Welcome on m-sign.nl, and in this tutorial we are going to make a presentation background using some textures. Textures we can find on internet. Maybe you have read this great article on m-sign.nl about textures that can be found on the internet. Let’s make use of the resources we can find and make a beautiful presentation background. The software that was used in making this tutorial was Photoshop CS3.
Remember, one important step before actually making the real or concept design, is brainstorming. Imagine we are going to make a presentation background for an tourist agency, or we want to create an atmosphere of holidays, just describe the feeling you want to communicate in images. I used this background for example, to present plans for redesign of a cooling box specially designed for holidays and beaches. So in that case the background was also revealing some meaning of the context. But enough theory, let’s start!
We begin by starting up photoshop and making a new document (ctr+n, I will always mention hotkeys because it is important to learn and use them). For presets, use web, and use size 1024 x 768. Hit ok. Now one question, did you know why we chose a size of 1024 x 768? Think of the resolution beamers have. Most beamers (in the starting segment) start with a resolution of 800×600, so 1024×768 is really a sufficient resolution. We now have an empty canvas. We want to get to a ‘beachy’ feeling, so what do we need next? Yes, a nice beach textures. I went to cgtextures.com and after some searching I found this texture. Download the small version, since it exactly is the resolution we are using. Copy it to the new document we just started, and place it so that it fits exactly. Name it ‘beach_texture’. You can choose another texture if you like that one you found more. Let’s change the lighting. Duplicate the beach_texture layer (ctr+j). Now go to filter > render > lighting effects. Use settings as displayed below, but feel free to experiment. Our lighting direction here is from the left top. Remember this, because we are going to use that further in this tutorial.
Send the blend mode of the layer you copied to overlay and the fill to 80%. If you still think the lighting is to strong, you can lower the fill. We now have this (I also marked the lighting direction):
Now it’s time to look for a kind of paper, canvas or anything we can image to function as an area we can put our presentation text on. Again, we jump to the resources on www.cgtextures.net. I searched for paper and found this texture. The small version is big enough to use. We copy it to our document and place it to the left, but the bottom should be somewhat higher as the bottom of the canvas (as you can see in the end result) Name the layer paper. Put it under the ‘beach_texture copy’ layer, so the lighting of this layer will also apply to the paper. However, we see that the paper still has a black ‘background’. Now we can make a selection by hand, using the pentool for example, but that is too time consuming. We’ll go for the ‘easy’ selecting way. Having the paper layer selected, select the magic wandtool (W) and click on the black area. Now the black background is selected, but wait with deleting hit. Do right click > feather. Use 1px and hit ok. Then hit delete on your keyboard around 3 times. Now the black edge that would appear if we did not use feather is deleted, and we have a very tiny soft edge.
The paper needs to cast some shadow, don’t you think? Right click on the paper layer and go to blending options. Do you remember we talked about the lighting direction? We need our dropshadow to have about the same angle as the direction of the lighting, so try to find the best angle, or you could just apply the settings I used:
We are not finished yet! What do we find more on the beach? Hmm, maybe add a towel? I found a towel from a photograph on flickr, and traced the selection with the pentool. I’ll free you from the pains tracing the photo, since that is not very educational: download the (transparent) layer. We’ll use the pentool later for some smaller objects. So download this layer here: .psd or .png, and copy it to the document , and name it ‘towel’. I placed it in the right under corner. But not to easy! If you are struggling with the pentool, you should do this tutorial, which explains the basics of the pentool very well. Oooh don’t forget to save your work! Save (ctr+s) it if you don’t already did it, because if your computer would crash right now you would have to do it from the beginning right again, lol ;). The good thing of this image is that the lighting is somewhere in the same direction we already had our lighting. Great, but we want to emphasize it a little bit. Go to filter > render > lighting effects and use settings like below, or expirement what is best:
You now should have something like this:
The next step is to add some smaller props. I searched for coins on cgtextures.com and found this image. The small version will do fine. We are going to use the 1 euro coin in the left top corner; and we can trace it by pentool or with the Elliptical Marquee Tool ( m / shift+m ). I’ll describe it with using the Elliptical Marquee tool: Start with your cursor in the corner, the ‘imaginary coin square’ and drag towards the right bottom.
After you selected it, hit ctr+v to copy your selection, name it coin, and place in the left top corner. You might rotate it randomly, using free transform (ctr + t, drag the corners): Also apply dropshadow, using the following settings:
Copy this coin layer, and place it above the original coin layer. Go to edit > transform > perspective, and add a very little perspective. Also free transform (ctr + t) and rotate it a bit. Please mind that the beach_texture copy layer is still the top layer in this document. We don’t need the image with the six coins anymore, so delete it our hide it (clicking the eye next to the layer). Your total image should be something like this:
Finally we are going to add a bottle. Download the bottle and copy it to your document. Trace the bottle using the pentool (P). Use the convert point tool and direct selection tool (A). Still having the pentool selected, right click on the path you just traced and click Convert to Selection. Bottle : After making the selection, hit ctr+v. Rotate and scale the bottle using free transform (ctr+t) and place it in the left corner (in the picture is also shown how the bottle was traced):
It is further away from the light source, but we will also apply a drop shadow. Go the blending options (right click on layer, blending options) and apply drop shadow, using the following settings:
We don’t need the original layer anymore, so we can delete or hide that one.
Maybe it looks a little bit empty to you, but remember that is only the background, and could be full of text in a presentation editor like Powerpoint.
Congratulations! You finished this tutorial.
Additional you could add some more bottles, or other things that come in mind, using the same methods as before: These additional bottles where found in this image. Start first by making the selection of the left bottle, using the same trick as we did for the first bottle. and copy it (ctr + v). Now do the same for the right bottle. Now we see that the lighting direction on these bottles is not the same as the rest, so we will flip them. Go to edit > transform > flip horizontal. Scale and rotate them, and place them for example in the right top corner, and give them a drop shadow (blending options > dropshadow) that matches the rest of your image.