;Did you ever want to create the illusion of smoke in your photoshop artwork. There are many tutorials out there on creating smoke, but what I like most about this technique is that it provides the artist with full control over how the smoke behaves. This technique allows you to create any shape you want with the smoke (rather than relying on the random effects of filters).Step-by-Step Instructions:1. Open up an image in photoshop that you wish to apply smoke to.2. Create a new layer. Name it "Smoke".3. With the Smoke layer selected, use the paintbrush tool to draw some white areas for the smoke. We'll tweak these white paint brush marks later to look like smoke.4. Now select the Smudge tool and set the "Strength" settings to 50%. Begin smudging the white areas to make them appear more like smoke.5. Once you've smudged the smoke into the shapes that you find pleasing, select the Eraser tool. Set the Opacity settings to 40%. Then begin applying the eraser to the areas of the smoke that need to be lightened.6. Congratulations! You should now have your smoke in the exact shape you wanted. Try it again, but experiment by drawing faces with the paintbrush in Step 3.
;This tutorial introduces you to creating freeform interfaces. Some examples would be like the Winamp 3 and 5 skins, Windows Media Player skins, etc. Basically it involves shapes that are not squaure, rectangular, etc. I'm not stating that these type of skins never contain these elements, but most are done in a 'free form' style.1. Create a new document, 400X300 with a white background. Now create a new layer and name this layer 'base'. Now set #3D3D3D as your foreground color and then grab your Polygon Tool and make sure it is set to 'Shape Layers' up at the top left of your screen. Then click your Star shape up top and make sure you have your settings like the image below. Set Your indent sides to 50%. For some reason My image only says 5%..must have snapped it to quick.
2. Now that we have our tool set up, hold down shift and draw out a shape like mine. Now create a new layer above that and set your foreground color to #FE6901 and grab your Elipse Tool. Note: This is not the circular marquee tool! Now create a new layer above your base layer and name this layer 'Elipse'. Drag out your elipse like my image.
Now go back to your base layer and apply a 1 pixel inside black stroke, and do the same for your Elipse layer.3. Now Duplicate your elipse layer by rightclicking it in the layers pallete and select duplicate and then move it below our first elipse layer, Name this layer 'Inset'. Now set your foreground color to 8A8A8A and then press Alt Backspace to fill this new elipse with that color. Now go to Edit>Free Transform and up at the top press the chain link icon in between the width and height box and then enter 110 into the width box. (Note: This might vary depending on how large you drew out your Elipse.)
Now we have all of the shapes we are going to work with. The reason I used shapes and paths instead of the selection tools is because I can easily modify the shape by adding points and moving points if I decide I want to give something a slightly different shape. This is how I like to work. I like to set up my shapes first before I do any detail work. Now that we are satisfied by our shapes, lets rasterize our layers. Right click on each layer we created and select 'Rasterize Layer' (base, Inset, Elipse).4. Now ctrl click your 'base' layer and then create a new layer right above it. Set your foreground color to a lighter shade of grey, I set mine to 737372, but its not an exact science. Now grab your brush tool, I set my tip to about a 45 pixel soft brush and then my opacity to 22% and flow to 70%. Now start adding the highlights to your interface, focusing on the middle sections of the grey area or our base layers shape.
Now set your foreground color to a little bit lighter grey (ABABAA if you must know) and about a 21 pixel soft brush and start adding more highlights. Don't be scared that is looks sorta blotchy and blocky at the moment, were gonna clean all that up soon. Now set your foreground color to black or almost black and go right around the edges. Make sure your selection is still present while doing all of this! . Here is what mine looks like after the first round of highlights and shadows.
5. Now lets move on to our elipse because its feeling a little neglected. Click on your elipse layer and then click the littel 'f' and apply an inner glow with THESE settings. Now ctrl click your 'Elipse' layer and then set 'white' as your foreground color, now Create a new layer above your elipse layer and name it 'Elipse_Highlight'. Now grab your linear gradeint tool and then set your gradient to 'Foreground to Transparent' (Second Block over in your gradeint pallete' See Image Below).
Now going from top to bottom while holding shift fill your new layer with that gradient. Now press ctrl d to deselect and then go to edit>Free Transform and now holding shift, grab the bottom right corner and scale it down a bit, press enter to commit the transform and then move it to the mid top part of your Elipse.
Now on that same layer, click the little 'f' in the layers pallete and select outer glow. Set the color to white, mode to color dodge and size to 7. Everything else can remain. Now press ok and then change that layers blend mode to 'Overlay' and drop the opacity to about 79%.6. Now create a new layer above your Elipse_Highlight layer and name it 'Hot Spot'. Now set white as your foreground color and then grab about a 9pixel soft brush and just rub a small blotch in about the top left of your elipse highlight. Make sure your brush is set to 100% opacity, remember we want this spot to catch alot of light. Then apply an outer glow with the settings below
Now go back to our 'Elipse Layer' and apply an inner Shadow with THESE settings. Notice how I jump from layer to layer. I never completely finish a layer because there is always tweaking to do, each layer feeds off each other.7. Now lets do a little work to our 'Inset' layer. Now click the little 'f' and select 'Gradient Overlay' and apply THESE settings. Next I lowered the stroke opacity for the inset layer down to about 50 or so.
Its looking pretty good, but lets keep going. We still need to smooth out those blotches a bit for our base layer highlights and shadows. Ctrl Click the Base layer and then select the 'Highlight' layer above it. Now grab your smudge tool and set the tip to about a 19pxl hard round. Then up top, set its strength to about 12% and just start making long strokes to the oter edges and just keep blending the shadows around, etc. Just play with it! If you think your gonna mess up just make you a duplicate of it and hide it. I then applied a slight dropshadow to my base layer.
8. Finishing up. Now if your not on your 'highlight' layer then get there now. Now we want to get a little more 'realism' out of our metal so lets grab our 'dodge tool'. Set it to about a 45pixel soft brush, Range:Higlights and Exposure:65. Now just start dodgeing around your sphere inset and down the middle portions of where our base layer is.
Thats it! If you want, keep going and keep redefining your skin, Add more layers and shapes to it. Add some details, text, etc.