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3920
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to use various tools in Photoshop to correct colors and achieve a proper white balance with natural skin tones. Let's get started

Photo Credits

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Thanks for taking the time to chat with me today, Hi Oscar. I am a huge fan of your work, and really enjoyed working with you on thattutorialLast year. Can you begin by telling our readers a bit about your background. Where are you from. How did you get your start as an Illustrator

There actually weren’t any places here in Santiago de Chile that taught illustration, over 20 years ago, When I decided that I wanted to become an illustrator. So I decided to study graphic design, instead.  

I had the opportunity to work with a leading illustrator in the advertising industry, After school, whom I admired. He taught me the basics of how to create art with a high level of detail and impact. We worked with airbrushes on traditional illustrations, Back then. That had a huge influence on my later work

Speed painting video fortutorialDone for Tuts+
Create a Clueless Racecar Driver Illustration in Photoshop

One of the first things I notice is how you portray emotion in your work, When I look through your portfolio. And this seems to be an essential part of your illustration style, Your characters are so amazingly expressive. How did your style develop over time. Have you always felt that it was important to include so much emotion in your work or was this something that took you some time to realize

Especially faces, I always liked to draw characters. For children, I began to create very expressive characters when I started working on 2D animation projects. And had the freedom to exaggerate their expressions, During that time, I got to play with many different characters. In animation, you learn a lot about the faces that people make when they experience emotion. This helps to give your characters, and that has influenced my work quite a bit, “character, ” so to speak

Animals Chery

Can you offer our readers three tips to help them create more expressive characters

  1. Keep it simple and avoid ambiguity. Try to boil the expression down to its simplest form, If you are drawing a complex character. It can help to make quick sketches of the expressions that you are trying to create
  2. Play with extreme expressions. While it is great to be subtle with expressions, there is no harm in exaggerating. Test how far you can go with an expression
  3. Characters communicate with their entire body. While the face is very important, make sure that the body is also helping your character express the type of emotion you are trying to portray
When drawing a complex character, boil the expression down to its simplest form and make quick sketches of the expression that you are trying to create

The second thing that I notice when I look through your work is the incredible amount of detail that you include in your illustrations. How do you know when one of your illustrations is finished

But for me, it’s not really about saying ”OK, time to stop”, that's enough detail, Well, detail is something that I am a bit obsessed with. For me, I stop when I feel that the full illustration has enough of a “story. ”

1:1 crop of Ramos'NutriboostIllustration

What would you say are the three most important things that an artist can do or learn to help them create more detailed artwork

I don’t think that level of detail is necessarily a good thing. Counterproductive, too much detail can be unnecessary, and at times, In fact. Too much detail can divert attention away from the primary message, as opposed to strengthening it, and can weaken the illustration. If you want to learn how to add more detail into your illustration I can recommend the following tips:, With that said

  1. Develop a taste for observation: Observe the shape, and incorporate them into your illustrations, and textures of your environment, color, volume
  2. Simplify your story: Portray the most important details and leave out the rest
  3. Be efficient with your time: Prioritize the level of detail that will have to go into the different parts of the illustration. Your artwork contains a consistent level of detail throughout, Create layers of detail so when you finish illustrating
Plant Bottle Coca-Cola

Artists often have to compromise their artistic vision in order to meet their clients’ needs. What tips can you offer our readers to help make this interaction go a bit more smoothly

This is a terrible dilemma that many artists face. But all of us have different visions of what we consider art, Most artists are passionate about their work. Illustrators are very similar to restaurant chefs, In many ways, we all have different ideas about what makes a good meal

Some types of illustrations give you more flexibility and creative freedom to develop your own style, but not all styles are commercially viable. We have to meet several demands including production deadlines, and even creative restrictions, quality of work, In advertising

To make this bearable, I suggest doing your best to improve the quality of the work that you create. The more freedom your art directors are likely to give you to propose your ideas, The better your work is. With that said, you should always be open to the idea of being flexible with your clients and artistic vision to make the process more comfortable for everyone

1:1 crop of Ramos'Family CheryIllustration

I noticed that you often work with a team of other artists on a project. How is working with a team of artists different than it is working on a project by yourself. Can you offer any tips to help this process go a bit smoother

Working with others can be challenging. But I find that communicating my ideas to others can be complicated, I usually figure out what I want to do rather quickly. When I do work with a team, I have learned to recognize the roles that everyone plays on the project, and try to give them as much information as I can, however. Then, I give them some space to do their work. Overall, I believe that adequate and timely communication is the best tool to help teams work more effectively

In thisillustrationRamos worked with a team that included Gonzalo PalaveccinoAndSakiroo Choi

As a freelance artists, it is often difficult to pull away from the projects that you are working on. What do you do when you’re not working. Can you offer our readers some tips on how to balance work and life

And leave it alone on my days off, It is hard for me to not get obsessed with a project. I work from home, and that makes it even more difficult. Nothing is better for a project than leaving it alone for a while, however

Which is always refreshing, Usually I spend my free time with my family. I love doing carpentry work, binding, or other manual labor. I'm always thinking about making handmade things, I’m having a lot of fun at the moment learning how to weave

Everything you do will enrich you, and being obsessed with work is not good. Try doing something completely opposite from what you do on a daily basis

Tropitone

Are you working on any exciting projects at the moment that you can share with our readers

I've been working with an Australian company that produces toys, Well, and it is quite fun. I really enjoy it. Toys have plenty of details. So I hope upload them soon to my portfolio, And there are many pieces

Also, with a much more painterly style, I've begun to develop some personal pieces. I’m trying to develop a style that moves away from caricature but is also more dramatic. With a theme of street demonstrations and police repression. But is still a work in process

AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!

Thanks again for taking the time to chat with me today. Do you have any advice that you would like to leave our readers with

Especially with the quality of ideas that you produce, If you want to improve your level of style, illustration, or painting, you must work really hard. There are many people out there doing the exact same thing, Remember. Try to make your work stand out and be unique

Characters

Oscar Ramos on the Web

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Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

I will show you how to create a delicious jelly bean text effect in Adobe Photoshop using a simple custom brush, In this tutorial, and some layer styles, a stroke. Let's get started

Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial. You may need to find alternatives, If they are not available

1. Create the Brush Tip

Step 1

Create a new500 x 500pxPick the, documentEllipse ToolAnd create a175 x 385pxEllipse in the center of the document

Step 2

Pick theDirect Selection ToolThenClick-dragTo select the two horizontal anchor points of the ellipse

Step 3

Press theLeft Arrow KeyA couple of times to move the selected points to the left a little bit

Step 4

Then go to, Now select the two vertical pointsEdit > Transform Points > ScalePress and hold theAlt key, and drag the right side outwards. TheAlt key will drag the left side outwards at the same time. Hit theEnter key when done to accept the changes

Step 5

After that, use theDirect Selection ToolTo select the points you have and move them around, until you get the bean shape you like

Step 6

Go toEdit > Define Brush PresetAnd type in a name for the brush tip

2. Create the Background

Step 1

Create a new1250 x 1250pxAnd set the, documentResolutionValue to200

Set theForegroundColor to#f7f7f7And theBackgroundColor to#cdc9c8Pick theGradient ToolChoose theForeground to BackgroundAnd click the, gradient fillRadial GradientIcon

ThenClick-dragAnd duplicate the, from the center of the document to one of the corners to create the background gradientBackgroundLayer

Step 2

Double-ClickTheCopy BackgroundLayer to apply aPattern OverlayEffect:

  • Blend Mode: Multiply
  • Opacity: 60%
  • Pattern: Rocky wall

Step 3

This will apply a subtle texture to the background

3. Create the Text

Step 1

Create the text using the font "Insaniburger". Create each one in a separate layer, If you're using more than one line of text

Step 2

Different font sizes are used as well, In this tutorial. The bigger textSizeIs150ptAnd the smaller textSizeIs100ptTheTrackingValue is set to75To avoid any stroke overlapping

4. Create the Work Path

Step 1

Right-ClickThe text layer and chooseCreate Work Path

Step 2

Create a new layer on top of the text layer and call it, Make the bigger text layer invisible by clicking the eye icon next to itStrokeThen pick theBrush Tool

5. Stroke the Text With Brush

Step 1

Open theBrushPanel (Window > BrushAnd modify its, pick the bean tip you defined, )SettingsAs shown below:

Brush Tip Shape

Step 2

Shape Dynamics

Step 3

Set theForegroundColor to#000000Then hit theEnter key once to stroke the path with the modified brush

6. Fix the Overlapping Areas

Step 1

Which need to be fixed, Some areas will have overlapping tips

Step 2

To do so, use theEraser ToolTo erase those areas

Step 3

Then pick theBrush ToolAnd start clicking and dragging slightly to fill those empty parts, once again. It is important to follow the original flow (direction) of the area you're filling, because otherwise, the added tips will look out of place

Step 4

Make sure not to leave any connected or overlapping tips before you move on to the next step

7. Style the Beans

Step 1

Double click theStrokeLayer to apply the followingLayer Style:

  • Size: 7
  • Uncheck theUse Global LightBox
  • Angle: 117
  • Altitude: 58
  • Check theAnti-aliasedBox
  • Highlight Mode - Opacity: 65%
  • Shadow Mode:
  • Color:#aeaeae
  • Opacity: 15%
Bevel and Emboss

Step 2

  • Check theAnti-aliasedBox
Contour

Step 3

  • Pattern: White sand
  • Depth: 50%
Texture

Step 4

  • Blend Mode: Overlay
  • Opacity: 70%
  • Color:#ffffff
  • Technique: Precise
  • Source: Center
  • Size: 16
Inner Glow

Step 5

  • Color:#75b602

So play around with the colors and use the ones you like, This is where you can choose the color you like for your jelly beans

Color Overlay

Step 6

  • Opacity: 20%
  • Size: 7
Drop Shadow

Step 7

This will style the stroke. But the, The same Layer Style will be used for the other bean layers as wellColor OverlayWill be modified to get different colors

So go ahead and copy the Layer Style byRight-ClickingTheStrokeAnd choosing, layerCopy Layer Style

8. Fill in the Text

Step 1

Create a new layer below theStrokeLayer, and call itPink 1Or any other color name you'll be using to start filling the text. Since the same color will be used more than once for different layers, and adding the numbers will help you figure out the order, Naming the layers will make identifying them easier

You'll need to, For each layer you'll be creatingRight-ClickAnd choose, itPaste Layer StyleAnd paste it when creating a new layer for that same color later on, You can also copy the Layer Style of a certain color

Step 2

Double click thePink 1Layer to change theColor Overlay'sColorTo#da296cYou can go back and change the color once you see how it looks when you create the beans as well

Step 3

Using the modified bean brush, startClicking-draggingSlightly to scatter some beans inside the text. You'll need to add one bean at a time

Step 4

Copying and pasting, continue creating new layers, ThenLayer StylesAnd layering beans all over the text until you like the result, changing colors. Below are the layers and the colors used in this tutorial (from top to bottom):

  • Pink 3-#da296c
  • Green 2-#75b602
  • Purple 2-#4f2b3a
  • Yellow 2-#ddc64b
  • Orange 2-#ea9400
  • Purple 1-#4f2b3a
  • Yellow 1-#ddc64b
  • Pink 2-#da296c
  • Green 1-#75b602
  • Orange 1-#ea9400
  • Pink 1-#da296c

9. Add More Beans to Letters

Step 1

Select theStrokeThen use the, LayerEraser ToolTo delete the bottom of one of the letters you have, preferably the last one. Then, use theBrush ToolTo add some beans to the sides of the erased area, making it look like it's been opened

Step 2

Like they are falling from the opened part, Select 3-4 random bean layers, and add a bean to each one of them

Step 3

Group all the bean layers you have to keep things organized

10. Create a Work Path for Smaller Text

Step 1

Pick thePen ToolChoose thePathOption in theOptionsBar, create a new layer on top of the smaller text layer and call it with whatever the smaller text you created is

Start creating a work path in the center of the smaller text, Then. And click and drag to create curves, Click once to add anchor points. Use the text as a reference to add the path. As we’ll work on that next, You don’t need to follow it exactly or make it perfect

You can create the work paths for all the letters at the same time. Press and hold the, To separate them when doing soControlKey and click once outside each path when you’re done creating it. You can also press and hold theShiftKey to create straight lines

Step 2

After creating all the work paths, pick theDirect Selection ToolThen start modifying them. You can click and drag an anchor point to move it around, or you can click theDirection PointsAt the end of the twoDirection HandlesThen move them around to change the orientation of the curve, or drag them outwards and inwards to make the curve wider or narrower

Step 3

As you can add those manually, You don't need to create paths for the very small areas

Step 4

Pick the, make the smaller text layer invisible, Once you're done creating the pathsBrush ToolCopy aLayer StyleAnd paste it to the smaller text layer you created, with the color you want to stroke the path with

Use the same steps as before to stroke the path and modify it, Then. Don't forget to fill any areas you didn't create a work path for

Congratulations! You're Done.

The Ellipse Tool was used to create a simple brush tip in the shape of a bean, In this tutorial, with the help of the Direct Selection Tool and the Scale Transform Mode

And the bigger text was stroked, Then, the brush tip settings were modified, some text was created with different font sizes. The stroke was then modified and any overlapping parts were corrected

The stroke was styled using a couple of Layer Style Effects, After that, giving a candy-like appearance to the beans. The same Layer Style was then copied and pasted to a number of other layers, and the Color Overlay values were changed for those layers to fill in the text with colorful beans. A part of the last letter's stroke was opened, To add a nice touch, and some beans of different colors were added like they've fallen from that part

Then it was stroked and modified using the same steps as before, a work path was created in its center using the Pen tool, As for the smaller text

So by using the same brush tip and Layer Style, and Voila, you can just play around with the colors and with layering the beans. You've got a yummy jelly bean text effect

Suggestions, Please feel free to leave your comments, and outcomes below. Thank you

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Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create and animate a pixel art sprite using just a few simple tools in Adobe Photoshop. I will cover all of the basic rules that you can apply to your future pixel art illustrations, In the process. Let's get started

1. Prepare Canvas and Tools

Step 1

Select thePencil ToolFrom theToolbarIt will be your primary instrument for this tutorial. Select a Hard RoundBrush in the Brush settings and apply the settings shown below. Your aim is to make the line absolutely sharp

Brush Settings

Step 2

Set upPencil ModeFor the Eraser ToolAnd use the same brush settings as below

Step 3

Turn on thePixel Grid(View > Show > Pixel Grid). Go to, If you don't see this item in the menuPreferences > PerformanceAnd turn on the graphic acceleration

Note: The grid will be seen only on a newly created canvas with zoom level600%And above

Show Pixel Grid
Use Graphic Acceleration

Step 4

Go toPreferences > General(Control-K) and set upImage InterpolationToNearest NeighborThis will ensure that the edges of the objects you work with always stay sharp

Preferences - General

Go toPreferences > Units & RulersAnd choosePixelsIn the drop-down menu nearRulersTo see all measurements in pixels

Preferences - Units  Rulers

2. Create the Sprite

Step 1

Now that everything is set up, we can start creating the sprite.  

And try not to overload it with many details, Make a sketch of a character with a distinct silhouette. As long as you understand how your character should look, It's not important to paint the colors, the outline should be enough. I prepared a sketch of a space trooper for this tutorial

Sketch

Step 2

PressControl-TOr useEdit > Free TransformTo scale down your character to60px in height.  

The size of the object is shown in theInfoPanel. Notice theInterpolationIt should be the same as we set in, settingStep 4It's not that important, but pay attention to that feature in future when you work with pixelated objects, as we are only turning a sketch into pixel art, In this case

Scale Down Character

Step 3

Zoom in to the image by300-400%To make it easier to render.  Reduce the opacity of your sketch.  

Create a new layer (Layer > New > Layer) and draw an outline of your character with thePencil Tool

If your character is symmetrical, duplicate it, and flip it horizontally (, just create one half, like mine isEdit > Transform > Flip Horizontal)

Outline Process

Rule of the Rhythm:Try to split complex shapes into simple elements. When pixels in the line form a "rhythm" like 1-2-3 and 1-1-2-2-3-3 the outline looks much better to the human eye than a randomly drawn line. However this rule can be broken if the shape requires it

Rule of the Rhythm
Two rhythmic and one randomly drawn line

Step 4

When the outline is ready, choose main colors and paint large shapes. Do it on a separate layer beneath the one with the outline

Painting Large Shapes

Step 5

Smooth the inner side of the outline by adding shades of the color

Adding Shades

Keep adding more shades. As you can see, I corrected some shapes and details along the way

Adding Shades Process

Step 6

Create a new layer to add the highlight.  

ChooseOverlayFrom the drop down menu on theLayerPanel. Paint with a light color over the areas you want to highlight. Smooth the shape of highlighted area by choosingFilter > Blur > Blur

Adding Highlight

Added final color touches here and there, and merged the layers, I flipped the painted half horizontally

Final Touches

Step 7

The character now lacks contrast. UseLevels(Image > Adjustments > Levels) first and then change the tone or halftone withColor Balance(Image > Adjustments > Color Balance) to make warmer and cooler versions

Tuning With Levels and Color Balance

I decided to go with the third version. Now let's move on to the animation process

Final Character
Final character with 400% zoom

3. Animate Your Sprite

Step 1

Create a copy of the layer (Layer > New > Layer Via Copy) and move it 1 pixel up and 2 pixels right selectingMove Tool(V) and using your arrow keys. This is the key phase for animating the running character

Change the original layer'sOpacityTo50%To see previous frame of animation. This is called “Onion Skinning. ”

Creating Next Frame

Step 2

Now bend the character's legs and arms as if it is running

  • Select the left arm usingLasso Tool
  • UsingFree Transform Tool(Edit > Free Transform) and holdingControlMove the container markers to lead the arm behind the back
  • Select the shank of the right leg and move it down as on the first frame - we need that leg stretched
  • Select the left leg and move it up - this leg bends up
  • UsingPencilAndEraser ToolsRedraw all the elbow parts of the right arm
Creating Running Phase

Step 3

Now you will need to redraw the new position of the legs and arms as I explained inSection 2Of this tutorial. And the shape will no longer be clean, This is because transforming the legs and arms will distort the pixels

Finalizing Running Phase

Step 4

Make the copy of the second layer and flip it horizontally. And now you have one idle position and two running phases. Select each layer and restore itsOpacityTo100%

Flipping Running Phase

Step 5

Go toWindow > TimelineTo showTimelinePanel and pressCreate Frame Animation

Create Frame Animation

In theTimelinePanel, perform the following steps:

  1. ChooseFrame DelayTime15 sec
  2. Click onDuplicates Selected FramesButton to add 3 more copies
  3. Change looping options toForever
Duplicate Frames

Step 6

To choose the proper layer for each animation frame, click on theEyeIcon near the layer name in theLayerPanel

  • 1st frame: choose idle position
  • 2nd frame: choose the second layer
  • 3rd frame: choose idle position once again
  • 4th frame: choose the third layer
Choose Proper Layer For Each Frame

PressSpaceButton to play the animation

Final Animation Preview
Final animation with 100% zoom

Step 7

Now save your result. Go toFile > Save For WebAnd selectGIFFormat. Scale image size to300%For better presentation and pressSave

Save For Web Settings

Congratulations! You're done.

In this tutorial, I showed you how to draw and animate a pixel art character in Photoshop. As well as how to animate your character using Photoshop's Timeline feature, In the process, how to draw your character using the Pencil Tool, you learned how to set up your canvas and tools. I hope that you learned something from this tutorial and can use these techniques to create some pixel art of your own

Final Animation
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3419
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

We will learn how to create a realistic-looking 3D text effect without utilizing any 3D software, In this tutorial. I'll specifically be using Adobe Photoshop but you should be able to do it in your favorite 3D software of choice. Through a series of techniques, we will begin to build a word, We'll start by creating a single block and. We’ll finish the word by adding some custom lighting and shadows. Let’s get started.  

1. Build the Block

Step 1

Create aNew document with the canvas dimensions of 1000pxBy1000px

Step 2

Go toView > Show > GridThis will help align our shapes later on

Step 3

Select theRectangle ToolAnd, using the top menu items, change theFillTo gray. Now, draw a rectangle on the canvas. Name this layer "Front"

Step 4

Use theDirect Selection ToolTo select the two left-most end points and drag them down to create a parallelogram shape. A prompt may come up asking if you want to convert this to a regular path. ClickYes

Step 5

The shape appears a little large. Continue to use the, As an optional stepDirect Selection ToolTo adjust the shape

Step 6

Create a copy of the "Front" layer and use theDirect Selection ToolTo select the two right-most points. Drag the points to the left to make the side of our block. Name this layer "Side"

Step 7

With the "Front" layer selectedControl-Drag a copy of this layer toward the back of our block

Step 8

Do the same with the "Side" layer. We should now have four sides to our block

Step 9

To clean up our layers, select the two layer copies that make up the back of our block andMergeTogether(Control-E)Rename this layer "Top" and place at the bottom of our layer stack

Step 10

Select the "Front" layer and add aGradient OverlayLayer Style 

Step 11

Add aColor Overlay Layer StyleTo the "Side" layer. Use the color shown below

Step 12

Lastly, add aGradient OverlayTo the "Top" layer. Use the colors as shown

2. Create a Peg

Step 1

Use the, On a new layerEllipse ToolTo create an ellipse with a light gray fill

Step 2

PressControl-T to enableTransformMode and use theDown ArrowKey to nudge the position of the ellipse down2pxPressReturnTo commit the transformation

Step 3

PressingControl-Alt-Shift-TWill now duplicate the layer and repeat the transformation. Keep pressing this until the peg has the right depth

Step 4

In theLayersSelect all of the layers we just created except for the top one, panelMerge (Control-E)Them together

Step 5

Move the merged layers underneath the top ellipse, Next. Add aGradient Overlay Layer StyleTo mimic lighting coming from the right side of our scene

Step 6

Right now the peg appears to have hard edges. To make the edges appear rounded, select the top ellipse layer andTransform (Control-T)Slightly to reduce the size

Step 7

Next, use theBlur ToolTo blur the two edges that make up the peg

3. Finish the Pegs

Step 1

The next step is to create the illusion of a subtle reflection from the peg. Start by selecting the two layers that make up the peg and pressingControl-GToGroup

Step 2

Make a copy of the group and pressControl-EToMergeThe group into a single layer

Step 3

Move the copy of the peg down so that it is visible underneath the original peg and adjust theLevels (Control-L)To make it appear darker

Step 4

Go to, NextFilter > Blur > Motion BlurSet theRadiusTo90 degreesAnd theDistanceTo38px

Step 5

Set theBlend ModeToHard LightAs an optional step, add aGaussian Blur (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur)With aRadiusOf4. 6pxTo further soften the reflection

Step 6

Add an, NextInner Shadow Layer StyleTo the "Peg" group

Step 7

Lastly, group all layers that make up the peg. Place four copies of the peg around the top of the block. Resize(Control-T)If necessary

4. Finish the Block

Step 1

We will now work on softening the edges. Select all layers that make up the block andMerge (Control-E)Them togetherRight-clickThe layer and chooseRasterize

Step 2

Click on the, With the block layer still selectedLock Transparent PixelsIcon

Step 3

Using theBlur ToolSet theStrengthTo100%And blur the three inside edges of our block

Step 4

But still needs a bit more work, The edge looks softer. Create a new layer and make it a clipping layer to the "Block" layer. Use theBrush Tool (B)With a light gray color and draw a line over the three inside edges

Step 5

Apply theGaussian BlurFilter with aRadiusOf7. 0pxThis will add a small amount of highlight around the edges

Step 6

Next, select the "Block" layer and uncheck theLock Transparent PixelsIcon. Use theEraser Tool (E)To erase the five visible corners of the block to give the appearance of rounded corners

Step 7

Lastly, select all the layers that make up the block and pegsRight-clickAnd selectConvert to Smart Object

5. Build a Stack of Blocks

Step 1

We need to decide what word we want to build, At this point. It helps to create a 2D mockup, Once a word has been selected. The image below shows a mockup of the word "create" drawn with only pixels. Each pixel represents one block

Step 2

Create a, To start building the wordNewDocument with the dimensions of3300pxBy2550px

Step 3

Go back to our original document and drag the smart object into the new document and resize it usingTransform (Control-T)

Step 4

We will now make copies of the block. Make sure the, FirstMove Tool (V)Is selected. Zoom into the block, thenAlt-Click-Drag to make a copy.  

Position the copy next to the original block

Step 5

Refer back to our 2D mockup and count the number of pixels across the letters. There are nine pixels, In this example. Continue to drag out copies of the block until we have nine blocks in a row

Step 6

Select all layers andAlt-Click-Drag out a copy of the entire row. Position this new row of blocks directly on top of the original row

Step 7

Refer back to the 2D mock-up to see how many pixels tall our letters are (It's 13 pixels high), in this case. Continue building up the rows of blocks until you have 13 rows.  

Note:HoldingShiftWill constrain the movement of the blocks to the Y-axis (vertical line)

Step 8

Move this entire stack to the right side of the canvas to give us room to work toward the left

6. Copy the Stacks

Step 1

Holding downControlDraw a selection around the stack of blocks. All layers within the selection are now selected

Step 2

Alt-Click-DragOut a copy of the stack. Position it to the left of the original stack

Step 3

Continue to create enough copies for each letter of our word. Since the word "create" has six letters, I would normally make six copies of the stacks. However, since the letter "e" appears twice, I will only create five stacks and make a copy of the letter "e" when the time comes

7. Shape the Letters

Step 1

The next step is to start shaping the letters. Start to delete the unnecessary blocks, Referring back to the 2D mock-up as necessary. This can be done byControl-ClickingAny block to select it and pressingDelete

Step 2

To select multiple blocks at a timeControl-ClickThen hold down, the first blockShift-Control while clicking on additional blocks.  

Step 3

Repeat this step for each letterNote:As you get to the letter "t" you may notice that it does not have enough blocks. Do not worry; we will fix the "t" later

8. Finish the Letters

Step 1

To make a copy of the letter "e," holdControl and draw a selection around the letter

Step 2

Alt-Click-DragOut a copy of the letter and position it as shown. As an optional step, pressControl-Shift-[This will move the selected layers to the bottom of the layer stack so that they are behind the other layers

Step 3

To finish the letter "t," holdControlAnd draw a selection around the top of the "t" and its crossbar

Step 4

Move the selected layers up and out of the way

Step 5

NextControl-ClickThe top three blocks of the remaining "t" while holdingShiftTo select them

Step 6

Alt-Click-DragOut a copy of the three blocks. Place these on top of the existing blocks

Step 7

Select the blocks that make up the top part of the "t" and place them back on the bottom part

Step 8

Select each letter one-by-one and space them out to prepare for the next few steps, To finish the letters. It may help to draw a temporary line to align the letters

9. Add More Depth

Step 1

We are going to build our text so it is three layers thick. However, we need to find a way to help us identify each row of text, before we copy any layers. We can do this by assigning colors to each row.  

Hold, To startControlAnd draw a selection around all of the text. In theLayersPanelRight-ClickOn any layer and assign it a color. The color will now be assigned to all selected layers

Step 2

Alt-Click-DragOut a copy of the text. Position this new row of text as shown. Do not deselect these layers

Step 3

Go to the, With the layers still selectedLayersPanel and assign a different color to represent the second row

Step 4

Repeat this process for the third row of text. Make sure to select a different color for the layers

Step 5

Once you have three rows of blocks, go through and position each letter to tighten up the spacing

10. Remove Unnecessary Blocks (Optional)

Step 1

Photoshop may slow down a bit (this can also depend on your computer), Since we are working with a lot of layers. As an optional step, go back through the first two rows to delete all blocks that are 100% hidden from view.  

We’ll need to select all layers that make up the front row, In order to find which blocks are 100% hidden. A quick way to do this is to use the filtering feature in theLayersPanel. Go ahead and filter byColorAnd select the same color as the layers in the front row

Step 2

Now that all of the front layers are isolated, we can use theLayersPanel to select all the layers and press(Control-G)To group

Step 3

Turn off the filter by pressing theRed SwitchIn theLayersPanel. We can now see the group we just created

Step 4

Give the group aFillOf0%And add the default stroke using the layer styles. Click theLock IconTo lock the group

Step 5

Using the stroke as a guideControl-ClickThe blocks in the second row that are completely inside the stroke and pressDeleteTo remove

Step 6

Do this for the rest of this row

Step 7

Repeat this step for the back row. When finishedUngroupAll layers

11. Color the Blocks

Step 1

It is time to add some color to the blocks, Now. Start by using the filter in theLayersPanel to isolate the front row

Step 2

Control-ClickAny block in the front row and add the followingLayer Style

Step 3

In theLayersPanel, locate the Layer Style andRight-ClickSelectCopy Layer Style

Step 4

Use theLayersPanel to select all visible layers (which should consist of the entire front row)Right-ClickAny layer andPaste Layer StyleThis should apply the Layer Style to the front row of blocks. All yellow layers now have the, As you can see in the image belowFX icon(indicating a layer style is applied)

Step 5

Make sure all layers are deselected (this can be done byControl-ClickingAn empty area of the canvas). NowControl-ClickOne of the blocks in the center of the first letter and add the followingLayer Style

Step 6

Right-ClickThe effect andCopy Layer StyleNowControl-ClickThe other blocks in the center of the letter to select them and paste the layer style to the blocks.  

It's worth noting that holdingShiftWill allow multiple blocks to be selected

Step 7

Continue selecting blocks and pasting theLayer StyleFor the rest of the letters

12. Adjust the Scene

Step 1

Select theCrop ToolAnd adjust the handles to crop the scene

Step 2

Before moving on to the shadows, we can add some color to the last row of blocks. Using the filter in theLayersPanel, isolate the back row by showing only the red-colored layers. Select all layers

Step 3

Uncheck the filter to shown all layers. With just the red-colored layers selected, pressControl-GTo group them

Step 4

Add the following Layer Style to the group

13. Add Base Shadows

Step 1

Create a new layer and place it at the bottom of the layer stack. Using theGradient ToolClick on theGradient EditorIn the top menu bar. Set the first color to light gray and change thePresetToForeground to Transparent

Step 2

Add in some gradients at the top and bottom of the scene

Step 3

Use the, NextPolygonal Lasso ToolAnd manually select the base of each letter. HoldingShiftWill allow you to make multiple selections

Step 4

Create a new layer andFillThe selections with black

Step 5

Give the base shadows a smallGaussian Blur (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur)

Step 6

Make a copy of this layer(Control-J)And add aMotion Blur (Filter > Blur > Motion Blur)Make sure the angle matches the direction of the letters

Step 7

The previous step made the shadows a little harsh at the corners. Apply theGaussian BlurFilter one more time to soften these shadows

Step 8

Make a copy of this layer and add aGaussian BlurFilter with a much higher radius. This creates an ambient shadow in the scene

14. Add Direct Shadows

Step 1

The next step is to create a shadow on the ground that is casted by our text. To do this, use thePolygonal Lasso ToolTo select the front face of our text

Step 2

On a new layerFillThe selection with black

Step 3

UsingTransform (Control-T)Skew the text until it is upright. This essentially resets the position so that we will have better control over it when we transform it into the cast shadow

Step 4

Convert this layer into a smart object. PressControl-TAnd transform the shape to appear as if it is a shadow cast from the text object

Step 5

Since our shadow was a 2D image and our text is 3D, we will need to do some extra work to make it appear thicker. Start by making a copy of the smart object and pressControl-TTo transform the shape again.  

The transformation handles will be easy to adjust, Since we are using a smart object. Go ahead and make a small adjustment to the second shadow

Step 6

Fill in the areas of the shadow that were offset to make them appear as if they are from one object

Step 7

MergeBoth shadows together(Control-E)

Step 8

Add aMotion BlurFilter with andAngleOf-12 degreesAnd aDistanceOf17 pixels

Step 9

Add aGaussian BlurFilter with aRadiusOf1. 2px

Step 10

Add aLayer MaskSoft brush with the, and, using a largerOpacitySet to30%Paint over the top of the shadow to fade it out a little

Step 11

Reduce theOpacityTo46%And set theBlend ModeToMultiply

15. Finish the Direct Shadows

Step 1

The next step is to add shadows to the letters themselves. It should be obvious that the light source is up and to the right of our scene, Looking at our scene. Using that information, we will add shadows to the left side of our letter objects.  

Step 2

Select all layers that make up out text object and, To startGroup (Control-G)Them together. Rename the group "'Create' Text"

Step 3

Create a new layer as a clipping layer to the "'Create' Text" group and set theOpacityTo77%This will help us see through the shadow as we add them to the scene. Use thePolygonal Selection ToolTo make selections of where the shadows might fall

Step 4

Create a new layer andFillWith blue (this is a temporary color that will help us visualize the shadows better

Step 5

Use the, As an optional stepEraser Tool(set to a small size) and erase over the pegs that shouldn't have shadows

Step 6

Continue this for every letter

Step 7

Change its color to black, When all the shadows have been added, set theBlend ModeToMultiplyAnd adjust theOpacityTo70%

Step 8

The shadows still appear flat. A shadow appears darker the closer it gets to another surface, In the real world. We will emulate this effect. Start by making a copy of the shadow layer and reducing theOpacityTo52%Make this layer a clipping layer to the "'Create' Text" group as well

Step 9

Add a layer mask byAlt-ClickingTheAdd Layer MaskIcon in theLayersPanel. This will automatically mask out the entire layer

Step 10

Use a soft, white brush to paint over the inside corners or areas of close proximity to reveal a darker shadow, With the Layer Mask active. Refer to the images below to see the before and after

16. Add a Reflection

Step 1

To finish the scene, we will add the reflection in the face of our text object. Start by creating a new layer called "Reflection" and place it just above the "'Create' Text" layer as a clipping layer

Step 2

Using a large, soft brush, draw a line across the bottom half of the text object

Step 3

Reduce the layer’sOpacityAs needed

Congratulations, You’re Done!

I showed you how to create a Lego-inspired text effect using a single Lego block as a base, In this tutorial. I then showed you how to duplicate that Lego block to create a 3-dimensional word. How to add lighting and shadow to it, Finally. I hope that you learned something from this tutorial and can use these techniques to create something amazing of your own

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