Selling Your Artwork Online
If you made it through the preceding section, you're officially an expert on the theory of vector graphics. It's time to see how you can actually create these little devils in your artwork. Keep in mind that a vector shape in Photoshop actually consists of a shape layer with a path that defines what part of the layer is visible and what part is hidden. The content of the layer be it solid color, pattern, or gradient is visible within the path and hidden outside the path. The easiest way to create a shape layer in Photoshop is with the aptly named shape tools, which are tools that automatically create a color-filled layer with a vector path that shows hides the layer according to the shape selected. Could you have it any easier Just drag a tool and create a vector-based object
Warping type and placing type along a path are great ways to spice up your message as long as you don't overdo it and make the message illegible or distract from the overall appearance of your artwork. Warp Text is a quick and easy way to bend text, and placing type on a path is a more complex and more controlled technique.
A layer can also be masked with a vector path. (Paths are explained in Chapter 11.) Vector masks have very precise edges, and you can edit them as a path with the Direct Selection tool. A layer (other than a Background layer) can have both a regular pixel-based layer mask and a vector mask. To show up in your artwork, pixels on that layer must be within both the layer mask and the vector mask. When a layer has both a layer mask and a vector mask, the vector mask thumbnail appears to the right in the Layers palette.
The Paths palette can hold as many paths as you could possibly want to add to your artwork. You can also see the six buttons across the bottom of the palette that you use to quickly and easily work with your paths. You can classify paths in the five different ways shown in Figure 11-17. Figure 11-17 The Paths palette is your key to organizing and controlling vectors in your artwork. Figure 11-17 The Paths palette is your key to organizing and controlling vectors in your artwork. The six buttons across the bottom of the Paths palette (refer to Figure 11-17) do more than just simple palette housekeeping. Use them to create artwork from a path and to convert back and forth between paths and selections. i Delete Path Drag a path to the Delete Path button, or click the path and then click the button. Either way, the path is eliminated from the palette and from your artwork. The order in which you stroke and fill a path can make a huge difference in the appearance of your artwork. The...
Type can be informative or decorative or both. You can use the type tools to add paragraphs of text or a single character as an element of your artwork. The text can be plain and unadorned or elaborately dressed up with layer styles, such as drop shadows, glows, bevel effects, and other effects that you apply to make the layer content fancier. However you use it, text can be a powerful element of both communication and symbolism. Take a look at Figure 13-2, in which I use the Type tool to add the binary code to the left and even the musical notes below. But before you add any text to your artwork, you need to have a good handle on the various type tools, palettes, menus, and options available to you. I start with an introduction to Photoshop's type tools.
After you use any one of the numerous shape tools in the Photoshop arsenal to add a shape layer to your artwork, you have a number of ways that you can enhance, adjust, and simply change its appearance i Change the layer blending mode or opacity. By default, your shape layer's blending mode is Normal, and the Opacity is set to 100 . Your shape layer blocks and hides the content of every layer below. By changing the blending mode or opacity, you can make your shape layer interact with the layers below in interesting ways. Experiment with different blending modes to find one that suits your artistic vision. (Blending modes are covered in more detail in Chapter 10.)
Don't forget that all pixels in your image are square, aligned in neat, orderly rows and columns. (That's the raster in raster artwork.) When you create a curve or diagonal in your artwork, the corners of the pixels stick out. Feathering and anti-aliasing disguise that ragged edge. You can also use feathering to create larger, softer selections with a faded edge. Generally speaking, use anti-aliasing to keep edges looking neat and use feathering to create a soft, faded selection.
Some layer effects, such as drop shadows and outer glows, appear outside the content of the layer. For those effects to be visible in your artwork, the layer must have at least some area of transparent pixels. If the layer is filled edge to edge, the effect has no place within the image to appear because the glow or shadow would logically be outside the image's canvas. Take a look at a couple of layer style examples in Figure 12-3.
One of the easiest ways to work more efficiently is to see your image better. Generally speaking, bigger is better, so the more room you have on the monitor to display your artwork, the better you can zoom in and do precise work. The easiest way to gain workspace Press the Tab key to hide Photoshop's palettes. Pressing Shift+Tab hides all the palettes except the Options bar and the Toolbox.
If you are working with black and white photography, using 1-Color printing, or designing for a publication such as newsprint, you will want to take advantage of both the grayscale and bitmap modes. If you are scanning original artwork into Photoshop, your scanner software should ask you what mode you would like to scan in. If you select grayscale, then Photoshop will automatically open the file in grayscale mode. If you select Line Art when scanning an image such as a logo, Photoshop will automatically open the image in bitmap file mode. You can also convert any color files you have to grayscale mode and then convert grayscale images to bitmapped images, and vice versa.
When working with a sketch, always remember that it is merely a starting point. Photoshop provides all of the tools necessary to improve upon and embellish the artwork along the way. Using Photoshop to create artwork from sketches allows you to create finished art that is true to your original idea in terms of concept, but vastly superior when it comes to execution.
Color options Whether you're creating artwork for print or Web, Photoshop lets you choose the color mode that's best for the job. When you're creating imagery for four-color printing, you can work more efficiently and use a wider range of filters by creating the art in RGB mode. Use the Gamut Warning command to identify colors that can't be reproduced in CYMK so you won't be disappointed with the results when you convert the finished, flattened file to CMYK.See About color modes and models (Photoshop) on page 86 and Identifying out-of-gamut colors (Photoshop) on page 136.
Want to put your art on a web page Sure. So do I, but those files can be huge. Wouldn't it be better to put up thumbnail images, and then let interested viewers click those thumbnails to see the large versions Of course it would. But creating all those thumbnails, and then making the page and linking the images to it well, that sounds like hard work.
However, in order to make things feel real, you'll also need to incorporate some real world imperfections. While producing real spray paint art, you get annoying drips littering your masterpiece when you apply too much paint to a single area at once. And although this imperfection is something you'd try to avoid in the real world. Here, in the digital realm, that imperfection is required to lend authenticity to your art. Because you are pasting black art on a white background into an alpha channel, it needs to be inverted first, so that the art is white and the background is black. A quick way of inverting your art is to type control(PC) command(Mac)-I on the keyboard. Or, you can leave your art in its positive state and double click your alpha channel in the channels palette. Then, from within the channel options, change things so that color indicates selected areas rather than masked areas before you paste your copied art into it. 5 I Use the move tool to position the layer contents...
In this part of the lesson, you'll import an existing layer from another file into your artwork. Although the imported layer contains the word diesel and was originally created with the type tool, the text has now been converted to a graphic. You can no longer edit it with the type tool, but the advantage here is that you also don't have to worry about whether or not your users or other people working on the file have the same font installed on their machines in order to see the image correctly.
Photoshop allows you to work with images from a variety of sources. You can create your own original artwork in Photoshop, use images downloaded from the Web, or use images that have been scanned or created using a digital camera. Whether you create Photoshop images to print in high resolution or optimize them for multimedia presentations, Web-based functions, or animation projects, Photoshop is a powerful tool for communicating your ideas visually.
You can create original artwork in both Photoshop and ImageReady, or you can bring images into the program by scanning a photograph, a transparency, a negative, or a graphic by capturing a video image or by importing artwork created in drawing programs. You can also import previously digitized images such as those produced by a digital camera or by the Kodak Photo CD process.
Whether captured with a digital camera, scanned into the computer, or created from scratch in Photoshop, your artwork consists of tiny squares of color, which are picture elements called pixels. (Pixels and the nature of digital imaging are explored in depth in Chapter 2.) Photoshop is all about changing and adjusting the colors of those pixels collectively, in groups, or one at a time in order to make your artwork look precisely how you want it to look. (Photoshop, by the way, has no Good Taste or Quality Art filter. It's up to you to decide what suits your artistic or personal vision and what meets your professional requirements.) Some very common Photoshop image editing tasks are shown in Figure 1-2 namely, correcting red-eye and minimizing wrinkles (both discussed in Chapter 9) and compositing images (see Chapter 10). By using ImageReady, the partner program to Photoshop (installed with Photoshop into the same Photoshop folder), you can create advanced Web graphics, such as...
7he Photoshop CS2 Filter menu includes over 100 commands that you can use to fix, flatter, finesse, and freak out your photos. You can use most of the filters on most of your artwork and some of the filters on some of your artwork, and you probably won't ever use a number of the filters. tures in all of Photoshop the Filter Gallery and Liquify. Not only are they fun, but you can use them to do wondrous things to your artwork. I wrap up the chapter with a look at several other key filters.
Many computer users are rightfully suspicious of unsolicited downloads. If you want your pictures to be seen and enjoyed, send them only to people you know, and warn them first, in another note, that a picture is coming. Otherwise, your art might end up in a spam filter.
The huge assortment of filters available for Adobe Photoshop lets you transform ordinary images into extraordinary digital artwork. You can select filters that simulate a traditional artistic medium a watercolor, pastel, or sketched effect or you can choose from filters that blur, bend, wrap, sharpen, or fragment images. In addition to using filters to alter images, you can use adjustment layers and painting modes to vary the look of your artwork.
9 I Target all of the individual layers that you created, which fill the outlined areas of your artwork, and add them to a new group in the layers palette. Open up the crumpled.jpg file. Type Control(PC) Command(Mac)-a to select all and then type Control(PC) Command(Mac)-c to copy. Once you've copied the crumpled paper image, return to your working file. Create a new alpha channel in the channels palette. Target the channel and then type Control(PC) Command(Mac)-v to paste the crumpled paper image into the new channel. Load the new channel as a selection.
What makes your stencil art effect convincing, is what you do to your artwork before you define it as a brush. You need to distress the brush art, as if it were scratched and affected by the elements. Your overspray needs to look convincing, and for both realistic distress, and convincing overspray, we'll incorporate desktop scans of the real thing. Applying stencil art in Photoshop is indeed as simple as a single click of the mouse, but ensuring that it looks realistic is the direct result of the care you take in preparing your custom brush artwork.
4 You can create original artwork in Adobe Photoshop or ImageReady, or you can get images into the program by scanning a photograph, a transparency, a negative, or a graphic by capturing a video image or by importing artwork created in drawing programs. You can also import previously digitized images such as those produced by a digital camera or by the Kodak Photo CD process.
A guitar teacher once told me that the best way to teach someone to play is to get him or her working on something they like straight away. Forget showing them all of the chords or notes when it makes no sense to them yet, just get them to do something they're interested in. That is the approach I have taken here. You'll get your feet wet while producing something worthwhile, and at varying stages in the process you'll begin to understand the value of what you've done. When knowledge begins to fall into place as you work, and it most certainly will, the proverbial light comes on. At that point, you'll really begin to see the potential of what you've learned. So don't limit yourself to simply finishing the chapters in this book. Try to think of ways that you can take what you've learned from each chapter and use it to create original artwork of your own.
The problem with hiring artists to do retouching work is that although they may be good at it, they get bored. I was no exception. Yes, I was getting good at making cheap jewelry look expensive, and making static cars look like they were in motion, but the novelty of those achievements wore off quickly. Frustrated and bored with my work, yet still in love with Photoshop, I began to deviate from working with photography in the classic sense. On my own time, I started to experiment with different methods to create artwork within Photoshop. I began entering contests and then winning awards. The next thing I knew, I had art directors calling with commissions and just like that I became a digital illustrator.
Chalk drawings can be found on virtually any surface, from grained paper, to brick walls, to sidewalks. Chalk drawings in Photoshop enable you to take advantage of the capabilities of the Texture filters. You can place your drawing on sandstone, burlap, or on a texture that you've imported from another source.
The Lasso Tool works in several different ways. First and foremost is in freehand mode. Freehand mode allows you to simply draw your selection. The next important mode is in anchored mode. Used in combination with freehand mode, you can depress the alt key to anchor the line. Once anchored, you can lift your drawing pen from the tablet and your selection line will follow your cursor, plotting a straight line to anywhere you resume drawing. This is very quick way to draw straight lines and cover large distances quickly.
And finally, a huge thank you goes out to all of you who read my books, tutorials, articles, and like my artwork. Thanks for all of your e-mail messages I get so many from all of you that I cannot possibly reply to all of them. Please don't think that your feedback is unappreciated if I do not reply to you, that is not the case. There just aren't enough hours in each day for me to reply to everyone.
When you convert drawings to images, the scale must relate to image resolution in a specific way in order to maintain the graphic scale on the printed page. For example, 1 8 scale means that 1 8 on paper represents 1' in the real world. Another way of saying this is that 1 on paper is equivalent to 8' in the real world. If you stay in the same units, that's like saying 1 on paper equals 96 (8 feet x 12 inches foot) in the real world. In other words, AutoCAD must scale down your drawing 96 times to print it in 1 8 scale on paper.
The destructive filters produce effects so dramatic that they can, if used improperly, completely overwhelm your artwork, making the filter more important than the image itself. For the most part, destructive filters reside in the Filter Distort, Pixelate, Render, and Stylize submenus. A few examples of overwhelmed images appear in Figure 10-2 and Color Plate 10-2.
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