How to Create a Book Cover Design

Let’s create a striking history book cover about antique war stories with the Hard to Kill Vector Pack

How to Create a Book Cover Design

Well hello there dear readers! Simon here, ready to walk you through my process to create a striking book cover with our latest vector pack release, the hard to kill vector pack. We’ll look at the pack elements, how to pick, choose, and arrange them to craft a design.

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The brief

Our role today is to create a book cover for a collection of ancient warrior stories. The collection includes stories from antique Athens and Sparta. We’ll need to have a good centerpiece graphic element, as well as include the two parts title: “Ancient warrior stories – Vol. 01: Athens & Sparta.”

Building our concept

While the pre-made designs included in the pack are striking, they don’t quite fit the intent. They are more suited for apparel applications.

We need something striking, but less focused on a lettering element, and more on a visual element. The Spartan helmet will do just fine for that.

The shield will provide a good supporting visual element to anchor the helmet in the frame.

The two circular frames elements will provide additional ornamentation.

We’ll probably add another thing here and there, to tie everything together, but these will be the core of our piece. We’ll also use League Spartan, from the League of Moveable Type, to set our title.

Oh, and for the color scheme? We’ll stick to the white/dark gray/light gray of the pack itself. It’ll challenge us to keep things efficient to maintain legibility, and impact.

Let’s get this show on the road

Step zero: document setup

We’re working on a book cover, assembled from vector elements. We’ll work in Illustrator, in a 6″x9″ format. Note that the color mode has been switched to RGB, to match the color mode of the vector assets.

Step one: background elements!

That one is easy. We need to create a rectangle in a dark gray (#231f20) that covers the whole canvas.

Step two: the warrior helmet and shield

Let’s start with the helmet. Let’s paste it at the center of our document (X: 3″, Y: 4.5″), sized at 4.5″ wide. Let’s reflect it on a vertical axis so it “looks” to the right (right click > Reflect).

Let’s remember to organize/rename our layers, and groups, right away to keep our document clean.

Let’s add the whole shield element (including pattern) into our document. It should be pasted behind the helmet, centered in the document, and sized at 4.9″ wide.

Once the shield properly in placed, we need to adjust the color of its background fill to match the color of our document’s background color (#231f20). The shape in question is the black path at the bottom of the group.

Here’s the result after a quick shot of the eyedropper tool (I).

We’re moving forward, nicely, but the shield’s pattern showing through the helmet’s open areas creates visual tensions. To remedy that, we are going to create a background fill shape by using offset path. With the helmet highlighted, let’s head to Object > Path > Offset path. The dialog box will allow us to create the shape that matches the helmet with an extra 0.25″ added to its edges. Note the round joins for a softer feel.

The function creates a new path, that is the same color than the one used a base. We need to change the color of that path to our background color as well (#231f20).

With that done, and with some layer clean-up later, this is where we’re at.

Step three: the circular frame elements

Adding these in is nothing trickier than giving them their own layer, proper size, and proper order. Let’s start with the more complex of the two, with the pointy elements.

After creating a layer for them placed below the helmet and shield one, it needs to be pasted in centered, and sized at 6.383″ wide.

The second frame is to be pasted behind the first one, centered, and sized at 7.25″ wide.

The various black areas of that second frame need to be changed to our background color (#231f20).

Step four: the text

Adding the text is a walk in the park, thanks to the type on a path tool. Let’s start by creating a centered circle with a diameter of 7.65″ in a new layer.

We’re typing our first part of the title (“ANCIENT WARRIOR STORIES”) on that circle. It’s set in white-colored League Spartan, sized 18 points tall, centered, and tracked at 250.

After creating a second circle, we can add the second part of our title (“VOL. 01: ATHENS & SPARTA”).

The issue we have is the alignment of the text object on its circular path.

The good news is that after double-clicking on the type on a path tool icon in the main toolbar…

….we get access to this option panel, that allows us to change the alignment to ascender, which in turns makes things look a lot better.

With that done, we’re almost done with our cover, as the main elements are in place.

Step five: some fluff for good measure

While our cover’s main elements are in place, the corners are slightly empty at the moment. It can give the impression that our content is floating in the middle of the page. Let’s add some corners elements to visually close the frame around the center piece. The corners of this element will do.

After ungrouping the piece/releasing the compound path, we’ll be able to select the corners in question separately from the rest.

After a bit of clean-up, and selective grouping, we obtain each individual corner element.

They should be pasted at 0.25″ in each direction of the corners, and sized at 1″ wide.

And because we’ve properly named our layers/vector objects, this is what our file organization looks like.

Step six: leveraging our texture library to add a final layer of substance to the mix

To properly wrap this piece up, we are going to add three textures to it to give it some “meat.” First, let’s save a high resolution PSD file of our piece (File > Export > Export as). Note the checked Use artboard box, to trim the elements that are outside the bounds of our canvas.

A few technical notes and reminders

As we embark on the texture side of things, it’s a good time to remember a few base rules, and processes:

  1. Don’t know what a clipped layer is? Glad you asked! This means that the layer is only visible/applies to the layer directly below it. You can very quickly do this by holding ALT down on your keyboard and clicking between the two layers. Here’s a quick demonstration.
  2. Every time we’ll work with textures, we’ll follow this simple process: place as smart object, sharpen1, desaturate, enhance contrast with levels, and modify the blending mode.
  3. Placing the textures as smart objects, and using adjustment layers to tweak them, allows us to stick to a non-destructive workflow. We’ve explored in depth the numerous pros and few cons of such a workflow in this past tutorial: “How to Use Textures The Right Way.”

Notes: 1 – accessed through the Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen menu.

Let’s start with a texture from our vintage paper texture, vol. 01 set.

The texture is vintage-paper-textures-volume-01-sbh-001.jpg.

It’s placed in our PSD file as a smart object, sized up to 165%, rotated 90°, and sharpened.

After being desaturated with a clipped hue/adjustment layer, we’ll be enhancing its contrast with a clipped levels adjustment layer.

And after changing the texture’s blending mode to soft light @ 75% opacity, we’re achieving the first part of our texture effect.

Next is a vignette. I strongly recommend using this lossless vignette technique, found via Design Panoply (#6). The color of my shape layer is our trusty dark gray, #231f20.

Note the 150 pixels feathering value.

After changing the vignette shape blending mode to soft light @ 50% opacity, our effect is achieved.

The last texture we’ll add to the piece is from our photocopy noise texture set.

The texture is the first one in the pack, photocopy-noise-textures-001-sbh.jpg.

That texture is placed centered, and sized up to 100%.

We’re using levels to make the white specks of dust really “pop.”

The result, after changing the texture’s blending mode to screen @ 100%, is quite satisfactory.

And here’s a last look at our layer palette in Photoshop.

Let’s wrap this party up!

Phew, we’re all done! Look at this cover. Let’s mock it up for the client presentation.

I hope that you enjoyed following along the tutorial as much as I enjoyed creating it, and that your outcome matches the goals you set for yourself before diving in.

Did I leave anything unclear? Any suggestions? Don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments below! I’ll be happy to help.

The hard to kill vector pack is now available! Go grab it! If you already have, I hope you enjoy it, and that this tutorial gave you a sense of what you’ll be able to accomplish with it.

Purchase the Pack

And on that note, I’ll see you next time. Cheers!

Poster Design Ideas: How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Crest of Arms vector pack

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal’s Crest of Arms vector pack

Hello GoMediaZine/Arsenal blog readers! Simon here with a new step-by-step tutorial. We will be leveraging the contents of our brand new Crest of Arms vector pack to create a poster for the release of PWR.CLRS’ first, self-titled, album. We’ll talk about inspiration, layout exploration, and execution.

Buy the Crest of Arms Vector Pack

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack - poster design ideas

The brief

Our framework for the tutorial is that we’ve been contracted to create a poster for up and coming musical act PWR.CLRS. The experimental musician is based in Cleveland, and produces a mix of hard-hitting electronic beats, distorted guitars, and spoken word surrealistic poetry. He’s releasing his first record, and needs to let the masses know about the fun night ahead. As we’re pressed for time, we’ll be leveraging the library of visual assets provided by the vector set to speed up our design process.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack - poster design ideas

Gathering some inspiration, and putting a concept together

Buy the Crest of Arms Vector Pack

The inspiration from this piece came from three different sources: the vector pack itself, a superb portrait bathed in neon, and wide array of album art examples.

The vector pack features a lot of clean cut, precisely drawn shapes, with careful highlights, shadows, and ornaments. The elements that immediately jumped at me were the shield shapes (actual shield, circular patterned version), the stalks, and some of the oval frames. Although all the elements are exquisitely drawn, their complex highlight and shading made them hard to mix with other elements. We’ll look at techniques to remove some of the fluff.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

The next bits of inspiration came from two photos available from the wonderful collections over at Unsplash. The first photo is this striking night portrait, taken by Alex Iby. I knew rapidly this would become my centerpiece element.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

The second photo that helped to shape the piece was this other portrait, taken by Jay Clark. The slogan on this gentleman’s shirt was the key to the band name. I started with TRVE.COLORS,  which morphed to PWR.CLRS (Power Colors).

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Lastly, the amazing library of album art through the ages hosted at Fonts In Use proved good jump-starting material.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

With the elements in hand, it became clear that the shield shapes would support, and frame, our neon portrait. A dark background featuring white text would make for increased contrast. Some additional visual elements (stalks), sprinkled with some textures would tie the whole piece together.

Additionally, we’re locating this era-defining performance at the Phantasy Nightclub in Cleveland (Lakewood), OH. The Phantasy is a special place:

Nine Inch Nails debuted at the Phantasy. The Ramones, Iggy Pop, the Pogues, the Damned, the Psychedelic Furs, the Cramps, Motorhead and the B-52s all played there. The Phantasy was also fertile soil for Cleveland’s ascending 1970s and 1980s music scenes (…)

(via this old news article)

Let’s set a date of February 28th for the performance, and indicate that tickets are available everywhere.

The execution

A few technical notes and reminders

We are going to use both Photoshop and Illustrator for this piece. Photoshop is were 99.9% of the work will happen, but Illustrator will be necessary for opening the pack’s files, and to customize the vector elements themselves.

We are going to work extensively with textures. It’s a good time to remind you guys of a few base rules, and processes:

  1. Don’t know what a clipped layer is? Glad you asked! This means that the layer is only visible/applies to the layer directly below it. You can very quickly do this by holding ALT down on your keyboard and clicking between the two layers. Here’s a quick demonstration.
  2. Every time we’ll work with textures, we’ll follow this simple process: place as smart object, sharpen1, desaturate, enhance contrast with levels, and modify the blending mode.
  3. Placing the textures as smart objects, and using adjustment layers to tweak them, allows us to stick to a non-destructive workflow. We’ve explored in depth the numerous pros and few cons of such a workflow in this past tutorial: “How to Use Textures The Right Way.”

Notes: 1 – accessed through the Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen menu.

With this in place, it’s time to get started!

Document setup

We’re working with an 18″x24″ canvas. I made mine 18.5″x24.5″, in order to work in some bleed area. I’m at 300 ppi, and using RGB, as some of the texture magic happening in the finishing touches rests on it.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Next, we’ll use the automatic guide tool (View > New guide layout) to create a grid to align our elements on. We’ll be using four columns, and eight rows. The margins are set at .25″, so the inside of our outer guides will be our 18″x24″ canvas.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Main elements: the portrait

If you haven’t yet, grab Alex’ portrait over at Unsplash.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Let’s place it as a smart object in our document. It’s sized at 22.5% of its original height and width, and its center is located at X: 9.25″, and Y: 13″.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Next, we need to change the color of the background to #231f20 (a rough equivalent to CMYK rich black).

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Main elements: the vectors

It’s time to grab the assets we’ll need from the vector pack. Let’s start by opening it in Illustrator. All of the ones we’re interested in are on that first artboard. I’ve highlighted them in red:

  • The shield
  • The “circular patterned” shield
  • The wheat stalks
  • The oval “toothed” frame

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Let’s start by copying all of these in a new, empty Illustrator document to remove some of the clutter out of the way. I suggest a sheet that is at least 8.5″x11″, and in RGB color mode (to match the PSD document). A dark background (#231f20 for instance) will also help us to see our modifications to the assets more clearly.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Next up: to copy and paste these four assets to the empty Illustrator document.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Prepping the shield

The main change we need to make is to remove all the fluff from that main shield shape. All the shading do-dads have to go. The fastest solution is to ungroup the asset (Right click > Ungroup), to manually select all of the extra elements by hand, and to erase them.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

At that point, we’re left with this neat, thick, white shield.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Next, we simply have to paste it in our Photoshop document, as a smart object. It’ll be sized 425% of its original size, and its center placed at X: 9.25″, and Y: 12.25″.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Once in place, this is what our layer stack looks like: the background, the smart object photo, and the smart object shield.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Masking the image using the shield

One of Photoshop many useful features is the ability to click on a layer thumbnail, and to load its content as a selection. Let’s click on the shield layer thumbnail while pressing the CTRL (PC) or CMD (Mac) keys to load it as our selection.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

From there, with the photo smart object highlighted in the layer palette, we can simply click on the Add layer mask shortcut at the bottom of the palette to start the masking.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Et voilà, we have a mask in place. It isn’t showing/hiding the right thing yet, but we’ll get there shortly.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

If we click on the layer mask thumbnail and press ALT/OPTION at the same time, we can have access to, and edit, its content. We’ll start by inverting the image, so it shows the proper thing.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Better, but we also need to mask the photo past the edges of the mask.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Let’s go back to our mask view (click + ALT/OPTION), and paint the outer side of the shield edge in black as well to hide the rest of our portrait.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

If you use the paint bucket to quickly fill the area, remember to use a solid paintbrush to clean the seams.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

And with that work done, the photo is properly masked!

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

A bit of extra depth

In order to give the shield around the photo a bit more visual presence, we are going to give some extra layer styles to simulate a real thickness. First, a thick stroke. It’ll be 35 pixels thick, and has the same color as the background (#231f20).

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Next, a strong drop shadow, for the illusion of depth. Note the darker color used (#202020).

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

The result is a satisfactory illusion of depth and layers.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

The circular shield

Time to add the “oval patterned” shield in the mix. After heading back to Illustrator, let’s change its color to pure white (#ffffff), then paste it as a smart object into our Photoshop document behind the photo layer.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

It’ll be sized at 550% of its original size, and positioned with its center at X: 9.25″, and Y: 12.25″. Additionally, we’ll change its blending mode to screen, to interact more with texture elements later.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

The circular, “toothy” frame

This little one needs to be adapted a bit.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

First, its color needs to be changed to all white.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Next, it needs to be pasted as a smart object between the photo, and the main shield shape. It’ll be sized at 950% of its original size, and positioned at X: 9.25″, and Y: 12.03″.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

After changing its blending mode to overlay, we get a neat secondary frame effect in place around the portrait, highlighting the face even more.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Last vector element: the wheat stalks

This last one is the finishing touch of the vector assets. It frames the overall piece, and also gives it a visual anchor within the canvas. We first need to head back to Illustrator to change their color to pure white.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Next, we’ll paste it as a smart object right above our background layer. We’ll size it at 1000% of its original size. Its blending mode will be overlay @ 50% opacity, and its center is at X: 9.25″, and Y: 12.3″.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

And all of our elements are in place! Next, we need to talk text.

Copy copy copy

The copy for the poster will be straight to the point: the name of the act, the occasion we’re summoning people to show up for, the location/date line, and the ticketing information. All spelled out, we have:

  • PWR.CLRS
  • RECORD RELEASE PARTY
  • PHANTASY NIGHTCLUB • CLEVELAND • FEB. 28TH
  • TICKETS AVAILABLE WHERE TICKETS ARE SOLD

The typeface we’ll use for our poster is a free one, and comes from the League of Moveable Type. It’s called Orbitron, and has been designed by Matt McInerney. It’ll be the one used for all of our text elements.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

PWR.CLRS is typed at 150 points tall, centered. Its center is located at X: 9.33″, and Y: 2.40″. Note that the kerning is set to optical.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

RECORD RELEASE PARTY is typed at 60 points tall, centered. Its center is located at X: 9.22″, and Y: 21.94″. The kerning is set to optical as well.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Next, PHANTASY NIGHTCLUB • CLEVELAND • FEB. 28TH / TICKETS AVAILABLE WHERE TICKETS ARE SOLD are all part of the same text object. The “/” indicates a line break. It’s written 30 points tall, and placed at X: 9.25″, and Y: 23.21″. The kerning is set to optical as well.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

And with that, all of our text elements are in place. Here’s a look at how our layers are organized up to now. Note the new Background layer group, to separate its elements from the rest.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Time for textures!

Now that everything is all well organized, it’s time to add textures. If you looked at some of my past tutorials, you already know that I LOVE textures. They help us to give substance, depth, and, well, texture, to very clean digital shapes. Luckily for us, the Arsenal has quite the library.

First up, the text

In order for the text to be more worn out, we’ll be using a texture from the Vintage Organic Noise Texture Pack. The texture in question is gma_tex_herbal-organic_09.jpg.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Remember how we used click+ALT/OPTION to edit the content of the shield’s layer mask earlier? Well it turns out that we can do much more than using brushes and the paint bucket when doing that. We can also paste the content of a texture file in that layer mask. Depending on the texture, it can make for a very rapid, and efficient way to give things a worn out aspect.

Let’s start by opening the texture in Photoshop, and copying the content of the file (CTRL/CMD+A to select everything, CTRL/CMD+C to copy).

Then, let’s add a layer mask to the Text layer group.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

By clicking+ALT/OPTION on the layer mask thumbnail, we have access to that pristine layer mask’s content.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

By pressing CTRL/CMD+V, we can paste the texture at the center of the layer.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

In order to cover the whole piece, we’ll rotate the texture clockwise 90°, and size it up to 220%.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

From there, in order to soften the intensity of the texture, we’ll use levels (CTRL/CMD+L) to fade the texture some.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

The result is this beautifully, organically worn text.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Next, the background. We’ll be using a painterly texture from the Brush Stroke Textures, Volume 02 pack. It’s brush-strokes-textures-volume-02-004-sbh.jpg.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Let’s place it dead center right above the background layer, sized at 105% so it covers the whole background.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Remember the technical notes from earlier? Don’t forget to sharpen the texture smart object (Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen).

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

After using a clipped hue/saturation to desaturate the texture layer, we’ll be using a clipped levels adjustment layer to enhance its contrast.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Lastly for the background, we just need to change the blending mode to soft light @ 35% opacity for our effect.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

With that our background is fully textured. Time to move on to texturing the piece as a whole, to tie everything together.

Texturing the full piece

The first texture we’ll use for the piece as a whole is from the Vintage Organic Noise Texture Pack again. It’s gma_tex_herbal-organic_07.jpg.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

We’ll place that texture centered in the frame, and rotate it counterclockwise 90°.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

It’s sized up to cover the whole piece, at 55%.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

After sharpening the texture, we can simply change its blending mode to color burn @ 35% opacity. There’s no need to desaturate it, as it’s already a black and white texture.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

In order to add some highlight at the top of the poster, we’ll then add gma_tex_herbal-organic_03.jpg in the piece.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

This one is rotated 90° clockwise, and also sized up at 55% to cover the whole piece.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

After sharpening, we can change its blending mode to soft light @ 25% opacity.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

To add a hair of film noise, we’ll use GoMediaArsenal_FilmNoise_05.jpg from the film texture pack.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

This texture needs to be rotated clockwise 90°, and sized up 2100% to fill the whole piece.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Once we have used a clipped hue/saturation layer to desaturate the texture, we need a clipped levels adjustment layer to enhance the texture’s details.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

With that done, we just need to change the texture’s blending mode to screen @ 35% opacity.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

With that, we’re almost done. Here are what our layers should look like at this stage:

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Finishing touches

The last bit of stuff we need to do to this poster to wrap things up is to add a little bit of a halftone effect. Let’s start by making a merged copy of all the layers so far, by using the keyboard shortcut CTRL/CMD+SHIFT+ALT/OPTION+E. This will create a new layer at the top of our stack.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack - poster design ideas

Let’s rename it to Halftones.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

After that, we have to turn it into a smart object. With the layer highlighted, head to Filter > Convert for smart filters.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

With that done, we can head to Filter > Pixelate > Color halftone. Note the value of the Max. Radius, up to 10, from the default value of 8.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

The cool thing with smart filters is that the layer has a blending mode, and the filter itself has one as well. What that means is that we can make the effect even more subtle and believable. Let’s start by assigning the halftone filter a blending mode of overlay @ 100% opacity. To do this, let’s double click on the double arrow icon on the right-hand side of the layer thumbnail.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

We then get access to this drop down menu to choose the blending mode.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

From there, we can change the blending mode of the layer itself to lighter color @ 35% opacity.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

If everything went according to plan, this is what the layer stack should look like.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Additionally, here are a couple of detail shots @ 100% zoom.

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

And here are some close-ups:

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

And finally a full view of the final piece:

How to easily create a record release promo poster with the Arsenal's Fistful vector pack

Wrapping things up

Phew, that was a long one! I hope that you enjoyed following along the tutorial as much as I enjoyed creating it, and that your outcome matches the goals you set for yourself before diving in. Did I leave anything unclear? Any suggestions? Don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments below! I’ll be happy to help.

The Crest of Arm vector pack is now available! Go grab it! If you already have, I hope you enjoy it, and that this tutorial gave you a sense of what you’ll be able to accomplish with it.

Buy the Crest of Arms Vector Pack

And on that note, I’ll see you next time. Cheers!

Working with Photoshop's Quick Mask Mode

Introducing our newest Video Tutorial: Working with Photoshop’s Quick Mask Mode

Working with Photoshop’s Quick Mask Mode

Go Media’s Arsenal proudly announces the release of a brand new video tutorial, “Digitizing Your Illustrations with the Quick Mask Mode in Photoshop.”

In this video tutorial, Go Media’s Lindsey Meisterheim will be using a kind line illustration to show you how to work with the quick mask mode in Photoshop.

This tutorial will show you how this versatile tool was a key element in ensuring her one of a kind illustration maintained a realistic, hand-drawn look (as if it was drawn right in Photoshop).

Lindsey will take you step-by-step through her process. This includes how she:

  • got the inspiration for her unique, almost child-like drawing
  • used the quick mask mode to achieve the look you see above (shapes built upon shapes without losing their integrity/color)
  • added the watercolor/wash effect
  • chose the color for her piece
  • and more!

Lindsey will show how she uses this versatile tool to refine her selection and maintain the integrity of the illustration she has created so that it appears as if it was drawn right in Photoshop.

Follow along with Lindsey as she moves through the tutorial. The 10 Indian Ink Washes we included will aid you in your journey.

Tutorial length: 35 minutes

Purchase the Tutorial

How to Create a Rainbow Effect in Photoshop

How to Create a Rainbow Effect in Photoshop (Freebie Included)

How to Create a Rainbow Effect in Photoshop

Hello Everybody!

It’s 2017 and this year, I don’t know about you, but I’m resolving to settle into my skin more than ever. This means saying “yes” to life more often, saying “no” when I’m really not feeling it and letting my true self come forward, even when I feel like I don’t fit in. I’m going to be myself fully. Unless I have the opportunity to be a unicorn. Then, I’m going to do that.

I’m really excited to announce that we’ve just released a very special texture pack called Glow. It gives you the opportunity to add very special rainbow effects to photos and designs, primarily colorful light leak and vintage effects that will breathe new life into or enhance what is already pretty darn cool. We’re providing you with 45 effects that we handcrafted here in house. We know you’ll love them.

Buy GLOW

Curious to know how we created these ombre effects?

Well today is your lucky today, because we are going to create a special one just for this mini-tutorial. You can download it here >> Magical Rainbow Overlay

Now, onto how we made it.

STEP ONE:  Start a new document with a transparent background, sized 4235 x 2927. Select your color picker and choose your first color. Since we’re making a rainbow effect for this tutorial, we’re going to select a red tone #b62528. Using a large brush, simply paint your canvas to your liking. Try something a little different than ours! Don’t worry too much about perfection here.

Untitled-3

STEP TWO:  Next, head to FILTER > BLUR > GAUSSIAN BLUR. Choose a radius of 250 pixels. Press OK.

2

STEP THREE: Shift + Ctrl + N to create a new layer. Drag this layer beneath your first layer. Use your color picker and select for our next layer (orange). Paint with the orange, then repeat the blurring process found in step two. You’ll want to make sure that you paint some orange beneath the red so that they overlap a bit.

Untitled-4

STEP FOUR: Repeat this entire process with yellow (#FFFF00), green (#008000), blue (#0000FF), indigo (#4b0082) and whichever colors that tickle your fancy, remembering to use a new layer for each color. (New layers should be added beneath older layers.)

Untitled-5

STEP FOUR: Select all of our layers, then right click on your mouse > Select > Merge Layers. If you plan on using this as a background in addition to an overlay, I would suggest adding a solid color background to your image as I’ve done below. (Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color)

3

To finish up, merge those layers together and name your file.

STEP FIVE: Next, File > Place your image into your document. Drag your image beneath your overlay.

4

STEP SIX: Now comes the fun part! Choose Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options (or the drop-down shortcut in your layers panel) and play with the options to get the effect you’re after. To get this effect, I chose  the Color Burn blending mode. You can also stack the textures atop one another to really get a unique look. Have fun with it!

unicorn-2

Buy GLOW

Creating your own coloring book using Photoshop

Design Tip of the Day: Creating your own Coloring Book in Photoshop

Creating your own coloring book using Photoshop >

It’s time for the holidays! That means lots of relaxation time, including time spent curled up by the fire. If you’re like me, it’s hard to keep still when all you want to do is create all the time. This is where coloring books come in. They’re perfect for cold winter nights when you need to keep yourself busy without going into full work mode. 

Using Crumpled Paper Textures to Pimp out your Hang in There Cat Poster (Freebie Included!)

Text Portrait Poster

PS Tutorial: Create a text portrait poster based on your favorite book (Free mockup included)

Photoshop Abstract Texture Tutorial

Getting our 1980s and VHS tape on with Dustin Schmieding’s cosmic fractal storm texture pack!

Introducing the cosmic fractal storm texture pack

Hello everyone! It’s Simon again on this end of the keyboard. I’m returning for another tutorial, and boy, do we have a treat this week. Dustin Schmieding gifted us with yet another fantastic texture pack, the cosmic fractal storm texture collection.

1

The set is composed of three-dimensional scenes, resembling cloud formations, or landscapes. Each texture is 4,000×2,700 pixels @ 150 ppi. This gives us plenty of pixels to work with, even for big size print applications (posters, flyers, and more).

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

DOWNLOAD THE COSMIC FRACTAL STORM TEXTURE COLLECTION

Arsenal Members, you get this pack at no extra charge! (Feels like your birthday, doesn’t it?)

Using the pack: let’s play!

These assets are at home in a variety of contexts. They can be used as stand-alone assets, as background elements, as textures… We will explore some of these uses while we embark on the creation of a poster for a (fake) EDM event called Magnetic Fields.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

The tutorial will have us explore tips and tricks to recreate a “VHS-like” effect, for all that analog glitch goodness.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

We’ll use primarily Photoshop for this tutorial, as manipulating textures is easier with it, and because we won’t engage in complex type manipulation.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

We are going to work extensively with textures. It’s a good time to remind you guys of a few base rules, and processes:

  1. Don’t know what a clipped layer is? Glad you asked! This means that the layer is only visible/applies to the layer directly below it. You can very quickly do this by holding ALT down on your keyboard and clicking between the two layers. Here’s a quick demonstration.
  2. Every time we’ll work with textures, we’ll follow this simple process: place as smart object, sharpen1, desaturate, enhance contrast with levels, and modify the blending mode.
  3. Placing the textures as smart objects, and using adjustment layers to tweak them, allows us to stick to a non-destructive workflow. We’ve explored in depth the numerous pros and few cons of such a workflow in this past tutorial: “How to Use Textures The Right Way.”

Notes: 1 – accessed through the Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen menu.

With this in place, it’s time to get started!

The concept

As hinted at during our walk-through of the product, these textures feature digital “landscapes” that make no mysteries about how they have been generated. In order to stick to the theme, we are going to give this poster a “Lo-Fi,” CRT-like screen effect. Think of VHS artifacts: scan lines, slight warps, etc.

The concert is being branded as Magnetic Fields, and will take place at the Tate Modern gallery in London, and more specifically in the Turbine Hall. It’s a beautiful industrial space, and hosted a Kraftwerk performance in the past. It’s perfectly fitting.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

(Images via Tate.org/Marcus Leith/Tate Photography – © all rights reserved)

We’ll split our document in two columns to fit all the text (one side main event announcements, one side for the band names). The copy will read “Magnetic Field – 02.06.16 – Tate Modern – Turbine Hall – London, UK,” “Performances by chp_tnes – nu_drds – cbalt – qwerty – & lw_ram,” and “Tickets & information at www.magneticfields.com.”

The two typefaces we’ll use for the poster are League Gothic, and Droid Serif. They are both free for commercial use, so grabbing them is a no-brainer. They even feature an extended set of weights, for even more flexibility.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

All of our band names are inspired by electronics/robotics/computer science jargon:

  • chp_tnes (chiptunes)
  • nu_drds (new droids)
  • cbalt (cobalt)
  • qwerty (look at your keyboard)
  • lw_ram (low RAM)

The event is to take place on February 06th, 2016.

Photoshop Abstract Texture Tutorial

Document setup

Even though our event will take place in the United Kingdom, we will use an 18″x24″ canvas. Designers in the UK would typically use ISO paper sizes, like pretty much the rest of the world. Let’s just say that the performing acts all come from the USA, and that the poster is put together by an American concert promoter.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

As mentioned before, we’ll split our canvas in columns, three to be exact. We’ll also mark a one inch security margin around the edges of our poster. Photoshop CC’s New Guide Layout feature is priceless to generate these rapidly (View > New guide layout).

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Note: if you don’t have the CC version of Photoshop, you can leverage the power of GuideGuide to accomplish the grid-related tasks quickly. The current version isn’t free, but older versions are.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

With the preparation work done, we can finally start to tackle the real thing.

The background

The background will be the base for our VHS effect. The first asset we need is GoMediaArsenal-CosmicFractalStorm-03.jpg, from Dustin’s texture pack.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

It needs to be placed as a smart object at X: 0.5″, and Y:12″, scaled up to 135%, and sharpened (Filters > Sharpen > Sharpen).

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Once in place, it looks like this.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Starting the magic

The VHS-like effect that we will create in a few steps rests on the power of levels, and of blending modes. First, we need three copies of our texture smart object.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Using clipped levels adjustment layers, we are going to “kill” the output of selective color ranges for each of the copies. Let’s start with GoMediaArsenal-CosmicFractalStorm-03 copy. Using the clipped levels adjustment layer, we are going to change the output of blue hues to zero. This will result in a layer turning to yellow hues. Pro tip: note that the additional copies have been hidden for clarity each time.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Using the same technique, the second copy GoMediaArsenal-CosmicFractalStorm-03 copy 2 will see its greens disappear, leaving us with a set of saturated purples.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Finally, we’ll get rid of the reds on GoMediaArsenal-CosmicFractalStorm-03 copy 3.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

With that done, here’s our layer stack so far.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Next, we are going to create a few layer groups: one is for the copies and their adjustment layers, the other one for the background elements in general.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Now, we are going to change the blending mode of each copies to exclusion @ 100% opacity (the copies only – not their adjustment layers!).

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

The result is slightly underwhelming at the moment, but we are going to address that shortly.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Out-of-synchronization frames, part one

Next, we need to carefully offset each of the copies from the original smart object. For instance, instead of GoMediaArsenal-CosmicFractalStorm-03 copy being positioned at X: 0.5″, and Y:12″, it should be positioned at X: 0.55″, and Y:12.1″.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

GoMediaArsenal-CosmicFractalStorm-03 copy 2 can go from its original spot to X: 0.495″, and Y:11.95″.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Finally, GoMediaArsenal-CosmicFractalStorm-03 copy 3 can migrate to X: 0.485″, and Y:11.97″.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

The effect is taking shape: we just established the basis for out-of-synchronization frames, or tape damage. To make things more legible, we are going to lower the opacity of the copies to 50%.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Out-of-synchronization frames, part two

To make the effect more believable, we are going to alter a portion of it. Let’s start by creating a merged copy of everything so far (CTRL/CMD+ALT/OPTION+SHIFT+E), at the top of our layer stack. The generated layer should be called Shear.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

We are now going to apply a shear filter to it (Filter > Distort > Shear). The effect is controlled through the small curve in the effect window. Clicking on the grid adds controls points (but no handles). Holding ALT/OPTIONS allows you to reset the manipulation. Wrap around loops disappearing image parts on the opposite side of the canvas. Repeat edge pixels stretches the pixels at the limit of the canvas to the image’s edges.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

After creating a curve directed to the bottom right corner of the canvas, our result is pretty dramatic.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Using our guides, we are going to create selections that we’ll use to mask parts of the sheared layer.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

With the selections active, we can head to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal selection.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

With that done, we can change the blending mode of the Shear layer to color dodge @ 35% opacity.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Additional touches

To complement the effect, we are going to add some thin horizontal lines at the edges of our selections. These lines will each be 1 point thick, run the full width of the poster, be colored in 50% gray (#808080), and perfectly aligned with the edges of the visible parts of the Shear layer. These lines should be created with either the pen tool (P), or with the line tool (U).

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

The settings options offered by Photoshop CC 2016 allows to customize the stroke. It should be noted that aligning the stroke to the outside produces the best result.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Once one of the lines is created, it can be duplicated and positioned to the appropriate locations.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Once in place, the lines’ blending mode can be changed to screen @ 25% opacity.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

And after some layer organization, our background layers start resembling something.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Icing on the cake

Because our background needs to not compete with our type elements later, we are going to darken it. We’ll use a levels adjustment layer for that.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

After one last look at the layer stack, we’re ready to move onto type!

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Type

The foundations

Now that our background is in place, we can start shaping our text blocks. The first one is the main one: “MAGNETIC FIELDS / 02.06.16 / TATE MODERN / TURBINE HALL / LONDON, UK.”

The type is set in League Gothic Condensed, that is 300 points tall, with a line spacing of 272 points, colored in white, and with kerning set to optical. These settings make the copy fit the two left columns of the grid, leaving the right column for the additional information blocks.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

The next block is “Performances by // chp_tnes / nu_drds / cbalt / qwerty / & lw_ram.” The type is set in Droid Serif Bold, that is 54 points tall, aligned to the right, colored in white, and with kerning set to metric. These settings make the text block fit snugly in the top right corner of the poster.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

The third and last text block is for the miscellaneous information: “Tickets & information at www.magneticfields.com.” It is set in Droid Serif Bold, that is 30 points tall, aligned to the right, colored in white, and with kerning set to metric. These settings make the text block fit snugly in the bottom right corner of the poster.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

The result is interesting, but it lacks depth.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

In order to address that, we are going to replicate the VHS effect we gave the background to the main type block. Let’s start by creating three copies of the type element.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Instead of using levels adjustment layers, we are going to assign hues directly to each type elements. This works because the type is a solid color object, as opposed to the visually complex texture we applied the effect to earlier.

The bottom copy, MAGNETIC FIELDS 02.06.16 TATE MODERN TURBINE HALL LONDON, UK copy 3, should be assigned the base blue color #0000ff.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

The middle copy, MAGNETIC FIELDS 02.06.16 TATE MODERN TURBINE HALL LONDON, UK copy 2, should be assigned the base red color #ff0000.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

The top copy, MAGNETIC FIELDS 02.06.16 TATE MODERN TURBINE HALL LONDON, UK copy, should be assigned the base green color #00ff00.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

The top text element (the original one) should stay white.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

From there, we can change the blending mode of the three copies to exclusion @ 100% opacity, and of the original element to overlay @ 100% opacity.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Now, in order to complete the effect, we simply have to offset the three copies in separate directions, using the arrow keys on our keyboard.Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

And with that done, we can move on to the last step: textures. Below is a look at our layer stack so far.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Textures!

Things to grab

Before we get moving, here are three assets to grab. They are all free. The first one is photocopy by clarisaponcedeleon, via DeviantArt.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

The second is Film texture – grain explosion by JakezDaniel, on DeviantArt.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

The third texture is vintage-paper-textures-volume-01-sbh-005, from the Vintage Paper Textures, Volume 1 set. It was made available through the “cute robot” book cover tutorial freebies.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

DOWNLOAD THE CUTE ROBOT TUTORIAL FREEBIE ARCHIVE

The last asset is this pattern tile, that we’ll use for scan lines. You should download it by right-clicking on it, and using the Save image at menu.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Putting things in place

The first texture we’ll use is the film noise texture, film_texture___grain_explosion_by_jakezdaniel-d37pwfa.jpg.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

It needs to be placed centered in the canvas, rotated of 90° clockwise, and scaled down to 80% so it covers the whole piece.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

From there, we can change its blending mode to color dodge @ 15% opacity.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

The next texture is the scanline pattern. Let’s open the file.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

With the file open, we need to head to Edit > Define pattern. This will ask us to name it, and to validate. Once that is done, our pattern will be ready to use in our piece. Let’s close the pattern, and head back to our main file.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Back in the main file, let’s create a new, empty layer at the top of our layer stack.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

We are going to apply the pattern using a layer style. First, we need to fill our layer with a solid color. Which one won’t matter, it is just to make sure the effect shows up. 50% gray is a good default choice in these cases (#808080).

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Next, we can open up our layer style palette by double-clicking on the layer thumbnail in the layer panel.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Let’s navigate to the pattern overlay section. It’s a simple interface. We can control the pattern tile roughly the same way we can control a layer: blending mode, opacity, scale, etc.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Let’s use the drop-down menu to select our scanline pattern.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Finally, we can dramatically scale the pattern up to make sure the lines are visible (900%).

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Our pattern is applied, but we need to give it an additional touch for more veracity. Let’s convert the layer to a smart object (Filters > Convert to smart filters).

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Next, let’s assign a 2 pixels gaussian blur to the pattern layer/smart object (Filter > Blur > Gaussian blur).

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Finally, let’s change the blending mode to overlay @ 10% opacity.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

With the scanlines in place, we can move to a slight color alteration. We are going to use a gradient overlay for it. Just like before, we’ll need a layer filled with 50% gray (#808080).

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Next, we are going to change the layer’s fill to 0%. This allows to hide the layer’s pixels (the gray), but to let any effects applied through the layer style panel to shine through.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Let’s open the gradient overlay side of the panel.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

In the gradient drop down menu, let’s select the spectrum gradient.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Let’s change the blending mode of the gradient to overlay @ 15% opacity, and change the angle to -50°.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

This gives us a nice added depth to the colors of the piece.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

The next to last texture is vintage-paper-textures-volume-01-sbh-005.jpg, from the cute robot tutorial freebie archive.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

It needs to be placed centered in the canvas, rotated of 90°, and scaled up to 440%.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Blending mode: soft light @ 25% opacity.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

The last texture is photocopy_by_clarisaponcedeleon.jpg.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

This one needs to be centered in the canvas, and slightly distorted (width: 212%, and height: 208%).

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Levels adjustments.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Blending mode: soft light @ 75% opacity.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

And with that, our piece is complete! After a last go at organizing our layers, here’s the full layer stack.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Wrapping things up!

Phew, that was a long one! I hope that you enjoyed following along with the tutorial as much as I enjoyed creating it, and that your outcome matches the goals you set for yourself before diving in.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Did I leave anything unclear? Any suggestions? Don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments below! I’ll be happy to help out.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

We’d love to see your tutorial outcomes! Please share them with us on the Go Media Facebook page, or on Twitter at @go_media.

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

And finally, I hope that this gave you a preview of the cool things you can achieve with the cosmic fractal storm texture pack, by Dustin Schmieding. The pack is available for download now!

Cosmic Fractal Storm Textures Exploration Tutorial

On that note, that’s all for me today. Until next time, cheers!

How to Make Photoshop Brushes

Video Tutorial: How to Create Your Own PS Brushes

How to Make Photoshop Brushes

In this video tutorial, we teach you how to make your very own Photoshop Brushes. We create ours using coffee stains, but you can use paint, watercolors, or other fun materials you find around your studio.

Get the Brushes

Ready, set…

Now that you’ve watched this video, you’re all set to make your own. But first, pick up our Coffee Stain Brush Pack. This kit comes with the Coffee Stain Brushes we created in-house, as well as 10 bonus vector elements. You’ll also get a PDF guide. The guide gives you instruction on how to install your new brushes, as well as gives you a preview of each brush.

How to Make Photoshop Brushes How to Make Photoshop Brushes How to Make Photoshop Brushes

Get the Brushes

Tutorial: Rockin’ Some Radical Glitch Effects in PS (plus 4 Free TV Glitch Textures just for YOU)

TV Glitch Effects: Makin’ Em in PS (& Free TV Glitch Textures, Too!)

So guys, we’re kind of obsessed with these tv glitch textures we’ve been seeing around town lately. So, we created some for you to use and apply to your work right now.

Download: 4 Free TV Glitch Textures by Go Media’s Arsenal 

We also thought you might like to learn how to apply your own glitch effect on photos in Photoshop. So stick around and we’ll create some magic together.

Ready, set…

Step 1

Choose your photo and open it up in PS.

Something about this photo really called to me. Can’t put my finger on it.

5282951160_8a261e63a4_o

Step 2

Press play.

Step 3

Open up your channels panel, then highlight your red panel.

2

Step 4

From your menu options, select Filter > Distort > Shear

3

Step 5

Using the points given, create a soft wave.

In the “Undefined Areas,” section, select “Repeat Edge Pixels,” then select “Ok” to Save.

4

Step 6

Look back at your channels panel. Make sure all of your colors are selected now. What do you think? Love what you see? Want more cowbell?

5

If you’re craving more glitch, select your green panel and repeat the process we completed in Step 5.

6

Step 7

And, you guessed it! Feel free to repeat with the blue color channel as well.

Play with it until you’re satisfied.

7

Step 8

Last, let’s go Filter > Noise > Add Noise. Crank that up as high as you’d like (Gaussian) and Ok to Save.

8

Step 8

Boom! You’re done! Mock that beautiful art up on a MockupEverything.com or Arsenal template and call it a day. I salute you!

final-final

Hope you guys had fun. What freebie textures, what tutorials do you want us to create next? Please let us know in the comments section below!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will’s hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Introducing Justin Will’s Sci-Fi vector pack!

Hello, dear Zine reader! It’s Simon on this end of the keyboard for a new tutorial. This time, we’ll have a close look at how to use Justin Will’s hand drawn Sci-Fi vector pack.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The pack features a lot of the typical elements of a good Sci-Fi story: robots, crazy laboratory contraptions, a ray gun, a spaceman, and more! Each of the vectors has been given extra care in its execution to be unique, yet quickly recognizable.The assets all feature this clean, detailed, yet almost child-like treatment to them.

Untitled-1

DOWNLOAD JUSTIN’S SCI-FI VECTOR PACK NOW!

Arsenal Members, you get this pack at no extra charge! (Feels like your birthday, doesn’t it?)

Technical notes

We’ll be using mostly Photoshop CC for the tutorial, but any version of Photoshop past CS3 should be fine. Note also that I’m working on a Windows-based system, but other than visual appearance and slightly different keyboard shortcuts, that will not have any impact on the process we’ll go through. We’ll use Illustrator only to open the vector asset, and to paste it in our Photoshop document.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

We are going to work extensively with textures. It’s a good time to remind you guys of a few base rules, and processes:

  1. Don’t know what a clipped layer is? Glad you asked! This means that the layer is only visible/applies to the layer directly below it. You can very quickly do this by holding ALT down on your keyboard and clicking between the two layers. Here’s a quick demonstration.
  2. Every time we’ll work with textures, we’ll follow this simple process: place as smart object, sharpen1, desaturate, enhance contrast with levels, and modify the blending mode.
  3. Placing the textures as smart objects, and using adjustment layers to tweak them, allows us to stick to a non-destructive workflow. We’ve explored in depth the numerous pros and few cons of such a workflow in this past tutorial: “How to Use Textures The Right Way.”

Notes: 1 – accessed through the Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen menu

So, what are we going to build?

Given the comic book/children’s book illustration style of the assets, we wanted the final output to fit these realms. After some experimentation, and a dozen thumbnail sketches, here are the two main ideas that came to life: a NASA recruitment poster, and a book cover for a (fake) children’s book called “The gentle robot.” I worked with color pencils to establish a color palette right away.

The slightly colder blue and green hues of the robot’s body contrast nicely with the warmer orange background.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

In this concept, the orange space suit of the astronaut contrasts with the colder dark blue and magenta of the deep space behind him.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

After discussion, we decided to focus on the children’s book cover: it felt truer to the asset, and to the desired target audience.

We’ll need to grab a few things before we start

Good news! Aside from the vector asset, all the things you’ll need for the tutorial are free resources. We also decided to make two textures from the Arsenal available as freebies, so you wouldn’t be hindered in the completion of the piece. The assets you’ll need to get are textures, available from the Lost and Taken archives, as well as from the Lost and Taken Flickr stream.

The first texture is Grey_Grunge4.jpg, from Lost and Taken’s five grey texture pack. Pro tip: grab the whole set, all of these are great.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The next texture is LT_Microscopic35mmFilm_02.JPG, from the seven microscopic film textures pack.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Next, is Vintage_Paper_7.jpg, from the early 20th century paper textures set.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The following asset is DigitalNoise_05.jpg, from the digital noise textures pack.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Next, brown16, from Lost and Taken’s Flickr stream. Pro tip: remember to always download the highest possible size, or better yet, the original size, when grabbing textures from Flickr.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Next, free_high_res_texture_455, also from Lost and Taken’s Flickr stream.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The last two textures that interest us have generously been made available as freebies by Go Media’s Arsenal. Pro tip: become a member today, for access to thousands of design assets, for only $15 a month.

The first texture is vintage-paper-textures-volume-01-sbh-005.jpg, from the Vintage Paper Textures, Volume 1 set.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The second freebie is metal-dumpster-textures-021-sbh.jpg, from the metal dumpster texture pack.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

DOWNLOAD THE FREEBIE ARCHIVE

Document setup

Since we are working on a book cover, we are going to work within a document with different measurements from our typical 18″x24″. One of the most popular book cover sizes is 6″x9″, which is an aspect ratio of 2:3.

Our document will have a one inch bleed/safe zone around it, to account for trimming and other production constraints. This means that instead of being 6″x9″ on the nose, it’ll be 8″x11″.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The next step is to add a few guides. We’ll use them to mark the actual cover’s size, as well as the center of our canvas. I’m using Photoshop CC’s New Guide Layout feature to generate these rapidly.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Note: if you don’t have the CC version of Photoshop, you can leverage the power of GuideGuide to accomplish the grid-related tasks quickly. The current version isn’t free, but older versions are.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Additionally, we can also add guides to mark a half inch zone within the safe zone. These will help us not to stick our content too close to the edges of the cover.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

With that done, we can get started with the real thing.

Building up the background

The first step is to fill the background layer with a pale orange, #fde2c6.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The first texture we’ll use is brown16 (5025205871_cab14db56b_o.jpg).

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

It needs to be placed as a smart object, centered in the canvas, and scaled down to 52%. That way, it will fit well within the final format of the cover (6″x9″).

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

After sharpening the texture (Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen), we need to desaturate the texture using a clipped hue/saturation adjustment layer.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Next, we need to use a clipped levels adjustment layer to adjust the texture’s details.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Finally, we need to change the blending mode of the texture to soft light @ 85% opacity.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The next texture is LT_Microscopic35mmFilm_02.JPG.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

It needs to be centered in the canvas, rotated 90° clockwise, and scaled down to 17%.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

After sharpening, and desaturating, we need to use a clipped curves adjustment layer to invert the texture.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The trick to invert the texture is to use the negative preset in the drop down menu.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Then, a clipped levels adjustment layer to tweak the texture.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Finally, we need to change the blending mode to soft light @ 85% opacity.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Our background is set. Now, we need to organize our layers better.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The robot

As we want to build the book cover for a story about a robot, we need to bring the said robot in our piece. Let’s open the vector set in Illustrator.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Our robot is second from the left in the first row.

the-shop-go-media-sci-fi-vectors-tutorial-001-300x300

It needs to be placed in our document as a smart object, scaled up to 225%, and located precisely at X: 4″, and Y: 7″.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The next step is to give the robot a bright blue color overlay (#78c8d8).

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Now, we need to give some additional colors to the robot. Let’s start by giving it its main color fill. The robot will be a light blue color, #d6f6f1. We need to create a new layer below the robot’s smart object, and to paint the color in carefully, without going over the lines. Given the scale we are working at, a hard, round 100 pixels brush will do just fine. Pro tip: you can use your magic wand (W) to create a selection if you don’t trust the precision of your brush strokes.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The next step is to add a secondary color to the robot. We’ll fill its “hands” and “sleeves” with a pink hue, #dd86a5. Note that we’re filling the area inside the sleeves.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Now, we need to give the robot some depth. We’ll do this by painting a green hue (#bad9ab) in select places, where there would be shadows. The exact positions of the shadows don’t matter, as long as they are consistent.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Also, a small hard brush (between 12 and 18 pixels), and zooming in at 100%, will both be paramount to paint precisely the small details.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The last thing we need to give the robot is a grounding shadow, otherwise it will look like it’s floating in space. We are going to use the ellipse tool (U) for that. The ellipse is 3.75″x0.5″, and located at X: 4″, and Y: 4.35″. Its color is #dd86a5, the same pink hue used for the sleeve and pincers.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

With that done, we can organize our layers some more.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Type

A book cover without a title and author name appearing is not often heard of. Our story is called “The gentle robot,” and was written by Cassia Ovami (internet high five if you find the real author name hidden behind this anagram).

The two typefaces we’ll use for the cover are part of free font families from the Google Fonts project: Open Sans, and Droid Serif. Pro tip: download the whole Open Sans family (Open Sans, Open Sans Condensed), as well as the whole Droid family (Droid Sans, Droid Sans Mono, and Droid Serif).

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Once the fonts have been downloaded, we need to  generate three separate text blocks:

  1. “THE” – set in Droid Serif Bold Italic, that is 24 points tall, with kerning set to metrics, and colored in blue #78c8d8
  2. “GENTLE ROBOT” – set in Open Sans Extrabold, that is 48 points tall, with kerning set to optical, and also colored in blue #78c8d8
  3. “CASSIA OVAMI” – set in Droid Serif Bold Italic, that is 24 points tall, with kerning set to metrics, and colored in #dd86a5

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Here are the position coordinates for each block:

  • THE – X: 4″, and Y: 1.65″
  • GENTLE ROBOT – X: 4″, and Y: 2.30″
  • CASSIA OVAMI – X: 4″, and Y: 3.125″

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

There is an obvious gap between the title, and the author name. We’ll use this space to add a blue rectangular divider. We’ll create it using the rectangle tool (U). The shape is colored in our blue (#78c8d8), and measures 5″x0.1″. It’s placed at X: 4“, and Y: 2.7″.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

With that, our text block is complete.  A bit of layer organization, and we can move on to the finishing touches!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Textures! Textures everywhere!

We’ll approach adding textures to the piece in two phases: first, we need to add some textures to the robot, so it doesn’t clash too much with the background. Then, we’ll add texture that will impact the piece as a whole, visually linking everything together. The process we’ll follow is the same as before (place as smart object, sharpen, desaturate, enhance contrast with levels, and modify the blending mode).

The robot

The first texture we’ll add to the robot is the first of the Arsenal freebie set: vintage-paper-textures-volume-01-sbh-005.jpg.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

It needs to be placed centered in the frame, rotated 90° clockwise, and scaled up 160%. The layer should be located right above the robot smart object in the layer stack, which is why the title block is still visible. Pro tip: the title block layer group can be turned off for a better view of the texture work.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Clipped levels adjustment layer.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Blending mode: soft light @ 100% opacity.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The next texture is the second Arsenal freebie, metal-dumpster-textures-021-sbh.jpg.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

It’s placed at X: 3″, and Y: 7.15″, scaled down to 16%. We also need to rotate it from 180°.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Blending mode: soft light @ 85% opacity.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The last of the three robot texture is Vintage_Paper_7.jpg.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

It’s placed at X: 4″, and Y: 6″, scale untouched.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Blending mode: color burn @ 10% opacity.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Now, we need to limit the impact of these three textures to the robot and its supporting shadow. First, let’s give the textures and their adjustment layers their own layer sub-group.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Next, using the magic wand (W), and with the robot smart object highlighted in the layer palette, we are going to select the empty space around the robot.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Next, we are going to invert the selection (CTRL/CMD+SHIFT+I or Select > Inverse), to select only the robot.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Now, to add the pink supporting shape to our selection, we need to CTRL/CMD+SHIFT+CLICK its thumbnail in the layer palette. CTRL/CMD+CLICK loads a layer’s content as a selection. Using SHIFT as the shortcut modifier tells Photoshop to add that to the currently active selection, rather than create a new one instead.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Finally, we can highlight the robot textures layer sub-group at the bottom of the layer palette, and click on the add layer mask button of the layer palette for a layer mask that limits the textures’ visibility to the robot. Alternatively, we can use the Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal selection menu.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

And with that done, we can move on to the global textures.

Texturing the whole piece

There are three textures in our list that we haven’t used yet, and these are the last three we need to add to the piece.

The first of these textures is free_high_res_texture_455.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

We’ll use it placed centered in the canvas, rotated of 90° clockwise, and scaled down to 52%.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Blending mode: soft light @ 100% opacity.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The next texture is Grey_Grunge4.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

It’s placed centered in the canvas, and scaled down to 27%.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Blending mode: soft light @ 35% opacity.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Finally, the last texture! It’s DigitalNoise_05.jpg.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

It’s centered in the canvas, rotated of 90° clockwise, and scaled down to 18%.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The only adjustment needed here is a clipped curves adjustment layer, set to negative.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Blending mode: soft light @ 65% opacity.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The piece is now complete. We can organize the layer stack better.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

With that done, it’s time to save a copy of our document, cropped to the final dimensions of the cover (6″x9″).

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

After that, we can mock it up, to get a sense of what it would look like once printed.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Wrapping things up

Phew, we’re done! I hope that you enjoyed the ride, and that you have learned a few tips here and there to reuse in your own work. If you’ve already grabbed Justin’s Sci-Fi vector pack, I hope that thus tutorial gave you a sense of what you can accomplish with it. If you haven’t, I wonder why you still haven’t!

DOWNLOAD JUSTIN WILL’S SCI-FI VECTOR PACK

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Do you have questions? Suggestions? Ideas on how to improve the workflow presented here? Please do reach out in the comments below!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

You should also share your outcome with us, either in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or by tweeting it to us at @go_media.

And on that note, that’s all for me today. Until next time!

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Tutorial: Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne’s Texture Lot One (Free Poster Mockup Included)

Conference Poster Tutorial

Hello there! It’s Simon on this end of the keyboard. I’m very happy to make my return to the Zine with a poster design tutorial, that will explore the possibilities offered by Jason Carne’s Texture Lot One. The tutorial will have us explore texture use tips and tricks, but also customized black and white conversion, large scale sharpening, type pairing, layout building, and more.

I’ll be using Photoshop CC for the tutorial, but any version of Photoshop past CS3 should be fine. Note also that I’m working on a Windows-based system, but other than visual appearance and slightly different keyboard shortcuts, that will not have any impact on the process we’ll go through.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Introducing Jason Carne’s Texture Lot One

texure-lot-1-hero

As the hero shot image tells us, the set contains 30 “finely crafted” textures, that will help us to give a wide array of artifacts to our flat, digital art. They come from a multitude of source material: burlap, cork board, a scratched cutting board, stone, and more.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

The textures come in the form of high resolution, black and white textures.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

The level of detail is superb, and gives us plenty to leverage to add substance to our compositions.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

And one more for the road, just because we can.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Go pick Jason’s Texture Lot One up now at the Arsenal!

The brief

Let’s talk some more about the piece we’re putting together here. It’s a poster for a (fake) architecture lecture, focusing on Cleveland’s brutalist landmarks.

What is brutalism? Glad you asked:

Brutalist architecture is a movement in architecture that flourished from the 1950s to the mid-1970s, descending from the modernist architectural movement of the early 20th century. The term originates from the French word for “raw” in the term used by Le Corbusier to describe his choice of material béton brut (raw concrete). British architectural critic Reyner Banham adapted the term into “brutalism” (originally “New Brutalism”) to identify the emerging style.

Wikipedia

So, what does a brutalist building look like? There’s this amazing Tumblr called F**k yeah brutalism out there, and it’ll help me to answer that question:

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

(Education Wing, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio, 1971 -Marcel Breuer & Associates – via)

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

(State Historical Center, Columbus, Ohio, 1970 – Ireland and Associates – via)

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

(State Historical Center, Columbus, Ohio, 1970 – Ireland and Associates – via)

There is something monolithic, synthetic, and minimalistic at times.

Now, why choose Cleveland as the focal point of the fake lecture? It happens that Cleveland has its share of brutalist buildings. A 2007 article from the Plain Dealer lists the major local representative landmarks of the movement: Cleveland State University, Cuyahoga Community College Metro Campus, Cleveland Justice Center Complex, Crawford Hall (Case Western Reserve University), and more.

Assembling the free assets needed

It happens that there is a CC-licensed image of the Cleveland Ameritrust Building, one of these major landmarks, available on Flickr for us to use as the base of our poster. We’ll need to grab the biggest size available (4028 x 2704 pixels), through the all sizes page.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Other than the high resolution version of the image, we’ll also need to have two (free) typefaces accessible to us: League Spartan Bold, and League Gothic.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

The last asset we’ll need to have at hand is this beautiful, free aged paper texture, courtesy of our very own Dustin Schmieding:

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Got it all? Then it’s time to get started!

Preparing our Photoshop document

We’ll use is a “standard” 18″x24″ canvas for our piece. For the readers outside of the USA, feel free to use an A3 format. Note the fact that we’re using an RGB document, as some of the filters we’ll use require that color space to function.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Next, we need to setup a grid. It’ll help us when building the composition. First, we’ll leverage Adobe CC’s New guide layout functionality to build a six columns by 8 rows main grid (View > New guide layout).

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

The result is a grid based on squares of 3″x3″.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Note: if you don’t have the CC version of Photoshop, you can leverage the power of GuideGuide to accomplish the grid-related tasks quickly. The current version isn’t free, but older versions are.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

The next set of guides are going to help us establish the boundaries of the center column. We need vertical guides at 4.5″, and at 13.5″.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Finally, we need horizontal guides at 11.5″, and at 12.5″.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

And with that, our document is ready to go. It’s time to get started for real.

The background

Background color

The first thing we need to do is give a solid color to our background layer. It’s going to be the base for the effects we’ll build up through the tutorial. We’ll be using a very light gray, #ededed. If we were using pure white, the contrasts would be too strong, and some of the texture effects we’ll apply later would be “washed out.”

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Photographic manipulations

Next, we need to place the photo in our composition. We’ll place the photo as a smart object, in order to maintain a lossless workflow. It will also guarantee us access to the untouched original file. To do so, we have to use File > Place (or File >Place embedded in Photoshop CC), and navigate to the photo file.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Once the image is included in our file, we will give it its final positioning and size using the absolute positioning tools at our disposal. The center point of the image should be at X: 2.55″, and Y: 26″. The image is scaled up to 125%.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

With that done, we need to sharpen the smart object, since we scaled it up. We’ll use the high pass filter for that. The Zine archive features a short article about the technique already. Let’s start by duplicating the smart object.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Next, we need to run the high pass filter (Filter > Other > High pass). We’ll use a radius of 100 pixels.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

The result doesn’t look like much. To obtain the desired effect, we need to change the copy’s blending mode to soft light @ 100% opacity.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Next, we are going to clip the copy to the original layer (CTRL/CMD+ALT/OPTION+G). This contains the high pass effect to the layer it’s clipped on.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

With that done, we can change the blending mode of the original layer to multiply @ 100% opacity. This will make the photo adopt the soft gray we’ve used as background color as its main color once we’ve converted it to black and white.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Black and white adjustments

Desaturating a picture IS NOT a proper way to convert it to black and white. We are going to use a black and white adjustment layer for that. The preset we’ll use is called blue filter. Cyan, blue, and magenta hues in the original image will be light, while greens, yellows, and reds will be untouched or dark. For a higher contrast, the greens, yellows, and reds could be purposefully set to darker (using a negative value in the sliders).

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

The next step is a curve adjustment layer, set to the lighter preset. This allows us to soften the black and white conversion.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Finally, a levels adjustment layer allows us to push the contrast up.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

It’s time for some layer organization.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

A hint of texture

We are going to add one of Jason’s textures above the background. It will help us to generate a subtle grain effect. The texture is Corkscrewed – Light.

Go pick Jason’s Texture Lot One up now at the Arsenal!

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

It’s placed centered in our canvas, rotated of 90°, and scaled up to 225%.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

After converting the texture layer to a smart object (Filter > Convert for smart filters), and sharpening the texture (Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen), we can change its blending mode to soft light @ 75% opacity.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

That texture concludes our work on the background. Before switching gears and attacking the content columns, here’s a look at our layers so far.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Content columns

Setting up the columns backgrounds

Back when we set up the grid, we created a set of special guides that we’ll now use to delimit central column for our text. The column is split in two parts, one with a red background, and one with an almost-black background.

Let’s start with the almost black. It sits at the bottom half of the canvas. Here’s the area we have to delimit.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

After creating a new layer, we need to fill it with a very dark gray, #040404.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Finally, the blending mode of that layer should be multiply @ 98% opacity. This will allow us to bring a hint of translucency in the shape.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

The next shape will be its pendant at the top of the composition, and will be filled with a very bright red, #eb1d1d.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

The blending mode of that layer should be multiply @ 50% opacity.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

The shape’s translucency is too high (we need to remember that it will be the background to text later on). In order to address this, we’ll duplicate the layer, and change the blending mode of that copy to normal @ 50% opacity.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Layer organization

A quick note about layers, as we’re about to add type elements in there. Here’s what they should be organized into. The background elements have their layer group, and each half column elements have their dedicated layer group. From there, it’ll be easy to add the type in the proper group, so everything stays organized.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

It’s time to talk about typography

As announced at the beginning, we’ll be using two type families: League Spartan Bold, and League Gothic.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

The main title

The main title reads “CLEVELAND / BRUTALIST / LANDMARKS,” and is set in all caps League Spartan Bold, colored in #ededed, that is 48 points tall, and with tracking set to 250. Each line is its own text object, and they are aligned to the grid lines within the column.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

In order to further ground the title element, we are going to add horizontal dividers underneath each line of text. The dividers will be colored in #ededed, and measure 6″x0.125″. The dividers are positioned underneath each text line, 0.125″ under the text line. We’ll use shape layers to generate the dividers.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

And here’s what the layers look like.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Additional information

We are not creating a proper conference poster if we don’t add the secondary information like the lecturer’s name, a date, a location, and a URL. The information is broken down as follows:

“NOVEMBER 20TH 2015 AT 07.30 PM / CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART / A LECTURE BY DR RYAN G. BRAVIN / www.clevelandart.org”

The individual type objects are aligned in a similar fashion as before, on the grid lines. “NOVEMBER 20TH 2015 AT 07.30 PM” is set in League Gothic Condensed Regular, that is 72 points tall, colored in #ededed, and with kerning set to optical.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

“CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART” is set in League Gothic Regular, that is colored in #ededed, that is 60 points tall, and with kerning set to optical.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

“A LECTURE BY DR RYAN G. BRAVIN” is set in #ededed colored League Gothic Condensed Regular, that is 72 points tall, and with kerning set to optical.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Finally, the URL to the site of the Cleveland Museum of Art, www.clevelandart.org, is set in #ededed colored League Spartan Bold, that is 24 points tall. The text object is located at X: 9″, and Y: 22.8″.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Here’s what the layer organization looks like:

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

And with our type in place, our piece is almost complete.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Now, it’s time to layer some more textures to polish the piece!

Textures and artifacts

Here’s a theory: one of the motivations to add textures to our work is to help us to add depth to our digital art, and to break away from their flat, clean, and precise origins. At this point in the process, the photo is pretty gritty, but the type above it is very clean. Adding more textures will allow us to weather that type and the column backgrounds.

The first texture we’ll add is PackingFoam.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

It’s placed centered in the composition, rotated 90° clockwise, and scaled to 55%.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

After sharpening the texture (Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen), we can change the blending mode to screen @ 15% opacity.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

The next texture is the freebie we grabbed at the beginning, BB_AntiqueEnvelope_04.jpg.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

It’s placed at X: 18″, and Y: 19.9″, rotated 90° counterclockwise, and scaled up to 1,150%.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

After sharpening, we’ll use a clipped hue/saturation adjustment layer to desaturate the texture.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

A clipped levels adjustment layer will help us to enhance the texture further.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Blending mode: soft light @ 35% opacity.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

The next texture is from Jason’s set, and is called Corkboard.

Go pick Jason’s Texture Lot One up now at the Arsenal!
Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

It’s placed centered in the composition, rotated 90° clockwise, and scaled to 55%.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

After sharpening, the blending mode should be changed to soft light @ 25% opacity.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

The texture levels are coming together nicely. We’ve added grain, light noise, and small artifacts to the piece with a few layers of substance. Let’s have a look at the layers before the ultimate polishing touches.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Last details

Lossless vignette effect

There is a way to create a lossless vignette effect in Photoshop, thanks to shape layers. The first step is to draw an ellipse that fits the canvas. It should be colored in #040404.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Next, we need to use one of the tools accessible via the direct selection tool (A), in the toolbar. It will allow us to display the ellipse inverted, getting closer to the vignette. Once the active tool is the direct selection tool, we need to change the path operation button‘s setting to subtract front shape.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

The result is a very sharp edged ellipse, almost ready to be a vignette.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Next, through the layer’s properties panel, we need to feather the layer mask to 350 pixels. This creates the fuzzy edge for the vignette.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Finally, the blending mode for the vignette can be switched to soft light @ 50% opacity.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Last but not least: halftones

The last piece of the puzzle is a halftone effect. First step, to create a merged copy of the piece so far. We’ll use the CTRL/CMD+ALT/OPTION+SHIFT+E shortcut for that. It’ll create a layer containing a merged copy of the piece so far. I called it Halftones.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Once the layer is generated, it needs to be converted to a smart object.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

After resetting the color palette to default (D), we’ll use the filter gallery’s halftone effect (Filter > Filter Gallery > Sketch > Halftone pattern). We’re using a size value of 8, and a contrast value of 50.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Then, we need to change the effect’s blending mode to soft light @ 100% opacity.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

After that, we can change the layer’s blending mode to soft light @ 50% opacity.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

And our piece is now done! Here’s a look at our final layer stack.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Wrapping things up

Phew, that was a long tutorial! I hope that you enjoyed it, learned a few tricks here and there, and that your outcome matches the goals you had at the beginning.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Did I leave anything unclear? Any suggestions? Don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments below! I’ll be happy to help out.

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

Mockup your poster using the free sample below from our Poster Mockup Templates Pack and please share your work with us in the comments, by tweeting at us at @go_media, or sharing them on our Facebook page.

Free Download: Free Poster PSD Sample from Go Media

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

If you already purchased Jason’s texture set, I hope you enjoy them, and that this tutorial gave you a sense of what you’ll be able to accomplish with them. If not, go grab them while they’re hot!

Go pick Jason’s Texture Lot One up now at the Arsenal!

Building a brutalist conference poster with Jason Carne's texture lot one

And on that note, that’s it for me! Until next time, cheers!

Color Linework in Photoshop | Design Tip of the Week

Black and white linework is always nice, but sometimes a bit of color is needed to add a pinch of visual flavor to your delicious illustration soufflé . (Hooray cooking metaphors!) Let’s get into it and show you how to color linework in Photoshop.

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I’ll be using the heroic imagery of this guy doing a Shoryuken. (I drew him at of the Cleveland Drink and Draws, a social meet up for artists, illustrators and doodlers to hang out, drink some beer and draw cool shit.) As you can see, it’s just a graphite pencil drawing, so while the majority of it is linework, there are some tonal gradations.

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The first thing to do is to darken the drawing in the Levels settings (Image > Adjustments > Levels). Just don’t make it so dark that you’re losing detail. This will help in selecting the values of the drawing.

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Next, open your Channels palette and hold down CTRL (or Command) and click on the RGB layer. If you’re in CYMK color mode, click the CYMK layer. Notice that the everything around the drawing is now selected, but it’s the drawing itself we want selected. Go ahead and simply inverse the selection via Select > Inverse (Shift + CTRL + I).

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With the drawing selected, create a Layer Mask by clicking its icon, which is next to the Layer Style (fx) icon in the Layers Palette. You’ll notice that all of the white disappears.

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Choose a your favorite color, select the Brush Tool (B) and color over your drawing. Because the Layer Mask is activated, it will only affect that which was selected (the drawing).

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I went ahead and added a few more elements: a radial background using a vector from one of the Arsenal vector packs, a faint texture layer and the word “WIN.”  And listen, if you don’t think you can do this, remember to tell yourself: SURE YOU CAN! (Shoryuken.) Get it!?

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. That joke isn’t even original and rather old. But oh well. Hooray puns!

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Tune in again next time! (“Next time” meaning a week from now.)

8-31-15

Tutorial: How to Make a GIF from an Illustration

How to Make a GIF from an Illustration

Hey designers, attend our all-inclusive soul-fulfilling three-day design retreat, WMC: Off-The-Grid, this October 5 – 7th. To learn more, head to wmcfest.com.

Are you interested in creating a simple animated GIF out of your illustration/vector/artwork? You’ve come to the right place! However, before I walk you through this article, if you haven’t already created an animated GIF from a video using Photoshop, that might be a good first step!

Many of the steps in both tutorials are similar, however, this process is slightly more complex. When you’re creating a GIF out of a video, you’re taking existing frames from the video and editing them down to create a GIF. However, for an illustration, you start with 0 frames, which means you need to create your own. This can get a bit more tricky, but if you stay organized, and follow my steps, you’ll get through it in a breeze!

Step 1: Select the illustration/artwork/icon you’d like to animate

For this tutorial, I will be using a vector icon to keep things nice and simple.

Step 2: Separate your artwork into layers

Import your artwork into your PSD document! There are a lot of ways to do this (i.e. importing layers from programs like Illustrator, Procreate, etc. or copy and paste layers between programs.) It’s important, however, to make sure you keep your layers separated. This will allow you to animate specific elements.

Since this is a vector icon created in Adobe Illustrator, I’ll just copy and paste my elements in one at a time.

  • Open Illustrator file containing vector artwork
  • Determine which elements you want animated, and which layers you don’t
  • Merge all of the layers together that you do NOT want to animate and copy them into your Photoshop document first.
  • Paste them in as a Smart Object (a window will pop up asking you this)
  • Then, go back and paste in the layers that you DO want to animate, one at a time
  • IMPORTANT: Copy these layers in SEPARATELY. For example, I want each of the little sparks around my icon to animate on one at a time. That means I need each little spark on its own layer.

In the above image, you’ll see I have all my artwork separated into layers. I’ve highlighted the layers I want to eventually animate in yellow, and the layers I want to stay static in orange.

Step 3: Setting up your timeline

After you have all of your layers pasted in, and everything looks good, open up the “Animation” or “Timeline” window within Photoshop (the name of this changes depending on which version of Photoshop you have).

  • Open it by clicking Window > Animation/Timeline
  • When the window pops up, hit “Create Video Timeline”
  • Then, within that same window, hit the little hamburger menu (3 horizontal lines) in the top right corner, a menu should pop out
  • Mouseover “Convert Frames” and then hit “Convert to Frame Animation”
  • After, you should have one frame in your Timeline/Animation window.

Your “timeline” should look like the above photo (I’ve also circled the “hamburger menu” in yellow if you weren’t able to find it)

Step 4:  Begin animating frames

Now that you have your document set up, you can begin animating your artwork! For my GIF, I want the little sparks around the lightbulb to flicker on one at a time. This means that I will need 1 frame for each action. And since I have 9 sparks, I will want 10 frames total. I’ve organized it in a list below:

  • Frame 1: 0 sparks visible
  • Frame 2: Only Spark 1 visible
  • Frame 3: Only Spark 1 & 2 visible
  • Frame 4: Only Spark 1, 2 & 3 visible
  • etc.

You can see from the small thumbnails in my Timeline window how the sparks are appearing one by one. You’ll also see a little “5 sec” below each thumbnail. That means each frame will be on screen for 5 seconds before moving to the next. We will fix that amount of time in the next step!

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ADVANCED TIP:

Although this tutorial is only showing a simple GIF animation, if you want to have actual movement across your GIF, the process works the same.

Let’s say I wanted my lightbulb to float across the screen from left to right. I would need to have my entire lightbulb on one layer, and have it visible on Frame 1.

Then I would create Frame 2 (to create a new frame, hit the icon next to the trash symbol in the Timeline/Animation window), duplicate my original lightbulb layer, nudge my new layer to the right (hold down shift, and hit the right arrow key), and hide the previous layer.

After, I would create Frame 3, duplicate my latest lightbulb layer again, nudge to the right, and once again hide my previous layers. You would repeat this process until your lightbulb makes it all the way across the screen.

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Step 5: Edit keyframe rates

Now that you have all your frames created, you might hit the play button and think, wow, why is it taking so long? This is where keyframe speed comes into play!

Select all of your frames within your Animation/Timeline window, hit the little arrow beside the time, and either choose one of the listed times or input your own. I typically like to use the speed .08 seconds, but that’s my own personal taste, and can change based on the project.

After you set a new keyframe rate for your animation, you’ll also want to hit the dropdown for looping options and click “Forever.” This will ensure your GIF will loop for infinity and beyond!

Above images show before and after I set my framerate/looping time

Step 6: Play and Export!

After you finish the steps above, make sure you play your GIF and like how it looks and animates! Once you’re happy, you’ll be ready for final export!

When exporting a GIF, you won’t just “Save As” like you might with a JPG. You’ll want to go to File > Export > Save for Web. Once you hit “Save for Web,” a popup should come on screen. There are a lot of different options here, but in most cases you should just be able to hit “Save” and be done!

NOTE: I go into more specifics on exporting GIFs in my tutorial on creating a GIF from a video.

And there you have it!

If your GIF didn’t turn out the way you wanted, feel free to email me with your questions at [email protected]

I should also note that there are MANY different ways to create animations in Photoshop, so I encourage you to continue exploring and learning! You can also check out another one of our GIF tutorials that shows you how to use the Tween Animation Frames button in Photoshop.

Additionally, if you are looking to do heavy animation work, I would recommend trying out Adobe AfterEffects. The best advice I can give is to experiment! Try different things, mess up, start over and see what works best for you. Good luck!!

How to Halftone Photos | Design Tip of the Week

Halftones are a fantastic method of achieving lovely tonal values through a flat, graphic look. From the time of Andy Warhol to the present, they are still being stylistically used in art, illustration and design. Don’t know how to do them? You’ll find this week’s design tip to be quite useful then!

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I’ll be using this photo as an example. (Pretty sweet, huh? Look at those gnarly-looking monsters.)

Step 1Convert the photo to grayscale and up the contrast

Do this by going to Image > Mode > Grayscale. Then increase the photo’s contrast in either Levels (Image > Adjustments > Levels) or Curves (Image > Adjustments > Curves).

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Step 2: Covert the grayscale image to bitmap (halftone )

Similar to the last step, go to Image > Mode > Bitmap.

• Output Resolution should match the image’s input.

Method: Halftone screen

Frequency option is really based on preference. The higher the number, the more dots will be used to translate the photo’s tonal values. However, a lower input will produce a result with less dots and a more stark appearance. The result of the frequency is also dependent on size and resolution. I recommend 25 lines/inch to 45 lines/inch for images that are between 150 and 300 dpi. If the dpi is at 72, I prefer 12 lines/inch. Slight adjustments through trial and error may be needed in order to get the desired halftone look.

• Shape: Selecting “Round” will produce a halftone that utilizes dots to translate the photo’s values – the typical “halftone look.”

• Angle: I would keep this input value on default (22.5°). It pertains more to “Line” option (Shape).

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Step 3: Marvel at its beauty

Boom! Hafltone complete!

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Screen Display Discrepancies

There are times when a halftone image may look odd or plain crappy on a monitor. I do not know the reason for this, but after experimenting I found the frequency, size of the image and its resolution can affect the result displayed on screen. I recommend zooming in at 100% for a more accurate visual outcome. Checking printed proofs is never a bad idea either.

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Dropping it into Illustrator

Because the image has been converted to Bitmap, you can select its Fill in Illustrator and easily change its color. Just save it as a .Tiff from Photoshop and re-open it in Illustrator to do so.

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You now know how to halftone photos! This concludes this Design Tip of the Week, but speaking of halftones, did you know we offer a Halftone Pattern Vector Pack? There are also more resources and tutorials in the Go Media Arsenal, so definitely check them out! Finally, keep your eyes peeled. We’re working on something big, which may or may not be halftone-related…

Anyways, God speed!

8-3-15

Sharpen Images in Photoshop | Design Tip of the Week

Sharpen Images in Photoshop

It was actually Carly, one of the wonderful designers here at Go Media, who showed me this tip: using the High Pass filter to sharpen images in Photoshop. It’s real easy and super quick. Check it out!

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Who doesn’t love red pandas? We’re going to be using this little guy for our example.

*Note: I just borrowed this image from a Google search for this example. Make sure you always use your own images or ones that you have purchased from a stock photography provider.

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We’re going to duplicate the layer.

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On the duplicated layer, apply the High Pass filter (Filter>Other>High Pass).

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Select a Radius value. You’ll want to keep this value towards the lower end of the spectrum, but may even have to go back and play around to see what value best enhances your photo.

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