Monday, February 22, 2010

A Book on Creating a Design Portfolio

"Flaunt: Designing effective, compelling and memorable portfolios of creative work" is a book with more than 40 examples of portfolio presentations. It has interviews with great designers like Michael Bierut and Stefan Sagmeister with their opinions of what makes a good portfolio. It's available as a printed book or a PDF.

... read the rest of A Book on Creating a Design Portfolio ...

Advertise with Design You Trust! - DYT on Twitter - Facebook

Creating a Water Effect in Photoshop

We're going to create a relatively simple water effect in this tutorial. This will be flowing water ending with a splash.

Step 1

First off, create a new document with a white background and set the canvass size at 500 by 600 px. Increase the resolution of the document to 260 pixels. Select the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) and draw a vertical rectangle all the way down to the canvass.

Step 2

Now select the Gradient Tool (G) and on the Gradient Tool Presets or settings, click to edit the gradient. From the left-hand side, these are the colours of the "stops." 1.#c8d3df 2.#e8edee 3.#c4c9cf 4.#e4e7e9 5.#98999a 6.#c1cad3 7.#f6f7f8. For the Opacity Stops  from the left: 60%; 65%; 50%; 60%.

Step 3

As shown below, drag the Gradient Tool within the Marquee selection.

Step 4

From the left, drag the Gradient Tool across the selection in a slightly diagonal direction.

Step 5

From the right, drag again downwards.

Step 6

Finally, from the left, drag the Gradient Tool diagonally upwards.

Step 7

Go to Filter > Artistic > Plastic Wrap and in the options, set the Highlight Strength to16; Detail to 10; Smoothness to 8. Deselect the Marquee also.

Step 8

Now to add more shine. Go to Filter > Sketch > Bas Relief and make the adjustments below:

The resulting effects:

Step 9

On the menu bar, select Image > Adjustment > Levels (Ctrl+L). Enter these figures for the Input Levels as shown below. The end result is to give one half of the image a faint shade or tone.

Step 10

Go to Image > Adjustments > Curves or press (Ctrl+M) and drag downwards the bottom point of the curve. Or you may enter the Input/Output figures.

The purpose of Curves is to tone just the bottom part of the image.

Step 11

To shape the image, go to Edit > Transform > Warp or hit Ctrl+T. Upon shaping with the Warp, make sure the topmost white part of the image is visible as a long long strip.

Name the layer "flow."

Step 12

We'll now add a splash to the streaming flow of water. In a new layer, draw an 'amoebic' shape (if you'll pardon the expression) with the Pen Tool (P) and fill with #e0e0e9.

Step 13

Still on the "splash" layer, go to Filter > Artistic > Plastic Wrap and make the adjustments below. Follow this up with a Bas Relief effect (Filter > Sketch > Bas Relief). Do make sure Light is set to Bottom Left.

The result:

Step 14

Now to create a proper splash-like shape. Go to Filter > Liquify (Shift+Ctrl+X) and select the Forward Warp Tool (W) in the Liquify window.Under the Tool Options, set Brush Size at 11, Density at 50 and Pressure at 60. Now with the Forward Warp Tool, extend edges of the shape in various directions.

Step 15

Select the Bloat Tool (B) and hold down briefly to create bloated portions of the image. the Brush Pressure and Size could be adjusted slightly according to your personal preference. Just don't make the brush too sensitive by increasing it's Pressure.

Step 16

Add a Bas Relief effect: Filter > Sketch > Bas Relief.

Step 17

In a new layer, draw a shape with the Rectangle Tool (U) that would form the background. Add a Gradient Overlay Layer Style and set the colours of the Stops from the left: 1.#9397a0 2.#252d4f 3.#6b7074. Reduce the opacity of the "background" layer to 50%.

Step 18

Select the Burn Tool and choose a soft brush at 8px , the Range set to Midtones and Exposure reduced to 45%. Now, apply the tool across the base of the splash.

Step 19

Duplicate the "splash" layer and with the Free Transform Tool (Ctrl+T), right click to select Rotate 90 degrees CW .After which you right click again to select Flip Horizontal. Reduce the "splash" layer opacity to about 65%.With the Eraser Tool (E), Opacity at 40% fade the top part the splash shape.

Step 20

Create a new layer and pick the Rectangle Tool to draw a rectangle right below the splash shape. Add a Gradient Overlay style and edit the Gradient as shown below:

Step 21

Blur the edges of the rectangle by going to Filter > Blur > Guassian Blur. Set the Radius to about 35 px.

Step 22

Reduce the "flow" layer's opacity to 90% and set the Blend Mode to Hard Light. Do the same for the "splash" layer except its opacity should be left unchanged. Also have this layer sharpened twice (Sharpen > Sharpen)to make the splash a little more 'crisp' to say the least.


If you have the Bubbles Brush though I can't recall right now if it with came preloaded with Photoshop or I downloaded it from somewhere. But a Soft Round Brush can still serve the same purpose. A new layer should be created for more intricate splashes and brush color set at #f7f7fa. Have both the "splashes" and "splash" layers sharpened.


Step 23

Though I intended the above image should be the final one, not being satisfied, I duplicated the "background" layer and change the Gradient Style to Radial. The colour of background (more importantly a dark one) determines the look of your water effect when the Blend Mode is set to Hard Light. Therefore, you can create different variation of your water effects.

Step 24

For more realism, I set the Blend Mode of both the "flow" and "splash" layers to Pin Light. For this gave the water effect more transparency. The duplicated "background" layer was hidden as well.

Step 25

Here the duplicated "background" layer was enabled and as a result the flowing water was given more visibility. I however 'thirst' to use these techniques to create more complex compositions or artworks involving human figures.

Step 26

For the final image, I used the free Transform Tool's Distort Tool to make the flow of water narrower. Well, this is where the tutorial ends for now.

By David Ella Ella

Got a question about this article? – Ask it here!

Friday, February 19, 2010

5 Cool and Fresh Photoshop Text Effects Tutorials

Text effects seems to open up a can of creativity within artists that is unrivaled with any other aspect of graphic design. By taking the simplest form of text and a blank canvas you can create something amazing and at times awe-inspiring.

For today's news round-up we have a small collection of amazing text effects and tutorials for Photoshop.

3D Typewriter Text

Photoshop Text Effects

In this tutorial you'll create some 3d typewriter hammer keys in Illustrator and mix them together with some painting techniques and the Vanishing Point Filter in Photoshop to create a stylish multi-dimensional wallpaper.

View the tutorial.

Photoshop Grungy Metal Effect

Photoshop Text Effects

In this tutorial you will learn how to create a text effect using textures from stock images. The final image is a grungy picture with text being illuminated in the dark.

View the tutorial.

Jungle 3D text in Photoshop

Photoshop Text Effects

This is a hunourous Photoshop tutorial that explains how to create a 3D jungle text effect. You will firstly create the text in Xara3d and then Photoshop to texturize the letters using the animals' skin.

View the tutorial.

Retro-Style Text Effect in Cinema 4D and Photoshop

Photoshop Text Effects

For this tutorial you will learn how to create 3D text and merge it into a retro-style scene, using Illustrator for the text, Cinema4D to make the text 3D and finally Photoshop to bring it all together.

View the tutorial.

3D explosion using the Brush and Smudge Tool

Photoshop Text Effects

In this tutorial you will learn how to create a 3D explosion using the Brush and Smudge Tool using Photoshop and its default settings. After creating the explosion, the tutorial also features a few steps guiding you on how to create and implement your own 3d text.

View the tutorial.

By Paul Andrew (Speckyboy and speckyboy@twitter).

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

VCU Reminder

Good afternoon!

I just wanted to remind you that the representative from Virginia Commonwealth University would be available on the North Side of the bridge tomorrow to meet with students from 10:00am-1:30pm. If you could, please remind your students so that they can take advantage of this opportunity!

Thank you so much!


Brooke N. Ferguson
Academic Advisor, Counseling Dept.
Virginia Western Community College
Ph: 540.857.6323

"The future belongs to those who believe in the power of their dreams."
Eleanor Roosevelt

Summer Internship Opportunity at the Taubman

From the division dean:

Please announce this opportunity to your students. In addition, would like to earn college credit, we could create an internship class for them to give them college credit for this experience, should they be selected.



Dear Educator: 

The Taubman Museum of Art is proud to announce the beginning of the Summer Student Internship Program.  Designed to provide extraordinary, professional museum experiences in one of the South-East's leading art museums, the program will begin June 14th, 2010 and will continue for ten weeks. 


Four positions have been funded for this coming summer.  Students will work on curatorial and education projects, collection management, research and publications, public relations and marketing, grants management and writing, and installation design and communication.  In addition to their work in the museum, interns will meet as a seminar and will have the opportunity to engage museum professionals throughout the region, travel to other museums and cultural communities, and gain a broad perspective on the history, mission, professional practices, ethical standards, exhibition development, community outreach, and economic possibilities of the American art museum in the 21st century. 


Each student will receive a stipend of $2,000 and housing will be provided by regional colleges and universities.  Students from all schools within the Roanoke Valley are eligible to apply for these four positions. 


To apply for this position, please fill out and submit the on-line application form at  . The deadline for submission is March 1, 2010.  Selection of applicants will occur no later than March 10, 2010.




David Mickenberg

Executive Director 

Monday, February 15, 2010

15 Fantastic Photoshop Web Design Layout Tutorials

Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts Cheat Sheet (PDF)

Over the last months we released a variety of icon sets, tools and templates, but now we would like to release something a bit different for a change. In this post we are glad to release Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts, a PDF-file with a handy overview of most useful keyboard shortcuts available in Adobe Photoshop. The cheat sheet was created by Kenneth Setzer and released especially for Smashing Magazine and its readers.

Shortcuts1 in Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts Cheat Sheet (PDF)

The cheat sheet is a mousepad-sized image featuring a typical PC keyboard. Photoshop's keyboard shortcuts are listed for each key, with the shortcut and its icon printed on the individual key. In red is the shortcut you will get by hitting the key in combination with the Ctrl key. For example, typing "t" in Photoshop will activate the Type tool, while typing Ctrl+t will allow you to use the Transformation tool. Additional shortcuts requiring more than two keys are listed as well.

Shortcuts2 in Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts Cheat Sheet (PDF)

Download the cheat shee for free!

Of course, you can use the PDF for all of your projects for free and without any restrictions. The PDF may not be resold, sublicensed, rented, transferred or otherwise made available for use. Please link to this article if you want to spread the word.

Psmousepadfull in Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts Cheat Sheet (PDF)

  • large preview (.jpg)
  • download the set (.pdf, 2.5 Mb)
  • Behind the design

    As always, here are some insights from the designer herself:

    Originally, I intended to buy a keyboard overlay with Photoshop shortcuts, but couldn't find any for a PC, just for Macs. So I compiled a list of keyboard shortcuts, and thought they would fit nicely on a mousepad. I think printing it out and hanging it by the monitor works just as well. I hope those learning Photoshop will find it useful, as well as the more advanced users who may have forgotten some of the less-often-used shortcuts. They save a lot of time, and can impress your boss!

    Thank you very much, Kenneth! We appreciate your efforts.

Introducing Illustrator Alex Trochut

Alex Trochut, based in Barcelona, is totally in love with type and illustration, thats why we love him so much. 1981 born and just graduaded from design university. But he already has a very impressive design portfolio. Make sure to check out his website

I believe "More is More". I don't believe in choosing a particular style for my work, but rather I focus on expressing myself and communicating my craft through the needs and moment of each project.

Movie Cover Design by alextrochut

Movie Cover Design by alextrochut

Movie Cover Design by alextrochut

Movie Cover Design by alextrochut

Movie Cover Design by alextrochut

Movie Cover Design by alextrochut

Every project pushes me to look at alternate situations, and adapt myself to better understand and express my process. That exploration is something I truly enjoy in design.

Movie Cover Design by alextrochut

Movie Cover Design by alextrochut

Movie Cover Design by alextrochut

Movie Cover Design by alextrochut

Movie Cover Design by alextrochut

Movie Cover Design by alextrochut

Movie Cover Design by alextrochut

Movie Cover Design by alextrochut

Movie Cover Design by alextrochut

About the author

Aloa is the moniker of the german/greek graphic designer/filmmaker & musician Alexis Papageorgiou. Im glad to share great artistic work with the readers on Abduzeedo. Contact me on or