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Digital art, Smaug the Magnificent

Digital art, Smaug the Magnificent

We are talking about Smaug, the arrogant, greedy, malicious, cruel, dangerously sharp minded, massive and powerful dragon from the Hobbit.This digital art was designed by Brazilian digital artist and graphic designer André Luiz de Castro, who used ZBrush and Photoshop and took around 35 hours to finish.

Smaug is a fictional dragon and the last great Fire-drakes of Middle-earth in J. R. R. Tolkien’s 1937 novel The Hobbit. Smaug rose to prominence by laying waste to the town of Dale and capturing the Dwarf-kingdom of the Lonely Mountain (Erebor) with all of its treasure. These events occurred some 150 years before the events of The Hobbit, and Smaug was already centuries old at the time. In the book, the dragon is sometimes called Smaug the Golden or Smaug the Magnificent.

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PostworkShop – Beyond the Artistic Filters

PostworkShop – Beyond the Artistic Filters

Introduction

Everybody knows the artistic filters in our favorite image editing program, but sometimes the results can appear somewhat artificial. Let me introduce you an alternative tool: PostworkShop that comes in handy when we need an artistic effect for a photo, a 3D render or a vector illustration. First let’s see a few sample images:

pic1

These are just a few possible results among the 350+ artistic styles that you can find in PostworkShop, the artistic image manipulation tool that we are talking about. It costs $99 usd only, which is very affordable!

How it works?

With one simple click you can transform your photo, 2D image or 3D render into an oil painting or watercolor, pastel drawing or pencil sketch, abstract or old-time photograph with the built-in styles.

pic2

You can also Create your own styles with the Style Editor. Simply drop filters and existing styles into the workspace and build a new, custom filter graph. Just link each filters’ output and input pins together to easily create a complex image processing engine that becomes your own custom style!

Currently, PostworkShop is not a Photoshop plug-in, but image exchange is possible through PSD files. The plug-in will be released as a free update in version 2.0, so you can already start to learn and use it.

Conclusion

PostworkShop is really a handy tool for transforming pictures in a lot of different styles. It is easy to learn and to use. We do strongly recommend it. Let’s try it out now!

Photoshop Tutorials Submission Form

Photoshop Tutorials Submission Form

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10 Free Resources for Web Designers

10 Free Resources for Web Designers

As a designer, sometimes it’s difficult to get started on a new project. Maybe You will need to scour the web for inspiration, or doodle on a notepad to hopefully get some ideas. That’s when you need to look through collections of freebies.

Fortunately, enhancing your web design doesn’t have to cost a small fortune or take a lot of time. Here are 10 Awesome Freebies for Designers that can help enhance your web presence today.

1) Vector Icons

200 vector icons are fantastic for use on all manner of sites. With subjects ranging from science to entertaining, the vast scope of the icons means that you’re bound to find something useful.

This vector icon pack includes 200 vector shapes, meaning you can scale them up as much as you like and they’ll stay sharp. Each file includes AI, EPS, PSD and JPG files. They’re good for use on both personal and professional projects.

vector-icons-free

2) CORP responsive WordPress theme

CORP is a clean and versatile theme that’s absolutely packed with features. The simple grid layout provides an ideal frame to hang your content on, it’s ideal for corporations that need an online presence in a hurry, or as a starting point for any business whose brand image projects organization.

The theme was tested up to WordPress 3.5.1; it features the drag and drop GT3 Page Builder; it’s fully responsive and retina ready; it’s coded with SEO and best practices in mind; Google webfonts are supported; different header layouts are available; custom menus, backgrounds, modules, shortcodes and widgets are all included; there’s a premium slider plugin; complete documentation; and much, much more…

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3) Flat Rounded Social Icons

Flat design is all the rage, and trend-conscious clients are beginning to ask for redesigns to meet the current fad for all things flat. Here is a set of free almost-flat social icons which is designed to embrace flat design without surrendering to it completely, the set is a great way to iron out your current design.

social-icons

4) Flowing Borders & Ribbons

Here is a set of 46 hand-drawn frame and ribbon vectors. Scribbled onto a page and then digitized, the liberated borders look like they were drawn in the heyday of UPA cartoons; I half expect to see Mr. Magoo, or Gerald McBoing Boing, come wandering across the page.

Add a light watercolor wash and combine them with a heavily scrolling script typeface and they’d make a lovely, and personal feeling, addition to any wedding stationery.

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5) Colorful Grunge Textures

This set of 25 Colorful Grunge Textures is perfect for use as overlay textures on your photos. The pack contains 25 .jpg textures at 5000 by 5000px saved at 300ppi. The textures are compatible with all photo editors that support layers (Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, GIMP, Pixelmator etc.), both PC and Mac.

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6) Modus Versus PSD Template

Modus Versus is a free multi-purpose PSD template, designed on the 1170 grid system. Excellent for use with responsive frameworks like the popular Twitter Bootstrap, it could form the basis of a good corporate site. It would be an ideal choice for a marketing or professional services company, or you could pick it apart and use elements of it in other projects.

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7) Flat UI Kit

Flat design is more of a rejection of 3D artifice than it is a style, which fits so perfectly into the contemporary landscape that it’s already hard to envisage a time when it wasn’t de rigueur. To help you take the leap into flat design WebDesignerDepot put together this great freebie: A free flat UI kit.

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8) Bluetron icons

This is a set of 40 fantastic icons called Bluetron. They are available as PNG files (256 x 256px). You can use them for free for both personal and commercial purposes. The icons were designed by Waqas Ahmed who’s the founder and blogger of The Art Times and Lead Designer at Iconic Graphics.

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9) Ultimate Social Icon Set

This is a social icon set which contains all the latest icons needed for you social needs! It includes a total of 75 icons, provided in three sizes: 16×16, 32×32 and 64×64. The file is free for personal and commercial use.

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10) Exclusive Photoshop Patterns

This one is a Photoshop pattern file (.PAT) which contains 40 beautiful textures that you can apply to your designs. A detailed step by step instruction is provided inside the file to help you use them. You can use these as textures for your websites or any background.

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The 100 Most Popular Photoshop Tutorials 2009

The 100 Most Popular Photoshop Tutorials 2009

Sometimes, you may find it difficult to look for some of the highest quality photoshop tutorials using search engines. As most of time, almost all tutorials would label themselves to be good, high quality or even the best photoshop tutorial you can find. When searching through all these tutorials, your time is wasted.

In order to save your time, Photoshop Lady has been spending almost a whole year to search for the best photoshop tutorials for you. Eventually, we come up with The 100 Most Popular Photoshop Tutorials of 2009. These are selected from our published tutorials, with over 1 million votes and views from our Photoshop users and readers. Enjoy.

Inky Deals Giveaway: 11” MacBook Air & Design Resources

Inky Deals Giveaway: 11” MacBook Air & Design Resources

We are happy to announce another massive giveaway from Inky Deals that comes with a free pack of premium resources worth $66. The freebie is sent to the email address you use to enter the contest and is part of The Epic Bundle: $20,048 worth of Top-Quality Resources – From $49.

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About Inky Deals

Inky Deals is the place to go if you want premium resources at unbeatable prices whether you’re a graphic or web designer, developer, or business owner looking to improve yourself and your work. They’re the only ones who offer a 200% money back guarantee on every product. This means that if you’re not happy with it, you get your money back and you also get to keep the product.

Take advantage of this opportunity to win an 11” MackBook Air and 1 of the 10 Epic Bundles: $20,048 worth of Top-Quality Resources – From $49!

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What Can You Win?

You’ll get a surprise free pack of premium resources worth $66 sent to the email address you use to enter the contest. Take a look at what’s inside the The Epic Bundle: $20,048 worth of Top-Quality Resources – From $49:

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10 lucky winners will be chosen from the list of participants and each one of them will win a free copy of The Epic Bundle: $20,048 worth of Top-Quality Resources – From $49. One of the 10 winners will also take home an 11” MacBook Air!

How to Enter the Giveaway:

To enter the giveaway, please use the widget below. You can gain more entries by leaving a comment, tweeting about the giveaway and sharing it with your friends.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for participating, you’re now part of Inky’s extended design family! Sit tight, because you’ve just embarked alongside 300,000 of your peers on a ship that will lead you to great professional and personal development.

Designing a Portable Gaming Device Poster

Designing a Portable Gaming Device Poster

Welcome (back) to Photoshop Lady. Thanks for reading!

In this intermediate Photoshop tutorial we will be walking through the making of an interesting, creative advertisement poster. This is what I would consider great for advertising your newest product, or just getting some design practice. I will not be explaining the function of every tool in Photoshop used in this tutorial, instead I will be walking through the design process (if you could call it that, anyway).

Here is our end result:

GP2X Console Advertisement Design

About the Author

Eli is a young and aspiring web designer from South Australia.

Inspiration

Before starting, you may want to locate some inspiration for your design. Here are just a few great places for finding design inspiration:

deviantART (Designs & Interfaces)
depthCORE
Designflavr
Smashing Magazine Inspiration
Web Design Inspiration

And there are plenty more sites out there where you can get inspiration, just take a look. You can even get inspiration from stock sites such as iStockPhoto and Vector Stock.

1. Setting up the Canvas

When creating a new document (File > New), you may want to use a Preset size. I selected International Paper > A6. This is just for practice, so we want to keep it fairly small and RGB as the color mode.

Settings for New Document

Resolution should be at 300, unless you want to change it. To fit the document nicely on your screen you will probably have to zoom out to around 33.3% of the document size.

2. Creating a Basic Background

For our basic background we’ll just be using a radial gradient. Locate and get out the gradient tool, then set your settings similar to these:

Radial Gradient Settings

The colors seen in the above image are: #a2f0e0 and #3793b3. All done? Create a radial gradient in the center of your document. I recommend you draw some rulers onto your canvas so you can find the center easier.

Centered Radial Gradient

2-2. Additional Background Effects

Now we want to upgrade our basic background a little bit. You can do this by adding a simple texture in there then messing with the layer mode(s) and opacity. First, head on over to Katanaz-Stock on deviantART and download the Light Texture 03 image.

Copy this image onto your canvas, resize/rotate it if you like, then change the layer mode to Multiply and lower the fill/opacity to something very low, 10% for example.

Light Texture Added

Duplicate your texture layer once, change the layer mode to Screen and put the opacity up to 50%.

Light Texture Duplicate

Now, we still have a fairly basic background, but it’s much nicer than just a gradient.

3. Choosing your Product

Now you need to decide what sort of product you want to promote in this design. It could be a cell phone, a gaming console, something fashion-related, or anything really. I’ve gone with something a little more unique for this tutorial, a GP2X F-200.

Head over to Google Images and search for a large or an extra large image of whatever product you want to use. I was lucky enough to find a pretty decent, extra large image of a GP2X.

gp2x

Click the above thumbnail for the fullsize image that we’re using.

3-2. Touching up Product Image(s)

Part of the job is touching up product images and making them suitable for placing in your main design document. As you can see, the image I’ve chosen has some noticeable blotches, blemishes, etc. so let’s try and remove them using the Clone Stamp Tool. There are a few different tools that you can use to remove imperfections, but I’ve found the Clone Stamp Tool works just fine (maybe even best), in a case like this.

Clone Stamp Tool in Action

If you’re not too fond of what we’re doing in this step, you can of course just download the PSD file at the end of the tutorial and use the cutout, although you won’t have learned much!

After you have touched the image up, we need to cut the product out from the background. Since the product is very light grey on a white background, you can’t simply use the Magic Wand Tool, can you? So we’ll have to use the Pen Tool to make a very clean, precise selection around the device.

Pen Tool and Path Created

Obviously I can’t really walk through you through the entire making of the path, so if you’re a newbie with the Pen Tool and making paths, I recommend you read this advanced tutorial on the Pen Tool.

Optional: after you’re done you may want to add a colorful image into the screen of your product.

GP2X Screen Added

4. Product Placement

After you’ve made all of your touchups and cutout your product, copy it over your other canvas. If you’re running a newer version of Photoshop (CS3 I think), you should be able to convert your layer to a smart object, so you will be able to resize it, rotate it and resize it again (over and over) without losing quality.

So, if you’re on a newer version of Photoshop, right-click your product layer and convert it to a Smart Object.

Convert Layer to Smart Object

Using Transform Mode (ctrl+t), size your product down to something more appropriate and then position it accordingly. To bring your product off of the background, you may want to apply a basic drop shadow via an Outer Glow layer style.

Outer Glow Layer Style Added

Duplicate your GP2X layer twice, rotate one -15.0 degrees, and the other 15.0 degrees using Transform Mode (ctrl+t). Position your new duplicates accordingly, and size them down a little if necessary. You have to use your own imagination here.

Duplicate and Rotate Products

Both duplicates have a similar Outer Glow layer style applied to them, except using a lower opacity.

5. Abstract Elements

To make our design “pop” we’re gonna use some abstract elements.

Using Cinema 4D I managed to muster up a basic but cool abstract render using the GP2X image as the texture. Using this render we’re going to make our design look a whole lot more interesting.

Download Abstract Render

This is how I made use of the 3D abstract:

1. Start by copying it to your canvas, make a few duplicates.
2. Rotate/resize/position your render(s) underneath the product, then erase away the parts of the render that make the overall design look worse than better.
3. Repeat 1-3 times.

And now I have this:

Abstract Render Duplicates

Now that looks much better! If you look around for some inspiration, or in some magazines for creative cellphone ads, you’ll notice these ads have a similar design style going on. The idea is to get some creative elements behind the product/around the product/maybe on top of the product.

6. Vector Elements

I still think our design is a bit boring, so let’s find some vector stocks. Check out the freebie websites such as Vecteezy and find some vectors. Or you can go to iStockPhoto/Vector Stock/Go Media and get some premium vectors.

To start off with I just used two simple splats with a light, sky-blue color (#87ffff), but it should be very easy to find a free brush that will do the job of these vectors just fine.

Splatter Vectors Added

Next, I used a set of vector icons that I bought a while back from Vector Stock for just one credit (one dollar!) to place underneath the product. This is what I’ve got:

Icon Vectors Added

This may look better or worse in your opinion, so please feel free to do whatever you like with the design to make it according to your tastes.

Note: the icons in the above image have an outer glow applied to them, using a light color and Linear Dodge as the blend mode.

Another note: for some reason I’ve been unable to locate these icons again on Vector Stock, otherwise I would have linked to them. I’m sorry if this is an inconvenience.

7. Logo/Text

If possible, find a large version of the logo that belongs to the product you’re trying to promote here. Copy it onto your canvas and resize it to an appropriate size.

Logo Added

Optional: lower opacity and apply layer styles to add extra effect to the logo.

Layer Styles Change

Next, add in some text describing your product.

Top text, description:

Top Description Text Added

Bottom text, website URL:

Bottom Text (URL) Added

The font used here is called Frutiger, it’s a commercial font rather than a free one, so you may want to find a suitable alternative. The text you can see in the above images also have a slight Drop Shadow layer style applied to them.

8. Finalizing

Finalizing the design is up to you. You need to add your own touches to this design to make it perfect. I don’t think I did anything to it that wasn’t stated in the tutorial! Some ideas would be to change the color of the document using some adjustment layers (add more contrast using levels adjustment, etc.)

A good idea would be to add some more color, so if you like, create a new layer, select a large, soft brush and make a few blobs on your canvas using different colors. Change the layer mode to something such as Color Dodge or Overlay.

GP2X Console Advertisement Design

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Thanks for reading the tutorial, I hope you enjoyed it.

20 Best Places to Submit Your Photoshop Tutorials

20 Best Places to Submit Your Photoshop Tutorials

When you have created your own amazing Photoshop tutorials, I am sure you would like to spread the world by submitting them to the Photoshop tutorials sites. However, many of the Photoshop tutorials sites are inactive, and have not been updated for a long time. Only some of the Photoshop tutorials sites can drive you large amount of traffic.

We have selected the following 20 Best Places to Submit Your Photoshop Tutorials. They can gives you nice amount of traffic and a good quality of valid linkback. You can find the “Direct Submission Link” on each of the Photoshop tutorials sites we mentioned. We hope it can make your life easier.

—————- Direct Submission Link —————-

Pixel2Life

Pixel2Life

Pixel2Life is probably the biggest tutorial search engine on the web, covering the most subjects as well.

—————- Direct Submission Link —————-

Good-Tutorials

Good-Tutorials

Good-Tutorials is the largest source of tutorials on the web today. It has been featured on the BBC, SkyNews, TechTV (now G4), in the British magazine iCreate, PC World, and has been linked to by thousands of sites, blogs and forums. Since its start in 2002, it has been designed, coded, and loved by Zach Holman.

—————- Direct Submission Link —————-

Design Bump

Design Bump

Design Bump isn’t just a tutorial website, rather a general design resources depository. Covering subjects such as: Web Design, Tutorials, Flash, Business, Programming, WordPress and much more!

—————- Direct Submission Link —————-

Psdtuts+

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Psdtuts+ is a blog/Photoshop site made to house and showcase some of the best Photoshop tutorials around. We publish tutorials that not only produce great graphics and effects, but explain the techniques behind them in a friendly, approachable manner.

—————- Direct Submission Link —————-

PSLover

PSLover

One of the bigger Photoshop tutorial databases on the web, PSLover has been arond for quite a while now and is still going strong.

—————- Direct Submission Link —————-

Tutorialvault.net

Tutorialvault.net

Tutorialvault.net focuses on collecting and archiving the best graphic and coding tutorials on the internet. While a large part of our database features tutorials from the Adobe Family of programs, we also have a vast list of CSS, PHP and 3D tutorials.

—————- Direct Submission Link —————-

TutorialsGarden

TutorialsGarden

Covering many subjects extensively, such as: 3D Studio Max, CSS, Fireworks, Flash, Gimp, Photoshop and more.

—————- Direct Submission Link —————-

Tutorial Outpost

Tutorial Outpost

Tutorial Outpost was started in November 2003 by Josh Pigford initially as a project to learn web development. It quickly turned in to much more as being one of the first major tutorial portals around. It has expanded in to many more categories past the initial Photoshop Tutorials and is now visited by more than 125,000 people each and every month.

—————- Direct Submission Link —————-

Tutorials Expert

Tutorials Expert

Covering subjects of: 2D graphics, 3D graphics, audio editing, business applications, databases and more.

—————- Direct Submission Link —————-

Photoshop Roadmap

Photoshop Roadmap

A brilliant collection of Photoshop tutorials, brushes, resources and plenty more.

—————- Direct Submission Link —————-

FSTutorials

FSTutorials

A beautiful depository for Photoshop tutorials, including the following categories: basics, buttons, color effects, designing, drawing, photo effects, special effects, text effects, textures and web graphics.

—————- Direct Submission Link —————-

TutorialMix

TutorialMix

Covering topics on the following: 3DS Max, Photoshop, ASP, Cinema 4D, Dreamweaver, Illustrator and many more.

—————- Direct Submission Link —————-

Tutorial-Index

Tutorial-Index

One of the younger but larger collections of tutorials on the web. Tutorial-Index covers the following subjects: Photoshop, Flash, PHP, Unix, Javascript and many more.

—————- Direct Submission Link —————-

TutorialKit

TutorialKit

Covering many popular categories, including: Photo Correction, Special Effects, Text Effects, 3D Effects, Web Layouts and Graphic Design.

—————- Direct Submission Link —————-

Tutorialized

Tutorialized

One of the oldest tutorial databases, Tutorialized has been around since the beginning.

—————- Direct Submission Link —————-

Total Tutorials

Total Tutorials

Covering tutorials on Photoshop, 3D Studio Max and Cinema 4D, Total Tutorials has been in the game for a very long time.

—————- Direct Submission Link —————-

Tutorial Center

Tutorial Center

Just some of the categories that Tutorial Center covers: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Blender, CSS and more.

—————- Direct Submission Link —————-

Kaoz-Tutorials

Kaoz-Tutorials

Covering the following subjects in some depth: Photoshop, Flash, HTML and CSS, Javascript and PHP.

—————- Direct Submission Link —————-

CG Links

CG Links

CG Links covers 3D & 2D files, tutorials, books, plug-ins and textures

—————- Direct Submission Link —————-

CGTutorials.com

CGTutorials.com

CG Tutorials is becoming one of the fastest growing directories of computer graphics tutorials. We seek to index all computer graphics tutorials in order to give them publicity and to give everyone an easy way to find the tutorial they seek.