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Resources Used In This Tutorial
Here is a preview of the image that we are going to be creating:
Start by creating a new document (600X700px).
Paste in your landscape photo, and position/resize it until it looks right to you.
Now reduce this photo layer’s opacity to 45%, and use your mask tool to mask off the top of the photo (fading the tops of the trees using a large, soft black paintbrush within your mask).
Now apply a hue/saturation adjustment layer. Be sure to create a clipping mask for this adjustment layer, so it only directly effects the landscape photo layer beneath it.
Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer Settings:
Now download the crumpled paper texture from the resources section for this tutorial. Paste it into your canvas, resizing as appropriate and then reduce this layer’s opacity to 25%. This should give a nice subtle texture overlay.
Now paste in a couple of the Designious floral vector designs. Position these in the corners of your canvas.
Call these layers ‘floral bg’. Then reduce their layer opacities to 25%, and use a layer mask to subtly mask off areas of each vector design, blending them into your main background:
Now create a new layer called ‘circle’. Create a large circular selection in the middle of your canvas, and fill it with a radial gradient ranging from 90294b to 631c34.
Then apply a layer mask, and using a grungy default brush, at around 15% opacity, mask off central parts of your circle:
Now use your eye-dropped tool to find a rough color of your main cream background.
Create a new layer called ‘sketchy lines’ and then use a 1px, cream paintbrush to draw a lot of messy lines over your circle shape:
Now we want to start adding floral details to the edges of our circle shape.
Start by pasting in an appropriate design.
Then go to edit>transform>warp. Use your warp tool to wrap your floral design to fit around the curve of your circle shape.
Now apply a layer mask, and mask off the bottom of your floral design, using a large, soft black paintbrush. This should let you seamlessly fade your floral design into your circle shape:
Now apply a color overlay blending option to your floral shape layer.
Color Overlay Blending Option Settings:
Blend Mode: Soft Light
Now repeat Step 7, but apply several more floral designs to the edge of your circle:
Now paste in the photo of a raven from the resources section for this tutorial. You can cut out the raven using whichever method you find easiest, personally I used the lasso tool, as I knew we wouldn’t be needed the background to the photo again.
Now apply a couple of adjustment layers over your raven photo. Be sure to apply a clipping mask to each adjustment layer so that your adjustments only effect your raven, not your entire composition:
Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer Settings:
Levels Adjustment Layer Settings:
36 / 1.00 / 253
Now create a series of layers called ‘highlights’ whereby you drag out radial gradients over your raven, and use light/color to enhance your image.
You can see below, I used blue-transparent, orange-transparent and white-transparent radial gradients (each on a different layer). Then I reduced each layer’s opacity to around 10-20% and changed the layer blend mode to ‘overlay’. This gives a really subtle but attractive coloring to your image:
Now create a new layer called ‘lens flare’.
Fill your canvas with black, and then change this layer’s blend mode to ‘screen’. This will hide the black, but allow you to apply a lens flare in a non-destructive way. Go to filter>render>lens flare and apply a 50-300mm Zoom, (100% Brightness). Try to position your lens flare where your raven’s eye is, bearing in mind that this may take a few attempts to position it correctly.
Once you’ve applied your lens flare, reduce this layer’s opacity to 80%. The images below show the layer at ‘normal’ blend mode, and then at ‘screen’.
Now apply some text beneath your raven area, saying ‘flight’.
Font Face: FatC (Download font here)
Then apply layer mask to your text layer, and use a default grungy paintbrush at a low opacity to mask off various areas of your text, giving a faded, grungy look:
Use your marquee tool to create a rectangular border effect. Create a rectangle shape, and then fill it with d2d2d2. Then with your selection still in place go to select>modify>contract and contract it by 30px. Then hit delete, and you’re left with a nice border effect.
Now apply an inner shadow effect, in order to give your border a cool looking highlight.
Inner Shadow Blending Option Settings:
Blend Mode: Normal
Now go to edit>transform>distort and distort your frame shape to give it the illusion of perspective.
Create a layer beneath your frame layer called ‘dark borders’. Now use your lasso tool and gradient tools to create a number of sides to your frame, making it look 3D.
Now move your 3D frame to the top-left of your canvas. Create a layer beneath it called ‘dark behind’ and use a low opacity, large, soft black paintbrush to paint some shadows into this corner of your canvas. This will help give the illusion of depth as people look through your frame.
Now open up your feather photo in a new document.
To extract the feather from it’s background we’re going to use the color range method. This is fairly easy, as the photo is against a plain white background. Simply go to select>color range.
Then use your eye dropper tool and click on the white background. Click OK, and then go to select>inverse to invert your selection (leaving just your feather selected). Paste the feather back into your original document, using masking or the eraser tool to clean up any stray edges:
Now duplicate your feather layer, and move/resize it to fit over your top-left frame. Use your distort tools to warp the feather, varying it’s original shape to add diversity to your composition.
Then use your mask tool to mask off the end of the feather, giving the impression that it’s disappearing into your frame.
Now we need to blend our feather better with the surrounding composition. To do this, apply a hue/saturation and levels adjustment layer. For each adjustment layer go to layer>create clipping mask, to ensure that your adjustments only effect your underlying feather layer, not your entire composition:
Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer Settings:
Levels Adjustment Layer Settings:
19 / 1.00 / 241
Now duplicate your feather again, this time keep it’s regular size. Apply the same adjustment layers again for this feather, reducing the saturation and adjusting the levels. Then go to filter>blur>gaussian blur and apply a 3.8px strength gaussian blur. This should help give the impression of depth, as the blurred feather appears to be closer to you.
Now repeat these techniques, but creating many more feathers. Be sure to apply the correct adjustment layers for each feather, and vary the amount of gaussian blur applied to the larger feathers to emphasize the depth. Also remember to use your warp tool to vary the shape of the feathers, and help them to follow the wider contours of your piece:
If you remember earlier, we applied some brightly colored radial gradients over our raven, and then reduced the opacity to around 10%, to create a nice, subtle lighting effect. Now repeat this technique, but cast the highlights over your frame in the top-left of your canvas.
The images below show the gradient layers at 100% opacity, and then at 20% opacity, ‘overlay’ blend mode:
Now create a new layer called ‘dodge/burn’. Go to edit>fill and fill your canvas with 50% gray. This will allow you to dodge/burn your image non-destructively.
Change your layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’ to hide your 50% gray, and then use a soft black paintbrush (around 10% opacity) to burn your image. Use the same paintbrush, but set to white to dodge your image. You can easily add highlights/shadows to your image in this way.
The images below show the dodge/burn layer at ‘normal’ blend mode and then at ‘overlay’ blend mode:
Now apply 3 final adjustment layers. Do NOT apply a clipping mask to these layers, as you want them to effect your entire composition.
Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer Settings:
Gradient Map Adjustment Layer Settings:
Gradient: Ranging from ae8108 to 053141
Blend Mode: Normal
Levels Adjustment Layer Settings:
20 / 0.94 / 236
To finish, we want to sharpen the central part of our image. The easiest and most non-destructive way of doing this is to flatten your image, and then copy the flat image. Then undo this flattening and paste the flattened image in as a new top layer.
Then go to filter>sharpen>unsharp mask. Apply an unsharp mask with the settings below:
Unsharp Mask Settings:
Radius: 4.0 pixels
Threshold: 0 levels
Finally, apply a layer mask and use a large, soft black paintbrush to mask off the edges of this layer. This should mean that the only sharpened part of your image remaining will be your central area, containing your raven. This should bring focus and clarity to your overall composition:
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In this Photoshop tutorial, we’re going create a dynamic and powerful design with an eagle as the centerpiece. We’ll use Photoshop to bring together our concept by combining various hand-drawn elements with stock photos.
- Stock photo: Eagle by Dennis Ruffe
- Texture: Grunge by Struck Dumb
- Pattern library: Seamless Abstract Nebula Textures by Webtreats ETC
- Stock photo: Fourth of July Fireworks by Bill Fehr
- Stock photo: Independence Day Fireworks 8 by Liz Bogus
- PSD: Clouds
- PSD: Stars
Step 1: Masking the Eagle
To start things off, in Photoshop, open the image of the eagle, kindly donated by my uncle Dennis Ruffe.
Click on the eagle layer to make sure that it’s highlighted in your Layers Panel, and then press Cmd/Ctrl + J to duplicate the layer.
What we’re going to do is mask out the background in order to isolate the eagle and the branch it’s perching on. Turn off the visibility of the original eagle layer. Click on the Add layer mask icon found at the bottom of the Layers Panel to create a mask.
Once you add the layer mask, you will see the layer mask thumbnail added next to the thumbnail of the eagle in the Layers Panel.
You can switch back and forth between the mask and the image on this layer by clicking on their respective thumbnails. Click on the mask thumbnail right now, just to make sure we’re working on the layer mask. You will notice how there’s a black box around the layer mask thumbnail, indicating that it’s what we’re working on.
Choose the Brush Tool (B) from the Tools Panel, pick a hard, round brush and set your Foreground color to black. Begin to paint in all of the areas that you want to remove. If you mess up, simply switch your Foreground color to white to bring the masked out area back.
In the Layers Panel, notice that the areas we’re masking out appear as black in the mask thumbnail, while the areas we want to keep are in white.
Take your time with this layer masking.
After masking out the background, your work should look similar to this:
Step 2: Place the Eagle in a New Document
Press Cmd/Ctrl + N to create a new document and make it 8.5″ x 11″ RGB color mode, as shown here:
Press Enter to create the document (or just click OK). Switch back to the other document with the eagle and then copy and paste the image over into the new file. You will now have an eagle layer as well as the default Background layer.
Double-click on the Background layer and the New Layer dialog box will appear. You can just press Enter or click OK to unlock the Background layer.
Now that layer is unlocked, we can go ahead and modify the layer any way we need to.
With your eagle layer selected, press Cmd/Ctrl + T to activate Free Transform, hold down Shift, and drag outwards from any of the four corners of the transform box to scale up the eagle a bit.
Step 3: Fill the Background
Switch to the Paint Bucket Tool (G) and then choose a dark gray Foreground color (here I’m using #060606).
Once you have your color selected, make sure the Background layer is active, then click anywhere on the Background layer to fill it with our deep gray. You will now have something like this:
Step 4: Apply the Layer Mask
Before we move on, we’re going to commit the layer mask on our eagle (since we won’t be modifying the mask anymore). To do this, we will again make sure that our layer mask thumbnail is selected.
Next, Control-click/right-click on the layer mask thumbnail to reveal a dropdown menu. From the menu, we want to choose Apply Layer Mask.
Once you apply the mask, you should no longer see the layer mask thumbnail because we have applied it (committed it) to the eagle layer.
Rename this layer something like “Eagle” just to keep things organized.
Step 5: Enhance the Color of the Eagle
Select the Eagle layer and then press Cmd/Ctrl + J to duplicate the layer.
Tip: This is an example of why renaming layers is good; if we hadn’t renamed this layer to “Eagle” in the previous step, we would have “Copy” and “Copy copy” as our layer names, which is something we want to keep from happening. Once we start to add more layers, it will definitely save some time when we hunt down the layer we need, so it’s good to get in the habit of doing this early on in the design process.
With your duplicate layer selected, we want to go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur.
When the Motion Blur dialog box appears, apply the following settings (then press Enter to apply the filter):
Next, we’re going to change the Blend Mode of this layer to Color Dodge and reduce the layer’s Opacity to about 72%.
The image below shows the before and after effect on our eagle:
Step 6: Fade Away
Create a layer mask on the “Eagle copy” layer by clicking on the Add layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layers Panel.
After that, switch to the Gradient Tool (G) and use a black-to-white color gradient:
Next, click around the bottom left of the eagle and drag upwards and to the right, along the direction of the wing. Doing this will mask out the majority of the body and lower half of the eagle so that the focus of the effect is on the wing. Doing this also helps bring some of the detail back into the eagle that was taken away in the previous step, along with adding a punch of color and brightness to the design. You might say we are killing two birds with one stone… okay, never mind, moving on.
Step 7: Create a Blue Glow
This further enhances the focal point of the piece. Create a new layer just above the Background layer and choose a vibrant blue color — I’m using #0410B0.
Switch to your Gradient Tool (G) and select a radial gradient that fades from solid blue to transparent.
Next, click at the center of your image and drag outwards to create your gradient. The gradient should fade from blue into our background color. Once you’re happy with the size and placement of the gradient, reduce the Opacity of the layer to about 24%.
You should now have something like this:
Step 8: Add a Background Texture
Now we can add some texture to our background to give it a more tactile feel. Download and open this Grunge texture in Photoshop and then bring it into your document. If you want to experiment, also check out some free textures here on Design Instruct.
Make sure that the texture layer is just above the radial gradient layer from the previous step, change its Blend Mode to Color Dodge and reduce the Opacity to about 65%.
Press Cmd/Ctrl + T to activate Free Transform and then rotate the image 90o so that it fills out the canvas vertically, then just press Enter to apply the transformation.
Once the texture is in place and is covering the whole canvas, change the Blend Mode of the layer to Color Dodge and reduce the opacity of the layer to about 65%.
Step 9: Darken Edges of the Canvas
Add a new layer above the texture layer and switch over to your Gradient Tool (G). We want to make sure that we have a radial gradient that fades from black to transparent, similar to what we did earlier when we created our blue radial gradient in Step 7.
This time, however, we want to check off the box that says Reverse to reverse the color gradient.
Click in the center of the image and drag outwards to create a gradient that will fade to black along the outer edges of the image.
Doing this will add more contrast and depth to the background of our design.
Let’s take a look at what we have so far:
Step 10: Install and Apply a Photoshop Pattern
Next, we’ll install a Photoshop pattern. First, download the Seamless Abstract Nebula Textures, which will contain a Photoshop pattern library file (it has a file extension of .pat).
In your hard drive, go to the following folder:
Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS4\Presets\Patterns
Note: For many of you, this path will be different; you might have installed it somewhere else, you might have a different version of Photoshop, and it will depend on what operating system you use. Just locate the folder where Photoshop is installed, then in it, go to Presets, then Patterns. The Patterns folder contains all of the preset pattern libraries that come with Photoshop, as well as any of the custom Photoshop patterns you’ve made or have already installed. To learn more about Photoshop patterns, read the Design Instruct guide called Photoshop Patterns: Ultimate Guide.
Extract the Photoshop pattern library file we downloaded to the Patterns folder.
Now that we’ve installed the pattern library, we’re going to apply the pattern. First, we are going to create a new layer just above the texture layer for our pattern.
Select your Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) and create a selection around your entire canvas (Cmd/Ctrl + A). Then go to Edit > Fill, which will reveal the Fill dialog window.
Once the dialog window appears, choose Patterns in the Use option dropdown menu. This will enable the Custom Pattern option right below it. Click on the thumbnail preview on the right of the Custom Pattern option to expand it. Once expanded, click on the small rightward-pointing arrow to reveal more options and commands. Select Load Patterns and locate the pattern library we installed. Then choose the blue pattern from the list of patterns.
Just press the OK button to apply the pattern, which will fill the canvas with our nice spacey texture.
After filling the layer with the custom pattern, change its Blend Mode to Color Dodge.
This will add more depth and texture to our background. You can see the results by toggling the visibility of the space pattern layer on and off.
Step 11: Add Sparks to the Eagle’s Wings
Next, open the Fourth of July Fireworks stock image and bring it into your document. Scale it up using Free Transform (Cmd/Ctrl + T), hold Shift to constrain the proportions.
Change the Blend Mode of the image to Screen and rotate it a little bit.
Add a layer mask onto the fireworks image. Mask out parts of it by using a black soft round brush set on a low opacity (between 30-40%).
Use the Move Tool (V) to position the image so that the fireworks follow the direction of the wing. Mask away parts of the sparkles so that it appears as though they are actually flying and emanating from the wing of the eagle. We want to use a soft brush so that the fade appears to be smooth.
By doing this, we are beginning to see how we can easily incorporate some cool light effects that convey motion and speed in our work.
Step 12: Add Some Fireworks
Download and open the Independence Day Fireworks 8 stock image in Photoshop, and then place it into our canvas. We’ll use the same technique from the previous step to incorporate this image into our design. Scale it up using Free Transform (Cmd/Ctrl + T), and then change the layer’s Blend Mode to Screen so that we conceal the darker areas of the stock image.
Below, you’ll see that I’ve placed the fireworks layer beneath the eagle layer, flipped the fireworks and warped it a bit, so that it has a longer streak of lights.
You don’t necessarily have to use the whole part of the image; you can use a layer mask to hide areas of it you don’t like.
Continue this process by experimenting with the size, placement, and shape of the fireworks, but try not to go overboard. If we start placing too many of these lights, they might start to compete with other areas of the image too much.
Step 13: Add Some Color to the Eagle
Hold down Cmd/Ctrl and, in the Layers Panel, click on the layer thumbnail of the original eagle layer to create a selection around it.
Keep the selection active, create a new layer at the very top of the layers stack, and change your Foreground color to a bright red (#FF0000).
Choose the Gradient Tool (G) and use a linear gradient that fades from the red color to transparent.
On the new layer, click-and-hold at the top right of the wing, then drag diagonally towards the left of the eagle to apply the gradient fade.
Since we have a marquee selection around the eagle, we are ensuring that the gradient only happens within the selected area.
Change the Blend Mode of the red gradient layer to Soft Light and reduce the Opacity to about 85%.
Step 14: Add Some Hand-Drawn Clouds
Download and open the Clouds PSD file.
Using your Rectangular Marquee Tool (M), quickly make a selection around one of the clouds.
Press Cmd/Ctrl + J to duplicate your selection onto a new layer and drag it over to your composition.
Use your Magic Wand Tool (W) to select an area outside of the cloud to remove the excess white background, then just press Delete.
At this point, have some fun and play around with sizing and placement of the cloud before continuing to add more cloud shapes to the design. I have placed a few behind the eagle and also have some clouds overlap the eagle to add depth.
Adding hand-drawn elements or custom-made vectors are great ways to make the image more interesting and personalized. Feel free to sketch, scan and incorporate your own hand-drawn elements.
Step 15: Add Some Hand-Drawn Stars
Next, we are going to download and open the Stars PSD file. Using the same method as in the previous step, start by making a selection around a star and then pressing Cmd/Ctrl + J to duplicate the selection onto a new layer. From there, you can drag the layer over to your main document and get rid of any unwanted white background by selecting it with the Magic Wand Tool (W) and pressing Delete.
Try to scatter the stars around a bit, using various sizes and directions to make them appear more random. Once you have a composition that you are happy with, select all the star layers in the Layers Panel.
With all your star layers selected, press Cmd/Ctrl + G to put them in a layer group. By putting all of the layers into a group, it helps keep some order in the document.
Step 16: Add Spots of Red Color
Create a new layer above the pattern layer. Next, choose a bright red color (#FF0000) as your Foreground color.
Switch to your Gradient Tool (G) and set it up to be a radial gradient that fades from our red color to transparent.
Click in the center of your canvas and drag outwards to create the gradient. Afterwards, experiment with different layer blending modes to create some interesting results.
Below, you can see that I’m using four radial gradient layers; two of them are set to Screen blend mode and the other two are set to Color.
All four of these gradients will be behind the eagle and so we want to position them in such a way that they appear to be underneath the wing. Remember that whenever we have a light source, some of that color will also affect the color of the shadows.
Step 17: Add Hints of Blue to Balance the Composition
Create another layer above the red gradients. Switch your Foreground color to a light shade of blue (I’m using #0072FF). Using the same gradient settings as the previous step, we want to establish some balance by placing some lighter blues on the left side of the image, behind the eagle.
Once again, we will be changing the Blend Mode of these colors to Screen and Color before we position them in the composition accordingly. You can see how doing this brightens up the left side of the scene more and enhances the overall composition.
Step 18: Work on the Composition’s Lighting
Next, we will add more vibrancy and brightness to the light coming from the wing. To do this we will need to create a new layer just below our stars layers. Now we will select a white as our Foreground color and then switch back to our Gradient Tool (G).
We still want to use the same settings that we have been using in the previous two steps so you shouldn’t have to change that at this point.
Click and drag outwards from the center of the canvas to create a white gradient. After that, we want to reduce the Opacity of the layer to about 72% and change the Blend Mode to Overlay.
The image below shows the before and after of the lighting effect. You can see how doing this helps bring in some more detail in some of the feathers as well.
Step 19: Add Some Blue Color
Next, hold down Cmd/Ctrl, and then click on the thumbnail image of the eagle layer to load a selection around it.
While your selection is still active, go ahead and create a new layer and then place it below the white overlay layer from the previous step, as shown here:
Switch to your Gradient Tool (G) and choose a bright blue color (#01A6FB).
Check the settings for your gradient and make sure you are using a linear gradient that fades from our blue color to transparent. Also, make sure that the Reverse option is not checked off.
Now we want to start at the bottom left of the canvas and drag upwards and to the right so that we mostly get our color on the bottom portion of the image.
Step 20: Layer Masking
What we want to do next is change the Blend Mode of this layer to Soft Light and reduce the Opacity to about 70%. Once you have done that, add a layer mask to this layer, just like we did earlier with some of our other layers.
Switch to your Brush Tool (B) and use a low opacity (20-30%) soft round brush. I’m using a brush size of 500px and also have a solid black color selected.
Tip: When using a brush, use your left square bracket ([) and right square bracket (]) keys on your keyboard to decrease or increase the size of your brush. If you do this while holding Shift, you will be changing the hardness of your brush — the left square bracket makes it softer, while the right square bracket creates a hard-edged brush. You can also vary the opacity of your brush simply by pressing any of the numbers 1-0 on your keyboard. Shortcuts like this will save you a lot of time.
Make sure that you have your layer mask in the Layers Panel, and then begin to mask out different areas of color to blend it with the image.
Notice how I’ve masked out some of the color around the head and beak of the eagle as well as the talons. Also, I’ve almost completely removed the color from the tree branch except for a few spots to create some reflections of blue.
Play around with this and continue to use your low opacity brush. This will create more gradual fades between the color and the image below.
Step 21: Burn Baby Burn!
Next, make a duplicate of the eagle layer by pressing Cmd/Ctrl + J with the layer selected, and then turn off the visibility of the original layer.
Choose the Burn Tool, lower the Opacity to about 20-30% and use a large soft brush like we used in the previous step. Also, make sure that the Burn Tool settings are set to Shadows.
On your duplicate eagle layer, begin to brush in some of the darker areas of the feathers and the tree branch to create some deeper shadows that will help create more contrast in the scene.
The trick when using the Burn Tool is to try and keep it subtle. You don’t want to overuse this tool. But when used sparingly, it will add a very nice professional finish to your images. Like photographers who touch up their work in Photoshop, I tend to use these tools quite a lot when retouching photos, but subtlety is the goal here.
You can also see the difference this has by turning the visibility of your duplicated eagle layer on or off as long as the visibility of the original layer below it is on.
Step 22: Dodge Tool
Next, create a copy of our newly burned layer and rename the layer copy to “Dodged”. I am doing this because it makes it easier to go back to the previous state if we need to.
Switch to the Dodge Tool and set it to Highlights. Again, use a low opacity, soft round brush for this step.
Zoom in and brush some of the lighter areas where you want to brighten and bring some detail back into the image. This can help create a more dramatic image and if you compare the before and after images below, you can notice a difference — a subtle difference, but it does help to create more impact.
You can also turn on the original eagle layer and then toggle the visibility of the dodge layer to see the difference. Once you are satisfied with the results of the dodging, be sure to save your work because we are going to flatten the image and sharpen it to bring some more crispness to the design.
Step 23: Looking Sharp
We’re now at the final step.
Select all the layers in the Layers Panel.
With all of your layers selected, go to Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask.
Once the dialog box appears, apply the following settings.
Now we’ve got even more crispness and clarity in our scene.
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in this web design tutorial I will show you how to create a web layout with a sleek and modern look using Adobe Photoshop. We will go from finding sources of inspiration to setting up the document in Photoshop and creating design elements that fit with the theme of the web layout. I will also give you some practical examples of how using smart objects in a web design project can improve your workflow and save you some time.
- Icons: Social Media Icon Set by Noupe
- Icons: Web Designer’s Icon Set by Smashing Magazine
- Futura font
- Font: Futura Heavy
- Font: Handwriting Dakota font (this one is included in the Mac OS X; if you don’t have it, you can use the Worstveld Sling, which is free)
After deciding to use a modern laboratory theme for this web layout, I took a pencil and a piece of paper and wrote down a few things that came to my mind that are related to the theme I chose. Here is what I came up with:
- chemistry bottles
- white board
Then I went to Google Images and searched for images of modern laboratories. I took a look at the images I found and started sketching some elements that I thought would fit into my design.
From these images I got the idea of using a lab desk in my web layout as header and navigation bar.
After creating a wireframe using a pencil and a piece of paper, I started designing the web layout in Photoshop.
You can see in the image below the elements that I talked about earlier. I created a laboratory desk for the header and the navigation bar and I used chemistry bottles for the logo and social media icons. Underneath the navigation bar I created an image slider with a frame similar to the white boards frames. Also, I used a script font for the taglines to convey the idea of sketching; scientists working in labs often have lab notebooks where they hand-record raw data and make sketches.
Step 1: Set Up the 960 Grid System
In this tutorial we will use the 960 Grid System to organize and arrange the elements of our web layout. Before we begin, download the grid system on your computer.
Unzip the archive file you downloaded, go to the “templates” folder and then go to the “photoshop” folder. You will find three .PSD files. Each of these files contains a grid with 12, 16 and 24 columns.
The .PSD files have some guides already set up, which will be very useful. To activate the guides, go to View > Show > Guides, or use the shortcut Ctrl/Cmd + ;.
During this tutorial you will need to create shapes with specific dimensions. To see the exact size of a shape or selection while you are creating it, open the Info Panel by going to Window > Info. The width and the height of your shapes and selections will be displayed in this panel.
Tip: If you need a more thorough guide for using 960 GS, I suggest reading the guide called The 960 Grid System Made Easy.
Step 2: Setting Up the Photoshop Grid
Open the Preferences window in Photoshop (Ctrl/Cmd + K), click on Guides, Grid & Slices and then set Gridline Every to 10px and Subdivisions to 5px. To activate the grid, go to View > Show > Grid, or use the shortcut Ctrl/Cmd + ‘.
You can activate the grid every time you create a shape such as a rectangle or an ellipse.
Step 3: Setting Up the Document
For this web layout we will use the 12-column grid. Open the “960_grid_12_col.psd” file in Photoshop. Then go to Image > Canvas Size and set the width to 1200px and the height to 1480px.
Step 4: Create the Background
As you can see in the Layers Panel, the Background layer has a lock icon next to it. This means that we can’t modify the layer unless we unlock it.
To unlock the layer, click on the black lock icon from the top area of the Layers Panel (underneath the blending modes). Now we can edit the layer, but the position is still locked (the black lock icon changed into a white lock icon) which means that we can’t move the layer. We don’t need to change the position of this layer, so we’ll leave it locked. However, if you do need a layer to be completely unlocked, click on the Lock Position icon (underneath the blending modes, next to the black lock icon).
Double-click on the thumbnail of the Background layer and change its color to #dfe4e6. Right-click on this layer and select Convert to Smart Object.
Note: We converted the layer into a Smart Object because we will apply a noise filter to it and we will be able to edit the filter’s settings at any time, just like the layer styles. If we apply a filter to a regular layer, we can’t edit it anymore.
Now go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise and use the settings from the following image.
Step 5: Creating a Diagonal Stripe Pattern
Create a new document (Ctrl/Cmd + N) with the dimensions 5px by 5px. Use the Zoom Tool (Z) to zoom in as much as you can.
Then create a new layer (Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + N) and select the Pencil Tool. Set the size to 1px and use the Pencil Tool to create a diagonal line from the lower left corner of the document to the upper right corner. Hide the Background layer by clicking on its eye icon from the Layers Panel. Then go to Edit > Define Pattern, give your pattern a name and click OK. Now you can close this document.
Step 6: Create a Bar at the Top
Select the Rectangle Tool (U), activate the grid (Ctrl/Cmd + ‘) and create a rectangle with the height 20px at the top of the document using the color #b0b7ba.
Name this layer “top bar”, double-click on it to open the Later Style window and use the settings from the following image. The color that I used for Bevel and Emboss Shadow Mode is #bec3c6 and the one I used for Stroke is #9da5a9.
Step 7: Creating a Modern Laboratory Desk Design Element
Create a new group (Layer > New > Group) and name it “header”. Activate the guides (Ctrl/Cmd + and the grid (Ctrl/Cmd + ‘). Then select the Rectangle Tool (U) and create a rectangle with the dimensions 940px by 40px using the color #535d62. Name this layer “top surface”.
Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select the upper left corner of this rectangle. Then hold down the Shift key and hit the Right Arrow key on your keyboard 6 times to move this anchor point 60px to the right. Then select the upper right corner of this rectangle and move it 60px to the left.
Double-click on the “top surface” layer to open the Layer Style window and use the settings from the following image. For Stroke I used the color #282f32.
Create a new rectangle underneath the top surface of the desk with the dimensions 940×10px and the color #414a4f. Name this layer “middle surface”, right-click on it and use the settings from the following image for Stroke. The color that I used is #252b2e.
Step 7: Create the Bottom Surface of the Desk (Navigation Bar)
Select the Rectangle Tool (U) and create another rectangle underneath the middle surface of the desk with the dimensions 920×40px and the color #b0b7ba. We will use this area for the navigation bar.
Double-click on this layer to open the Layer Style window and use the settings from the following image. For Stroke I used the color #818b8f. Name this layer “bottom surface” and put it underneath the “top surface” layer in the Layers Panel.
Now you can deactivate the grid and the guides.
Step 8: Adding Noise to the Lab Desk
Hold down the Ctrl/Cmd key and select the three surface layers that you created. Then right-click on one of them and select Convert to Smart Object from the menu that appears. Name this layer “desk”, go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise and use the settings from the following image.
Note: When you convert a layer into a smart object, you can no longer edit it directly (e.g., you can’t use the Brush Tool to paint on the layer). If you need to edit a smart object, double-click on its thumbnail. A new document will be opened with the source of the smart object (the layers that you converted). After you edit the source document, save it, close that document and the smart object will be updated in your current document.
Step 9: Creating the “Design Lab” Logo
Now we will create a logo related to the theme of the web layout. The name of our layout will be “Design Lab”, and we will replace the letter “A” with a chemistry bottle. First, create a new group (Layer > New > Group) and name it “logo”. Then select the Type Tool (T) and write “Design Lab” using the color #85a3b3. The font that I used is Futura Heavy.
Double-click on this text layer to open the Layer Style window and use the settings from the following image. The color I used for Drop Shadow is #6e8a99.
Create a new group (Layer > New > Group) and name it “chemistry bottle”. Select the Pen Tool (P) and create a shape over the letter “A” of the text layer. Take a look at the following image for reference. The color is not important at the moment. I made my shape red so you can see it better. Name this layer “bottom area”.
Click and hold on the Pen Tool in the Tools Panel to reveal additional tools, and then select the Add Anchor Point Tool. Then click on the vector mask of the “bottom area” layer to make it active (if the vector mask is active, you can see the path of your shape, and the thumbnail has a white stroke).
Zoom in, and then use the Add Anchor Point Tool to add an anchor point on the bottom path of the chemistry bottle, in the middle. Then use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select that anchor point and drag it 2px down. This will make the bottom line of the chemistry bottle more rounded. Take a look at the following image for reference.
Select the Rectangle Tool (U) and create a rectangle like you see in the following image. This will be the neck of the chemistry bottle. Name this layer “middle area”.
Select the Ellipse Tool (U) and create an ellipse at the top of the chemistry bottle’s neck using the color #85a3b3. Name this layer “top area”, double-click on it and use the settings from the following image. For Stroke I used the color #708c9b.
Change the color of the “bottom area” and “middle area” layers to #85a3b3. Then select the Pen Tool (P) and create a shape like you see in the following image. Use the color #b8d1df. Name this layer “water”, double-click on it to open the Layer Style window and use the settings from the following image.
Select the Pen Tool (P) again and create a shape like the one below. This will be the top area of the water. Name this layer “water top”, double-click on it and use the settings from the following image. For the Stroke I used the color #9dbccd.
Hold down the Ctrl/Cmd key and select the three layers that form the chemistry bottle (“bottom area”, “middle area” and “top area”). Right-click on one of these layers, select Duplicate Layers from the menu that appears and click OK. With the duplicated layers selected, right-click on one of them and select Convert to Smart Object.
Name the new layer “gradient” and move it above the “water top” layer. Double-click on the “gradient” layer to open the Layer Style window and use the settings from the following image.
Note: By settings the Fill to 0%, the layer becomes completely invisible, but we are still able to add layer styles. If we set the Opacity of the layer to 0%, both the layer and the layer effects will be invisible. That’s why we used the Fill property instead of Opacity.
Use the Pen Tool (P) to create a white shape on the left side of the chemistry bottle. Take a look at the following image for reference. Name this layer “highlight”.
Duplicate this layer. Then go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal. Change the color of this layer to black and move it in the right side of the chemistry bottle using the Move Tool (V). Name this layer “shadow”.
Set the blend mode of the “highlight” and “shadow” layers to Overlay 20%.
Now what’s left to do is delete the “A” letter from the text layer. Before that, I selected the “LAB” word and changed its font from Futura Heavy to Futura Bold.
Using the Type Tool (T), select the “A” letter and delete it. To push the “B” letter to the right, you can use the space bar. Then select the Move Tool (V) and reposition the chemistry bottle icon between the letters “L” and “B”. Now the logo is finished.
Step 10: Add Social Media Icons
Download these icons from Noupe and open in Photoshop the social icons that you want to use. I used the rss, twitter, facebook and email icons. Make sure that you use the 48px by 48px images.
To move the icons to your web layout document, select the Move Tool (V) and simply drag them over the document. Name each of these layers and group them (select the layers and hit Ctrl/Cmd + G). Name the group “social media icons”.
Using the Move Tool (V), place the icons in the right hand side of the layout, at a distance of 10px from each other. Take a look at the following image for reference.
These icons look a bit dark for our web layout. To make them brighter, I used some Brightness/Contrast adjustment layers. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast and set the Brightness to 20.
Put this adjustment layer above the first icon layer, right-click on the adjustment layer and select Create Clipping Mask from the menu that appears. This way, the adjustment layer will only be applied on the layer underneath it. Repeat this process for the other icons as well.
Select the Type Tool (T) and write the word “Subscribe” using a script font. I used Handwriting Dakota and the color #696e70. Then create a new layer (Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + N), select the Brush Tool (B), set the Size to 1px and the Hardness to 100%, and draw an arrow pointing towards the social media icons. Use the same color that you used for the text. Name this layer “arrow”.
Step 11: Adding the Navigation Bar Items
I already mentioned that we would use the bottom area of the desk as a navigation bar. Now we need to add the navigation items and some separators.
Create a new group (Layer > New > Group) and name it “navigation”. Then select the Type Tool (T) and write the name for your navigation menu items. I used the font Futura Light Condensed and the color #313a3e.
Create a new group (Layer > New > Group) and name it “separators”. Zoom in so you can see the navigation bar better.
Select the Line Tool (U), set the Weight to 1px and the color #818b8f. Then hold down the Shift key and draw a straight vertical line from the top of the navigation bar to the bottom. Name this layer “1px line”.
Hit Ctrl/Cmd + J to duplicate this layer. Select the Move Tool (V) and hit the Right Arrow key on your keyboard once to move this layer 1px to the right. Change the color of this new line to #c0c5c8.
Hold down the Ctrl/Cmd key and select the two line layers. Right-click on one of them and select Convert to Smart Object from the menu. Name this layer “separator”. Duplicate this layer as many times as you need and use the Move Tool (V) to put a separator between each of the navigation items.
Tip: When you need to duplicate a layer many times, you can select the Move Tool (V), hold down the Alt/Option key, click on the image and drag the cursor to create a copy of that layer. In our case, you can hold down Alt/Option + Shift keys and when you click and drag a copy of the current separator to the right you’ll see that it’s easier to move the new layer sideways and not go up or down.
Note: Another advantage of smart objects is that if you edit one smart object, all the copies of that smart object will be updated as well. For example, if you have the separators as shape layers and you want to change their colors, you would have to edit each layer individually. By creating one separator, converting it into a smart object and duplicating that smart object as many times as we needed, we can now double-click on the thumbnail of a separator layer, edit the source of the smart object (which contains the two line layers that we converted), save the document and then all the other separator layers will be updated.
Step 12: Creating a Search Bar
Create a new group (Layer > New > Group) and name it “search”. Select the Rectangle Tool (U) and create a rectangle with the dimensions 260×26px and the color #f4f4f4. Add a 1px Stroke to this rectangle using the color #7f898d.
Download this set of icons from Smashing Magazine and open the “search.png” image in Photoshop. Move the icon into your first document using the Move Tool (V). Put the icon inside the search bar and use Free Transform (Ctrl/Cmd + T) to change the size of the icon.
Select the Type Tool (T) and write “Type and hit Enter to search” inside your search bar. I used the font Helvetica Oblique and the color #848e92.
Now we’re done with the header. Let’s move on to creating an image slider.
Step 13: Creating an Image Slider Area
To keep the laboratory look of our layout, we will create an image slider that looks like a white board. Create a new group (Layer > New > Group) and name it “image slider”.
Activate the guides and the grid. Then select the Rounded Rectangle Tool (U), set the Radius to 6px and create a rounded rectangle with the dimension 960×320px. Name this layer “image_slider_bg”, right-click on it and select Convert to Smart Object from the menu.
Double-click on this layer to open the Layer Style window and use the settings from the following image. The color that I used for Stroke is #818b8f.
Go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise and use the settings from the image below.
Activate the grid (Ctrl/Cmd + ‘), select the Rectangle Tool (U), hold down the Shift key and create a square with the dimensions 30×30px and the color #848d91. Put this square in the upper left corner of the rounded rectangle you created. Name this layer “top left corner”.
Duplicate this layer three times and put one square in each corner of the big rounded rectangle. Then hold down the Ctrl/Cmd key, select all the square layers, right-click on one of them and select Create Clipping Mask. Now the squares will be visible only on the surface of the big rounded rectangle. Set the Opacity of these layers to 80%.
Activate the grid (Ctrl/Cmd + ‘), select the Rounded Rectangle Tool (U), set the Radius to 4px and create a rounded rectangle with the dimensions 940×300px. Take a look at the following image for reference. Name this layer “image_holder”.
Now you can add an image above this layer, right-click on it and select Create Clipping Mask to make it visible only over the “image_holder” layer.
Step 14: Creating Navigation Arrows for the Image Slider
Create a new group (Layer > New > Group) and name it “right arrow”. Select the Ellipse Tool (U), activate the grid, hold down the Shift key and create a circle with the dimensions 40×40px. Double-click on this layer to open the Layer Style window and use the settings from the following image. For Stroke I used the color #818b8f.
Select the Pen Tool (P) and create an arrow shape like you see in the image below. Use the color #656b6e. Name this layer “arrow”, double-click on it to open the Layer Style window and use the settings from the following image for Gradient Overlay.
Right-click on the “right-arrow” group and select Convert to Smart Object. Hit Ctrl/Cmd + J to duplicate this layer. Then go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal. Name this layer “left arrow”, select the Move Tool (V) and move it to the left side of the image slider.
Step 15: Creating the Main Content Area
Create a new group (Layer > New > Group) and name it “content”. Create another group inside the first one and name it “services”.
Activate the grid (Ctrl/Cmd + ‘) and the guides (Ctrl/Cmd + ;). Select the Rounded Rectangle Tool (U) and set the Weight to 4px. Then create a square with the dimensions 300×300px and the color #f9f9f9. Leave a distance of 30px between the image slider and this square.
Name this layer “services_bg”, double-click on it to open the Layer Style window and add a 1px Stroke using the color #a5adb1.
In order to save some time later, we can save the layer style that we applied to the “services_bg” layer and use it again whenever we need it.
Open the Styles Panel (Window > Styles). Make sure that the “services_bg” layer is selected and click on the Create new style button from the bottom of the Styles Panel. A new window will appear. Name this style “content area 1px stroke”. Leave the Include Layer Effects option checked and click OK. Now, when we need to use this layer style, you can click it from the Styles Panel to apply it to any layer you want.
Select the Rectangle Tool (U) and create a rectangle with the dimensions 300×60px and the color #c2c9cc. Name this layer “top bar” and put it at the top of the white rounded square. Double-click on this layer to open the Layer Style window and use the settings from the following image. For Stroke I used the color #a5adb1 and for Pattern Overlay I used the diagonal stripe pattern that we created in this tutorial.
Right-click on the “top bar” layer and select Create Clipping Mask to make it visible only over the white square.
Again, save the layer style that you applied to the “top bar” layer so you can use it later when we’ll need it.
Open the “clipboard_check.png” image from the icon set you downloaded at the beginning of this tutorial. Move the image into your web layout document using the Move Tool (V). Name this layer “services icon”. Activate the grid and place the icon as you see it in the following image.
Select the Type Tool (T) and write the word “Services” next to the icon. I used the color #4f5254 and the font Futura Extra Bold Condensed.
Write the words “what we can do” underneath the “Services” headline using the color #6a6e70 and a script font (such as Handwriting Dakota). Use the grid to help you align these text layers.
To save us some time, we will now duplicate the “services” group two times for the other two content areas.
Activate the guides (Ctrl/Cmd + ;). Right-click on the “services” group, choose Duplicate Group and click OK. Name the new group “portfolio” and move it to the right as you see it in the image below. Duplicate this group one more time, move it to the right side of the layout and name it “contact”.
Now use the Type Tool (T) to edit the text of each content area. Also, for the portfolio area I used the “curriculum_vitae.png” icon and for the contact area I used the “sign_available.png” icon. You can find these images in the icon set you downloaded.
Now we’ll focus on the “services” group’s content. Here we will display a list of services and an icon for each of the list items.
Select the Type Tool (T) and write a list of services in the white area using the color #6a6e70. Below you can see my list items and the name of the icon I used for each item.
- Web Design & Development » (browser.png)
- Search Engine Optimization » (speed_kmh.png)
- Logo Design » (color_wheel.png)
- Web & Mobile Apps » (applications.png)
Go to the “portfolio” group, create a new group inside it and name it “images”.
Activate the grid (Ctrl/Cmd + ‘). Then select the Rectangle Tool (U), hold down the Shift key and create a square with the dimensions 80×80px using the color #e6ebec. Name this layer “square 1″, double-click on it to open the Layer Style window and use the settings from the following image. The color that I used for Stroke is #d2d2d2. Duplicate this square layer 5 times (Ctrl/Cmd + J) and arrange them as you see in the image below.
Note: In the first screenshot image below, I temporarily made the squares blue so you can see how they are aligned to the grid.
Now you can add some images over each of the blue squares and use the Create Clipping Mask command to make the images visible only over the squares.
Go to the “contact” group, create a new group inside it and name it “contact form”.
Use the Rectangle Tool (U) to create three rectangles using the color #e6ebed, like you see in the image below. Add a 1px Stroke to these rectangles using the color #c5ccd0.
Select the Type Tool (T) and write labels (e.g., Name, E-mail and Message) inside the input fields. I used the font Helvetica and the color #6a6e70.
Step 16: Create a Patterned Button for the Web Form
Now we’ll create a button for the contact form. Create a new group (Layer > New > Group) and name it “button”. Select the Rounded Rectangle Tool (U), set the Radius to 2px and create a rounded rectangle with the dimensions 80×28px and the color #85a3b3. For Stroke I used the color #6d8794.
Save the style that you applied to this layer and name it “button”. We will use it later for the other buttons that we will create.
Select the Type Tool (T) and write the word “Send »” inside your button using the color #ecf1f3. The font that I used is Futura Heavy. Now go to the Styles Panel and save this layer style as well. Name it “text drop shadow”.
Step 17: Creating the Blog Area
Create a new group (Layer > New > Group) and name it “blog”. Activate the grid and the guides. Then select the Rounded Rectangle Tool (U), set the Radius to 4px and create a rounded rectangle with the dimensions 620×530px and the color #f9f9f9.
Click on the “contact area 1px stroke” style from the Styles Panel. This will add the layer style that we saved when we created the “services” area. Name this layer “blog bg”.
Select the Rectangle Tool (U) and create a rectangle with the dimensions 940px by 60px and the color #c2c9cc. Name this layer “top bar” and put it at the top of the white rounded rectangle. Right-click on this layer and choose Create Clipping Mask. Then click on the “top bar” layer style from the Styles Panel.
Add an icon in the upper left corner of the blog area. Use the grid to help you align it. I used the icon “moleskine_black.png”.
Select the Type Tool (T) and write the word Blog as a headline and underneath it write “tutorials, articles, resources”. Use the same fonts and colors that you used for the services, portfolio and contact areas.
Step 18: Adding Content to the Blog Area
Create a new group (Layer > New > Group) and name it “blog”. Activate the grid, select the Rectangle Tool (U) and create a square with the dimensions 180×180px. Leave a distance of 20px between the top and left edges of the white area and this square. Name this layer “image_holder”, double-click on it to open the Layer Style window, and use the settings from the following image. For Inner Glow I used the color #ebebeb and for Stroke I used #a5a5a5.
Open an image that you like in Photoshop and move it over the square you created. Name this layer “image”, right-click on it and choose Create Clipping Mask from the menu.
Use the Type Tool (T) to add some content next to the image you added at the previous step. For the headline I used the font Futura Bold Condensed (#648393) and for the block of text I used Helvetica (#6a6e70).
Select the Rounded Rectangle Tool (U), set the Radius to 2px and create a rounded rectangle with the dimensions 160×26px and the color #85a3b3. Apply the “button” style to this layer (you saved the layer style after creating the contact web form button earlier).
Select the Type Tool (T) and write the words “Continue Reading »” inside your button using the color #ecf1f3. The font that I used is Futura Heavy. Add the “text drop shadow” layer style to this layer.
Create another blog post just like you created the first one.
Step 19: Creating a List of Categories
Create a new group (Layer > New > Group) and name it “categories”. Activate the grid and the guides. Then select the Rounded Rectangle Tool (U), set the Radius to 4px and create a rounded rectangle with the dimensions 300×290px. Name this layer “categories_bg” and apply the “content area 1px stroke” style from the Styles Panel.
Select the Rectangle Tool (U) and create a rectangle with the dimensions 300×40px and the color #c2c9cc at the top of the white rounded rectangle. Name this layer “top bar”, right-click on it and choose Create Clipping Mask from the menu that appears. For this layer use the “top bar” style that you saved in the Styles Panel.
Add an icon in the upper left corner of the categories area. I used the “tag_white.png” icon.
Select the Type Tool (T) and write the word “Categories” next to the icon using the same font and color that you used for the headlines of the other content areas. Use the Type Tool (T) to write a list of categories. I used the font Helvetica Regular and the color #6a6e70. Leave a distance of 20px from the top of the white area and 40px from the left edge.
Create a new group (Layer > New > Group) and name it “bullet points”. Then select the Ellipse Tool (U), hold down the Shift key and create a circle with the dimensions 5×5px and the color #6a6e70. Name this layer “bullet point” and put it in front of the first item from the categories list. Duplicate this layer as many times as you need and put a bullet point in front of each list item.
Create a new group (Layer > New > Group) and name it “twitter”. Then create a background for this area just like you did for the “categories” area. The icon that I used is “social_twitter_bird.png”.
Add a couple of tweets in this area. I used the font Helvetica Oblique with the color #6a6e70 for tweet and #bcbcbc for the time information.
Step 20: Creating the Footer
Create a new group (Layer > New > Group) and name it “footer”. Select the Rounded Rectangle Tool (U) and create a rounded rectangle with the dimensions 940px by 50px and the color #c2c9cc. Name this layer “footer_bg” and apply to it the “top bar” style from the Styles Panel.
Select the Type Tool (T) and add a copyright statement in the middle of the footer area using the color #6a6e70 and the font Helvetica.
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Final Image Preview
Here are the settings for our PSD file in this tutorial.
Duplicate the Background Layer then name the duplicate to “Noise“. Select the Noise layer then go to Filter -> Noise -> Add Noise.
Amount: 0.8% | Distribution: Uniform | Monochromatic: Checked
Add the text “Tech” in the center. I used the font Slicker. The Slicker font can be downloaded in this link.
Here are the settings of the Tech texts in the Character palette:
Font size: 462.21 | Tracking: -64
Duplicate the “Tech” layer so you’ll have “Tech copy” layer (the duplicate should be on top of the original Tech layer), change its font color to #111111 then apply Bevel & Emboss on the “Tech copy” layer.
Bevel and Emboss:
Depth: 1000%| Size: 0 | Soften: 0
Other settings are just from default.
After applying the settings above, you should have a result similar to the image below:
On the next step, we will do the trick that the Tech texts would look like a 3D image.
Once again, duplicate the “Tech” (original Tech layer) layer so we’ll have “Tech copy 2” layer but this time put it below the Tech layer, then resize it down to 433pt after that, move it up a bit.
See the image below:
But as you can notice, we have the edges open. We can close those edges by simply using the Pen tool to draw some shapes that would eliminate those open edges.
See the image below as reference:
After drawing the shapes with the Pen tool, right-click anywhere on the canvas using the Pen tool then select “Make Selection”. Set the feather radius to 0px.
Then in the Layers Palette, be sure that the “Tech copy 2” layer was the active layer then fill up the selection with the Paint Bucket tool using the same color of the “Tech copy 2” layer’s text color #3c3c3c.
Note: Photoshop might warn you when you try to fill up a selection if the selected layer in the layers palette was a type layer; it tells that the type layer would be rasterized and the texts would no longer be editable. Just press ok then continue filling the selection with the Paint Bucket tool.
After filling up the selection with the Paint Bucket tool, deselect the selection by pressing CTRL+D on your keyboard or go to Select -> Deselect. You should now have a result similar to the image below:
Add Drop Shadow on the “Tech copy 2” layer.
Distance: 0px | Spread: 0% | Size: 4px
And a Gradient Overlay. See the image below for the settings:
After applying the styles above, you should have a result similar to the image shown below:
Duplicate “Tech copy” layer (the one that is above the original Tech layer) so we’ll now have “Tech copy 3” layer then add Drop Shadow on it.
After adding the Drop Shadow, convert the “Tech copy 3” layer to a Smart Object by right-clicking the layer then selecting “Convert to Smart Object” in the menu that would appear.
Then after that, press CTRL + Click on the thumbnail of the “Tech copy 2” layer to make a selection based on its opacity and/or shape (alpha channel) and while the “Tech copy 3” layer still the active layer, go to Layer -> Layer Mask -> Reveal Selection or you can just simply click the Add Vector Mask button beside the Add a layer style (fx) button in the layers palette to add mask.
Press CTRL + Click on the thumbnail of the “Tech layer” just like we did in the previous step but this time we are not going to do masking, instead we are going to use the selection in a different trick. So as the selection still on, create a new layer on top of the “Tech copy 3” layer; rename the new layer as “Screen Pattern“; while the “Screen Pattern” layer as the active layer, go to Select -> Modify -> Contract. Contract the selection by 4px then use black color to fill up the selection with the Paint Bucket Tool. After that press CTRL + D on your keyboard to deselect the selection.
By now you should have a result similar to the image below:
Using the Rectangular Marquee Tool (CTRL + M), create a rectangular selection for about more than the half of the lower part of the “Screen Pattern” layer.
See the image below as a reference.
Then press Delete on your keyboard to trim the layer.
Add the Metal Screen Pattern Overlay on the “Screen Pattern” layer.
Opacity: 60% | Scale: 9%
Metal Screen Pattern by jbenr can be downloaded here.
Then I added a Stroke:
Position: Outside | Size: 1px | Opacity: 60% | Color: Black:
And an Inner Shadow:
Opacity: 50% | Distance: 4px | Choke: 1% | Size: 7px
In this step, create a new layer on top of the “Screen Pattern” layer (so we now have another layer named “Layer 1” in this tutorial) then do the same trick we did in Step 7-8 but this time trim it on its top portion and change the Contract value to 7px.
See the image below as reference in the result.
Add some Styles on the “Layer 1“.
Color: #0096ff | Blend Mode: Normal
Distance: 0px | Choke: 0% | Size: 16px
Size: 1px | Opacity: 14% | Color: White
After applying all the settings above, you should now have a result similar to the image shown below:
Create a new layer on top of “Layer 1” (Then we’ll have “Layer 2” as the newest layer). Then press CTRL + Click on the thumbnail of “Layer 1“. While “Layer 2” as the active layer in the layers palette, fill the selection created with black using the Paint Bucket Tool. Don’t deselect the selection yet, instead go to Select -> Modify -> Contract. Contract the selection by 5px then press Delete on your keyboard to delete the fill inside the selection. Now you can deselect the selection by pressing CTRL + D on your keyboard.
Then after that, apply Bevel and Emboss on “Layer 2“.
Depth: 100% | Size: 0px | Soften: 0px:
See the image below as reference on the result.
Import the Water stock and place it on top of “Layer 1“, resize it down then mask it out with the shape of “Layer 1“. To get rid of its white background, set its Blend Mode to Multiply.
I had imported the water stock once more but I didn’t resized it then mask it out the same as the first “Water Stock” layer mask by simply pressing ALT + dragging the mask of “Water Stock” to the 2nd “Water Stock 2” layer and then reduced its Opacity to 25%.
Take a look at the image below as a reference on the result.
Create a new layer (rename to “Water Highlight“) on top of “Water Stock 2” layer then we could add some highlights on the top portion of the water container looking thing with the soft round brush for about 60px and foreground color of white then mask it out with the same mask we used with “Water Stock” layer.
Create a new layer (named it “Glow in this tutorial“) on top of “Layer 2” then use it to add a little Glow on our water container looking thing with the Soft round brush for about 60px size and a color of #0096ff (Sky Blue maybe) then reduced the layer opacity to 40%.
Add some wall texture on the background on top of the “Noise layer” then mask the unwanted parts. These wall texture images that I used were downloaded from Stock Exchange.
You can de-saturate the color of the texture by selecting the layer then go to Image -> Adjustments -> Hue & Saturation (set the saturation slider to -100 or it’s up to you). Then you can also apply a little bit Levels adjustment to darken it up.
We could add some crack images on the background as well. These crack images that I used were downloaded from deviantart.com (stock images by funeralSong) the file includes images with white background and a Photoshop brush file.
In this tutorial, I used the images with white background and I placed them on top of the “Wall Texture copy” layer. You can just set the layer Blending mode to Multiply to get rid of the white background.
Add new layer (named “Light in this tutorial“) on top of all the layers then use the soft round brush to create a light effect.
Soft round brush settings:
Size: 800px | Foreground Color: #b6b6b6 (light gray). | Layer Opacity: 35%
Add some smokes brush for additional fx. Smokes brush can be found here.
I added some shadowing fx by creating a new layer (named “Added shadow“) on top of the “Tech copy 3” layer then made a selection by the shape of the the “Tech layer” (same technique done in Step 7-8) then filled the selection with black using the Paint Bucket tool.
Then press CTRL + D on your keyboard to deselect the selection. After that, while the “Added Shadow” layer still the active layer, go to Filter -> Blur – > Radial Blur.
Amount: 80 | Blur Method: Zoom | Quality: Best
See the image as a reference for the Blur Center:
Then you can duplicate the layer then merge them, and you can also erase some unwanted parts or just use masking.
I added some splatters brush at the back of the Tech. The splatters brush can be found in deviantart.com. Brush pack by KeRen-R.
To add more elements, I used the Soft round brush to create some particle looking fx.
Large Particles Brush settings:
Brush size: 25px | Spacing: 300% | Shape Dynamics – Size Jitter: 100% | Scattering – Scatter: 1000%
Small Particles Brush settings:
Brush size: 10px | Spacing: 300% | Shape Dynamics – Size Jitter: 100% | Scattering – Scatter: 1000%
Then apply Outer Glow style to the “Small Particles layer“:
Color: #0096ff | Opacity: 100% | Size: 5px
Add some Tech Brush to improve the overall appearance of our design. The Tech brush can be found on deviantart. Tech Brush stock by Z-Design.
Note: You can separate the Tech elements in different layers then apply Gaussian Blur to some Tech Layers to add depth effect. Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur; for about 2px will do.
And also, you could also apply color on the Light effect that we did in Step 18 by using the Soft round brush for about 700px size and Foreground color #0096ff.
That’s it! We’re done. Hope you learned something new from my simple Tech tutorial. You can improve this design based on your own imagination
Thank you very much for having some time reading my simple tutorial. Good luck! And have a good time.
Final Result: 3D Tech Style Text Effect
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