Author Archives: Jason Bobich

PSD Quickie #2 – The Pinwheel Effect

Anyway, this effect is extremely simple to do and will allow you to add something to your background to give your project a little more pizazz. This works great if you need to create a quick advertisement for a client. You place all the text spaced out neatly around the canvas the way you want it. Then you realize that you’re sort of embarrassed giving your client text on a solid color background and you’ve used just a straight up color gradient too many times… Go ahead and throw a simple pinwheel in the background that’s a lighter shade of your background color. Simple!

Final Image Preview

Photoshop Pinwheel Effect

The Tutorial

Open up a blank Photoshop document. Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to draw out a vertical rectangle. Create a new layer in the Layers Palette and name it Pinwheel. Hit option+enter (alt+enter on a PC) to fill the rectangle with your foreground color on the Pinwheel layer.

Photoshop Pinwheel Effect

Hit command+option+T (ctrl+option+T on a PC) on your keyboard. This will create a copy of your vertical line and put you into free transform mode. You may not notice that a copy has been made because the copy will be sitting directly on top of the original, but it’s there. Move the copy to the right so it’s spaced evenly from the original.

Photoshop Pinwheel Effect

Hit enter to exit free transform mode. Now this is the cool part. Hit command+option+shift+T (ctrl+alt+shift+T on a PC) several times until you’ve repeated the process all the way across the canvas.

Photoshop Pinwheel Effect

Now we want to merge all of these copies of the Pinwheel layer into one layer. Click the top layer in the Layers Palette. Then shift-Click the first Pinwheel layer. This will highlight all Pinwheel layers. Hit command+e (ctrl+e) to merge them all into one layer. For organization, make sure this layer is named Pinwheel.

Photoshop Pinwheel Effect

Now for the part you’ve been waiting for. You probably didn’t think this was going to be so easy, but that’s why it’s a PSD quickie!

With the Pinwheel layer selected in the Layers Palette, go to Filter > Distort > Polar Coordinates. Make sure the Rectangular to Polar option is selected and click Okay.

Photoshop Pinwheel Effect

And you’re done. You’ve just created a very easy background effect.

Photoshop Pinwheel Effect

I generally like to cover the area in the middle where the lines start with something. In the example below I filled a circle with my darker shade of blue and then added a Gaussian Blur filter to it. I feel like it adds more depth to the effect.

Photoshop Pinwheel Effect

A lot of times I’ll move the center point and cover it with a logo.

Photoshop Pinwheel Effect

Here is a real-life example. This is a magazine ad I did for a local bowling alley last week. It’s actually what gave me the idea to do this tutorial. Notice the “light rays” coming out from the logo.

Photoshop Pinwheel Effect

Easy Aged Photo Effect

Final Image Preview

aged photoshop effect

What You’ll Need

The stock photo we’re going to be using originally came from here:
http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1000290

You can download it from my Flickr account at the perfect size for this tutorial:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaybich/4090722955/
*Make sure you click the “All Sizes” button before you download the image so you can grab the original size, which is 1024 x 722.

Also download this grunge texture:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaybich/4091469280/
*Once again, make sure you click the “All Sizes” button before you download the image so you can grab the original size, which is 1024 x 722.

The Tutorial

Open up the two images in Photoshop. Drag the image of Jerusalem on to the grunge texture image.

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With the Move Tool (V), move the Jersusalem image so it’s lined up with the grunge texture image. Also, feel free to rename some of the layers in the Layers Palette to make your work more organized. I named the background grunge texture layer, Grunge Texture, and I renamed the photo of Jerusalem layer to Jerusalem.

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Set the blend mode on the Jerusalem layer to Multiply in the Layers Palette.

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Desaturate the Jerusalem layer by selecting it in the Layers Palette and then going to Image > Adjustments > Desaturate.

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Now adjust the levels to eliminate some of the midtones. Do this by selecting the Jersalem layer in the Layers Palette and go to Images > Adjustments > Levels. You can see below how I adjusted the levels.

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Then, hit ctrl+alt+shift+e (command+option+shift+e on a Mac) to make a copy of our entire canvas as in the form a single layer. Rename this new layer, Halftone.

aged photoshop effect

Next, we’re going to add a halftone pattern to the image. Set your foreground color to black and your background color to white. Select the Halftone layer and go to Filters > Sketch > Halftone Pattern. Adjust the settings as I did below.

aged photoshop effect

Set the blend mode on the Halftone layer to Luminosity.

aged photoshop effect

Final Image

aged photoshop effect

Some Other Images With This Simple Effect Used

aged photoshop effect

aged photoshop effect

PSD Quickie #1: The Basic Reflection Technique

The basic reflection technique has become a go-to move in graphic design. It should definitely be in everyone’s repituar. It’s really an easy thing to pull off and because of that, there are many different ways you can accomplish the basic reflection effect. I’m not sure how other people do it, but this is how I do it.

Photoshop Reflection Effect

Here I started by giving my document a basic gradient for a background. I’ve always liked how simple gradient backgrounds look with reflected objects on them.

Photoshop Reflection Effect

For this tutorial, I’m just going to take some plain white text and give it a reflection. Easy as pie! So, throw down some text, or whatever object you want to give a reflection to.

Photoshop Reflection Effect

Now copy your object layer. One way to do this is to select the layer in the Layers Palette, and then go to Layer > Duplicate Layer.

Photoshop Reflection Effect

Hit command+T (ctrl+T on a PC) to enter Free Transform mode. Right-Click the object and select Flip Vertical. Hit enter on your keyboard to exit out of Free Transform mode.

Photoshop Reflection Effect

With the Move Tool (V) selected, move your object copy so that it’s 1px below your original object. It’s easiest if you move your object copy down with the keyboard arrows so it stays horizontally centered as you move it down.

Photoshop Reflection Effect

Select the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M). Give the selection some feather. The amount of feather will depend on how big your object is. In my case I added 5px of feather. Make a selection as I did, giving the object about ¼ of itself untouched by the selection.

Photoshop Reflection Effect

Right-Click the selection and hit Select Inverse.

Photoshop Reflection Effect

Then, in the Layer’s Palette click the Add Vector Mask button.

Photoshop Reflection Effect

Take the opacity of your object copy layer and jack it way down. The opacity level will depend on the contrast in colors between your background colors and your object’s color. In my case, I put the Opacity down to 15%.

Photoshop Reflection Effect

Voila! Like I said, easy as pie!

Photoshop Reflection Effect

Get You Some Photoshop Brushes And Make Them Neat and Tighty

The Internet is filled with mad amounts of free Photoshop brushes and I’m obsessed with downloading them and stirring up my Photoshop designs. Not only do they let me mix it up, but they help me out when I’m in a crunch. When a client wants some kind of jazzy flyer ASAP, I’d rather deliver them a good product and rake in the cash over turning down the job or giving them crap. Well, having a massive, organized Photoshop brush library helps me out in that department, too.

Notice I said, ORGANIZED. Yes, Photoshop brush organization will really help your workflow process.

First of all, where do you find free Photoshop brushes?

Downloading cool Photoshop brushes for free is easy. You just need to find a good website that gives them away and start browsing. Google “free photoshop brushes” and you’ll find several. If you’re looking for a specific kind of brush, Google that. For example, search for “grunge photoshop brushes” or “paint splatter photoshop brushes”.

My favorite Photoshop brush website is Brusheezy.

Oops! I just got sidetracked again… and downloaded a few more brushes while I was testing the Brusheezy link. Okay! Back to the blog here…

How do you install a Photoshop brush?

There are a couple ways to install a brush and use it in Photoshop. The lazy way if you’re in a hurry is just to download the brush file. The brush will be in the form of a .abr file. A lot of the times you will download the brush file that is in a ZIP package. So unzip the the ZIP file and open the .abr file with Photoshop. The brushes will appear in the brushes window when you select the Brush Tool (B). Easy, right?

The problem with that is you’ll tend to lose your brushes. If you’ve found a really cool Photoshop brush, you may not be able to find it next time you have the thought, “I should use that awesome grungy floral dog bone brush I used that last time. Wait, where the hell is it?!”

So to avoid this, put the Photoshop brush in the proper place on your computer’s hard drive. On a PC, you need to but the .abr file in Program Files > Adobe Photoshop > Presets > Brushes.

Photoshop Brushes

On a Mac, it’s essentially the same. Go to your Applications folder and put the.abr file in Adobe Photoshop > Presets > Brushes.

Photoshop Brushes

This way they’ll show up in Photoshop when you’re in the brushes window and you want to select a brush.

How do you organize your Photoshop brushes?

Okay, so if you’re like me, you’ll eventually bulk up your collection with a bunch of random brushes you like and want to keep. The problem is that when you select one in Photoshop they’re all in random order with random names and you end up selecting random ones until you find one that “will work.”

So first of all, in your Presets > Brushes folder, whatever the file is named is what will show up in Photoshop. So, for example, “johnnys_wicked_cool_paint_splatter_brush.abr” will show up as johnnys_wicked_cool_paint_splatter_brush in Photoshop. People that make brushes always give them funky names and then you end up seeing all this messiness when you’re in Photoshop.

So change the filename to something simple, clean and obvious. I like to name all of my Photoshop brushes with some sort of category name first. Photoshop automatically alphabetizes the names, so this makes it super easy to find the brushes.

Remember that any changes you make to files on your hard drive won’t show up in Photoshop until you restart Photoshop!

Here is an example of how I would name some of my Photoshop brushes:

Paint 01 (splatter).abr
Paint 02 (brushed).abr
Paint 03 (artist board).abr
Paint 04 (splatter).abr
Paint 05 (angry painter).abr

That way everything looks very clean in Photoshop and it’s easy to find the brushes you want when you want them.

Photoshop Brushes

40 Free Brick Textures With Variety

In this post, I decided to find you a variety of BRICK, friends! So here’s what I’ve done. I went out and found as much of a variety of brick textures as I could. There are 40 awesome brick textures here in total, but all different from each other. I tried, anyway, but brick textures can only be so different from each other.

I’ve separated these 40 free brick textures into two categories. There are 20 “multi-brick textures” and 20 “single-brick textures.”

Multi-Brick Textures

In this section you’ll find 20 textures that show a variety of ways bricks are layed together. You get the entire perspective of the brick wall or ground, or whatever.

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Single-Brick Textures

Now, get all up in the brick’s business. In this section, you’ll find 20 single-brick textures.

Brick Texture

Brick Texture

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30 Free Bokeh Texture Images by Caleb Kimbrough

Here are 30 free bokeh textures courtesy of Caleb Kimbrough of LostAndTaken.com
. LOST AND TAKEN
is an awesome site where Caleb gives away tons of great free textures.

If you’ve been living under a design rock and you’re not sure what bokeh even means, here you go: “In photography, bokeh is the blur, or the esthetic quality of the blur, in out-of-focus areas of an image.” Straight from Wikipedia! Basically, as far as Internet design trends go, in layman’s terms, blurry background lights are in, baby!

You can download these bokeh textures directly from Caleb’s blog post in the form of a zip package, or you can browse them individually here and pick which ones you want to use for your projects. I personally don’t like downloading zip packages of textures and other stock footage because my computer gets so damn cluttered sometimes. So, browse away. Simply click an image you want to download and you’ll be linked to an enlarged version of it. And thanks, Caleb!

Bokeh Texture

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