The simplest of tools
The simplest of tools in Photoshop CS3 made the complex looking header above! Yes, and you can do it too! OK, you can stop feeling the screen now… For this exercise, you will need to use from the tool bar at the left side of the page, : The eye dropper tool, the square marque selection tool, The circular selection tool, the paint-bucket tool, the gradient tool, The Text tool, and the line tool.
I know that sounds like a lot, yet if you consider, these are 7 of the easiest to use tools in Photoshop’s entire tool bar! And look! No pen tool necessary! In fact, the red piece I put below the two laser weapons, or whatever you’d like to call them, is a cut out, following the contour of the lower gun shape, with: “The Line Tool”; so closely in fact, that you’d just think I put a rectangle behind the gun.
Study the above picture closely and evaluate your capabilities to use these tools. You are capable of drawing out square and rectangular selections and filling them in with the paint-bucket tool aren’t you? Chose a swatch to quickly change colors the bucket tool will use, to click on and fill selections with colors you believe will co-ordinate well together. As you can see on the guns above, I simply chose different shades of green.
Mastering The Line Tool
I always like to make the entire outside shape of the weapon first, and then fill them in with paint. They only look complex because you can make many shapes with just the marque selection tool, and your line tool (That’s the one on your tool bar that looks like a line :O) And in point of fact, you will master using the line tool, and in fact find it quite the nifty, little shape shifter, inside of the first 3 minutes of using it! To use it, click your mouse where you want your line to start. Keeping your left mouse button held down, draw out a line, and adjust your line position, until your line looks perfectly straight (has no Jaggies in it), about an inch long.
You must stop there and lift your finger off the mouse button so that you can change direction, but you mustn’t move your mouse at this point, or you’ll cause a gap when you press back down, and make a line. So make a half-inch line, at a 45 degree angle, pointing down-ward, and repeat the process to draw a straight line again… Easy? You betchya!
Look, it’s not rocket science! You’re just making rectangles, filling them in with color, using embossing effects found at the bottom of your layers palate, as an “f” symbol… You can change the color scheme with the hue and saturation tool’ even adding saturation too, if it boosts the effect you’re looking for.
To make the gradients, I simply select my gradient tool from the tool bar (It’s housed with the paint-bucket), or load up a set that is pleasing to the eye. Select the layer that the main, large rectangular shape resides on. Then ctrl select the shape on the left in your layers pallet (not the mask on the right), to select the shape on your page. Select the gradient tool from the tool bar, and draw a horizontal selection line, from one end of your selection, to the other. It will fill with the gradient.
That’s the entire basic concept. You may have to practice for a minute or two holding the mouse still, while you lift your finger, and then click back down, but it’s easily mastered in no time at all! Amazing what you can do with a few simple tools…
Beautiful aren’t they? I made them all in one night! Notice that I used the warp tool on the text in this one. It’s located on your property bar at the top of your screen. It’s the capital “T” with an arch under it. You must use this tool before you rasterize text. You rasterize it by clicking the drop down list (small arrow at upper right of layers pallet), and choosing, what else: “Rasterize Text.” Now you may use the selection tool (black arrow at the top of your tool box), to position your warped text wherever you like. Just click your left mouse button on the text, holding it down, and drag.
BTW, I separated the bottom piece, by simply making a long marque selection, and hitting the delete key. You may emboss it all at once through your “f” symbol at the bottom of your layers pallet, or with each piece on separate layers…
The only time I used the pen tool, was to make this stupid little wisp on the bottom. I have purposely left plenty of space on these, to fill in your details with the Text Tool, just as you’ve learned here. The only thing is, it is tedious work and requires patience… If you can’t get something to work, put it away and come back later, when you’re refreshed.
These are as good as anything on The Internet! So these are all pretty cool design jobs, just because I got 11 likes on my “Garden” blog. Imagine… 11 likes! So I got right to work making you these very special headers. I hope you’ll use them, or give them to someone who will! I think I did an amazing job on these… I mean, I amazed myself! Simple design, yet extremely effective! If you have any questions about this tutorial, be sure to comment, and I will answer you as best I can. I just know you’re going to love these ones though! Enjoy the slide-show :O)