[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Most of the design work I do is vector based. Whether an infographic, political mailer or a year-end report, it all comes down to middle school geometry: points, lines and planes. I’ve always envied graphic artists who create lifelike images, especially compared to the illustrations I’m used to doing.

To learn how to do more than cut and paste Imperial Star Destroyers into pictures of the Capitol, I decided to take a half day and learn how to do some actual illustrating with Photoshop. The first thing I learned is that there are a few simple tricks to get you started. Take this image for instance:

only-spaceMake a difference cloud and add a rainbow overlay. Add a lens flare and another layer of interference for “stars” and you’ve got yourself a pretty cool looking scene from Star Trek. But if this is Star Trek, we’ve got to have some cool places to boldly go. Take a NASA photo of the Aleutian Islands, turn it upside down, cut a curve and add some orange and blue transparency to show off the cool alien atmosphere and we’ve got a planet!


All we need to do is have a spaceship to get there… Thanks to Ed Lopez with TutsPlus, we’ve got our spaceship:


Ed’s tutorial even shows you how to build a fleet. I’m more of a Marco Polo than a Christoper Columbus, so no invading fleet for me. Here’s everything put together:
space3-with-planetAll in all, I learned more about how little I know about graphic design! The sheer level of detail that goes into this stuff is incredible.

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