Incorporating Real-Life Textures Into Your Designs | Paul Oxborrow | Skillshare

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Incorporating Real-Life Textures Into Your Designs

teacher avatar Paul Oxborrow, Graphic Designer & Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Class Intro


    • 2.

      Your Class Project


    • 3.

      The Clone Stamp Tool


    • 4.

      The Mini Clone Stamp Project


    • 5.

      Sourcing Textures


    • 6.

      Sourcing Photos & Vectors


    • 7.

      Processing Your Images


    • 8.

      Planning: Thumbnail Composition


    • 9.

      Building Your Composition


    • 10.

      Editing Your Composition


    • 11.

      Saving & Exporting


    • 12.

      Other Applications


    • 13.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Are you a digital designer who wants to inject major personality into your work?
Want to learn an award-winning illustration process that uses texture to make projects come alive?

Incorporating Real-Life Textures Into Your Designs has something for everyone, from making textures, to photography and advanced digital illustration in Adobe Photoshop. Ambitious beginner-intermediates will be able to follow along, via animated shortcuts, definitions and prompts, and ready-to-use textures and project files.


In this class you’ll learn: 

  • How to create original hand-made textures, and digitise them
  • Mastery of the Clone Stamp Tool, and how to use it for illustration
  • About utilising Layer Masks for non-destructive design
  • To conceptualise and plan inspiring illustrated designs that stand out
  • How to export your design for Skillshare, Email, Social Media and Print from a single file

You'll need the following to take this class:

• A desktop computer
• Adobe Photoshop
• Adobe Illustrator
• A smartphone or camera
• Paper and Pencil

(Optional) Watercolours, Acryrlics, Ink, Coffee and 300gsm paper stock

What will you end up with?

By the end of this class, you’ll not only know how to incorporate texture into digital design, but have a solid understanding of the elements and processes of illustration so you can tackle any kind of graphic design, illustration or branding project!

Are you ready? Let's go!


Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Scan are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe in the United States and/or other countries.


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Paul Oxborrow

Graphic Designer & Illustrator


Serial filler of sketchbooks, design geek and incidental Lego Typographer, I've taught over 6,800 students the pro tips, cool tricks and interesting methods developed over two decades working as a Graphic Designer and Illustrator for advertising agencies and creative studios, on brands like Cadbury, Unilever, Ola, and Diageo.

I make friendly, detailed classes about real things that have accelerated my creative career.
You'll feel like you're right next to me when you take one of my classes. From mockups to Photoshop, chalk and brush pen, we've only begun to dig into digital illustration and creative exploration!

See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Class Intro: Let's bring a bit of the real world back into design. Hey, I'm Paul, a creator from Durban, South Africa. I've been a graphic designer and an illustrator for about 18 years now. I always try to include personality in my work. It's a simple approach that makes any kind of project standout. Doing this sometimes means pushing limits and finding new things to do with familiar tools. This packaging I worked on, for example, where I used an old school technique in a new way. I took bit of a risk, but it paid off becoming one of my most successful projects. The hook was these images that appear to grow out of the coffee rings. This is the focus of today's class. The trick is this little thing, the Clone Stamp tool. For years it was the go to for Photoshop professionals who needed to fix or retouch photos. In this class, you'll learn how to use it as an illustration tool to incorporate real life textures into your digital designs. Basically, we take a texture and we take some images, then bake them together so that they appear to flourish with a visual narrative. For your class project, you'll create an illustrated postcard for your city. You'll blend texture and images to show us your unique perspective, your favorite places, or interesting things we might not know. Dial in some culture. It's a technique that stands out and gets people asking, how did they do that? We'll start with familiarizing ourselves with a Clone Stamp tool by deconstructing the same process used for the coffee packaging I just showed you. Basically, by the end of Lesson 4, you'll already have a texture based illustration to be proud of, a clear understanding of how the Clone Stamp tool works, and how to manipulate texture to create different forms. Then we're making it personal. We're going to figure out where to source our elements. We need texture and we need imagery that clearly screams, this is where I live. We'll explore different ways to generate handmade textures using different mediums. Get a little bit messy and have a little fun. We'll also think about our cities. I'll take you through my own. We'll go on a tour of Durban, scavenging for images and ideas. Finally, we'll assemble all our photos, vectors, and textures into an illustration blossoming with imagery. You'll save your project like a pro and your postcard will be ready for the world. This class is perfect for graphic designers and illustrators or anybody looking to explore different tools and incorporate a little bit of the real world into digital design. Having some Photoshop experience is helpful, but don't worry, if you're an ambitious beginner, I'll be guiding you through the whole process and providing supporting resources and project files along the way. By the end of it, you'll have a beautiful postcard to represent your city, a new illustration method, and a technique for incorporating real life textures into your design work that can be applied to just about any graphic design, illustration, or branding projects. Sound good? Let's go. 2. Your Class Project: You're in. I'm so glad you're here. Let's take a look at the class project together. Your project is to create an illustrated postcard combining images and textures that represents your city. This is not a tourist postcard, this is a chance for you to share your unique take on the place you call home. A texture-based digital design is actually not that difficult to do, but it can't be learned in theory, you have to try this for yourself. In order to create your postcard, I'll teach you how to create original handmade textures using paints, ink, coffee, and how to get them into Photoshop. This part is super fun. We'll be off computer and just experimenting. How to source photos and vectors for your projects. By capturing your own and getting creates of free images online. How to digitally extend, combine, and compose these assets based on the process I developed for that coffee packaging. You'll end up with a stunning postcard of your own design that's ready to share on Skillshare, social media, email, and even prints and send as a real postcard. In planning your illustration, you should consider what you'll be showing to represent your city. You want to think about places and ideas that can be distilled to a simple oscillated image. For example, a photo of a forest wants to use this technique, but a simple pantry communicates the same idea. Your postcard design will need to fit on a standard-size postcard. There are differences in sizes between countries, so use the template that's best for you. You'll need access to Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator or any other video editing software. You'll also need a smartphone or an optional camera and paper and a pencil. To help you follow along, the lookout for these tip banners which pop up throughout the class. Resource prompts will appear whenever you need to download something from the class. For example, the textures you'll see me create in the class are available for download. Shortcut keys will appear whenever we launch a tool. Tool tips explain the technique we're about to use. Hot tips, are special prompts that get you thinking about your creative process. When you see slides like this, it's a great time to pause the lesson if you want a better grasp on what we're currently doing. You can interact with me in the discussions tab. Feel free to post any work in progress, any questions I'll get right back to you. I'm going to show you how much fun you can have creating textures from ordinary mediums and how simple it is to blend them with images for an impressive effects. The first thing we're going to learn allows us to modify and join textures together [MUSIC] 3. The Clone Stamp Tool: Alright, are you ready to dip your feet in the water a little bit. In this lesson, we're going to open up Photoshop and take a look at the Clone Stamp tool and a couple of other cloning options within the software. These tools have been in Photoshop for ages, as long as I can remember. Their original purpose is to fix and retouch photography. Get rid of blemishes, for example. Instead, we're going to use it to join pieces of photography and vectors to our textures. But before we get to that point, we just want to get comfortable with the tool. We want to get hands-on, do a couple of drills and just get used to analysing pieces of the texture, which parts are easy to adapt, and which parts are more effective. If we hit certain pitfalls, how do we get around those? So, have a peep at the resources folder, open up Photoshop and when you're ready, let's dive in. When you open the folder, you'll find it two photoshop documents. Don't worry that they both have a plain white thumbnail. That's just a way of reducing file size. OK, let's open up the first one. Drills. Inside are three coffee textures, that we're going to learn the clone stamp technique on, Spill, Ring, and Splat. I'm going to teach you how to master control of the Clone Stamp tool as you sample and clone different areas of these textures. Now don't panic, this is just a practice run and we're going to learn how to approach each texture, one at a time. Spill is a large full texture that we can experiment on and easily correct any mistakes that we make. Ring is slightly more complex. It's a coffee ring that needs modifying for sure. Splat is a fun little exercise that will build on what we do to the other two textures. Just hit shortcut S on your keyboard to launch the tool. Now the whole method to this tool is in the name, The Clone Stamp tool. We clone an area and then we stamp it somewhere else. Sweet, class dismissed. I'm just kidding. Technically we source a target area for the tool to inspect and sample and we show photoshop where to copy that sampled area. We're going to hold Option on the Mac and Alt on a PC to get this little crosshair and tell Photoshop where to look for the source area. And wherever we land our brush is where it's going to make a clone or a copy of that area. Say, on this texture, we want to fill in these little kinks a bit. We've got to inspect it. We've got a darker part of the texture here and a lighter part over here. We're not typically going to select from there and start sampling there, or it just looks a bit pasted on. Let's try stay more or less in line with where we've sampled. So we are going to sample there and just move a little bit down, fill it in. You can see the sample area moves as we move our cursor. So it's actually done that blend quite nicely for us there. Now, because we selected a softer brush, I prefer a softer brush because it tends to at least blend in a little more around where you're working. It's going to just apply that principle on the edge there. So, a quick way is to just get our little marquee tool and we can drag something random around there and just delete that and we've more or less changed the shape of our texture. Another way to do that would be to try and sample a hard edge of this texture and build it in down. But now the disadvantage there is, wherever the sample, the source moves to, it's going to pick that up including our white background. So I think for a beginner, I'd suggest just use your selection tool just to wave out a little shape around there and fill your texture in. Ring is a slightly more complex texture. It's got very hard contrast between the dark and light areas. In general, the ring is really very skinny. What we are going to try learn here, is how to thicken a texture like this by sampling the middle of it and repeating the edges. In order to do that, we're going to have to learn how to change our brush size on the fly, to be able to sample source areas of different widths. Let's hit B to get our brush and see what we're looking at. I think we're going to need some good down so probably about 20 pixels. Let's make sure the hardness is somewhere near the middle. I'll show you why. If I put that hardness back up and take it back to roundabout where it was, we're going to hit S to get out tool and just to find the source point and start cloning and it's doing a good enough job. But oh, I've come to this area and it's sampled the rest of the white page as well. But you know, we can negate that by going to a smaller brush and just getting that hardness in, and it's not going to have as larger area to sample as before. Another way of negating that thing of it picking up the areas all around. If you take a look up here, you probably on a sample source of current and below, that means when we hit Option or Alt to define a source area, it's going to look at our current layer and anything that lies below that. If we just switch that to current layer, whatever we do to this is going to just be locked to that layer, even when we go near the edge, it's just quite a subtle little thing there. Let's say we were doing then we went all the way around and we had done too many steps that we didn't want to Control Z that it go backwards and do that. Another way of getting rid of that edge is hitting J to launch the Spot Healing brush. Now that works in a similar fashion to the Clone Stamp tool, except that we don't need to find the source point. The brush actually does that work for us. We're just going to drag over that area. It's going to look for information around that it can use to blend out a little mistake. Let's zoom out quick and see how we've done. So look at that, that's miles thicker than we started with, you can actually see the difference there. You can imagine there's a little bit of work involved in going all around the ring. So we're going to speed up here and I'll just narrate the decisions I'm making as I go. Generally, I'm staying pretty close to the edge. You know as I pull out, it's quite crazy that it's still remembers what that edge looked like. That's a nice easy way of making it thicker. I'm watching for that step and repeat as I go. Just moving my source point around to make a little more random, take care of that on the fly. Now here's a trick, I'll unlock that layer, and to blend these colors, I'm going to keep filling with the hardness of my brush and the size of it. Play with the opacity a bit. Whatever I paint is only going to reflect inside the layer. It's not going to consider the background and it's not going to paint outside of that stain. So check that out. That's a really handy thing on a texture like this. Around the skinny parts here sometimes you're going to get that little step. What I'll do is look for a nearby a little bump that might blend in with that I'll sample it. We see a bit of step and repeat happen there. I'm just going to sample from the lighter areas into the darker area there to join them together. That's great. That's actually turned out really nice. I think it looks stronger now that's its a thicker shape. It's our last texture splat. Let's turn Splat on. This is going to be our first time merging two textures together. Let's grab hold of splat and see where it can fit. I think generally considering the weight here, it's going to look based on this corner here. Let's move it on a layer above. We're going to just scale it down a bit. So hit Command or Control T, and hold on Option + Alt to just keep your proportional, probably take it down to roughly about 80 percent. See, I'm just lining up that edge there so it feels quite natural. Now, what about the colour? Well, let's go good down here. And first of all add, ah, you can't see it at the bottom of this layers panel, look for hue saturation. I'm sorry, you can't see it in this. Then we're just going to hold Option on Mac or Alt on PC to have that adjustment layer affect only the splat. We click that. Let's bring the properties panel onto view. We're going to up the saturation a little bit. Take out the lightness a little bit. That's getting closer. Let's add another adjustment layer. This time we want curves. Again, we just want that to affect only this layer. We're getting somewhere close here. We want a little bit more contrast. I think that's good. Now let's go up to this texture and we're just going to zoom in there a bit. S for our clone stamp tool. Lets make sure we're on like a medium hardness and just get it about 30 pixels we'll hold Alt + Option to blend there and then we're going to just start cloning in within the shape and size of the Ring texture that we're binding it to. We'll just drop the opacity when we get closer to the edges there. Let's go up and do the same here, so opacity back up. Just kind of blending you right in. And here, this is a little bit darker, so let's definitely get our opacity right down. We're going to go for gold and just try and get rid of that little wart while we're there. There we have one texture measure into another. If we switch off the adjustments we made, we can see the colour difference and the join is obvious, but with those back on. And specially if we link those together. Photoshop will consider that one complete texture. Let me show you what you can build using this tool. This is the Voyage project that inspired the class. I wanted to show you this. It's one of the bags before it's filled with coffee. I always ask for a print sample of anything I've worked on. This is a chance for us to see how it was printed. Nice spot vanish job on top of this ticket stub, for example. These little illustrations were made to accompany the story on the back of pack. And they were created using exactly the techniques I've just demonstrated. Now I'm going to open up the original Photoshop files of these back panel illustrations. We're looking at, a cupped hand holding water, a pair of wedding rings, a spider, and a rat, which I think was the most successful. Check out the original reference photo. It's a fairly strong silhouette and missing information here and there. But it was enough to help me build a shape on top using a large splat for the body, a few runs and branches for the limbs and a partial coffee ring for the tail. All merged using the Clone Stamp tool with some extra splats on a layer mode to help define the latter areas of the rats. In the next lesson, we're going to recreate something very similar to this using the techniques we just learned. Cool, let's recap quickly, when sampling, look for a nearby area free from spots or sudden changes in colour, so that they don't create a step and repeat pattern. If we make a mess of the texture due to a soft brush, we can use the lasso tool to quickly redefine the edge. The Clone Stamp tool can be used to thicken up skinny parts of a texture. We want to keep the sample and clone points close to each other. Using the hard brackets on your keyboard to make your brush size bigger and smaller, allows you to work faster without having to access the brush menu at the top of the toolbar. When combining textures, we want to match their appearance using adjustments such as hue saturation for colour and curves for contrast. 4. The Mini Clone Stamp Project: Welcome to the mini-project. A quick little one, we're going to just sneak out using the skills we've just learned while they're fresh in our minds. Let's go back over to that folder, and this time we're going to open up Rat. Our model today is the sleek Norway rat I found on Pinterest. In this short lesson, we're going to learn about examining textures and choosing the best parts of them in order to recreate this image as a coffee stain illustration. All the textures you need are included in this PSD and there's a basic colour adjustment layer on top. The texture is a group by type, big blobs, coffee rings, runs, small blobs, and splats. If we expand any of the groups, the layers are named according to what we'll use them for when illustrating this new coffee rat. Let's start with a body layer. First, we position each texture layer in such a way that it begins to recall the silhouette or shape of the reference photo. Keep in mind, that could mean rotating, flipping, or editing them. Anyway, the main part of the body looks great. This next texture is called bristles and has a nice dry brushed edge that looks good for the hairs on the back of the rat. I'll scale it up slightly. That looks good. I thought the darker side of this texture could be used for the belly as it'll work well for such a shaded area. I'll tap L on my keyboard for my lasso tool and this is our first time chopping out parts of the texture. But look at this, while the selection is still alive, I can simply copy-paste and I get the new piece I want on a new layer, without destroying the original texture. There is another part of this texture that I think will make a good ear if we just rotate it. That's Command or Control T for Transform and we'll just spin it around. Next, let's pick a texture to use for the tail. I'll continue blocking out the silhouette with feet and whiskers. These particular textures are made by little splashes of coffee, which will make great paws. Even though I will be made from a coffee texture, we're going to align the two using the vertical and horizontal centre controls at the top menu. These splats will be used for light areas a little later on, but let's get them in position first. It's time to start refining the body shape. First, I'll drop the opacity of the layer so I can follow the reference closely. Then I'll neaten it up with my lasso tool like we did in the previous lesson. We'll do the same for the bristles layer. Let's begin by joining the textures with the clone stamp tool. I'm looking for a medium-size brush with medium hardness, not too soft or too precise. We're going to be extending the edge of the body layer so that it blends into the original bristle layer visually. I'm going to just move the part I chopped out to the top so I can position it in place. Then I'll extend the body texture again in the same way. You obviously don't have to follow along in real-time, but I'm using the same techniques we just learned in the previous lesson. Next, the ears. See I'm still blocking out the shape and now that we have the main silhouette in place, we are doing the smaller details. Again, it's chopping it out with the lasso tool and extending the body layer with the clone stamp tool so that it appears to join up and form a complete texture. When each part is nicely joined, I select both layers and with Command or Control E, I merge them into a single texture. Here's an artistic choice you have to make when you use textures in this way. Do I make the tail follow the reference exactly, or do I position a real-life, recognisable texture as close as possible, but not true to life? I'm going to switch on the other layers I positioned earlier and block out the finer details of this illustration. You can always reduce the visibility of any part of a texture that's blocking your reference layer if you need to see it while you work. I'm going to take a third part of the original belly and ears layer and use it for the hind leg. This has been the most useful of all the textures. So when you make your own, make them interesting. I think you know the drill by now. I'll chop away the parts I don't need using the lasso tool and I'll use the clone stamp tool to extend the main body layer so that it blends into the textures that I'm adding. Consider this a trial run of the skills you just learned in the previous lesson. You get a mini-project out of it. And this exercise has been designed to equip you for the next few lessons where we really start thinking about our class project. Yes, we have an entire texture on its own layer just for one toe. But look how much energy the illustration has when we start seeing little bits that aren't directly connected to the main compound shape. Now we'll need to darken parts of the texture in order to give this illustration some depth. Curves gives me the option to adjust the shadows and mid-tones. I'm looking at other naturally darker parts of these coffee textures so that I can match them. Check this out. I'm going to draw a custom hind leg using the lasso tool. Then I clone into that selection so that it fills up with the coffee texture. Why do it this way? Well, it is an illustration after all and if it was made entirely of bits and texture, it would probably look more like a collage. I need to darken the edges so that my fake texture matches the real one all around it. Remember in the previous lesson how we could select darker or lighter parts of the same texture to manipulate it? That's what we're doing here. I'll do the same process on the front leg quickly. Let's stop and inspect the work. The edges are a little fluffy in some areas, a quick way to resolve that is to make duplicate layers and merge them together using Command or Control E. A blurry edge is really just transparent pixels alternating with opaque pixels. And every duplicate I merge down on top starts filling up those transparent pixels to create a crisper edge. I really love how outrageous the texture for the whiskers is, so I'll pretty much use it verbatim. Remember these splats I said we could use for the lighter areas, I'm going to try them on a blend mode. Overlay is a bit fierce, maybe soft light. OK, I like how that looks, but I think it could be brighter so I'll add an adjustment layer. I'm using levels to bring up the mid-tones and light areas of the texture. It's not an exact science, I'm just eyeballing it to see when it looks right. I did rush into it so it's affecting the entire illustration. But if I just option-click between the layers, my adjustment will now affect only the layer below it. I've made a copy so both splats will have the same adjustments settings. We've made a lot of layers now it's a good time to clean up on merging some of the textures together. Remember that's just Command or Control E to merge. Now there's one thing that made the coffee packaging job look warmer and less digital and that's the Burn tool. We grab the Burn tool and use it to darken some areas so that they don't look totally flat. This tool only affects either the shadows, mid-tones, or highlights at a time. That's why I'm going up to the menu here to change it. Let's edit it a little. I think the splat at the back will look better if I scale it up and move it down. I'll reduce the opacity too because it looks hell of photoshopy right now. Because I've made it bigger, it's now running into the white canvas outside of the illustration. So with my magic wand tool that's W, I'll select the main shape of the rat and then click the Splat Layer and hit backspace, delete that part of it. I'll do the same for the other one. In real-time, this rat took 20 minutes to create. We put everything from the clone stamp tool lesson into practice and looked at some additional tools like the Magic wand and Burn tool. Cool, we've been cloning down. Alright, in the next lesson, we're going to have a little bit of fun. We're going to get off, computer, get a little bit experimental, a little bit messy, and learn how to make our own real-life textures using things like acrylic inks, watercolours, and even coffee. Let's go. 5. Sourcing Textures: So let's create our own textures. We're looking for happy accidents unpredictability such as the table wobbling, or what happens to paint when water is introduced to it. Grab all the paint and ink you have laying around the house, and I'll see you in my basement. For this demo, I'm using Hahnemühle paper stock. We can use any paper just as long as it's thick, because we don't want the paper to tear from being too waterlogged. Thicker paper also resists absorption and gives the mediums longer to dry up, so a 300 gram watercolour paper would be ideal. I'm going to prime the paper with a little water. Next, I'll drop in some Daler-Rowney acrylic ink with the eyedropper. Look how the edges of the water catch that colour. The ink runs and parts perhaps from the angle of the table or the breeze through the window, it pools where the water is still thick and dries up where it isn't. I will introduce a generic store brand acrylic, you can see it's much more viscous than the premium one we just used. It doesn't quite go to the edges, but watch when you introduce a little water, a beautiful colour combo as they blend together. These All-Purpose Inks are essentially acrylics too but much more watery, so we can put them straight on a paper. The ink behaves much like watercolours, staying wet for a long time and allowing me to layer up the colour slowly. Here, I'm going for what I hope will look like a night sky that I can use in my project. The major advantage of this medium is that I have ample time to swirl and pool it, but it dries super quickly once you leave it to rest so it's great for digital designers on a deadline. Talking of watercolours... We've got some wet-on-wet going on here as well as direct to paper. While I do want to blend sympathetic colours, it's not a typical watercolour result I'm after; I actually want the compound shapes. These textures won't be used in isolation, but serve as starting points for a large clone texture. Check this out though. Using a large round brush, we can just shake on little blobs of water and it makes it an interesting texture. But here comes the magic, gently introduce some watercolour medium and it becomes this fantastic swirly marble texture. It won't dry like this, but you could capture this photographically before it does. This writing ink was used by the queen of England, with what I imagine to be a very traditional fountain pen. We were taught how to use it in college because it's so versatile. You can get this scratchy, dry brush texture I'm doing now, as well as wet-on-wet and direct to paper. Her majesty could also try smashing out a punky texture like this. What surprises people about this ink is, while it goes on black, it actually draws navy blue with yellow edges; use a napkin or a cloth to dab the edges and avoid this. You can also use the napkin to dab out a cloud-like texture afterwards. Finally, I'm going to try combine this ink with one of the acrylic medium so we can see how they behave together and what they'll look like. Currently, something like a fried egg. Coffee, this one is easy. Make yourself a cup of coffee, black or white and spoon some of it into a saucer. A second mug is dipped into the saucer and stamped onto the paper. Experiment with dragging the mug for thicker rings, or pressing it down hard and pulling off quickly for messier random rings with knots, branches, and splats. To get the coffee to pool at one side of the ring, press the mug down, and try pulling it off straight up versus at an angle for different results. You can use a dry flat brush to augment the edges too. I've got a whole desk full of different textures now, we looked at all those different inks and mediums that we can use. If you are a digital designer like me, I highly recommend stepping away from the computer every once and a while and just diving into something messy and experimental. It feels great to not be so pixel perfect with everything. That's said, this is a Photoshop class, so everything we've made, we can colour correct, we can change the shape of it, we can distort it, we can flip it so there's a lot of freedom in that too. Next, we're going to have a look at how to get these textures into Photoshop. There's a couple of ways of doing that, let's take a look. If you're old school or working from home, you probably have a printer scanner. Here are the recommended settings to use. Change your default resolutions for at least 300 dpi, and then your textures are going to be good for print. Since we want to get close up with these textures, let's double that to 600 so that they land in Photoshop at double the size of the project. You can also set a target folder for your files ie. not the desktop. I'm going to name mine acrylic, because I'll scan all acrylics one after another. JPEG is tempting as a format, it comes in at a smaller file size, but it's subject to compression. Every time you save JPEG over itself, you lose more image quality. Let's go for a high-efficiency format or TIFF which is an uncompressed file. Option 2 is in your pockets, whether you have an Android or iOS device, Adobe Scan is for everyone. You can sign in with Google or Facebook, I'm signed in with my Adobe account. I'm going to just click the camera icon, and it's going to start looking for the documents straight away. It's going to find the edges, just going to hold it steady, and I'll click "Continue", tap that picture just to have a look at it. Now its pumped the colours a little bit which might suit your purposes. It'll be a little bit easier to cut out because it's not showing the paper texture. I prefer a more representative scan, so I'm just going to click "Colour" here and give it the original colour. You can also edit the name, so I'll do the same there, I'll just call it acrylic. I'm going to just put the number as well, 0 1. Save the PDF, click "Share", it's already uploading it to the document Cloud share a copy. Then I'm a fan of Airdrop, I'm going to just send it over to this computer here. You can also send it as an email or share it as a link, and it's going to appear in the document Cloud. There it is as I scanned it, and I'm actually really impressed. Let's compare this scans to the one we did on the print's scanner. The print's scanner loses a little saturation, but it does brighten the paper which makes it easier to process. Adobe scan does an incredible job with the colours of the ink, but the paper texture is very high contrast from the daylight coming from the side when I scanned it. I'd be happy to recommend either method though. It's safe to say in this lesson, we learned that we are capable of making our own textures, and that when we have fun, when we approach it from a random angle, when we experiment a little bit, we can get some pretty good shapes, and a lot of those shapes if we look closely, can tend to spark ideas for projects rather than just being a texture that we found online and popped into a project. That was a lot of fun. I hope that you experiment a little bit, that you maybe have some interesting textures. If you have anything you are proud of or you've got a question about, feel free to post in the discussion area below of this class. If you weren't able to create your own things, remember that you can download everything we just made in this lesson from the Projects and Resources area. In the next lesson, we're going to look at sourcing our own photography and vectors for our projects. I'll see you there. 6. Sourcing Photos & Vectors: What will you illustrate for your projects? Maybe music is your thing, you might use guitar picks, safety pins, bottle caps, depending on the genre. In the project that inspired this class, the illustration was for a coffee brand so including coffee beans help sell that. Personally, I want to make a love letter to my city so I'm going to use architecture, botanicals, animals, industry, and trinkets. We're here at my favourite building. You can see it from almost anywhere in the city, so it acts like a compass and I like that. I'm using a DSLR here with a 22-55 millimeter lens because I want to get the cleanest shot I can. We're going to hit the streets for a close-up. I want to make sure I get a great reference of the glass in detail for my illustrations. I think it's so important to try and source our own original photos for our illustrations. When we rely on Google images, our work lacks originality and it can look incoherent. Now we're at the beach front, with botanicals next on the list. Durban is full of palm trees, but I like these ones because I can get a really clean shot with no other buildings or trees behind. We'll look for trinkets while we're here too. Curio stalls like this have a mix of handmade ornaments, instruments, zulu weapons, and jewellery that all remind us of growing up here. Ours is a maritime industry, and for me, nothing cues that more than these red cranes. Between monkeys and birds, I think a bird would be a better fit with everything I've collected today. Look at the elegance and poise of this graceful creature. But my bird is over here. Hadada Ibis, mother nature's alarm clock. I'm a little concerned that the bird looks anxious in my photo. This one is a beautiful pic by my buddy Geoff, who is a professional photographer. My image that I got in the park was okay. I could have actually selected the bird, but it didn't look right and there's nothing I can do in Photoshop to change the posture, the emotional output of the animal. He gets these on his roof every morning and he was happy enough to snap off a couple for me. Look at them, you can just see it almost looks happy to have its picture taken. I also love how we're looking upwards at it, much like the angle I got of the building. I think when we look at all our photos together, I've just got them all in different windows in Photoshop. We can start to get a sense of what will go where. That's probably going to extend to the top of the illustration. This guy's definitely perching on top because we're looking at them. The beach mission was pretty good as well. Unlike you guys, I don't dream of cutting out or selecting an entire bushy little tree. But it's about seeing how it behaves. If we find a vector of a palm tree, it's so often stylised and it looks like it's at the Copacabana or something. But I want a palm tree as it looks, as I'm used to seeing it. There's these bushy ones that stick up. There's also these little ones which I thought made a cute pair. The industry one, not as successful. Unfortunately, there's only so close you can get to these cranes. It is the bread and butter of the city, the harbor, and the trade there. We could have gone on the little boats and got up to them, but I don't want everything to be this big, grand angle looking up. Sometimes you want a bit of grit, you just want something represented as a basic silhouette. I'm not too worried about these, I was glad to have gone and seen the context, see the shape of them. I'm pretty sure if we look online, that just about every harbor in this world has got cranes that look like this. Almost forgot. There is one other thing we need to look at, and that's this awesome little trinket I picked up, it's some traditional Zulu bead work. I haven't shown it on the screen because I'm not quite sure how I'm going to use it. I'm might curl it up and take a photo of it. I'm might scan it in as a complete texture or I might just reference that little pattern that we see there and pick on some of the colors. [MUSIC] Two places I like to look for royalty-free stock images for illustration work are Unsplash and Pond5. Unsplash is definitely user-submitted photos, so it's people like you and me, just creatives putting photos up. Most of the time, all you really need is to credit the original photographer if you're using the image verbatim, so on a blog or on a post or something like that. From what I can tell in the legal notice, you can use in part any of the images in a creative work as we're going to do. Let me have a look for harbor crane and see if I can find something better than the one I got. I'm going to scroll down, I'm sure I'm going to find something I like. See, there you go. That's what I want. What's nice about Unsplash is once you are going into a focused search on harbor cranes here in my case. You can look at related photos and sometimes find other options. Look at this, that's perfect. That's actually beautiful. I'll just go over here to "Download", and I think that's a silhouette I can definitely use in my project. Pond5 is a favorite of Skillshare teachers. You can get footage, you can get music, you can get stock photos. If you come over to the free section of the site, you can just go on "Photos", "View All Free Photos", and like they say, we can just stock up on these. One may be small disadvantage of Pond5 compared to Unsplash is, it's not as easy to drill down exactly what you're looking for. You're going to search by category. I could get animals, I could get nature for the botanicals and things like that. "Urban", "Travel". "Industry and Agriculture" is probably where I'm going to find my cranes. Let me launch that. It's pretty broad. Here, we've got oil rig workers, construction cranes, agricultural produce. I'm probably going to spend a long time looking for exactly what I need in here but I'm getting an aspect of inspiration about colors and angles. For vectors, there's two places I like to look for, let's say palm trees. One is Freepik and one is Vecteezy. We go to Freepik, let's check free, and let's check vectors, go Palm Tree. There's some amazing stuff here. This is what I was talking about where it's very stylized and Copacabana. Then you get these other packs where they're moving a little bit and you even get really realistic vectors, which is quite amazing. Let's have a look around and see if there's anything here for us. That's pretty good. I can just hit the "Download" button to download. You can sign up as a paid member and you will need to do attribution. For free download, you're just going to need to include somewhere in your work that it did come from Freepik. Vecteezy tends to have more refined and professional-looking vectors. We go to vectors here and we'll just go Palm Tree again. A lot of the same stuff, but within a packet like this, you're getting a lot of options, and those are pretty good. We're going to look for free to make sure that we can actually use this without needing to sign up for an account. You can spend quite a lot of time looking for vectors. But if you know what you're looking for, if you've got that natural reference, you can see which ones look realistic and which ones look cartoony, and generally you're going to want a vector program like Adobe Illustrator to pull these apart for your image. Super fun being a tourist in my own city and great to have you guys along for the ride. You can see with very basic tools, in my case it's an extremely old DSLR and a very basic iPhone, I can get just about any image that I need for my project. Where I do get stuck, I find inspiration for what to look for online and we learned about where to go looking for royalty-free stuff that's not going to land us in any trouble. Now once we've got all that and we've got it onto the computer, we need to process a little bit to get it ready for Photoshop, to get it ready for our final projects. That's what the next lesson is all about. I'll see you guys there. [MUSIC] 7. Processing Your Images: This lesson is about processing of photos. Maybe like me, your photos come from a variety of places, perhaps some are on your phone, maybe you found some online, perhaps you shut some of the DSLR. In any case, they're going to be a varying quality, so we've got to level the playing field a little bit. On top of that for this project specifically, we're going to learn how to carefully degrade the photography and really pump the contrast so that it looks like it belongs with our texture. I'm super pumped to get started on this. [MUSIC] We're going to be using layer masks from this point, but to isolate our images and to combine textures. If you're experienced with layer masks, feel free to skip ahead. If you've never made a layer mask in Photoshop before then stick with me. Layer mask that you hide parts of a layer in Photoshop without permanently deleting them. Add a layer mask to any layer you want to edit by clicking this little icon here. Immediately your colors change to whites and black because these colors determine what will be hidden and what will be shown. By default, the layer mask is set to white, which reveals this entire photo. If I fill the mask with black, the photo is hidden, change it to white and the photo is back again, layer masks remain completely editable in this way. To access the layer mask directly, option Alt-click on the icon. Once inside adding black will mask or hide those parts of the photo. If we paint white inside a black mask, the photo shows through the white areas only. Black conceals white reveals. Simply click back on your layer to exit the mask. If you need to disable or enable the layer mask, right-click for options. Those are a lot of layer masks. [MUSIC] This is a nice clean shot which will be easy to extract. We want to access the magic one tool using the W key on the keyboard. Now let's click "Select Subject" from the top toolbar. Photoshop does a pretty good job on that, but we can see it missed some of the foot. Let's click, "Select a Mask" and try to refine this a little bit. Now there are a few different ways you can view your mask, I prefer overlay as I find it easier to see what Photoshop is doing, you can change this red to a custom color by the way, what this mode gives you now is a brush to show Photoshop what else you want selected. This brush will default to the last size you had, so maybe you can make it bigger or smaller with your hard bracket keys. We're just going to quickly brush over the foot area, and we see photoshop is adding that to the selection. In the Properties menu, there are further refinements we can make. I'm just going to add a one-pixel feather, which will just give this a softer more national edge and leave the other settings as-is for now. When ready output settings are a little further down, going with the selection will give me just a bit isolated, but as I might want to refine further, I'm going to ask Photoshop to create a new layer with the layer mask. Now we've got our original photo and a new layer above with the background masked out. If I disable the layer mask, you can see it's the whole photo. With the mask back on we've got an isolated image which we can move freely, and which is ready to use an illustration. If we want to go in and change the way the subject is isolated, we can simply access the layer mask by holding down option or Alt and clicking on this black and white image. Once inside the layer mask, we can change anything from the feathers to the feet. But what about images with foreground and background detail like a building? Let's try Select Subject again. It's missed quite a bit of the detail. The edges are really crunchy and the Photoshop has completely ignored the gaps and architecture. How do we resolve this? We could adjust properties within select unmask to refine and improve this selection. Remember, we have a brush to teach Photoshop what want to be included in this selection. If we hold down the option or Alt key our brush will now minus areas from this selection. I don't really want to play around with this. I think I can do better. I'll create my own layer mask by opening the Paths window. Hitting "P" to bring up the Pen tool and carefully drawing around the building. I'll click every time the path changes direction and for a corner, a railing, etc. Let me create a copy of my layer by dragging the photo onto the little plus icon. Clicking this little icon that looks like a Japanese flag will add a layer mask to my new layer. Back in the Paths window, I'll select the path I just drew and I inspect it up close. I'll right-click and choose the Make Selection, then fill that with white by going option Alt Backspace. To use those pods within a Path, we change to our Direct Selection tool by hitting keyboard shortcut A and holding option Alt to select each subsequent points. Again, right-click Make Selection and now we fill with black by using Command or Control and Backspace. A quick close-up inspection and it's looking beautifully deperched. You'll remember these acrylic inks that [inaudible] is missing with, they dried with really hot edges and good contrast. The Select Subject method we used on the bird work very well here. I did add a little more contrast to the mask to give the selection these rougher edges. Select Subject is a great method for very opaque textures like these inks, paints, and laid watercolors, but what about a very challenging texture? By the very nature, watercolors are transparent and I can see us running into issues where these textures just blend away into the paper. Let's give Select Subject a try anyway, shall we? We'll be looking at a lot of refinement here and we wouldn't do much bit about drawing a path around them either, so what else can we do. There is a third method of regenerating a layer mask, and that is by creating two copies of the original texture, we fill the top layer with a gradient map of blacks or whites and process it until it becomes something we can use as a mask to isolate the watercolor textures. To up the contrast, I'll duplicate the black and white layer, set it to multiply, and combine it with the layer below by hitting Command or Control E. Then I'll use levels to play with the shadows, mid-tones, and the highlights. I want to preserve the transparency of the watercolor texture and I'll worry about the paper afterwards. I'll hit "Okay", and Command and or Control-A to select the whole black and white layer, and then I'll copy, add a layer mask to the color texture, option Alt, I'll click it to access it and paste my black and white version in. We'll need to invert this with Command or Control I. I'll fill the layer below with a solid color so you can see how much of our texture is being masked. Let's actually pick a really fun color. We see the edges of the texture I quite well-defined, and I think we can just paint out the paper texture on the layer mask. Remember with option Alt, I'll click the black and white image to access the mask directly, and I'll simply hide the paper by painting over it with black. You can also still paint on the mask while seeing the full-color texture, as long as the mask has this white outline, if it doesn't, you're probably painting over your actual texture. Let's inspect. Yes, the texture is well on its way to being isolated. You can find the final one in the resources section below this video. [MUSIC] Now we're in Illustrator and I'm going to process one of the stock fixes I downloaded in the previous lesson. First, I'll hide the layers I won't be using. We've got a lot of nice parts here. I can customize their fonts and their positions. I'll take this tree here, I'll simplify the vector to just the tree itself by locating and hiding the layers I don't want. Then it's a straightforward copy and paste into Photoshop, making sure it's a smart object so that we can keep on editing the vector in Illustrator. You can use a vector straightaway at this point, or you can double-click it, which will take it back to Illustrator for further editing. I'm just going to fill it with black, save it and close it and it will update in Photoshop. Let me name the layers and I've got architecture, industry, animals, botanicals. The only thing I'm missing is trinkets and I'll take care of that in the next lesson. Right now, it's time to [MUSIC] We need to change all of these images to black and white values via a gradient map and Photoshop's default colors. We can manually adjust the contrast with levels, that's Command or Control L to launch. I'm bringing the mid-tone and highlight values closer together and then shifting them both over towards the shadows points. To really pump the contrast of an image, you select parts of it and process them individually. Just hitting L on the keyboard will bring up the lessor tool, and levels will only apply to the area that the lessor has been used to select. You can even lift an area that seems to be completely in shadow and get this high contrast look that will blend well with our colorful textures. We've processed a lot of photos, vectors, and textures, and now it's time to start thinking about combining them all for our postcard projects. I'll see you in the next lesson. [MUSIC] 8. Planning: Thumbnail Composition: [MUSIC] When we talk about composition, we really mean two things in this class. Firstly, composition in terms of graphic design. It's important that we establish a hierarchy with these assets. What size will it be? What is their relationship to each other? We want to have a pleasing visual hierarchy and cohesively they ought to tell a story. Secondly, the digital composition that we are going to be building in photoshop. But before we get to that point, let's talk about number one. Composition is the arrangement of elements so that they appear well-balanced and interesting to the viewer's eye. Without composition rules in place, our work can actually exhaust and even confuse the viewer's eye. Look at how these different placements make the work better or worse, It's about weight distribution, contrast, and the rock number of elements. Here are the top three things I consider when I illustrate. Number one, the focal point, the balance, the journey of the eye through the composition. Number two, what to reduce what to include. We only want to keep things that clearly communicate the core concepts. Number three, the image hierarchy. Here's a great little theory for this. If we think about project like a car. A car has a driver, somebody running a shotgun, and a few passengers in the back. In terms of moving the car forward, there's a hierarchy in play here. The driver is the most important, shotgun second most important and the passengers are supporting elements that are along for the ride. To assist me in deciding on the composition of the elements, I'll draw some very basic thumbnails, thumbnails if you don't do them are quick sketches which explore different ways the illustration could go. It's a classic graphic design approach that effectively solidifies the idea and irons out, any potential composition issues. Boom, some thumbnails in the top corner. This just helps me remember which assets we have, which direction the latter is sitting from, et cetera. From our first study, I'm thinking something circular, obviously, it works a great effects in the coffee job and what I liked in that job and it'll work here too is that the circle spins little shapes out of it. The building's going to be my hero here and I'll use the palm trees, the Zulu beadwork, the beads, and just a bit of typography to sit under that. Well, so they need a triangle model, a cool. I'll just punch a little bit out of the texture so that it doesn't look too digital. I'll make a compressed version of the city scan and all the places he visits a day, and now that Hodeidah is residing over everything, that's mother nature's alarm clock. On the bottom we're going to use the trinkets to just spell out the name of the city. For the last idea, I'm going to let the texture, do the talking. But Durban for instance, into the top and just to have all these shapes growing out of the texture. The building still going to be my hero and I'll have the Hodeidah next. [BACKGROUND] That trinkets. I'm just going to depth and texture in there. [BACKGROUND] [NOISE] Alright, got the thumbnails up on the wall and we'll do a quick review here. I just want to fund the best one of these that clearly communicates the hierarchy of these assets has good balance and has a focal point that tells us the story or the city. We've got three options here, ranging from pretty much fairly safe, something that's been proven in the coffee drug. Something a little bit more experimental with this very geometric triangle shape, and then something that probably belongs on a t-shirt rather than a postcard. There's two strong candidates here let me start with this one. This is got a humerus angles. So this body is not so big as some mother nature's alarm clock. It works here because it's separate from the other elements and the triangle shape is telling what the junior needs to go on. We start with the Hodeidah that'll draw our attention and then we go down, go across the cityscape, and back up to the Hodeidah bird. That's pretty cool. That one's out if you can already tell. Why I think this is not going to work as well as the other option is it's so straight, it's so graphic, it's so Bauhaus and ticks to just as a lack that it needs to be free. It needs to have runs and drips and that's what really sells this technique and makes it work. I'm coming back to the first option I did. I love the way it spins the shape-outs, look, the clear driver and the situation is the building. So it's telling us the story, let's go into Durban, let's go see this building. The shotgun is the Zulu beadwork, that's the trinkets and that's the treasure you'll find in the city. The passengers are supporting elements, what you'll see on the drive. So you've got the cranes, which represent the industry. You've got some of the local wildlife and botanicals in the palm trees in the Hodeidah and tying it all together is the texture. So let's do that one. [MUSIC] 9. Building Your Composition: [MUSIC] Now that I've decided which thumbnail I'm going to work up from a project, it's time to start building the composition in Photoshop. Good news, it's only a four-step process. We're going to add our images, then we'll add our textures. The next step is to blend the images into the textures. Finally, we'll use the clone stamp tool to extend the textures beneath the images. I suggest we work at a higher resolution than the postcards template. Let's create a new canvas of these dimensions. This will allow us to zoom in really close and will mean our design has more potential for printing and merchandising. Adding images couldn't be easier, just drag them into your new canvas. To protect the original image quality, I recommend converting each layer to a vector smart object. Now when we scale up or down the image resolution is preserved. Picking textures can be tough. Find the couple that suit your thumbnail design. These texture resources can be cut off with the lasso tool and then copy pasted it into your project canvas. I've seen an opportunity for contrasting textures. My design is going to have a warm orange texture contrasting with the cool blue texture. This is going to give the illustration a lot of visual interest and support the coastal city design I chose for my projects. Would contrasting textures work for your idea too? The last part of step two is to group our layers by images and textures. This will allow us to apply a single effect to the group and the whole batch inside will assume that same effect. We can also easily toggle the visibility of other group, which will help us focus on individual parts at a time. For my projects, I'll need to customize this texture into a ring shape. You could customize your textures too. It's actually something we already did in the clone stamp tool lesson. With the lasso tool, we simply cut out or refine the edges. I don't want a perfect circle cut out, so to get a more natural effects I can select around the texture itself with the magic wand tool, invert the selection to snap it back to the texture shape, and then scale it down to create the center. For more advanced customization, try these buttons at the top menu bar. These allow us to use our lasso tool to add or subtract from the current selection. Once the selection is done, it's used as a layer mask to hide the center of the texture. I need to mask off quite a big portion of this blue texture too and I'll also cut out these little splats for later. To blend contrasting textures where they intersects, we just paint inside our layer mask using a soft round brush. I can also select parts of the first mask using the magic wand tool, then use that selection to guard my current mask while I paint on the overlap. When you have your base textures in a good place, it's worth looking at them from another angle. We've talked about balance and composition and the best way to see if your base texture is well-balanced is to look at them upside down. Tap R on your keyboard to rotate the view and just spin the canvas round. You can reset the view at the top menu bar. The next step is to use blend modes to make our images live with the textures. Blend modes change the way a layer interacts with the layer below it. This technique requires additive blend modes like Overlay and Soft Lights, which will bring the texture color into the darker parts of our images. This is why we process our images to such a high contrast look, the optimal for these additive blend modes. As soon as we apply a blend mode to the group, we instantly see the effects are achieved on the coffee projects. Your thumbnail can guide your composition as you put all the images in place. The final step is to extend the textures with the clone stamp tool. Always clone on a new layer above the one you're extending. This is going to allow you much more flexibility if you decide to adjust the placements of any of your images later. Make sure that the sample field in the top menu bar is set to current and below so that we're picking up the right [inaudible]. Then it's the process you learned in lessons 3 and 4, focus on what you're sampling. Do you require a darker or lighter part of the texture? Are you constantly resampling to avoid the step and repeat effects. You'll find that the illustration really starts to appear at the stage and that you may well, once a customer has some of the images further, I'm going to demonstrate something a little different than what we've learned up until now. This palm tree is a vector element as you recall, and we don't actually use the vector verbatim, but rather towards creating a layer mask. I still want to keep the vector smart objects, so I'll create a copy of this. What does this black palm tree going to do in a layer mask? Black hides things, doesn't it? We pop a white layer below and merge them together using Command or Control E. Command or control I inverts the layer to the correct colors and it's ready to copy-paste into a new layer mask. The texture will now only show through the white palm tree of this layer. If your projects includes a lots of vector elements, this is a good process to use. You can also use it for any image that is really a silhouettes without variational contrast like these cranes here. This particular process is great to incorporate texture in the top as well. I have my type already set up. Just a simple welcome message with the city name. As with your vectors, keep your top layers live and set them aside. This gives you flexibility to change what it says or even translate your message into another language. The process is going to be the same as the vector palm tree. I'll merge a copy of my top layers with a white layer, then invert them so that the texture will only show through the white letters. Now, I'm actually including this top in an existing layer mask. Be careful here. If I were to copy and paste this entire layer into the existing mask, it would completely overwrite it. Instead, we just select around the top as close as possible and paste just that section into the layer mask. Voila. You have a bunch of options now for your postcard projects. You know how to combine images and texture with top and how to customize any of these to build your composition. The last thing I did for my project was to add the trinket I picked up at the beach fronts. I deviated from my thumbnails slightly because I could see that my composition actually needed it in the bottom right to balance out the big building on the top left. It was processed exactly the same as the other images and blended into the texture in the same way. I really like where my project is going, but I think it could be even better with some refinements. But first, let's recap. To blend images with texture, we follow four steps in this order. Place images according to your best thumbnail, add textures, find the best position, customizing them if you need to, blend your images with texture using additive blend modes like soft lights and overlay. Extend the textures on new layers to the bounds of each image. Let's take a quick break and in the next lesson, we'll look at how to edit our work. 10. Editing Your Composition: As digital illustrators, one of the most important things we need to learn is when to edit our work, when to adjust the colors, when to re-balance the illustration, when to really be tough and pull certain assets out and replace them maybe with different angles or [inaudible] sort few amount of photos and vectors and that's what this lesson is all about. [MUSIC] Now that I've had a little time away from this illustration, I'm seeing it with fresh eyes. Here's what I'm thinking. There's an opportunity for the bird to move down on a land with this part of the texture. I'm also going to clone a bit further out to reveal more of the body. Small revisions like this show great attention to detail. The top is what caught my attention next. Welcome to sounds touristy and our city projects are meant to be more personal. I'll change it to something more localized. I'll also round up the point size, so 57.8 point becomes a straight 60. I'll make a smaller text about half that value. Now the composition rules come into play. The trinket is too close to the cranes, so they are clashing with each other and this could prove to be a frustrating visual distraction. Also, I think we've got enough passengers blending into the orange texture. This trinket could balance out the blue building top lift if I take it back to full color. Using a stuck vector for the palm trees saved me a lot of time, but it still looks like stuck. As it's a vector smart object, I can edit this in Illustrator and recreate that pair of palm trees are found at the beach. Watch out for sudden blending between different textures like this, but we can smooth this out by gently brushing in black and whites inside the layer mask. Let's go. I've moved the bird image down a bit. Using the Clone Stamp tool, we can modify any of those extra layers we've made. You can see I'm adding some ion to allow for more of the bird image to appear. We can select around the original image as a guide for cleaning up our clone stampede with the Eraser tool. To reveal more of the image, we just paint white into the layer mask using a small, softer brush on a low opacity. Alternatively, painting with black let's us cover up any hard edges. Remember to use your hard brackets to change the brush size as you work. Did you keep your top layers live? We can change the message here, the language, the topography, anything. I set up this little phrase between the lessons; LET'S WAAI. It's local slang for, let's go, let's go home, let's leave to go, anything like this, basically a call to action, and I much prefer it. Then it's rounding the values before replacing the top part of the layer mask, as we did in the previous lesson. This massively improves my projects. Give it a try. How local can you go? Let's learn a bit about each other. The original Trinket layer was still available, so now it's back in place of the one I processed before. I'm still happy with the size and placement. I consider the crane is part of the same issue I'm addressing. I'll open up the smart object for editing and a solution that came to me a moment ago, would be to reduce one of them and bring them closer together. The texture cloning could be better. I'd actually like to bring more red into it to give these cranes the signature color. As before, we can re-sample other parts of the texture when creating our clone layers. When I've still got the Clone tool referencing the red part of the texture, I'll also clone in a shadow below the trinkets to help lift it from the texture. To better balance the trinket with the building, I'm going to alter the color slightly in the Properties panel using selective color and targeting black. I'm pulling back the amounts of black and replacing it with cyan, magenta, and yellow. We're actually just making an adjustment layer here, much like the coffee stains head and listen for. As the trinket it is a very representative image now, in other words, recognizable as a photo, I'm inspired to continue the shadow on a layer below the image. It's a matter of painting one in, and then making it look more realistic by adding a slack blue, and some noise. We're on to the vector now. You've seen how we can go back into Illustrator by double-clicking Vector layers in Photoshop, providing it's a smart objects. Here's my prompts to you. [NOISE] I've placed more reference photos into Illustrator documents, and I'll build the same palm trees using parts of the vector stock image. In my case, it's just rearranging the fronts, then making a duplicate by holding Shift command while I drag it. To make vectors unique, we tried to play on the symmetry and repetition, both of which are very easy to spot. The second set of problems are flipped, rotated, scaled to create a different and distinct second palm tree. I've got to rebuild a texture beneath these new palms. I'm actually going to sample both the cool and the warm textures each on their own layer. Give this a try. These layers will need to be grouped together so that the vector palm trees as a layer mask can affect both at once. Finally, the big payoff of layer masks. I can paint back in some of the original blue texture to add some weights and balance to these skinny little vector palm trees. One more thing. There was a different texture I brought on at first and I'm just going to switch it on to show you. Look how much texture and color changes the emotion of our projects. Because we've set this up in groups, we can drastically alter the field of our illustration, just by trying out different textures within the texture group. In this lesson, we learned about editing our project for clarity. I had to make a few tough decisions in order to re-balance my projects. The trinket is a lot more tourist and double looking than I expected, but it's mostly blue color scheme and the size of it really balances out the opposite side of the illustration from the big blue texture top left. Once I knew I was going to have a more commercial-looking trinket, I could afford to be edgier on the text and the palm trees. It was a good trade. We learned how to sample different areas of the texture to make parts of the illustration stand out more than others. With the photos and vectors in place, I showed you how we could continue modifying the texture layers because we had preserved them in full with layer masks. We learned the value of setting up the layers in groups so that we can swap out textures, translate text, basically edit our projects into a completely new one in a matter of minutes. In the next lesson, we're going to learn how to save our projects for print, social media, and Skillshare. I'll see you there. [MUSIC] 11. Saving & Exporting: [MUSIC] I believe how we save our work is incredibly important. The files for that coffee packaging were in deep storage for over 10 years, and thanks to a little bit of care back then, the project was easy to fund and the files were great in the latest version of Photoshop. Let's check out how to export and save your projects. From the working file, the one you build your composition in, we're going to save our different assets using "Export As" which is Command Option Shift W on a Mac, and Control Alt Shift W on a PC. Super long shortcut, awesome feature. "Export As" is great for saving up versions of your projects. You can go small when emailing for approval or much larger for a poster, let's say. At first for the image and canvas size are the same and Photoshop has scaled everything to around 70 percent. We're going to export a version that's good for web, email, and Skillshare. That's 1920 by 1080. Photoshop re-crops to these dimensions and extends the background too. But check this out. We can customize how the graphic appears on this export. For my projects, I'm happy with a 70 percent scale. Make sure "Convert to sRGB" is checked. This is standard for web and screen and your colors will look as they do here wherever you use this asset. When you're happy click "Export". The job of naming the file falls to us and we'll distinguish it by adding the web to the file name. We're back on our working file and we can run the "Export As" again. "Export As" usually retains the previous settings and it's best to reset before adding new commands. 1080 by 1920 is perfect for stories, reels, and any other portrait features found on the major social platforms. Again, we can customize the size of our graphic within the crop to leave space for text, stickers, and anything else we might want to add when posting. Double-check all the settings and then "Export". Name this new file accordingly, for example, Insta post. I'm going to call mine IG story at the end there. To upload your project, make sure you're on the "Projects & Resources" tab. Scroll down and click the green button. I suggest starting with the project description. This is where to add your project image. That's the web file we exported. With that, tell us all about it. What does your project mean? What should we look out for? What was your creative process? Next, give your project a title. I tend to name mine quite predictably, but call yours anything you like. The next step which students sometimes miss is to add a project cover. This is what people will see in the class gallery and on your channel. You can use the same web file and adjust how it's displayed. Perhaps you want to zoom right in to show us some details for example. Add as much information and visuals as you like to the project description. You can add video, or additional images like textures you've made, thumbnails, etc. You can also embed a link to your socials or maybe an online portfolio. When you're ready, hit "Publish". I'll show you how the projects look on a Skillshare channel. This was one of my better projects in terms of images and information. That's the cover, then the brand, a bunch of info about my process, then the project itself. Look at how I made the chips for the projects, and then an animated GIF of different options I tried while creating these projects. A clean project setup demonstrates professionalism and makes the file easier to understand when opened up by someone else or even yourself in the future. We're going to inspect and clean up the layers, delete anything irrelevant, and make sure all layers are named and grouped properly. What the heck is this thing? Oh, the trinket shadow. I think you can see the benefit here. I'll blast through the rest. Now we're about to create a real postcard. Make sure you grab the right templates. Then next, we'll just clear up this branding here. We drag an image in from the working file, and it's tempting to merge these groups for a smaller file with no room for error, but if we do that now, the blend modes aren't live anymore and the whole black and white image pokes out beyond the texture. Let's first scale our illustration down. Then we'll save this as a PSD with the right project name. This file will be seen, so it needs to make sense. Now we're going to make the printer's file. When you print, your textures are going to lose a bit of saturation and brightness, and you can preview what this might look like with Command or Control Y. See the color shift there. We're going to flatten the entire image so that no layers can move out of place when the printer picks up this artwork. We'll save it out as a TIFF file, which is an uncompressed format. The standard settings here are fine. Next, we need to convert to a print color profile of CMYK. U.S. Web Coated is fine, but if you need absolute control of the color, speak to your printer about which color profile they use and convert this to the same profile before you send it to them. One little note, this little asterisk up top here means we haven't saved recently, so we'll just save that down. This is our print file. It's TIFF we are committing to the changes we've made. We've still got our open file. We made that PSD, so it's all good. Hey, a super pro tip for you about saving PSDs. PSD files are large because Photoshop has to calculate the visual information to show in the preview. This is a whopping 31.5 megs. Maybe your computer isn't as full as mine, but it will be after a few years. Space-saving trick number 1, switch off layer visibility when saving for a slightly smaller file. I'll save this as a copy so we can compare. From 31.5 megawatts, we're down to 29.4 just for switching off the layers. Space-saving trick number 2, compressing the file could make it even smaller. Right-click and choose "Compress". We've shaved off an incredible 13 megs. That's over 40 percent of the original file size saved. This process is the same on Mac or Windows and it's a great way to archive your projects for the long term. Now you know how to export different versions of your project from a single file using "Export As". You know that for print, it's best to make a copy of the file that's the correct size, flattened, and converted to CMYK. All these help minimize mistakes at the printers. You learned a new trick for archiving your larger projects by switching off layers and compressing the file. [MUSIC] 12. Other Applications: [MUSIC] In exploring such suites of digital tools, we've learned some fundamental skills here. You can apply these skills to fix or extend just about any digital image. In my tools of digital illustration class, students learn how to clean up a really dirty toy using the clone stamp tool. I also demonstrate how to extend a dramatic cloud texture to fit a much wider crop using the same method. How about texture? Well, another great place to incorporate it is into top. You can reverse or punch top out of its extra for an editorial feel or to make a statement. With your top layer on top, simply use the eyedropper to sample the background below the texture and fill the top with the same color. You can also put texture into top for a campaign or ad by using the top to generate a layer mask. The texture will only show through the white tab within the mask. With the mask off, we see that the texture is made from one of the ones we have in resources. You could use what you learn in Lesson 4 to harden image within a pattern. [NOISE] This time the reference layers above everything else and on a new layer, we sample parts of the pattern that line up with the reference to create our hidden image. There are several possibilities using the new skills you've learned. Can you think of any others? [MUSIC] 13. Final Thoughts: Yes, you are done. We learned a ton of stuff that enables us to include real-life textures into our digital work. [MUSIC] You learned that introducing texture is a great way to add personality to your digital work. Texture humanizes shapes, it makes stuff feel warm and analog, and it cues emotion. But if you take only one thing away from this class, let it be that original textures are easy and fun to create, and they can elevate your work to impressive standards. I hope I've inspired you to think about your city. Your project can actually influence how people perceive and feel about the place you call home. I chose to include an eclectic mix of elements that are part of everyday life in Durban. We've had our challenges. I want Durbanites to see this and smile and remember how great our city is. Our postcards can bring real joy to friends, family, and followers. Why not publish yours on Skillshare this week? Where everyone who takes this class will be able to see it, both in the projects tab on this class and on your personal channel too. If you post to Instagram, be sure to tag me so that I can share it with the world too. I can't wait to learn about your city and see your unique take on what it feels like to live there. This is a Zulu. The one is lovely. Hey, what did you enjoy about this class and what could I have done better? Please consider leaving me a review. Your feedback directly helps me create better content, and it lets other students know if this class is a good fit for them. [inaudible]. I really appreciate you taking this class, and I'd like to invite you to follow me here on Skillshare, where you can see all my other classes and be the first to hear about any new ones. I form an [inaudible]. It's been a pleasure sharing my process and my city with you. Cheers for now.