If you’re looking for something a little different for a background in Adobe Illustrator, try holding down the Tilde (~) key while dragging out a shape using one of Illustrator’s shape drawing tools such as line, circle, square, etc. Holding the Tilde key forces Illustrator to repeat the shapes in rapid fashion as you drag your mouse around the artboard. For fun, I set all the shapes to the same color, then went back and randomly chose a few dozen shapes and made them a different color, then set all shapes to Multiply in the Transparency panel. Try it and you may find yourself busy for an hour or so. Thanks to BittBox for the tip.
BitBox has just released another free TrueType font called Fusty Saddle (fusty means “Old fashioned in attitude or style). It’s a rustic, western-style font similar in style to the old Adobe favorite, Mesquite. Fusty Saddle makes for a great display font, to be used in headlines only. The only problem I have with the font is that there are no punctuation characters such as period, comma, quote or exclamation point. These characters are still important in headlines. That being said, it’s still a beautiful font. You can download Fusty Saddle here.
Russell Brown has a great video tutorial showing you how to create a life-like mirror image using Photoshop’s built-in clone source tools that goes a bit beyond just flipping the image and adjusting opacity.
I’ve listed a ton of places to get Photoshop Brushes in the past. Today I have yet another to add to your bookmarks. PSBrushes has categorized thousands of Photoshop brushes along with convenient preview images for your download enjoyment. Categories like Grunge, Space, Plants, Oriental, and Fractals make it extremely easy to find exactly what you’re looking for. Some of the sets are quite large, containing over 80 brushes each. Others are smaller and very specific, with only 8 to 10 per set. All are quality sets.
One of my favorite effects for an image is the tilt-shift effect. It makes an ordinary image appear as though it is a miniature model, as the photo of Times Square in NY above shows. Tilt-Shift Photography has a great tutorial to show you how to turn your image into a tilt-shift masterpiece, using just the tools built-in to Photoshop. Keep in mind that you want to give the impression of a miniature model. Miniature models are usually viewed from above so try and choose a photo with an elevated viewpoint.
Smashing Magazine held a texture photo contest last month and has recently released the results. A variety of interesting, exotic or creative textures from all around the globe. Wood, stone, metal, nature, ice, sand, fabric, paper, glass, fire, food and plastic textures. A large number of daily routine things observed from a completely new perspective. All the images can be used for both private and commercial projects free of charge and with no restrictions. The images are all large, high resolution, and the compressed image files range between 1 and 15MB, for a total well over 700MB in size. Most all of them are suitable as backgrounds on brochures, pocket folders, posters and more – they aren’t just small seamless textures. Each image is an individual download, so you can grab just the ones you want. You can start downloading the images here.
If you’ve read this site for any amount of time, you know I love Photoshop brushes, especially grunge-style brushes. Today I came across two sets of grunge brushes by Aramisdream, and they’re spectacular. Download set one here. Download set two here. Uncompress the downloaded files and move the .abr files to your Photoshop/Presets/Brushes folder. Then load them into your brushes panel in Photoshop to use. They’re all large, high-quality brushes and make perfect background textures for various projects.
Abduzeedo has put together a list of 1000+ Free Photoshop Brushes complete with download links in a variety of styles, including grunge, abstract, modern and vector. You can take a look at the preview images and download them here.
The Yahoo Developer’s Network has made available a free package of graphics stencils (templates) in Vector, PDF, PNG and OmniGaffle formats. Included in the package are templates for:
- Charts & Tables
- Control Elements
- Form Elements
- Menus & Buttons
- Mobile Phone Graphics
- OS Window Elements
- And more
You can download the package here.
There’s no freebie like a vector freebie, I always say. Dezignus’ site is full of them, including this beautiful floral border design, as well as Simpsons characters, stars, flourishes, icons, and other border elements. Be sure to also check out the links to Photoshop brushes, tutorials and inspirational material while you’re there.