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Create a Skateboard Illustration with Mixed Medias

As most kids born in the 90s I was very influenced by skateboarding and was a "skater" myself. I always loved skateboard art and I remember going with my friends to skate shops to see the shapes from brands like Santa Cruz, Flip, Powell Peralta and others. I must admit that this art had a huge influence on my work and here's just a little tutorial in tribute to that. If you're not really into skateboard art, I would suggest you to take a look at Jim Phillips artworks, he's like the father of skateboard art. Besides Jim, you should also check guy like Billy Argel, Gunsho, Pablo Etchepare and Diego Medina, whose work is intricately linked with the skateboard culture. Ok, enough talking, so what are we going to do today? Quite simple: A "Cool" in melting green-ish letters, old school style. Warm ups Let's begin with some warm ups, as you may already know, pointilism can be really tiresome and messy, so let's make some simple exercises. Make a circle, a triangle and a square, start filling it with dots doing the following movements: circular for the ellipse, triangular for the triangle and side to side for square. That way you will be warming up your wrist and also testing your dot control, try it at least two to three times If you never tried this technique before. Do it slowly and don't put too much pressure or you may get your wrist injured because of the repetition. This technique will be used on the following in order to give some depth on the letters. You probably already know hard gradients are, nowadays they are mostly used on vector art and t-shirt art, as some printing methods require few colors. If you've never used before, try this simple exercise: make a three color gradation, like the blue one I did, then try drawing some forms with the darker color, make a reflex with the medium color and a little reflex with the brighter. As you can see, from a certain distance your eye will assimilate a gradient. Try as many forms as you want, then make patterns to see the effect they have on the illustrations. This technique will help later on giving depth to the letters. Line work I wanted a traditional melting effect, with drops and everything on the type formation. I haven't done sketch with graphite, but I would suggest you to try it before using a technical drawing pen. A good way to make sure the type will be legible is to draw it first with graphite as a bubble form and then make the drops inside of it. Notice that you should vary the size of the drops or it will look flat and boring...just saying. Stroke Varying the size of the stroke is a very important technique in skateboard art. Perhaps this is a characteristic inherited from comic books and from the early works that were mostly done using brush not pencils so the variance was quite normal thing. Anyway, after I did the line work, I started tracing the paths inside each bubble to make a heavier stroke on the middle and thinner on the extremities. Stroke Fill Yep, here's the tiresome part: after tracing the stroke you should fill it with black ink. Dot shading Ok, I hope you remember the previous exercises because we're going to apply it here. In order to make the dot shading correctly, first make circles around the bubbles and fill them using a circular movement, just as we practiced before. This will take some good amount of time, but the result is quite neat. Final Result Now I have all the three letters to write "Cool". When it comes to digitizing images, most people rather use scanners, but as in this case it was only a BW artwork, I though it would be quicker and easier to just photograph them using a professional camera. But, anyway please fell free to use the method you want to. Cleaning Having the images on the computer the first thing I've done was to open them on photoshop and adjust their levels in order to clean the white and get a heavier black. Then, just simply cut the letter using the lasso tool (L), the pen tool (P) or using masks, the method you feel more secure. Make a new layer with only the type selection (ctrl + J / command + J), then make a white background on layer bellow. Adding hard gradients It's time to apply the hard gradients, first I filled the whole letter with dark green. As a rule, the flat parts without and with less dots were filled with bright green, notice that it gave a border effect on the bubbles. And also filled inside of them a bit, as you can see they start to pop and give depth. Following my previous instructions on hard gradient, I added white inside of the bright green on each bubble. I must say doing this is less tiresome than the dot filling and the final result with a black background got really slick. Mockup As it was about skateboard art we cannot forget to make a mockup of the final illustration, so I found this really cool mockup at Freebie Pixels. You can download the PSD and replace it with the final result. Hope you guys learned something from this and had fun, see ya.

Quick Tips: Instagram your images using Photoshop

Instagram reinvented the photo sharing on our social media structure. It's a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your pictures to friends and family. And what I like the most about Instagram, are the various schemes that offers you to filter your pictures with your own little touch. My all-time favorite Instagram filter is the "Nashville" and today, I will show you a quick tutorial about how to achieve that same effect on your images. It's a very simple effect and very easy to accomplish in Photoshop. Step 1 Open your image in Photoshop and double-click on the background layer to make into a layer and named it Nashville. For this tutorial, I've used an image from Patrick Smith from Patrick Smith Photography. You can check more of this work on his Flickr page at Step 2 Create a new layer and fill it with the color (Red: 247 , Green: 217 , Blue: 173) and leave the opacity to 100% and your blending options to "Multiply". Step 3 Click back on the "Nashville" layer and click Image > Adjustments > Curves. First go into the green channel and put the output to 37 and then go to the blue channel and put the output to 133. Step 4 After click Image > Adjustments > Levels, change the gamma (the middle) to 1.36 and the input to 236. Step 5 Now let's play the contrast by going to Image > Adjustments > Brightness / Contrast. Put the brightness to 6 and contrast to 51. Don't forget to uncheck "Use Legacy" if it is checked. Step 6 Give another curves to the image by again going to Image > Adjustments > Curves. But this time go to the green channel and put the input to 13 and in the blue channel, put the input to 88. Step 7 To give more depth let's change again the contrast by going to Image > Adjustments > Brightness / Contrast. Simply enter the brightness to -6 and contrast to 33. Step 8 Give another one last curves touch by going to Image > Adjustments > Curves. Go to the red channel and put the output to 4 and in the blue channel, put the output to 14. Lastly merge all the layers to visible. Final Words That's it! This is how we create the "Nashville" filter from Instagram in Photoshop. At this point, the rest is up to your creativity to experiment different concepts to finish this image. You can also use the same technique for your own images and also create an action in Photoshop. By creating an action, you'll just have to play the action instead of redoing all the steps! Download the Photoshop File Download the Photoshop file used for this tutorial

Case Study: Mux Mool Poster

Today I'm going to show a case study of a personal illustration I did recently. Having the will to experiment some new techniques, I found out that I should try more to include my drawings on my artworks, as artists like Sara Blake, Ian Macarthur, Gabz and others already do. Mixing manual and digital medias can be really handy, since at the same time that you got a unique trace on the original drawing, you can also erase the errors you did on the computer and enhance the details. Also, I thought about a tip that James White once said, about making a fan poster of a artist that you like. So I decided to do a series about it and the one I'm gonna show you is the second one poster, a tribute to the electronic musician Mux Mool, non commercial purposes, of course. So in this case study I will show you my creative process, from the first sketch all the way until the end. Sketching Ok, I must admit, my project sketches are horrible, I use it just to get a preview of what I'm going to do, but isn't that what a Sketch is all about? Don't worry guys, I put some subtitles so you could understand it better hehe. My initial concept was to make a joke with the name of the music, "No black crayon", using a carachter with many crayons on his hands, but I suddenly though that it would be more rad with I drew a more remarkable carachter and so I came out with this eyed old and dry tree. I also thought to use a Black Metal inspired typography for the name. Outlines I know this may sound obvious, but even if I'm doing a drawing in Photoshop, I always begin with the outlines and shapes and after I do the fill and shading. I'm just saying this because some people tend to think you should do the three steps at once. What may happen is that one will lost the proportion of things, so you better do first the outline before making the fill. Shading - iris Isn't that hard to make and iris, you just got to know how to fill it with dash in a circular direction, also add some reflects. Shading - body Achieving this type of wood texture it's about practicing and observation, later I will enhance the wrinkles on PS to give some depth. Adding color I've always found always better to add color on photoshop, but this is about my way to do things, of course, everyone has it preferences, I like because you can commit mistakes and experiment a lot of things. After I finished the drawing, I scanned it with 1200 dpi, it's a good resolution to get a lot of details and print it in a large scale, but you still can get great results using only 300 dpi scanned pics. Back to the coloring process, I basically make a layer above the drawing layer, I use some soft brushes to make the gradients and blends and use Multiply to apply it to the drawing. Outline Again, first i did the outline of this typography, I really wanted to give a strong lookto it, so I got inspired in some Black Metal Band logos. Dot Sading Dot shading isn't a new technique, but it's quite awesome and I must admit I'm quite addict to it lately. Basically, you make the shades and create depth by the distance of the dots, yep, this takes some good time to achive, the video bellow exemplifies this step. Dot Shading from Marcos Torres on Vimeo. Adding color Outline Dot Shading Adding color and gradients Final Result Well, there were some few experimentations till the final result, but the focus of this case study was about the drawing process, If don't got a good drawing, Photoshop won't save you probably. Some may say I should have used the white background instead of the black, but the idea was to make impossible to have a black crayon in there, If there was one, you wouldn't see it heheh just kidding. Hope you enjoyed and learned some quick tips.

Quick Tips: Create Geometric Wall Painting Pattern

Experiment new techniques is probably the best way to evolute and to find your own style. I deeply enjoy sharing some of my design / art experiences thru tutorials with you guys. So for this week I going to teach a little experiment I did with wall painting, painting in huge scales was always interesting to me, since the logic of the effects you want to achieve just change radically from just using your finger to using your two arms, something way more physical than just using a computer. This was really interesting to showcase, since I won't only show you only "how to do" , but also what you should avoid to do and the mistakes I've commited. Trying to innovate in our tutorials, this one will be more about learning thru videos rather than images, since I've noted that on the last "manual techniques" tutorial, people really enjoyed to watch the timelapse on the end. As every artwork, perfection can never be reached, so free yourself from rules, dogmas and other things and let's start this tutorial as just an exercise and fun. came out. So, what are we going to learn today? Today we're going to learn basically just to do a geometric pattern, following what some artist have being doing lately, a style more geometric, minimalistic and interesting. I've been seen this type of wall painting / graffiti a lot lately, this genre don't focus on making signatures or 3D letters, but on abstract and geometric shapes that give a illusion of depth sometimes. Some of my main influences to do this projet were Graphic Surgery, Nawer and the famous MWM Graphics. I've posted some examples of this artists bellow: Graphic Surgery Nawer MWM Graphics What stuff I'll need in order to do it? This is pretty basic stuff, since you probably may already have those tools at home: 1- Duct Tape or other type of a strong sticky tape, I used normal masking tape, but honestly I wouldn't recommend, since I've got some problems using it, as you're going to see later. 2- Razor or Scissor depending of the tape you're going to use this will be necessary. 3- Spray Cans well, the colors don't have necessarily to be black and white color, but you should try to use really contrasted colors in order to get the depth we want to. 4- Posca pen or whatever you wanna use for painting it this is up to you, after you finished the painting to adjust the corner and other things, however don't try to make all perfect or it will definetely lose it's grunge look. 5- Gloves some of you maybe dislike wearing gloves, but honestly the time you will spend trying to wash your hands to get the ink off it, worth using it. 6- Painting Mask it don't have be to a world war gas mask or something really fancy, it can be even just a bandana strapped on the face. Use one, don't try to painting without, or you may get really dizzy with the smell. Step 1 This may sound obvious, but you should first make a project before start doing it, just to get at leat a idea of how it would came out. So first of all go get the measures of the wall you're going to paint. I did on Adobe Illustrator a preview of how it would came out, using the measures in scale. But, first I had to find a interesting pattern, so I though about a triangle shape, since it's a better shape to fit a space in any direction.. So how could I give more depth to it? While trying to use some 3D softwares other day I came with a triangle with just 3 colors: white, gray and black. Looking at it gave me the idea to making it 2D, since the three colors placed on each side give the impression of light on it. So I divided the triangle in three sections ad painted with this colors. So then I had to plan how I would place the triangles, they shouldn't be with the same size nor direction or this would came out really boring. So I distribute then along the space trying have a pattern "unpattern". Then I just wanted to had a preview of how would be the masking tape placed, and the painting on it. I took off the strokes to have a better preview, and then just scrumbled the colors of the prisms so they don't get in the same direction. It didn't came out exactly as the original project and this is actually really good, as you're going to see further. Step 2 ( Masking ) Some people asked me why I didn't used stencils, well I think I could have used 3 sizes of stencils. However, when you're trying to improvise it way more easy and interesting to use tape, because you can have a better preview of the painting rather than just using stencils. But If you want to do this way, that's ok, but be sure you can improvise with it easily. Always print a copy of the project and take it with you, you really cannot do it without at least a reference, so I suggest to print a sample. The video below pretty simplify this step. Prisms - part 1 from Marcos Torres on Vimeo. Step 3 ( Dividing in sections ) I must admit that this step is a bit boring, but necessary to be well execute, dividing in equal sections may look easy, but is not, unfortunately. The video bellow exemplifies it. Prisms - Part 2 from Marcos Torres on Vimeo. Step 4 ( Painting ) Before you start painting you should really care about these two tips: 1) Use newspaper to cover the ground, it is likely that you will spend one more coat of paint and will drip a lot. So just get a old newspaper, distribute bellow the area and stick it on the ground (or use weights), but don't let it start flying, or it will be a mess. 2) Use gloves, I know I said this before, but unless you want to spent some days with your hands dirty (as I did on the first time I painted), I suggest you to wear some. After setting all this stuff let's start to paint. I decided to first paint the black sides then the white and grey sides. As you're going to see on the next step, paint two sides of white and one side of black, because we need a white background to do the shading with the black spray. A good thing is put more than a coat of paint, so the first time you paint it, try to spray it more softly and you will have less problems with dripping. The video says it all. Prisms - Part 3 from Marcos Torres on Vimeo. Step 5 ( Shading ) Some may say that I should have bought a grey spray can rather than trying to shade with black spray, that's right, but the thing is to create it with less resources as possible, since not everyone can spent a lot of money on material. To be honest I learned this type of shading thru an accident: while working in other graffiti work I noticed that if I hold the cap softly just little tiny drops would came out of it. And as we know, looking at this piece from a certain distance will gives the impression to be grey. However, the main problem with it is that it drips a lot of ink from the can, so be sure that you have already covered the ground with some newspaper. The next video show a close up of the painting and shading. How to spray the prisms from Marcos Torres on Vimeo. And just a wider look at how to do it. Prisms - Part 4 from Marcos Torres on Vimeo. Final Result This is not actually the end of this project, I've repeated the whole process at least three times till now, but more days of work will come, since I want to make this all over the wall. The thing is: don't try to do it perfect, I know most of people see geometric shapes as something well defined, but in my opinion I though that the mistakes I've commited turned it into something more organic. The best advice I could give to you guys is to have fun, I actually love doing it and will try more wall painting after this experience, so get your hands dirty, work hard, but above all, enjoy this time. Prisms from Marcos Torres on Vimeo. Mistakes you should avoid Since I know that the "Abduzeedoes" are very worried with details and finalization, here i posted some tips of thing s you should try to avoid (or not). As I said before, I had some problems with the masking tape and paint, this is quite normal, and since there's not actually rights and wrongs on doing it, I just going to show somethings that bothered me a bit, nothing seriously. I think we shouldn't fear committing mistakes and so I showing the ones I've commited to make the things easier to you guys, hope you understand it. Cracks on the wall This not actually your fault if happens, but try take a close a look at the wall you're doing it or when taking off the tapes, parts of the wall may came out too. Blurring This what happens when you use the wrong tape, the ink may get between it and will mess it a bit, but in the other hand, it gives a grunge look to it, so it's up to you to get it all correctly or not. Dripping This is pretty normal to anyone who already ainted with a spray can, the best way to avoid is to find correct distance between the wall and your had when spraying. Tiny sizes When you're masking it, try to don't make tiny formats, since the may get really unrecognizable later. So that's it guys, hope you had fun and learned a bit with this quick tip, see you on the next tutorial ;)

Create a Wheatpaste Poster

The Abduzeedo team is always worried to bring to our readers and followers the best content of the creative businesses. And when I mean best content, I'm not talking only about the articles, collections and portfolios that we bring to you, but also about the tutorials. Other day while talking to Fábio, I found that we really needed to try some more tangible tutorials and by tangible I mean tutorials not so related to softwares. We did a lot of photoshop, illustrator, Fireworks and other softwares tutorials, but when it comes to illustration tutorials, we can't just get locked in a software like illustrator or Corel Draw, we got to expand to other areas. So from now on I will start a new series of tutorials at Abduzeedo and I hope you support us. So, what are we going to learn today? Today we're going to learn a pretty simple Street Art technique (I'm not a street artist, before someone ask), some people call this technique Wheatpaste, Big Sticker, Cutout or just Street Art Poster. You may know a lot of Street Artists who used and use this technique like Shepard Fairey (from Obey the Giant), Swoon and D Face. Basically we're going to do all of this without a computer and with less than 10 bucks. Posted some examples of this artists bellow: Shepard Fairey May Day with Shepard Fairey from on Vimeo. Swoon D Face What stuff I'll need in order to do it? This is pretty basic stuff, since you probably may already have those tools at home: 1- Masking Tape it don't have to be a huge one, a thin one can easy handle the job 2- Razor or Scissor 3- Bucket to put the Flour glue 4- Big brush 5- Posca pen or whatever you wanna use for painting it 6- A4 (11,69 x 8,27 inches) sheets of offset paper please don't buy it! Get some old or used ones, save trees :) Step 1 First of all, get the sheets of paper and try to figure out the size of the drawing that you're going to do, then using the masking tape unite them, but do it slowly watching to always get together the borders correctly or it going to end up in a mess. Step 2 Now this part is really important, after getting all sheets together in one canvas you'll have to see if it fits on the place your going to paste it. Step3 Now let's cook the glue! Yes, the Abduzeedo team are teaching designers how to cook too hehe just kidding. The glue that we're going to use can be made with just too ingredients: 1- 750 ml of Water 2- Three spoons of Flour First boil the water for 10 minutes, then add the three spoons of Flour, mix it and dont let it create flour little balls, so stir it really well. Wait 10 minutes and you should get something like these: (Photo by B Zedan) Now let it get cool so you can use it, but don't store it more than 2 days, it starts to stink. If you wanna store it for more time, put it on a refrigerator. Some people will suggest you to add some white glue to get more sticky, that's ok, there are plenty of recipes of how to do homemade flour glue, but the one I described is the most simple and it will work well with light things like offset paper. Step 4 Now that you have all setup let's start drawing, draw in the side without the masking tapes. Feel free to draw wherever you want, but I suggest you to don't create hairs or complex shapes, since you're going to cut the drawing after. For my first wheatpaste I tried to create this little happy worm, bellow i posted some pics of the process. Step 5 Just a little reminder before we can proceed: Warning: We know our readers are quite responsible for their acts, but we just advise you to don't paste your artwork on other people property (I mean walls, fences, gates, wherever), use it on your own property or you going to have some big troubles (trust me).Thanks for your attention. Now with the artwork finished, go for the spot you choose to paste your artwork, I'd suggest you to choose a less texturized wall, it will be better to paste the artwork. Using a razor or a scissor, start cutting your drawing, this should take sometime depending on the shapes you've made. Make sure the masking tape on the other side is fixed good, we don't want to paste it the wrong way after all this work, so if necessary add some more tape lines. Finally, start pasting it by first adding the flour glue on the place you're going to place the artwork, then paste the artwork (do it slowly or the paper may get ripped). Add another layer of flour glue upon the artwork, it should get pretty sticky. One of the best things about this kind of collage it's that you can think about it as softwares layers and start adding elements, try it and have fun! Final Result Well, I guess that if you tried this you had as much fun as I had. Don't get upset if your wheatpaste don't get perfect, remember that street art it's not about perfectionism, but about expression. To make easier the things I posted a making of bellow so you can see that it's pretty simple, hope you like it guys and warn mom before pasting it on the wall :) Broken Heart Wheatpaste Making of Broken Heart Wheatpaste - Time Lapse from Marcos Torres on Vimeo.

Money Style Illustration in Photoshop

Last Saturday I went to the movies to watch Wall Street Money Never Sleeps. It was a nice movie, even though I was expecting something much better in terms of story and special effects, there were some cheesy ones, however in the end during the credits the design they created a really nice animation with money illustration, I don't know the name of the effect in english, but I loved it, so I came back and decided to try to do that in Photoshop. So in this tutorial I will show you a nice technique to create a simple money style illustration using a regular photo, it's not as perfect as the money illustrations we see in the dollar bill for example, but it's a quick tip. There might be different ways so if you know another one share with us, this was the one I came up with and it's very easy. Step 1 Open Photoshop and use a photo that you have or want to apply the effect, in this case I will use of myself, the one I use on Twitter. This photo was taken by John Arlington and you can get more info about him at Step 2 Go to Image>Adjustmenst>Desaturate. Step 3 Go to Image>Adjustments>Levels. Change the black input to 50 and the white to 150, also, change the grey input to1. Step 4 Go to Filter>Blur>Surface Blur. Use 30 pixels for the Radius and 20 for the Threshold. Save this PSD file as Displace.psd. We will use 2 files for this tutorial, one will be the displace and the other the real design. Step 5 Undo some of the steps until you get the greyscale image. Save it as me.psd. Then go to Image>Adjustments>Levels. Use 15 for the black input, 1 for the grey and 205 for the white. Step 6 Go to Image>Mode>Greyscale, then go to Image>Mode>Bitmap. Use the default settings, my output is 240 pixels/inch because my input is the same, so that value will vary depending on the input you have. Also for the Method use Halftone Screen... Step 7 The next dialog box will be the Halftone Screen settings. Use Line for the Shape and 30 lines/inch for the frequency. Also, change the Angle to 0. Tip: Depending on the resolution of your image the frequency might change, so you will have to try some values until you get the best result. Step 8 This is the result you will have after you change your document to Bitmap mode. Now let's change it back to Greyscale. Go to Image>Adjustments>Greyscale. Step 9 Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Use 0.5 pixels for the Radius. You can use 1 as well. All these values will vary depending on the resolution of the image you are using. Step 10 Go again to Image>Adjustments>Levels. Change the white input to 110. Step 11 Go to Filter>Distort>Displace. Use 1 for the Horizontal Scale, 3 for the Vertical and then Stretch to Fit and Wrap Around for the other options. Press OK. Another dialog box will open to select the Displace map. Select the Displace.psd file we created in the step 4. Step 12 Now the displace filter will distort the image so the lines won't be uniform and horizontal. Conclusion Now you can add your logo and play around with other effects. The displace filter is one of the coolest filters in Photoshop because we can create tons of different effects with it, like this tutorial. As I mentioned before the whole idea for this tutorial came when I was watching the credits of Wall Street Money Never Sleeps move where they show some money designs. Detail You can play a little bit more increasing the level and also the gaussian blur. Another Example Here you can see another version using a paper texture and then with Hue and Saturation I gave this green tone to the design. Also use color burn for the blend mode for the image layer that will be on top of the texture. Detail 2 Download the Photoshop File Click here to download the Photoshop file used for this tutorial

Playing with Vectors in Illustrator

Last week I decided to spend some time playing with Illustrator and trying to come up with a cool black and white artwork. My inspiration came from some skateboard deck designs which have this sort of 3D effect without using gradients or anything, and not exactly a woodcut effect either. After a few hours I was able to come up with a really nice design, but the most important thing, the whole process was an excellent way to improve my Illustrator techniques. So in this tutorial or walking through process I will show you how I created my design, but first check out my very first sketch. I know I suck at that... but it always helps a lot Step 1 Create a new document in Illustrator, I'm using a web format with 1920x1200 pixels. After that add a black rectangle using the Rectangle Tool (M). This rectangle will be beneath all the other new objects, you can even create a new layer (Window>Layer) move it into this layer and lock the layer so you won't be able to edit it. Step 2 With the Ellipse Tool (L) add a white ellipse in the center of the black rectangle. To do that go to Window>Align, then select the objects and click Horizontal Align Objects and Vertical Align Objects. Step 3 Add another circle a little smaller the the first one, using white for the color and black for the stroke. Also use 4pt for the Stroke weight. Step 4 Once again add an ellipse using the Ellipse Tool (L) and fill it with black. It will be smaller than the others. After that aligned it in the center using the Align options. Duplicate this ellipse. We will need one that will be always beneath the new elements and another to be used to create some vector bevel effects. Step 5 Duplicate one of the black ellipse from the previous step and move it down a little bit, like the image below. Fill it with white. Select the both ellipses and go to Window>Pathfinder. Select the second options on the Shape Modes, the Minus Front. Step 6 Repeat the same process we did in the steps 4 and 5 but with smaller circles. Look at the image below for reference, 1 is from steps 4-5 and 2 is from this step, Also the red circles are for reference. Step 7 Duplicate both elements and flip them vertically. The idea is that these elements will be used to create a sort of bevel and give some depth to the illustration. Step 8 Add anohter ellipse, this time a white ellipse in the center of the design. Step 9 Create another black ellipse in the center smaller than the previous one. Use the image below for reference. Step 10 Duplicate the ellipse from the previous step and align them in the center, after that resize the ellipse a little bit and move it up a few pixels so the top part will be thinner than the bottom. Step 11 Once again, repeat the same thing as the previous steps 9 and 10, but make it thicker, as I said in the beginning this tutorial is all about playing with the tool. Step 12 Create a triangle using the Polygon Tool. Fill it with black. Resize it to get a triangle like the one I have in the image below. Step 13 With the triangle selected, press ENTER to open the Move Dialog Box. Use 10px for the Horizontal and 0px for the Vertical. Then press COPY. Step 14 Now press Command (MAC)/Control(PC) + D several times until you cover the circle from side to side. Step 15 Select the two elements in the very center and start resizing them vertically only. Repeat that for the other elements. Step 16 With the Rectangle Tool (M) create a thin black rectangle (1), then a large one with white(2), another black one (3) and then another white one very thin that will work like a stroke. Group these rectangles so you can use the group to create more elements. Step 17 Start creating blocks with 4 elements with copies of the group of objects we created in the previous step. Rotate them so none of them will have the same angle. Step 18 Repeate the previous step 7 times. The idea is inspired by those old hubcaps or a bicicle wheel. Notice that all of them have different rotations. Step 19 Add an ellipse to be used as reference for the Type on Path Tool. With the Type on Path Tool click on the ellipse to add the text that will follow that path. I used MOD for the font and 72pt for the font size. Step 20 Now using the same technique we did in the previous step, add more text, this time I used the same font but with smaller size, 48pt. Use the image below for reference. Step 21 Select all the rectangle elements created in the Step 19 and group them, after that duplicate the group, fill it with black and put it beneath the original group. Move the black group to the left and bottom, the idea is to create a shadow for those elements. Conclusion The idea was to play with vectors and create a design that has depth but using only black and white. However I love to place texture over vectors. Here I used an old paper texture, courtesy of Shutterstock and you can get it here. Place the texture on top of the other elements and change the Transparency Mode to Multiply. You will have a really nice effect. This was not exactly a super effect but it was really good to improve my Illustrator skills, that's why I thought it would be cool to share with you. Click on the image for full preview Download the Illustrator File Click here to download the Illustrator file used for this tutorial

Photoshop Quick Tips: Neon with Layer Styles

I have posted about how to create the neon effect in Photoshop a couple of times, however I still get emails from readers asking me how I did the light effect I use on the Abduzeedo logo. So I decided to simplify the process and show you how to create the this effect in very simple steps using basically Layer Styles and a few brushes. Step 1 Open Photoshop and create a new document. I'm using 1920x1200 pixels. Fill the background with black. Step 2 Import your logo and duplicate it. We will use 2 layers to achieve the effect, one will be the glow and the other the neon light. Step 3 Select one logo and go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Use 5.5 pixels for the Radius. Step 4 With the other logo layer, go to Layer>Group Layers. Now you will have the layer inside a folder. Change that folder's Blend Mode to Color Dodge. Inside the folder select the logo layer and go to Layer>Layer Style>Inner Shadow. Use black for the color and Multiply for the Blend Mode. Change the Opacity to 75%, the Angle to -90º, Diastase to 1 pixel and Size to 2 pixels. Now a very important part, change the Contour to the Cone-Inverted preset. After that select Outer Glow. Then use Color Dodge for the Blend Mode, 50% for the Opacity, 0% for the Noise, white for the color. The last thing on this stepe is to add some blur. Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. use 2.0 pixels for the Radius. Step 5 Select all layers used to create the logo and duplicate them (Layer>Duplicate). Then merge the duplicated layers (Layer>Merge Layers). Now just go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian blur. Use 100 pixels for the Radius. This layer will be beneath the logos. Step 6 Add a new layer on top of the others and go to Filter>Render>Clouds. I love render clouds, it gives a nice touch to the design, more natural and less uniform. Also make sure that you were using black and white for the colors. After that change the Blend Mode to Soft Light and the Opacity to 30%. Step 7 Select the blurry layer created in the Step 3 and then go to Layer>Layer Style>Drop Shadow. Change the Blend Mode to Color Burn, use black for the color, 25% Opacity, 90º for the Angle, 20 pixels for the Distance and 10 pixels for the size. This layer style will create a shadow and add more depth to the composition. Conclusion Now you will be able to create really cool texts with light effects easily. Also I suggest that you play with the Contour options like I did in the Step 4. You can achieve totally different results by just changing the contour, it's a very powerful feature and a bit unknown for the majority. This was just an example, now it's up to you. Click on the image for full preview Screencast Download the Photoshop file Click here to download the Photoshop file used for this tutorial

Photoshop Quick Tips #13 - Creating Reflection

This is a very simple effect to create a nice reflection. We have been asked a couple times to create so here is a very nice quick tips that you can use and abuse since it already is a big trend in web design and also very used for other types of design. So, to start out I need an image to create the reflection, I'm going to use an iphone for this one, you can use whatever you like, this works out really well with icon and typography. Now I'm going to paint the back ground black and duplicate the iphone layer as you can see here. Now we are going to select the iphone copy layer and rename it to iphone reflection and we are going to flip this iphone around so it looks like it's upside down, and place it right under the other iphone so we can use this as our reflection. Select the iphone copy layer and go to Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical and place it under the other iphone as you see here: Time to make the reflection more realistic. On the iphone reflection layer we are going to add a layer mask to it just by clicking on the layer mask button. Now we are going to apply a gradient on the layer mask, this will make our reflection look more realistic. Select the gradient tool, and using the color black apply the gradient from bottom to top until you get a good result like the one you see on the image bellow: This is how your layers should look like. Now to make it even better and finish this up we are going to lower the opacity of the layer to 75% and we should have a great final reflection. This technique is very simple and can be used to create any kind of selections, if needed you can also apply some perspective specially if working with 3d shapes. If you have any suggestions for a quick tips, contact us at with the subject QuickTips.

Photography Quick Tips: Desaturated Film Style Photos

Lately I've been getting a lot of photography how-to questions so I decided to start a series of posts called "Photography Quick Tips" where I'll share with you guys some short and simple steps to achieving the effects of your choice. As a disclaimer, I just want to mention that I'm not exactly a Photoshop expert like my cousin, Fabio (yeah, the Photoshop gene doesn't run in the family, who knew?). It's basically just pure experimentation on my end, so there are probably other ways to achieve these effects that I'm not aware of. In that case, just let me know. I want to learn from you guys too! Oh, and you can send me your questions via facebook or twitter. Anyway, I'll start the series off with a question I received last week from @shamefuld about how I managed to achieve film quality with my Canon Digital Rebel. Final Image Original Image How To Step One Open your image and before anything, double click on the Background layer over at the layers palette to unlock it. Step Two To get that medium format film effect we need to turn the rectangular image to a square. Do this by going to Image > Canvas Size. I chose to do 6.944 x 6.944. By doing this instead of readjusting the image size straight away, we can better control the crop later on. Step Three Since the canvas size is now smaller than our original image, scale it down using free transform (Command + t). And crop it however you wish. Step Four Now it's time to get that faded look. Go to create new fill or adjustment layer at the bottom of your layers palette, select Exposure and adjust according to your preference. The trick is to bring up the Offset and bring down the Gamma Correction a little. Step Five Go back to create new fill or adjustment layer at the bottom of your layers palette, select Brightness/Contrast this time. Check the Use Legacy box, bring down the Contrast and boost up the Brightness to your liking. This softens the image. Step Six Again return to create new fill or adjustment layer, select Photo Filter. Adjust according to the feel you want your image to have. I wanted a cold feel for this one. Step Seven Adjusting the Curves is just a personal preference of mine. Basically this is just a lot of experimentation and adjustment layers. Go to town with the adjustment layers option. Seriously, adjust layers to your heart's content, people. Most of the time I don't even know what I'm doing. I've found that sometimes you go in with something in mind but get something really different to what you wanted and really cool in the end, so just play around with it a little. Step Eight After that I just started repeating steps. Try adding some color fills like I did here (Create new fill or adjustment layer > Solid Color). Set the blend mode to Overlay and bring down the Opacity to around 30-40%. You can even go all out and add some fancy schmancy textures in there if you want. Maybe even some noise to reproduce that film grain effect. Have fun!

Photoshop Quick Tips #12: Alien Eye

On today's quick tips I will be showing you how to create an alien eye, a simple and easy effect that can give an extra coolness to you next manipulation or just freak out one of your friends by getting them and alien eye. Ok, to begin with we need a photo that we want to apply the Alien Eye. I got a close up eye to make it easier to show you. Now what we need to do is to paint the whole eye area black, you can do that by selecting the eye area and painting it black or just going with the brush, the important thing is that you get the eye area painted black and make sure you do that on a new layer just in case you need to make any changes later on. We got the main part done now we need to work around the details on the eye, first detail is to give some light reflections to make the eye look more realistic. So, on a new layer pick a small soft brush I just painted a little mark, a line following the curve of the eye and another two little marks, to decrease the roughness give a little bit of gaussian blur and you should get a result like you can see bellow. Now we are going to do another line on the bottom part, create a new layer and using a soft brush I'm going to make a thicker line as you can see. To finish you need to apply a good amount of Gaussian Blur and lower the Opacity of the layer to 50% so that line turns into a nice light reflection that will make your alien eye look even more realistic. So your Alien Eye is almost done and your layer should look like this: Now to give a better contrast I am going to create a new layer between the background and blackeye layer and I will paint a big black mark around the eye as you can see. And to finish up apply a good amount of gaussian blur (I used 60%). This will reduce the contrast between the eye and the skin around it. The reason why I didn't write the exactly setting on each move is because you need to see and feel how it looks every time you apply something, there is not a perfect recipe so adjust everything the way you like it and you will have a great result. download the .psd

Photoshop Quick Tips #10: Using Pattern Overlay

Today I am going to be showing a real simple tip on Photoshop that a lot of people don't know about and it can be very useful. Creating patterns and making patterns overlay can save you a lot of work and also can look really good if you know how to use it right. To begin with we are going to need a pattern, I have a pattern that I like to use every now and then. It's the same I use on my twitter background you can get it here. You can use this image as a pattern or you can use any other of your choice. To transform this image into a pattern you have to open it on Photoshop, press Ctrl+A (to select everything) and go to Edit > Define Pattern and you can name it wood pattern, once you do that the pattern will be saved on your Photoshop until you delete it from there. Now that we have a good pattern we are going to move up to use the Pattern Overlay effect. Open a new document, you can do it at the size of you background in my case I used 1440x900 px with a black background and using the font Sybil Green (download it here I wrote Abduzeedo in white. We are going to apply the Pattern Overlay on the text layer now, by clicking on Add Layer Style on your layer pallet and click on Pattern Overlay (select the wood pattern) and your result should be like this: Now that we know what the Pattern Overlay does, we are going to twist it up a bit, using the BushPack01.2 (download it here I am going to ad the same Pattern Overlay and play with the brush until I get something cool like this: click on the img for a bigger view It looks good but we need a better contrast between the text and the background so what we are going to do is hold Ctrl and click on the text layer, that will give us a selection of the text. Now create a new layer and paint that text selection black and go to Select>Modify>Contract 1pixel and delete the rest. That should give you a 1px border around the text and to improve even more the contrast we can click on the text layer and go to Add Layer Style again but this time we are going to add Drop Shaddow and the final result you will get this. click on the img for a bigger view Download .psd Just to remind you guys, I didn't do the tutorial so you can get this image done, it's just so you learn how to use Pattern Overlay and adapt to your own way so you can use it more often whenever you need it. Hope that was a good Tip if you have any suggestions for the next one, feel free to leave it on the comments. Thank you,

Photoshop Quick Tips #8: Making a Planet

I know a lot a people think it must take hours to make a planet and it's too much work to do it, well in some cases yes, but today I will be showing how to make a simple Planet in Photoshop that should take less than 10 min and it's very useful to implement in other images. To begin with my creation the only thing we need is a texture to use it on the planet, it doesn't need any special texture, just a regular rusty texture will do it. Now that you have the texture, use the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M) to make a circle and create layer mask, leaving only the part that I will use to make the planet. Holding Ctrl click on the layer mask just to get the selection of the circle again, click on the texture layer and apply Filter > Distort > Spherize (100%) you should get something like this: Create a new layer and use that same trick to select the circle again ( hold Ctrl and click on the layer mask of the texture layer) paint the selection of the new layer in any color you want, and set the Fill to 0%. Go to Layer > Layer Style and apply Inner Shadow, Outer Glow, and Inner Glow. These are the setting I used: As you play with the settings you can chose the color you want and other settings that will effect on the look of y our planet, this is what I got so far. To see better the results go to the background layer and paint it black. Now with the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M) make a circle smaller than the planet that will be the shadow on the planet. Apply Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur 10.0 and set the layer Fill to 85%. Also to give a better even look I want to go back o the texture layer and apply Image > Adjustments > Desaturate (Shift+Ctrl+U) you can have it any color you want to give a better look to your planet. Now on the background layer apply Filter > Render > Lens Flare. Chose the one that adapts better for the color and look of your planet and apply on the side where the light should be coming from. This is how you layers should look like when you get to this point. Now that you know how to make a planet you can use your imagination and work more around it. Download the .psd Did you like this post? How about the Abduzeedo's new Limited Edition Tee "Goddess of Abduction"

Photoshop Quick Tips #6: Cloudy Text

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

Illustrator Quick Tips #2 - Scatter Brushes

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

Illustrator Quick Tips #1 - Complex Symbols with Pathfinder

Last week I posted an article showing some great logos using 3D effects and colorful gradients. There are quite a few ways to do create those effects in Illustrator, however for most of them you will have to use the Pathfinder tools. Because of that I will show you an example based on a few logos from that list. References When I was looking for references for a logo design project that I'm still working on, I selected some awesome logos. Below you can see some of them. You can visit the sites of these logos at: Qwell - Terra - South Creative - Aramova - Step 1 Open Adobe Illustrator and create a new document. With the Ellipse Tool (L), create a circle. Step 2 Duplicate the Circle and resize it, but just the width. Align it to the Left. Also change the Blending to Multiply and use cyan for the color. Step 3 Repeate the same process of the previous step, this time however reduce the height of the new circle. Also use green for the color. Use the image below for reference. Step 4 Repeat the Step 2 again, this time align to the right and use yellow for the color. Step 5 Repeat the Step 3 just aligning the new ellipse from the top. Use red for the color. Step 6 Select all ellipses and go to the Pathfinder panel (Window>Pathfinder). Click on Divide, it's the first option in the Pathfinders. This command will divide all the elements allowing us to use different colors for each one. Step 7 Playing with the Abduzeedo colors. Step 8 You can try gradients with the Gradient Tool (G) to create a nice 3D Effect. Step 9 If you need the logo in one color over light or dark backgrounds, the best thing to do is add a stroke to the elements. Conclusion Even though it looks complex, this technique is quite simple and it results in a very nice effect. That's why we've seen more logos using it. Also one of the coolest things is that you can try different shapes and colors that will result in another type of effect. If you seen thee logos I used for reference, Terra, Qwell and South Creative, they use this effect just changing shape sizes and colors, while the Aramova, uses the same technique but forming a triangle instead of a circle.

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

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