Basics of Pixel layers | Jeremy Hazel | Skillshare

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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

6 Lessons (34m)
    • 1. Introduction to Pixel layers

    • 2. Introduction to mask layers in Text

    • 3. Basics of Adjustment layers in text

    • 4. Free resources for fonts and pictures

    • 5. Text Challenge intro

    • 6. Text challenge solution

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About This Class

Pixel art in Affinity Designer is awesome, and it allows us to blend nicely between hard vector art, and soft subtle adjustment that can only come about through pixel by pixel manipulation 

In this course we utilize various masking and pixel techniques in Affinity Designer to create a DECAY texture that can be used for various projects, including T shirt design and cool sign illustration. 

In the course you will learn to 

  • Utilize the Pixel persona and brush across text 
  • Learn how to use mask layers to remove or add parts of an image back in 
  • How to use adjustment layers to add dynamics to your piece 
  • Learn the difference between masking in black and actual removal 
  • Identify some great resources for font in Affinity Designer 

Meet Your Teacher

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Jeremy Hazel

Education Through Creation


Related Skills

Illustration Creative Affinity

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1. Introduction to Pixel layers: Nara gang. Welcome back to text in affinity Designer. So in this project, we're gonna make this really cool DK texture. So let's go ahead and open up, file new. We're gonna make a 1000 pixel by 500 pixel workspace, and you're gonna hit, OK, I'm still in web and I keep my dp I at 300. So we're good to go here now, what we're gonna do at this point, we're to grab our text tool, and we're going to go ahead and click, drag out and let's go ahead and call this one de que Let's make it all caps. All right, so let's go ahead and use the term DK. Okay, Now you see, we're a little bit off page. How do we fix that? Grab the handle, Remember, it keeps your aspect ratio tight. And then let's go ahead. Use our move tool. Bring it back. And now let's go ahead here and center it up. Okay? Now you might be warning homes centering. You see this little thing up here? It's called the snapping tool. If that is not on, you'll see my red and green lines disappear. If you turn the snapping tool on you See, the red line tells me when its level in the workspace and then the green line tells me when it's centered in the workspace in the vertical direction. All right, so we've got our current text layer. You see the text layer there. Let's go ahead and rename it. Let's call it DK. All right. Now I'm gonna show you how to change the Phil on this With this lair selected, you see the black up here in the context toolbar. Let's go ahead and go toe, Phil, Let's go ahead and go to swatches. And now let's go ahead and let's just put in a color Swatch and we're gonna make this bright red for the purposes of what I'm going to show you. All right, so you've got the decay lair. It's bright red. And now let's go ahead and follow our good practices here. I'm gonna go ahead and I'm gonna click and drag a rectangle. And now what did we just do? We put a new layer on it, I drag it down underneath and now I'm gonna want to change the fill of the rectangle. Now to do that with the rectangle tools still selected and the right layer selected. Let's go in here, go to swatches and change it into here. All right, So you have a red text on a black rectangle, and so now I'm gonna show you a new type of layer you're gonna come down to layer and we're gonna add a layer. But we're gonna add what is called a pixel air. Now you see are layering structure, decay. But now you see this term, this is pixel. What is that? Here's something that's really cool about affinity, designer folks. Affinity Designer is a weird blend of illustrator and photo shop, so it handles both roster or pixel based images and vector or line based images. So, as an example, this rectangle is a vector shape, which means you can bring it up to the sides of a billboard or you can shrink it down to the size of a dime, and it won't distort. However, a pick solar is very, very tied to the dimensions of that layer, which means like this is 1000 pixels. You couldn't blow it up to 4000 pixels without picks, elation occurring. More on that later But the important thing now with pixel airs affinity designer works with pixel layers and what is called the pixel persona. So you see, right here it says pixel persona. Let's go ahead and click that ho hold different toolbar now, whole different game. I'm gonna show you how to use the paint brush tool. So you come over here to your paintbrush And now you see, there's a new tab over here called brushes. See where that is Here. And how do you get there If you don't have it, go to view studio. Make sure brushes is selected and you'll see you got some really cool stuff in this drop down. We're going to use a texture brush, and we're going to use this kind of a texture brush, right? Anyone will do for the purposes of this example. Now, watch this. We're gonna take our pixel air and we're gonna nest it inside of the text. Now you guys know how this works. We've seen this show and now watch what happens. I'm using the left bracket to bracket down my brush and I begin to paint inside of here. Look at how cool that is. And I'm just holding my mouse and clicking. So I'm not using anything super special. And you see that I'm creating this DK texture inside off the lettering using the pixel brush. Now, if I wanted to change my pixel brush, let's say to something, maybe a little bit more cloudy. I can certainly do that. I used the left bracket key to ratchet it down, and now I can paint and kind of destroy some of this lower area. So this is how you make these really cool DK textures. Using your pixel brush is now. I'm gonna go ahead and crack this even a little bit further. Okay? Now, let me show you something really cool here. So we're going for bonus points now. Okay, Watch this with the pixel air selected, you co two effects and you see the effects tab. Go ahead and hit Bevel in. Boss. Now you see how it made it all super weird down there? We're gonna go through, We're gonna click on the cog. I want to make this an inner Mm. See which one works best for us here, and then I'm gonna shrink down that radius a little bit. I'm gonna raise that up a little bit. And I might, as you guys know now there's profile. That looks pretty cool. Okay, so that is how you use a pixel layer the same way that you learn how to do an image in affinity designer to create this really cool decay text. All right, so we're gonna continue on with this. And the next one, I'm gonna show you all about Mass Claire's because not only do you have pixel heirs, but you got something called the Maschler. All right, folks will see in the next one. 2. Introduction to mask layers in Text: All right, gang, welcome back to text in Affinity Designer. So in the last lesson, we were working with this really cool DK texture. And I showed you how to him embed a pixel air inside of the text like we've done 100 times before. And I introduced you to the pixel persona. Now there's one more type of layer that I want to show you. And now this is what is called a mask layer. Now amass. Claire's a very unique type of layer. Now, let me kind of walk you through Why? This is important. Watch what happens. We're gonna take the rectangle, and I'm gonna go ahead and I'm gonna de select it so you'll see that the black is embedded in the text layer. So it's exactly what we wanted. But yet this whole image looks very, very neat and un decayed, right? So it's not really ripped apart. If you put this on a T shirt like this, it would look super weird. It would look like something was growing inside of it, but yet the decay wouldn't move into this portion around here. All of these lines are very concise still. So we're gonna show you using a mask. Claire, how to make this thing super cool. So we're gonna make sure you're on the decay lair. And now we're gonna go right here to what is called the mask layer. All right, let's go ahead and add a Maschler. Now, see what? This just did this attached a white circle, or I should say, in White Square with a little circle to the decay lair. So this thing now moves just like anything else that is grouped inside. All right, So mass Claire's are a very unique type of layer. So mass glares, folks. Mass. Claire's work on black and white. So it's all shades of gray. They do not work in color. So here's what I need you to understand. Black conceals. White reveals. Okay, let me say that again. Black conceals white reveals. So when you work with Mass Clare's the world is black and white. There is no green. There is no red. There is no blue. So let's make sure the mass Claire selected here. Let's go. We're gonna make sure we're in the pixel persona. We're gonna go grab a brush and I'm gonna grab. Why don't know any of these texture brushes, right? I'm just gonna grab this one. And now I'm coming over the color and black conceals saw. I'm going to paint black. I make sure my brushes selected. And now I left bracket down to eliminate or I should say, minimize my size. Now, this is the trick. If I wasn't on a mask, Clear. What do you think would happen if I painted black? It should paint black, right? Watch what happens here. Why is it painting white? It's actually masking the things that we don't want to see. So I'm gonna go ahead and shrink this down even further. I'm to turn my flow up to 100% and then I'm going to begin taking away parts of this D see what this is doing here. This is the power of masking. So it's actually making it so that the d begins to disappear. And I get this really cool decay, not Onley in the black stuff that we did down below, but yet around the entire image. Now you can crank this bad boy up and we can paint it in just like that. Now you're saying Well, the white looks like garbage right alongside the black. Stay with me. Watch this. We're just tapping on these areas and you see how I'm kind of painting half inside, half outside. Okay, watch this. Let's go ahead and re engage. That is super cool. You see what just happened? Now I'm still painting with white, and so now I can adjust my image. And this is extremely important when you do t shirt design. Because if you're working on a t shirt to get this decayed image, you're gonna want the T shirt to show through. So this the nice way with the transparent background to tell the image, I want you to focus on the transparency. Okay, so let's say I go too far. I'm just gonna go ahead and I'm gonna blot this out, right? Like, wow, that is way too much concealing. Watch this. If black conceals and white reveals, click on the circle, bring back your white and because you work non destructively and it's just a mask, you can heal it whole different ballgame. Now, let's say I took a little bit too much off that a I can heal it. I can go here and now I can combine brushes. Let's see here. I want to change to a different texture brush. I can come over here. I could go with my black, remember, black conceals. And now I can DK this even a little bit further. This is the power of a mass Claire, folks. So you need to get comfortable with Mass Claire's because they are extremely powerful in text work. All right, folks, that's a mask layer that's a little bit on how to use it. And that's the application in the decay texture. All right, let's move on to the next. 3. Basics of Adjustment layers in text: All right, gang, welcome back to text in Affinity Designer. So we've been working the last couple lessons on this DK. So now what I want to show you here is kind of the last type of layer that we're going to be using in this course. This is what is called a no adjustment layer. Now, an adjustment layer is a layer that is added to another layer as an example. Let's go ahead and select the decay. And now you can see that there are different types of layers. We're gonna be using them in the course, so I'm not gonna go through them as we go through. But I do want you to see that there were many many to choose from. So, as an example, I'm gonna go ahead right now, and I'm going to just put down a re color layer Now. Watch what happens. We're gonna take this and now we can absolutely re color are text any way you want. So if you wanted it to be a little bit mawr blue, you could make it a little more blue. You wanted to be a little more green. You wanted that to be a little more red. I'm gonna go ahead and I'm gonna break that down. And then I'm gonna de saturated a bit to kind of get it kind of grungy kind of gross. Okay, so you can do it there. You can do it through the re color layer. Now, let's say that I make the decision that I want to do this. All right? So I'm committed to making agree, and I don't want to do this anymore. Watch this. You can either turn it off. And now you see how the line goes through it. Or with its selected I can just delete it and that I can do it again. Let's go ahead and take a look at another adjustment. Let's make it from a color into black and white. Now, you see what just happened there. Now you're saying black and white. Why do I have all these color sliders? Well, what was the primary color in here? It was red, right? So you just the red. Everything that was red now becomes darker, so things that were primarily red become darker. You see that? Because it was only read the greens, the blues, nothing really. matters. So once you do this part, you could take it and you could make it black and white. And now I want to use this time to introduce you to a concept called working destructively . When you work destructively, it means you can't change your mind. All of the layers that I'm gonna show you are so you can work in destructively or non destructively. So when you're working non destructively, if you decide to change your mind from black and white, you just delete it. You don't de saturate the image, you just add a filter. So let's go ahead and add a black and white adjustment again. Let's go ahead and twinge down the red a little bit on this. And now let's go one step further. All right. So when I made the black and white adjustment now we're going for bonus points. We're gonna go to adjustments, and I'm gonna put down a levels adjustment. Now watch this. Where does the levels adjustments sit? It works in layers, so the decay is under the black and white. And now the levels adjustment is king. Watch this. Push the blacks a little bit. We pushed the whites in a little bit, and we can really get kind of a nice image by making a levels adjustment here. We decided we really wanted to go for this type of broken black and white look. So that's how this works. Now watch what happens because you need to understand the structure of the layer. Watch what happens if I move the levels adjustment down doesn't do anything because the levels adjustment is all the way down here, and there's a bunch of layers on it. Now watch what happens here. If I used the black and white adjustment and I move it down, we get right back into the red and it doesn't look right. So again, your layer structure when you deal in text is going to be crucial. And if you don't like this, go ahead and delete it. Go ahead and believe it and you're right back where you started. So that is the power of the adjustment layer is so in this lesson, what you've learned is he got mass Claire's You got adjustment layers. We already knew about the different effects. We already knew about how to add a lair. You learned a little bit about pixel airs, and now you know how to delete layers. So in reality, folks, you are all layered up and you're ready for the next step. Let's go ahead and get into an assignment and let's see what's up. 4. Free resources for fonts and pictures: All right, gang, welcome back to the course. So I thought maybe now we do a little bit Type of different lesson ID. Like to show you three areas where I go to get some really cool fonts for completely free, right? The 1st 1 here is called the dell font dot com, and duh font has them grouped into fancy fonts, foreign fonts, techno fonts. There's, ah, whole lot of different fonts that you can use so they cover how to install a font here. And when you find a font, you'd like like romantic beach, you go ahead and hit Download. Now, each one of these has different requirements, like free for personal use so you can choose to donate to the author. You see a lot of these air free for personal use. Some of them are demo. So you really want to take into consideration when you're working in these? What those licenses really mean? Right, So there's some different filters you can use. You can go through here and look at new fonts, right? You could take a look at different themes or one of my favorite things to do. I like to go to the more options. And I like to look at other public domain 100% free type fonts. That way, if I'm using them for commercial use, they're not donation where they're not share where they're not demos. And so I make sure that I am 100% in compliance. And then when you get to there, you go ahead and hit, Submit and you see that there are some really cool ones, right? 100% free. So if you get there, you download it. And again, depending on if you are on PC or on Mac, it's a different process in order to download. We have a complete course at the end of this course on how to create a font. So we're gonna walk you through all of this to show you how to make these actual files. But you see, there is no limit to the types of files that you can find here on de font. Now the same thing is true. For 1000 and one free fonts, I've been using them forever again. You can now search by new fonts, top fonts you can even look at like alien fonts. So things like alien font. If you find something that you like, there's an entire gift typeset four Star Wars fans. You can take something like this. You can download it, and again, you can go through and filter all these as well. So you can sort by most downloaded font name, newest font size, all of that kind of stuff. So 1001 free funds is an awesome sight. I've recently been getting in a font, squirrel and again bond squirrel. It's all the same type of stuff, right? So you can go through and you can check out different fonts. The same thing applies, and then it's got different styles like this one has two styles you download and then you can go through and to you some other stuff, like as an example, go to the generator, right, and then you can go through and generate your own fonts. Go here to recent download, and then it will allow you to go ahead and download. And there it is. All right, so there's a thought Now, some of the images that I was using all right, so peck cells is a great resource for pictures that maybe you want to use in your fonts. So is an example. Beach. You see beach scene that looks pretty familiar to what I just submitted earlier in one of our courses. Right. So you find a font you want Let's say I want to download this beach. Seen it. Come over here. You choose the size 12 80 by 5 12 whatever it is. And he hit download and then against the download. So they've got a ton of stuff on here, right? And now you see a linked picks. Obey picks A B is another one that I've got here. Picks. Obey also has free images and videos. So both picks obey. And ah, was that Peck sells. Both have video to get to the video. Go to free videos. I use their videos constantly in my work. So again picks. Obey is a good one. You go through with tech cells. That's a good one. You've got font squirrel. You've got 1000 and one free fonts and you've got duff on dot com. So there's a ton of free stuff. Make sure you're paying attention to the licenses and what you download, but there is no reason that you can't find the font that will adequately send your message . All right, folks. Just a little bit of resource here, putting all in one place. Let's get on to the next. 5. Text Challenge intro: all right, Gay. We'll go back to another challenge, right? We're gonna have a lot of these because at the end, I want you to be able to apply the techniques. Education without application is absolutely worthless. And the most effective way to learn is to do so. Each one of these things is going to force you to apply the techniques that I've been teaching to kind of get an idea as to how it all goes together. And the cool thing is that if you follow the course from beginning to end, you'll have a very strong portfolio of text that you can actually use to get a freelance job. So let's go ahead and take the next step. This challenge is going to be about creating an idea for urban decay. So again, the workspace should be a 1000 by 500. Any font you want remember to match the message. So I would highly recommend you find something that is going to be bold. However, if you're looking for something, maybe a little more feminine, a little more Ah, I put it swirly. You could certainly do that. And then any word, any phrase you want, right? The requirements, though you must use a pixel air. You use a mask lair, and you use an adjustment layer in order to create the design. Other than that, totally up to you. Whatever background you want to use. It's fine with me. All right, folks. So go ahead, take a shot at it. And if you're totally lost, just where to start. Go ahead, flip to the solution on this video and I'll show you how I did it. And if you wanted to follow belong, of course is always I include my work files. All right, we'll catch in the solution. 6. Text challenge solution : All right, gang. Well, how did that go? So if you skip to the end, you want to see how the sauces made. Let's go ahead and get right on it into it. I want to look at your stuff. I'm very excited to see what you guys made is part of a class. All right, let's do this. So we're gonna go ahead and we're gonna grab the text tool. We're gonna come up here, and we're going to use the term. Okay? Resist. And again, you see any word you want right now? I'm gonna go ahead. I'm gonna bring this full cycle here. I'm gonna bring this down, and now I'm gonna select all my text. We're gonna find just that right font to match the message. So I'm gonna go ahead and pick something that is already not beaten down because there are fonts that are already done like this. Um, I'm gonna go ahead and pull something that's maybe a little bit heavy. I see something like that. That's one that's already beat down. Um, we're looking for just that, right? Fought here a lot of sketchy there, so you could tell what a lot of the work that I do is because I got five or six of these here that are kind of working in the same area. All right, let's see. We'll go, and we'll just you I got an idea for that one. All right, let's go and do this one. So this kind of a backslide. All right, Cool. So let's go ahead and begin. Let's go ahead and grab the background. I'm gonna go ahead and I'm gonna grab my background. I'm gonna pull this in, and I'm going to drag it to the bottom. Now the resist text. I'm gonna go ahead and with the text selected, grab my text tool, select my text, and then I'm coming up here, and I'm gonna feel it in kind of a darker grace. You know how to fill the text. All right, so we're in good shape. They're now I'm gonna add a new pixel air, and I'm setting myself up the same way that I asked you guys to write, so I'm bringing in my pixel air. I'm bringing it to the bottom. And now what I'm gonna do here, I've messed it in. I'm coming over to the pixel there. And now what I'm gonna do, I'm gonna grab my brush coming over to my brushes. Now, I've got a lot of different texture type brushes, so I'm just gonna go ahead and grab whatever happens to be on my list here. I think I'm gonna go with this kind of a brush. Their think that's pretty good. And we're gonna go ahead and grab the color, and I'm gonna tone down that color just a little bit here. All right, let's go ahead and bring that on down into there. Oh, that looks nice. That looks good, kid. Now I'm gonna bring in some dark, so toned down this area here. Okay, Cool. So the theme is urban decay, and we're getting after it. Not white quite yet. I think that's a little bit too. Bulls groups now controls Ito. Undo that. I got a little bit too bold in there. You see, I'm just kind of tapping on the bottom side of these kind of thinking like concrete. Now we're gonna show you how to do this later. A little bit more scientifically, but for right now, that's good enough. All right, So once you kind of get this idea here. We've got that. We've got that. Now we've got to come up with a mask, layer. So again, I'm gonna begin masking coming up to this layer again. Black conceals. So I come up to my color and I make sure that I've got my black selected. And now my brushes, I'm gonna want to change up just a little bit. I'm gonna go, and I'm gonna go with this tree bark style here. I'm gonna try this. Let's see what this does. I'm gonna kind of take away some of this area here. You see how I'm just kind of topping the edges of them here? I don't wanna I don't want to do a tremendous amount of damage, but I wanted to kind of eat away some of this, but I don't want to destroy the letter. Now. Once I got that area there, let's go ahead and move back to my other texture brushes. I'm gonna grab maybe something cool. Let's do some spray paint. Yeah, spray paints. All right, We're gonna crank those down quite a bit there. Yep. There we go. Okay. I think we're pretty good there. Now. The last thing I'm gonna do, We gonna come back to my pixel air, come back to my texture brushes, and I want to add one more thing here with ease, texture, brushes. Come down to here. I'm gonna crank this thing down, come up to my color. I'm just gonna put some cracks into it here. All right, let's go and drink the hardness up a little bit on this. All right? Now, last portion here, I'm gonna go for double points here, and I'm gonna go ahead and I'm gonna throw in effect down on here and the effect I'm going to do, we're gonna go ahead and we're gonna pick an outer glow. So I'm gonna crank of the radius. Hopes that Why did that happen? Which layer was I am I want to take that off that layer. I didn't want it on that layer. I wanted on my text layer. So effect outer glow, crank up the radius. And now let's hit the CAW gig. Let's go ahead and adjust the and then drop down the capacity just a little bit. All right. Good deal. Now, last thing will do. Let's go ahead and throw an outer shadow and we're gonna crank that radius up. Now I know what you're saying. Why can't receive the outer shadow and we're going to change up the blend mode Now. I know I hadn't shown you guys had to do this yet, but you see kind of how this is working. Let's go ahead and change this. That looks really cool. All right, so that's how I would do it. That's a little bit on some of the techniques that you could apply. Let's go ahead now. I'm interested to see what you did. Go ahead and take the next step and we'll see in the next section of the course.