Create abstract poster designs from images | Tom Appleton | Skillshare

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Create abstract poster designs from images

teacher avatar Tom Appleton, Graphic Designer

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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

7 Lessons (40m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Tracing the image

    • 3. Adding Colour

    • 4. Creating detail

    • 5. Further building the background

    • 6. Adding type

    • 7. Finalising

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About This Class

In this video I show you how I used a photograph that I took on my iPhone, and used it to make an abstract poster design using various techniques in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.



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Tom Appleton

Graphic Designer


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1. Introduction: Hey, guys, My name is Tom. I'm a graphic designer, and in this video, I want to talk to you about how you can manipulate your photographs to create cool poster designs so you can use your photographs as a resource to manipulate and abstracting to make cool backgrounds for your posters. So this is the photograph that I'll be using in this video to create my final poster. So this is just a photograph that I took on my iPhone. I was took it at the bottom of my garden of the sun rising. Andi. I just wanted to see what I could make out of this program. So this video is just showing my process of how I start every bit on the different Photoshopped techniques and the different illustrated techniques that I used to come to this finalized poster design. So if that's interesting to you, let's get started 2. Tracing the image: Okay, guys. So the first part of this tutorial is just deciding what it means you're going to use. So this is the photograph that I took at the end of my garden. It's just of the sunrise in the morning. I really like the different patterns in the trees are like the the text in the sky. It's got some really good darks and lights and contrasts and it's just name is that works really well for what I'm going to show in this to toil. You can really use any image you'll see as I go through s off what it means you're gonna want to use. But just pick anything for now. Anything you've got just on your laptop or any computer. Whatever, Andi, just see what it looks like. So first anyone do it, just put your image into Photoshopped full size. And then I've also made in a three document in first shop, which is where I'm gonna edit the image. So it's important when you're making a three post document that you say it's a RGB color mode said's any Resolution 300. If you think about printing it, 72 of its gonna be screen. I used to keep mine 150. Just keep it in between but rgb vehicle mode to allow you to do all the foot shop filters and effects that we're going to do in this tutorial and also to get the brightest, most vibrant colors for screen. So I'm just gonna drug my photograph across into the second document. I'm just going to resize it a little bit. Okay, I'm just gonna cover this out. So the mains off effect are one of the main effects to get started with. This particular person is in filter stylized, and it's called traced contour. So, as you can see, what this does outlines every sort of different part of the image with this fluorescent color. So I'm gonna keep my own apart, and you can choose the level, the amount a detail that it makes. So if you're just play around that you can see exactly what it does. So I want quite a lot. To be fair, I think I liked it how it was to start with. Think I'm gonna leave it on 150. Okay, so I'm gonna leave mine like this. Okay, so the next thing, I'm gonna do it. I want to displace it over itself. So if you've watched my previous failure, you'll be familiar with the idea of making a displacement map. But I'll just quickly go over again in this video. So you want to go back into your original image file and you just want to go image mode and grace go. And Maj. So what this does is it just converts the whole document to gray scale. So I'm going to save this as, ah, first shot file. I want to call it something like displacement. So it's make displacement. It has to bigger scale, and it has to be a first show file. So then, to use this, you just want to go back into you post a document age 20 go filter the store and displace. So you're gonna be given the option of horizontal and vertical scale, and this is going to be totally individual toe. How large your file sizes. What Senator Converse's. You're best off. Maybe starting at 50 on and then just playing and just seeing what it does, I think I'm going to stick with the 100 for now and they just want to choose your displacement map. You'll notice in your documents that anything isn't a grayscale. Pierce Day will be sort of grade out. If you're on a Mac at this is because it's not comparable. And that's why you have tow specifically, make a Grady a map. They just want open that, and it is probably just done something to your design. Just a little messed up a little bit. And that's just not what we want to go forth now just to lose the original crispness that waas your image so in the next part will start stylized this bit further. 3. Adding Colour: again. Soto work into this a bit further. I want to start in some color, so it's gonna make a copy of this because I really do like how this looks just as it is. So I might decide at some point to go back to it. So I just got a copy of that. And then what I want to do is just want to go into this adjustments panel appear. And if this isn't showing up, you just want to go onto window and adjustments and it should come out and you want the bottom right? One the one that's great in math. So the grated maps easiest to explain on a photograph. So that's what gonna dio. So if I just go back into this original photograph quickly, a great map all color the highlights in the shadows. Oh, your image. So this is quite similar to some of the features. Unlike an instagram, video it in a photograph it in where you get to change the color and the height of the shallows and highlights. So you can do quite a lot, of course, different less and get some cool effects you can create like a rise of effect as well. So So? So you get the idea. So the first color, because the dark areas of the image and the second color caused the highlights, the library's and then you can also add more on bail fit in somehow into into the mix. But usually you would just have you dark and you're like color. So to put that into a poster, that means it's gonna make the background of one color and all the areas western is happening the other color. So I'm gonna make my great aunt map, and I'm going to set the this color too a pink and then this to think maybe a really bright green. Maybe so, if nothing's really showing up like mine, you basically you just want to move the slider for the lighter color, and it will just make it show it more remarks. So I think I want to be around here somewhere, so happy without for now. So the next thing I do is I want to just select both of the layers, but the great map and the image. I just wanna drag him down to create a new laid copy them both So next I want to go into the second grade in math, the one I've just copied. And I want a quick reverse. I don't want to go into the grading map, and I want to move everything across my best. So now I should have the other color on top of the other color, if that makes sense. Okay, So I just wants that both of these layers that I've just copied I want to manage them together. Just right. Click of nice layers. I'm just gonna cope without because when when it's died in this particular layer. 4. Creating detail: So if you've watched any of my previous tutorials, you won't be surprised to know that next I'm gonna use the way filter. So if you want to know about the way filter in a bit more detail, you want to go on my tutorial, the typography, the abstract typography poster tutorial. And in that tutorial, I talk more about the way filter. But because I've mentioned it so many times, I'm just going to get it, do it really quickly. So you just want to go filter to start on wave, so you should get the option for a sine triangle and square. We won't square for this tutorial. You want, you know of generators to the one. You probably want your wavelength to be pretty much full. And as you move the stylus around, you'll get the feel for exactly what the way filled does we want. Well, I particularly want big squares the best you can use the run demise. It's not doing anything that this with this these signs. But the randomize is often a good idea. Just a good way of just playing around and seeing what it will do for you. But what I'm looking for when I'm making this distortion to my image is where it creates thes horizontal lines and creates a stop glitchy glitchy feel and that's created by put in the undefined areas on repeat edge pixels. Otherwise, it will create the Squire's, but it will keep the the dotty nous of the original image. So that's a personal preference. Okay, So much for me, this one like this for now. So because the images actually bigger than the canvas, you can just use your move tour to just move it and just choose a good area. So I think I just These lines are really doing it for me. I really like them. So I'm just gonna I'm gonna put some of my best. I don't think there's any particularly good areas over here. So this is what won't just like this. So if you want to work into this further, there's a couple of things you could dio you could go back into your wave. Andi, do again, change some seconds, maybe. Oh, you could duplicate the layer, and then you could use the rectangular marquee tool to select bits that you like. So if I like this But here could just like that right click inside it and then just lay via copy. And then when I hide the copied layer and move the lay that I've just selected, I've got this little portion and I could just add this wherever I like. So this is a really controlled way about in some of the detail that we've created from just the randomness. So do that again. So I want to go on the second version of my background image only use the rectangular marquee tool. I want to select an area of the image that I like. Oh, no, right click. And I want to lave I co pay. They want to hide the Blair that I've just selected out off and then move the little thing that I've just go out So you could keep doing this for ages and just really get it how you want. But you could even copy one of your little bits to say I've made a copy of this and then waive that good to stop and wave. And if you could just see in your little display or probably quite small, it all makes a little variations. Call you so little things like this and I really like that. I really like little details like that. So I'm gonna do that a couple of times. I'm just gonna speed this over quickly, and then we'll go into the next part. Okay, So you might have noticed that a lot of the colors that we originally put in have gone and it's gone back to the white and the pink and everything that was originally made when we put the initial filter on. So that's just because we're played around with the image so much that it is just pushed it off the screen. So the next thing want to do is I want to put an overall color over the entire thing. So I'm just going to use another great in math this time. I'm going to go for a black and a white. So in this all off black, I want no, a brilliant white, but a little bit like, Well, maybe a deer. Okay, so that's looking quite nice. So if you re like two colors from before the salt gun, you'll have one of the great amounts that you didn't merge, so you can literally dragged that top, drag that over everything and then any point you could put that below. And then whatever is above, it won't be part of the grading map, so that was quite cool. So another little thing to try is to try your blending mode with the grading grading map layer So this will let different cause through. And I'll do different things in the only way to know what it's gonna dio. But like a lot of always things, it's just to try it. So I just want to go on this little drop down here and just go through. So if you can see it put on dark in and some of the cause of started trying to do and it looks sort of glitchy on, I really like about, yes, there's quite a few different things. You can try that 5. Further building the background: so the four sets into Australia because that's so complex and the seven different things going on in this image, it's often worth going through what you've done and just trying to hide in different bits and seeing if maybe you have put too much in. So, for example, these blocks, This is one of made before and although I like it and I like how these shone through, I like the glitch iness of this for the tutorial. But I don't particularly like these big grow blocks, and I think it's on this layer. So that looks really cool without so. Although it may feel like putting that in and doing it all was wasted, I could actually keep the bits. And I do like so I like how these words we're going behind and it looks I can see the original image. I could blend it perhaps, but why do you think I want to do is just make a copy of this? Hide it and now what I want is to just take some of the bits out again. Same as before. I want to just keep this bet all the way down. Made about thickness. I just want to lay that by copy. And then how? I guess, layer. So I like that down the side. I like of it. Cuts off that bit of tree lying. I was really cool. So is put this back. I think I just take a little bit. You're always gonna make sure that you on the right layer when you cook in these bits out Just cause you don't want to be cooking out random bits that you don't want to be cooking out, I'm gonna take this little chunk. Copy that. Yeah, With this one, I'm just gonna waive it. So a lot of this is, Sergeant, like the wave in it feels like you have no control over it. And a lot of what I do is just seemingly random, but is using this tool of making an abstract shape and how you can compose that and tie it all together with some sort of well designed type to make it a completed poster? Yes. So they're just nice little settle bits there. I definitely don't want to overdo it. I think here these areas of gray that I really don't like. Someone's gonna get rid of those to just get rid of a bit. Gonna be on the right way and you can just clear and that will just delete the bit that you asked to delay. So finally, the last thing I want to try it is just overlay in some solid shapes and setting them to negative. So I want to do that. No, over the top. I think I'm gonna just pick around this area here making the lion and I'm just going to use the shape to which is probably going to appear is just a line and understand user, right tango. And this is just a test. This may look totally wrong. I wouldn't make a white right single. And just so it's apparent, Gray, because it's under the gradient map, I'm gonna put that on top, and I just want to say that to exclusion. So it lets a little bit through and this Gonzalves give a really cool glitchy look. So I do really like how this looks, and I think I'm going to just make a couple. So if you lay over itself, it's off negates itself, which is really cool command t to free transform. So there's definitely. Ah, threat hair of taking it two for, uh, so I'm just gonna add in some little bits, and I may not choose to even use these an end, but I just like to try for now. So you can also waive your negative shapes as well. As long as you rust arise. Thumb on. It probably will ask you to do. Anyway, if you might let White like minor, you'll have no chance to see in them in the display. So I'm just gonna guess. And I actually really like that just in the corner like that. You should do that couple more times just because attention to detail from A is really important. And I like to have a full bank of these things that I can just take in and out as I work in illustrator as well. If you want to edit the image, sir, I'm just gonna do this again. Okay, then. So if you've made this in a similar way to the way that I have, you should have all these different layers. Ah, and you can pretty much take away any bit of the image now, just even all these little squares are all on separate layers that because the way I built their sort manually. So I've got a foot shop document this saved on. Now I'm just gonna take it into Australia. Just the same size documents say May 3 and then we're gonna start to build a post on it from there. 6. Adding type: So you just want to drag in or file place? You're Photoshopped poster design into Australia. I've just got the same side document. It's just a three. So it just fits perfectly without him to resize anything. So for the rest of to toil, I'm just going to show you how you can make all these techniques that you've learned in first shop useful and how you can make a finalized design out of them and not just a cool background image. So I'm gonna make a poster and I'm gonna title it something like winter. I've got these trees the sort of vague, abstract trees that you can still just about see, especially with areas like this. It's still got the vague impression of branches, and to me it feels winter and buses. So I'm going to call it so I'm just gonna go through with what I'm gonna do to finish this personal. So if you and in design, it would be really easy to make a grid. But Australia isn't quite so easy. So instead of a grid, it's going to use rectangles. I'm just gonna guess my grade my borders and I'm just going to show you quickly how you could do that? Just using rectangles. So I'm gonna make a border off this size on. This is really crude. Why doing that? But it works for May, and it will work for just practicing. So you just hold old and drag it out and you get a copy of it. I just want to put these around the court around each edge and these on ear for good. I just used the airline, told us to allow them to the edge of the art, But so I know these where I'm gonna work up to, so that wants to get rid of them. If I put little bits of text around here, there'll be a got nice, even gap around the edge. So to start with them, just gonna start right in my title, in which is winter. I'm gonna have a little bit more text as well persists tutorial for skill share. So smaller cuts. Who are Moran? Winter person Toot off school share has put a cap in there. And then today's day 28th of December, it doesn't 16 2 nights and get ahead of myself. Okay, So, to set my type I think I'm going to try and go for a Southern New Ways style poster, so I want to give it a Swiss see look. So these way to do that is to dis use Helvetica something use. Have Esca bold. I'll use regular for the subtext. And then I think for my day I'd like regular a bleak gonna make my head a little bit bigger . Could make the whole thing white maybe said the lead in closer in perfects. Now I keep a copy of that drug this out holding old and fit it into my really crude rectangle grid so that into my corner, just drag this, then make sure it's still fit and recruited. And then I might find that still too big. I'm just gonna select all the elements of my grid roofing together and just quickly move out the way. Say, that's still too big. My head is too big on mobile. It takes should be 12 such all I want to bring the legend anymore. So I have a feeling that would be right now, but the winter may still be too big, so the winter is still too big. Really, if you're going to use. Wait, you shouldn't change the size. But I like to do anyway. No, I guess so. That for now that's parasites. So nods another element to it. I want to add the finishing touch. I may decide before the end that I want to start gray out a lot of this and make it a little bit fainter so that any white text that but over the top is gonna be clearer. But I'll cross that when I come to it. So I want to give it a purpose I want. It's have, um, a main feature. So whether I'm going to write the word winter or something, I made May Gifford big W Clay around for now. So I'm just gonna reading this. I'm just gonna take a word. Winter. It's gonna make a copy of it. I'm gonna settle lead into a minus 20 minus 50. So first thing on a day is I want to try, have in the whole word another case. Let's just put him opposed to expand out and then group that it's gonna move my grid. No news. The a line. I don't want to align it to the outboard I'm going to use the distribute option. So this is gonna sky my words just around the page and a really cool way that sometimes can just be perfect for personal design the way that w fits with the time there was really well . So for another, it's most simple design. This could work really well if I didn't have a background all. And if this was all black, all that color said that behind that could be with a tweak safe. This little Tikes was the maybe down here, but put in perfectly that's the start of a really cool poster. But not for today. Someone's going to quickly Trestman house. It's gonna mess around with these sentences a little bit quickly. Just, you know, now that standard look cool just to fight this backwards. I really like that. I could use the exclusion transparency like a did with white shapes to set it so that it we stop negative when there's ah, see like this area. So that sort of fits into it so well. But I'm just not sure. I think the best thing to do at this point be to move up with another way. She's my outboard tool and to hold all I make a copy of that. So this is version one Say and I want to try some different things, but I want to keep it. This is a reminder, so I just want slipped on my type. I'm just going to take it off now. I want to try the idea of just having my big w in the middle with the it squares. And they are No, not so No, definitely No, that doesn't work at all. So I'd like to just try again with this idea. So I'm just gonna quickly get bats where Waas was raised with a copy of everything. Expand again objects. One group. Okay, so I really like how this is looking. I wouldn't speak slightly more illegible, so I'm gonna put my eye a bit closer and, um, and further down, so I could just look my background layer quickly. I just wanna see what these look like against on the exclusion similar to the other one. So that makes them really fit in instead of standing out with being brilliant white, you see, So this is so I think profound. Just really white. So that we really do stand out. So I like where this is. A two for now, in the final part, I'm just gonna make a couple of extra tweaks and really finish off. 7. Finalising: Kevin. So I've just made another outboard and copied it across. So I've got two versions of best, and I'm just going to tweak this final version. Justo, really finalize that. So the first thing I want to do is make a rectangle the size of my art board. The easiest word. So this will be to put in the dimensions of a three, but I don't know them off the top of my head. This looks really cool. I'm just gonna make this this color, this background color just keep all consistent, so I'm just gonna put it I still molest to be great white, and I want my little text to be white, and I'm gonna add another little element of text. So I just want to see what happens if I just blend this over my image. So we get a more faded look, which isn't exactly what I want. So the next thing going to do is put this Becker to normal when 100% and I'm going to send it all the way to the back. But I'm going to change the capacity of my background image. So now that it's got the same color as the background color off the image behind it. By lowering the opacity, it should achieve what I want. So see now it's looking more like a texture, and it's no arguing with itself so much, so may put that down even further. Maybe. No, I don't want to totally lose It. May have a I think maybe 60 65 is gonna be the one easy to read even though it's hardly the most conceptual person in the world. Um, it just allows the white to pop a little bit master, You know what? To look out straight away without losing the detail. So I just want to add a couple more little text bits because I really, like sort of fine detail in posters. So I just wants a little bit of text text running down each side. Um, if you have a purpose for why you make in the poster is always a lot easier to come up with the Texas going If its client work, you've probably been supplied with type the text. Sorry to go in it. But right now, I think I'm just gonna put in my website and just run that downside I wanted regular. I don't want to put my grit back in. I made before. I want these two on because I'm working on this outboard. I can literally just group these two bits together, sent to them on. Do they go? Says whenever tapes round, allowing this to the center and then just line this up with the grid. Great tangle that I've just put in without the way. So I like this running down the side, but, I mean, it's too big for now. It has to be at least same size as this is I think was 12. 38. 12. And this is 20 at the moment. So it puts down to 12. Just check. It's still in my grid. Yeah, put it back in the center. So little details like this make a person, in my opinion, really come together. So I just want to create some more little text elements just dotted around just to show if you did have some proper writings per in what? How you could something layout. So I've got a copy of Mayor and Loga. My A. So I feel like that's gonna thing quite nicely with this poster so I'm just gonna put that in in the bottom corner. We'll make sure it fits to my crude rectangle grid. I'm just gonna fit this in that bottom corner goes in there, Zoom in. Smith. Sure, it's really tight in the Let's bring this down really nice and small. See, now I think that's too high. I feel that my grid it's too thick. So what I'm gonna dio isn't gonna bring this town's where I'd like it to bay. And then now it's make sure the top corresponds to that as well on the sides. Okay, just to keep it. Also, it's a really solid border around the edge, and it makes it look really tired if it's perfect. Okay, so I like that. But I will now lived in that Make my local bigger. It's like that. Okay, that's looking perfect. So I think you just need someone in maybe these two corners and then or about that. So I think I might put my name. I'm my email address. Just just for the sake of having tax see, maybe it don't want that. Anyway, that's better. So I'm just hopeless in a corner, and then I think I'm happy. Okay, so this is my final poster. So just is a refresher. This was the photograph we started with. Well, I started with and then I've used that. And this is how have ended. So it's amazing what you can do just with a photograph. Just any photograph that has just the detail to pick out and warp and manipulate and take certain elements of it. You can just make anything out of it. And that's definitely something I'm going to continue looking into in the future. So I really hope this video is useful. Definitely. Share what you've made. Pick out. Just choose a couple of the techniques, maybe. And just put together a nice post and share it blown will have a look at it. And I give some feedback on that. Andi. Yeah, I hope it was useful. Teoh. We'll see in the next video. Thanks for watching