How to Create an Alice in Wonderland Inspired Afternoon Tea Invite in Adobe InDesign

Post pobrano z: How to Create an Alice in Wonderland Inspired Afternoon Tea Invite in Adobe InDesign

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

Anyone for tea? This cute and quirky two-part invite won’t fail to make your friends smile! 

Inspired by the Mad Hatter’s infamous tea party ritual, this invite would work really well for vintage- or Alice-themed events. 

In this tutorial suitable for beginner to intermediate InDesign users, we’ll create the layout in InDesign and dip into Illustrator briefly to edit vector graphics for the design.

Looking for a different style of invite for your next event? You can find a huge range of easy-to-edit invite templates over on GraphicRiver and Envato Elements.

final invite

What You’ll Need to Create Your Invite

You’ll need to download the following graphics and font files to create the design pictured here:

Make sure to save your images to a safe folder and install the fonts on your computer.

1. How to Create a Teapot Backdrop for Your Invite

Step 1

Open InDesign and go to File > New > Document. 

Set the Width of the page to 7.895 in and Height to 5.5 in. Uncheck Facing Pages.

Add a Bleed of 0.25 in to all edges of the page and click Create.

new document custom

Step 2

Expand the Layers panel (Window > Layers) and double-click on Layer 1. Rename it Background and click OK.

Create three more new layers in this order: Teapot, Frame, and finally Type at the top of the sequence.

layer options

Lock all the layers except Teapot, which we’ll work on first.

teapot layer

Step 3

Expand the Swatches panel (Window > Color > Swatches) and click on New Color Swatch in the panel’s main drop-down menu (at top-right). 

Name the swatch Soft White, and set the Type to Process and Mode to CMYK. Set the levels below to C=1 M=1 Y=2 K=0, and then click Add and OK.

Repeat the process to create three more CMYK swatches with the following names and values:

  • Green: C=81 M=31 Y=100 K=21
  • Bright Red: C=8 M=100 Y=78 K=0
  • Off-Black: C=77 M=74 Y=58 K=83
swatch options

Step 4

Briefly minimize, but don’t close, the InDesign window. 

Open the teapot vector set in Adobe Illustrator, and isolate the teapot at the far left of the second row. Delete the floral pattern on the teapot, so you have only the silhouette remaining.

Select both the main teapot and the teapot’s lid with your mouse, and open the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder). Click Unite.

pathfinder unite

With the shape united, select it and head up to Edit > Copy. Then minimize the Illustrator window.

united shape

Step 5

Head back to your InDesign document and Edit > Paste to drop the vector directly onto the Teapot layer.

Scale the teapot so that it fills the page neatly, taking it up to the trim edge of the page on all sides.

pasted shape

From the Swatches panel (Window > Color > Swatches) ensure the Stroke and Fill Color of the vector is set to [None].

Then, with the teapot selected, go to File > Place. Navigate to the image of yellow and red flowers and click Open, allowing it to fill the teapot completely. 

Extend the image up to the bleed edge (indicated by the bounding box highlighted).

fill with image

Step 6

Set your cursor inside the teapot to select the flower image directly (a circular symbol will appear in the middle of the image), and Edit > Copy.

copied image

Click anywhere else on the page to deselect the teapot, and Edit > Paste in Place. 

When you expand the Teapot layer, you’ll now see two copies of the image, with the larger version at the top. 

pasted image

Unlock the Background layer, and drag the top flower image down, dropping it into this layer. This creates a seamless backdrop for the design and allows for any trimming errors to be minimised.

layers expanded

2. How to Create a Cute Frame for the Type on Your Invite

Step 1

Lock and switch off the visibility of the Background layer, and unlock the Frame layer. 

frame layer

Open the vector frames set in Illustrator. Identify the frame on the second row down, second left along. 

Select it and Edit > Copy.

frame vector

Head back to InDesign and Edit > Paste, dropping it onto the Frame layer. From the Swatches panel, adjust the Fill to Soft White and position the frame centrally on the teapot.

When you’re happy with the position and size of the frame, Edit > Copy it. We’ll use this later.

pasted frame

Step 2

With the frame selected, head up to Object > Effects > Drop Shadow. 

Bring the Opacity down to around 70% and add about 5% Noise, before clicking OK

drop shadow

Edit > Paste a second frame on top of the first, scale it down slightly, and position it inside the edge of the original as shown below. Set the Fill to [None] and Stroke Color to Green.

green stroke

From the Stroke panel (Window > Stroke), increase the Weight of the frame’s stroke to 5 pt, and choose Thick-Thick from the Type menu in the panel. 

thick thick stroke

3. How to Format Quirky Typography on Your Invite

Step 1

Lock the Frame layer and unlock the layer above, Type.

Take the Type Tool (T) and drag across the frame, centering it towards the top. 

Type in ‘You’re invited to the’ and from either the top Controls panel or the Character panel (Window > Type & Tables > Character), set the Font to Herbert Lemuel Sans, Size 10 pt, and text to Align Center

Set the Font Color to Green from the Swatches panel.

herbert lemuel font

Step 2

Create a second text frame below, typing in ‘MAD HATTER’S’ and setting the Font to Herbert Lemuel Dots, Size 15 pt, and Font Color to Bright Red.

mad hatters text

Copy and Paste the text frame below, adjusting the text to read ‘TEA PARTY’, increasing the Font Size to 29 pt and adjusting the Font Color to Off-Black. 

tea party text

Add more text frames below this, typing in:

‘Please don’t be late for this very important date:’

‘[Date] at [time]’

‘[Location]’

Set the Font to a mix of Herbert Lemuel Regular, Sans, and Dots, and use Green and Bright Red for the Font Colors.

remaining text

4. How to Create the Other Part of Your Invite

Note: If you’re printing your invite from a home printer, you may find it easier to create two separate parts to your invite (as I’ve done here), as lining up home or office printers for two-sided printing can be tricky. Even if you’re going to print the invite professionally, you may want to provide it as two pieces. To do this, you can follow the steps below as they are.

However, if you’re going to print your invite professionally and want to create a double-sided invite, you will need to observe the following steps, but make sure to FLIP the teapot for the reverse side horizontally. I’ll flag up when you should do this below.

Step 1

With the first part of your invite finished, you can either keep this as it is and skip forward to Step 5.1, or create another part or side of your invite if you like.

To do this, expand the Pages panel (Window > Pages) and drag the Page 1 icon down onto the Create New Page button at the bottom of the panel, to duplicate it. 

duplicate page

Step 2

Switch off the visibility of all layers except Teapot. File > Place the vintage flowers image into the teapot, extending the edge of the image up to the bleed, as we did earlier.

replace image

Select the flower image inside the teapot directly and Edit > Copy it. Click outside of the teapot and Edit > Paste in Place. 

Then move this pasted flower image onto the Background layer below*.

background layer

If you want to create a double-sided invite (rather than two separate invites), here you should unlock both the Teapot and Background layers. Select all elements on these layers (on Page 2) and Right-Click > Transform > Flip Horizontal. Move them back into a central position on the page. 

Step 3

Lock the Background and Teapot layers, and unlock the Frame layer. 

Adjust the Fill of the frame at the back to Off-Black. 

frame in black

Step 4

Unlock the Type layer at the top, and adjust the text here to read more details about the event, such as dress code, directions to the venue, or RSVP details.

Set the Font Color to Soft White for contrast.

white text

5. How to Set Up Your Invite for Laser Cutting

To achieve that lovely teapot shape in your final invite, you’ll have to set up your artwork with a die line. This is not too tricky to do!

Step 1

Scrolling up to Page 1, unlock the Teapot layer and select the teapot shape. Edit > Copy it.

teapot

Edit > Paste in Place the teapot, and expand the Teapot layer to identify this pasted copy.

Create a new layer in the Layers panel at the top of the layers sequence, calling it DIE-LINE

die line layer

Drag the top teapot shape into this layer, and lock the Teapot layer afterwards.

die line layer

Step 2

Remove the image from the teapot shape, leaving a blank vector shape behind.

remove image

From the Swatches panel, choose New Color Swatch from the panel’s drop-down menu. 

new color swatch

Name the swatch DIE LINE MAGENTA, and set the Color Type to Spot. Set the levels to 100% Magenta, and click Add and then OK. 

die line magenta

Apply this new swatch to the Stroke of the teapot shape. 

die line magenta

Step 3

With the teapot shape selected, go to Window > Output > Attributes. 

Check the Overprint Stroke and, if available, the Nonprinting box.

attributes panel

Step 4

Select the teapot, and Edit > Copy it. 

Scroll down to Page 2 (if you have created a second part to the invite) and Edit > Paste in Place*.

paste in place

For a double-sided invite, you will also have to flip the die line, by Right-Clicking > Transform > Flip Horizontal, and moving into the correct position. 

6. How to Export Your Invite

Step 1

Make sure all the layers in your InDesign document are visible*.

visible layers

Then head up to File > Export. Choose Adobe PDF (Print) from the Format menu at the bottom, and click Save

adobe pdf print

Set the Adobe PDF Preset at the top to PDF/X-1A:2001, which is the best preset for exporting die lines.

export pds

Some printers will prefer to work with a separate die line document, so make sure to check their preferences before you export your file.

Step 2

Click on Marks and Bleeds in the window’s left-hand menu. 

Check All Printer’s Marks and Use Document Bleed Settings. 

use bleed settings

Then you’re ready to click Export, and create your ready-to-print file! Great job!

pdf exported

Conclusion: Your Finished Invite

Your Alice-themed invitation is finished and ready for printing. Awesome work! 

final invitation

In this tutorial we’ve covered tons of useful skills for applying to print design and invite design. 

Looking for more invite designs? A template is always a good place to start. You can find tons of easy-to-edit invite templates over on GraphicRiver and Envato Elements.

If you’re hungry for more tutorials which use die lines to create cool print shapes, make sure to check these out:

How to Create a Wonderland Photo Manipulation With Adobe Photoshop

Post pobrano z: How to Create a Wonderland Photo Manipulation With Adobe Photoshop

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In this tutorial I’ll show you how to use Adobe Photoshop to create a photo manipulation scene based on „Alice in Wonderland”. 

First, we’ll build the base scene using several stock images. After that, we’ll add flowers and plants, create a tree, import mushrooms, and blend them together using adjustment layers, masking, and brushes. Later, we’ll add a rabbit and eyes for the trees, and we’ll paint some mist to increase the dreamy feeling in the scene. We’ll use several adjustment layers to complete the final effect.

Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial:

1. How to Build the Base Scene

Step 1

Create a new 2000 x 1333 px document in Photoshop with the given settings:

new file

Step 2

Open the forest image. Drag this image into the white canvas using the Move Tool (V).

add forest

Step 3

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Color Balance and set it as Clipping Mask. Alter the Midtones values to make the forest more yellow.

forest color balance

Step 4

Make a Curves adjustment layer to darken the forest. On this layer mask,
activate the Brush Tool (B) and select a soft round one with black
color. Use this brush to erase the far middle of the background as we’re
aiming to add the main light source there.

forest curves 1

Step 5

Create another Curves adjustment layer to increase the haze of the
forest, especially the left. Use a soft black brush to paint on the
rest so it won’t be affected by this adjustment layer.

forest curves 2

Step 6

Add another Curves adjustment layer to make the forest darker. Paint on the middle so it won’t be darkened.

forest curves 3

Step 7

Open the path 1 image and move it into the main canvas. Use the Free
Transform Tool (Control-T)
to distort the perspective of the path a bit.

add path 1

Flip the path horizontally by choosing Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal.

path 1 flipped horizontally

Step 8

Click the second icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to add a mask to
this layer. Use a soft black brush to remove the fence and both sides
of the path so only the middle part is visible on the existing midground.

path 1 masking

Step 9

Use the Lasso Tool to select the sunny area on top of the path and set the feather for it to 10:

path 1 selection

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue Saturation and set it as Clipping Mask. Change the Master settings to desaturate this selected area.

path 1 selection hue saturation

Step 10

Use a Color Balance adjustment layer to match the path’s color with the background.

path 1 color balance

Step 11

Create a Curves adjustment layer to darken the path. On this layer mask,
use a soft black brush to erase the middle and top of the path as it’s
nearer the background light.

path 1 curves 1

Step 12

Make another Curves adjustment layer with the same purpose. The selected area shows where to paint on the layer mask.

path 1 curves 2

Step 13

Add another Curves adjustment layer to make the top of the path hazier.
Paint on the rest so it won’t be affected by this adjustment layer.

path 1 curves 3

2. How to Import the Flowers and Plants

Step 1

Open the path 2 image. Use the Lasso Tool to select the left of the path
with flowers to place it on the left of the main canvas.

add path 2

Add a mask to this layer and use a soft black brush to remove the hard edges and blend the bottom with the existing ground.

path 2 masking

Step 2

Add the right of the flowery path from the original image to the right of the canvas.

add other sides of path 2
other sides masking

Step 3

Select the flowers layers and hit Control-G to make a group for them.
Change this group’s mode to Normal 100% and create a Color Balance
adjustment layer to alter the flowers’ color a little.

path 2 color balance

Step 4

Make a Curves adjustment layer to darken the flowers. On the layer mask,
use a soft black brush to lighten the effect on the shadow areas.

path 2 curves

Step 5

Open the plants 2 image and use the Lasso Tool to select the plants area to add to the right corner of the ground.

add plants 2

Use a layer mask to remove the unwanted red details of the bottom of the plants.

plants 2 masking

Step 6

Create a Hue Saturation adjustment layer and alter the Midtones values.

plants 2 hue saturation

Step 7

Add a Curves adjustment layer to bring more light to the plants. Paint
on the right where it’s more hidden from the light than the left.

plants 2 curves 1

Step 8

Create another Curves adjustment layer to increase the shadow a bit. The selected area shows where to work on the layer mask.

plants 2 curves 2

Step 9

Make a new layer below the plants layer and use a soft brush with the
color #100303 and Opacity about 40% to paint shadows below them.

plants 2 shadow

Step 10

Drag the plants 1 image into our working document and place it on the
right side of the path. Set this layer below the flowery path layers.

add plants 1

Use a layer mask to remove the part covering the midground of the path.

plants 1 masking

Step 11

Make a Color Balance adjustment layer to alter the Midtones settings, making the plants redder and yellower.

plants 1 color balance

Step 12

Create a Curves adjustment layer to darken the plants.

plants 1 curves

Step 13

Open the flower 1 image. Cut out the flower using the Magic Wand Tool (W) and place it on the right edge of the main canvas.

add flower 1

Step 14

Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to 6 px. This step is to increase the depth of the scene.

flower 1 gaussian blur

Step 15

Make a Hue Saturation adjustment layer to alter the flower’s color.

flower 1 hue saturation

Step 16

Create a Color Balance adjustment layer to give the flower more orange.

flower 1 color balance

Step 17

Add a Curves adjustment layer to darken the flower. Paint on the front
of the flower where it gets more light from the background.

flower 1 curves

Step 18

Isolate the
flower 2 and place it on the lower left edge. Apply a Gaussian
Blur
of 6 px to this layer to give it some softness and depth.

add flower 2

Step 19

Use a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to desaturate the flower.

flower 2 hue saturation

Step 20

Make a Curves adjustment layer to darken the flower. Use a soft black
brush to paint on the front of this flower so it won’t be affected by
this dark effect.

flower 2 curves

3. How to Composite the Tree

Step 1

Cut out the tree from the tree 1 image and add it to the left side of
the canvas. Use a layer mask to remove the part covering the path.

add tree 1
tree 1 masking

Step 2

Make a Curves adjustment layer to darken the tree. We’ve aimed to use
the hidden area (shadow one) of this tree only, so use a soft black brush
to erase there.

tree 1 curves

Step 3

Open the tree 2 image and use the Polygonal Lasso Tool to select the
tree part only. Place it above the tree 1 image and use a layer mask to
blend it with the existing tree.

add tree 2
tree 2 masking

Step 4

Use a Hue Saturation adjustment layer to match the tree 2 color with the tree 1 color.

tree 2 hue saturation

Step 5

Create a Curves adjustment layer to darken the tree. Paint on the front details of the tree to keep its lightness.

tree 2 curves 1

Step 6

Use another Curves adjustment layer to increase the haze of the root
part beside the top of the path to fit the softness of this place. The
selected area shows where to paint on the layer mask.

tree 2 curves 2

Step 7

Make a new layer, change the mode to Overlay 100% and fill with 50% gray.

tree 2 DB new layer

Activate the Dodge Tool (O) to paint more light for the contour of the
tree. You can see how I did it with Normal mode and the result with
Overlay mode.

tree 2 D B results

Step 8

Cut out tree 3 from the background and add it to the upper part of the
existing tree. Use Control-T with the Warp mode to change the form of
the tree a little.

add tree 3

Go to Edit > Puppet Warp to bend the tree a bit. After that, use a layer mask to blend this part with the existing tree.

tree 3 puppet warp
tree 3 masking

Step 9

Make a Curves adjustment layer to make this tree part darker. On this
layer mask, use a soft black brush to reduce the adjustment layer effect
on the areas which you feel are dark enough.

tree 3 curves 1

Step 10

Use another Curves adjustment layer to give this tree part, especially the front, a hazy effect.

tree 3 curves 2

Step 11

Create a new layer, change the mode to Overlay 100% and fill with 50%
gray. Use the Dodge Tool to bring more light to the contour of this
part.

tree 3 DB

4. How to Add the Mushrooms

Step 1

Isolate the mushroom 1 from the background and add it to the right side
of the path. Use a layer mask to blend the bottom of the mushroom with
the ground.

add mushroom 1

Step 2

Make a Color Balance adjustment layer to alter the mushroom’s color a little.

mushroom 1 color balance

Step 3

Create a Curves adjustment layer to brighten the mushroom. Paint on the
hidden/shadow area of the mushroom so it won’t be affected by this
adjustment layer.

mushroom 1 curves 1

Step 4

Use another Curves adjustment layer to strengthen the shadow area of the
mushroom. Paint on the front of the mushroom to keep its lightness.

mushroom 1 curves 2

Step 5

Create a new layer, change the mode to Overlay 100%, and fill with 50%
gray. Use the Dodge and Burn Tool to refine the light and shadow of the
mushroom.

mushroom DB

Step 6

To make a shadow for this mushroom, create a new layer below the mushroom
layer. Hold Control and click the thumbnail of the mushroom layer to
load its selection.

mushroom 1 selection

Fill this selection with the color #100303 and flip it vertically. Use
Control-T to transform the shadow to fit the direction of the light
source.

mushroom 1 shadow transforming

Lower the Opacity of this layer to 50% and apply a Gaussian Blur of 8 px to this layer.

mushroom 1 shadow gaussian blur

Use a layer mask to reduce the opacity of the shadow, especially the part near the foreground.

mushroom 1 shadow masking

Step 7

Open the mushrooms 2 image. Cut out the mushrooms on the left and middle and place them beside the existing mushroom.

add mushrooms 2

Use a layer mask to blend their bottom with the ground.

mushrooms 2 masking

Step 8

Create a group for these mushroom layers and add a Hue Saturation
adjustment layer within the group to desaturate the mushrooms. Change
the Master values.

mushrooms 2 hue saturation

Step 9

Make a Color Balance adjustment layer to alter the mushrooms’ color more.

mushrooms 2 color balance

Step 10

Create a Curves adjustment layer to darken the mushrooms, especially the
shadow areas. On the layer mask, paint on the front of the mushrooms
where it’s illuminated by the light.

mushrooms 2 curves

Step 11

Isolate the mushroom 3 and place it near the top of the path. Use a
layer mask to blend its bottom with the ground as we did with other
objects.

add mushroom 3

Step 12

Make a shadow for this mushroom as we did with the big mushroom, following the light’s direction.

mushroom 3 shadow

Step 13

Create a Hue Saturation adjustment layer and alter the Master settings.

mushroom 3 hue saturation

Step 14

Make a new layer, change the mode to Overlay 100% and fill with 50% gray. Use the Burn Tool to darken the right of the mushroom.

mushroom 3 DB

Step 15

Add a Curves adjustment layer to increase the shadow of the mushroom.
Paint on the left of the mushroom so it won’t be darkened by this
adjustment layer.

mushroom 3 curves 1

Step 16

Make a Curves adjustment layer to improve the haze on the mushroom as
it’s near the background light. On the layer mask, paint on the right
side so it’s less affected by this Curves adjustment layer.

mushroom 3 curves 2

Step 17

Import the mushroom 4 to our working document and make its shadow as we did with other mushrooms.

add mushroom 4

Step 18

Use a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to desaturate the mushroom.

mushroom 4 hue saturation

Step 19

Make a Curves adjustment layer to darken the mushroom. Paint on its front to reveal the lightness there.

mushroom 4 curves

Step 20

Create a new layer, change the mode to Overlay 100%, and fill with 50%
gray. Use the Burn Tool to strengthen the shadow of the mushroom.

mushroom 4 DB

Step 21

Continue adding mushroom 5 using a similar method. You can see the screenshots to know
the steps as I won’t bother you by repeating the description.

add mushroom 5
mushroom 5 color balance
mushroom 5 curves 1
mushroom 5 curves 2
mushroom 5 DB

Step 22

Import mushrooms 6 as we did with the other mushrooms.

add mushrooms 6
mushrooms 6 hue saturation
mushrooms 6 curves 1
mushrooms 6 curves 2
mushrooms 6 DB

Step 23

Add mushrooms 7 using the same method.

add mushrooms 7
mushrooms 7 hue saturation
mushrooms 7 color balance
mushrooms 7 curves 1
mushrooms 7 curves 2
mushrooms 7 DB

5. How to Retouch the Rabbit

Step 1

Open the rabbit image. As it has a transparent background, just use the Move Tool to drag the rabbit onto the tree.

add rabbit

Create a new layer below the rabbit one. Use a soft brush with the color #100303 to paint shadow below his feet.

rabbit shadow 1

Step 2

Make his long shadow as we did with the other objects.

rabbit shadow 2

Step 3

You can see the light and shadow on the rabbit do not fit the light
from the background. To fix it, use the Dodge Tool to paint highlights on
the contour and front of the rabbit and the Burn Tool to paint shadow
for his other sides.

rabbit DB

6. How to Add the Tree’s Eyes

Step 1

Open the owl eyes image. Use the Lasso Tool to select one eye and move
it onto the tree. Use Control-T to distort the eye a bit.

add eye to tree

Use a layer mask to blend the eye with the tree trunk.

eye masking

Step 2

Add another eye to the other side of the tree using the same method.

add another eye

7. How to Make the Final Adjustments

Step 1

Make a new layer on top of the layers and use a soft brush with the
color #e2e0de and Opacity about 30% and 80-90% to paint some light on
top of the path and around the tree. Use a layer mask to reduce the
opacity of the mist/haze and increase the dreamy, fantasy feeling a bit.

add mist
mist masking

Step 2

Create a Gradient Map adjustment layer on top of the layers and pick the
colors #e10019 and #00601b. Lower the Opacity of this layer to 20%.

whole scene gradient map

Step 3

Make a Color Fill layer and pick the color #1b0505. Change this layer mode to Exclusion 100%.

whole scene color fill

Step 4

Add a Color Balance adjustment layer and alter the Midtones and Highlights settings.

whole scene color balance midtones
whole scene color balance highlights

Step 5

Create a Selective Color adjustment layer to alter the color of the flowers/plants.

whole scene selective color

Step 6

Make a Photo Filter adjustment layer and pick the color #0048ec.

whole scene photo filter 1

Create another Photo Filter adjustment layer and change the color to
#00ec1c. On this layer mask, paint on both the sides and the ground so
the effect only works on the middle.

whole scene photo filter 2

Step 7

Add a Curves adjustment layer to bring more light to the middle. Paint
on the rest so it won’t be affected by this adjustment layer.

whole scene curves 1

Step 8

Use another Curves adjustment layer to increase the shadow of both the sides and the foreground.

whole scene curves 2

Step 9

Create a Vibrance adjustment layer to enhance the final effect.

whole scene vibrance

Congratulations, You’re Done!

I hope that you’ve enjoyed the tutorial and learned something new for
your own projects. Feel free to share your results or leave comments in
the box below. Enjoy Photoshopping!

final result

How to Create a Hookah Smoke Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Post pobrano z: How to Create a Hookah Smoke Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

This tutorial will show you how to use Photoshop’s work paths, brush settings, and layer styles to create a quick Alice in Wonderland shisha smoke text effect. Let’s get started!

This text effect was inspired by the many Layer Styles available on GraphicRiver.

Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial:

1. How to Create the Background and Text Layers

Step 1

Create a new 850 x 850px document. Click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, choose Solid Color, and use the Color #0f0e11.

Solid Color

Step 2

Create the text, each letter in a separate layer, using the font Multicolore, and change the Size to 200 pt.

Create the Text

Step 3

Place each letter’s text layer in a group with the letter’s name.

Group the Text Layers

2. How to Create and Save Work Paths

Step 1

Pick the Pen Tool and choose the Path option in the Options bar, and create a work path inside each of the letters you have.

Click once to add corner points, click-drag to add smooth curve points, and Command-click outside the path once you finish it.

You can use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select and adjust any anchor point as well as its direction points and handles if needed.

Create the Work Path

Step 2

In order to save a work path and reuse it, open the Paths panel, and double-click the Work Path tab to enter a name for the path you want to save.

Name the path Center and hit OK.

Save the Work Path

Step 3

Click the Create new path icon at the bottom of the Paths panel to add a new path tab.

Use the Ellipse Tool with the Path option to create a couple of ring shapes around the letters you have, and save the new path tab with the name Rings.

Add Ring Paths

3. How to Modify and Save a Brush Tip

Step 1

Pick the Brush Tool and open the Brush Settings panel.

Choose the Soft Round tip, check the Build-up and Smoothing boxes, and use these settings:

Brush Tip Shape

Brush Tip Shape

Shape Dynamics

Shape Dynamics

Scattering

Scattering

Texture (Use the Clouds pattern).

Texture

Transfer

Transfer

Step 2

Click the Create new brush icon in the bottom right corner of the panel to save the modified brush tip, and name it Smoke.

Create New Brush

4. How to Stroke a Work Path

Step 1

Select the Center tab in the Paths panel, pick the Path Selection Tool, and click on the first letter’s work path to select it.

Hide the text layer, and create a new layer on top of it with the letter’s name.

Select a Work Path

Step 2

Set the Foreground Color to any color you’d like to stroke the path with. The color used here is #d57187.

It is important to save the colors you use as you’ll need them later on.

Pick the Brush Tool (B), and hit the Return key to stroke the selected work path.

Stroke the Work Path

5. How to Create a Simple Smoke Style

Double-click the stroked path layer’s group to apply the following layer style:

Step 1

Add an Inner Shadow with these settings:

  • Opacity: 35%
  • Distance: 0
  • Size: 7
Inner Shadow

Step 2

Add an Inner Glow with these settings:

  • Opacity: 75%
  • Color: #c2bdbd
  • Source: Center
  • Size: 16
Inner Glow

Step 3

Add a Satin effect with these settings:

  • Blend Mode: Multiply
  • Color: #c3c3c3
  • Opacity: 50%
  • Angle: 20
  • Distance: 194
  • Size: 183
  • Contour: Rounded Steps
  • Check the Invert box
Satin

Step 4

Add an Outer Glow with these settings:

  • Opacity: 53%
  • Color: #e34065
  • Size: 25
  • Range: 100%

The Color here should correspond to the one you chose for the original brush tip color, so you should choose a different one if you are using other brush tip colors.

Outer Glow

Step 5

Right-click the styled group, and choose Copy Layer Style. Then select the rest of the groups you have, right-click any of them, and choose Paste Layer Style.

Copy and Paste the Layer Style

Step 6

Repeat the same steps to stroke the rest of the work paths you have.

After that, for each group, double-click it to adjust the Outer Glow effect’s Color to one that matches the brush tip color used for the letter in the group.

The other brush colors used here are #054ae3, #41a614, and #f1a327.

Stroke the Work Paths

6. How to Warp Objects

Step 1

Select the stroked letter’s layer, press Command-T to enter Free Transform Mode, and click the Warp icon in the Options bar.

Warp Mode

Step 2

Click-drag the small sections to warp the letter and get a more dynamic effect, and hit the Return key to commit the changes.

Warp the Text

Step 3

Repeat that for the rest of the letters.

Warp the Text

7. How to Add Smoke

Step 1

Next, use the Real Smoke and Smoke Out Brush Set tips to add smoke to the letters you created.

Add the smoke on as many new layers as needed, and use the same color as the letter you’re adding the smoke to.

Use different brush tips with very small tip sizes to get the best results.

Add Smoke to the Letters

Step 2

If you feel the brushes are too sharp, you can go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, and use a Radius value you like to soften the tips a little bit.

Gaussian Blur

Step 3

Create a new layer on top of the Solid Color layer, name it BG Smoke, and use some large smoke brushes to add colored smoke around the text.

Right-click the BG Smoke layer and choose Convert to Smart Object.

Add Background Smoke

Step 4

Blur the smoke quite a lot, and reduce its layer’s Opacity to around 30%.

Background Smoke Layer Settings

8. How to Make Final Adjustments

Step 1

Add the Noisy Black Texture 4 image on top of the BG Smoke layer, resize it as needed, and change its layer’s Blend Mode to Color Dodge and its Opacity to 50%.

Add a Background Texture

Step 2

Add the Snow Texture VI 5184 x 3456 Pixels image on top of all layers, resize it as needed, and change its layer’s Blend Mode to Screen and its Opacity to 10%.

Add a Texture Overlay

Step 3

Go to Filter > Pixelate > Mezzotint, and change the Type to Long Strokes.

Mezzotint

Step 4

Add a Vibrance adjustment layer on top of all layers, and change the Vibrance value to -5.

Vibrance

Step 5

Add a Color Lookup adjustment layer on top of all layers, choose the 3Strip.look table from the 3DLUT File menu, and change the layer’s Opacity to 35%.

Color Lookup

Congratulations, You’re Done!

In this tutorial, we created a simple background and a couple of grouped text layers for the text letters we have.

Then, we created work paths for the letters, modified a simple brush tip, and stroked the work paths to create the main smoke effect.

After that, we styled the letters to enhance the smoke effect, warped them to get a more dynamic result, and added more smoke brushes for a more detailed outcome.

Finally, we added some textures and global adjustment layers to finish off the effect.

Please feel free to leave your comments, suggestions, and outcomes below.

Final Result

Basic Tips in Finding a Suitable Web Host

Post pobrano z: Basic Tips in Finding a Suitable Web Host

Statistics show that more than 30,000 sites are hacked each day, and this shows a problem that could be traced back to the security measures applied by the sites and their hosts. Choosing a good hosting provider is a decision that will help to prevent security breaches that might cause the site a big loss. You need to choose a hosting provider that will ensure regular backups and offer several layers of security to make it difficult for hackers to get through and access important files of your site.

Here are some basic tips you need to consider to choose the right web host:

Read web hosting reviews

The best place to start when you are searching for a suitable web host is reading reviews of the best web hosts. Sites like Hosting Foundry offer insightful and objective reviews of the leading web hosts, and they highlight features like security and bandwidth allocation for different packages. Choosing your web host from the list of the best companies will guarantee you access to important security features, and you will also enjoy good bandwidth allocation and speed.

Backup plans

It is important to stress that the company should have a good backup plan that will allow you to restore your site in the event of a hacking attempt. There are hosts that don’t offer this feature even as an opt-in, and this means you may lose your data permanently if someone manages to access your files.

Security features

Security is something you should not negotiate about when it comes to choosing a reliable hosting provider. A good web host should have reliable security infrastructure that is designed to shield the site against all kinds of attacks. Some of the security features you should look at include SSL certification mechanisms and firewalls. Strong security features will not only shield the site from attackers, it will also allow users to surf with confidence that their data cannot be stolen because their connections are encrypted.

Customer support

How good is the customer support of the company? This is an important factor as it will determine your experience with the company. Sometimes you will have a serious issue that can only be resolve by the technical team of the company, so the best solution would be to approach them for quick help. There are web hosts with a history of sluggish support team, so avoid those if you don’t want to inconvenience users.

Server uptime scores/reliability

A 24/7 operating web host is ideal if you would like to keep your site online and serve users without challenges. Check the server uptime score of the web host before you choose them for your project. Even one minute without connection to your site would hurt your business, especially if you expect to receive heavy traffic.

The first step in establishing a strong website is choosing the right web host. This is a decision that will determine the security and reliability your site will get, so ensure to read reviews about leading hosts to choose the one that offers the features you prefer to use on your site.

Understanding React `setState`

Post pobrano z: Understanding React `setState`

React components can, and often do, have state. State can be anything, but think of things like whether a user is logged in or not and displaying the correct username based on which account is active. Or an array of blog posts. Or if a modal is open or not and which tab within it is active.

React components with state render UI based on that state. When the state of components changes, so does the component UI.

That makes understanding when and how to change the state of your component important. At the end of this tutorial, you should know how setState works, and be able to avoid common pitfalls that many of us hit when when learning React.

Workings of `setState()`

setState() is the only legitimate way to update state after the initial state setup. Let’s say we have a search component and want to display the search term a user submits.

Here’s the setup:

import React, { Component } from 'react'

class Search extends Component {
  constructor(props) {
    super(props)

    state = {
      searchTerm: ''
    }
  }
}

We’re passing an empty string as a value and, to update the state of searchTerm, we have to call setState().

setState({ searchTerm: event.target.value })

Here, we’re passing an object to setState(). The object contains the part of the state we want to update which, in this case, is the value of searchTerm. React takes this value and merges it into the object that needs it. It’s sort of like the Search component asks what it should use for the value of searchTerm and setState() responds with an answer.

This is basically kicking off a process that React calls reconciliation. The reconciliation process is the way React updates the DOM, by making changes to the component based on the change in state. When the request to setState() is triggered, React creates a new tree containing the reactive elements in the component (along with the updated state). This tree is used to figure out how the Search component’s UI should change in response to the state change by comparing it with the elements of the previous tree. React knows which changes to implement and will only update the parts of the DOM where necessary. This is why React is fast.

That sounds like a lot, but to sum up the flow:

  • We have a search component that displays a search term
  • That search term is currently empty
  • The user submits a search term
  • That term is captured and stored by setState as a value
  • Reconciliation takes place and React notices the change in value
  • React instructs the search component to update the value and the search term is merged in

The reconciliation process does not necessarily change the entire tree, except in a situation where the root of the tree is changed like this:

// old
<div>
  <Search />
</div>

// new
<span>
  <Search />
</span>

All <div> tags become <span> tags and the whole component tree will be updated as a result.

The rule of thumb is to never mutate state directly. Always use setState() to change state. Modifying state directly, like the snippet below will not cause the component to re-render.

// do not do this
this.state = {
  searchTerm: event.target.value
}

Passing a Function to `setState()`

To demonstrate this idea further, let’s create a simple counter that increments and decrements on click.

See the Pen setState Pen by Kingsley Silas Chijioke (@kinsomicrote) on CodePen.

Let’s register the component and define the markup for the UI:

class App extends React.Component {

state = { count: 0 }

handleIncrement = () => {
  this.setState({ count: this.state.count + 1 })
}

handleDecrement = () => {
  this.setState({ count: this.state.count - 1 })
}
  render() {
    return (
      <div>
        <div>
          {this.state.count}
        </div>
        <button onClick={this.handleIncrement}>Increment by 1</button>
        <button onClick={this.handleDecrement}>Decrement by 1</button>
      </div>
    )
  }
}

At this point, the counter simply increments or decrements the count by 1 on each click.

But what if we wanted to increment or decrement by 3 instead? We could try to call setState() three times in the handleDecrement and handleIncrement functions like this:

handleIncrement = () => {
  this.setState({ count: this.state.count + 1 })
  this.setState({ count: this.state.count + 1 })
  this.setState({ count: this.state.count + 1 })
}

handleDecrement = () => {
  this.setState({ count: this.state.count - 1 })
  this.setState({ count: this.state.count - 1 })
  this.setState({ count: this.state.count - 1 })
}

If you are coding along at home, you might be surprised to find that doesn’t work.

The above code snippet is equivalent to:

Object.assign(  
  {},
  { count: this.state.count + 1 },
  { count: this.state.count + 1 },
  { count: this.state.count + 1 },
)

Object.assign() is used to copy data from a source object to a target object. If the data being copied from the source to the target all have same keys, like in our example, the last object wins. Here’s a simpler version of how Object.assign() works;

let count = 3

const object = Object.assign({}, 
  {count: count + 1}, 
  {count: count + 2}, 
  {count: count + 3}
);

console.log(object);
// output: Object { count: 6 }

So instead of the call happening three times, it happens just once. This can be fixed by passing a function to setState(). Just as you pass objects to setState(), you can also pass functions, and that is the way out of the situation above.

If we edit the handleIncrement function to look like this:

handleIncrement = () => {
  this.setState((prevState) => ({ count: prevState.count + 1 }))
  this.setState((prevState) => ({ count: prevState.count + 1 }))
  this.setState((prevState) => ({ count: prevState.count + 1 }))
}

…we can now increment count three times with one click.

In this case, instead of merging, React queues the function calls in the order they are made and updates the entire state ones it is done. This updates the state of count to 3 instead of 1.

Access Previous State Using Updater

When building React applications, there are times when you’ll want to calculate state based the component’s previous state. You cannot always trust this.state to hold the correct state immediately after calling setState(), as it is always equal to the state rendered on the screen.

Let’s go back to our counter example to see how this works. Let’s say we have a function that decrements our count by 1. This function looks like this:

changeCount = () => {
  this.setState({ count: this.state.count - 1})
}

What we want is the ability to decrement by 3. The changeCount() function is called three times in a function that handles the click event, like this.

handleDecrement = () => {
  this.changeCount()
  this.changeCount()
  this.changeCount()
}

Each time the button to decrement is clicked, the count will decrement by 1 instead of 3. This is because the this.state.count does not get updated until the component has been re-rendered. The solution is to use an updater. An updater allows you access the current state and put it to use immediately to update other items. So the changeCount() function will look like this.

changeCount = () => {
  this.setState((prevState) => {
    return { count: prevState.count - 1}
  })
}

Now we are not depending on the result of this.state. The states of count are built on each other so we are able to access the correct state which changes with each call to changeCount().

setState() should be treated asynchronously — in other words, do not always expect that the state has changed after calling setState().

Wrapping Up

When working with setState(), these are the major things you should know:

  • Update to a component state should be done using setState()
  • You can pass an object or a function to setState()
  • Pass a function when you can to update state multiple times
  • Do not depend on this.state immediately after calling setState() and make use of the updater function instead.

The post Understanding React `setState` appeared first on CSS-Tricks.

Web designers, are you keeping up with the website navigation trends?  

Post pobrano z: Web designers, are you keeping up with the website navigation trends?  

Your ability to build a website with a friendly navigation scheme just got a whole lot easier. We had a long and grueling journey through various navigation schemes. As a result, the need for responsive web design has shown us what is important and not overly complicated.

This, in turn, has given rise to a new set of best practices. Best practices we probably should have been following all along. These best practices subscribe to a minimalist line of thought. The latter is focused on the main goal of each website page.

Check these top 5 best practices out.

Best Practice #1: Implement a navigation scheme that helps a visitor get to her main goal

Visitors are often curious to see what’s new on a website. Sometimes, being able to quickly take in the latest news or updates is of great importance to them. Show what’s new up front and highlight it as such.

An attention-getting image on the home page accompanied by a CTA is an excellent way to do this.

BeClothing

A visitor might be confronted with a choice when browsing a website is quite large or complex. In this case, it can be easy for that person to get lost. A search bar at the top of the page or several CTAs placed at strategic locations can help. These can prevent this from happening and point the visitor in the right direction.

BeDietitian2

“Read More” is one good option.

BeWanderer

Best Practice #2: Always let the visitor know his or her current location

Implementing a current location element is a gold standard for website navigation.

Today’s increasingly complex eCommerce sites are good examples. It can be all too easy for users to get lost. Especially in the case of megamenus leading to a host of different product categories. A solution? Keep track of where the user currently is, where he or she has been, and where you anticipate the user might go next.

Use a contrasting color for the current location indicator. Like this, you can show users where at the website they are at the moment.

BePizza3

A mini-map of a user’s journey is one way to help the user trace back his or her steps:

BeCompany

A fixed menu on top of the page can help a user decide where to go next to further explore the website.

BeAccountant2

Best Practice #3: Use standard icons and lingo

Creativity is an asset every web designer needs. Creativity should be encouraged – except for website navigation. Cleverly designed icons can serve the same purpose as misplaced street signs. They can easily send a user off on a wild goose chase.

If you want to entertain your visitors, direct your creativity to other areas other. Stick to familiar navigation structures and elements.

How about a Hamburger menu for example? Yes! This versatile menu type can consolidate a lot of useful information on a page.

BeGSMServices

Or, maybe a cleverly shaped menu with random clickable areas? No! Menus are not there to entertain, nor should they be designed to make a user have to think.

How about a bold logo that takes you back to Home when you click it? Always a good idea.

BeCarWash

An animated logo that warps you into another dimension? No! Animated logos can be irritating, distracting, and add little or no value.

Best Practice #4: Don’t exceed 7 menu items

If you go beyond 7 menu items, people will have trouble remembering things. A crisp, clean menu is almost always user-friendly and is also good for ranking. A link serves the same purpose as a menu item, so don’t load a page down with links either, especially the home page.

“For Him” and “For Her” is all you need on this home page.

BeDenim

Stick to the most important things for the user and place their two key attractions on the top and at the bottom of the list.

BeBistro2

Best Practice #5: Choose the menu type according to the amount of content

Mindlessly following what others are doing is not recommended. This is the rule even when they appear to be following best practices.

The reason? Your website will generally have a different amount of content than other websites. You need to go with a menu type that’s a good match for the amount of content you have.

A single navigation bar may be all that’s needed. For a small shoe store specializing in seasonal wear or limited editions, this is perfect.

BeShoes

On the other hand, your online store might sell 100 or more brands of clothing for people of all ages and sizes. Then, you’ll be better served using a well-structured megamenu. A vertical collapsible menu is a good option, too.

BeStore

BeTheme – A Simple Solution

How to best cope with changing website navigation standards? Do that by sticking to simple, easy-to-follow best practices that tend to be evergreen. The easiest way to do this is to use pre-built websites. At the same time, you can keep up with web design best practices in general.

BeTheme has the largest selection of these in the industry – more than 320. They’re aligned with user expectations for every industry sector and niche.

BeMusic2

BeHerbal

Summary

Here’s a wrap-up of the website navigation best practices covered in this article:

  • Point a visitor toward her primary objective on every page
  • Make certain the visitor knows where she is at all times, where she has been, and where she is likely to go
  • Use standard icons and lingo so as not to mislead or confuse the user
  • Limit menu items to seven to avoid overwhelming the user
  • Base your menu type in accordance with the amount of content in your website
  • Use pre-built websites. They make navigating a piece of cake.

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