One of the more popular text effects to use in Adobe Photoshop is chrome text. You can search for hours to find the perfect Layer Style to make your job easy, but you may never find it. Instead, try this Metal Text Tutorial over at PSGallery.co.uk. The tutorial is easy to follow and can produce fantastic results with a little experimentation. From personal experience, I’ve found that your results will vary widely depending on the font you choose to use. Some areas to play with are the bevel settings and variations. While the tutorial does give you exact settings to use, you will most likely find that they don’t produce the desired effect on all fonts. Play around with them to get it to look the way you want.
There are many ways to convert an image from color to black & white in Adobe Photoshop. I’ve posted tips before about this, but with Photoshop CS3, there’s a dead-simple way to do it that produces great results, and offers you the ability to fine-tune your conversion. Instead of simply selecting Image>Grayscale to convert your image to B&W, select Image>Adjustments>Black&White (Command + Option + Shift + B for you keyboard shortcut junkies). In the resulting Black and White conversion dialog box, you’ll be presented with the opportunity to adjust various colors in the conversion process. If you’re familiar with how this works, you can adjust how each color in your image converts to gray. If that’s a little more work than you wish to do, you can simply click on the image and move your cursor around to have Photoshop automatically adjust your image based on the sampled color. As you can see in the image above, the normal Convert to Grayscale method produces a flat and quite dull image. Though this may work for some images, using the Black and White Adjustment allows you to to fine-tune your conversion to give you more contrast and retain more details in the image.
Sometimes, flat just doesn’t cut it, and we need to find other, more attractive ways to present designs to our customers. One technique I’ve been using recently works remarkably well for text, logos and other vector artwork. It consists of taking a virtual photograph of the work by combining Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop filters. The dramatic end result can’t be distinguished from a real photograph. This tutorial from FontShop starts you out in Adobe Illustrator and finishes off with some adjustments in Adobe Photoshop using a few built-in filters. It’s quite easy, and produces dramatic results, as seen in the image above.
Very seldom do I come across a Photoshop tutorial that doesn’t assume some artistic eyes to complete the effect shown in the tutorial. When I came across this tutorial, I was skeptical as to how detailed it would be, and how easy it would be to repeat the effect. Well worry not. Photoshop Roadmap has nailed it with this tutorial titled Realistic Chrome and Glossy Plastic Text Effect. The tutorial is both simple and detailed, requiring no special filters and only a simple download of a small preset file (if you want to avoid any guess work).
A panorama is simply a wide-angled view of a physical space. To the photographer a panorama is usually several photographs that are stitched together horizontally to create a seamless picture. This is going to be a pretty simple tutorial in which we create a panorama using Photoshop’s Photomerge utility.
Veerle has a quick tutorial on how to create seamless patterns in Adobe Illustrator. These patterns make the perfect finishing touch as background elements in your designs, and creating them is simple.
Photoshop’s Displace filter moves around the pixels of one layer to make it look as if they’re following the curves or texture of the layer below. That bottom image is called a “Displacement Map.” Colin Smith has a great Displacement Map tutorial that shows how to use this powerful Photoshop feature.
If you enjoy Leopard’s new Mail Stationery for sending beautiful HTML email, but wished you could personalize it more, read on for some very good news!Apple has made Mail’s new Stationery feature quite easy to edit to your heart’s content, as long as you have an image editor that can save .jpg and .png files, and an HTML editor such as Dreamweaver (or just text edit if you’re a die-hard HTML coder). Just follow these simple steps: (more…)
A while back I posted a link that would show you how to create an interesting halftone-dot effect in Photoshop. Recently, a reader left a comment on the post asking if there was a way to achieve the same effect in Illustrator. I’m happy to report that there is, and I’ve put together a tutorial to show you how. Step 1: Create a shape in Illustrator that you wish to convert into the halftone-dot effect. I chose a star. To achieve the mixed-size dots, you’ll want to use a gradient, and to make it easy later, you should probably start with a simple black color. Step 2: Select the object and select Effect>Pixelate>Color Halftone… from the menu. The color halftone dialog box will open where you can enter some numbers to adjust the appearance of the effect. Set the Max. Radius to 10-15 pixels. This will determine the size of the largest dot in the effect. Go ahead and leave the screen angles at the default setting. Hit OK. The star is now converted to a raster image. The darkest areas of the star have the largest dots, and the lightest areas have smaller dots. We are now half way there. We need to convert the raster image to vector. Step 3: With the star still selected, go to Object>Expand Appearance in the menu. Now select Object>Live Trace>Make and Expand from the menu. The star is now a full vector object. You can select each dot individually if you choose because they’re all vector shapes (see step 3 in the image above). But you probably want to add some color. Step 4: If the star is on a white background, everything will appear to be perfect. But draw a box, fill it with color and send it to the back by hitting Command-Shift-[. You’ll notice that the inside of the star remains white. If you want it to be transparent, you have just a bit more work to do. See the image at the right for an example of what I’m talking about. Use your Direct Select tool (the white arrow) to select any white are in the newly created halftone dot area. Go to Select>Same>Fill Color in the menu. Now that all the white areas are selected (including the white bounding box around the star, hit Delete. You should be left with nothing but the dots now. Now select the star again and add a color to it as you would any other object. Because the star is a compound path, all the dots will be colorized. That’s it. You have your halftone-dot effect, and it’s a fully-editable vector object in Illustrator. Why would you want to do it in Illustrator? Because many sign shops and screen printers require everything to be a vector shape depending on their production methods. Plus, it adds a little more flexibility for later editing. I chose to use a one color object for the sake of keeping this tutorial simple, but you can apply the same technique to a full color object for different results. See the image above with the same star filled with a color gradient.
If you’re the type who likes to have their InDesign panels in a certain spot all the time, or like to have certain panels open for certain types of projects, you simply must take advantage of Workspaces. Workspaces allows you to save your panel locations for use at any time. To save your Workspace, set your panels up the way you like them, then go to Window>Workspace>Save Workspace… Name your workspace when prompted. That’s it. To test it, move your panels around, close some, open some others. Then go back to Window>Workspace and select the Workspace you just named from the list. Your panels should all snap back to where they were when you saved. You can set up multiple Workspaces. I have one for when I’m working on text heavy documents in which I have most of the text-related panels like text wrap, story, character, styles, etc. open. Then I have another one for “all-around use” which have totally different panel locations. If you work on multiple computers, you can bring your Workspace with you, though it’s not quite as easy as it should be. To bring your Workspace with you, navigate in the Finder to: Users/YourUserName/Library/Preferences/Adobe InDesign/Version 5/ Workspaces. If you’re still running CS2, the path is the same except substitute Version 4 for Version 5 in the file path. In that folder you’ll see an XML file named after the Workspaces you’ve saved. Simply burn it to CD or email it to your other computer and place it in the same folder on that computer. Workspaces aren’t exclusive to InDesign. All the Adobe Creative Suite 3 applications have them, and work in much the same way. Photoshop goes a few steps further in that it also allows you to save any custom keyboard shortcuts and menu customizations you’ve made in the Workspace as well.