All About Mock-Ups: source, use, create, organize (an Adobe Photoshop® and Airtable class) | Sue Gibbins | Skillshare

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All About Mock-Ups: source, use, create, organize (an Adobe Photoshop® and Airtable class)

teacher avatar Sue Gibbins, Designer at Rocket & Indigo

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

15 Lessons (1h 16m)
    • 1. Welcome

    • 2. Tools for Class & Project

    • 3. Mock-Up Sources

    • 4. Adding Placement Graphics

    • 5. Preparing Patterns

    • 6. Adding Pattern Fills

    • 7. Finding Images

    • 8. Mask & Blend

    • 9. Smart Objects

    • 10. Adding Perspective

    • 11. Following Curves

    • 12. Complex Surfaces

    • 13. Airtable Gallery

    • 14. Your Project

    • 15. Thank you

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About This Class

Hi. I’m Sue Gibbins, a surface pattern designer from the UK also known under my studio name Rocket & Indigo.

In my previous classes I covered many design essentials including motifs, patterns and presenting artwork on an illustrated style of mock-up. I’m delighted to now welcome you to this new class, which is all about photo-based mock-ups.

During this class I’ll take you through how to source mock-up files, including where to get free ones, and how to use them with both placement graphics and seamless pattern fills. I’ll also show you techniques for creating your own mock-ups from photography, including a quick accurate way to make a mask, blending modes for a realistic finish, smart object setup, and several distortion and warping techniques from simple to more complex. Then I’ll show you how to get organised with a filterable gallery of your files so that choosing a mock-up will be a breeze even when you have hundreds of them.

The class is geared towards designers who want to expand their mock-up resources and get the best out of them. I’ll be using Adobe Photoshop for the demonstrations, so that is the recommended software to follow along.

I’m excited to share lots of mock-up tips and techniques with you, so let’s get started!

Meet Your Teacher

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Sue Gibbins

Designer at Rocket & Indigo


Hi, I’m Sue Gibbins (aka Rocket & Indigo), a British surface pattern designer inspired by my surroundings, travel and nature. My artwork style mixes graphic shape with hand-drawn line, often using bold colour palettes. I especially enjoy drawing animals and plants. To see more of my art and to chat, let's meet on Instagram @rocketandindigo. 

In addition to designing, I have also been a teacher and instructor in one form or another for many years. I'm passionate about sharing what I know and seeing how others take that forward with their own projects. I hope you enjoy my classes and share what you make with us in the project galleries. Have fun!


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1. Welcome: Hi, I'm Sue Gibbins, a surface pattern designer from the UK, also known under my studio name, Rocket & Indigo. In my previous classes I covered many design essentials including motifs, patterns, and presenting artwork on an illustrated style of mock-up. I'm delighted to welcome you to this new class, which is all about photo-based mockups. During this class, I'll take you through how to source mock-up files, including where to get free ones, and how to use them with both placement graphics and seamless pattern fills. I'll also show you techniques for creating your own mock-ups from photography, including a quick accurate way to make a mask, blending modes for realistic finish, smart object set up, and several distortion and warping techniques from simple to more complex. Then I'll show you how to get organized with a filterable gallery of your files so that choosing a mock-up will be a breeze even when you have hundreds of them. The class is geared towards designers who want to expand their mock-up resources and get the best out of them. I'll be using Adobe Photoshop for the demonstrations, so that's the recommended software to follow along. I'm excited to share lots of mock-up tips and techniques with you. So let's get started. 2. Tools for Class & Project: Welcome back. This photo mock-ups classes in three main parts. The first part is about where to get ready-made mock-ups, including free sources, plus how to plug in your designs. The second part is how to create mock-ups, including a fast accurate way to make a mask, and how to warp designs around various surfaces. The third part is how to keep track of your mock-up resources, including setting up a filterable gallery. For finding and organizing mock-up files, you'll need an internet connection and a web browser. For editing and creating mock-ups, you ideally want to have access to Adobe Photoshop, although an equivalent photo editing program that you are familiar with could be used. Note that some purchase and free mock-up files are designed specifically to work in Photoshop and may not work properly if edited in an alternative program. For this class, I'll be demonstrating in Photoshop, so that's the recommended software to follow along. I've just updated and I'm using the new 2020 version on my iMac while filming this class. Photoshop is available for a variety of devices. If you don't yet have the software, I've put a link in resources that will take you to the free trial on I also added a link to take you to this reference document of Photoshop keyboard shortcuts for both Windows and Mac. In class, I mostly use menus to make it easier for you to see what's going on. But I do call out a few shortcuts and it will definitely speed up your work flow if you use the shortcut keys. So go ahead and download the shortcuts reference now, so you have that to hand for your projects. For the class project, you can choose whether to plug in one of your designs to a ready-made mock-up, create a mock-up of your own and share it with a design applied, or organize your mock-up files and show a snapshot of your gallery. Of course, if you'd like to do more than one of these options then you can. In the next lesson, I'll talk about various mock-up sources. 3. Mock-Up Sources: Hello again. A question I get asked regularly is where I get my mock-ups from. The answer is that I get them from many sources. From time to time, I download promotional images from my print-on-demand shops. While this is very quick and convenient, especially on Redbubble where they have a promote option, the downloads are only low resolution files and there'll be a lot of people using similar imagery. I find promo images fine for social media, but I don't tend to use them for portfolio lookbook presentations. Mostly I use files that are ready to have my designs plugged in. Usually these are Photoshop-based files that employ smart objects to make it quick and convenient to add designs. Sometimes I buy the files, but it's also possible to find many offered for free. I'll share a couple of my favorite websites in this lesson and provide you with my full list of sources later too. My favorite source for buying mock-ups is that has a vast selection of resources for designers. They have fonts, photos, brushes, mock-ups, and more. The supplier I buy from the most is Creatsy. I find their quality to be great. I have my own small shop on Creative Market as well, where I sell Illustrator-based resources. One website I often use for free mock-ups is They offer both premium and free resources. Click on the free tab to check those out first. Here in my gallery you can see these are the files I found for free at Pixeden. And you might also find freebie mockups offered with design classes or when subscribing to certain newsletters. Another sourcing option is to make mock-ups from stock photos. They are just flat files that have white objects. It takes a bit more work to add designs, but this is very useful for creating something a bit different from what other designers are using. I'll cover lots of techniques in detail later in class. For free photos, my favorite sources is When downloading design resources, always check the license. Never take images unless it's expressly allowed to do so. That is, don't just go saving images from anywhere on the web. It could also be possible to commission a photographer to do a photoshoot of white objects posed in various ways. I haven't done that as a project myself yet, but I'm interested to because it's a great way to have truly unique mock-ups styled exactly how you want them. If you have talent for photography, you can do this yourself. If I need something very specific for a project, I sometimes make my own mock-ups entirely from scratch, either from my own photo or more usually by making an illustration. The illustrated type is somewhat different to what we will be looking at in this class. I have a whole other class dedicated to making illustrated mock-ups, so check that out if you'd like to know more about that specific technique. My other class also has a lesson about considerations for selling mock-ups you created from scratch. So here's a summary of how you can source mock-ups. Number one, download promo images from POD shops. Number two, buy readymade mock-ups and plug in. Number three, find free ready-made mock-ups and plug in. Four, buy or commission white photos to convert. Five, find free white photos to convert. Six, create from scratch with your own photos. Or seven, create from scratch by illustrating. In the next lesson, we'll look at plugging in a design to a ready-made mock-up file. 4. Adding Placement Graphics: Welcome back. In this lesson, I'll be showing you how to plug a design into a ready-made mock-up file. It's worth noting that the features, quality, and structure of ready-made mock-ups do vary. I'll begin by showing you how to do a simple placement graphic on a tee. I'll be using the baby t-shirt mock-up that is free from I'll download it, which we'll take a minute or so. Now, I'll unzip the package. Often the main mock-up file is accompanied by other documents, which may include a license stating what you can and cannot do with the file. Alternatively, the license may be on the webpage where you downloaded the file. License for this file states that I can use it for personal and commercial projects, but I cannot sell it. Be sure to view the license before starting to use the mock-up. Sometimes there might be a how-to document included, but that's more common for premium mock-ups to purchase. Some mock-ups may also come with a low resolution jpeg preview. But it's the file with the PSD extension that you need to open to apply your design. Now open the main PSD file in Photoshop. Usually I immediately save a copy to work on so that my original is preserved. I'll do that now and add my project title to the name. You want to have your layers panel open. If it isn't open, access it from the Window menu. I like to familiarize myself with the document by exploring the sublayers and hiding sections using the eye icon to help identify what each does. Usually they are also labeled according to function. Most mock-up files will employ Smart Objects. This just means that the layer can be masked, transformed, or filtered without affecting the original image. The image can also be replaced by new artwork and the mask, transformation or filter is applied automatically to it. This is ideal for mock-ups. Usually the layer is labeled clearly to indicate where to place the artwork. You may also notice a small icon in the bottom right corner of the layer thumbnail. And this icon indicates it is a smart objects. Double click the thumbnail to edit the smart object layer or alternatively from the menu go to Layer, Smarter Object, Edit Contents. The creator of this mock-up has placed in some example graphics already, which I'll delete. In this particular mock-up, the creator has helpfully added an area layer within the smart object to indicate where the T-Shirt edges will be. This is very useful in knowing what parts will be cropped off. Not all mock-ups have this convenience. Now we need to apply a design. If you are using pixel-based artwork, be sure that it is large enough and is a good enough resolution to place into the mock-up. If you find that you need to enlarge the artwork, then likely it will not look sharp. Most of my artwork is vector-based illustration, so it's totally scalable. I'm going to use a little sleepy tiger that I prepared earlier in Adobe Illustrator as a placement graphic on the t-shirt. So I'll select it and copy it. You can use artwork prepared in Photoshop and other graphics programs too, of course. I'll paste the artwork. And because it's coming in from Illustrator I'm given some extra options: I can convert to pixels if I want to. But pasting it as its own smart object means the scalability is preserved. I'll hit Enter to confirm pasting. I'll position the artwork and scale it down a bit. Now that the placement graphic is positioned, I'll turn the white area off so I have flexibility with the backdrop color. The smart object layer does need saving before closing. Then it will update in the main file. In some mock-ups there may be sections that take solid color fills, such as the shirt here. Double-click the color layer to edit. I'm going to have a light shirt, but I think pure white is a bit too bright, so creamy off-white will do for me. I can also recolor the buttons. As well as selecting a color from the picker, it's also possible to eyedropper color from the artwork. I think the peach color from the tiger's belly is what I'd like here. Often there are multiple areas of a mock-up file that can be altered. So in this case, there is the tag that can have a design on it too. Even the rope can be given a custom color like I showed you with the buttons. But this orange is fine. I can go in and edit artwork in the same way as before by double-clicking the smart object thumbnail. However, I actually don't want the tag for my t-shirt because it gets in the way of my design. So I'll exit and turn off that layer. Now that the tag is off, I can see that I need to slightly reposition the graphic. If you see that the positioning needs adjusting, just go back into the smart object. Making sure that you have the Move tool selected, adjust the positioning, and then resave. If you forget to save the smart object and try to close it, you will get this prompt so you can save your changes. Finally, I'm going to adjust the background color so it's a bit of a softer yellow. I think I'm happy with this now I'm going to save the main file, being sure that I renamed it so I'm not overwriting the original. So that's a placement design on the mock-up. In the next lesson, we'll look at pattern fills. 5. Preparing Patterns: Hello again. Now that we've covered placement graphics, I'd like to show you techniques for applying pattern fills to mock-ups. In order to do this, you will need a repeating pattern. The repeating pattern can be pixel- or vector-based. It can be made right here in Photoshop or in another program. The key is that it must be a technical repeat, meaning that it is a seamlessly repeating tile. If you aren't sure how to make seamless patterns, there are many classes here on Skillshare specifically demonstrating how to create them in a variety of different software programs. Several of my own classes show techniques for repeat patterns in Adobe Illustrator if that is of interest to you. If you just wanted to very simple pattern to play around with for the purposes of this class, then you can make something like a spot pattern in a few seconds in Photoshop. I'm using a small two centimeter canvas size because it's a small-scale pattern. First, unlock the background and fill it with color using the paint bucket. On a new layer, use the circular marquee, select the circle area near the middle and fill it with another color. De-select the circle. Now define a pattern of the whole canvas by going to the Edit menu and choosing Define Pattern. It's that easy! If I open up a larger 20 cm canvas, I can create a fill layer with pattern. The pattern is easily scaled and repositioned. If you have more complex Photoshop patterns that are already in repeating tiles, just open them up and define a pattern in the same way. Before we look at using defined patterns in mock-ups, I want to address an issue that Illustrator users often mention when exporting patterns for use in Photoshop: faint phantom lines at the tile edges. Let's jump to Illustrator just for a few moments so I can provide a quick pattern 101 and some exporting tips. So here in Illustrator I have a few pieces of artwork prepared. And I've used my jungle tiger palette again. These very simple designs in peach colors at the top are all either complete square or complete rectangle with nothing hanging over the edge. I'd just like to show you that these sorts of designs can be made into patterns in seconds by dragging them straight to the swatches panel like this. It is very similar to the define pattern option in Photoshop really. Now I can draw a shape and fill it with the pattern. We will actually use the checkered design later as a guide while creating our own mock-ups. Now the artwork here below in green is a bit different. There are bits and pieces hanging over the edge. You can see that everything that falls off one side appears on the opposite side of the tile, so it will be seamless. To make this kind of design into a pattern swatch in Illustrator, I have a special clear box below the background that defines the tile area. So when I drag it to the swatches panel, Illustrator knows which area to repeat and which overhanging bits to ignore. I used layers for this design and my clear box is on the very bottom 'Swatchbox' layer. So patterns work beautifully within Illustrator. But when it comes to exporting problems can occur translating vector shapes to pixels. When exporting I use the artboard in a similar way as my swatchbox to define the tile area. If I click the Artboard icon, it shows more clearly where the artboard is. To avoid unwanted tile edge lines when exporting, I recommend to first extend the colored background over the edge of the artboard by a visible amount. Only extend the colored background, not the swatchbox. When it comes to saving, There are a couple of formats I commonly use. Adobe technical team recommended to me a while ago that EPS format translates well between Illustrator and Photoshop. And they suggested I export patterns using EPS. To save in that format, go to File, Save As and choose EPS from the Format menu. Make sure Use Artboards is checked and specify the range. Usually this will just be one unless you are using multiple artboards in the file. I also find myself regularly exporting as PNG format for print-on-demand websites. If you choose to export as PNG, be aware that this created files in RGB color. To create a PNG use File, Export, Export As and select PNG from the Format menu. Again have artboards checked with the range, set the resolution to high, choose Art Optimized and interlaced. Now let's head back to Photoshop. I'm going to open the PNG file juts created. Remember if you work exclusively in Photoshop, just open up your exact repeat tile in the PSD format instead. By zooming in I can see that the background color goes properly to the edges without any faded pixels. So that's what we need to turn this tile into a repeating pattern fill. I'll simply go to the Edit menu and choose Define Pattern just like before. That will now appear in the pattern fill options when I edit this pattern layer. This design can now be applied, scaled and repositioned easily on mock-ups, as I'll show you in the next lesson. 6. Adding Pattern Fills: Welcome back. In this lesson, I'll be working with a slightly more complex mock-up file than before and applying repeating patterns. I'll be using a purchased file from the Little Fashion bundle by Creatsy. I've already downloaded, unzipped and open the PSD file in Photoshop. I've also saved a copy with a new name, so I don't overwrite the original. The layers of this file are a bit more complicated. The creator has included a helpful how-to document with the mock-up files. One of the features of this purchases mock-up is the color-coded layers. Green layers are where the main design editing will take place. The added props are on the yellow layers and can be shown or hidden independently. There are various edit options for the background, including coloring it and placing a photo or a surface or texture below the shadow. The document goes into detail about how to handle the various types of layers. For my mock-up, I don't want any add-on props so I'll hide that whole layer group to start. Now I want to apply my pattern. For these leggings there are several areas to apply the pattern: the inside, the right leg, and the left leg. If there are multiple design layers, I like to choose the largest surface to begin with because I find it helps to choose the right scale. So I'll start with one of the legs rather than the inside piece. Double-click on the thumbnail to enter the smart object layer that contains the artwork. Use the new Fill Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose Pattern to create a pattern layer. The pattern fill that was defined in the last lesson remains available in the pattern fill panel, and the most recent pattern is used by default. Choose it, then alter the scale until it looks right for the surface. This is one leg of the baby leggings, and I think 50% looks about right. I'll make a mental note of the scale chosen so I can use the same scale for the other parts of the leggings. I often delete the sample design layer to keep the file size down, but that's optional. Save the smart object layer and close, and then the main document updates. Note the auto layer connected has also been filled. I can show you that by hiding the auto layer design. Auto layers simply use the same artwork is in the parent layer to make using the mock-up quicker and more convenient. I'll add the pattern fill at the same scale to the other areas. You can probably see why I didn't choose this little piece first - it's difficult to see how the pattern scale should be from this little section. I then take a look to see if I want to move any of the pattern inside the areas. If so, enter the smart object for that section. When the Move tool is selected, I can drag the position of the pattern, or nudge the pattern using the keyboard arrow keys for really small adjustments. Save and close to apply the new pattern position in the main document. And now check for any layers I can color such as fabrics. Here there is the fabric color itself and the inner color. Select a color from the picker or use the eyedropper tool to choose from the image. I think the inner where the back of the fabric shows actually looks better in a lighter color. I'll do the main color in green though. The fabric color change just subtly altered the seams there. If I hide a design, you can see the chosen fabric color below. On to the background. For this background, there's a solid color layer I can edit, and I can select the same yellow as I used before for the tiger t-shirt, because I have an idea these leggings will be a set with that tee. The yellow is in my swatches panel. The creator of the mock-up has also supplied a paint texture that can be colorized and a few background texture photos as well. I'll open one of them up. Just select all with Command A, copy with Command C and then paste with Command V on a layer below the shadows as instructed in the how-to document. I'll name that layer so I can easily see what it contains. You could also source your own photos to use as background textures. For this I just want the solid color though. I'll take a closer look to see if all is good and then save my file. So there we go. A mock-up with multiple sections and pattern fills. Next, we'll move on to making mock-ups from found photos. 7. Finding Images: Hello again. Now we're going to begin looking at creating mock-ups from photos. You can snap your own photos, or commission a photographer if you wish. Alternatively, you can use stock photos. My favorite site for free photos is and they have a lot to choose from. The license info is here. And it says all images on this site are free to use for personal and commercial projects. It's not necessary to credit the generous photographers, but it's appreciated if you do. For most mock-ups, you'll want the objects onto which designs will be applied to be plain white. There could be exceptions to this. For example, if you transfer your designs onto wood, you might be looking for images that have wooden objects instead. But mostly mock-ups use white base objects. To find suitable images on the unsplash website, simply type in keywords and search. I usually include the word white to help find suitable items. For example, I'm looking for a white bowl today. Lots come up so I can scroll through to find one with a slightly angled view, because I want to show you how to handle curved surfaces later. Download the file. I'm also going to get a white cardboard box. And I look for white fabric. This one has some interesting folds, but I might need to brighten it up a bit to be more white. And then for the next lesson, I want a white wall with furniture in the image. Here's one I like. I'll download that as well. I have four files that I'll move to my project folder ready for the mock-up making lessons. 8. Mask & Blend: Welcome back. In Photoshop, I already have opened the wall and furniture image by Liana Mikah that I downloaded from I'll first save a copy with a new name in the PSD format. What I want to do is be able to apply a design to only the wall area. So this will be a wall-covering mock-up. The first step is to select the exact area of the wall. The quick selection and magic wand tools found here might be an option when there is plenty of contrast between the edges. But often images for mock-ups have white on white areas. Plus these pixel selection tools can be a little messy and inaccurate. sometimes needing lots of close attention with a brush to get to clean looking edge. I might use the wand for small fiddly areas around organic shapes like a plant. But generally I use plotting to create the mask edges because it's accurate and quick. If you use Illustrator you'll likely be familiar with the pen tool already. If not, don't worry, because it is simple to use. The pen tool will draw a path, which has the added benefit that it can be saved and modified later if we wish. First get the Paths panel open. Usually it's in the same tab group has the Layers panel, but if you can't find it go to the Window menu and choose Paths. Now choose the pen tool (or press P on the keyboard as a shortcut to get to the tool). Start at a corner and drop a point down with the pen by clicking. It's okay to go outside of the photo a bit at the edges to be sure the path goes right to the very edge. Now go to the next place where there's the change of direction and drop another point. You can drop them down approximately in the right place to start, then later zoom in and make them sit exactly on the edge of the objects. Or you can zoom in while dropping the points and navigate around the image as you go. I use Command + and Command - to zoom in and out and the space bar to navigate around. If you reach a place where you want a curve, drop a point in the middle of the curve but don't let go until you have dragged to get these handles appearing. Move the cursor around until the right shape curve is formed before letting it go. You can make big sweeping curves or tiny ones. Don't worry too much because this is all adjustable later using the handles. For the plant, I could go around the organic edge and spines with the pen, but I have another technique I like to use for these kinds of edges. So I'm just going to go roughly around it with the pen for now. Where the ceramic part begins again, I'll resume accurate plotting. You can see that even along this very faint white on white edge it's easy to get the right shape because the Pen tool does not rely on contrast between pixels. This is a big benefit to the pen plotting technique. Once the shape is complete and closed, I'll zoom right in and use the direct selection tool (shortcut key A) to get all the points exactly on the edges and adjust any curves with the handles. There are also some additional tools beneath the Pen tool if you find you need to add, delete or convert points. The convert tool changes curves to corners when a point is clicked, or corners to curves where the point is clicked and the handles dragged out. In the Paths panel you will see that the shape just drawn is called the Work Path. Go to the paths panel menu and choose Save path and give it a name (I'll call it 'main wall'). Now I'm going to work on the area around the plant. Not every mock-up will require this extra technique, but it's handy to know how to do it. Using the marquee tool I'll draw a box to define the area I'm working in. Making sure to include the plant and wall around it, but stopping above the ceramic pot. In the paths panel menu, I'll make that into a work path with one pixel tolerance and save it. You can do the same thing using this icon at the bottom of the panel. Now I'll use the magic wand tool to select the wall around the plant. I'll try selecting the wall close to the cacti with the default tolerance of 32 and contiguous checked so it selects only neighboring pixels in the range. If you're picking up a bit too much, you can de-select and reduce the tolerance down a bit. At this stage, I'm not concerned that the selection has also picked up some of the ceramic pot because I'll deal with that in a moment. I'll hold down the Shift key and also select these bits of wall between the cacti sections. If you want to do any fine tuning of the selection with a brush, you can optionally go into quick mass mode with this icon. The red color indicates areas outside the selection. If I use a brush with black, I can exclude more pixels. If I use white I can include more pixels in the selection. The brush size can also be changed to get the right edge to the selection. Click the quick mask mode icon again to exit the mode. Whenever I have made a selection with wand and brushes, I like to modify the selection to be a little bit tighter around the object to avoid any halo effects in the mock-up. To do this go to Select, Modify, and Expand, to expand the wall area further towards the cactus. I usually find that one pixel is enough. But if you have a very large photo, you might need to expand by a couple of pixels. Now with the area around the cactus selected, I'll click on the box shape path I made earlier. From the paths panel menu, choose make selection, and some options will appear. Choose a feather radius of 0, and make sure 'intersect with selection' option is checked. Click OK. Now just the area around the plant that was within the box is selected and therefore the ceramic pot is excluded. Turn the selection into a work path, and save it with a name (I'll call it 'around cactus') so you can come back later and edit if needed. Now that the unwanted selections have been taken out of the equation, I can combine the wall areas. Turn the area around the cactus back into a selection. Now click on the path thumbnail for 'main wall' shape. From the Paths panel menu choose make selection and the options will appear. Choose a feather radius of 0. But this time we want to have 'add selection' checked so that the two areas combine. Click OK. I'll also save this as a path called 'wallpaper'. If I ever need to adjust the mask, I can use the path to re-select the area or make changes. I'm ready to think about applying my design. I'm going to open the repeat tile which I want to use for my wallpaper. And I'll use Edit, Define Pattern as I showed you before. And I can now close the pattern file. I'll return to the Layers panel tab and I'll make a new layer. With the wall area selected, choose the pattern fill layer option and scale my pattern. The selection has automatically applied as a mask to my pattern. Note that you can also apply masks manually to layers by going to Layer, Layer Mask, Reveal Selection. Although the shape is correct, the wallpaper doesn't look very realistic. To make it look more realistic, we need to have the shadow is applied to the design as well. With the layer active, click the drop-down menu that has a variety of blending modes, and choose Multiply. This allows the wall shadows to come through the design. Once the wallpaper design is applied, it's easier to notice any problem areas with the mask. If you need to edit the mask, Click on the right-hand thumbnail in the layer which is the mask, zoom in and use the brush with black to subtract from the mask and white to add to the mask. To apply a different wallpaper pattern or alter the scale of the wallpaper design. Double-click on the pattern fill and make the changes. I'll save the file. So that's how to mask and blend. In the next lesson I'll show you how to setup Smart Objects. 9. Smart Objects: Hello again. Remember earlier I talked about the benefits of Smart Objects. The image can be replaced by new artwork and the mask, transformation or filter is applied automatically to it. Even with this wallpaper that doesn't have any shape transformations, it would still be inconvenient if I wanted to replace the pattern with a mural or sticker because I'd need to move a mask to a non-pattern layer. So I'm going to alter the wallpaper mock-up to employ a Smart Object instead. I'll save this as version 2 of the mock-up and delete the wallpaper layer. I'll make a new layer and draw a marquee around the area that needs the design applying. In this case, it's the whole of the canvas. But in the next lesson you'll see that a smaller area can be converted. I'm going to fill the area with any color. Go to Layer, Smart Objects, Convert to Smart Object. Now we'll apply the wallpaper area mask. I'll use the paths panel to get the selection for the wallpaper. I'll make the wallpaper path active, then convert it to a selection. I can do that in the Paths panel menu with Make Selection or use the icon here. Then go to Layer, Layer Mask, Reveal Selection. I'll change the smart object to multiply blending mode for a realistic look with shadows. To apply a different design to the wall, just double-click into the smart object and add the design as needed. Any kind of layer can be included here, for example, add a mural design a pattern fill layer, or have multiple layers if you wish. The mask is now applied whatever the type of content your put in here. That's the benefit of using the smart object technique, Save and exit to update the design in the main file. Save the main file also. In the next lesson we will begin transforming the shape of the design area, and smart objects will be essential. 10. Adding Perspective: Welcome back. In the last lesson we looked at how to create a smart object, an essential step when transforming the shape of the design to match a surface. By creating a smart object the design can be updated independently on a simple rectangular area, making a mock-up totally reusable and very quick to update. I have this box photo already opened in Photoshop. It's one of the ones I downloaded from earlier and it's by Kelly McClintock. I've already saved a copy as a PSD file. I'll begin by making a smart bbject layer for each surface that will have a design applied, that is the four white surfaces of the box that are visible. Draw a rectangular marquee approximately the size and shape of the area as it would be if it were flat and face on to you. So this is a square box and even though the sides look a bit slimmer due to perspective, I'm going to draw it wider for the smart object layer. Also drawing it generally a little bit bigger is better than having it too small. It doesn't have to be exact though, and the positioning isn't important either. Fill it with any color. In the Layer menu, choose Smart Objects, Convert to Smart Object. Repeat for all surfaces. Change the smart object layer to multiply blending mode, repeat for all four surfaces. When I'm going to be transforming the shape of a surface - in this case distorting it to show perspective - I like to apply some kind of grid or chequered squares pattern so I can see when the angles are right. This is optional, but I find it really helps when distorting areas. You might recall I created a simple chequered pattern earlier in the class. It's just a small canvas of 25 mm split into quadrants, which is very simple to make in any design software. I can define that as a pattern, then close the file. I'll double-click into each smart object and apply the pattern, then save and exit. I'm going to also name the layer so it's easy to identify. Select the first layer to which to add the perspective. Go to the Edit menu and choose Transform. In the Transform sub-menu, there are a number of tools for applying perspective, including the Perspective and Distort options. I personally find the Distort option more intuitive to use, but do try out the different transform options for yourself. Tweak the points until the shape looks naturally fitted to the angles of the object in the photo. This is where the grid pattern guide can be a help. Objects in real life (and in photos) rarely have perfectly straight edges and sharp corners. Even this box has rounding at the corners and some curvature along the sides. So I'll have my design extend over the edge into the area then later create a mask that perfectly fits the object shape. I'll set my perspective for each surface allowing the design to go over the edges. The Pen tool will be perfect for drawing the mask shapes and I can save a path for each one like I showed earlier. The benefit of the paths is a that I will be able to get the masks to sit against each other perfectly without any overlaps or gaps by subtracting one path shape from another. I'll draw a path exactly fitting the right side of the box first, and I'll name that in the Paths panel. Next I'll do the left side. Where it meets the right side, I'm going to go over a bit and allow overlap. I'll name that path and turn it into a selection. Now I'll click on the path for the right side and make selection with 'subtract from selection'. That removes the overlap, but makes sure the shape will meet precisely. I'll make that a path and name it. Now I'll do the flaps in this same way, overlapping where they meet the sides and then subtracting the saved path shape. To make the mask convert the path to a selection. Click on the corresponding smart object layer, and go to Layer, Layer Mask, Reveal Selection. Repeat for all four surfaces. The design meets up without gaps or overlaps now. Save the file. To apply a different design, simply double-click the smart object to enter editing mode. You'll see that the area is still a rectangle here without any distortion. Replace the pattern with a new one. Saving and closing updates the smart object within the main file. You can include any type of design as needed, such as an illustration or text, and the transformation is applied to the new design automatically. This is the power of smart objects. It makes the mock-ups so quick and easy to use. In the next lesson, we'll look at handling rounded objects and curves. 11. Following Curves: Hello again. In this lesson, I'll demonstrate how to design around a surface. Earlier, I downloaded this fruit bowl photo by Nordwood Themes from I've opened it in Photoshop and saved a copy as a PSD file. Just like in the last lesson, I am going to begin by creating a layer with a filled box that is approximately the size of the surface I'm working on. I'll convert that area to a smart object. I'll give that layer multiply blending mode and then change the solid fill color to the chequered guide pattern. I'll go to Edit, Transform, but this time I'll choose the Warp option. It's worth mentioning that the Warp tool recently got an upgrade and I'm using the latest release launched November 2019. In the new version, the default warp grid just shows points and handles around the edges. A more detailed grid like in previous versions can be selected here, but it has slightly more complex features. Also, there's a new feature to split the grid up even further. Whichever version you are using, just gradually tweak the points and handles until the shape looks naturally curved around the object. Keep a bit of extra overhang at the edges. Note that the length and angle of the handles has a big impact on how the design curves. I find the chequered guide pattern is a huge help while warping. When you are happy, click the Enter key to apply changes. Now I'll draw a path for the shape of the bowl where the design should be. I'll save it. I'll convert that path to a selection, then use it to create a layer mask on the design layer as in the previous lessons. If you want to edit the warp after the mask has been applied, first uncouple the mask from the smart object using the chain icon between the thumbnails. Then go back into Edit, Transform, Warp to make the adjustments. Recouple the mask. Save the file. To apply a different design, simply double-click the smart object to enter editing mode. Replace the pattern with a new one or any kind of design you like, then save and close. The warping is applied to the new pattern so that it appears to curve around the bowl. So that's how you create a mock-up on curved objects. And the next lesson we'll look at more complex surfaces. 12. Complex Surfaces: Welcome back. In this lesson I want to show you how to create a mock-up on a fabric when the surface isn't flat, so has crumples, creases or folds. I'm using an download of a photo by Sylvie Tittel. Before I begin the mock-up and going to go to the Image menu and rotate the photo 90 degrees to make it easy to fit on the screen. I do also prefer the fabric to look whiter for a mock-up, so I'll add an adjustment layer for brightness and contrast and whiten the photo. Ok, ready to get started. First, I need to create a filled shape covering the design area, which in this case is the whole canvas, and convert it to a smart object. I'll change the layer to multiply blending and edit the smart object to contain the chequered guide pattern again. Since I'll be warping this whole area, I'm going to use Command T so I can scale it up well over the canvas edge. I need to be able to see the folds of the fabric below, but also the checkered pattern, so I'll reduce the opacity of the top layer: 40% looks like it will work. For a pattern to look realistic on this surface it will need to follow the flow of the fabric surface. I'll go to Edit, Puppet Warp and a mesh will appear. There are a number of options up top, and one of them is the density of the mesh. Add more points if needed for extremely complex surfaces. There are also several modes, and again the normal mode is good. But for surfaces that have a stretchy quality you might want to consider using distort. Switch between modes at any time. The expansion option is to do with the edges of the mesh and usually I leave it at default. I'll choose a few point on the fabric to act as anchors and click to drop points down. In an area to be warped I'll now click and gently drag. The key here is to be subtle and go little by little to create a realistic looking warp. Create creases by altering the distance between two points. From time to time, check progress by hiding the mesh. Once done, click the tick or press the Enter key to apply. Return the layer opacity back to 100%. To make any changes to the puppet warping, double-click on the Puppet Warp name in the smart filters list of the Layers panel. It's also possible to hide and show the puppet warp to get a before and after comparison. Remember to save the file. To apply a different design, double-click the smart object to enter editing mode. Again, the pattern is still a rectangle here without any warping. Replace the pattern with a new one, and scale if needed, then save and close to apply the changes on the main file. I like how the stripes are flowing. Let's try the pips design. So that's it, a more realistic application of a pattern to a complex surface. In the next lesson, I'll show you how to organize mock-up files in a gallery. Organizing might seem like a boring topic, but implementing a gallery revolutionized my use of mock-ups in projects and saves me a lot of time. 13. Airtable Gallery: Hello again. Once you've collected a few mock-ups, you might feel the need for a reference showing at a glance what you have in different categories. Better still, wouldn't it be great to be able to search all your mock-ups and get a shortlist of the best for the project at hand? As your collection of mock-up files grows, the need for a searchable reference becomes greater. I made the mistake of leaving it a long time before organizing my mock-up files, and I ended up spending weeks on it once I had hundreds of them. So trust me when I say that adding one or a few as they become available is a lot easier, and I encourage you to begin organizing your files straight away! It's actually really quick and easy to get setup. Nowadays there are options that are both easy to use and free, such as Airtable. I especially like Airtable's gallery feature that allows you to view your info by pictures, which is perfect for designers. I'll show you the basics in this lesson and I think you'll love it. Note that there are lots of classes out there covering Airtable in great detail, so I'm only going to cover the essentials to get started with this project. First thing is to sign up for free account. It's all done online, so just get an account from and you'll be ready to start. To store info Airtable uses workspaces and bases. Workspaces are kind of like the big projects you're working on, and the bases are places to store different types of info for your project. So I have a workspace for my business, called Rocket & Indigo, and within that I have bases storing my artwork info, mock-up info and info about companies. So I can show you a setup example, I'll add a new base. There are templates and options to import existing info, but I prefer to create bases from scratch. Give the base a name and optionally a color and icon. Click the icon to go inside the base. Within the base, you can have multiple tables. For example, your might list the mock-up files in one table and the suppliers of mock-up files in another. But let's keep it simple and just focus on the mock-ups with one table for files. I can give the table a name. You'll want some columns, known as fields, to store specific pieces of info about each mock-up, like a description, image, where it was purchased and so on. I'll show you how I have my base set up. Feel free to copy this exactly or alter it to your own preferences and needs. I'll begin by customizing the first field using this drop down. I'll call it Mock-up Title, and the field type can remain as text. I'll used the dropdown options again to insert another field to the right. I'm going to call this new field Categories. I want this to be multi-select. I can add options now, and / or add them later. I'll put in bolt fabric, kids clothing and so on. Having this as multi-select rather than single select means I can tag the mock-up as multiple types. For example, a book mock-up might be suitable in both the stationery and editorial categories. You can edit the color coding if you wish. Remember to save the changes to these lists is they do not auto save. The main changes to information are auto saved, which is handy. I'll use the dropdown options again to insert another field to the right, which will be called Surfaces. It's a multi-select and incase the mock-up has a mixture of surfaces. I'll add fabric, paper, ceramic and other. Remember I can add more to this list later by coming back to customize the field. Surfaces and Categories are to help me search my my info and find the right file for the project. You can add fields for the types of tags that you'll find helpful in your own searches. I'll use the dropdown options again to insert another fields to the right. This is for Folder name, just so I can quickly find the mockup file on my hard drive. Next, I want an attachment field for my images. I have one here already so I'll drag that across to rearrange. I'll call it Preview Images. Multiple attachments are allowed. I'll use the dropdown options again to insert another field to the right. This is for info about the type of mock-up and its license. Single select will be fine here. I'll add purchased, free, created from stock, created from scratch. The Notes column is long texts and can be handy. I also plan to write in here the origin of the mock-ups such as the company who made it. Add more columns here as you wish. For example, you might like to note the date you got the mock-up, and there is a date field. Delete columns you decide you don't need. By default, you get a grid view like a spreadsheet, which is very useful for setting up the base structure. But in the View drop-down menu you can also add other views, and I recommend you add a gallery. Switch between grid and gallery anytime. You can enter data in either view. Let's add a mock-up record in the grid view first. This is for the baby t-shirt. For images it's important just to use low res jpegs because each base has an upload limit on the free version. The limit is quite generous, but nevertheless I try to keep my preview images to around 500kb and certainly under a megabyte. Sometimes mock-ups like this baby tee come with a low-res jpeg, usually called preview.jpg. Check the size before you upload it. Otherwise, create your own preview by going into the mock-up file in Photoshop and saving for web. I'll hop over to Photoshop to show you a quick example. With the main file open, Export and Save For Web. Select jpeg, select the quality, and then most importantly reduce the dimensions down to approximately 1000 pixels. You'll see the file size bottom left. If you prefer, you can turn off the artwork and select white and neutral colors to get to blank canvas preview. Back to Airtable. I'll switch to gallery view now and you can see that record and how it looks by default. The info you see here can be customized using the Customized Cards settings. You can control whether the image is cropped or not, and turn on or off any of the fields for display in gallery view. Use this move icon to drag and change the display order of the items. Clicking the card shows the full info. You can enlarge the image by clicking on it too. You can also add records in gallery view using the big plus in a circle at the bottom right corner. A window pops up to allow you to enter data for each of the fields. I'll add the baby leggings. Multiple images can be added for mock-ups sets and bundles. In the gallery the display is a carousel. If you customized the card to show preview images you get multiple thumbnails also. Gallery view has drag-and-drop to reorganize the order. Right-clicking on a mock-up card in gallery view brings up the menu. You can delete cards from here also. You can also filter and sort, which I want to show you in my main mock-up base. This icon right at the top takes you back to the main screen with your workspaces and bases. I'll click my main mock-up base. As you can see, I have quite a lot here, which can make choosing a file tricky. So I use filters to find the right file. Let's say I'm doing a presentation for a greetings company. I can go to Filter, Add Filter, choose Categories to filter by and select Greetings. You can also apply multiple filters. So maybe I want to zone in specifically on cards. And so I'll look for records that have the word 'card' in the title. Click off that pop up to see the results. Now my choice is made easy by having this very specific visual menu of ideal files for the job. To go back to the full list of mock-ups just delete the filters. I could also search for files from a specific company. You can also change the criteria to exclude from the search. You can set up sorting in the same way as you do filtering. So for example, I could add an A-Z sort on the mock-up title. So I hope that helps to show you how easy it is to organize mock-up files and the benefits of doing so. My mock-up sources are listed for you in the Resources section, which you can find in the Project tab. And in the next lesson I'll explain the project for this class. 14. Your Project: It's time for your project. I want you to try some or all of the Photoshop techniques in this class and post an image of your favorite mock-up with one of your designs applied. Alternatively, you can focus on organizing mock-up files into a filterable gallery and then take a screenshot to post as your project. You can do both if you wish. To take screenshots on a Mac use Command-Shift-4, then drag to grab the screen area, which will save to desktop. On a PC, there's usually a Print Screen button on the keyboard to gets a full screen grab. Use Photoshop to save the files for screen viewing at the desired size. Posting projects are a good opportunity to get your work seen and receive feedback. So I encourage you to post something that you have made as a result of this class. I very much look forward to seeing what you create. Remember, I've added some useful resources for your here as well, including Adobe Photoshop links to free trial and keyboard shortcuts, mock-ups sources list, and the transcript of class. Have fun with your mock-ups. 15. Thank you: Thank you very much for taking this class. I hope you've enjoyed it and picked up some new mock-up techniques. If you have any questions, you are welcome to email me directly via [email protected] If posting your class project on social media, remember to tag me @rocketandindigo so I can see your fabulous mock-ups, and feel free to use the hashtag #rocketskillshare. I already have some exciting new classes planned. To be notified of my future classes as they launch, please be sure to follow me here on Skillshare. And if you found the class helpful, it would be lovely to receive your review. Many thanks and see you next time.