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How-To: Photoshop Brushes Metal Effects

Design TrainingIn this tutorial we’ll look at using some of Photoshop’s tools to produce realistic brushed-metal effects. You can easily apply these effects to text or to other objects such as geometric shapes and interface bars.

The first thing we need is a selection to work on. The shape of the selection will determine the shape of our final metallic “object”. You can use a selection created from a path, a selection based on a mask, or any other selection you can dream up! In this example, we’re going to use a text selection to create some brushed metal text.

To create the text selection in Photoshop 5.5, click and hold on the Type tool icon in the Tools palette until the little palette pops up, then select the dotted T (also known as the Type Mask tool):

To create that selection in Photoshop 6, select the Type option in the Tools palette. You’ll see that the Options bar at the top of your screen changes to reflect the type options. Towards the left of the bar, select the “dotted T” option “create a mask And Photoshop Brushes

Then create a new blank document, and create a new layer for the text. Next, click with the mouse in the document where you’d like your text to appear, and type the text in a suitable font (how about a nice chunky one!):

Now that we have a selection to work with, let’s turn it into metal! First we need a solid block of colour to work from, so with your new layer highlighted and the text selection still active, select the Fill option from the Edit menu and fill the selection with 50% gray:

Next we’ll add some noise to our text, which will be the basis of the “streaks” in the brushed metal effect. Select Filter > Noise > Add Noise… and choose an amount of around 200. Make sure you select Gaussian distribution, and check the Monochromatic box to create black and white noise:

Now we’ll turn those dots into streaks! Select Filter > Blur > Motion Blur. Pick a distance of around 80 pixels. You can vary the angle from the default of 0 to create the streaks in the direction you prefer:

Blur dialog

You should now have a “Photoshop Brushes” effect to your object as follows:

You’ve probably noticed that the text has turned slightly transparent – we can see the background showing through. This is caused by the Motion Blur filter. But we want our object to be solid metal, not see-through! Let’s fix this.

Select Edit > Fill again, but this time, choose Behind from the Mode drop-down list. As before, select 50% Gray:

This will “fill in” the transparent areas in our layer as follows:

Our object is looking quite metallic now, but to really give it a 3-D “lump of metal” feel, we need some beveling and outlining. We can easily add these effects in Photoshop 5.5 using Effects (in Photoshop 6 and later you can achieve the same results using Layer Styles).

To apply the appropriate effects to our object, first remove our selection (we no longer need it) by pressing Photoshop BrushesControl+D. Then, if you’re using Photoshop 5.5, select Layer > Effects > Bevel and Emboss…. We want quite a chunky effect, so whack up both Opacity values to 100% and choose a Depth of 6 pixels and a Blur of 5 pixels.

In Photoshop 6, go to Layer > Layer Styles > Bevel and Emboss. For these purposes, you probably want the Depth set to around 100%, the Size set at around 5 pixels and the Soften control set to zero. You can leave all the shading controls at default values, but have a play if you like!

To give the edges of our object a bit more definition, let’s add a black outline. We can do this using the Outer Glow effect. In Photoshop 5.5, select Layer > Effects > Outer Glow, choose black for the glow colour (by clicking on the colour box and entering 000000 in the # box at the bottom), choose Normal for the Mode, and set Blur to 1 pixel and Intensity to about 50%.

In Photoshop 6, go to Layer > Layer Styles > Outer Glow. Within “Structure”, set the Blend Mode to Normal, Opacity to around 65%, Noise to zero and the colour to black (the gradient should be black to transparent). Within “Elements”, set the Technique to Softer, Spread to around 5%, and the Size to around 3 pixels. Experiment with this to your heart’s content! You can leave Quality alone.

Finally, add a drop shadow to the object to give it more depth. In Photoshop 5.5, select Layer > Effects > Drop Shadow… (the default values will probably do fine). In Photoshop 6 use Layer > Layer Styles > Drop Shadow and try these settings: Blend mode: Normal, Opacity: 75%, Distance: 5 pixels, Spread at zero and Size: 5 pixels. Again you can leave Quality alone. We’ve now got a nice metallic-looking object!

To add more interest, try experimenting with a lens flare or two (Filter > Render > Lens Flare…). This example used a “105mm Prime” lens type:

You could also have a go at adjusting the tint using Image > Adjust > Hue/Saturation (check the Colorize box), and use Image > Adjust > Curves to bring out the highlights and contrast in the object, as we’ve done in the example at the top of the page. Have fun! And enjoy Design Training

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March 27, 2009 Posted by | Free Photoshop Brushes, photoshop brushes, Web Design | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Transport Free Icons for Vista Applications

Free FconsWhether you are a planning a new bus route or a new road or are laying out a map of a city transport network, developing a GPS navigation system or innovative tourist map, you’ll be designing pictograms for every bus route, truck, taxi and bike route around. Why wasting time and money drawing or ordering graphics while you can use readily available images and save?

Transport Free Icons for Windows Vista depict many different means of public and private transportation, their parts and associated facilities and infrastructure such as Car, Car Repair, Car Loan, Auto Insurance and Cabriolet, Fire Truck, Tow Truck, Bike and Cyclist, Coach, ATV, Taxi, Air Tickets and Flights, Boat and Ship, Pinion and Gear, Screw and Equipment, and many more, over a hundred of images in total. The icons are designed in the new Vista style with smooth clear edges when displayed on a True Color screen but 256-color variants still available.

Microsoft Windows Vista is widely known for its recognizable user interface and convenient layout. Transport Free Icons for Windows Vista share common style and colors while providing authentic Vista appearance, dipping into the popularity of Windows Vista. The low-resolution versions will look sharp and legible on low-resolution PDA and computer screens, while the biggest size can be printed in brochures and handouts or used in presentations with high quality. The icons are available in resolutions of 16×16, 20×20, 24×24, 32×32, 48×48 and 256×256 pixels. You can buy the whole set at a discount price, or shop a la carte for $5 apiece.

Transport Icons for Windows Vista are contemporary, ideal for modern Web sites, presentations and software tools designed for Windows Vista. The icons will illustrate brochures and handouts with the available high-resolution variants. The entire set is supplied in ICO, BMP, GIF, and PNG formats. Transport Icons for Windows Vista are available for online preview at http://www.yourdesignneeds.com you can also get free Design Tutorials

March 27, 2009 Posted by | Free icons, Web Design | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Premium Templates – Dream Free Web Template

Free Web TemplatesIf buying website templates individually is not your thing and you would rather have access to a large range of designs than Dreamtemplate.com might just be the place to visit. At last count they had 1300+ templates to which you can have access to for 12 months for about $60 USD. It’s not a bad deal especially if you have many sites to design or if you have clients to design for (they don’t require any credit be given to them for using the templates). It can take a web designer days or weeks to design a single design from scratch so having these designs on hand can save a fair bit of time and therefore money.

The templates are nicely designed and there is a fairly good range of styles to choose from across many categories such as:
Animals and Pets
Business
Cars & Transportation
Computers
Finance & Ecommerce
Law
Sport
Web 2.0 Style and lots more.

As well as the HTML Free Web Templates you also get the following upon signing up:

1,000+ Premium Quality Website & Flash Templates
(Photoshop PSD & HTML files included)
500+ Microsoft Office Word Templates
150+ Microsoft Office PowerPoint Templates
15,000+ Cliparts, Abstract Images & Animations
6,000+ Background Textures
8,000+ Professional True-Type Fonts
200+ Unique Design/Abstract Logos
600+ Professional Business Legal Forms/Documents

There’s no mention on the site about whether the templates are CSS based or table based layouts but if this is an issue they do offer a 30 day money back guarantee on your membership purchase so there is no risk of not finding what you want. An added bonus is that the downloads come with their Photoshop .PSD files which are not always available at every template provider. The site lets you browse every design before you join so you only need to join if you want to download a Design Training that you like.

DreamTemplate also offer a generous 300+ open source Free Web Templates that can be downloaded and even redistributed for free. They are CSS templates available across three categories, personal, business and miscellaneous which has lots of interesting and fun designs. If you re building a site and you want to get it up and running as cheaply and as fast as possible, these templates offer enough variety to suit the majority of sites. Modify them slightly to personalize them if you have the know how or simply leave them as they are, it’s up to you.

March 27, 2009 Posted by | Free Web Templates, Web Design | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Photography Jobs: Do You Have a Future in Photography?

Stock PhotographyThere is a wide world of photography. It touches each of us in our lives on a daily basis in some form or another. Photography is so much a part of our culture now that we hardly even notice all the places that it exists. When you watch television, look at a magazine or even view a billboard on the highway, this is all because of photography. There are so many ways that photography crosses our lives each day. There are a lot of opportunities for someone looking for photography jobs.

What Photography Jobs are Available?

If you enjoy photography and are thinking of it as a career, there are actually many different directions you can choose from. Obviously, there is professional photography but even in that choice there are many other smaller options that you have as well.

You can become a photographer in a special field such as wedding or family photographer. You can choose to make money taking pictures of things you love such as animals, nature or ships. If you enjoy scuba diving, you can become an underwater photographer. Pretty much anything you can think of, there is room to take and sell pictures of it.
If you love taking pictures and the idea of a career in photography sounds good to you, just how do you begin finding photography jobs?

How Do You Find Photography Jobs?

There are different ways of finding photography jobs, depending on the type of job you are looking for and your experience. You can begin by creating a resume and portfolio of your work. Then you can search on the internet at freelance Stock Photography job boards or photography websites and message boards. Get specific into types of photographing you have done and look on the internet for those.

You can go locally and look for internships or local firms or companies that may need photographers. You can get the word out by doing small events such as birthday parties and such. Get your name out as someone who will work these functions. Show friends and family samples of your work and ask them to spread the word. You may even want to participate in a charitable or non-profit event to boost your portfolio.

You can also begin submitting your work to contests and magazines to get yourself known and build your portfolio. Placing or winning in contests and getting published in magazines can help you build clips that you can use for getting bigger and better jobs. Before getting taking some Design Training

Lastly, you can actually apply to jobs directly. It is best to do this only if you have the proper qualifications for the job. You don’t want to set your goals so high that you get let down but there is nothing wrong with going for what you want. Most importantly, get as involved with what you love as possible. Learn as much as you can about photography and what makes good photography. Subscribe to magazines, read books, look at winners of Stock Photography contests.

March 27, 2009 Posted by | Design Training, Stock Photography, Web Design | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What to do with Digital Pictures?

Design TrainingThe person who thought up digital photo technology had a terrific idea. And the fact that digital cameras are now so affordable means that more people are choosing this option for their photo needs. But there are some major differences between film cameras and digital cameras when it comes to the end result.

One of the biggest advantages of film cameras was also one of the biggest disadvantages. When you completed shooting a roll of film, you took it to a lab (or mailed it off) and got photos in return. On the downside, you didn’t usually get photos developed until you had an entire roll of film finished. Some people say that not having the photo is one of the biggest negatives of digital photography. There’s a tendency to shoot the Stock Photography, download them to the computer and simply leave them there. But there are some options – some really incredible options!

Printing on your home printer has never been easier. And as the technology continues to advance, photo paper is becoming increasingly more affordable. There are even some printers out there designed to read directly from the camera and spit out photos on the spot.

You can also have digital photos printed from your local retailer or any number of online photo labs. Upload photos from your computer to their sites, or take your digital camera media in. The cost is very reasonable. What’s more, you can choose the sizes you want, get multiple prints of only those that you want, and eliminate the bad shots without paying for printing.Stock Photography

Most computers have great photo software that allows you to correct problems before printing. You can eliminate red eyes, crop out unwanted backgrounds, and even sharpen the focus to some degree. You can also lighten or darken to make up for bad lighting at the time of the shot.

If you’re into special effects, the sky’s the limit. You can change from color to black and white, insert your subject into any scene, add text or change colors. What’s more, every mistake you make while experimenting is easy to rectify, or you can simply trash that endeavor and start over DesignTraining.

Having digital photos on your computer can also be great when it’s time for gift giving. There are software programs that allow you to create calendars using your own photos. You can make customized cards for any occasion. Imagine sending out birth announcements with the baby’s first photo on the front of the card!

There are plenty of gift ideas from online. Most online photo labs offer options for every season. You simply upload a photo, then choose the gift you want with that image. Coffee cups, t-shirts, puzzles, posters, playing cards and more are available, personalized with your favorite picture.

It’s interesting to see that more companies are offering options with digital photos. Even the US Postal Service has recently announced that you can order personalized stamps using a photo you upload from your computer.
There’s no doubt that film photography is still preferred for certain situations, but digital Stock Photography has certainly taken the lead in many venues. Whether you’re a professional or simply the designated family photographer, take a look at some of the great things you can do with those digital photos.

March 27, 2009 Posted by | Stock Photography, Web Design | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment