicate the square to create the grid then. Step 4 With the Blend Tool, use 20pt for the Specified Distance to start creating the rows. Step 5 After that start duplicating the rows. Once you have a grid you can then just picl the colors using the Eyedropper Tool (I); Step 6 Now go to Illustrator's preferences and change the Guids&Grid preferences to show a gridline every 20pt, and 1 Subdivision. Step 7 Here's an example of the beginning of the illustration with the grid visible. Step 8 After an arduous and time consuming task, you will have a beautiful vector object, ready to do whatever you want. Conclusion After editing and adjusting you can create your own layout using the pixel art. I am a huge fan of the style and love the work of some people do with it, however I am not that talented and need to use a tool to pixelate for me first. The result is really cool, but the time necessary to achieve it is quite long.
Last weekend I was playing in Illustrator trying to create a simple wallpaper to use on my phone and tablet. I love geometric patterns, but I hadn't done anything like that in a while. So, I started playing with some ideas inspired by Andy Gilmore. It's really nice to see how the Pattern Tool in Illustrator facilitates the process of creating patterns these days. So in this tutorial I will show how to create a simple pattern in Illustrator. The process is pretty straightforward, but I believe it will be really useful when you need to create vector patterns for your projects. Step 1 Create a new document in Illustrator and then with the Rectangle Tool (M) create a square. Step 2 Rotate the square 45 degrees. Step 3 Delete the bottom part in order to create a triangle. Step 4 Duplicate the triangle and flip it vertically, align them so they are on top of each other. After that selecte the 2 triangles, copy and paste them in place. Rotate the copies so you create a square again with different colors for each triangle. Step 5 Create a set of squares rotating them so the colors of the triangles are on different places. You can make 2 or 3 rows. Step 6 Select the set you created on the previous step and go to Object>Pattern>Make. Add a name for your pattern and play with the options. After that you will have a new pattern in your Swatches pallet. Step 7 Create a new artboard. I am using 2880x1800 pixels for a desktop wallpaper. After that select the pattern you created in the previous step. Step 8 Add a new rectangle using a dark blue (#294156) for the color. Step 9 Change the Transparency mode to Color Burn at 40%. Step 10 Duplicate the rectangle to make the color a bit more intense. Step 11 Duplicate the rectangle again and this time use a green (#3D7F39) for the color. Step 12 Create a line crossing the artboard. Use white for the stroke color. Step 13 Move the line to the left, make sure it align with the bottom square, then duplicate the line and align it with the top right square. After that with the Blend Tool, select both lines and try to find the exact number of steps to match your pattern. Step 14 Repeate the same steps to create more lines matching the pattern. Conclusion Add the logo in the center of your artboard using a circle to break the pattern flow a little bit. After that your wallpaper will be done. I did that last weekend and I have been using this wallpaper on my computers and tablets since then. I really like the color and the flow, however you can try a version without the white lines if you want it something more subtle. Download Illustrator file Download the Illustrator file used for this tutorial
It's been quite a long time since the last time I posted a Pixelmator tutorial. I've been using Pixelmator more and more for my daily blog activities like simple and fast image editing. The tool is so fast and with the new version you will be able to do pretty much anything you want. I've been also experimenting with the tool and having a lot of fun. Today I want to share one of these experiments. So in this tutorial I will show you how to create a simple artwork mixing typography and images. Step 1 Open Pixelmator and create a new document. I am using the A4 preset. Step 2 With the Type Tool (T), add one layer with a very big P and another layer with a much smaller text "ixelmator". The font I am using is the Myriad Pro. Step 3 Type to import a image to use for our photo montage. The one I am using is courtesy of Shutterstock and it's titled "Cliche tree on hill with beautiful blue sky background in black and white" by Matt Gibson. Step 4 Create a marquee selection using the big P then mask the image so you have the P and the tree blended. Step 5 With the Brush Tool (B) start refining the edges so the branches are not just the mask cutout. It's important to keep the shape of the P visible, so be very careful on this step. Step 6 Make the ground part of the image visible. Keep using the Brush Tool to edit the mask. Step 7 Make the trunk of the tree a little bit wider. Step 8 Make half of the page black and move the composition up. Also add some more text o finish the composition. Conclusion This is a little tutorial showing how to play with masks and text in Pixelmator to create a sort of double exposure effect in a way. The whole process is pretty starightfoward and you won't take more than 45 minutes to do an effect like that. Now it's up to you :) Download Pixelmator file Download the Pixelmator file used for this tutorial.
From the mighty folks from Greyscalegorilla, they are bringing you a fun, educational, beautiful tutorial series showing you the basics and a broad introduction to Cinema 4D. And it's FREE! Either you're a beginner or a professional, having a creative workflow is a must in our industry. Greyscalegorilla will take you through Animation, Dynamics, Intro, Lighting and more! Don't wait up and start learning now! In Greyscalegorilla's Words If you are an artist or a Motion Designer, it’s probably time you get more familiar with 3D if you haven’t already. Clients and employers expect more than just 2D animation skills. And, for artists and Motion Designers Cinema 4D is quickly becoming the standard for 3D software that is made with creative people in mind. About Greyscalegorilla Greyscalegorilla is an active community and resource for training and tools for creative types. We want to make learning more accessible and effective by creating easy-to-follow tutorials and training that show you way more than just what buttons to push. We also work to develop tools to streamline your creative workflow and to help remove tedious and repetitive tasks so you can spend time making great work. Find out more about Greyscalegorilla via their website at Greyscalegorilla.com All Rights from Greyscalegorilla All Rights from Greyscalegorilla All Rights from Greyscalegorilla So, with all this in mind, we created a full Cinema 4D training series for anyone just getting started with Cinema 4D or for someone that has been only focusing on one aspect of the program and want’s a more well rounded education. Chris Schmidt delivers high-quality education that stem from his over 10 years of professional Cinema 4D training experience. He focuses on not only teaching you how to do things, but also WHY you are learning it so you can apply it to your projects later. All Rights from Greyscalegorilla All Rights from Greyscalegorilla One of the best ways to learn any piece of software is to use it in a real project. So, after the basic intro training series, watch our full project tutorial series to make a fully animated scene in Cinema 4D using all your new skills including mograph, animation, modeling, lighting, Dynamics and Rendering. All Rights from Greyscalegorilla All Rights from Greyscalegorilla All Rights from Greyscalegorilla Links More info about Greyscalegorilla: http://greyscalegorilla.com/blog Greyscalegorilla Store: http://greyscalegorilla.com/blog/store Like Greyscalegorilla on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/greyscalegorilla Follow Nick Vegas on Twitter: https://twitter.com/nickvegas Follow Chris Schmidt on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChrisSchmidt3D
It's been quite a long time since I played with water textures. I was checking some amazing artworks on Behance and Pinterest when I saw some examples that really inspired me to try something and learn a little bit more about Photoshop and the Displace filter. So for this tutorial I will show you how to create a really cool effect with water texture and the displace filter. Step 1 Open Photoshop and create a new document. I am using 2880x1800 pixels. After that fill the background layer with black. Step 2 We will need a nice photo of water and some ripples or waves. The one I am using is courtesy of Shutterstock, titled An image of a beautiful water background by Markus Gann. After that change the opacity of this layer to 60%. Step 3 Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Hue and Saturation. Change the Hue to 0, the Saturation to -71 and the Lightness to 0. Step 4 Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Levels. Use 0, 0.5 and 255 for the inputs. Step 5 Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Brightness and Contrast. Use 0 for Brightness and -35 for Contrast. Step 6 Add a new layer on top of all other layers, including the adjustment ones. Fill this layer with black and change the Blend Mode to Multiply. With the Brush Tool (B) use a very soft brush and white for the color to paint in the center of the canvas The idea is to create a nice vignette effect. After that, save this document with the name Displace.psd. Step 7 Add your logo to the design. Step 8 With the layer of the logo selected go to FIlter>Distort>Displace. Use the values below. After that use the Displace.psd file you saved in step 6. Step 9 This is the result you will have so far. The values might vary depending on the image you are using for the Displace filter. So try some variations until you get a result that you are happy about. Step 10 Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Use 3 pixels for the Radius. You can also apply a Tilt-Shift blur after this to make the edges blurred. Step 11 Add a mask to the symbol and then with the Brush Tool (B) and a very soft brush with black, start painting over the edges of the symbol, top and down. The idea is make those parts darker as they are underwater. Conclusion The last thing to do is just duplicate the original water image and move the order so it will be on top of all other layers, then change the Blend Mode to Overlay and you will be good to go. The whole process is quite simple but the end result is simply beautiful. Now you can try yourself. Download Photoshop file Download the Photoshop file used for this tutorial
Back from my first visit to Portland, Oregon I got really inspired by the city, especially the rugged Pacific Northwest landscape, the grey colors of the sky, the Willamette River running right through town and the people that make the city unique. The first thing I was motivated to do upon my return was to create something inspired by Mark Weaver's work starting with a beautiful photo as the background and some less saturated tones. I have never created anything of this nature so it was a great opportunity for me to learn and share in a Photoshop tutorial. So in this tutorial I will walk you through the process behind my Inspired By Oregon artwork. Step 1 Open Photoshop and create a new document I am using 2880x1800, so I can use as my desktop wallpaper. After that it's time to find a photo for your background. I am using one from Shutterstock titled "Columbia River Gorge in northwestern Oregon showing the Vista" by Dan Thornberg. Step 2 Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Hue and Saturation. Change the Hue to 54, Saturation to 12 and Lightness at 16. Also select Colorize. Remember that these values might change depending on the image you will be using. Step 3 Select a circle in the middle of the screen and then paint with black on the mask layer of the adjustment layer to make the circle area have the original colors. Step 4 Add a new layer on top of the others and paint it with black. After that with the Brush Tool (B) and a very soft brush, paint with white in the center. Try to achieve something like the image below. Step 5 Change the Blend Mode to Multiply to create a nice vignette effect. Step 6 Try to find a nice light leak effect online. The one I am using is from an old tutorial and I created it using Pixelmator. Step 7 Delete the circle area used for the mask during the step 3 and delete the circle in the middle of the screen. Step 8 Change the Blend Mode to Linear Dodge at 90%. Step 9 Duplicate all layers and then merge all new layers into one. You can do that by clicking Command+Alt+Shift+E. After that go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Use 10 for the radius. Change the Blend Mode to Overlay at 40% opacity. Step 10 Create a black circle in the area the photo was masked. Use Multiply at 50%. Also hide the Light Leak layer. Step 11 Add your logo, in my case I added the "A" and then "Oregon • Summer 2013". Step 12 Select the background photo and go to FIlter>Blur>Tilt-Shift. Move the dashed lines up and down a little bit to make the zoom less strong in the center. Conclusion You can add some details like I've seen some designs out there using it. You can also make the light leak visible and reduce the opacity to keep the design a little bit more colorful. The idea for me was more about trying to learn how to create an artwork like that, especially because I think it captures the Oregon feeling, from the little I saw during this past few days. I hope you have fun playing with this style, it works really well especially for posters. Have fun! Download Photoshop file Click here to download the Photoshop file used for this tutorial
Today we're going to show a interesting case study from our buddy Vigan Tafili aka. Nagivity. It's a really beautiful digital art concept that I hope you guys like it. Here's more about Vigan in his own words: Hi! I am Vigan Tafili aka nagiViTy, A 18 years old boy, born and raised in Peja, a small city in the newest country in Europe - Kosovo. Kosovo, is quite a small country, but with a huge trunk of ancient tradition in the culture of art expression; and if I might say, with a high number of artistic talents. My first contact with computer arts was on a young age. I started like a photographer continued as photo editor, then finally I became a digital artist, what I am today. You can see more from Vigan on the following links: Behance Facebook Twitter Dribbble Process The concept of this artwork is based on the very intriguing concept of humans, the birds freedom. Freedom, a big desire of people, especially on a man ruled society, women, being opressed, they always try to reach for freedom and equality. This have pushed me to create a good art piece and at the same time give a message to support this cause more than we do. Some inspiring verses that guided me to this concept: "I wanna clap a little louder than before, I wanna sing a little louder higher than before, I wanna jump higher than before, I wanna shout a little louder than before." I was thinking to share some of my tips and tricks with others. I wanted to show a little piece of my work by making an artwork without croping the body model by using only the 'Patch Tool' , 'Brush Tool' and some effects. Stock Images: Step 1: Upload the stock image that you will use, then duplicate and use the'Patch Tool' to remove the laces and hairs. Step 2: After using the 'Patch Tool' let's repair that erased parts by creating a new layer and painting them like i did. Step 3: In order to make a appealing background, I'm using a Mountains stock image. You need to put the image layer under the image that you want in front and so you should change the layer blending mode from Normal to Color Burn. Create a vector mask and remove some parts to make the blending smoother. Step 4: Put the same image on the project, change the blending mode from Normal to Color Burn and low the layer opacity to 31%. Them create a new vector mask and blend the image using the brush tool on the mask. Step 5: I have found a great peacock image and I used it as a female hair. Step 6: After positioning it, create a vector mask and with a basic brush, mask it by removing parts that we don't need. Afterwards, duplicate the layer and change the blending mode to Overlay and on the mask layer keep only the corner part of the peacock blend. Step 7: Create a new layer and rename it Blue, with the color #003e82 paint the girl's t-shirt, the tape, some skin parts and some parts of the mountains. Then change the blending mode from Normal to Color and create a new layer to paint the face by removing the eye of the peacock and draw some hair. Step 8: On this project I wanted to experiment with some new tricks, I'm using the Morning Mist a popular image on the internet. Place the image, and change the blending mode from Normal to Exclusion, then create vector mask and mask it with a brush, remove only the part that we won't use. Step 9: Get the snowflake image and place it, change the blending mode from Normal to Screen and change the Opacity to 40%. Then create a vector mask, invert it and paint with white color by using the basic brush only in the parts we want to keep. Step 10: Create a new layer and add some clouds with brushes using white color and soft opacity of the brush on the snowflake. Paint the left backgound with #cbd3d6 color by using the brush with soft opacity. Step 11: Create new layer and get some nice brushes and play with them make a flow effect on the girl and the snowflakes, then make a new layer fill with black color go to Filter/ Render. Step 12: Create new layer and do the shortcuts Shift + F5, at content use 50% Gray, change the blending mode to Overlay. Then by using the Dodge tool make the piece more brighter and made the details more shinning. Add a gradient map with white and blue colors and change the blending mode from Normal to Color Burn and make opacity 34%. Create another gradient map with #d8cbb3 color on the left and on the right use #423319 color and change the blending mode from Normal to Soft Light and make opacity 88%, add some color balance and play with lights. Step 13: Make some contrast on the image and create a new layer. Get a brush and make some parts more illuminated by painting with white color and changing the opacity on Overlay. Step 14: Create some effects on the project, then add some abstract wings by using the watercolor brush and blend it on the girl's back. Conclusion: Video: Making of ' LIKE A BIRD ' Artwork from Vigan Tafili on Vimeo.
With the announcement of iOS7, Apple revealed a completely new UI for their mobile OS. With the super flat design and thin fonts, Apple said that the design would be adaptable to apps by making some of the basic UI elements transparent, therefore, some of the colors of your apps content would bleed through and define how iOS7 basic components would influence the overall appearance. Another important detail of the UI was that with the transparency a blur effect was applied, similar to Windows Vista and their Aero design. With that in mind, I decided to see how to create and share a super simple workflow to achieve this effect using Photoshop and After Effects. So for this tutorial I will show you how to achieve the blur effect of iOS7 using Photoshop and After Effects. The cool thing about this workflow is that it clearly showcases how Adobe apps work together in a seamless way. Step 1 The first thing I did was to download the iOS7 iPhone PSD from teehanlax (http://www.teehanlax.com/tools/ios7/) to use the basic iOS7 UI. Step 2 Here I created a new document in Photoshop with the dimensions of the iPhone 5, 640x1136 pixels. Then using the basic iOS7 UI I started designing the screen of my app. In this case I designed what would be the home screen of the Abduzeedo App. Step 3 If you scroll up you can see that the iOS7 has a bunch of seethrough areas, sort of Windows Vista. For my design I just made sure that the action bar had some transparency going. The blur effect will be add in After Effects. After you finish your design, save the PSD file so we can import it in After Effects. Step 4 Time to open After Effects. In After Effects, drag the PSD file to the Project panel. Once you do that you will be prompt with the dialog box. For the Import Kind use Composition - Retain Layer Sizes. For the Layer Options use Editable Layer Styles. Step 5 Here is what you will have in After Effects. Noticed that when importing a PSD file you will get alread a composition with the name of the file and a folder with all layers and objects. Double click on the composition to open the home screen we created in Photoshop. You will have then all layers that you have in Photoshop. I deleted the background and other unecessary layers. Another important thing to do is to change the composition background color from the default black to white. Step 6 Now to make the blur effect in After Effects is pretty simple. Go to Layer>New>Adjustment Layer. Position this adjustment layer below the Navigation bar. The adjustment layer will apply the blur effect to all layers below it in the timeline. Right now we just have the layer, so let's apply some blur. Step 7 With the Adjustment Layer 1 selected go to Effect>Blur & Sharpen>Gaussian Blur. I don't know exactly how many blur Apple applies in iOS7, but for this little demo I used 20 for the Blurriness. Note that the whole Group 1 layer is blurry and the action bar is not. Our goal is to make the blurr visible only when the screen goes underneath the Navigation bar. To do that we will apply a mask to the Adjustment Layer. Step 8 With the Adjustment Layer 1 selected, click on the Rectangle Tool Q, then create a rectlange over the area you want to show. In this case, from the Navigation bar to the bottom of the page. Also make the width way larger and off the screen, that will make the blur more uniform when passing underneath the Navigation bar. Step 9 Try to move the Group 1 layer (the home screen) up and down to see the blur being applied underneath the Navigation bar. You can increase the blur of the Adjustment Layer 1 or you can make the Navigation Bar more transparent. Conclusion The whole process is pretty simple and straightforward. You can use this tutorial as a base for a template file and then reuse for future projects. You can also improve upon this or come up with your own process which I'd love to hear about. One thing to keep in mind is that in this day and age it is extremely important to start going beyond static mocks. After Effects is an amazing tool for this such work and it seems to be a smooth transition for UI designers using Photoshop. Download After Effects file Click here to download the After Effects file used for this tutorial
A few weeks ago I posted artwork I created for a poster inspired by the Man of Steel movie. I used Pixelmator for that project and got quite a few comments and requests about how to achieve the same effect in Photoshop. As Photoshop doesn't have the awesome Vintage filters that Pixelmator now has, I tried emulating the effect using brushes which I will share with you today. So in this tutorial I will show you how to create a nice colorful background using Photoshop. The whole process is pretty simple and straightforward. One good requirement is to understand a little bit of Color Theory in order to create different color combinations. Step 1 Open Photoshop and create a new document. I am using 2880x1800 pixels. After that fill the background layer with black. Step 2 Create a new document and then with the Brush Tool (B) use a very soft brush and then paint some yellow brush spots. Step 3 Add another layer and then still with the Brush Tool, paint now a blue spot next to the yellow. Step 4 Add another layer and now paint a red spot. Use the image below for reference. Step 5 Select the 3 layers and group them. After that convert the group to Smart Objects, Layer>Smart Objects>Convert to Smart Objects. Then go to Edit>Transform>Warp. Deform the mesh in order to make the colors transitions less uniform. Step 6 Now resize the image a little bit, only in the height. Make sure the colors are blending well with the background, otherwise use the Eraser Tool (E) to smooth things out. Also go to Image>Adjustments>Levels. Boost the Black and White Inputs to increase the contrast. Step 7 Duplicate the layer with the colors and change its Blend Mode to Overlay. Step 8 Change the background color to a dark blue like the image below. Conclusion Add your logo and the image is done. There are lots of ways to achieve this effect, this for me is the easiest one, but it's up to you to come up with your own workflow. Remember the most important thing is to have fun. Download Photoshop file Download the Photoshop file used for this tutorial