Design using dots - create abstract shapes and poster designs using halftone | Tom Appleton | Skillshare

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Design using dots - create abstract shapes and poster designs using halftone

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

8 Lessons (44m)
    • 1. Hello!

    • 2. Creating a halftone pattern

    • 3. Creating a 3D Halftone shape

    • 4. Thinking about layout

    • 5. Displacing the background

    • 6. Displacing the type

    • 7. Composing the type

    • 8. Finishing

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About This Class

In this video I show you how to create a halftone pattern out of an image. I then show you different things you can do with this dotted pattern, such as create 3Dimensional abstract shapes and experiment with dispersion and displacement. 

I experiment with image and type, finally creating a poster design with all the resources created within the tutorial.

Meet Your Teacher

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Tom Appleton

Graphic Designer


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1. Hello!: Hey, guys. So this food, I'm gonna talk to you about displacement again. So we're gonna be working in a photo shop in illustrator use in the displacement filter. So we're going to start by making a call background and walk in that into a three D shape like the ones on the screen now, And I'm gonna take those further we're gonna take them into illustrator. We're going to take him into Photoshopped and play with them further. Gonna make cool backgrounds were gonna make distort its high. We're gonna learn how to take the path off marae type into illustrating people. The Christmas would be designed from Croatia, so hope there's gonna be easy enough to follow. The end result will be different to mine. But this is what I make in the video. So if it looks interesting and you're interested in how to displace you, type in your image and what you can make from that, then let's gets died in this 2. Creating a halftone pattern: Okay, guys. So to get started, just want to be in for a shock. So I just go on a three part trade document at 72 resolution, I must get the exact same size document ready and illustrated just makes it easy to sort of Trump's fair things between them when it comes. That's to having the exact same size. But just for now, you just want to be in for a shock. So the first thing want to do is I want to have an image, the exact size as a document. So for this tutorial, I'm going to use the background image that I made in the previous video. So if you're interested now in just how I made this background from scratch, just from a landscape photograph that took, I just watched furious video creating personal designs from photographs or from images. And they'll explain, housemate this. So when choosing the means to do this with it doesn't matter too much because we're about to make it grayscale anyway. But it's important to have contrasts of light and dark, which you'll see better when you converted to grayscale so you don't want a really, really light image. It really has to have some darks to it and you'll see why, as we go through. So the first thing we do, we just go image mode and then grayscale, and that will rest, arise and merge all your layers together. So once you've got that, you want to save this out as a Pierce Day. So I'm going to call it something like background. So for now, you just got full side image. So it could be anything from a photograph to something that you've made Just anything doesn't matter, because this is the part now where we're going to start it. So you want to go back into image and mode Anyone of goods? A bit now. So the resolution will be whatever you said it to it the beginning, So I thought so. It is 72 about actually said it 252. Just keep the output to the same as your input for the method for this tried them all. But for this particular tutorial, gonna go halftime neck. So what half tone does is it makes an image out of little shapes, and it's best described when you've seen it so I'm going around. The frequency is how many of these little shapes there are. So the more shapes are declared the image obey. But the less half half Tony, it'll look so for this to toil. I want quite big cycles, but I still want some detail in there, so Okay, go around seven for now. Gonna keep mangle at one. Andi, I'm going to keep my lines inch. Okay, So you can say is made. It's basically just put dots. It's like a doctor exclusion layer over my entire picture. Which is exactly why one So one do now is say this out again. I just wanna say that is a P s day and really husband like background half tune. So because this documents now, a bit map document, that sort of limits what we're able to do that if you look in your adjustments, everything's great out. You can't really do a lot with it. So I'm just gonna make a new, very shell document. I'm just gonna have a three exact same size. Gonna have my resolution at the same size as I said. The output in the input on the bit map file when you made it half toe. So it's 150 for May. I noticed. Okay, then. All I want to do now is dragging my new half term background into first show. You should have something like this. Full size, any facial document. 3. Creating a 3D Halftone shape: Yes, they might just want to make sure that you call a set org Bay. So you can either set this when you are first met the document or if you forgot, like I did you just go image mode to start before then. You can set your different glimmered here. So RGB best for screen saying like a is best for print. So just got rgb and we'll get the nicest colors even though I'll probably work black and white anyway. So again, I've got this white line along the top. So I just used the arcane just shift up and just pressure once, and that seems to fix itself. So if you have a similar problem, just try that. So the next thing I want to do is I want to create something out of this. I want to make a thing a three dimensional thing. So I'm gonna start off by just making a copy that and hide in the one before. Okay, so what's your shrink it down just a little bit next year when a deer is just go free transform. So that's edit and free transform or command t on a Mac and just live in the top right corner. You want to use this little warped symbol. It's to the left of the no entry sign, so just quickly and it'll divide about your image into nine rectangles. So each of these rectangles is fully interactive, So if I click in center of one, bring it down and it will create this sort off. Awesome Zoff curvature. So then I could grab this one here and bring that through. So if you're familiar with the pen tal, you'll be familiar with Daddy of handles. So whereas when I grab a point, it will literally stretch out the pine for grab inside the square, it will move the whole square. He's a handle ill alter, the particular path that connects it to the next point. So this handle here is going at it. This line, this edge I see. So it creates this all of the facts. But what I like about using this with the half tone dogs is that you can see the areas of emphasis. You can see where it's just normal dotty, but it also bloats it, and you can make really cools off three D effects just by doing this and you can see where of lots with itself. So I'm just gonna quit this on. I'm going to just make something and I probably just speed it over a little bit, but encourages you Just have a play with this for now because it's really good fun. Also, just gonna copy out my layer just so I can do a couple versions. - Okay , so I have made quite a few. Andi, I think I like this on the best. I think this was the 1st 1 that I made. And then the second was a little bit muscle off. Looks a little bit more like a cloth. Like if you see what I mean, like held from a both. And then this is one I made as a test before I was started the video. So this one's got a really big, like dip here, which can Canada is cool. And then this is the last one I made. So I've got four here and I can do anything I want with any of them. 4. Thinking about layout: so was happy with the shapes or shape. You just want to save these as individual PSD files. So I've crop, it's mine a little bit so that I can save them and use them. And you want to make sure you have no background on and you want to be PSD is rather than PNG's, so that you can use Mrs Displacement later on. So these are my resource is that I've made so far. I've got my background, I've got my half term backgrounds and I've got the shapes I've just exploit as PSC's. So I'm just gonna drive Guan in and just see how it fails for now. So the rest the tutorial is now gonna bay post design of how we could use these shapes to make something cool. So I'm just gonna put two in and just see, So next I'm gonna do is we're gonna live Tracy's. So we're gonna turn each individual bit. So every little circle, every everything into its individual vector, This could be quite long process, because a mistress wasn't really created for this. So it's gonna go image trace at the top. But once you clicked on your image I just made a copy event. He's just one guy on his little drop down. Andi, you want to go high? Fidelity Lo would obviously be quicker on a small file size, but because the images are so detailed, you want them high to keep the crisp half tone. I feel okay, so and where That probably took quite a while. I'm sorry of everything crashed one sister and just want to expand it at the top. And now you'll see what I mean by it's made everything of Xa. So you just want to go in your white selection tool, Andi, quick off everything and then click just on new white background. It will have made a white background. So I just wanted backspace and delete that it should be left with the vector off your half turn shape. So I'm gonna make up a new outboard. And now there's a couple of different things. I want to show that you can do a with that this. Now it's a vector. So first thing is, I'm just gonna lock a version of it in the center. So I've got a copy of that, the side. So I'm going to copy this in again, but I'm gonna one group it. So this is why it's important that the other one's locked Because once this is in grouped, it's gonna be a chaos of circles everywhere, and it's gonna be difficult to select something else. So definitely keep the other one groups and locked for Now someone's gonna bring this back in. I'm gonna own group on going to align it, and I'm going to distribute it to the outboard so you can see it's gonna create cool patterns like this, and this is something I like to do a lot. But if you can see, just redo that it's separated. The black area they didn't realize was separate to all the white bits. So I'm to delete this on going to go into this version, and I'm going to get rid of the Big Black Square s. So to do this, we're going to command them. Why this land me to see the outlines so I can see here that this is the outline off the whole shape on ditz, showing me the color that's filled black. So if I delete this and go out of our lands command, why again. So it's all gone. So that's just the white areas now. But I did like it on the black, so I'm gonna dio isn't gonna make a black background. I have got this version still got black on it, but it doesn't matter much. I'm gonna look this and now I'm going to try to distribute again. So it's from drug again. Make sure it's and groups. I'm just gonna distribute it horizontally and vertically, son. I mean, I was pretty cool, but it's too big, so I'm gonna shrink it down really small. So this is a really subtle pattern. Do the same thing again and it should make the same thing spread out more with smaller dolls. Yes, So that was cool. So I'm going to keep up now on and everything is large, so I could just take the whole thing and group. So now these aren't separate. The next thing when it tries making the most of the fact that it's a vector and all I want to do is just really zoom in on this. Now that it's a vector is not gonna lose any quality. I don't know how it's gonna look. Zoom then it may look too grainy, but I want to really zoom in on the on the pattern and just see how that looks. So I'm just gonna make a rectangle the same size as my document. And then if I just let that hold shifts and select my shape, impressed command seven. Ill cooking musket. Something that was kind of cool sotto ed. It was in the clipping mask because this was fine, but just double click at Andi. Everything should go gray on. When you move it, it'll keep it to the clipping mask. So it we'll stay within the area of the document, which is cool thing to know. And then when you click on this little ira and it's not left, it will go off again. Mass Rick It twice. So was complaining without for a quick second, just complete with scale A little bit, I guess I like that. I really like these fine bits of the top. I like this shape here, so I'm just going to try this with another one I made because I think this one looks good small so that you can see the creases in it. But I think maybe the other one has more depth to it. So maybe that look better large. So what we do now is make another copy of this one. I'm gonna live. Trace this as well. So it's a contract second. So I'll be back with you in two seconds again. And so once that's finished, just a bit. Boitano, expand it. And then again, just want to go in with the white selection to leave the background. And I know from the other one that this is probably gonna have a big black fill, but like filling it. So I'm going to go in with command. Why slit the background? But I believe that. So I'm just gonna make another quick outboard a three pull it train, put my black color on it on. I'm just gonna drag this out again. And I'm going to use this one as my clip him asking a second. So it's gonna hold all copy this, Andi. Now we'll just play with scale again, like we did on the other one. Do this down. Is giving more room, been locked, my background. I just want to bring it to the front. If it's forever reason behind can. So again, So you just want you clicking musk over the top. It can always align into the outboard and make sure it's part science on useless lives. The two layers I've lost my background last, So I just wanted drug over. There's two sets him. Come on, seven. And you can start. See where you are. So now that I know exactly what's gonna look like, I'm gonna double clicking again on and working to every more. So I think for now I'm going to stick with that. I really like this shape in here. Andi known is gonna take this further in the next part. 5. Displacing the background: Okay, So I really like how this is looking so far, but I know I want some extra little detail just in these areas, so it doesn't look like such a cough. So I was gonna drag down. Hold on, just drag down to the copy of that of the shame. I'm just gonna center in the page, So gonna make sure everything's locked. And I want to bring this new version. No, show this. You're gonna make sure everything is locked on. I want to bring this new version to the top going into Senna. I just want one group and then, like we did before, just gonna displace it around the page. So I really like the contrast of that. You can you can really see where it carries on. So what happens if I make that bigger so that it reaches the end to the page? I'm just gonna make another clipping mask just to see So you just want to select everything , select your ah, this dispersed layers and just group them together. And then you want a rectangle the size of the document. Just gonna come on. Why? See the outlines that I can skit it right and then just start everything. That I was kind of cool. Just like that. Gonna such everything. And come on seven. Yeah, so it looks good, but whereabouts stretch. It looks like it's like going like that from No, I want to get away without having to structure solution to again. So that's gonna put it in the middle into the firm, try making it smaller, and then then again, Okay, so I'm not through this for now. Do you want to just quickly use more white slice until I get rid of this Gives us annoying may. So it's better. I'm just gonna use my white states until I was want to get rid of this on this. So because they're all individual vexes, you can just go in and change things until you bet. So make the most of that. Okay, So I know now that I want to put this into very sharp so you can use the white selection toe dragger. Brits, make sure I've got everything, but I don't want the background, so just make sure you background locked smile isn't everything to make sure within cited. And just copy that and I've got another a three document and first shot ready to be paste that into So it should just be white on white for now. Start up. I'm gonna make a background black, Just double click on the layer color overlay, but that is blank. Where this hasn't This is a copy and pasted all the ah pixels rather than the clipping mask which announced Fine. But you may want to just resize it when you put when you put into social, you can see that this is where I had it up to. But for now, it's OK, so I want to do. Is this one of coffee this layer out on? I want to displace it. So if you've watched my video on displacement typography, you'll be familiar with this already. I just want to go to filter distorting displace. You want your horizontal and vertical scale probably to be the same. I'm going to start with 30 and just want to keep these on stretch to fit on repeat edge pixels. So it's OK, and basically displacement allows you to. So warp your shape around another PSD file that you've got. So try this with any Pierce D fell that you have on your computer on just off. See what it does. I'm going to just do it with something that I've made in this tutorial. I'm just see what it does for now. I may not even like, so you can see just using that one. Just thought crumples that the higher you the number, the higher this initial number, the moral dio so put out by 100. And I'm gonna choose this background. But I'm gonna choose my half term background because you can't use your half tone background because it's no allies in the file because bit man, which is a shame. But you can use your walk shapes. I'll try the original background, assuming that was really cool. And I'm gonna save that as a PSD so I could put that into illustrator. So this rise in bond that I've got into the copy of their circuits, hide that do Purvis and then work into another one. So I want to try displacing again and trying different displacement mouth. So that was cool. So now I'm gonna try displacing it again. What? While it's already being displaced, I'm gonna make a copy of this and then displacing this. So I mean, it looks kind of gross, but it's also really cool. Another little chickens. India. You'll be from a with the way. Phil, by now, if you watch my other tutorials, I'm just used to square wave. Just don't big squares. So that's just another sort of cool thing you can there. We don't understand. Think I just like it the best as it is with the with the eclipse. So just like that now. 6. Displacing the type: So I've got my poster. So next thing we'll do is think about it. Some text. So before I do that, I'm just gonna look the background there. Onda. I think I may bring the transparency down a bit of the whole thing just to ah, a lot of the text to breathe a bit when I eventually do put in. But maybe no. Was just say I leave it up to now, someone's gonna put in the word displace again, and we're gonna make some cool type with this. So I think I'm gonna put an future medium going to let a space into about 3 15 hunting for the over and see what we're out for now. Within black. I mean, that was kind of cool. So if the text gonna work, I think it needs to be big. It needs to be bold on it. Needs to compete with the background. So I'm gonna do this by put into social. So I'm going to sent this text to Black. We're gonna make it really big. Andi, I'm also going to expand it, going to copy that, and then I'm gonna make you another 30 shot document a three a three. But this time I'm going to hotel is one of your image image rotation. I'm 90 degrees. That'll work into it landscape. So it's gonna pace this and bring in the velvet. So what I want to dio is just basically destroyed this text and I will make some really cool the started typography. Andi going back into that displacement idea. That's exactly what we're going to get do here, but with type. So I'm gonna keep the same sentence before and just try. We thought we made to displace that and see what it looks like. I mean, this looks awesome. Alright day. So I'm gonna make quite a few, like usual, Andi a ticket here and maybe mix them together. So I'll just stop talking for a minute. Andi, I'm just experiment. Okay? So I mean, these just all those so called this it is working quickly. So I got my tape on and just the different ways I'm displaced it. So I think I made seven. And however two minutes, so So I just quickly show them starting from the top. So it's from the 1st 1 So I got this one asserts to experiment with only putting the vehicle value in so that you got this cool sort of link between them made one using just the background image. So I mean, I really like this 1st 1 7. Composing the type: Okay, So once you get your type to get this into illustrate exactly as it is without having to life, trace anything. If you're on a Mac used wanna hold command? Andi, click on the thumbnail icon of the layer. Presumably, If you're on windows, it's control. So you see, this will select everything all the little details of your type. So you just want to be on the marquee tool, Rectangular marquis or H one. A click inside one of the letters, right? Click. And I use one to go make work path. Pretty tolerance fairly low. I'm gonna keep mine on one pixel. I mean, this is really cool, but basically it makes every single little bit a path. So then, if I Hi, Dad, hide the actual time I'm left with just these paths around the characters. So if you see here on top of the layers panel, you can go into the paths and this is your path here. This is the work path. So to get us from first up into illustrator, you want to go file explore and paths to Australia path You want to do the work, huh? Okay. When the car isn't like work paths type and then just one driving engineer Australia. It'll open up a ah, they'll open up a new tab and it will just be totally white because the the lines aren't filled in. So just sort of highlight the whole thing and you'll see it. I was considered color considered greens, so you can see it. I mean, there we go. I was going to use the white selection tool clicking here quick on the outside path. Find that over the minus front. If Pathfinder isn't nice, want to go Window, Pathfinder said was some tops. Like what? You want to come out minus friend? Guess what about. So this is really quick way of getting your exact type out of Photoshopped. It's gonna clean up a little Bentley this line here mess back and it's all of actor. It's all ready to go into you poster. So gonna cope with this. We're gonna put an end to the person document Machar's old groups group. I'm just gonna put Infanta and see what it looks like. Okay, so it looks really cool. The phantom backgrounds, the whole thing in right marriage Bring the sand. Mais you now is that I don't know whether even need the background. So maybe I should go back to one of these original ideas. So? So in a day. So I'm going to take this phone. Well, don't drag it down with the outboard tool. I want my black background, so I just use this one. Well, don't drag it across. See, that looks better. That looks more balance. So next thing won't do is I want to just make a copy of this type kind of going on group that. But I want each letter to be grouped, so I'm just gonna go through manually. Do that. It's no. These roll separate. So I'm gonna do the dispersing again. Andi, distribute them to the outboard and just see how they how? They said this is a monarch wealth. And there they know That looks really good. I was gonna undo that. I wanna make old, bigger, and then do it. I put tens, bring them all in Andi group there. So think why do want is the the thinner background just the really fine dots from earlier? Yeah, just like that. Maybe, maybe thicker. So I'm going to use the other one. - Okay , so finally getting somewhere with how I want this person to look So you can dio couple finishing touches in the last part. Andi? Yeah. 8. Finishing: Okay, So if you're still with me, this is the last part of this tutorial. I know it's been a little bit all over the place, but that just that's what happens when you just You have an idea, and you just want to keep involving involving it. I just want to show all different skills and just the way that I work. So I didn't just want toe show you how to do something really specific or I just take through my process of making something like this. So I'm just gonna go through some last finishing touches that's post up, and then we can wrap it up. So I just wanna, firstly, used the white selection tool. Andi, just clean up a little bit. So, like, this bit here, delayed. Don't need to be there. Uh, and there was another blow. A couple of bits this white, but he doesn't need to be there. The rest at the rests. Okay. It's to be really picking. I don't like this, but so it goes a little type elements, and then so you you'll be familiar if you watch cinema of videos of my little grid method is quick. Illustrate grid method. She's in rectangles. So I'm just gonna make this rectangle ground decide, be out, align it to this side, copier out, swivel it round, add it to the top, copy it down, and then go to the bomb really quick. So now I know that if I want a grid system a little grid for around the edges in that I just want to fit in here and that's it. And as long as all matches, for the sake of a poster practice that works perfectly. So I've got my little logo down there. I was gonna group all my great together. Let's bring this down. Get rid of that. For now, spinouts and little tight bets and a personal tutorial probably wrote this on all of these person videos. But it's just the way about in some quick type a person tutorial for skill share. And then in another protects box, I want by home Appleton sounds type. When it's a small iCarly saying Got time, I will turn the prestige of school share and now today's date somewhere. Just give myself to some random text things to put in anywhere. 7th January. Constantine. This is probably gonna be enough text now, so I'm just going to bring my grid back up. Make sure that's to the top. That someone I would recommend spending more time making a proper grid. But I just I know that this works so quickly and effectively for May. So I'm just gonna make this. How better car regular on that one. It white. Even though my text on this future I just know that around the edge. I want it. Why? A little bit bigger. Top corner one day, top corner. Mary's met those 12 14? Yes, sir. I mean, I really like it. I'm just gonna tweak a little bit, I think a one. All the text to be smaller because it takes too much away from the text in the center. So I'm just gonna put everything at nine. It's going to group all these together. No, I'm happy with the placement. Just bring here, make sure they're in center. Little tweaks like that. I mean, I think we're about there. I think it really like I like the way this wraps around. Not sure about this. Exact point. So what I'm gonna do about this This point here their own group these for a minute. I'm just going to select. I've got a background layer. These dots are all locked. I'm just going to select this area that I'm not too happy with. I think I just going into it manually and just delayed a few days because I'm really not keen on that point. That was so much better. Just clean that love it, Mark. Perfect. And that's the poster. So I think I'm just gonna leave it there. Andi, I hope you learned something. I know it was all over the place, but I hope the wisdom good techniques that you learn in this video things I think that I've covered before that you can use in a different way and things that haven't shown you before So let me know if it was any good So let me go If you so let me know if you learn anything but show me what you've made So what you've learned on Thanks for watching