Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How To Create a Stunning Vista Inspired Menu

This tutorial will show you how to make a semi-transparent Vista-inspired menu using gradients, shadows, and blurring to produce a stunning modern effect.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

9 Essential Principles for Good Web Design

Web design can be deceptively difficult, as it involves achieving a design that is both usable and pleasing, delivers information and builds brand, is technically sound and visually coherent.
Add to this the fact that many Web designers (myself included) are self-taught, that Web design is still novel enough to be only a side subject in many design institutions, and that the medium changes as frequently as the underlying technology does.
So today I’ve put together my 9 principles for good Web design. These are only my opinions and I’ve tried to link off to more reading on subjects so you don’t only hear my voice. Obviously, I have lots of disclaimers: rules are made to be broken, different types of design work differently, and I don’t always live up to my own advice. So please read these as they are intended–just some observations I am sharing…

Handy Web 2.0 Icons In Photoshop

When we are working on a Web design project, we quite often need icons to show commands like add, delete, or edit. With the Web 2.0 trend, the use of badges and subtle 3D has become very popular. In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a really easy and very nice 3D effect to be used in either buttons and icons or elements that need some depth.

Creating a Vinyl Record In Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will explain how to make a vinyl graphic. This tutorial will outline techniques to avoid choppy edges and create proper texturing and lighting.

Step 1.

Let’s start out by creating a new file. I used a 300×300 pixel canvas set at 72dpi (regular settings), and I filled my background with a soft gradient. You can fill it with whatever you want.
Create a layer set and call it “vinyl.” Create a new layer within the layer set, also called “vinyl,” and fill it with a dark grey (almost black) color like #111111. Fill this layer with noise by going to Filter > Noise > Add noise and use the settings shown below in the screenshot.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Create a Slick Black iMac in Photoshop

Some months back before the latest iMacs were released, I was musing as to what a black iMac might look like. Being a Photoshopper, I decided to try making one. After posting it on a blog, the image went viral and started appearing on Mac and technology blogs and my site was inundated with traffic. Today if you look up Black iMac in a Google search you’ll see lots of sites using my image. Today I’ll show you how I made that picture.

Draw a Roll of Camera Film in Photoshop

Icon design can be a lot of fun. In this tutorial we will demonstrate how to create a roll of camera film using Photoshop. Let’s get started!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Using Light and Shade to Bring Text to Life

 Light Sources

So before we start the tutorial, here is a little diagram about how light might hit an object. Here we have a square object in the middle with light coming from the top left. You can see that where the light hits the object, a shadow is cast on the other side. Note that the shadow is not a Photoshop drop shadow, which makes the object look like it’s hovering above the canvas. Here we want the object to look like it’s a three dimensional thing stuck on the canvas, extruding if you like. Now tell me what other Photoshop tutorial site gives you diagrams? It’s like being back in school!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Create a Paint Brush in Photoshop

Creating still-life objects in Photoshop is often great practice for learning how to create other objects. In today’s tutorial we will demonstrate how to create a realistic-looking paint brush using layer styles, clipping masks, and the not-so-commonly-used blend if sliders. Let’s get started!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Create a Spectacular Flaming Meteor Effect on Text

Take typography one step further by having text falling from the sky in a burning inferno. Yes, this is the text-on-fire tutorial to end all tutorials. It uses a little Illustrator for the text and a lot of Photoshop to burn up the screen!

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Slick Supernatural Text Effect

In this tutorial we’ll be creating a smoky night effect on text to give it an eerie supernatural sort of feel. It’s a good exercise in using the Wave distortion filter…

Making a Print-Ready Business Card Using Only Photoshop

In this tutorial, we are going to design up a simple business card in Photoshop and get it ready for print with crop marks and bleed. Normally you’d do some of this with a tool like InDesign, but it is in fact possible to get by with just our trusty old Photoshop.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Creative Photo Composition

It would be lovely if every client gave you perfect photos to work with, but all too often this isn’t true. When you get photos that are too small, not visually interesting, or of poor quality you have to get creative. In this tutorial, I’ll take you through an instance where I had to make an A4 magazine cover out of a snapshot from a cheap camera.
This tutorial is following an actual job I did maybe a year ago for one of our charity clients. They had had a couple of documentary film makers out in Vanuatu and had a pretty ordinary photo of them that they wanted for a monthly newsletter/magazine cover.
Note that I’ve scaled the sample PSD and the tutorial images down to a size that works for the Web, the real work was of course done at 300dpi and A4 size and everything was a lot bigger, but that doesn’t really matter for us here.

Making a Photoshop Shield

In this tutorial, we’re going to use the Path Tools in Photoshop to draw a shield-like shape. Then using some gradients, we’re going to give it a metallic edge and shiny center. I actually made this tutorial when making the default icons for some posts here on PSDtuts, so if you go to the main listing on the site you’ll see them in action.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Using Gradients to Make Light and Shadow – and a Coffee Cup!

Light and Shadow

In this tutorial, we’re going to use some simple circles and gradients to make a cup of coffee viewed from above. The end result isn’t that useful, but the process is interesting nonetheless.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Super Slick Dusky Lighting Effects in Photoshop

One of the best sites around for desktops has to be Desktopography. I’ve been inspired by their amazing work, so today we are going to put together a sunset image mixing some vector shapes and dusky lighting effects to produce a slick image that would make a nice album cover for a chillout mix!

Photoshop Button Maker

In this simple tutorial, we’re going to create a clever little way of making little buttons using a couple of layers and one interchangeable image layer. As always you can download the sample PSD at the bottom of the tutorial to follow along and copy layer styles out of.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Photo Manipulation In Photoshop

Souping up a Photo

There are times when a regular photo just doesn’t cut it and you need your photo to pack a punch. Here is one technique that you may find useful.
As with all photo-based techniques, it doesn’t really make up for having a crappy photo though, so if you are trying to rescue something ugly don’t get your hopes up too high!

Before and After

Before we get started, lets compare the original with the result. As you’ll see we’re taking a great photo and making it really punchy by getting it really contrasty and changing the color palette.

Creating a Stunning Old-World Look in Photoshop

In this tutorial, we are going to create a sort of old-worldy composition featuring a compass and making use of some awesome vector artwork from Arsenal. As always there is a PSD file at the bottom of the tutorial. In this instance, I would highly recommend downloading it as this is quite a complex composition. Be warned this is a LONG tutorial!
Oh and in case you’re wondering, inspiration comes from a really neat set of books, one of which is called the Golden Compass (actually they are making the book series a movie now!).

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Icey Styles in Photoshop

In this tutorial, we’re going to create an icey-cold effect using layer styles and that you can apply to different objects. Then we’ll put it on a nice background to give it some kick. You can download the PSD file at the bottom of the tutorial if you’d simply like to copy+paste the layer styles.

Mac-Type Background in Photoshop

This tutorial is about making a “mac” style background. You can use these in all sorts of situations, including the obvious –your desktop– as well as part of your designs or for corporate work (Powerpoint presentations, Flash work, etc). Naturally, you wouldn’t want to use this exact set of steps, but following them will give you a good idea of the technique. Good luck!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hazardous Red Background

Red Background

This tutorial is about making a textured red background and using Photoshop’s Shape Tool to add a design element. You can download the sample PSD file from the link at the bottom of the tutorial.

Transparent Glass Lettering in Photoshop

Transparent Glass

In this tutorial, we’re going to use some super layer effects and a bit of extra magic to make a lettering style that looks transparent and stunning. Because there is so much use of layer styles, you need to download the sample PSD from the link at the bottom of the tutorial in order to follow along.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Metallic Styles in Photoshop

In this tutorial, we’re going to create a metallic effect using layer styles and gradients that you can apply to different objects. We’ll put it on a nice background and create a style for lettering that makes it look like it’s embedded into the metal. You can download the sample PSD file from the link at the bottom of the tutorial if you’d like to simply copy+paste the layer styles.

Plastic Jelly Styles

In this tutorial, we’ll be using layer styles to make a plastic gel-type style that you can easily apply to text and shapes. You can download the PSD file from the link at the bottom of the tutorial to just copy+paste the styles.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Create a Slick Black iMac in Photoshop

Step 1

The first thing we need to make our black iMac is a regular one to base it off of. I used the previous model because when I originally did this, that was all that was available. Here’s an image I found off Google Images of a front facing iMac. It’s a pretty standard product shot.

Make a Textured 3D Spray Can

In today’s tutorial we will demonstrate how to combine Illustrator and Photoshop to create a 3D, textured spray can. This tutorial requires some basic understanding of Illustrator and Photoshop as well as the pen tool. Let’s get started!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Create a “Minion” Character From the Despicable Me Movie

Let’s face it, those minion characters from Despicable Me were pretty darned cute. In today’s tutorial, we will use Photoshop and Illustrator to create a cute minion character. Let’s get started!

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