With this tutorial we introduce Alex, graphic designer from Turin (Italy) who created this exclusive illustrator+photoshop tutorial for koikoikoi
21 years old raphic designer, Alex is a freelance who makes visual researches on perceptive phenomenon came from shapes and colors. His inspirations come from various sources, from Non-Format and Big Active studios to Kubrick’s images and Nietzsche’s moustache. His now working on a photographic research on liquids.
Open a new A4 document in Adobe illustrator. we have to create the “grid” of the cross, this is maybe the most complex part of the tutorial. Select the Line Segment tool and draw a line, long as our document width. Draw another line at about 25 cm from the first one. Both the lines (1,2) must have 1 point stroke.
Now select the horizontal lines object you just made, duplicate it and rotate it 90 degrees to maka e a grid. Select all and go to Object/Expand so that you can work on single lines.
Pull both horizontal and vertical lines so that you obtain a cross similar to this one (1).
Select the cross and try to give it a perspective look, in order to do this go to Object/Envelope Distort/Make with warp. In Warp Options put 0 (zero) to the first and second value and about 60 to the third. We’r gonna obtain this result. Stretch it a bit by the lower end.
Now we’re gonna make the thickness of the cross with the same process, paying attention to respecting the perspective view. With some try you should get something like this (1)
Now got to Photoshop. Create a blank A4 document in Photoshop. Make a black layer with the Paint Bucket. Import the cross from Illustrator as Advanced Object. select the cross layer and rasterize it (right click “Rasterize Layer”). Add a layer style “Gradient Overlay” and set these values above.
Now duplicate this layer and go to Filters/Blur/Box Blur, try to give a value between 8 and 20 looking at the result you see down here. Don’t go to far with this step or you’ro gonna get a confused image.
Create a new group called “cross” and put in it all the layers you did so far, expect the black background. Now we’re gonna work with lights. Add a new layer over the “cross” group and name it “light”, select the Brush tool. It must be very large, about 2000 px and soft, select whit as foreground color. Se the Light layer in Overlay as blend mode. One or two clicks on the top of the cross should be ok.
Select the cross (cmd o ctrl+click on the layer) and with a lot smller brush (try 200 px) on a new layer trace the border of the cross. Pay attention to set this layer in Overlay, as the other one.
With this technique, adding layers to give lights to other parts, the cross will be more and more bright. Don’t got o far with this.
Add a new group called “cross lights” and put in it the layer with the lights work. We’re almost at the end. Take a grunge texture (you can easily find it online). The color is not important, just be sure the size is big enough. Import the texture in our work and place it just over the black background.
Desaturate it and out the blend mode in “Vivid Light”
Go to Image/Adjustment/Levels (cmd+L) and move the first cursor to the right to make the image darker
Add the text and the final touches you think it needs. I used a Gill Sans as font as a quote to “2001: a space Odyssey”, Kubrick’s masterpiece.
Ok, the work is done. I personally never finish to give final touches on every single detail to get a perfect image. You can use different ways to get the result, experimentation is the key word of the creative process.