Category Archives: Tutorials

Adobe’s best kept secret: The Dehaze tool

Learn how to remove haze from a photo in 4 easy steps.

Ever wanted to get rid of that fog? Or shall we call it the haze?  Photoshop has an amazing tool for that which many people do not know about. It’s called Dehaze. With about 3-4 clicks you can take the haze out of almost any picture. It’s also great for removing light glares…sometimes. 
Check out this simple 4 Step tutorial on Dehaze
Here is the photo before Dehaze:

Original Photo Credit: Kalen Emsley

1. Go to Filter > Camera Raw Filter

2. Select the fx icon

3. Drag the dehaze slider up to about 64 or 65. But this will depend on the photo that you are trying to clear up. The number may be different. Use your own judgement

4. Then click OK, to confirm changes.

and viola! you’re done.

How to create a Funky (Webby Style) VINYL RECORD

I hope you find this Vinyl Record tutorial useful.  In this exclusive video tutorial I will show you how to create a shiny old-school vinyl record – just like this one you can see here down below. Just click on this nice looking button to watch the video tut. Creative Tip: Always remember – there are usually many ways to get similar results done when using Photoshop, so when you are following this tutorial feel free to experiment with different filters and blending options and possibly you will come up with your very own version of a vinyl record!

watch-video-tut

record-final

HOW TO: Make a Clever Ad – Creative Thinking & Brainstorming Tips

I will take you through some basics which I think are essential for a creative ad design. Remember, there are many ways to get the job done and several techniques to get the creative juices flowing. In this article,  I will share one way to go about it and I will include some relevant ideas that you may find helpful.

Before I begin, just to get your brains thinking take a look at these 2 images below,

Ouch.
Ouch.
Baby of the future
Modern Day Pacifier (Istockphoto)

Pretty creative eh? I do not know who did the work on top, but if you do, you can leave a comment letting me know.

ok…now we can begin.

Market Research:
Make sure you know your audience.  The company’s main goal is usually to sell something to their target market.  If you are working for a client who has already done market research for the company, try to get as much information from them as you can.  If you don’t know who you are trying to attract, it may be hard to communicate.  If you are trying to sell “Humous” to people in Denver, you will need a different approach then the one you would take while trying to sell “Humous” to people in the middle east.

Focus on 1 selling point:
What is the  company trying to sell? Sometimes it is a product and sometimes it is a service, and sometimes they may be trying to sell a message to the minds of the public ( i.e., an awareness – this is usually for Non-profit organizations) . Write a list of all the product’s selling points.  There are 2 general paths:

  1. POSITIVE: List the positive points of the product/service
  2. NEGATIVE: List the negative points if  someone lacks the product/service

The positive path is usually the way to go.  Now, it’s time to choose the most suitable  point to focus your ad on. Focus on 1 strong point.  This point will be your “Selling Point”.  Which point to choose will depend on the market research and other various company factors.

Concept/Brainstorming:
Now that you have your “Selling Point”, you need to start brainstorming ideas with this “point” in mind.
This concept done here below is for SOHO high heels.  I would say that their selling point is that they offer “
very high heels“. 
As you can see they focused on that 1 point and they get the message across. With a sense of humor of course. Which is good. People like to laugh (-:

soho
Advertising Agency: Wirz/BBDO, Switzerland Creative Director: Matthias Freuler Art Directors: Kim Sokola, Rahel Boesinger Photographer: www.svengermann.ch Retoucher: Daniel Bracher

Focusing on more than one selling point could sometimes lead to a mess, so be careful. Some clients would really like to sell everything that they offer in one single ad, which is great, if it was possible, but I think focusing on “one point” and emphasizing that point is the way to go. As they say: “Less is More”.  People can only grasp a certain amount of information at once. Ok,  I hope I was clear, now, let’s try doing one of our own. Imagine the company name is WooGlue and for this example your “selling point” is “Very Strong Glue”. Now Spend time brainstorming up a long word list of everything you think of when you hear the word “strong”.  Even if it sounds weird at first.  Don’t throw it away till it’s final. You never know what other ideas this can trigger from each word. Then after you have a nice long list of word, you can work on trying to combine some of the “strong” related words that you came up with and the glue itself. The bottom line is to portray the glue to be very strong.

QUICK SAMPLE  BRAINSTORMING LIST OF things that come to mind when I heard the word “strong”:
Superman
Vodka
Barbells
Bungee Jumping Cord
Ants
Nails/Screws
MightyMouse
Bricks/ rocks
Cement

ok, for this example, I chose to work with cement. I  am going to try to creatively combine  “Cement”  with “Glue” in an attempt to portray WooGlue as being very strong. Cement is pretty strong – so for this example I will go with it.  If you can think of a stronger substance that may work even better.  Glue being as strong as cement is an exaggeration and that is exactly the point that will drive the message home. Now remember, I am doing this on the spot.  A relatively short time has been spent on this “cement /glue combination”  The more time you spend, chances are that more ideas will come to you (-:

What came to me was the following concept: A cement mixer Truck with the “WooGlue”  logo on it and a little glue dripping out of the back instead of cement….and the text could say something like this:
“When Cement lets you down. WooGlue”

That is just my example, but the sky is the limit…

Some things to try and play with…

• Use of sense of Humor
• Use of Major Exaggeration
• Be Literal with words

Execution:
Once you have the image and copy in your head or in mockup version, it’s time to get into Photoshop and really make this thing look beautiful!

Expanding the Campaign
Now that you have 1 good advertisement down – you can work on a set of ads that follow this same theme by replacing the cement mixer truck for something else. It takes time, thought and research, you will be surprised of what creativity can be achieved.

Remember, there are many ways to get the job done. In this article,  I shared one way to go about it. I hope this gives you insight and helps you – when you next approach an ad design/campaign.

If you think you can come up with a better ad for “WooGlue” then create one in Photoshop  and submit it to PhotoshopCandy  – I will aim to publish the good ads on Photoshopcandy Homepage.
Interested? send me a message
(WooGlue is not a real company – this project is for fun – ENJOY!)

Personal message to you: Thank G-d for the human mind. It’s a gift. Use it wisely. Use it for the good!

How to make that crisp cool Apple.com navbar + text effect (sounds yummy)

People like Apple products for many different reasons. One of the things I love about apple is the cleanliness of their designs. They make the most sophisticated things seem so simple. They really take advantage of the use of “white”. Some clients tend to think that white space is an ememy. Although most designers, if educated properly, know that white is another color just like all the others, and if used properly can actually make a BIG difference. I have put together a few screenshots to help you achieve something very similar to the famous Apple nav bar effect.

To begin, I will tell you the 5  important components needed to create this nav bar along with screenshots of the exact properties I used. Then you guys will be able to put it together on your own. It’s easy- You’ll see…

• Default Button Background Gradient
• Default Button Text Effect
• Hover State Background Gradient
• Hover State Text Effect
• and finally the dividing line between each 2 nav button

Start by using the shape tool and dragging out a nice rectangular shape on your stage. Double click on the layer you just created and give it a nice “gradient overlay” like this:

This would be the Default Button Background Gradient:

mac-graident

Now using the text tool write out the text you want on your nav bar. Change the text to black.  Go double click the text layer and give it a drop shadow with the following properties:
This would be the Default Button Text Effect:

text-default

Now to create the Hover effect for when someone mouses over the nav bar, you simply take the same steps as above but this time using these new properties.

Hover State Background Gradient
mac-graident-hover

Hover State Text Effect
The text should be white and the drop shadow properties should be as such:
text-hover

and finally the dividing lines between each 2 nav buttons .
Using the line tool drag out 2 lines about the height of your nav bar and each line should be 1 pixel wide. 1 should be light grey and 1 should be dark grey.

nav-divider

And that’s it!

I hope you enjoyed the simplicity of this beautiful clean nav bar. Don’t leep it for yourselves.  Share it with your friends and ReTweet it like crazy! Thank You!

This is what it should look like when you put it all together:

finalmacnav