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Take 10: Impulsive by Erik Johansson

Take 10: Impulsive by Erik Johansson

When you’re open to possibility, a challenge is always good—you learn something whether you succeed or fail. That was Erik Johansson’s perspective when we asked him to tackle a new challenge we’re calling “Take 10”: We give an artist one word and 10 digital images, and he or she must combine them into a new piece that represents the word. Johansson’s word was impulsive, and we think his response to the challenge was a success. It didn’t come easily, though. “It’s the complete opposite of the way I am used to working,” Johansson explains. Normally, he carefully plans every detail before going out to photograph the individual elements that will make up a collage. For this challenge, he says, “I had to adapt to existing material and include them all, not pick just the ones I wanted. I enjoyed it, but it does look a bit different from the work I normally create because of that.” Before Johansson touched a single one of the 10 images, he considered the word impulsive. “I’m not very impulsive. I’m a perfectionist,” he says. “I would say that the opposite of impulsive is rational.” The ironic twist? Johansson is well known for his irrational imagery. While he may not be impulsive, he does tap into the surreal. “To me, impulsive means something that is happening in our brain, a decision or thought on the inside that can lead to an unexpected action,” says Johansson. “I wanted to capture that feeling where we let go and the thoughts flow freely, much like the moment right before falling asleep where we leave the rational behind. In a way, the final image is a self-portrait of my own mind. I constantly try to make connections between unexpected things.” The 10 images Johansson used are above. Putting the pieces together Johansson divided his Adobe Photoshop CC canvas in two. Elements on the left side would symbolize the inner mind, and the right side would represent the rational outer world. The photo of the woman in profile would bridge the two sides. (All the images are from Adobe Stock.) He realized that he could combine the woman’s hair and the tree photo: “That helped me create the transition from the realistic portrait to the inner world of the mind.” Johansson used a layer mask and blending modes to collage the two. He also copied the tree several times to build a base layer on the left side of the canvas. To introduce variation, he transformed each copy using tools under Photoshop’s Edit menu, including Warp and Puppet Warp. To give the illusion of perspective, he added a haze to the trees that appear to be farther in the distance. He added texture by copying bits of the jagged peaks photo into a new layer and blending it into the trees. “Impulsive thoughts often come in fragments,” Johansson says. To express this idea, he put the abstract stock image with irregular angles on a new layer and blended that into the background. He then copied the abstract image but offset it slightly from the original and masked out different parts of the duplicate. The resulting effect looks like a crystal reflecting light. Johansson placed the cube stock image in the upper right corner of the canvas to represent the organized part of the mind. “At this point, I was happy with the image, but I hadn’t used all 10 of the challenge photos. So I had to push myself.”  He took the image into a dream world. The fantasy came in the form of the fish swimming in the air and surreal bits of stripes, houses, and swooping power lines and poles (culled from the train photo). Although it wasn’t part of the Take 10 rules, Johansson chose to further test himself by completing the piece in 24 hours. “I normally work on images for weeks or months,” he says. The tight deadline makes his attention to detail even more noteworthy; for example, he decided that he wanted another instance of the irregularly angled, abstract stock image to enhance the glass reflection illusion, but he didn’t want to replicate what he’d already done. So he saved the image file as a map and used Photoshop’s Displace feature (Filter > Distort > Displace) to shift light and dark areas in unexpected ways. Another example: To give the image a little more punch, he increased local contrast with Photoshop’s High Pass feature (Filter > Other > High Pass); then he toned it down by setting the blending mode to Soft Light.   And there’s much more: He dropped in a lens flare; changed the color balance with a photo filter adjustment layer; added a vignette and a little vibrance; and performed what he calls the “secret trick” he does with all of his images, a gradient map that casts a slight green-yellowish glow on the entire image to warm it up. Finally, he added noise “to make it all come together nicely.” That noise, by the way, comes from a macro that he uses on all of his work. “Somehow,” he says, “it creates a more photo-realistic scene.” Take the challenge and win What does the word impulsive mean to you? How would you express it with these images? From February 19 through the end of day on February 24, 2016, you can download the images for free and submit your unique artwork. Erik Johansson will judge the entries, and Create Magazine will award the 10 winners and give them prizes! Get the download link and all the contest details here. By Terri Stone

Beautiful Backgrounds

Beautiful Backgrounds

The best way, and probably the only way to learn is by practicing. As my dad always said, nobody was born knowing how to do things, there's always the need to practice, learn from mistakes and evolve. Iryna Korshak gives a great example with a set of beautiful backgrounds she put together while practicing her texture skills in Photoshop. Iryna is a hands-on designer who loves seeing projects through from concept to completion. She is always looking to work with forward-thinking brands across all sectors. For more information check out https://www.behance.net/IraKorshak Some simple backgrounds I made while practicing Photoshop texture brushes. Most of them were made in few hours, inspired by different photos I found on Pinterest. Enjoy, thanks!

Boxes

Boxes

Peter Tarka is a designer and illustrator from Warsaw, Poland. He has been featured in several digital publications, even listed at the Photoshop’s 25 Under 25. His talented is visible especially on projects like the Boxes, in which he mixes 3D, Photoshop and abstracted ideas to create quite inspiring artworks. For more information about Peter check out his Behance profile at https://www.behance.net/trk

ABDZ 07 Playing with Shades - Photoshop Tutorial

ABDZ 07 Playing with Shades - Photoshop Tutorial

Back to my image a week after a short vacation, much needed. I have also been spending my time with the new Abduzeedo which is looking much sleeker and soon will be going live. This week I decided to recreate an effect I saw a couple of weeks ago and I saved the screenshot because I thought it would be awesome to know how to do it. After a few tries I think I got a good result, at least worth sharing with you guys. Step 1 Starting with the simple path of the Abduzeedo logo in Illustrator. Step 2 WIth the Offset Path I made the logo thicker and it will also be used to separate both sides. Step 3 Here you can see the 2 different sides. I used red and black but that doesn't really matter because I will change those colors in Photoshop in the next steps. Step 4 Paste the vector from Illustrator to Photoshop. With the Magic Wand Tool I selected the black color and created a new layer with that as a mask. Step 5 Then I did the same thing for the red part. Step 6 After creating the layers, create 2 folders and move the mask to each one of the folders. After that just add layers and start paiting. The mask will do the job of keeping them separate. Step 7 I used the Lasso Tool (L) a few times to make some different cuts, like the 45 deg one on the you can see when the horizontal line connects with the other side. Step 8 Here's after a few tries. Step 9 The last thing I did was to add some shadow. Conclusion Here's the final image with a Photo Filter on top of it. This was a quick first try but I am very happy with the result, of course there's a lot to learn, but it's always good to learn some new things. Download Photoshop file Download the Photoshop file

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

Futuristic Photo Manipulations by Retoka

Futuristic Photo Manipulations by Retoka

Spanish digital artist Retoka created this amazing project called "Client Error 4xx" which illustrator some error images in a way I've never seen before. There's also a video of the process, check it out! For more from Retoka visit retoka.com. Process

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

Flowerful Portraits by Marcelo Monreal

Flowerful Portraits by Marcelo Monreal

Marcelo Monreal is an artist from Santa Catarina, Brazil who created a completely new style of portrait where he manipulates the faces and fill them out with flowers. The result is totally incredible, check them out! For more from Marcelo Monreal visit facebook.com/marcelomonrealartist and https://instagram.com/marcelomonreal.

Adobe Cannes Lions

Adobe Cannes Lions

Adam Spizak never ceases to impress us with his incredible and inspiring work. Today we share the illustration he created for Adobe Cannes Lions to celebrate Photoshop's 25th anniversary. As usual the composition is full of details mixing light effects, 3D and a lot of style. Every time I see this type of work I get motivated to spend some of my spare time playing with Photoshop to one day get to that level. Adobe Cannes Lions is an illustration produced for 2015 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Adam is a Senior Designer, Art Director based in London, United Kingdom. For more information check out his website at http://www.spizak.com

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

Astro Metal Front

Astro Metal Front

As a fan of sci-fi and the space subject it is always awesome to see other designers sharing the same love. For this post I would like to feature the work created by Flavio Montiel using Cinema 4D and Photoshop. The project is titled Astro Metal Front and as you can see it's beautiful. For more information about Flavio Montiel check out http://www.flaviomontiel.com I’ve been kinda obsessed with sci-fi / space stuff latelly, and it’s been a while since i wanted to do some astronauts like portraits before i move on.

Illustrator vs Photoshop

Illustrator vs Photoshop

Indian designer M.A. Kather created a project about the differences in illustrator and Photoshop explained in minimalistic visual design. What's your favorite? For more from M.A. Kather visit behance.net/kather_bfa. What's your Favorite? Illustrator or Photohop?

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