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How to make really awesome graphics
by Greater Evil

April 1, 2002

Hey dudes!! If you're like me you got your hands on Adobe Photoshop and were wondering, "what the hell do I do with this?" Well I'm here to show you that, with a little patience, Photoshop can be an important part of any artist's toolset.

One thing I've learned over the years -- my fundamental design principle if you will -- is that everything looks way cooler in outer-space. Now, all of our graphics won't be space-related, but we can apply that principle to all of our images, namely the following attributes:

  • in space everything is in 3D
  • in space there are crazy lighting effects

We can make crazy lighting effects using shadows and "lens flares". In case you don't know about lens flares, they are a natural phenomenon that happens around big lights like stars. Sometimes you can see them on Earth if you take a picture of the sun, but from all the movies I've seen, there are tons more in space, probably from all the stars.

So how do you use these ideas? Here's a typical example. Suppose you have a webpage, but it's pretty boring because you have mostly information and not enough flashy graphics (not even midi files or javascript!) Well you can start to fix all that up pretty easily with a few simple procedures. Let's say your webpage has a banner like this:

My Web Page

Well this is an excellent candidate to make into an awesome image. First, let's make the text in 3D. Check out www.3dtextmaker.com to make an awesome logo like this.

Now, we need to add shadows. There are two types, first the "Drop Shadow" and also the "Cast Shadow". Here's how to do both:

To make a drop shadow, copy the image to a new transparent layer. Then fill the selection black, and perform "Gaussian Blur" filter. Then offset the layer by a few pixels to make the shadow complete.

To make a cast shadow, copy the image to a new transparent layer and fill the selection black. Now use the transformation tool to make the shadow.




Finally, to make this look totally awesome, we need to throw in some killer lens flares. To make a lens flare, use the "Render Lens Flare" plugin:

Here's the final image. This is off the hook!!

Now I'm going to show you how to take a lame ass photo that you took from your digital camera and make it into something really killer. First, let's make it look 3d. We can do that with this wicked filter called "emboss":

Original image:

Embossed image:

Now add lighting effects as before:

Kick ass!

That does it -- with these few simple effects you can make graphics like a pro! Next month, we'll cover importing clip art into your favorite drawing program!

Posts

slothy
AWESOME GRAPHICS
MAN THIS TUTORIAL IS SOOOOO GOOD I REALLY LIKED IT AND LEARNED A LOT NOW I CAN DRAW LIKE A PRO STEVEN STAHLBERG BETTER WATCH OUT IM GOING TO OUTDRAW HIM NEXT MONTH IM GOOD NOW

JON
Cobs
Re: AWESOME GRAPHICS
Do yourself a favor man, buy a new keyboard where the kapslok key isnt broken
gecky
bob
Man Bob, you are so cool. but I can't figure out how to make those awesome lensflares in the bottom picture with Photoshop! Please help!!!!
ronnlund
M4D
th|5 b3 m4d gr4p|-||c5 5k|ll5 j0.

I wanna know how to make the whole browser window shake for 3 minutes when u enter a l337 website!!!!, all the real webdesign pro's have that!!!!!!!?!?!!!!!



live long and prosper *makes nerdy sign with hand*
antaydos
Hahahahaha
This was great :)
ironik
Re: Hahahahaha
'This image really is very cool', 'You're a very good artist'

When are you going to publish some more tutorials? I would really like to get into flash!!
rekoj
mmmmmmm......

Sounds cool! Just emboss everything you can get in your hands, add some lens flares and first place is yours on any demoparty!!! Very funny and useful tutorial:)

Codexus
Good one!
You got me for a minute :)
heinzon
Re: Good one!
haha!
Quantum-X
Re: Good one!
eh? got you? what dya mean?

don't you slam G_Evil's leet skills
rekoj
Yo
Sorry for my previous post- it was definately the best 1 april joke of this year!!!
aria
lol!
wow, i think i've finally found the ultimate photoshop tutorial! : D
Trollboy
thank you!
ive been trying to make my web pages look real cool for a long time. i wish youd done this tutorial sooner so i could have awesome cool pages since forever! :S
cRoWn from Poland
It,s new experience!
This site is incredibble, but I don't graph like this...

Bye,

Dla wszystkich z Polski, je¿eli potraficie robiæ tak¹ grafikê albo wiecie jak
to napiszcie : [email protected] , musimy ubarwiæ moj¹ stronkê ...
http://littleszatan.republika.pl

Pozdrawiam,

cRoWn
Da Gump
Re: It,s new experience!
All your lensflares are belong to us!
kong
Bad Ass!
this is the greatest thing I've ever seen ahahaha

WOO! LENSE FLARE FOREVER!! hahah


funny..
bock0r`
n00b0rs
omfg n00bàrs worst tutorial ever, get some skills before publishing a tutorial , m0ngà00r0rrà00000rr0ààà0Rr0Rz
lampuki
Re: n00b0rs
well you didn't notice :)

very cool tut, i printed it out for further usage ..
Hunter
Uh...
Wow, talk about an amateur tutorial. I hope you weren't serious when you called those images you made, "kick ass" or "off the hook". If you truely believe they are, I pitty you, and you should never be allowed to make another tutorial again. Poor. VERY poor.
slothy
Re: Uh...
Yes, I couldn't agree more! I mean, this is pathetic! This guy shouldn't be allowed to release any more tutorials with iCE. I mean I read this entire tutorial and only learned a couple tips!

Jon
valc0m
Re: Re: Uh...
this better be a joke...die.
root88
Re: I aplogize
Keep trying, it takes a lot of practice, but you can do it!
gecky
Re: Re: I aplogize
Wow, that is totally awesome root! I sense the next tutorial subject right here!
Nexflo
omg...joke?
Omg

ahm...what is this?
a joke?

maybe for pre-newbies which dont know what PS is...
but ugh..not my thing

Phrozen
Hmmm
This tutorial sucks ass. You been doing gfx for 9 months it says on your site and this is what you come up with? I figured out the emboss and lens flares in the fist couple days of using photoshop. This tutorial is the worst I have seen yet.
Onizuka
what is this?
no, seriously, what is it? The happy tree tutorial was pretty nice, but what is this shit page? no one likes solar flares, that shit was over-used and abused 3 years ago .. that is the generic PS filter. Anyway, bring some tutorials more like the happy tree one.
root88
Re: what is this?
I can't wait until 4/1/03 so we can get more posts like this.
slothy
Re: Re: what is this?
yeah, same here ;)

Jon
cooloocoi
HA-HA-HA-HA
You definitely got me for a while, I'm glad I read it after the end of work, a good one(the joke, not the art) to finish the day!
SysOp
hmm ...
I like most of the art on this site, but man ...

the images shown in these tut are really bad. I mean not bad, but really bad. ading some lensflares ( Did you know that only newbs use lensflares? no real artist uses lensflares, especially not bad ones like these ) and a bad 3d text and a ambossed image should be no prob for a person who have used a paint prog about 5 minutes. and the title ... MUHAHAHAHAHA
OMG
Re: hmm ...
Doesent anyone realise this is a joke. Daaah.

You all look so silly when you say: "man, lensflares only for losers... bla,bla,bla.

OMG...
gecky
Re: Re: hmm ...
And I think people look really funny when they say "OMG" ;)
alec
Re: Re: Re: hmm ...
word homie
alec
nEwBiEs r0x0r5!!!
woowoowoooooooo!!!!!
bill
i loved thisa wAs thae best EVA!! OMG
to gesater_evil,,

this was the4 best evaaaa photoshop EVA! tutorial. i relly learned lots and dnow my big brotyher who is a baddy will nevever call me a fagg again because i can maEKE COOL IMAGES LIKE THIS oh sorry the capss lock got stuck

ahnwwyay this was the most bestset webpage tut thigng eva. my page is noww so much coolerr then otha pagess on the nat.

l33t r0x0r. bya 4 noww

BiLl

(PS: some people have no fucking sense of humour, for crying out loud it was posted on april the first what more do you want?)
gecky
Re: i loved thisa wAs thae best EVA!! OMG
ya man aliased web logo is 1337 luv the shiny things he put on it tooo!!!!!!~~

;)
gecky
Re: Re: i loved thisa wAs thae best EVA!! OMG
I accidentally deleted my own message. ;\
Primal_r
Re: Re: Re: i loved thisa wAs thae best EVA!! OMG
what did you write?
skyfarmer
Re: Re: Re: i loved thisa wAs thae best EVA!! OMG
what did you write back then, anyway?
TIESTO
HAHAHA OMG
what the heck is that?? that looks really crappy.. for you noobies just use Kai Power Tools!!
gecky
Re: HAHAHA OMG
Actually, he used The Gimp and Photoshop 6.0

You are so smart. :)
JGreazy
Wow - It Works!
but how do i make it look like its on fire, and make it spin? Can I make it play music, I found some great dixieland midi files on the Interweb
folkert
good effort
just dont give up your day job


"Vena, your news today know it all"
jito
ahhhh...
blah blah blah this tut is awsome
you guys REALLY l33t and RAD!
this tut is awsome blah blah i really lol
everydays i see it

BRAVO!!
DigitalDoodler
Wha??!?!??
umm... maybe its just me, but how are lens flares and embossing even close to looking good together? all u do is use premade filters and use tons of em on one image.. i think the pics would look better without any filters... besides, personally, i think the emboss feature looks stupid.. get some really tutorials.. and to all those who think this tutorial was awesome and what not, find a REAL tutorial site! go to photoshopcafe.com, or effectlab.com, or eyesondesign.com!! not this crap!
betterThanAllofYOu
Are you serious?
Yea yea yea, I read the rules on 'flaming' and criticising and shit....but when I look at this tutorial, your work, and the comments...I'm shocked. I'm amazed. I'm bedazzled by the quality of your tutorial and the final results! they're just plain shitty, they suck, they don't "KICK ASS" at all! You want a real 3D text effect in a 2D program....such as PS? Well use KPT Vector effects in Illustrator, import your art to PS, then tweak out the curves, hue/sat, and a combination of layers and blending modes and you'll get "KICK ASS" graphics....your's sucks....we could all make that shit with fuckin WORD! with the 3D text effects...and "lens flares" ? COme on bro... those suck so bad it's pathetic. If your going to try to teach people how to make "KICK ASS" graphics then why dont you learn the techniques yourself first.


you all suck and I'm way better than all of you.


love always and forever,

sincere asshole of the day.
gecky
Re: Are you serious?

HAPPY LATE APRIL FOOL'S DAY, SUCKER!

skyfarmer
Re: Re: Are you serious?
april... who's april?
flamingsquirrels
Re: Are you serious?
Dude, first off, dont be haten on word. Second, making 3d in PS is not hard at all. 3rd, incase you havent read the hundreds of other posts saying this the tutorial is a JOKE as in APRIL FOOLS JOKE so piss off mister KPT Vector (Im not riding on Illustrator at all just you)
Jarhead
LENS FLARE
YAAAA!!!!111!!11!11!

L3N5 [email protected]!!1!11!1!11!!!!!11!11!!11!!1!111!!!111!!!!!!11!!!1!!!!!!11!11!!!!1111!!111!!!!!1!11!!!!!111~
skyfarmer
N#Yadszaza!
MoOH!#[email protected][email protected]^&$^*@%!$!#%^[email protected]#$!$!
:))))))
jarhead rules
make him an iCE member NOW! :)))))
butcher
Lens Flare my ass!!!!!!
THE REAL FUTURE IS ADDING PURPLE TO GREEN GRADIENTS OF HARD LIGHT TO THE EMBOSSED IMAGES YOU SUCKERS! LENS FLARES ARE ,LIKE, SO 2002!
Proskrito
You forgot another useful tool....
ms word´s WORDART!!!!
Defused
lol
For one the nicest sites of graphics is this kinda the most stupid tutorial ever... Guess I'm not that bad after all :p
kalban5000
Re: lol
No, you really do suck that much.
Seryon-X
hmmmmmm :)
I like it, but that style of text is kinda stupid, what you should do is make the text, and duplicate it, then use a Bevel & Emboss on the one with the drop shadow, and leave the cast shadow 2d.
no comment
no comment
no comment
Kombat
Lame
Some ppl are lame, even if only one guy gets some benefit from that tutorial that makes it worthwhile. There is no need to flame ppl as they have made the effort to go to the trouble of writing up a tutorial.

Keep up the good work and do out some more tutorials.

K.
dungonmistress
VERY COOL INFO!!
I was under the impression that you could only make cool 3d stuff in Bryce...right now I'm trying to learn how to use that program, but it's rather dificult, I think I'll go back to Adobe and try some stuff thanx much!!
wheresome
ur kidding, right?
dude, u can't be serious. wtf, this is the worst sh .... i've ever seen
get real, u people who are saying this rocks , you'll are just being sarcastic right? please .... don't make any more tutorials and if u even do in the future please hire a designer. i know tutorials aren't supposed to be all graphic oriented but they sure as hell ainght supposed to be this horrible

as a designer i really pitty you
pHalaNx
Re: ur kidding, right?
I Agree... This Is The Most Novice Sh*t I've Ever Seen... Who Needs A Tutorial For This Crap? Seriously... If This Is What You Consider Good Art You Have A WHOLE LOT Of Learning To Do... Check This Image Out... Real Art
{{sPaz}}
Re: Re: ur kidding, right?
If you didn't get the idea already by reading the rest of the comments (which I'm sure you havn't done), check the date the toturial was posted.

And happy April Fools Day, yet again, a year later ;)
hmm
JOKE?
This was the most aweful tutorial i have ever seen, "to make it total awesome add a few lensflares" - I really hope this is a joke, if it isnt i feel REALLY sorry for the one posting it. I use maya for most my stuff though. bye.
slothy
Re: JOKE?
Thank God for the state of reading in the world. You only had to scroll past probably 50 comments that point out it's an April Fool's joke to post your insightful message. God bless literacy.
Helm
Re: JOKE?
Haha, thanks for letting us know what you use for 'most of your stuff', hmmm.
jun1art
Re: The New Phenomenon
Well, as you can see, greater evil make the high QUANTITY of opinions. Well, we should look for Greater Evil site first than make Statement, hehehehe
Peace for all of You
The Born
MachineGod
Good clean fun
HEH, I don't know what made me laugh the most. The "tutorial" or some of the comments afterwards.
ezo
Such a useful tutorial!
The more Lens flares the better! Another great tip for making really awesome graphics is to scribble all over your pictures with the pencil tool :D.
RonSense
I"m addicted!!!
this is the 80'th time i've read your excellent lens flare tutorial and i think it is great!!! i just keep forgetting how to do the emboss thing.....is there a photoshop action for this?????
Cobs
Re: I
Wat r u doin usin fotosop? Mbos is a 1step proces
Cobs
Artwork
Kinda sucks dude.
gecko
Re: Artwork
Hey don't diss the man! Bob actually just got this new COLLOSSALL HARD DRIVE so now he can render lensflares even better now. Rendering time CUT IN HALF because of his new terabyte hard drive. I swear.
asslicker
awesome!!!!!!!!!!!
WHAT Awesome!!
KIDS DOING THIS SHITTY WORK, I DONT BELIEVE IT!

USE THE GIMP (FREEWARE), There 10000% better standard effects as your shit!
Sorry, iam a german!
amanda
cool page...
i stumbled on this page and was trying to figure out how to make graphics for a webpage of mine. i'm still struggling as i'm teaching myself how to do all this. thanks for this page.. it has helped some. i hope i can get those to work at my comp at home!! thanks for reading!
Some one has never head of photoshp
u suck
wow this has got to be the wors graphics i have ever seen i cant beleive that u want to teach people how to make shit
all u did is embossed a photo and did a lense flair

i could do that while i am sleeping and in 1 min
gnomE^
Re: u suck
Dude...U urself gotta suck if it takes U one minute 2 make it. Seriously, if U aint got nothin' positiv 2 say, why bother? :)
smasherx
?
is this guy for real? this is gotta be the worst tutorial ive ever seen
heinzon
Re: ?
hahaha try reading other reply and think about the date it was published. hehe always as funny with this type of late replys lol.