How to write a popular Photoshop tutorial

Let me start this tutorial by saying: “Unique tutorials are popular”…I bet you were not surprised, but do you know what is “unique” in the Photoshop world? The answer is: rare, trendy and usable.

Let me explain:

- Rare: something that looks impressive but with no real usage as for a website. People will want to make the tutorial just to show it off and say: “Hey I did this in Photoshop!”. These “rare” types are, as the name says, rare to see because people don’t experiment with Photoshop as much as in the old days. Since few people make them they easily become popular.

- Trendy: something that everyone is a fan of or that you hear about it anywhere, like a movie, a game, etc. This type of tutorials you see it now and then, they come out when people dare to recreate what they’ve seen. Again, since few people make them they easily become popular.

- Usable: tutorials about something that every Photoshop user will want to create because they need it or will need it, like a forum signature, a website template, a logo, etc. You can find this type of tutorials everyday but nothing new, just improved and consequently they do not become so popular. Only the first 5-10 tutorials about a new thing will become popular.

Now that I’ve explained you the type of tutorials that become popular, let me take you through some things on how a popular tutorial should be:

- First of its kind: be the person to write the first tutorial about something that could be functional or non-functional, like a movie logo tutorial or an aurora borealis tutorial. It doesn’t matter what it is about, just be sure that is the first out there.

- Well explained: it doesn’t matter if you think your tutorial is for advanced Photoshop users, always write them as if you were talking to a first-time Photoshop user. This will get you some more hundreds of visitors and a couple of faithful people that will stick around at your site or forum, because they feel that they can learn anything if you explain it.

- Be creative: try to create a tutorial that when people look at the final result they will ask: “How did you do that?! Show me how!”. Before you publish a tutorial show the final result to people that have your same or a superior level of Photoshop knowledge and ask them how you could improve it, this will help you to elevate the tutorial quality.

You now know which kind of tutorials become popular and how to write them, it’s up to you what are you going to write a tutorial about…my advice is: be curious on how things can be done in Photoshop and if you fail while trying to get the same result, try it a couple of more times because I am sure you will get a similar result or something else that will make a great tutorial to write about.

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Digitize your handwritten signature

First you have to write down your signature or the text that you want to “digitize” in a white sheet, you can use any color.

There are different ways to get the image in your computer: with a scanner (the best), digital camera or cellphone camera (the worst).

If you use a scanner, scan it at 300 dpi (recommended).
Now open the image in Photoshop, if you took a picture of it you need to Autolevel it by pressing Shift + Control + L.

Scan (worst case at 150 dpi):

Cellphone photo (worst case at 640×480):

Now go to Filter > Artistic > Cutout and use these settings:

Number of leves: 8
Edge Simplicity: 0
Edge Fidelity: 3

And you will get something like this:

Scan (worst case at 150 dpi):

Cellphone photo (worst case at 640×480):

If you used the scanner you can only erase the white background and the inner part of your lettes with the Magic Wand (W) and you are done but remember to set a Color Overlay in the Blending Options so you change it to your favorite one.

If you took a photo you will have to work a little more, go to Image > Adjustments > Channel Mixer, check the Monochrome box and use these settings:

Red: 98%
Green: 60%
Blue: 116%
Constant: -88%

Then you should get something like this:

Cellphone photo (worst case at 640×480):

Remember that for the best output you should use a scanner and 300 dpi.

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Camouflage paint tutorial

Camouflage paint tutorial from Userbars.tv

Outcome

I chose this tutorial because it was a different ‘theme’ from the others that just take an old tutorials and change some things and call it a ‘new’ tutorial when its basically the same…

This tutorial can be done by beginners and experienced users, it takes you step by step and be sure to click on the images so you can see them bigger (since i didnt when i first read it lol).

One thing that I liked a lot is that the writer tells you at the beginning that there are limitations when implementing the camo.

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Be Superman

Open a document with 300×200 px and a white background. Press Control + Shift + N to create a New Layer, select the Polygonal Lasso Tool (press L) and create this shape and fill it with black:

Be Superman

Be Superman

Now press Control + J to duplicate the layer and go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal, now put those 2 shapes together and merge the layers:

Be Superman

Select the Eliptical Marquee Tool (press M) and make a selection like this:

Be Superman

Be Superman

Now with the selection still active, go to your Layers window and holding Control and Alt click in the shape layer -you can see how we deselected the diamond shape-:

Be Superman

Now grab the Marquee Selection Tool (press M) and deselect in the work area, the selection areas at the left and right of the diamond so we only leave the top selected:

Be Superman

Fill the selection with black:

Be Superman

Holding Control click the layer and go to Select > Modify > Contract and type 10 then click ok, instead of deleting this part we will recycle it, press Control + X to cut it and instantly paste it again while pressing Control + V (put the inner part layer underneath the other one and place it where it should be):

Be Superman

Right-click the inner shape layer (the one we extracted from the diamond shape) and go to Blending Options > Color Overlay, change the color to FFDE00 and click ok.

We did this since if we only select and fill the shape it wont do it right, it always leave a small border with the older color:

Be Superman

Right-click the black border layer and go to Blending options:

*Only the ones to be edited will be listed.

Outer Glow

-Structure-
Blend Mode: Normal
Opacity: 25%
Color: Black (000000)

-Elements-
Size: 25px

Bevel and Emboss

-Structure-
Depth: 1000%
Size: 6px
Soften: 1px

-Shading-
Angle: 90°
Altitude: 30°
Highlight Mode: Normal
Opacity: 100%
Shadow Mode: Normal
Opacity: 10%

Contour

Contour: Gaussian

Color Overlay

-Color-
Color: 670804
Blend Mode: Normal
Opacity: 100%

And you should have this:

Be Superman

Press Control + R to bring out the Ruler, while holding click in the ruler at the left, drag it to the center of the shape that we just applied Blending Options:

Be Superman

Press Control + J to duplicate layer, press Control + T -you will notice above that some boxes appear- type 96% in the boxes that have a W and H in front. Now select the Move Tool from the Tools window and when a window comes up, click Apply. Place the duplicated layer under the original and center it, leave the guide because we will use it to center the letter/word.

You should have something like this:

Be Superman

Now select the Type Tool (T), make a big box -to cover almost the whole document- and type your letter/word. Change the text size to 150 pt, if its too big then make it a bit smaller and select 670804 as the color. Put the layer on top of all and center it with the help of the guide. Now you can delete the guide (drag it out of the document) and press Control + R to hide the ruler:

Be Superman

Now we just need to merge the text layer with the border of the shield -the one we DIDNT resize-:

Be Superman

You might think we are done but hm…no, not yet. Create a New Layer (Control + Shift + N) and place it under the ones we just merged and now select the one above it and merge it with the empty layer we just created -this way we can work on the effect made by Blending Options-. You will notice that we still have the effect in the layer but theres no Blending Options on it, its now a plain layer.

Select the Dodge Tool (O), if you see above you will notice a dropdown menu named Range, change it to Highlights and set the Exposure to 50%. Right-click in the work area and select a Soft Mechanical brush -a circular blurred one- and set the size to 20, you might need to make it smaller at some parts.

Since we are highlighting, brush over all the white parts and you will get something like this -watch the difference-:

Be Superman

Be Superman

If you think its too bright, then just reduce Exposure.

Now, select the Burn Tool (O) and change the Range to Shadows and the Exposure to 50%. Put some shadow in the parts where you didnt highlight -watch the difference-:

Be Superman

Be Superman

Thats all, now you get to be a superhero lol. Play around with the steps in this tutorial because i know you can improve it.

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The Ultimate Grunge Design Tutorial

The Ultimate Grunge Design Tutorial from PushStandards.com

Outcome

For this tutorial you will need to know where the tools are, what they do and how to use them so you can get the same output as the tutorial, the tutorial does not take you by hand.

If you are a newbie then you will have a lot of questions by doing the tutorial, if you are familiar with photoshop then this tutorial will introduce you to a new style and if you are an experienced user this tutorial will let you expand your technics.

Recommender for: intermediate-experienced users.

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