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Computer Arts tutorials art180—art182


64 Technique  

Photoshop and Illustrator CS5

B   rush your basics i nto shape

Radim Malinic shares his top tips on how to create a striking image bursting with quirky details

Photoshop has evolved into an endless well of options for creating stunning artwork. An array of presets, brushes, filters and much more besides provides you with a platform to pump your ideas through to achieve quick results. However, the more you work with Photoshop, the more you’ll realise there are some industry best-practice rules that will not only make it easier to correct your mistakes, but also enable your file to speak a universal language should it need to be passed on to other creatives outside your studio or agency. Everyone has a slightly different way to retouch blemishes, but most of the essential basic methods are shared by creative professionals around the world. Adjustment layers, clipping masks and many other layer add-ons are used in the same way by retouchers, designers and illustrators alike. The following tutorial gives you a peek behind the scenes, showing you how to use these add-ons to create a vibrant image full of quirky details. By following the rules, you’ll be able to simply change your mind as you go along without losing any quality.

Radim Malinic Under the name of Brand Nu, Radim’s worked with a who’s who of multinational household brand names. Now he’s adding another string to his enviable skill-set bow as a music video director. Find out more at www.brandnu.co.uk

Time needed 2-3 hours

Computer Arts December 2010

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Skills Enhance edge refinement with the Smart Radius feature Master clipping masks, adjustment layers and custom brushes

www.computerarts.co.uk

11/2/10 11:51:38 AM


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For this image I was given a set of images by photographer Wayne Johns (www.waynejohns.com) for an experimental collaboration. Using your own photo, the first step is to work the image into a new scenario. This requires removing the model from the background, so select the Pen tool and use it to outline the model.

Alternatively, Photoshop CS5 comes with a feature that makes it even easier to separate hair details from the background. Hit W to access the Quick Selection tool, and draw inside the model to highlight your selection. Now select Refine Edge from the Options bar, and tick Smart Radius, giving it a 40-pixel ratio. Brush around the edges to get the hair details, and output the detail as a New Layer With Clipping Mask.

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Create a new canvas that’s 222x300mm with a 300dpi resolution, then drag the model onto it. Hold Shift so that it pops into the middle of the canvas. Use the Gradient tool to mask out the bottom of her legs for a smoother blend. Now create a new layer, check the Use Previous Layer To Create Clipping Path box, and use the Clone tool to brush around the edges, getting rid of any light reflections from the shoot.

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Let’s focus on the hue and levels. Here, we’ll need to bring out the skin colour and give the model an overall tone, since the shot was purposely desaturated. Holding down Alt/ Opt, add a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer via the round icon at the bottom of the Layers palette. From the pop-up, tick the Clipping Mask option to work only within the area of the model. If your model has hair highlights, use Levels to brighten them.

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To draw the background, press G to select the Gradient tool, then double-click the current colours. From the Gradient Editor pop-up menu, click the right-facing arrow icon and choose the Pastels swatches from Presets. Then click OK to replace all the colours in the Gradient Editor.

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Computer Arts December 2010

11/2/10 11:51:46 AM


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Press B to access the Brush tool. Your latest addition should be the current brush. You can scroll forward through brushes with the Comma key, or use the Full Stop key to go backwards. Brush a couple of strokes, and change the Blending Mode options to Linear Dodge (Shift+ Alt/Opt+W) and Overlay (Shift+Alt/ Opt+O). Bring the layer into the main canvas. Use Linear Dodge to work against the background.

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From your image library or an online stock foundry, choose an image with sky and clouds to serve as the basis for a custom brush. The intention here is to create a textured patter­­n brush, which will enable you to work faster and gives greater scope for quick experiments. Make your image Grayscale, then go Edit>Define Brush Preset to save the new brush.


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Flick to Illustrator briefly to work up some simple vector shapes to add to your composition. As with Photoshop shortcuts, hit B to bring up the Brush. Draw a simple swoosh and then use the Profile option from the Stroke menu, choosing Width Profile One to give the swoosh pointy ends. Go to Object>Path>Outline Stroke to make the objects ready to use further.

The basics Adjustment layers and clipping masks will always enable you to work in a more intuitive way that also speeds up your workflow. Learn the basics so that you can focus on creative ideas instead of searching for filters and presets.

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Photoshop has an excellent Free Distort feature that will provide you with the scope to use just a couple of distinct swooshes, but make them all look completely different. Copy the elements from Illustrator and paste them as Shape Objects. Fill each object with a purple-tinted black, sampled here from the model’s body. Now Skew the shapes to make them look as though they’re emanating from the model’s body. Feel free to experiment with as many shapes as you like.

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With the strokes in place, I decided to work an autumnal theme into my composition. To do this, find an image that you can use with autumnal elements, such as falling leaves. Separate these from the main background either by using the Magic Eraser, or outlining each detail as you did in Steps 1 and 2. Once you have the outline, make a selection from the path, select the main layer and then create a new layer from your selection by clicking Cmd/Ctrl+J.

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11/2/10 11:51:52 AM


Technique Brush your basics into shape

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With the leaves on separate layers, click Cmd/Ctrl+G to group the elements together for easier workflow in the main canvas. Turn each part into a Smart Object to ensure you retain a non-destructive workflow, even if you rescale some elements too many times. Add a Gradient Overlay, selecting Hard Light from the Blending Mode drop-down menu. Ctrl/right-click the FX button in the layer, select Copy Layer Style, and paste this onto the remaining layers within the group.

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With the group neatly in place, you can now create depth and texture in your image simply by copying the group, scaling down all the elements at once and lowering the Opacity to the region of 50-30% for groups further down the stack. You’ll add to the whirlwind-like effect of the blue leaves. From the foremost groups, select a few leaves and add a Gaussian Blur to enhance the sense of depth in your image even more.

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Create a new layer by clicking Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+N. Using a Soft Round brush, sample some colour from the main canvas and set the brush’s Blending Mode to Overlay. Build up a smudge-like shape and then distort it using the Warp tool to give it a sense of motion.

In this step we’ll add a few more touches to our composition. The existing movement of simple elements works really well, so it’s imperative not to overdo it at this stage. Select a simple round brush, set its Hardness to 90% and then dot it around the image with various brush sizes to emulate snowflakes. After that, add a few glowing stars with an Outer Glow Blending Mode.

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It’s always rather difficult to know when you’ve achieved the right balance, but I think we’ve got it here. As a final touch, add 15% Saturation via the Adjustments palette. After that, you should select everything by clicking Cmd/Ctrl+A, and copy it by pressing Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+C. This will copy the canvas as it is right now. Select the very top layer in your stack and click Paste to create a new layer. Now set the layer to Multiply and hit 2 on your keyboard to adjust the Opacity to 10%. This should nicely round off your image with vibrant colours and sharp details.

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Computer Arts December 2010

11/2/10 11:51:58 AM


92 Technique   

Photoshop CS3 or later

A new take on cityscape collage

Cut and paste the most interesting parts of your world to make a whole new one, explains Keith Hubacek

Inspiration is everywhere. Whether you live in a city, a small town or in the middle of the country, your environment is full of illustrative possibilities. In this tutorial, I will show you how to build a new landscape using things you might come across in your day-to-day routine. You will use just one simple brush that will determine the look and feel of your final composition. This tutorial will also give you the chance to experiment with lighting techniques using the Dodge and Burn tools. After following this project, you can venture out into your world with nothing more than a digital camera and begin to create your own surrealistic experience. I recommend using everything from signage, architecture and foliage to people and vehicles – anything you might wish to find in your new world.

Keith Hubacek A self-taught designer and interactive developer from the New Jersey/NYC area, Keith works with clients and agencies both large and small fulfilling a diverse list of roles. See more of his work at www. puresubculture.com

On the disc The files relating to this tutorial can be found in DiscContents\ Resources\ Landscape Time needed 5-6 hours

Computer Arts November 2010

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Skills Extracting elements Creating and using a custom brush Using the Dodge and Burn tools

www.computerarts.co.uk

10/4/10 6:06:38 PM


01

Open a new Photoshop file and set its dimensions to 222x300mm, 300dpi. Create four layer folders named BG Brush Work, BG Silhouette, Foreground Upper and Foreground Lower.

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Open the file called ‘PSC brush’ from the disc. Go to Edit>Define Brush Preset. Note that I’m choosing a logo with a serif font to intensify the grunge effect we’re going to create.

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Revert back to your original document and select your Brush tool. From Window>Brushes, set Shape Dynamics Size Jitter to 25%, with an Angle Jitter of 25%. Select Scattering and set Scatter to 200% with a count of 1. For the brush diameter, a size of 80 should suffice. This brush will be used to paint the composition as well as being an eraser for your elements later.

In the BG Brush layer folder, create three new layers and label them Foreground Base, Ground Brushed and Sky Brushed accordingly. Making sure your foreground base is the topmost layer, begin to paint your initial base with your new brush in black. Repeat this action for your sky and ground layers using light blues and browns respectively. Varying your colour palette creates a slight feeling of depth and makes for a more interesting composition. If you are not content with your composition, you can use an eraser with identical settings as your brush to knock out more negative space while staying uniform to the style.

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Begin adding silhouetted items. Using the BG Silhouette folder to organise your imagery, open the silhouette_1.jpg image from the disc. Double-click the background layer to make it directly editable for this purpose. Using the Magic Wand tool, with Add To Selection on with a tolerance of 40, begin clearing out unused elements, in this case the sky. For other images such as silhouette_2.jpg, make sure Contiguous is deselected and you can erase the sky in one step.

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Computer Arts November 2010

10/4/10 6:06:42 PM


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Move to the Foreground Upper folder. Starting with foreground_upper1.jpg, begin opening your photos from the disc to create the central composition. Crop out unwanted elements from each image using your choice of either the Lasso tool or Magic Wand tool. Using your new eraser with all of the brush settings matching your previous paint brush, begin erasing points of overlap and areas where your grunge effect will take place. As you repeat this process of dragging and positioning your elements, the composition will resemble the screenshot. An organised workflow is important at this point as some elements may require you to reorder their layer hierarchy, editing them directly on your canvas. Ensure that your layers are labelled corresponding to your imagery.

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After this image is completed, drag it to your original stage, go to Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation and set Lightness to -100. You can now use your Scatter eraser to clear out hard edges. Arrange the rest of the silhouette images above using this technique until your image resembles the screenshot. To build the overall silhouette background, use the Transform tool (Edit>Transform) to rotate and resize images into place. Some images make for a better composition when flipped horizontally (Edit>Transform>Flip Horizontal) or by duplicating their layers, giving you multiple instances to use.

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For images such as foreground_upper5.jpg, begin by clearing out the sky. Duplicate this layer after the image is on your canvas and flip it horizontally (Edit>Transform>Flip Horizontal). Place your mirrorduplicated layer to the right of the original to give you a faux-panoramic image. Now use your scattered logo eraser to erase portions of both layers, but keep the bend in the overpass. Once these layers are completed, select both layers (while holding Shift) and merge layers via Layers>Merge Layers.

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Using the Scatter eraser, place and prepare all the ‘Foreground upper’ images, clearing the lower portions of the images, points of overlap and unwanted elements. Play with your layer order and composition until it looks similar to the grab above.

After your ‘upper foreground’ is arranged, select an image from this layer folder. Now select the Burn tool. Ensuring Range is set to Shadows, begin brushing the dark areas of the image. Repeat this with the Dodge tool set to Highlights in the light areas. Do not overuse either of these, as you want your images to retain image detail. One by one, use these techniques to accentuate your highlight-to-shadow relationship and create the lighting for the overall composition.

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Open the StoneTexture.jpg image from the disc and drag, resize and place it in the Foreground Lower folder on a new layer. Remove excess stone until you have your desired look. Repeat the same with the foreground_lower1.jpg image from the disc.

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For images such as foreground_ lower2.jpg, you can almost completely eliminate the foliage with the sky using the Polygon Lasso tool. Make sure to retain the contour of the bridge. To improve your workflow, you can Dodge and Burn each image as you continue to build your composition up.

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10/4/10 6:06:45 PM


Technique Cityscape collage

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VisualguCideVto

In pictures: a rk of the career and wo iters our Technique wr

Keith Hubacek

Landscapes and more from this versatile graphic artist…

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For the train on the bridge we will begin with the image foreground_ lower3.jpg. Duplicate its layer. Flip the duplicated layer horizontally and place it, creating another panoramic image – this time your bridge.

‘Citygirls’ – 2008 A self-promotional piece of a faceless woman sitting on top of a view of the New York skyline.

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Open the image foreground_lower4. Using the Polygon Lasso tool, select the train. Drag this into place and resize proportionate to the bridge. Duplicate the layer, flipping it horizontally as before to match the total width of your bridge.

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With the train complete, open the file foreground_ lower5.jpg. Using the Rectangular Marquee tool, select each piece of graffiti individually, dragging them to your canvas, and placing them on their own layers beneath foreground_lower3. Now we can now move on to finishing the bridge beneath the graffiti.

‘Newark’ – 2008 Composed of shots primarily in Newark, New Jersey and Manhattan. This piece utilises interesting signage in addition to some dilapidated buildings.

‘Brooklyn’ – 2009 This locations of this piece were shot primarily in Brooklyn, Manhattan, with some of New Jersey thrown in. I’ve created sort of a surrealistic perspective, with creative yet subtle usage of Liquify.

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Open the file foreground_lower6.jpg. After using the Wand tool with Contiguous unticked and a tolerance of approximately 50 to delete the sky, make a selection around the bridge, this time including some foliage from the left side. Place this image on a new layer above foreground_layer1 of your canvas. Flip this layer horizontally and place it to continue the bridge on foreground_layer2. Once your images are in place, remember to use the Scatter eraser around some edges to maintain the grunge effect. When you’ve done this, Dodge and Burn your images accordingly.

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After the image foreground_ lower7.jpg is cut out and in place, we can now make our final passes with the Dodge and Burn tools. Touch up any layers using a Levels adjustment. You are now ready to finalise your image. For similar compositions, this is also a great point to add more elements of detail, such as signage or even people.

‘Lucky1946’ – 2010 Living around the corner from an old safe-haven mansion for gangsters, I learned a little bit about Lucky Luciano. This piece began sampling a US dollar bill and extracting elements including leaves. ‘Stonegirl’ – 2010 This piece is an effort to visually illustrate the energy it would take to turn a stone statue into a living being.

Computer Arts November 2010

10/4/10 6:07:04 PM


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10/4/10 6:03:49 PM


Technique

77

Photoshop and Illustrator CS3 or later

Create a retrofuturistic poster

Mix and match unrelated imagery to build a striking new portrait. Rogier de Boevé explains how In this tutorial, we’ll look at how to create a specific style of image: an interpretation of retro-futurism which combines old and new media. What I try to do is construct new images with fragments of landscape pictures. It’s interesting to look at pictures differently, removing them from their context and using them in a new way. Another aspect of this style that I like is that the usage of fragments with texture can add unexpected psychological character to the portraits I create. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to use different tones and textures to create this kind of retrofuturistic poster design. The inspiration for this style of digital art comes from graphic designers such as Mark Weaver, João Oliveira, Mateusz Sypien and others. I sometimes use 3D software to really understand the shapes I’m working with, but here we’ll be sticking to just Photoshop and Illustrator.

Rogier de Boevé 22-year-old Rogier is a freelance artist from Belgium who is currently studying for his Masters degree in graphic design. He’s also part of the online art group Evoke1. See more of his work at www. rogierdeboeve.com

Time needed 6-7 hours

Skills Creating geometric lines with Illustrator tools Masking pictures into new shapes Adding futuristic effects with Photoshop

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01

We’ll start sketching in Illustrator. Why not do this manually? Because we have to draw geometric shapes, and Illustrator is the best software to make them perfect. It helps if you search for a reference picture that you can use as a base for your shapes. Put it on a layer with low opacity.

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Once you have the lines of one side of the head, you can simply duplicate and reflect the lines using Object>Transform>Reflect. What’s hugely important to me is not to overuse symmetry as a quick solution, but rather as an element in the overall composition.

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The first and main element of this artwork is the head. Try to search for lines that make sense to you, and make sure you have a nice variety between straight and curved lines. The tools that you need to use in this step are the Line Segment (/), Ellipse (L) and the Pen tool (P).

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Now we’re going to create a new layer on top of the head layer for the glasses. Search for a reference picture and again put it on a low opacity. Use the same technique that you used for the head. You can create very nice shapes by expanding thick outlines (Object>Expand).

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Create the hair entirely with the Pen tool (P). It’s a very tiring but rewarding method. Try to really get to know the Pen tool because it’s one of the best tools to master. It also doesn’t matter if you overlap paths – in fact, it just makes it easier.

Computer Arts November 2010

10/4/10 6:03:51 PM


78  

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Try to have fun with creating little shapes to make the overall composition more appealing. Use simple forms and little things to make them more interesting, for example dividing them with lines or just duplicating them.

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In this step we’re going to tweak the overall composition by inverting it and making every shape black on a white background. This gives you a good view of the final composition, and it’s better if we do this at an early stage. Once you’ve checked things and made any corrections, flip it back again.

Do the same as we did in the previous step but for the glasses. When we’ve filled all the areas, it is best to merge all those layers to one layer to lower the file size. Put a drop shadow on this merged layer to improve the depth.

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Import the Illustrator file into Photoshop. We’re going to cut a landscape image into fragments, and we can do this with a layer mask and the Magic Wand tool (W). Use the linework layer to make the selection and hide the part of the image that needs to go.

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Add some colour to the glasses using a gradient layer. Change this layer to the Color blending mode and duplicate it. Then put the duplicated layer on Color Dodge to give the colour more power. If the effect is too strong, desaturate it with the Sponge tool (O).

VisualguCideVto

In pictures: a rk of the career and wo iters our Technique wr

Rogier de Boevé

The up-and-coming illustrator discusses his best moments so far

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University project – April 2009 The assignment was to make an abstract artwork from a song.

WallpaperArt.org imagery – October 2009 I really enjoyed making the lighting effects and organic forms in this piece.

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10/4/10 6:03:54 PM


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Technique Create a retro-futuristic poster

Brush on top of the black layer to give the hair volume. Use a 1-3 pixel grey brush and start brushing. If we really want to have vibrant lines then we need to use a graphics tablet. It’s obviously still possible with a mouse, but a tablet makes the whole process much easier.

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Once we’ve finished with the main character, we can start adding detail to the background. Use the little shapes that we made earlier and combine them with layer masks as we did for the face and glasses. Give them less contrast, otherwise they stand out too much.

To really give our piece a little extra, we can add lighting effects such as a lens flare. Add a new layer and fill it with the Paint Bucket tool (G). Then go to Filter>Render>Lens flare. Put this layer on Screen mode and move it anywhere.

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To finish it we can fine-tune the mood and colour of the piece with tools such as Selective Color (Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Selective Color) – or you use a dark-coloured layer and put it on Lighten layer mode to really give that retro-futuristic effect.

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Now we’re going to add small light elements to give the dark areas more vibrancy. Make sure the elements fit the overall design, and give them some subtle colour. Don’t exaggerate at this stage, and make sure you don’t disturb the original composition.

‘Reconstructed’ poster – May 2010 It’s less abstract than my other work, but I really like the metal effect on the character.

Evoke Exhibition XXII image – May 2010 This is one my most personal works, because it’s actually an abstract self-portrait.

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Nealli CD cover art – June 2010 I really loved making the Afro hair out of tree images.

Computer Arts November 2010

10/4/10 6:03:57 PM


80 Technique  

InDesign CS3 or later

Create a folded flyer with a twist

Jo Gulliver shows you how to create a dynamic folded leaflet – and make the most of a two-colour print job In this tutorial I’ll show you how to create a folded leaflet while making the most of limited assets and a two-colour print job. When trying new things it’s always good to talk to your printer at the earliest opportunity, to get their advice and input on how the final design will work (in this case the folk at Ripe Digital – www.ripedigital.co.uk). Any kind of flyer that sits outside of the standard folds – such as gatefold, letter fold, concertina fold and so on – is going to incur extra cost, as cutting dies will need to be specially created for these jobs. I’m creating a leaflet for a fictional hairdressers using some black and white photography, but you can use any assets you have to hand to create yours – all you need are two complementary images that have been converted to black and white.

Jo Gulliver Jo is Computer Arts’ PPA Designer of the Year-nominated art editor. Her day typically involves commissioning cover art from the world’s most exciting designers, and shoots with the biggest names in design.

Time needed 2-3 hours

Computer Arts November 2010

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Skills Setting up a folded document Working with a limited colour set Creative use of duplication

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10/2/10 1:14:43 PM


Real-w orld design skills Techniques

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to re-energise your daily desig n work!

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To start, I first create a rough mock-up of the design to work out how my finished folded leaflet will look. Playing around with a few different options, I finally settle on a 210mm square, folded diagonally and then into a square. Using my mock-up as a guide, I start sketching out some rough ideas of how I want the content to work for the layout of the leaflet. I’ve chosen to use the two folded triangles as the front of my leaflet.

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Create a new document in InDesign with File>New>Document, setting the height and width as 210mm. Enter 9 in the Column field and 5 in the gutter, then set 5mm on all edges. Finally, choose ‘Deselect facing pages’ and hit OK. Drag a vertical ruler guide and place it in the centre of your page (at 105mm). Next, drag a horizontal guide and repeat, using your x and y measurement field for accuracy. Now you have two fold guides marked.

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Draw over the ruler guides with your Line tool. Using your mock-up as reference, add your diagonal guide line, drawing a line from top right to bottom left. Colour your guide lines cyan so that they stand out from the rest of your design, then name the layer ‘Guides’ in the Layers panel. Add more ruler guides 5mm out on each side of your vertical and horizontal fold lines for the margin on each section.

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Duplicate the page and horizontally flip your diagonal guide line, making sure your ‘Guides’ layer is your top layer, and then lock it. Create an additional three layers called ‘Text’, ‘Graphics’ and ‘Images’, and place them in this descending order.

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Technique Creating a folded flyer with a twist 05

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With your template and guides set, you can start to design the leaflet. Choose an impactful image converted to black and white for the cover image. With your ‘Images’ layer selected, draw a square frame in the top right and snap to guides. Fill the frame with your chosen colour, then duplicate the frame by copying and pasting in place. Set fill colour to None in the top box, then use Cmd/Ctrl+D to import and place the image, scaling and positioning it until you are happy. In the Effects palette drop-down menu, select Multiply.

Add your logo to the top left corner of the image and the URL to the bottom right corner. With both frames selected, hold Alt/Opt and drag to duplicate the image, rotate the image 180 degrees and place it in the bottom left corner. With the Delete Anchor Point tool selected, delete the bottom right corner point of all frames, deleting the relevant logo and URL.

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Draw a new frame the same size as the page, including bleed. Delete the top left corner anchor point. Use Cmd/Ctrl+D and import the second black and white image in the frame.

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Keep it separate

You may find it easier to work in a separate document which measures the same as your final folded leaflet when you are designing each area, as this can help you to better visualise the final product. Then you can simply paste the elements onto your leaflet document.

Draw a square the size of your page (210mm). With ‘Constrain proportion for width and height’ turned on and the bottom left point selected in the Reference point icon, divide your width by 18. Now delete the top left anchor point of the square and duplicate it 18 times, keeping it aligned with the bottom of the page. Use the Distribute Horizontal Centers option from the Align palette to evenly space the triangles.

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Copy and duplicate the triangles until you’ve filled the bottom right diagonal section of your grid, and fill them with your chosen colour. In the Effects palette options menu, select Hard Light. Add the triangle pattern to your Graphics layer and duplicate it to fill your bleed area.

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Copy the triangles and paste in place onto your second page. Place some interesting crops of your black and white images on the ‘Images’ layer under the triangle pattern area, aligning the edges with the horizontal and vertical lines of the triangles. Delete some of the triangles to create some interesting breaks in the pattern.

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Add and style up your text to the remaining white area of the page, working within the bleed guide lines and aligning elements with each other. Use your chosen colour to add interest and an entry point to the text. Return to your first page and add details such as contacts, opening times and so on to the top left section – that is, the back page of the leaflet.

With your design complete, you now need to prepare it for print. Make sure you have the correct bleed on all edges. Add a third page, delete all the content except for the line guides you created in Step 3, and colour these black. Remove the guide lines for the previous two pages. Check that all your colours are CMYK and all images are lined up to the document. Check your document in Overprint Preview and, if it looks fine, create a PDF with bleed and crop marks ready to send to the printers.

With thanks to Ripe Digital Limited. www.ripedigital.co.uk

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Computer Arts tutorials


84 Technique   

Computer Arts November 2010

ART181.tut_illus 84

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10/4/10 6:04:25 PM


85

Illustrator and Photoshop CS3 or later

Make your type melt

Turn up the heat on your typography… Steven Bonner demonstrates a useful illustrative effect For a recent commission, I was asked to simulate a bar of white chocolate melting and sinking into a river of milk chocolate. To achieve this, I used some simple techniques that could be applied to almost anything gloopy you can think of: molten lava, liquid gold, a cake mix – let your imagination run with it. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to take a solid object and melt it into liquid using Illustrator, Photoshop and a combination of filters and hand painting to create a kind of hyper-realistic airbrushed finish. This, of course, could be used on anything from a personal flyer to a client design or illustration brief. It’s a useful technique to have under your belt…

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I’m going to melt a dollar sign into a pool of liquid, for no other reason than I like to draw dollar signs, and they have nice curves that we can use to make interesting areas. Sketch your shape and place it on a new template layer in Illustrator so you can trace its lines accurately. I’m using a document size of 220x300mm.

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Use the Pen tool (P) to draw the shape using your sketch layer as a guide. I always look for areas in my drawing where I can use the Ellipse tool (L) to draw clean curves for me, then cut the lines where appropriate and connect them up. I find that I’ll never draw a curve as cleanly as the Ellipse tool, so it’s pointless not to use the software’s features to my advantage.

Steven Bonner Stirling-based Steven is a multi-disciplined designer and illustrator working for clients such as HarperCollins, Cadbury and even the Scottish Government. A love of type is a recurring feature of his work. See more of Steven’s stuff at www. stevenbonner.com

Time needed 3-4 hours Skills Using Illustrator’s Pen tool Effective use of Photoshop’s Layer Effects palette Using shading and tone to achieve convincing liquid effects

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03

At this point it’s a good idea to lay down some flat colour to make everything a little clearer. The colours don’t really matter just now – just make sure there is enough contrast to enable you to easily differentiate between layers and elements.

04

Now we’re going to start adding in the areas that will be melting. If you’ve ever watched a candle burning, you may have noticed how the heat burns through the solid mass and it becomes translucent in some areas which turn to liquid before others. This is what we’re looking to achieve here, by creating spots or pockets where the heat has reached the surface of our shape, distorting it in the process. Draw some circles and link some of them together to show where melting areas will merge.

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05

Carry on building up your heat spots until you have something similar to the image shown here. On longer areas, think about where the solid may have begun to fold over on itself, and show this by creating a long even curve. Remember that heat spots melt outwards, so all your melted pockets should be smooth and even.

06

Add another layer and create a few more circular areas where we’ll add some contrasting tones later in Photoshop. This simulates heat spreading outwards from underneath and causing the shape to collapse in on itself.

08 07

Now add one more layer with some extra little splats and splashes dotted around the background. These will bring some extra detail to the area surrounding the final image.

09

Create a new document in Photoshop and paste each layer from Illustrator into it, making sure to paste everything as Smart Objects in case you need to make any on-the-fly changes as you go along. From here, put each Smart Object into its own folder in the Layers palette (as you’ll be adding in more layers for each part), and it’ll help to keep things nice and neat. Put the background colour layer into the Main Shape Object’s folder.

Use the Magic Wand tool (W) to select your main shape, then highlight the background layer and delete the selection from it. Now open up the Layer Style menu in the Layers palette for the background and apply the settings as follows: Inner Shadow (Distance 7px, Choke 34px, Size 190px); Inner Glow (Noise 17%, Size 60px); Bevel and Emboss (Depth 1000%, Direction: Up, Size 110px, Soften 15px, Shading with a double ring gloss contour using red/pinkish tones for the highlight colours). I also added a small amount of satin and set Colour Overlay to C84, M97, Y6, K1.

Computer Arts November 2010

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10

Next, select your main shape layer and apply the following: Inner Glow (Choke 0, Size 68px); Inner Bevel (Depth 410px, Direction: Down, Size 62px, with light green highlights and dark green shadows). Now set Colour Overlay to C63, M0, Y68, K0. At this point you may notice some ugly white fringes around your shape. This is because of the fit between the shape and the negative space on the background layer. To fix this, simply select your background layer, go to Filter>Other>Minimum and use 8 pixels. This will add bulk to the cutout and negate trapping issues.

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Technique Make your type melt

11

Right now it’s looking a bit like you got Photoshop for Christmas and went nuts, so we’re going to manually add some nice shading and tones to put the natural feel back into the piece. Create a new layer above your highlights Smart Object and, using the Magic Wand tool (W), select various parts of the highlights and paint outside them using a large soft brush, creating shadows more naturally. Do this until you feel you’ve achieved a nice balance in the image. Just paint in black for now.

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12

Carry on painting in more shadows on other layers if necessary – I find that it’s good to paint on different layers so I get more control over the blending settings I use at the end. Also add in some highlights along the edges where the light would catch it.

13

Next we want to create some gentle ripples to simulate motion. Use the Magic Wand tool once again to select the main shape, then create a layer underneath it. Expand the selection by 100 pixels (Select>Modify>Expand…) then smooth the selection out by another 100 pixels (Select>Modify>Smooth…), then feather it by 20 pixels. Take a soft brush again, and paint in ripples outside the selection. Do this until you’re satisfied with the results.

14

For some finishing touches, repeat the previous steps with your small spots, and add some subtle noise (Filter>Noise>Add Noise) set to Monochromatic to give the piece a subtle texture.

15

Finally, flatten the folders into layers and punch up the colours where necessary. I felt that the green needed boosting here, so I used the Curves dialog box (Ctrl/Cmd+M) to saturate it a bit more.

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Computer Arts November 2010

10/4/10 6:04:31 PM


80 Technique   

Illustrator CS2 or later

Create type from a single path

Steven Bonner shows you how to produce a stylised and legible connected type image Learning to create type from a single path has a lot of potential uses in design for logos and slogans, and can be used to create some really effective images. I've used this technique for the likes of Cineworld and FormFiftyFive. In this tutorial, I'll show you how to construct this great quote from Erik Spiekermann in a handwritten style using Illustrator's paths, and encourage you to study the type to find effective ways of connecting each letter. Once you have a good handle on this fun technique, the possibilities are endless and you can use it to create words made out of chains, zips, tyre tracks, necklaces and more via Illustrator's custom brush features. You'll find a few ready-made custom brushes, as well as lettering guides, on the disc.

Steven Bonner Stirling-based Steven is a multidisciplinary designer and illustrator working for clients such as Cineworld, EA Games and the Scottish Government. A love of type is a recurring feature of his work. See more of Steven’s work at www. stevenbonner.com

On the Disc The files accompanying this tutorial can be found in DiscContents\ Resources\Type

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Time needed 3-4 hours Skills Analyse letterforms Understand the use of anchor points in Illustrator Cut and join paths Using Illustrator’s raster capabilities

www.computerarts.co.uk

9/6/10 4:57:07 PM


01

Play around with various words and letters to find a handwritten style that’s natural to you. Fill a page or two with experiments on different letters, and try to pay attention to how letters might connect to one another.

02

Draw your first letters by either scanning your sketches and tracing them with the Pen Tool (P), or by drawing with a graphics tablet and pen using the Paintbrush. To begin, draw letters with ascenders and descenders. Pay attention to areas where the lines loop, and try to ensure that the curve is as smooth as possible.

03

04

Drawing letters with a graphics tablet and pen feels fairly natural, but sometimes you need to clean up the amount of anchor points in the line. To do this, you can manually remove each desired point and adjust the handles, but you can sometimes get good results quickly by using the Simplify function in the Object>Path menu.

05

Your cap height should be slightly lower than the height of your ascender line so that the words balance naturally, and your ascender and descender lines should be a similar distance from the x-height and baseline respectively.

81

Once you have your first few letters, roughly arrange them to see how they work together. Judge the proportions and play around with different combinations until they look natural. Next, create guides to define the baseline, x-height, cap height, ascender level and descender level.

06

Now that you’ve set the rules for your type, carry on creating all the letters you’ll need to complete your word or slogan, making sure you stick to the proportions you’ve set. Feel free to reuse individual characters as you’ll be tweaking them later anyway.

08

Space the letters so they flow well and, using the Direct Selection tool (A), select the end anchor points of each path and join them together (Ctrl/Cmd+J). Make sure you check the option to make the join ‘Smooth’, and click OK.

07

You should have a full set of letters now, and be ready to start linking them together to make one continuous line (with a few cheats here and there for letters such as lower case ‘i’ and ‘t’, where keeping everything strictly in one path would impair legibility).

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82

Technique Type from a single path

VisualguCideVto

In pictures: a rk of the career and wo iters wr ue niq ch Te r ou

09

Carry on with this process until you have the words working with one path each. Now take the words you’ve created and arrange them on the document board however you like, but ensure the reader’s eye will flow through the sentence or slogan naturally. Start linking the words just as you did the letters.

11

Copy the path and place it on a new layer directly in front of the original (Ctrl/Cmd+F). Find the areas that would overlap each other if the line was a piece of string/chain/rope, and use the Scissors tool (C) to cut away the areas you need, then expand the path so you can colour it easily.

13

Once the lettering is complete, you can then look at adding a background and other elements. In this case, I’ve made the lettering fall in from the top and fold over itself when it hits the floor, so I need to give the background a definite floor to make this look convincing.

10

Depending on how true to the single line concept you want to stay, play around with interesting ways of creating letters with crossbars and dots. Remember, although you may lose legibility, the letter will often remain readable within the context of the surrounding words and letters, so don't feel too constrained.

14

With the Pathfinder palette tools, draw a bird by using simple shapes and manipulating the points. The bird will give the type and background a sense of scale. Finally, create texture by pasting a copy of an area in front of itself (Ctrl/ Cmd+C, then Ctrl/Cmd+F), add some film grain, and then use the Transparency palette to give the piece character. I’ve included some brushes and lettering on the disc to help you think about what else you could do with continuous line lettering.

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The designer revisits favourite past pieces ‘The Perfect Crime’ – February 2009 A personal project to create a typeface made entirely from fingerprints.

Contagious magazine image – January 2010 An image for an article on the need for a redress of the fake presentation in modern advertising.

12

Use the Gradient palette to create a soft shadow on the areas you want to be at the back, and mask them with the front sections to create the illusion of depth. I’ve used gradients here but you can also use halftones, sawtooth shading or anything else for a unique look.

15

Computer Arts October 2010

Steven Bonner

‘Unknown Voyage’ T-shirt design– February 2010 A Beautiful Decay T-shirt. I used the techniques from this tutorial to create the rope border.

McFaul Studio/Howies exhibition type – March 2010 This type was done for the McFaul Studio/ Howies exhibition A Beautiful Machine. Sunday Herald image – May 2010 I normally use a lot of detail in my images, with loads of flowing shapes, so this was a real departure for me as I worked with a lot of basic shapes to build up the image.

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9/6/10 4:57:18 PM


Computer Arts tutorials


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Technique

89 01

Photoshop CS3 or later

It’s best to start with three photos – one for the background, one for the main detail and one for extra detail. You’ll find my versions on the disc. Stretch (Ctrl/Cmd+T) the background and extra files so that they fit your canvas vertically.

Master blending for surreal landscapes

Tim Green demonstrates how to set stunning scenes by mixing found imagery For me, there’s something beautiful about the imagery and photography of the 1960s and 1970s, particularly the colours and tones of Kodachrome slides or old sci-fi book illustrations. I’ve always collected old slides and taken photographs, and in the past couple of years have managed to incorporate them into my graphics work to create surreal but natural-looking landscapes and scenes. Using layer blending options, textures and adjustments, you can emulate this vintage look and create photo collages with a different twist. By taking the elements of different photos and layering them together, you can create new worlds.

Tim Green A freelance designer and illustrator, Tim is an obsessive collector of music and ephemera, and runs The Proles! magazine and Hremig Records. He’s based in Leeds. www.destroy werk.com

On the disc The files accompanying this tutorial can be found in DiscContents\ Resources\Blending

Make sure you have your Layers palette open. Add the ‘main detail’ layer and change the Blending Mode of that and the ‘extra detail’ layer from ‘Normal’ to ‘Overlay’.

03

Using the Eraser on the Soft Round brush (with Opacity set at 70% and Flow set at 50%), erase the top part of the ‘main detail’ layer to fade it in and get rid of any sharp lines at the top.

04

Add two texture layers and stretch them to cover the canvas. In their layer’s Blending Mode options, set the green texture to ‘Multiply’ and the red to ‘Screen’. Then change the Opacity setting of both to 50%. One darker texture and one lighter gives a good vintageworn effect.

Time needed 1-2 hours Skills Overlaying photos for collage Controlling colours via Adjustment Layers Using textures

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02

05

The top layer’s lacking in depth, so I add old-slide.jpg (on your disc) and set the Blending Mode to ‘Multiply.’ I then stretch it to fit the canvas vertically.

06

The two figures on the ‘main detail’ layer are getting a bit lost, so I copy the layer (Ctrl/Cmd+J), move it in front of the slide layer and change the layer’s Blending Mode to ‘Soft Light’.

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90

Technique Master blending for surreal landscapes 08

Now to start adding the Adjustment Layers. Create a new Adjustment Layer (in the Layers menu, on the Adjustments palette or at the bottom of the Layers palette) and choose Brightness/ Contrast. Set each to +15 (between +5 and +20 is usually fine depending on how colourful your source images are).

07

Using the Eraser again, as in Step 3, I erase the areas where the figures are on the ‘slide’ and ‘extra detail’ layers to give them further definition.

09

Next is the Vibrance Adjustment Layer. Add this, then set both parameters to +15 again.

11 10

Make sure the document’s Color Mode is set to RGB, then add a Curves Adjustment Layer. Set the red, green and blue graphs as shown. It’ll probably look a bit garish, so we need to tone it down.

I tone it down by adding a Hue/Saturation layer and ticking the Colorize box. You can then change the hue depending on the tint you want for the piece. Set Opacity to between 40% and 60%, as this gives you faded, vintagey colours.

12

Reset your texture layers’ Opacity settings to give the contrasts more definition and to balance the tones as you think looks best. I set Texture 1 to 20% and Texture 2 to 40%.

Blending Mode options If you want the lighter elements of a photo to show through, select the Blending Mode Screen, whereas if you want to highlight the darker areas, select Multiply.

15

13

The tint of the piece is slightly too washy and red, so I select Texture 2 and alter the Hue/ Saturation (Ctrl/Cmd+U), changing Hue to +15 and Lightness to -35.

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14

I add my shape file (which I made earlier in Illustrator) and invert it (Ctrl/Cmd+I). I position it just above the horizon and change the Blending Mode to ‘Soft Light’. I make sure it’s just behind the texture layers in the layer order.

Using the Lasso tool, I follow the line of the mountains as close as I can, selecting all of the shapes dipping below the horizon, then clicking Delete. And we’re finished!

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9/6/10 4:57:47 PM


Computer Arts tutorials


68 Technique   

Photoshop CS5

Create 3D type with Repoussé

João Oliveira shows how to create complex 3D images using CS5’s Repoussé tool With the recently released version of Photoshop, you’re able to create effects that weren’t possible in previous incarnations. Photoshop CS5 enables you to create more complex 3D objects and have a better and wider control over their variables. The update gives you access to a lot of new features, and one of them is the Repoussé tool, which enables you to create three-dimensional objects from all kinds of flat shapes. It’s then possible to apply different kinds of materials, lights, mesh deformations and render settings to them. In this tutorial I’ll show you how to use the Repoussé tool to create a shiny 3D typographic piece by manipulating light, forms, materials and shadows on a 3D object.

João Oliveira A designer and illustrator based in Porto, Portugal, Oliveira has worked with many brands, including Nike, Adidas, HP, Hugo Boss and Hennessy. He has also worked with studios such as Psyop and Bleed. Check out his work at www.onrepeat.net

Time needed 1 hour Skills Using the Repoussé tool Changing material, lights and shadows on 3D objects Using Blending Modes to create light effects

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01

69

02

Start by opening a new document, then create a gradient for the background. For this image I’ve gone with a #a0f7fc to #ffffff gradient, but feel free to experiment with other colours.

Next we’ll create some typographic shapes (this tutorial can be applied to any kind of shape, but I’ll go with type). Change its colour to white otherwise the effect won’t be the same.

04 03

Now for the 3D effect. We’ll use the Repoussé tool to convert the text layer to a 3D object. Go to 3D>Repoussé>Text Layer and select the Inflate preset. It’s looking good, but let’s play with it a bit more.

I want you to experiment with the variables of this tool. In Extrude I’ve made Depth 0.3; in Inflate I’ve selected ‘Front and Back’ in Sides, made Angle 90 and Strength 0.4; and in Scene Settings I’ve gone with the ‘Mardi Gras’ preset in the Lights options, which will create a few pleasant coloured lights for us to play with. You can select any material, but we’ll get there later.

05

The lights look good, but I want to customise them. Go to Window>3D and select the lightbulb icon on the top. There are three Infinite Light objects – I’ve changed the colour of the first one to #561ce8, the second one to #ff00cc and the third to #00d73d. You can also change the light sources to suit your taste with the Light Rotate tool.

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Computer Arts October 2010

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70 Technique  3D type with Repoussé

08 06

Next we’ll apply a shiny metal material to the three-dimensional object, but first we need to download it from Adobe. Go to 3D>Browse 3D Content Online. A browser window will open and you can download a set of materials from there. Save your image, close Photoshop and copy the file to your Materials folder (...\Adobe Photoshop CS5\ Presets\Materials).

09

07

Right/Ctrl-click on your 3D object layer, click on ‘Edit in Repoussé’ and change the material to a shiny metal texture. We want to apply the material to the whole object, so click on the down arrow of the All section. Then, on the top-right corner, we have another arrow – click here and you should see a Metal option; click on that and select the ‘Metal Chrome 2’ material.

Now, if you don’t want to make any more changes to it, you can rasterise your 3D layer by Right/Ctrl-clicking on it and selecting Rasterize 3D. It looks good, but I want to add more colour. Right/Ctrl-click on it and go to Blending Options. Add a Gradient Overlay with some vibrant colours and set Blending Mode to ‘Soft Light’. For the gradient, I used the colours #7e00ff, #0006ff and #00f6ff. Play with it until it looks good to you.

We also want to add a shadow, so click on the arrow in the top-right corner and select ‘Ground Plane Shadow Catcher’ and ‘Snap Object to Ground Plane’. It doesn’t look shiny yet because the image isn’t rendered, so go to Window>3D, clicking to filter by Whole Scene and changing Quality to ‘Ray Traced Final’. It’ll start rendering the scene, which takes a while, but the outcome will be great.

10

Create some rectangles with the Rectangle tool. It’s important to keep them white for this tutorial or the outcome won’t be the same. Keep adding shapes in the form of rectangles, circles and anything else you fancy until you’re ready to repeat Steps 3 and 4.

VisualguCideVto

In pictures: a rk of the career and wo iters our Technique wr

João Oliveira

João shows us his five favourite past projects

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Adidas poster – 2009 This was made through The KDU to showcase the studio’s creative individuals to Adidas.

T-shirt design – January 2010 I created this illustration for Nike’s women’s graphic T-shirts.

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9/3/10 5:35:16 PM


71 13

It needs more light effects, so create a new layer with Blending Mode on ‘Linear Dodge (Add)’. Select the Gradient tool and a ‘Foreground to Transparent’ gradient with a vibrant foreground colour such as #ff0eff. Start creating Radial gradients over your image, adding them in areas you want to be shiny. Create another ‘Linear Dodge (Add)’ layer and repeat the same process with another colour – I’ve used #3701ff to create a few more intensely shiny areas.

11

Go to 3D>Repoussé>Layer Mask and play with the variables as you did in Step 4. You can manipulate the position of your 3D object by using the 3D Lateral tools. I’ve used ‘Rotate the Mesh’ to rotate the object to this position. You can also apply a Gradient Overlay like we did in Step 9.

12

Repeat Steps 10 and 11, but this time using circles.

14

Keep adding elements. For a reflection on the floor, you can duplicate all your layers (except those set to ‘Linear Dodge (Add)’ Blending Modes), merge them, place the merged layer at the bottom, just above the background layer, flip it (Edit>Transform>Flip Vertical) and set Blending Mode to ‘Multiply’, with an opacity of 20%. Make it a bit more three-dimensional – go to Edit>Transform>Perspective and, with the Alt/Opt key pressed, click on the bottom-right corner control point and move it to the right until it looks like a floor. Delete the top area that contains the shadow.

‘Ultra Violet’ – April 2010 I made this as an entry for a UU Theory contest.

15

Keep adding details such as brushes, circles and doodles, or repeat the previous steps to add more 3D shapes and light effects. Let’s end by creating a vignette. Simply create a new layer on the top, select all (Edit>Select All), stroke it (Edit>Stroke) with black colour and a large width (100px, for example), blur it (Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur) with a value big enough to make it look soft, and set the layer’s Opacity to around 50%.

Poster design – May 2010 A poster I designed for issue 175 of Computer Arts, for ‘The Ultimate Guide to Creative Suite 5’.

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‘Thunaraz’ – July 2010 This was a submission for depthCORE collective’s XL chapter, Mythic.

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9/3/10 5:35:20 PM


64 Technique   

Illustrator CS2 or later

Create stunning papercuts the easy way

Use traditional paper‑cutting techniques with digital processes to add originality, writes Jonathan Chapman I’m often asked how I go about starting a papercut design, and people don’t usually expect me to use software or computers at all. As all my designs are hand-cut with a scalpel, people expect me to create all my work by hand too, but sometimes technology can speed certain things up – creating beautiful curves that echo natural elements, for example. In this tutorial I’ll show you the basic tips and techniques for creating a silhouette template for a papercut, and will then explain the process of creating the papercut itself. Once complete, the design can be used in a variety of contexts such as promotional postcards or prints, and with these specific tips you can go on to develop your own ideas and concepts in this traditional style.

Jonathan Chapman Chapman, AKA mrYen, creates custom papercut art and illustrations. Taking inspiration from nature and the natural form, his papercuts are used in a variety of contexts. Find out more at www. mr-yen.com

On the disc The files relating to this tutorial can be found in DiscContents\ Resources\Papercut

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Time needed 5 hours Skills Creating silhouette templates Specific paper-cutting techniques How to cut paper for graphic use

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9/7/10 9:36:14 AM


65

01

After having looked through some reference material, I sketch ideas out, making sure to keep things simple and solid. The smaller the details are in my illustration, the more difficult the design will be.

02

I then scan in my illustrations and open them up in Illustrator. Using the Pen tool, I trace over sections of my drawing using a red outline without a fill colour, to create a basic, visible silhouette of my illustration. I do the same to the other areas of my illustration that I want to include.

03

Now I have my individual woodland silhouettes, I can create a larger silhouette, incorporating them all. Firstly I make sure all the elements are filled with black and have no outline fill. Then I add some grass illustrations to connect all points of the illustration together to form a single silhouette. I ensure the shapes are simple and stylised, and that I’ve got the silhouettes’ fill colours and outlines black.

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66  

05

I look over my whole silhouette to make sure that everything connects where it’s supposed to, or that it’s independent from specific areas if needed. This will be what determines if something will be positive or negative, and what will be cut away and left behind.

04

I select everything, and copy and paste. I then go to Object>Transform>Reflect and flip the design vertically. The mirrored and original designs need to line up and slightly overlap, so I move the mirrored version along, then go to Pathfinder>Merge and merge all the individual sections together to form one silhouette again.

06

I select the Type tool and choose an appropriate font. Once this is done, I change my typography to outlines by going to Type>Create Outlines. I then remove the counters in the typeface by using the Direct Selection tool, selecting them all and deleting them. I then change the fill to Outline.

08

07

Now you can bring all the elements together (including the frame design on the disc) and add your logo, with short lines connecting it to the frame. Next, Select All (Ctrl/Cmd+A) and change everything to black outlines with a white fill colour.

Print out your template and choose a paper that’s not too fibrous or thick to cut – I use 150gsm Daler Rowney Canford paper. Attach your template with paper clips, which will give you flexibility to check what’s been cut through or needs adjusting.

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09

There are a variety of blades and handles available, these being my select few. I use a pointed blade regularly, which I find gives a smoother transition between angles and curves, and with a flat handle, which I find easier to grip. The rounded handle gives slightly less control when handling and tends to roll in your hand.

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9/7/10 9:36:25 AM


Technique Create stunning papercuts

67

VisualguCideVto

In pictures: a rk of the career and wo iters wr ue niq ch Te r ou

MrYen

Five favourite works from the designer’s back catalogue

10

I now adjust certain areas of the typography I want to connect (I do this by hand because I find it quicker). When cutting circles or curved sections, it’s best to hold the blade at a slight angle and move it in short intervals. Conversely, when cutting angles and straight areas, it’s best to hold the blade straight up and cut the whole area in one confident movement.

11

Start cutting the small, delicate parts first. This way, if you go wrong it will hopefully be on the smaller, fine details – you don’t want to have almost finished your design and then accidentally cut something off.

12

Next, I cut out the larger bits of the design while removing sections of the template off-cut to make it more obvious as to what has already been cut. Also, I find it better to move the paper around to suit my hand position, as this gives me more control.

Papercut postcards – 2009 These postcards were my first-ever papercuts and were created in the same way as the image in the tutorial. It was my response to a university brief. Typographic quote – 2009 This is an exploration of what I could create using just a single piece of paper, a quote and some experimental typography. Lampshade – 2010 This piece for a university brief involves experimental lampshades that explore how light interacts with the positive/negative cut-out space in the typography.

14

13

I complete the design and remove the template, taking care to separate the two. Now I can see if there are any small pieces that haven’t been fully cut and then delicately trim these fibrous bits away with a short stabbing motion.

Once all the small bits are trimmed off and the template is removed, the papercut is now ready to be photographed. Place it on a coloured paper background of your choice, photograph it, upload the image to your computer to edit and then apply to your chosen promotional context – a postcard, for example.

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Book covers, university brief – 2010 These are papercut book covers for the book Alice in Wonderland, which also had accompanying papercut bookmarks. Geometric greeting cards – 2010 When experimenting with geometric illustrations, I wanted to translate them into papercuts while having a useful context.

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76 Technique   

Illustrator and Photoshop CS3 or later

Master m   ash-up p   attern fills

Illustrator Andrew Groves on creating and combining pattern fills for spectacular texture effects

In this tutorial I’m going to show you some interesting ways of using Illustrator’s Pattern swatches. Pattern and texture fills are a great way to add depth and style to landscapes, characters – or anything you like. My work tends to feature a lot of geometric shapes and is usually very neat and tidy, which can sometimes lead to flat images. Using pattern fills can be a great way to bring these images to life, and by using a mixture of vector and traditional paint techniques we can create some really interesting patterns that offer a new dimension to illustrations. For this tutorial you’re going to need some paints and some card or paper in addition to Illustrator and Photoshop. So get down your local art supplier…

Andrew Groves UK-based freelance illustrator Andrew – AKA Imakethings – creates graphic works for a wide range of clients including Snowboarder magazine, Orange and Panasonic. He particularly enjoys exploring the natural world and its folklore through his characters. Check out his portfolio at www.imakethings. co.uk

On the disc The texture file accompanying this tutorial can be located in DiscContents\ Resources\Pattern

Computer Arts October 2010

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Time needed 3 hours Skills Make simple vector repeat patterns Create swatches using found artwork Create duotone images in Photoshop

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9/6/10 11:49:12 AM


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I start with an image that I’m fairly happy with composition-wise but that currently doesn’t feature any patterns or textures. As you can see, it’s currently looking a little flat, so let’s get to work.

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Copy then paste your new pattern into your original document, and adjust the colours accordingly. I want my bricks to be pink and the cement to be white. Once you are happy with the colours, scale the pattern so that it’s approximately the right size.

We’ll create our first patterns in Illustrator using vector shapes, so create a new document to work in. I’m going to start with a brick pattern to apply to the mountains and the cabin. It’s essential that your patterns tile correctly, so make sure that the edges of your pattern line up with each other (that the left matches with the right, and the top edge with the bottom). Copy and paste your original section and see if it tiles okay, as in the example shown above.

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You should now have one section of your pattern complete. The next step is to make it a pattern fill so that you can easily apply it to areas of your illustration. Select your pattern and go to Edit>Define Pattern. A ‘New Swatch’ dialog box will open. Name your pattern and click OK.

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You should now see your pattern sitting in your Swatches palette (Window>Swatches). To apply this pattern to an object, simply select it and click the swatch in the Swatches palette. Your object should now be filled with your pattern! It’s now okay to delete the original section you were working on. If you want to adjust the pattern, simply drag the swatch from the Swatches palette onto the work area and amend it.

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Now it’s up to you to think of some new patterns to fill the other objects in the same way. Here are a few other patterns that I often use, which I’ve saved in a separate document to create a pattern library. This makes it easy to locate patterns for future illustrations.

Computer Arts October 2010

9/6/10 11:49:15 AM


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Technique Master mash-up pattern fills

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Next we’ll step away from the computer to get our hands messy. There are all sorts of handmade textures and patterns you could use, but here I’ll use gouache paints on wet card. Start with a wet sheet of paper, then simply drop some paint on it and let the paint bleed and drip. You can use one colour or many – it’s up to you. If you want to skip this step, use the ready-made texture file I’ve included on the disc.

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If you’re making your own texture, you need to scan it so you can use it as a pattern fill in Illustrator. The resolution you need to scan at will depend on the final output size of your illustration. As mine is for print, I scan it at 300dpi and open it in Photoshop for a bit of tweaking.

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I want to make this texture the same colour as some of the elements in my original. To do this, I first convert the image to Grayscale (Image>Mode>Grayscale) then go back to Image>Mode and select Duotone. A dialog box will appear. In the Type drop-down menu, select ‘Duotone’.

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Click the coloured square in the ‘Ink 1’ row. In the ‘Select Ink Color’ window, you can now adjust the colour of your image using the Eye Dropper tool or by typing the CMYK values in manually. Because I’m matching the colour on my original, I’m going to type in the same CMYK value as the dark blue mountains have.

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To add a little more depth to the texture, you can add a second ink colour in the ‘Ink 2’ row. You’ll then need to convert the image mode back to CMYK. Save this as either a JPEG or a TIFF file.

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Go back to Illustrator and open up your texture. Copy this, then paste it into your original and then, just as with the brick pattern, go to Edit>Define Pattern. Give the texture a name to keep things organised. You now have a second texture that you can assign to objects by clicking the swatch in the Swatches palette.

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Because your new swatch won’t tile like the brick pattern, it can require a bit of trial and error to get your texture fill in the right place. In the example you can see that I have a sharp line where the edges of the texture meet. In order to move the pattern around inside the shape, we need to uncheck the ‘Patterns’ box in the Scale window (Object> Transform>Scale).

Computer Arts October 2010

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Now when you move the object the pattern will remain in the same position, enabling you to align the texture within the shape correctly. Once the pattern or texture looks right, you can then re-check the Patterns box in the Scale window so that, when you move the object back to its original place, the pattern will stay in the same position.

I’m now going to use the same watercolour texture but change the colours to use on the other mountains and other elements. I’m also going to add little bits and pieces to finish the image off; as well as using painted textures, you could use photos, wood grain or anything you like!

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9/6/10 11:49:17 AM


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