Digital 80s Design: Combining Illustrator and Photoshop | James White | Skillshare

Digital 80s Design: Combining Illustrator and Photoshop

James White, Digital Artist

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16 Lessons (1h 57m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:47
    • 2. Getting Started

      1:09
    • 3. Sketching

      9:51
    • 4. Finding Reference Images

      1:52
    • 5. Building a Desert In Illustrator

      8:36
    • 6. Gradients

      6:01
    • 7. Creating Chrome Text

      18:38
    • 8. Building Your Monument

      8:41
    • 9. Porting to Photoshop

      5:37
    • 10. Creating Sand Texture Effects

      8:54
    • 11. Adding Effects to Your Text

      11:18
    • 12. Adding Effects to Your Monument

      13:47
    • 13. Making Your Sky Pop

      7:01
    • 14. Polishing Your Elements

      11:11
    • 15. Closing

      2:15
    • 16. Explore More Design Classes

      0:37

About This Class

Love everything 80’s? Learn how to craft the iconic 80’s aesthetic with Photoshop and Illustrator in this fun new class with digital artist James White!

From neon colors and lens flares to sci-fi landscapes and eerie nightscapes, the 80’s were full of fantastic imagery. Join James as he shares his process for updating the 80’s for modern times, with digital tools. Using Illustrator and Photoshop, you’ll learn how to:

  • Build and layer forms in Illustrator for complex scenes
  • Add texture and special effects in Photoshop
  • Lighting techniques for making elements pop

Plus, you’ll learn James’ signature technique: creating chrome lettering that pops off the page!

Whether you’re a seasoned designer or simply an 80’s enthusiast, you’ll learn how to harness the aesthetic you love and discover James’s unique approach to Illustrator and Photoshop, allowing you to create bright and bold work that pops off the screen.

Transcripts

1. Introduction: My name is James Waited, a digital artist from Dartmouth Nova Scotia, and founder of the Single Noise Studio. The style that I do is very, very rooted in the 1980s. So, lots of lens flares, lots of rainbows, lots of chrome text, and that sort of thing. But I try to take those cues that I grew up with, bring it into more of the modern day, and add a few more influences into the mix. To describe the aesthetic of the 1980's, it will be equal parts awesome and ridiculous the same time. Companies back then were trying to do their competitions, so they had to rely on analog special effects and wild colors to do that. It was a period in time that I hold close to my heart because it gave the impression that it never really took itself too seriously. In today's class, we're going to be building a poster that's reminiscent of old on the magazine covers from the 1980's. We'll be sketching out some ideas, moving into Adobe Illustrator to build all vector elements we'll be using. Then finally, moving into Photoshop, will be overlaying painting techniques, texture, layering effects, and faking 3-D. I'm hoping that when you finish this course, what we're going to be talking about will revamp your creative process in terms of illustration. In what we learn, you can apply to a variety of different personal projects and client projects. In order to do this course, you need a base level knowledge of Photoshop and Illustrator. See, I learned Photoshop and Illustrator in 1995, on Photoshop two. So, the processes that I'm going to be using today aren't fancy or complex. There's stuff that I learned back then that I've just been using ever since. So, I hope you have fun doing this course. I look forward to all the great work you'll be making, and let's do this. 2. Getting Started: In today's class, we're going to be making a poster that's inspired by old Omni magazine covers from the mid to late 80's. Omni was a tech magazine. They're known for their thought provoking covers that had kind of abstract ideas and airbrushing incorporated into it. So, in today's project, we're going to be kind of mimicking that style and looking at how we can bring flat vectors and Photoshop into something that looks like something from that era and mimic sort of like an airbrush quality. So, when you're doing this class, don't think that you need to make something that is specifically focused on an aesthetic from the 1980's. The process we're going to be using, you can do really any different style that you would like to do. It could be character design, it could be a landscape or it could be anything. So, don't think that you need to be pigeonholed into one specific style. So, let's jump in. The first step I always do is in the sketchbook and I can't stress enough how important it is to not so much learn how to draw but just learn how to thumbnail. Thumbnailing is a huge part of my processes and it's how I get loads of ideas down quickly. So, let's get into it. 3. Sketching: So first, I'm just going to jump in into the sketchbook here and and get things going. What I'd like to do is just rough out what elements are going to be involved in this and just trying to get a general idea of where they might land on the poster. So, just do a couple of these things. Now, and the good thing about sketching, and this is something that I always try to tell younger designers and things, is we live in a world of infinite screens and things like that and it's really easy to get distracted by social media, Facebook, and all that kind of stuff. So a sketchbook sort of allows us to get away from screens. We can take a sketchbook anywhere and to, like a bar or a local coffee shop and that kind of thing, and it just allows us to get away from the screen, to get away from the Internet. We don't know where ideas are going to come from. So it's a bit more of a pure form of roughing out ideas sort of thing. So what I'm doing here is I'm just roughing out really, really rudimentary just where text might land. This is going to be our title eventually. So we'll have the chrome text up here and this is just to get the idea of where things might land on a magazine cover. So get a title up there and I'm going to put just some horizon lines in here. I have a general idea of where we're going to be aiming with the content of this, but I'm just trying to get a general idea of how big the areas might be proportionally in that sort of thing. So I'm just going to sort of rough in just some dunes and that kind of thing, not being too precious about it and being precious about stuff is something that I had to learn to stop doing, especially when you're sketching. People don't need to know how to draw in order to know how to sketch, and I think that's a common misconception that a lot of people have. You're not expected to do amazing portrait work or anything when you're getting ideas down. It just has to be just rough, just to get the idea out of your head on the paper. With me anyway, it takes a couple of tries to sort to get it, to get loose sort of thing. I'd recommend maybe six thumbnails or something like that, just to try a number of different ideas, that kind of thing, how the dunes might work and that sort of thing. What we're going to be doing after this is seeking out some photo reference for this, anyway. So don't be too precious about where you put certain shading or highlights and that sort of thing, just to get the idea down to see like, if a different idea might pop up or anything. So I'm just playing with land forms, right now. It's nothing too extreme or whatever. We just need some different combinations of desert dunes and stuff like that in there. So once we have these laid out, now it's time for the main focus of what the cover is going to have on it. So I like the idea of having giant monuments just floating above the desert. That's what I've been drawn to over the last couple of years. So big 3D geometric forms that are just floating above this desert and again, we're kind of alluding to this magazine from the 1980s. I've had really strange esoteric ideas and that's what we're going to go from. We're going to try to make this thing look big and epic. I like that design wise, I always gravitate toward the bull's eye. The bull's eye is having one main focus in the middle of the design and everything's sort to lead your eye to that one thing. It's nothing complicated, it's symmetrical for the most part but it works. It just has one central idea that just draws the viewer in, and I always like designing for that idea. It's really easy to make things like epic scope and that sort of thing. So just use as one here as sort of the idea. This is the area that we're going to have whatever this monument is going to be yet, we'll figure that out as we go. But this is what we're going to be aiming at. So right in the middle, hovering right above the desert, the horizon line might come down but we'll get into that into the illustrator and see where these things actually land. So let's try like if it were a cube, because that would be cool if some giant cube, like a Borg ship or something like that floating above the desert. That would be pretty cool to come across and scary as hell. So it's just sketch what that might look like. Again, don't be too precious about perspective or anything like that. Just get the idea down, so we can see what it would have to look at, what it might look like. Throw some shading in there. Okay, but now let's think, all right, what's another geometric form, a pyramid. What would a pyramid look like floating above the desert? That would be pretty scary and pretty epic. So let's throw in one of those big triangles at the edge. What I try to do when I want to do geometric forms like this is trying not to make it perfectly symmetrical in terms of the user, because if you come across something, the odds of you coming across a pyramid with the front corner being perfectly straight down is rare, but it's also not very interesting to look at. So I always try to offset the front edge in the corner a little bit. So that's why you'll see I put this on a bit of a diagonal, that kind of thing. I'm a big Magic: The Gathering player and in Magic: The Gathering, you have a dice called D20s and it's like a dodecahedron. I think it's called some kind of hedron. I don't know, there's a prefix, I can't remember what it is, but I always like the shape of them. So I'm just going to try that and going to see if I can sketch this out. It's made of triangles. I'm looking to put 20 sides on this thing or anything, just going to see if I can do this correctly. So it's all triangles. I'm going to mess this up probably, but again, just enough to get the idea down. Yes, so you already messed up the sides, but that's all right. So I was throwing in some shading on some of these just to give the ideal look. Every time I think about doing an illustration, I always put the light source off to the left. I don't know why, that's just always the way that I naturally draw. So all of the light sources you'll see, even with the desert and with these monuments, how the shading is always on this side. So if the light source was over here, that was aimed down that way. It would be lighting up this side and causing shade on that side, and that's a good way to fake 3D really, really simply in sketch form and in Photoshop. So again, if the the light source is right here aiming down that way, it would shade this side of that gross hedron that I drew. The shading would get less and less as it came up to the side here, and that light source is also going to be mimicked when we get into this chrome text up here. So if we had a light source that was here aiming down that way, we'll have a little bit more shading on the side here and we'll get into that when we get into the illustrator. Again, let's throw in some laser lines, that kind of thing. If the laser or let's say the laser lines were like hitting here but cutting through, so it's actually coming out the back of that guy, like what would that look like sort of thing. So normally, once I have some pencils down, I'll grab my markers and my inks and stuff and just throw down some really basic outlines, just to give a better rendition of what I'm trying to achieve or maybe correct a couple of mistakes along the way. So I'm just going to do that. So after we got these thumbnails kind of roughed out, so I can get a general idea of all the different shapes and how they land and that sort of thing. Well, I really like this pyramid idea and I like the split pyramid. I think this one here is the one is crummy as I drew that hedron design. This is the one that we're going to go with because I think in terms of where the vectors are going to land and what the shading and highlights and that sort of thing, it's going to be the most interesting thing to land in the middle of a composition. I like having the idea of the laser, it's kind of like hitting one side of the object and sort of giving the impression that it's coming out the backside which would be really cool. So it's like these things are cutting directly through it. So we're going to proceed with this one here with this hedron things. So the first thing we need to do is seek out some reference, illustration, and photography because we've got to figure out how are dunes are going to look and what that hedron, where those shapes are actually going to land. 4. Finding Reference Images: It's another way when we're done with our sketching, we kind of know the direction we're going to be going in. What we need now is some reference photography and imagery. What we're going to do is just use Google, it's a G-O-O-G-L-E.com and they have a nice image search that's great for our reference. So, we're just going to use that. So, one of the major elements is the desert, the dunes. So, we've got to figure out how sand works and how light hits a dune and where the shadows land and that sort of thing. So, if we do a simple Google image search on desert, click over the images and we'll look at what some of these dunes look like. So, this really isn't anything complicated. The desert essentially is only going to be a highlight color and a shadow color that have gradients in them. So, it's nothing complicated, it's just really, really simple shape. We just need to know how sand kind of flows to make it look as natural as possible. The other bit of imagery that we need is that hedron shape that we're going to have floating above the desert. So, if we pop over to website 3dwarehouse.sketchup.com, it's a great 3D database that has a lot of models that are available for web view, which comes in really handy when you want to illustrate something and don't have a direct reference at the right angle, which happens all the time. How often are we looking for a stock photo and we can't find the right angle of it? Well, this 3D website actually works really well. So, if we do a search on hedron, dodecahedron, that kind of thing, we'll see some shapes that are available for web view, so we pop them open, go full screen, we can move the shape around, get the right highlights where they're supposed to land and just the right proper angle, and then easy enough take a screen shot. That's what we're going to use for our reference when we start illustrating this thing. 5. Building a Desert In Illustrator: So, now that we're done our sketching and done finding our reference imagery, now let's jump into Illustrator and start building some vectors. So, we open up a new canvas and I just made this 18 inches by 24 inches. So, typical poster size. So we're going to start building the desert first. So what I'm going to do, is actually copy this image just so we get the tones right and paste this into illustrator right next to the canvas. And I don't need this for direct visual reference, I just need it to sample some colors for the sand we're going to be building, and it'll adjust as we go. So, I'm just going to do this new layer. call that Ref, for reference and make a layer above it and just label that Desert. All right, we're going to start building some shapes and the key to building a desert is to try to make it look as natural as possible, so it just has some nice flows and that sort of thing. Nothing overly complicated, because the more complicated stuff is going to wait until Photoshop when we start adding some dune texture and that kind of thing. So all we need to worry about now is just making the curves look good and making the gradients look good that we use. So, what I'm going to do is I'm just going to start putting in some curves using the pen tool. Just how I think some dunes might flow. So we're going to put one down here at the bottom. I have my smart guides or whatever they're called turned on. Now this is a little bit more orange that we're going to end up with, we'll change it to the browns or the beiges when we get a little bit further into it. But we just want to make sure our curves look okay before moving forward. So, if this here was the top of the dune, let's do a little piece right down here like just to add a little bit of dimension to this. Get the eyedropper tool and sample some of that shading and then go command shift and the left bracket, to throw that into the background. So it's behind it now, so you can see we've got a little bit of a dune idea going here. I'm looking at- I'm going to be typically looking at this as the lighting sort of hitting from maybe kind of overtop. We got some sun that's like right over the top of the monument, so this would be the top of the dune and we have a little little piece in behind. So we need another dune kind of going back in here. So we're going to just pick a random place and then start putting in some curves and maybe have it go in behind this dude down here. Then just go right down to the bottom and close up that shape. Hit command shift back bracket to throw it in the background and then sample another color. Now you can see these are kind of bleeding together here. We're going to add some gradients in a little bit. But what we're going to do now is just to try to rough these guys in here. So I'm going to change this actually to be more of a brown color, more sandy, a little bit more or little bit less Cyan to make it Brown, a little bit more yellow. There we go. It's more of a sand color now. This guy in the back let's pick him, I drop that color, we just did. Let's make it a little bit lighter. So slide the magenta more toward yellow and slide the yellow to make a bit less. So we have it more of a beige color now. Again, we'll fix these colors later on as we go. The sky is looking a bit too hilly for my taste. Let's just grab it and scale down a little bit. Just to put it back there. All right. So, if we have these, we're going to need like probably a dune going right back in here. So, again, keeping the shape rough, putting the curves there, let's do a peak here. We'll get a little bit better with these as we go. Make that swoop down into here and then fill up the shape. Now this is going to land in behind those other guys, so we'll hit command shift left bracket throw them into the back and then just see what we have here make the color a little bit later. Shove this guy over the canvas right there and shrink him down a little bit. So those are general shapes. Well actually, you know, I'm going to put another guy back here. So, let's select these points right here. Show these off to the left. Then let's put in another hill back here, just to make it a bit more interesting. Send him to the back and then adjust that to make it later to see we have. Okay, so these Browns aren't quite right, but we're getting to a place where it looks like okay, there could be some deserts in here. So, now what we're going to do is add a bit of dimension to these dunes because, well, they're looking pretty flattened here and we want to get something a little bit more interesting up in here. So, what I typically do is like sometimes you have to fake your shadows a little bit. So, what I'm going to do is add a shadow to this side, kind of goes down in here. Right there. It's going to kind of come up to this little peak here and it's got a look again natural so put a curve there, and again, not being too precious about it and just put him there like that. So this is going to eventually be your shadow. Let's sample this. Now this is something I do a lot in Illustrator and it's making sure your shapes land in the proper order. So if I select that shadow that I just made, command X to cut them out. Select that dune and then hit command F, and that plunks that shadow right in front of the dune and that it's going to be on. This is another one now, Pathfinder is one of my most favorite tools in Illustrator and again, this is going to be neatened up as we go in and kind of square things up. But the Pathfinder is great for cropping shadow out of a preexisting shape. So I'm going to select that dune that's in behind and I'm going to command C to copy it, and then command F to plunk the same shape right on top of that. So I'm going to use him to crop the shadow. So keeping that guy selected that we just pasted, hitting shift selecting that shadow, then, if you go over to your Pathfinder, you'll see this button right there, the intersect that's a third button in and if you're having both of these selected, hit that guy, you'll see it'll crop out that shadow and that's kind of like, it's a rudimentary tool. Again I'm a Luddite, I learned all this stuff in the 90s, but the Pathfinder has become my most used the pilot in Illustrator, it's really, really handy for working with vectors really quickly. So this isn't looking to right, and I want to make sure I can see what I'm doing, so I'm going to keep that shadow of selected, and I drop that back color and then just make him a little bit more transparent, so I can see what I'm, I'll make it a little bit darker, so I can see what I'm working on. It's not that we got that shadow in, I'm going to put a little bit of a shadow on this top dune race here. So it's starting to look a little bit more like dunes, and that's a good thing. That's a good thing. So, now that we've gotten these general shapes built, so what we need to do is go in and fix our curves to make sure everything flows the right way, and we may have to do a little bit more intersecting with the Pathfinder to make sure things line up properly. But basically we need these things to flow like it was made by nature, and not by a computer, and certainly not by a Canadian dummy. 6. Gradients: So, after we give our desert a round of point tweaking to make sure all those curves look good and it looks as natural as we can, it's time to start looking at gradients. So to do that, we're going to open up our gradient tool, one of my favorite tools an Illustrator. So, let's work on this dune right here in the front, so we zoom in. So, this is the guy. Now, typically what we're going to do is have the gradient go from darker in this area right over here to lighter up near at right hand side. So, right now it doesn't look too sandy, it doesn't look very natural, so I'm going to take a little bit of a color into that by moving some of these sliders to the left, up here in the CMYK, CMYK palette, I'm just trying to get that looking a little bit more sandy, like a brownie thing. There we go. So, let's say it's right about here. So, we're going to grab that color and bring it down to the gradient tool, gradient palette, and plunk it right there. Grab our gradient tool over here from the tool panel and we're just going to make sure that that gradient goes from the lower left to the upper right. Let's put it right about there for now. Now, this is still black on this sand and that's not what we want. We want a lighter version of the color that we just made. So, let's grab that color into the CMYK palette again and drag it down to the gradient palette, and plunk it right there in the end, so now we have that same color up in this area. Let's double click on that and adjust these guys. We want to take these sliders for the CM and Y, and drag them toward the left, and then we'll make that color a bit lighter on that side, but the key, and you've got kind of freewheel this a little bit is to try to get that color looking like a lighter version of that one, even though we're faking it a little bit. So if we got it there, and you're going to have to mess with this a little bit as you'll see me doing, so grab the gradient tool again, make it going up there like that. So, that's about the area that we want. So you'll see it being a little bit darker down here at the left and a little bit lighter up here in the right. So if we select the dune right in behind it, hit the eyedropper tool, and we're going to apply that same gradient to this guy right here. Grab the gradient tool. We want it going from bottom to top this time because we want the top of that dune to be lighter than the bottom, so do that. Again, you got to mess with it a couple of times to make sure it lands right. So, put it there. So, it looks a little bit more like these two dunes are working together, but this edge is now not showing up. See how the edge of this dune bleeds into that backbone? So, if we select that dune in the front, double click on that darker color, and just slide the black a little bit more to the right and that'll add a little bit of differentiation between those dunes, so we'll see that edge now. That's looking okay. So, we can select that dune in behind that one, the next one that looks a little bit more grey. Hit the eyedropper tool again and select that same gradient that we just applied to this guy. So, you can see the dunes coming together now, but we need to have no dimension in these shaded areas, so we're going to need a little bit more variety. So let's select this one right up here at the front, and what we're going to do is hit the eyedropper tool again, and just take this one for now. Eyedrop on the light brown dune color. What we're going to do, we need it dark in here in this inner curve because the light is going to have a problem getting in there, and then have it lighter around this edge right here. So, it needs to be the opposite of what it is right now. So, let's grab the gradient tool and drag it out there like that. Again, not being too precious about it, we just need to give the impression that it's a shaded area. All right. So now, what we need if we're going to double click on the darker, select the guy. Double click on the darker color, and we need that to be more of a brown. So, we're going to grab that black slider and start sliding it a little bit to the left. Now, the color is being thrown off. We need a little bit more red in there so it matches up the sand, so let's grab the magenta slider and see what that looks like. That's getting a little bit more to what we need, and slide the black a little bit more to give it a bit more, the more heaviness there. So, that dark color is relatively close, but now the light color isn't quite right. So, we're going to need a bit more yellow in here and a bit more darkness really, so let's slide the black value over to the right. Add a little bit of yellow and a little bit of magenta. All right. That's getting a little bit closer to what we need, a bit more yellow. There we go. That's getting somewhere. That's getting somewhere. So, let's grab our gradient tool again and then start messing around. This is over half the job probably of trying to get these deserts right, is just messing around with gradients just what we're faking 3D essentially. We're faking dimension in something that's typically a flat object. All right. So that's starting to look a little bit more like a desert. 7. Creating Chrome Text: Right. So, now that we've got our desert built, what we're going to be focusing on is the text, the chrome logo that's going to be at the top of the magazine cover. So, I don't want to use the word Omni, so I named our magazine Beta. For no real reason other than I like the word. So, I'm not going to get into too much type editing or anything like that because it's not that interesting and I want to get straight to the chrome. So, what I did was I just took Eurosteel, it's one of my favorite fonts and I just knocked a couple of choice areas out of the text. So. It looks like this, I rounded the corners a little bit but that's something that's not too advanced and you can edit whatever type you want to get this base level for the chrome. So, this is what we're going to start, it's with these rudimentary shapes and I just outlined the font so we have these all as separate items. So, to get chrome. Chrome is really just messing with a lot of gradients until eventually it looks the way that you want. So, we're going to be looking at different dark to light blue gradients and then adding a couple of extra elements and outlines and that kind of thing. So, the first thing would I normally do is I called this here the back plate. So, the first thing we got to do is add a dark blue to a light blue gradient to this type. So, let's select it all and just go up to our swatches and grab a pretty generic blue and just plunk it down into the gradient tool, gradient pallet, and slide that all the way to the right. So, grab a gradient tool from the tool panel and just make sure we're going from dark to light and put the light point at about the midway down from the top of the text. So, we need that bottom part to have a little bit of a blue. So, again select all the type and just grab a lighter blue color. Drag down the gradient, double click on it and just make it light. We're going to get real real light and drag the magenta over to the left. So, looking at something about like that. So, we have that nice gradient in there. I'm just going to double click on that dark one and just bring a little bit of the color. I'm going to drag the magenta and the cyan. Here we go. A little to the left then drag that black to the right a little bit. There we go. So, that gives us a good jump point to getting to adding ingredients to this thing. Now, typically what I do is there's two different levels to gradient work. This is the back plate and we need a bottom plate that only goes halfway up the text. So, in order to get that, we need separate shapes basically. So, let's select all of our type. Going to go command C to copy then command F to paste all those shapes right on top of the preexisting shapes. Now, to make it a compound path, because we're going to crop that entire thing. We're going to hit command eight. That makes it all a compound path. So, it's essentially one shape right now. So, let's go over and grab our rectangle tool. We're going to draw a rectangle over that. The top portion of those letters so it's right about there. I'll change it to a different colors so you can see what I'm doing. So, there's that shape. Now, let's click on our letters that are already a compound path that we already made. Select that rectangle and then we're going to go over to our pathfinder and we're going to click the minus front button. It's the second button in. So, if we clicked that it will chop the top part off the text and we're just left with that bottom portion. So, we're going to change the gradient on this to give it a different color than the top and I want it to be a little bit more blue. We desaturated the back plate but I want this to be a little bit more blue. Let's go up to our swatches. We're going to grab a blue and drop it into the dark one and just grab the same blue and drop it into the light portion of that gradient. So, you can see the difference in there now. So, we're going to grab the dark one. Just the one on the far right, let's double click on that and make it darker. Here we go and let's slide that magenta over to the right a little bit and add a little bit of green to it. Maybe. I don't know. So, we're going to be adjusting these colors as we go because it's not an exact science making stuff chrome. I wish it was but it's not. So, that's darker. Now, let's click on the light version and let's just slide the cyan a little bit to the left. All right, there we go. So, it's not perfect but it's coming along. It's coming along. So, now what we're going to do is we're going to add an edge around the outside of this. So, to add an edge what we're going to do is select all of the back plate. Let's group that. Command G. Let's group that because we're going to be selecting that a couple of times. We're going to go command C to copy it, command F to paste it in-place. Then we're going to go command shift and the right bracket to bring all of those to the front. So, now we're covering up all the plates and let's take that existing gradient we have on those letters and just switch it to the outline. The stroke. So, it's there right now and let's put that stroke level up to, let's try four. Okay, so now we got a stroke around there that is a gradient which is pretty cool. So, I want the stroke to be on the inside of that shape not at the center. So, we open up our stroke pallet and we make it align stroke to inside in the align stroke section. We're just going to do that just so it lands inside that back plate and let's hit the round join button for the corner. Just to make those corner rounded so there's nothing jarring in there. So, that's looking okay. Let's click on those shapes again and select our stroke and go over to our gradient and you'll see this little 90 degree thing. Let's switch that over to minus 90 because we kind of want the light portion of that gradient to be at the top. So, we just switched that. So, it's going from light to dark going down the stroke. So, there we go and that adds a little bit of a rudimentary stroke around it. If you wanted to, you can go in and keep all of it. Like don't add the rounded corners and you can add custom edges in there if you want the top to be a certain color and that sort of thing. But we're going to leave them as strokes right now because that's essentially what we it's the effects that we need. So, what we're going to do now is we're going to add a secondary stroke underneath the existing stroke that we just made. So, we're going to select all of those strokes. We're going to go command C for copy and then command B to paste it in behind the stroke that we just made. So, now we have two sets of strokes going on right now and we're going to adjust it so it goes to six point. So we're going to see a little bit of an edge of it in the inside of that stroke that we made prior. So, it's in there right now but we can't see it. So, we need to go down to our gradient pallet and we're going to change that minus 90 to 90. So, that changes the direction of the gradient. So, now we can see that edge kind of showing up in there in behind the stroke that we made previously. Now, the top is kind of bleeding in there. So, what we're going to do is we have the strokes selected. We're going to adjust the dark portion of that gradient to be darker. There we go. So, then it starts showing up. Now it's starting to look cool. So, just to in on one of these letters. There you can see both of these strokes working with one another. So, all of these shapes are in the exact same place. But there is a back plate, there's a top most stroke that has this light gradient. Then we have the stroke that's in behind it but it's wider so it's just peeking out behind that preexisting stroke. Just adds a little bit more interest to that edge going, around a little bit more definition. Okay, so now that we have our back plate, our bottom plate and our two strokes in place, all with gradients that look generally okay, we're going to go back and edit those probably in a little bit. What we need to do now is add a little bit of interest to where these two gradients join up, where these two shapes joined up. So, we have this top plate and the bottom plate. So, what we need to do is add a little bit of dark area in the middle of that and that'll really bring out the chrome effect. So, what we do is just zoom in. I'm going to grab the pen tool and there's no exact science to this either. So, what we need to start doing. Now, this dark bit is going to be in behind these two strokes. So, kind of use the strokes to your advantage knowing that they're going to be covered up. So, we just go in and start adding a little bit of curvature to make the shapes look a little bit more natural and we've got a kind of you know this reflection. This chrome reflection has to kind of abide by the shape of the letter at the same time. So, kind of going up on this B here. Now, it's going to be cropped so we can kind of freewheel this a little bit. Can come down to the bottom and bring that curve going up the edge of that B. Again, you have to kind of feel it out with these curves and just kind of make them feel sort of natural but still abiding by the shape of the letter and it kind of goes down at the edge because we want to make it look like the letter has a bit of a bend to it or something on the side there. So, we you get the shape in there, we can select, zoom out, so there's our shape. Let's make it darker so we can just see what we're dealing with here. All right. There it is. So, now if we select that backplate. Let's ungroup these because we're going to do each one individually. So, I'll select that backplate. Go command C, command F to paste it in the exact same place. Hold down shift. Select that dark area and then we're going to hit the favorite button intersect on the Pathfinder tool and that'll crop it to that shape. Then we're going to go command X to get it out of there. Select the bottom plate that's in behind these two strokes and go command F. So, that'll plunk that dark shape right in behind these two strokes. So, we didn't have to worry too much about the edge of these because it's hidden so you can see how messy it is back there and the points don't really line up with the edge. But it doesn't matter because it's hidden by the two strokes which is great. So, now if you zoom out it's starting to look a little bit like chrome, right? It's starting to get there. Now, this is a little bit too dark so typically what I do is I'll select that black bit over two swatches and pick something that looks a little bit more natural so a little tint of blue or purple or something like that. So, it looks sort of like this. Navy blue or what have you. So, it's starting to look a little bit better in there. So, let's go over and do the same thing for the E. We're going do the same process here just making these rudimentary shapes, cropping, and placing right below those strokes. Okay. So, once we have our sort of mid black bits in there, and they're starting to look okay, we're going to adjust these gradients in behind. So, we add a little bit more variation to these darker bits by adding a little tails onto some of the reflections, and I can do that by doing just a little shape that, again, abides by the shape of the letter. Which just adds a little thin reflective bit in there like that. So, we're going to Command-X, select that bottom plate and go Command-F to plunk it right in behind these strokes, and what that does is adds just a little bit of variation because we're trying to mimic chrome text from the '80s and these guys did whatever was possible to try to mimic like chrome or something reflecting and it's not an exact science. So, we don't want things looking too pre-determined, I suppose. So, adding these little tails allows us to add a little bit of variation in what's going on and it just makes it feel a little bit more hand done, I suppose. So, we're going to do that in a couple of other portions of that, maybe on this T. The same thing here. Once we have our little tail things in there, what we need to do is straighten up like this curve doesn't look natural anymore because kind of goes up and hits too much for hard corners. So, what we need to do is adjust our curves a little bit and move this one up, make this sweep look a little bit more natural. Now, we're going to group these together using the Pathfinder tools. So, I am going to select that dark bit in this dark bit. We're going to hit this button on Pathfinder, Unite to make them all in shape. Then, hold down our Pen tool and select the Anchor Point tool. Really handy, and we're going to make this guy, actually we're not even going to do that. Let's go back over and hit the Delete Anchor Point tool. Yeah, let's just get rid of that guy. Boom, he's gone. Then, hit the Direct Select tool, in that way we can get a natural shape going there with that curve. So, it looks a bit more natural and let me grab this guy, fix that curve, there we go. Those are looking a bit better now. There we go. Okay, we're getting somewhere. We're going to do that same process with these shapes over here. Unite, delete, direct selection, pull that curve up, there we go, and with this guy, select, select, unite, delete, direct select, pull that curve up. There we go. All right. So, now we're starting to get somewhere. We looking like those chrome letters are starting to come along. So, as I anticipated, we're going to have to adjust these gradients because now they're bugging me. So, let's select those back plates. Grab the gradient tool and strike those down. See, always the wrong way first. There we go. I want that light color to be even lighter, so we're going to double click on that light one and slide these over to make them even lighter than they were. There we go, a bit better. So, now we're going to add a little bit of 3D to pop these letters up. So, let's select all of these back plates. Make sure we've got all the shapes including the bottom part of that E, T, and A. Then, we're going to go Command-C to copy, Command-B to place them behind. Then we're going to nudge those down so they peek out from behind those letters like that. Just so we can see them a bit better, let's make them all black. So, now they're actual 3D letters. That's pretty cool. At least we're faking it. I don't know how to do real 3D, so this is my way of faking 3D letters. All right. So, sometimes when you do this thing about nudging, curves don't line up on the side, of course, so you have to fake that too. So, let's grab a Rectangle tool. This is real, real simple stuff. Let's put him right there. Swing over to the corner. Let's do another rectangle right there. Line it up as best we can. Then, select that rectangle, select the back, the black portion there, select this rectangle, and let's unite them all. Then, it Command-Shift-Left to send them to the back. So, now we've got our 3D shapes, but I'm not satisfied with the corner or betea the colors, so let's select all those background shapes and what we're going to do is we're going to add a little bit of gradient onto that. Put a little bit of shine on to them. It's real simple. We're going to go, let's to the swatches and let's pick a pink because it ain't no secret that I'm a fan of hot pink. Let's grab an orange and put that right next to it. Now, let's grab this like dark purpley color and stick that on both ends to see what it looks like. Okay, we're getting there. I think we need a little of that lighter purple on this end. Yeah, making it look a bit better. Now let's squeeze that pink and that orange together to make it more limited in the space it's in. There we go. Now, we're getting somewhere. Slide them more toward the left. Okay, there we go. Maybe not squeeze them too much. Let's pull this pink shine. There we go. It's getting a little bit better. Okay. So, now, it looks like we're having some chrome text. Some chrome text action here. That's not so bad. 8. Building Your Monument: Okay. So the next and the final bit of our vectors is going to be to build that big hedron shape with the lasers coming out of it. So, what we did earlier was take a screen grab from the 3D site. So I'm just going to bring that in. I'm going to place our hedron shape, and this is what we're going to be mimicking, which is pretty simple. So I can go over to our layers. That's on the reference layer, new layer, and let's call it hedron. All right. I'm going to make a new layer and I'm just going to plunk in a background color, just so we can see what we're dealing with here, 18 by 24, and bring that in like so. Bring that gradient down to the bottom. Get it away from the text a little bit. All right. Now, we're looking like something. That's something we can work with. All right, so this hedron. Let's get this thing built. This is real simple, this bit. So, we got our hedron shape and we got it at the angle we want. So we're just going to take the pen tool, and we're just going to start mapping in these faces, and they're all just triangles, real simple. Make sure that you have your smart guides on because that makes this stuff really easy to line up those corners of one another. Here we go. Get those anchor points right in their. Okay. So now we have all the basic shapes of the hedron built and there are gradients, and looking crazy, so let's just take that shape and just move it over to our canvas over here. All right. Well, that looks wacky. So, what we're going to do now, the thing about building these shapes is that we're going to be faking three dimensions essentially with this thing. So, what we need to keep in mind is we have a light source, and typically like I think with the desert down below, I said that the light was going to be above the hedron. So, we're going to work with flat colors in here. We're not going to get gradient heavy with these. Let's just start putting in where we think that light might be hitting with some light blues. Then, we'll put in some mid-toned blues. Okay, so we've got like this hedron shape built. Okay, so once we have this really simple, just flat version of the hedron built, what I want to do is as per the sketch we made earlier, putting these lasers that cut through the middle of the shape, and to do that, we're going to be using whatever that's called, the Blend Tool. So, what we do is we grab the Rectangle Tool and it's going to bleed off both edges. So we're just going to make it right about like that, just so we can see it. Let's make it bright pink. There we go. So we've got a pink rectangle and we're going to hold down command option shift. We're going to click on that. Hold down command option shift and move that guide down right about here maybe, so that's going to copy that shape. Then we're going to use the Blend Tool. So double click it. Pop it open. We're going to move to specified steps. Click that and let's keep it at eight for now. Go okay. So now, we have the tool. We're going to click on that top rectangle. Click on the bottom rectangle. All right. Make sure we hit them in the right place and it puts in eight steps in between. So that's pretty cool, but it looks a little bit too spacey for my taste. So, keeping those selected, double click on the the Blend Tool again, and let's up those steps to nine. Okay, that's getting there. We'll double click on that again. Let's try 10. All right. That's looking a little bit cooler. All right. So now that we've got all of our laser lines in there. You could drop these down a little bit. All right. So, keeping those guys selected, let's go up to Object, Expand. I don't know what any of these things. I never touched any of these check boxes so just leave them both checked, I don't know, and just hit okay, and that breaks everything apart. So, that gets rid of our specified steps. So they're all individual shapes now. That's what we want. So now we need a little bit more perspective on these guys. So, let's hold down that thumbtack, the Puppet Wrap Tool, and click Free Transform Tool. So it would give us these white dots all over the place. So, we're going to select this middle bit here while holding down command option shift, and slide that point up like that. So, we've got a little bit more of a slant now. That's cool, and we want these lasers going from the foreground right here to the background over here. So we're going to have to add some perspective on these guys. So, what we're going to do is select that contour tool, command option shift, and then move that, and it will add some perspective to those lines. Do the same at this point up here to make that look like it's coming more at us. Slide those down. All right. So we're getting some more now. These guys look like they're just about in the right proportions. Zoom out, so looking like. Okay. So what we need though is we need these guys stopping right in the middle of that hedron and we need them to continue in the back. So what we're going to do is select all of them. I'm going to go command C for copy, command F to copy in the front. Now, so we have the front most shapes selected. Keeping them selected, hit command 8 to make them a compound path. Now, when we select the Rectangle Tool and we're going to crop out this area of those front most shapes, so that area is going to be knocked out. So, keeping that guy selected, we'll select our lines. Click the minus front in the pathfinder. That gets rid of them. So now, there's just these guys selected. Now, we're going to grab these laser lines and go command shift and left bracket to send them to the back, and our dudes here disappeared on us. Okay, that's fine. Just select them. They just took the color out of it. Sometimes compound path does that, just strips the color. There we go. So now it looks like the lasers are going directly through the object. So let's select these background lasers. Let's just make them bright blue. All right. So that's looking a little bit better. The blue is bleeding right at the side of that hexagon. So let's slide the cyan slider to the left a little bit to make them a little bit brighter. There we go. Okay. So now it looks like we're getting somewhere with our overall design. So once you have all of these vectors built, I think it's time to port all of these into Photoshop and then we can start getting into the digital paint, effects, and texture phase. So, I'm going to do some final tweaking to make sure all of my curves are properly placed and all of my points look okay, and make sure there's no shapes that are sticking out in the way that they shouldn't be, and everybody should do this final step of polish before we move into Photoshop, because once we get into Photoshop, we're going to be painting over top of these vectors and it's a lot easier to change the vectors in this stage than it will be later on. So, I'm going to do some edits here and then we'll go over to Photoshop and start adding our textures and effects, and phony 3D shading. 9. Porting to Photoshop: So, now, that we have everything built in Illustrator, we're going to be porting things over to Photoshop individually based on the different shapes that we're going to be adding texture too. So, I'll just flip over to Photoshop here, and you can see I opened up a canvas that's the same size as the canvas in Illustrator. The reason we need it the same size is because when we're copying and pasting stuff, we want it pasted at the exact same size as what we have in Illustrator across the board. Because you don't want to have to start messing with shapes, and stuff like that and scales, and sort of thing, it's going to become a nightmare. So, what we're going to do, is go over to Illustrator. The first thing we built was the desert. So, we're going to bring the desert over first. So, let's zoom in, and we're going to bring these dunes in dune by dune. So, make sure it's ungrouped. So, we're going to select these two shapes. This is the first dune, we're going to Command-Cs. We're going to copy that, and then go over to Photoshop, we're going to set up individual folders for each of the main elements. So, desert, and let's just Command-V. Always click Smart Object when going into Photoshop because that way you can edit these later on if you need to. Hopefully, if we did our job right, we won't need to edit any of the points. Just hit Return to put it in place, and that's our first dune. Since we designed it to be at the bottom of the canvas, it'll snap into place. There we go, and make sure that dune is in the desert folder. Let's call it dune1. So, there we have a desert. So, I'm just going to name these guys. Always get into the habit of naming your layers because if you ever need to pass this off to another designer to fix, they will not hate you for not having your letters named. There we go. So, there's a desert. So, now we're going to start bringing in our logo, and all of its Chrome masterfulness. Not a word James. All right. Let's go up to our Chrome logo. There it is. So, the first thing we're going to bring in is that backplate. So, we are going to select all of those back shapes, and make sure you got them all, and the T, and A, and go copy, paste. Now, I'm going to leave this exactly where it is right now. So, all of the shapes, we'll paste right into the same area. Because we are going to need to shift around a tiny bit when we get in here. So, now let's bring in these darker bits. Select all those, copy, paste, there they are. So, you can see they paste in to the wrong area. So, if we zoom in, now these edges are going to be covered up by the outline of the strokes that we need anyway. So, we can just take these, you could see where the edges are, and if we did our job right, they snap into place. You saw that pink line come up there. So, you can see the edge of the B. It's not quite right. So, we could just use the arrow tools to nudge him down, so he lines up. You will be able to see that little-antialiased edge around there and use that as a guide. So, he's in place there right now, and we're going to use those strokes to cover that up. Hopefully, if we did our job right. So, it looks a bit messy now, but that'll be alright. Let's go back over to Illustrator. I'm going to select that bottom plate now. Now, that everything is in place, with that logo folder selected, hold down the Shift to just drag this right to the top. Use arrow keys to nudge it up there a little bit, and just make sure that the spacing around the entire letters is always consistent, there we go. Okay. BETA. So, now we got the logo in place, we got the desert in place. Now, what we need is our hedron dude. So, I guess we should make a background layer because we're going to have some stuff going on back here. So, I'm going to go make a new group, and name it background, in that way we can have a place to house all of our effects, and that thing when we get to it. Now, we have everything in here. So, Illustrator can be hidden. Got to keep your workspace clean. 10. Creating Sand Texture Effects: So, now, we're going to be working almost solely in Photoshop to add some effects and other stuff to these different layers. We're going to start in the order that we built everything with the desert which is cool. So, we have our dunes all in there. What we're going to do is we're going to add some gradients on top of these to add a little bit more shading and we're going to add a desert texture effect. I think that's the first thing we should do is that texture effect. Let's apply to this first dune right here, dune number one. Now in order to do that, and this is where things might get a bit weird and you might have to rely on your own research abilities to find something similar. But over the years, I downloaded a lot of stock, photography, and that kind of stuff and I have this on hand which is a photograph of a desert. There it is. You can see, it has all of these nice little waves and little sand texture and that kind of thing. It's not even a giant image, but it's just something that adds a little bit of interest and a little bit of depth to the sand dunes that we're going to be working on. So I'm going to select all of these, select the entire canvas. Command A, and then command C, I'm going to copy it. We're going to go over to our poster here. I'm going to zoom in on that bottom layer. There we go. So we have our dune once selected. We're going to paste. We're going to put that right on top. There it is. So click that Show Transform Controls. We're going to actually scale this up. Quality on this isn't really that big of a deal in terms of resolution and that kind of thing because we're just hinting at the sand texture that's on these things. So hit return, that puts it into place. Now, what we're going to do, let's turn off that layer for a second because what we want is that texture layer to just be on the top of the dune, not this little dark bit over here. To do that, I use the magic wand tool because it gives me the quality that I need and I can select certain areas. So I have the tolerance that the 10 won't appear at the top. So I'm going to select that dune and I'm going to start. Now, because it's a gradient, of course, you're going to get these lines. Anybody that's worked with gradients will know this. So what we're going to have to do is just select bit by bit until eventually it's all selected. There we go. So this is all one color over here. So the top of the dune is selected using the wand tool. Let's turn on that sand layer, the texture. Click that and we're going to add a layer mask based on the selection that we just made. So I'm going to hit that layer mask but down the bottom. So it crops over everything except for the top of that dune. So let's turn off the link in between the two and select the sand. Click the selection tool there. We're going to drag it down until it lines up properly with the dune shapes. So you might angle it a little bit and that kind of thing. It's about right there I guess. What I'm looking for is the bigger waves in the foreground and the smaller waves in the background. Again, it's not an exact science but that works. We hit return, it puts it in place. So once we have that desert put in place, we're going to go to our blending modes and we're going to go soft light. I'm going to adjust the opacity down a little bit. We'd probably end up messing with that a tiny bit. Once we have that desert mask dote, we're going to make a new layer on top of that dune 1. We're going to hit command and click on that mask layer. So we select only where the mask is. We're going to apply the same mask to this new layer. Hit that mask's button. So there it is. What we're going to do is apply a gradient to this to add a little bit of shadow and a little bit of highlights. We're going to click a gradient tool. We're going to make sure we're going from black to white and make sure Dissolve is clicked here on the mode on the gradient. I like it because it adds a little bit of dithering and a little bit of spottiness to it. It's not a perfect Photoshop gradient which we can all spot from a mile away. So I'm going to click on that new layer and apply that gradient from dark to light going right above there. Okay, the desert is set to normal. So we're going to set the desert to soft light. Now, see it goes crazy. So that gradient level, we're going to have to drop the opacity down a little bit. You may have to mess with it to make sure everything shows up properly and that sort of thing. But the gradient is a good way of doing that because we can actually draw it up a little bit and add a little bit more interest in that background piece. All right. That's looking okay. So now what we have to do is apply that same effect to these other dunes back there while omitting these shaded areas. This one is not so bad because we'd be able to see a little bit of ripple in there. But these are two little areas, we're going to omit those. So in terms of this desert image, it's a piece of stock photo that I found ages ago. I either bought it or it was free or something like that. This is a portion where you're going to have to kind of use your own resources in locating an image that's similar to this. If you're building a desert, you want to add these little ripple effects. The things to look for is just make sure there's different levels of ripples. These ones are further apart. These ones are closer and there's a little bit of variation. There's a little bit of a hill going on back there. And it's just that it doesn't have to be complicated. It's just something to hint that there's a little bit of texture on these dunes or if you can find something like this somewhere, that'd be great. Okay, so once we have all of our texture in place, what I like to do is take a bit of the color out of this, which is a weird thing to say, but it sort of looks a little bit too yellowish or bright or something like that after adding those layer effect. So what I do is I hit command and select the back dune and then hit shift while still holding down command and select all of these dunes. So the whole thing is selected. You'll see there. Then over top of all of them, let's add a layer effect Hue/Saturation right there. So that's called a layer effect, Filler Adjustment Layer. I never look at what these things are called. Filler Adjustment Layer and then hit Hue/Saturation and we'll get this little dialogue box here. We're going to take the saturation. We're going to drag it to the left. What that will do is suck some of the color into that desert. So it's not so vibrant that it's overbearing. We want to get it a little bit more beige and less orange. So if I drop that down to minus 28, that's looking more in the area that it should. So it's looking more like a desert. But now because I'm such a stickler for this stuff, what I'm going to do is command select that same masked area. Go then to adjustment layer and then hit Levels. So we're going to put a second adjustment layer on top of that where it's the levels. Then take that black arrow and slide it slightly to the left, sorry to the right. The other left. There we go. What that does is it just darkens up these areas and just makes it look a little bit more natural. So if I turn on and off, that you'll see that vibrancy is coming back. But again, it doesn't have that super yellow or orange that it did before. So it looks a little bit more like a desert, and that's what we're aiming for. 11. Adding Effects to Your Text: So now that we got the desert built, we're going to move onto the chrome text to add a little bit of interest and texture to our "Beta" title. It's looking pretty okay right now, but it could use a little bit of shine, a little bit of refining. So we're going to close our desert layer, let's go into our logo. We have all of our different pieces brought in on different layers and that kind of things. That makes things easier to deal with right now. So, typically, what I do is I just apply some black and white gradients like we did with the desert on top of some of these bits just to bring out some of the color, some of the shine, that sort of thing. So we're going to worry about the back plate right now, which is this guy. It's going to make a new layer right above that and set it to overlay. Going to Command and click on that plate. We're going to add a mask to that layer that we just made. So, got to set to overlay, let's click on our Gradient tool. We're just going to pull that gradient from the top of the text down to the middle so you can see that kind of adds a little bit more, a little bit of a deeper blue. Then, we're going to drop the opacity down on that. There we go, and I'll turn that on and off. It doesn't make a huge difference but it's just enough to add a bit of roundness to that top gradient. That's something that we could have done in Illustrator. But typically, when you're copying and pasting stuff from Illustrator to Photoshop, it loses a little bit of the saturation because the color treatment between programs has never been in exact science so it's best to do this in Photoshop. That way, we have complete control over it. We're going to do the same for that bottom plate. So you might be wondering at this point since I'm adding gradients on top of gradients, why I did gradients in Illustrator at all. It's pretty simple. I like how the tools work in Illustrator, in terms of managing colors on the gradient palette than in Photoshop. So, I have- It's more malleable. I can slide and adjust things a little bit easier, and I'd like to limit the gradients that I do in Photoshop to strictly overlaying and then bringing out the saturation of those gradients that we did previously. So we have gradients that are now overlaid on the back plate and that bottom plate. So next, what we're going to do is add a little bit more interest to that bottom plate. Typically, when I'm doing Chrome, I'd like to add clouds for some reason to Chrome. I don't know why, maybe I can see Chrome is sitting on a desert and it's seeing the sky. I have no idea. But for some reason, I like putting reflexes of clouds in Chrome. So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to pop open again another piece of stock that I downloaded or bought ages ago, that looks like this. It's just a very, very typical cloudy blue sky. But I just like this one because it has a little bit of perspective to it, and it's a good balance between the blue and what the clouds are. So I'm going to Select All, and I'm going to copy that. We're going to go over to our piece. Now, I want to select the bottom plate. I think that's where it's going to go. So I'm going to Command Select that bottom plate. I'm going to paste those clouds in. I got to Command Select that again because it did that in the wrong order, there we go. Then, select the clouds and apply that mask on to those. So now, it's over top of that bottom plate, it's masked in, it's going in behind that dark bit. We're going to set this to overlay. There we go. Unlink it, select those clouds and just move them up so we get a little bit more visibility on those guys, there we go. You can expand this scale lose up a tiny bit, there we go. Then, let's drop the opacity down on those clouds just to blend them in a little bit more with the background. Okay. So now, I do that basically because it adds a little bit of variation in that otherwise flat gradient that we have there. It just makes it pop out a little bit. Then, if you look a little bit closer, you can see some clouds and that's nice. Clouds are nice, so there we go. Now here's an important tip. Always save your work because I've been working on this for however long I've been doing it and it's called "Untitled1", which is extremely unprofessional. And if my machine crashed right now, Skillshare would kick my ass. So let's save this, beta_cover, there we go. It's always important to save your work. So now that we have a little bit more interest in that Chrome color. So, it's coming along. Now, again, like the desert, this is another process that I repeat. I like to suck some of the color out of the vector elements that I have in there. Again, it's just because when you start overlaying colors to become a little bit more saturated, when you have those black and white gradients overlaid on top of colors, I want them to be a little bit more desaturated. We got to tell these vectors like, "All right, calm down. You're partying now and it's time to relax." So, what I'm going to do is select the back plate. So if I select that back plate, Command Select, it'll select everything except for the 3D back. Then we're going to hit Command Shift and click on the 3D back. So now, we have them all selected. Go right up to the top layer, we're going to add another adjustment layer remember that one that sucked the color out of the desert down there. We're going to add hue saturations, so that will plump that adjustment layer. Let's get this out of the way, we're going to take that saturation and move it to the left little bit, there we go. Close that. Now turn that on and off so you can see it's subtle but it takes a little bit of the color out of it and it just makes it look a little bit more natural. The reason I like doing that is because airbrush people back in the '80s, they didn't have exact science. When things were printed, they didn't have the printing capabilities that we have nowadays so things weren't precise. I like things that don't look like they're just blown out in Photoshop, I'd like them to have a little bit more of an actual feel like those artists from back in the day. So, we got the color taken out of it and things are looking a little bit more Chromey. I'm okay with it. But again, because I'm never satisfied, what we're going to do is Command Select that layer mask that was on the saturation, add another adjustment layer, we're going to go levels, just like we did with that desert. So we have our levels, drag the dark a little bit to the right, and adjust shadows up and adds a little bit more weight to those letters, so close that. I'm going to turn that on and off so you can see it's very subtle. They can see the difference that it makes, just a little bit more weight. So now those things are looking Chrome. We're looking pretty good. Now, my favorite thing to do in Photoshop, my top favorite thing, the thing that I have been made fun of the most for in my career, you know who you are, is adding lens flares to things. So, and I got the best lens flare for that. All right, check this thing out. So I'm going to drag it out of- Now, this is another thing that you may have to rely on your own resources for. I have this lens flare that is a piece of stock photography, again, that I purchased ages ago. I think you can find it on thinkstock.com. I think that's where I got it. But if you look at that, it's a purple flair. I think in the original photo, there was five of them. Five flares and this one thing, but I cropped it off because I liked this one the best. This was 10 years ago that I got this, but it works. I've used it in a lot of things. So I'm going to put it right on the top layer there in our logo folder. I just basically drag that right from My Documents folder, right into this, right into Photoshop, right into this poster. We're going to set the blending mode to Screen. If you're new to that, Screen basically takes all of the dark colors and make some transparent, and keeps all the light colors intact. So, we'll have that there and you can see it has a little bit of an edge around it there. So we've got to hit Command L. That'll pop open our levels. Drag the dark to the left, just like we did on those letters. That will get rid of that background. Hit Okay, and now, we have a nice lens flare. Oh, yeah. All right. So we're going to put that guy right up there. I think it shine to be readable there, it looks- But right now, it's a bit too purple. So we're going to hit Command U to bring up our hue saturation and do the exact same thing we did on those letters. We're going to take that saturation and drag it to the left to take some of the purple out of it. It's still a little bit too on the purple side, I need it to be a little bit more blue to match these letters. So we're going to take the hue slider, and drag that to the right, and obviously go the wrong way. So then we're going to go to the left. There's the blue, all right. Take that saturation put a little bit more to the left. Take a bit more color out of it. Yeah, that's where we need to be at. Nice lens flare, it's a bit too big though. So let's scale that guy down, hit Return. We are getting places, all right. Make that logo fancy. So of course, I can't leave it at one. I've got to put a couple of lens flares in because those are way too fun. So I'm going to grab a hold of it, and I duplicated the layer. I'm just going to drag that over to the "E", and try to get the cross here is like on the lighter bits of the letter, and over toward the corner because if we had the lighting coming from the upper left, it might be striking those letters at that angle. Just put them there. The thing is, like with flares, you can't go crazy. Trust me, I'd love to go crazy with flares, but you can overdo it really, really easily. Try to be a little bit reserved about it. So I'll leave it there. That way, we add again a little bit more sparkle to that Chrome text, and that makes it really exciting. That makes it exciting. Lens flares makes James really happy. I told many design students this, "The best way to cover up a mistake is to stick a big lens flare on top of it." Students love that, and instructors hate my guts. 12. Adding Effects to Your Monument : So now we have had a little bit of interest to this giant hedron monument floating thing. So, let's go into the hedron layer. We have everything broken apart in here. Now, these kind of big triangles are looking a little bit flat. So what we're going to try to do is add a little bit of interest to that, not with anything complicated, just with some selective lighting that might strike it from this angle. So, what we're going to do is add a new layer. Let's call that light right above the hedron. I know I've been the bad about the naming my layers here, so calm down the critiques. I'm going to command click on hedron and then have that lighting layer selected, add a layer mask and set this to overlay. So, we're going to select our gradient, click the radio button up here and we're going to make that go from color to transparent. We're going to do that with white. Actually, we're going to go and we're going to select a very pale yellow because I've recently noticed that a pale yellow adds a little bit more interest to the overlays than white does. We'll see how it works up though. So we have our layer selected and we're just going to drag that from that corner where the light might be hitting down. That adds a little bit of lighting. You'll see if we zoom in, I still have that gradient set to dissolve up here in the mode and you'll see the little bit of noise in there. That's what I like. I don't like a street Photoshop gradients. I want that to be a little bit noisy because it looks a little bit more natural. We're going to have to layer some of these. So this looks okay. It's set to overlay, but it doesn't look as bright as I want it, so we're going to make another layer. Let's call it light 2, send it to overlay and we're going to do the exact same thing to see how it looks. You have to noodle around with these. So now, that we got that done, one of the things I like to do is I like adding a little bit of mist to this bottom portion, because it just adds a little bit of size and volume to this. We want this guy to look really, like it's big, like it's hovering above this desert and it's just this giant monuments. So, a little bit of smoke or mist on the bottom. Now, typically, I have a stock photo that I use for that quite a bit, but I'm not going to do that this time. I'm going to do this with a technique I just recently learned. So, let's click on that hedron layer. So we selected all, make a new layer, hit the mask because we want it to be just masked to this for now. Let's call this mist. Let's see if I can do this. I'm going off script here. So let's click our brushes. Now I just installed some new brushes called concept. Kyle Webster, his brushes were purchased by Adobe. So you have access to these brushes through the cloud subscription that you have. It's a brush set called concept. In it, it has cloud brushes, which is really cool. The reading here, you probably can't see that well, but the reading in here, again, it's called concept. So I'm going to select this first cloud brush. We're going to go just close's to get that out of the way, go back over to our layers. I have white selected. I'm just going to see how this is going to work out. I'm using an in tools to do this. So, I'm just doing some different weights like pressing a little bit harder in some areas and then letting it dwindle out, because I just want to have the hints of this mist in here. Now, if I drop the opacity down on that, it's looking a little bit rough where to go here it is. Let's try this again. That should be going from dark to light. So, let's just put a little bit more in there, drop it down a little bit more. Part of the job doesn't look that good. Select it all, delete it. Let's try this again with a different brush. So let's take the one next to it, it looks a little bit more misty. Close that, sprint to size up a little bit. Let's try this. I'm just painting a little bit of the smoke effect. Let's drop down the opacity a little bit on that. Now let's go in, and we're going to select this light blue color and we're going to walk the transparency and change the color of those to blue. Okay, it's getting there. Nope, sorry, I don't like it. Let's get it out of there. So, what I'm going to do is go back to the original, go into my stock and I have this. Again, it's this stock photo that I purchased ages ago and it's a little wisp of cloud. You might have a preferred little cloud image that you have or something that gives you an effect like this, but I've used this in a lot of my work, and it just works. It's just a nice little bit of cloud and some of these things you just can't account for. They just work. So, I'm going to select that top portion and copy that, close these other stock photos there and open here. Get rid of the desert, don't need them. We're going to paste this and then set it to screen. You'll see why this works when I have this in place because it just a great little image that just gives the effect that I want. It's also a good little tip. Always keep track of your stock photos as well. You might purchase a lot of them, but keep them all in the same folder and try to organize them as best you can, because you never know when you're going to be able to reuse these, especially if they're little effects and that kind of thing. So, it's command click the hedron, click that cloud layer mascot and then let's drop the opacity down. Now, see what I mean? See all that and see how cool that looks? Let's unlock that mask from it and move it around. It just gives them a little hint of like we've got this hedron moving through the atmosphere and there's actually like clouds caught on the bottom of it. It's so big like that. That's crazy. That's crazy. So leave that rebel there. So now that we got a little bit of texture at a hedron shape, we've got the clouds in there, the chrome text is going good in the desert is looking okay, now we're going to go to the lasers. So we're going to make them look a little bit more lifelike. We're going to make them look like they are bright and more like lasers is essentially it. So, we got the two layers already put in. We got the blue lasers on the bottom. We got the pink lasers on top. So, let's worry about the pink lasers first. So, what we're going to do is I'm going to command select those lasers. Now, after looking at these, they look a little bit thick, a little bit thick for the lasers that I want. I want them to be a little bit thinner, which is fine. We can actually get away with that right now. So what I'm going to do is I command click the pink lasers and we're going to go up to select, modify, contract. Pops open this little dialog box that says how many pixels do you want to contract that selection by. So, I'm going to say 15. We're going to see how that looks. That looks okay. So, I'm going to make a new layer and I'm going to turn off those pink lasers for now. I'm going to turn off those blue lasers for now. So, you can see the selection. That's what it's selected right there. On this new layer, I call it new lasers. Just select a pink and fill. See, that size looks a little bit better. Looks a little bit thinner. I'll just turn it off to show. Those are way too thick for lasers. That's crazy. But these guys look okay. So, I'm going to walk the transparency, click on this little guy, click on my gradient tool and I'm going to select a nice orangy yellow. So with that new lasers clicked, got that layer, I'm going to set my gradient to linear. Now I'm going to drag it from the side in toward the middle. So, I'm going to put a little bit of an orange yellowy gradient on that, which looks a little bright. I'm going to undo that and I'm going to pick a slightly darker, richer orange and do the same thing. Yeah, that's a bit better. Now, lasers need outer glows naturally. So, we have a new lasers layer selected. We're going to click the "Layer Effect" button and go to outer glow. Now pop open this dialogue box. Outer glow is one of my favorite effects use. It can be used like crazy bright or it can be used really subtly. So, what we're going to do is set the blend mode to normal and we're going to select the color and I like using this like weird way to rich bluey purple. It looks obnoxious when you look at it on this watch right here. But as an ever glow on pink to orange, it looks great. So, let's bring the opacity up so we can see in a little bit more. Let's bring the size up a little bit, bring that opacity. There we go. Now you can see it at work there. It just brings up the colors somehow of those pink to orange gradients. I can't account for it. I don't know why it works, it just does, and I'm pretty sure I discovered that by accident. So, the stupid rich purple just works. So, we have our rich purple. We had that outer glow put it in there. So now these are looking a little bit more like laser beams coming out of that, coming out at the side of the hedron. Now, we've got to apply the same thinning effect to the blue lasers as well, because right now they're way too thick for that background. So, we're going to command click to select those blue lasers. We'll add a mask to get rid of it because they're going all the way to the edge and we can have that. We're going to make a new layer right above it. We're going to go select, modify, contract just like we did with the pink ones. Now, these ones are further in the background, so they're a little bit thinner. So, 15 might be too much. Let's go down to, let's say, seven. Go okay. That looks okay. We're going to turn off the blue lasers and I'm going to call these blue lasers as well. Let's select a nice rich blue and nice bright blue and fill. That looks good. So, they're going too far right now over the side. They're in behind these lasers. So, let's just select this area and hit the layer mask to get rid of the ones over here. So, that's looking a little bit better. Again, we got to add some outer glows. Now, the purple tends to work pretty good on blue too, but we're got to make sure it does. I'm just going to go outer glow. Now, clicking on the actual layer where those lasers are locking the transparency, what we're going to do is actually add a gradient to make it look like these lasers are faded out, like they're brighter closer to us than they are further away. We can do that pretty easily. Just choose a darker blue. Actually, I like using purple. Let's pick like a bluey purple. That tends to work. We'll click our gradient tool, make sure it's on linear and, just add that gradient. I think we can do this with a layer mask. Actually, let's undo that and get rid of that. We'll click on the layer mask, then your gradient, and we'll just do the same thing. Yeah, that's going to work. There we go. So, I'll just adjust that a little bit. There we go. So, it looks like it's going off into the distance. The further away a laser gets from you, the thinner it's going to be. So, that works. That works. 13. Making Your Sky Pop: Right. So, now that we got these major bits in place, we've got our effects and that kind of thing, what we're going to do is work on the sky, the background. Now, one thing I like doing before we get to that is I'll add a little bit of an older glow in that hedron because when we get back to the sky, I want that hedron shape to be kind of popped off the background. So, we're going to go outer glow, again, just like we did with that laser. Get this dialogue out of the way. I am going to set this to overlay right here. We're going to give it a normal. We're going to go overlay and we're going to set the color to white because whatever color we're going to put back here we want it to be overlaid on top of that. So, it's just brighter. We're not going to do the size too big just so you can see that rim around there and we're going to drop the opacity down a little bit. Another little trick, I neglected to say this earlier, whenever you're adding outer glows, always make sure you have a little bit of noise on it. I have my noise set to 20% and it just adds a little bit of roughness to it and it's again, harkens to the airbrush artists of the 80's and how things weren't perfectly smooth back then. So, you add a little bit of roughness to your outer glows because it goes a long way. That's a little bit too big. I'm going to just reduce the size of that a little bit. There we go. Just a little light rim around the edge that pops it off the background. A little tiny bit. All right. So, one of my favorite things to do is experimenting with sky colors. So, we're going to click on gradient. Let's click radial because we're going to try to make it look like the sun maybe set right down here and make it kind of glow out from that center point. So, we're going to go, let's pick an orange right now to see how this looks. It might look bad for a little bit but that's right. Let's make a big glow in the background. Okay. There we go. It's kind of messing with the desert a little bit but we can get into editing that. All right. I like the glow but the color isn't quite there. So, let's lock the transparency and see what the pink looks like. Okay. A little bit but it's getting there. So, let's drop the opacity on that a little bit just make it down. Okay. So, it's basically a brighter version of the purple that we had. That's all right. So, let's switch our gradient to linear. We'll stay in that same layer and we will pick that deeper orange and we'll just put it like just picking out. Yeah, that doesn't really look like anything. Let's make a new layer on top of that and do that gradient again. Okay. Yeah, that's looking cool. Okay. So, let's lock the transparency on that gradient level, pick that brighter orange again, change your gradient to radial, and then let's just see if we can put a little spot right in the middle there but not too big. I want to maintain is tones around the edges. Something like that. It's getting there. Okay. You can see the interest that adds back there. I'm just going to make that pink a tiny bit brighter. Yeah, that's looking good. Now, this tone is messing with our desert a little bit so we may have to darken this up just to make it pop off that background a little bit. So, another thing I like doing is I love adding clouds. We're going to click our brush tool. Well, I have a cloud brush selected. I'm just gooing to double click and pick that first one again because I like how solid those clouds were. All right. So, I got like a my cloud brush. Reduce the size of it a little bit by clicking the the left bracket. Actually, let's go pick a black color and let's overlay these clouds on that background so it'll be a darker version of what's back there. So, let's give this a try. See how we do. So, once I had some clouds, just painting them in, I get lighter, the thinner that I want the cloud. Yeah. You can't defeat me cloud brush. All right. A little bit more in there like that. All right. Try to make it look as natural as we can in there. Put some up here. It's a little bit dark. We'll adjust those opacities to make sure it looks okay. Okay. That's looking like clouds. So we're looking okay. These colors are looking good. Let's leave this background for now. Actually, you know what I am going to do? Okay. I'm going off script again. Here we go. I'm going to make a new layer, overlay. Let's call this moon. I wonder what that's going to be. So, we're going to go over here and select the Ellipse tool, select White and let's make a moon right there. All right. Now, what I like doing. Now, it's just a big ball. That's no fun. So, let's go command select on the moon layer, click on our marquee tool up here then use the arrows to nudge that selection. Go up, left, up, left, up, left, up, left, right about there. So, zoom in. You can see like I nudge. Come on, computer. There we go. I nudged the selection or you can get a really good sense of that noise in there. Now, I nudged the selection rate there so it's offset on that moon layer. I'm going to hit delete to get rid of it and now, it's a little thin crescent moon. So, now it kind of looks like another planet maybe. Let's dropped the opacity down so it's not as prevalent, and in a lot of times I like movement it around to make sure it's in the place that it should be. Oh, that looks good up there. Yeah. That's where it's going to live. So, we're going to scale that down a little bit. There we go. Bring that opacity up a little. Yeah. That is where that's going to live. Great. 14. Polishing Your Elements: Now, we're going to be moving into the polish level of this, now that we have everything in place. But what it needs is an overall polish color treatment. So what I want to do now is add a little bit of rim-lighting to these dunes to have them pop off the dune that's right in behind. It's really easy to do. I can just select the dune vector that we built. Let's go down to effects and go inner glow. It'll pop open this dialogue, and adjust the size, and you can see that adds a little bit of a glow around the dune itself. So we can adjust the opacity to make it look like it's okay, but I'm just trying to make it look like the light is hitting the edge of it. It doesn't have to be that obvious or that large. Just do that. Now, you'll see some of the outer glows down here at the bottom, but I'll address that in a couple of seconds once they apply that to these other layers. So, I can actually right click on that layer we just edited with that layer effect. Go copy layer style, click on dune 2 and paste layer style and it'll paste the exact same effect. It's subtle but it's there on the dune right directly behind it. We can do that to dune 3. So that's cool. Now, one of my favorite things to do, is adding a tiny bit of rim lighting using the line tool. We're only going to do that on the outer hedron because it's the only one with sharp straight sides. I think you could really make this image look a little bit cooler. We're going to go into the hedron folder, make a new layer. That new layer is going to be right on top of the hedron actually. We're going make it right here and we're going to call these lines. Set it to overlay. We'll probably end up adjusting the opacity. But we're going to select our line tool over here and it's set to 10 pixels which should be okay. I'll give you a shot here. Okay. Now, what I'm going to do, now, this is a little trick that I learned from, well, by looking at stuff from the 80's. So I'm going to make a new group right on top and I'm going to call it effects. Now when I looked at a lot of artwork from back then, I noticed that blacks weren't perfectly black. Whites weren't perfectly white. Everything had like a little bit faded, maybe a little bit sun bleached or something like that. What I noticed with experimenting with Photoshop is that I wanted to mimic that same thing. I wanted all the colors to be consistent. There's a really easy way of doing that as it turns out. So I made a new layer in that effects folder and I'm going to call it flood, for floodlight. I'm going to go over and I'm going to select like a weird purple. That weird obnoxious purple from before that we're talking about. It's like super saturated. Look at this. Gross. But I'm going to select that new layer and I'm going to fill it. Boom. Everything. How gross that is? But then, if I set the blending mood to screen, then drop the opacity on that. So you'll start to see that the colors are a little bit more consistent with one another right now if I put that floodlight in. So let me show you if I turn that off. That's where we were. That's where we are now. It just kind of brings all the colors together. And another thing I like to do, again we were talking about the bull's eye design earlier, how I want everyone's eyes to be drawn right to this hedron. So I make a new layer, set this, I believe to overlay. No, it's called this edge. So the blending mode to overlay. Select black gradient tool to linear, and bring in a gradient that's along the side of the edges here. Now, it may not be overlaid because its messing with my colors a bit. I don't want that. Let me use that from the bottom. Then drop the opacity down. Okay, that's not bad. Actually, what I want, that's not too bad. Let's see if I change this back to normal, does it look better? Yeah, it kind of does look better. Just drop the opacity down a bit. There we go. Now, there's one thing I noticed when I put these edges in there. I'll just turn on and off to show you. See, it adds a little bit, it draws your eye more into the center because it's darker out here and it just gets lighter the more in we move. But one thing I don't like about that edge is that it always messes with the logo at the top. So let me grab that logo layer and just draw it right to the top. But now it's not being affected by the flood, which I do once. I'm going to drag the flood on top of that. So that way the edge here isn't messing with the logo because I want the logo to really, really jump out. That's where we are right now. So we're almost there. But one thing I like to do, another thing that I like to do is I like adding spots. Spotlights. We're going to call this layer spots. Made a new layer, set to overlay. Let's select weight. Gradient tool. Click it to radial. I'm basically going to try to highlight certain areas that I think should have a nice glow on it. So definitely this corner right here. So, I'm going to make a little radial gradient there to light that up, maybe this guy right up here. That's in behind the logo. But that's okay, it lights up the sky and behind it. Maybe this portion right down here. Yeah, it looks nice. So let's try to add a couple more down here. This is, you've got to again, practice a little bit of restraint with these things because they can go kind of off the rails pretty quick. Let's drop the opacity down. Okay. That's not bad. So if I turn on and off you'll see, they're invisible when you don't know they're there, right? But they just add a little bit of interest to certain areas. That's cool. One thing we need in that background that I just realized is missing is a starfield. I love putting stars in my work. Again, I have a perfect piece of stock photo and stock photography for that. It's something I purchased ages ago. I'll pop it open here so you can see. I'm sure you can find this or something similar on any stock photo site. This is just a straight up starfield. I don't know if it's a photo or somebody made this but I purchased it 10 years ago and I've used it in everything. It is a perfect starfield. We're going to select all, I'm going to copy that. Got to go on background, right to the background and paste. So there it is. Scaled it up so it fits. We're getting somewhere. I'm going to drag this to the top. That was missing the entire time. Zoom in a little bit. We're going to add a layer mask to that. Gradient. Black. Linear. We're going to drag that up because I want the stars to be more at the top. Not so much at the bottom. Get it a little bit more. Come on. That's the wrong layer, I'm sorry. I'm going to click layer mask, here we go. It's filling it with black, it's not what we want. There we go. Then drop the opacity down on that a bit. Our moon is getting hidden in there because it's set to overlay, isn't it? Yeah. So let's set that to normal. There it is. Drop it back a little bit. I'm going to take this gradient that I just made. It's being messed with by this flood right so I can't darken it anymore, unfortunately. What I'm going to do is drag this above the flood and hope that it doesn't mess of anything. It sort of messes with things. I'm going to drop the opacity down a tiny bit. Let's give it a little bit more weight in there. Dark. That's what we're looking for. Okay. Now, there's one last thing that I'm going to do. One last. Again, another last thing. I'm going to make a new layer. I'm going to call this LEDs. Sure. So now let's zoom in a little bit and I'm going to add some tiny lights to this guy. Because it just adds a little bit of interests. I have like a light, light, light yellow selected from my color. I'm going to select the ellipses tool. I'm literally going to put little circles in here. I may have to zoom out to see what these guys look like. Isn't it good like that? Let's select the transparency and make that moon blue, and darker blue, or gradient and make it purple to blue. There we go. Sometimes you get to play around to get it right. So that pretty much concludes the creation of this beta piece in reference to the mighty Omni magazine. So, finally, we'll be discussing how to export this, and we are ready to wrap it up. 15. Closing: Finally, the last step. How do you export this thing and get it from places that aren't Photoshop? Well, here's what I do. I'm sure a lot of people have different methods of exporting, but this is the way that works best for me. So, we have our final image here and I'm going to flatten all the layers. So, I'm going to go up to this little panel up here at the top of the layers palette, go down to flatten image. After I save it, that's important. First, save it with all the layers then flatten it. Big, big tip because you don't want to save the flattened image. I've done that a couple of times and it is no good because you want your layers intact for your source file. Now, that the image is all on one layer, we're going to go up to the image tab, go down to image size, and I'm going to export this for web, so everybody can post their creations on Instagram and Twitter. So, the image size, I'm going to drop the resolution down to 72, and the pixel size, the width, let's keep it at 1,500. That might be a little bit big, but it'll be a decent resolution and you can use it on other stuff. You can essentially export this to whatever size is best conducive to what you're going to be posting it on. So, 1,500, go, okay, no resize this. Then, I'm going to go to file, export, and I use the save for web selection right here. It's in the legacy format now, which means they're probably going to do away with it. I'm not sure what the replacement is going to be but that's what I use. So, go save to web, it will pop open this dialog box, make sure quality is at 100. I'm going to export this to a JPEG, go save, put it to the desktop, ss_beta, you can name it whatever you want, and save. That wraps things up. Thank you so much for taking part in this class. I really hope you had lots of fun experimenting with layers, and effects, and colors, and had a nice glimpse into my creative process. I look forward to seeing what you upload to the project gallery. Have fun and stay rad. 16. Explore More Design Classes: way.