Adding a little spark to your image is simple with Grinder Sparks, a free high-resolution Photoshop brush set from Nathan Brown at Room122. I love Photoshop brushes because they’re so versatile, and I can see that this brush collection offers many possibilities. The 8 brushes in the set are all of high quality, and large enough for most print resolution uses.
PanosFX Fan is a complex Photoshop action that will create a hand-held fan using any landscape oriented image. The action creates 20 slats, making use of semi-transparent layers and a number of decorative elements. I used the small image to the right to create the final image you see above. The action not only gives you a straight on view of the fan, but two perspective options as well. The results are fantastic, which is no surprise considering how many great Photoshop Actions PanosFX has to offer.
Looking for world maps in vector format? Look no further than this collection of free vector world maps from WebResourcesDepot! Several different styles of maps are included on the list, from standard line-art to stylized version as seen above.
YouTheDesigner recently released a new set of envelope icons in vector format, free for download and use in your commercial projects. The collection is of superb quality and detail, and because they’re Illustrator files, easily editable to suit your needs.
DESIGNM.AG has put together a list of fantastic texture images available from Stock.xchng. The free textures are categorized as follows:
Each preview image in the list links directly to the download page on Stock.xchng where you can grab the image. It should be noted that many, but not all, of the images are only suitable for Web design as far as resolution goes. Thanks to DESIGNM.AG for putting together a great list!
Tutorial9 offers up this simple Moonshine text effect tutorial. All that is required to create this elegant effect are four easy layer style settings. If you’re in a lazy mood, they even offer the Photoshop layer style as a download for one-click application of the effect.
I’ve written a tutorial on how to create scanlines across your images before, but I found another great tutorial on using the scanline effect on text and wanted to share it. PSDLearning offers a tutorial that shows you how to easily create a nifty scanline text effect in Photoshop. The tutorial is easy to follow and uses only a user-created pattern and layer effects to create some really nice results.
If you’ve got a particularly “uninteresting” image you want to use in your next design project and you’re looking for a way to spice it up a bit, consider adding a comic book style halftone-dot effect to your image. It’s quick and easy, uses only Photoshop’s built-in filters, and produces excellent results.
1. Choose your image.
Images with a decent amount of contrast and midtones work best, but virtually any image will do the trick. I chose this handsome little fella:
2. Duplicate the image.
Select the background layer from the layers panel and hit Command + J (or drag the layer icon to the new layer icon at the bottom of the layers panel) to duplicate the image layer. Label the new layer “Comic effect” or something meaningful.
3. Prepare for the filter
Make sure the newly created Comic effect layer is on top of the original layer (if you left the original layer set as “background” you should be good to go). Now hit the “D” key to reset your colors to solid black & solid white. Then hit the “X” key to invert them so white is the foreground color and black is the background color.
4. Apply filter
With the Comic effect layer selected, go to your menubar and select Filter>Sketch>Halftone Pattern. For now, just leave the settings at their default, which is usually: Halftone Pattern Size: 1 Contrast: 5 Pattern Type: Dot Hit OK. Your image should now look something like this:
5. Invert the image
With the Comic effect layer still selected, hit Command + i to invert the image. It should now look something like this: If we wanted to have a black & white image, we could probably stop here, but I want color, so let’s move on.
6. Adjust the blending mode
Go to your layers panel blending mode drop-down menu and select Linear Light. You can try any of the other blending methods, but I’ve found that Linear Light works with the most predictable results and requires less tweaking. Your image should now look something like this: The image is too “muddy” like it is, so we have one last adjustment to make.
7. Set the opacity
With the Comic effect layer still selected, adjust the opacity to your liking. For this image, I chose a setting of about 60%, but it really depends on the image.
I added a thick black comic-style border, and a thought balloon with a comic-style font to complete the theme. There are several variations of this technique, but I’ve found that just playing around with the filter settings and layer blending modes can produce a wide-variety of effects by themselves. For instance, in the Halftone Filter settings from step 3, you could choose Line instead of Dot. Play around with it and see what you can come up with.
I love “free.” Free is good. Combine the words Photoshop and free and I’m really happy! Lost/Taken has a plethora of high quality free textures for your design and photography projects. High resolution textures are categorized by tags, making it easy to find what you’re looking for in a nice clean layout. Rust, wood, foliage, metal and more textures await. These textures are free to use in your personal or commercial projects.