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Reader Tutorial: Easy Way to Create Light Effects in GIMP in 9 Steps

Following our Reader Tutorial series we have a GIMP tutorial from Maximilian Dirkmamn, a 14 years old boy from Munich Germany, that design on his free time. The idea of this series is give opportunity to the readers to show their work and, of course help the design community sharing tips and opinions. If you want to contribute, just let us know. My name is Maximilian Dirkmann and I'm 14 years old. I come from Munich, Germany. In my free time I do designing. Check out my German website (GIMP tuts ) and my DA . Also I want to thank the whole members for always giving me criticism and comments. Step 1 Start the GIMP application and create a new image with 1024 x 768 pixel. Make sure, that the background is black. Step 2 Now we will add a light. Use the paintbrush (shortcut [P]) and open up the "brushes" box (shortcut [Shift] + [Ctrl] + [B]) create a new brush, edit it and apply those settings: Step 3 Create a new layer (Layer ->New Layer). Call it "Light" and click one times into the middle (make sure that your foreground color is white). Adjust the opacity to 60. Step 4 Now we're going to add some color. Create a new layer (call it Color) and apply Filters ->Render ->Clouds ->Plasma with the value 0.1 at Turbulence. Set the layer mode in the layer dialog ([Ctrl] + [L]) to Divide. Adjust the opacity to 65. Step 5 In this step we will add light rays. Create a new layer with the name Light Rays. Go on Filters ->Render ->Clouds ->Solid Noise. Set the X and Y size to 16.0. Go on Filters ->Blur ->Pixelize with the width 5px and the full hight of the picture (768px). Apply Filters ->Distorts -> Polar Coordinates with the values 0 | 0. Now set the Layer mode to Grain extract. Step 6 Pick up the text tool and type a letter for example A standing for Abduzeedo. I chose Sans as the font and a size of 490px. Now go on Filters ->Light and Shadow ->Drop Shadow with the values 0 | 4 | 30 | white | 80 | and uncheck Allow resizing. Step 7 Now we are adding a gloss to the A. Go on Layer ->Transparency ->Alpha to Selection. Use the Eclipse Select Tool and hold down [Shift] + [Ctrl]. Create a new layer (call it Gloss). Pick up the Blend Tool. Set the gradient to FG to Transparent (make sure your foreground color is white) an drag a Gradient from the right bottom to the left top. Now select all [Strg] +[ A]. Step 8 The reflection of the A. Go twice on Layer ->Merge Down. Duplicate the Layer, Layer ->Duplicate Layer. Tarnsform it: Layer ->Transform ->Flip Vertically. Move the transformed Layer to the top of the A. Now add a layer mask (Layer ->Mask ->Add Layer Mask; with white full opacity). Pick up the Blend tool again but now with black as the foreground color. Drag it just like this and you will get a nice fade out effect. Conclusion Finally we are going to add a lens reflection. Create a new Layer, call it Lens Reflection and fill it with black. I want to place it on the top of my letter so I need the position. Just move your mouse to the top of the image an on the left bottom of the gimp window you can see the position. Mine is 540;190 so go on Filters ->Light and Shadow ->Lens Flare with the values 540px and 190px. Set the Layer mode to Screen an you are done! Download the GIMP file Click here to download the GIMP file used on this tutorial.

20 Great Photo Manipulations

Photo manipulations are a great source of inspiration. They are an excellent place for designers to express their creativity in multiple different fields. These images are beautiful collaborations of photography and illustration. This is a guest post, if you would like to contribute with Abduzeedo writing guest articles, just send us an email explaining your idea for the post.

Fireworks 101

Hi guys, this week we have a very nice tutorial done by a guest writer. It cover some basic functionalities and it's very useful for those willing to improve their Fireworks skills. You will learn how to play with paths, combining, subtracting and much more. Also you will end up creating a logo. And, if you want to post a tutorial or a good post, just send us an email with your article. Thanks and enjoy. First let's see what combine path objects are and what can you do with them. In Fireworks there are four main combine paths: Union, Intersect, Punch and Crop. Union You can unite two or more objects with it. Just drag the two objects onto each other (it helps if you select the same color for both shapes, this way you would see the final union), select both objects and go to the Modify menu, Combine Paths -> Union. This simple command alone creates rather complex shapes. Intersect With intersect you can create a shape whose the result of the intersection of two or more shapes. Let me show you. You can do this the same way as with Union, select the two shapes and go to Modify -> Combine Paths -> Intersect. It also helps if you decrease the opacity of the topmost shape to see the final intersected result. Punch With punch you can cut a shape from another. Just go to Modify -> Combine Paths -> Punch. I use this command the most while I'm creating my shapes. Crop I rarely use this command, although it's very powerful. It's useful if we use more than two shapes. The main idea with crop is that it creates a hybrid intersection from the two circles underneath the rectangle. The rectangle is the topmost shape. Now let me show you the real power of these commands. Let's create a complex shape without using the pen tool or a tablet. Just the plain old mouse and these four commands. Creating a Logo Let's create a logo with two leaf shapes and some fancy text. First the most important thing is that we have to learn how to see different shapes from two or more, and what type of command to use to get those shapes. Step 1 For me the easiest way to create a leaf is from an oval. So, create the oval and draw a rectangle shape on top of it like this: Now just Punch the rectangle from the oval and the result will be this: Dublicate this shape (CMD+C; CMD+V) and flip it horizontally (Modify -> Transform -> Flip Horizontal). Match the two shapes and apply the Union command to get this shape: Step 2 Ok. Now rotate this shape a little bit and duplicate it twice. Draw a rectangle under the duplicated shapes like this (note that the blue oval shape is the top most, the green one is in the middle and the rectangle is at bottom): The idea is to get that shape in the middle (dark blue): We achieve this by selecting all three shapes using the Crop command and then selecting the remaining shapes and using the Punch command. You will get this shape: Now we go back to our original 'leaf like' shape. Duplicating it again and shrinking a by 80% (CMD+SHIFT+T), then punch the smaller shape from the original. Step 3 Align the remaining shapes and apply the Union command, like this: Duplicate the final shape and color it differently. Flip it horizontally and align the two shapes therefore the duplicated shape goes under the original one, like so: Duplicate the red shape one more time and drag it out, we will need it later. And now you guessed it select the two shapes and Punch the red shape and mask the rest like this: Punch the oval from the green shape. Align it with the remaining red shape group it together (CMD+G) and shrink it to 30%. Final Result Voila, we got a leaf logo. You can write a 'web 2.0' name and you got your company :-) Also, you can play a little bit and create some crazy shapes like that! Guest post by: Gyorgy Fekete

Three Street Work Design Competition ($900 prize)

3 Mobile and Don't Panic are looking for a designer to create a poster as part of a street ad campaign, and there's a prize of £500 ($900). Mobile Broadband is a service offered by 3 that gives customers access to the internet on their PC or laptop using a USB modem and 3's HSDPA network. Mobile Broadband and dongles are becoming more widely understood but there is still an education job to do to communicate their benefits, and that's where Don't Panic comes in. We wanted to organise a competition that allowed artists and creative types as much freedom as possible, while still creating a visual message which related to 3's mobile dongle (they are offering you £500 after all!). We want you to create a personal, unique piece of work representing freedom, communication, locality or whatever you can draw from 3's mobile-broadband Dongle. You can take any part of it as your inspiration: it's name, it's functionality, it's colour scheme, mobilisation, the internet, whatever. As well as a £500 cash prize, the winner (as selected from a publically voted shortlist) will also have their work reproduced as part of a limited edition collection of posters available through east London, as well as being used in a flyer poster campaign and included on stickers inside the Don't Panic packs. The collection will be exhibited in the Truman Brewery in October where the winner can come down and showcase their skills in a live art studio with some of the UKs leading creative artists. This is a chance for you to shine, to create something cool, desirable and beautiful and have it seen via various media throughout the world. If you're interested in submitting a piece of work, please head over to for the full brief. The competition opens for submissions worldwide on 1 Sept and run until 28 Sept.

Inspiration: American McGee’s Grimm

As a dedicated gamer I always follow the news in the industry and new releases in particular. This week I came across “American McGee’s Grimm”. Gameplay aside, this game is very interesting from the point of view of design. American McGee (visit his blog at ) is a prominent game designer - dark rich style of his games is always recognizable and creates an unmistakable atmosphere. American McGee (born December 13, 1972) is an American game designer. McGee began his career at id Software. He was a level designer for such games as Doom II, Quake, and Quake II. In 1998, he moved to Electronic Arts, where he worked as a Creative Director on many projects and also created American McGee’s Alice. Upon completing Alice, he left EA and founded The Mauretania Import Export Company, of which he is the president. TMIEC’s focus is original IP development. Below is a selection of concept art from “American McGee’s Grimm” by Lin Ran and “American McGee’s Alice” by Tyler Lockett. In addition in 2006 American McGee and Ken Wong (see this talented illustrator’s amazing portfolio at created a series of vine labels for wine company Vins Gagliardi, based on the same concept of “twisted tales” as in Grimm

File sharing for Creative Developers: Top 5 issues

The move to digital photography has created both opportunities and challenges for photographers. While there is now the possibility to present clients with greater choice and selection due to the reduced cost of shooting digital, photographers must grapple with how to deliver and manage ever increasing numbers of large files. This article gives a quick overview of the key issues that photographers need to address when deciding how best to share files online with their clients. 1) Security: Hey, those aren’t my files! All file sharing solutions emphasize security when it comes to physically safeguarding your files, that however is just the start. There must be a way to handle sharing among multiple clients where each client has access to their files and no others; this requirement is one good reason why FTP servers should be avoided. Security levels should be configurable by client; requiring the use of passwords can be a potential roadblock for clients the first time they use your solution, it’s therefore best to make password protection optional. Files must be automatically encrypted when uploaded or downloaded to ensure that nobody can snoop as to their contents. '_DEB1387' at Flickr. 2) Ease of use: this bar has a two click maximum There are two points of view to take into account when you consider whether a file sharing solution is easy to use – yours and your clients. From either perspective the learning curve must be minimal. Requiring clients to signup or create an account in order to participate in sharing files with you should be viewed with caution. The process of sharing or receiving files should be straightforward and simple, hopefully wizards will provide step by step instructions and a few clicks of the mouse will be enough to receive and download shared files. A notification system that alerts you and your clients as to when files are shared, received or downloaded will help streamline jobs and avoid unnecessary follow up emails. The ultimate test for ease of use comes when you share files for the first time; if you run into problems chances are your clients will have similar issues on their end. 3) Cost: If it costs an arm and a leg how can you take a picture? The days of paying large sums of money up front for software are thankfully coming to a close. Your file sharing solution should let you get started with no setup fees or at most a minimal one. The cost to you should reflect your usage; when you are busy it stands to reason you pay more, when you aren’t you pay less. The best way to achieve this mix is with a pay as you go system that bills you monthly (or quarterly) based on your actual usage. Avoid plans which require you to guess ahead of time how storage you will need, you will likely end up paying for storage you don’t use. 'and again..' at Flickr. 4) Collaboration: Let’s all work together Sharing files online opens the door to a whole new way of collaborating with your clients and you should take full advantage. Clients should be able to browse online the files you share, this can help streamline the selection process and speed up your workflow significantly. At some point you will need to receive files from your clients (maybe feedback or a marked up image), your file sharing solution must seamlessly provide this functionality. Advanced features, such as tracking versions or revisions, should be available but forced upon you right from the start; after all you need to walk before you run. 5) Marketing: Put your best foot forward Photography is a very competitive business, you need to constantly remind your clients of the great work you are doing for them. The ability to add your corporate branding to your account and have it prominently displayed is vital. Remember that when choosing a solution you need to carefully consider your needs as well as your clients’ needs. Ad supported (or supposedly “free”) file sharing solutions, which inconvenience and annoy your clients with banners or other forms of advertising roadblocks, can save you a little money up front but will lead to client dissatisfaction. 'sunflare' at Flickr. Conclusion There are a multitude of file sharing solutions for the photographer available today thanks to the internet. When making your decision keep in mind the issues mentioned above. Ultimately your success as a photographer will be impacted, in either a positive or negative way, based on how you decide to share files with your clients. Daniel Frank is the President of Single Wrench Inc. Single Wrench offers a file sharing solution that is secure, reliable and easy to use. Built to replace FTP servers, Single Wrench is designed to save you money while improving your network security. Take advantage of a 20% discount by visiting HERE with promocode TIP. And if you people know other solutions, don't forget leaving your comments linking to it or telling us!! We'd love to hear from you, as usual.

Cool Inspirational Images from DesignFlavr

Andrew from DesignFlavr sent us some cool, inspirational images. These are pretty awesome, and trully worth the visit. If you got any cool link that you'd like to share with us, please leave a comment!! Thanks a lot and hope you like it.

Stop Motion Inspiration

Last week i saw Michael Gondry's "Science of Sleep" again and respected on details. It's an unbelievable film-technique and i'd like to show you some cool stuff. "Stop-Motion is a film-technique that makes a physically manipulatted object appear to move on its own. The object is moved by extremely smallamounts while every frame is being photographed." Stop Motion is pretty simple actually and you can make great movies with that. There were lots of movies in the past who used Stop Motion. And there still using it this time. Check out these cool movies. Millenium Falcon build with lego Minilogue music video Human Tetris Sony Bravia Adventures of Santa Claus Lucky Strike ad from 1948 2d Mario ad Human Skateboard "Sneax" Ad PSP commercial Cool stopmotion software iStopmotion 2 (for MAC) Stop Motionmaker (for WIN) Monkey Jam (WIN) Author: Aloa | If you want to write an article and have it published here send it via email to abduzeedo[at]

Great Royalty Free Pictures

There are iStockphoto, Getty Image, Corbis, Fotolia, etc... Great pictures, but you have to pay to use them, even if it's only to practise Photoshop. You also have Google images, but the pictures are not always aesthetic, and above all most of them have a copyright. Today we'll present to you two very good free stock photo sites. If you're searching photos or textures for your non-commercial artworks or to create some images in Photoshop, and offer some amazing royalty free pictures, which you can use for all your non-commercial works. Here's some pictures to make your mouth's watering : from kavewall (hundreds of images) : from photo-libre (more than 7000 pictures): About the author Xavier Bourdil - "Hello all! I'm a 23 years old designer, from Bordeaux (France). I'm a psdtuts member (oligoelement, that's my pseudo), and a huge reader of this website! To me, sharing informations and skills is the best way to progress in graphic creation. I had the occasion to partcipate to this movement by wrinting this post, so I'm very glad to make this contribution! I hope you'll enjoy."