Old Pages

  • Finally, the LAST project......


     Fictional Book Cover
         -     DUE MAY 13

    Create the cover for a new fictional book.  Use either Photoshop or Illustrator.  

    Getting Started:

    • FIRST...imagine writing the book.  What would your story be about?  What adventures would take place?  What characters would be in your story?  This the most important step at first!
    • Create a "rough draft":
      • Sketch out on paper the layout for the front cover of your book.  
      • Come up with the title of the book, and place it as a dominant part of the cover.  Consider fonts, font size, placement...
      • Consider interesting angles, sizes and effects. 
      • Design the cover with good, artistic images and engaging characters.  Consider these examples:

    Not so good:      

    Much Better:        

      • Show Mr. Clements and get approval of your rough draft BEFORE beginning.

    • Determine whether you will mostly use Photoshop or Illustrator.  Open the Photoshop or Illustrator file at the bottom of this page.  Complete your project on this file.


      1. Very limited use of photographs.  Most of your work will be done using the brush tool and painting your images.  
      2. Vary your brushes Experiment with the brushes that Photoshop offers.
      3. Choose a color scheme and stick with it!
      4. You are required to use at least four filters from the filter gallery.  Experiment and use the filters that will most effectively enhance your images.
      5. Minimum of one character and ten different objects on the cover. Each object MUST be of the highest detail and precision. Objects can be on the front and/or back cover.  NOTE:  If you draw the title yourself, it can count as one object, if done well.   Also...any photos that you use do not count towards the minimum requirement.
      1. Vary your brushes Experiment with the brushes that Illustrator offers.
      2. Choose a color scheme and stick with it!
      3. Minimum of one character and 8 different objects on the cover. Each object MUST be of the highest detail and precision.  Objects can be on the front and/or back cover.  NOTE:  If you draw the title yourself, it can count as one object, if done well.
      4. Finish by transfering your Illustrator file to Photoshop and adding some effects, drawings or filters.  Use at least one.  This will add some complexity and a "finished look" to your cover.  

    Completing the Project:

    • Front Cover: Includes a title and author.  The author is YOU!  Both must be clearly displayed on the cover.  Must include an engaging image to create curiosity and interest in your book.
    • Spine:   Shows the title and author displayed vertically.  Include the book publishing company's logo (created in Illustrator).
    • The back cover includes the following information:
      • a brief summary and engaging "cliff-hangers" to entice potential readers,
      • positive "reviews" from critics,
      • any additional images you would like,
      • the book publishing company's name and logo (created in Illustrator),
      • bar code and price (US/CANADA).
    • The front flap:  Include a "paragraph" from one part of the book.  This will give us another preview of what we might read in the book.  This sometimes is a dialogue between characters, or a narrator's observation of some dramatic moment in the book, or some other engaging section from the book.
    • The back flap:  About the author.  Include a picture of you (yeah, that's right!!!).  Write a paragraph about yourself and all of your many other novels that you have written, your interests, where you live, your family, etc.  If you like your fans to be able to write you, include your "address".  Include anything else of interest.
     Save your image as a .jpg in Photoshop, with your name as the title.

      3D Dream Design

        Photoshop/Illustrator Action Image  

       Tutorial Adjustments:

    • Use your own action images
    • Create the shapes in Illustrator and paste into Photoshop

       Create the Iron Man Mask in Illustrator and Photoshop

    Use this metallic texture

       For help in Photoshop...

    Create your own character!

        Complete the following steps after you have finished the tutorials!

    1. Sketch a cartoon character of some sort (animal or person) on paper.  Then scan and import into Illustrator.  Alternatively, you can draw with the digital pen in Photoshop and import into Illustrator that way.

    2. Begin in Illustrator by identifying and drawing the basic shapesthat will make up your character.  Remember the bug, how you started by creating each part of it separately:


       3.  A few design requirements:

      • Your character must have depth, some 3D qualities.  Do this by utilizing gradients and/or shadow shapes:   (minimum 5 shapes)

                    SHADOW SHAPES                   GRADIENTS

      • The majority of the shapes should be created with the pen tool, unlike the last few tutorials you did.  This will create more advanced-looking images.  Compare these examples:

                Mostly circles,                          More complex
                with a few adjustments

      • You MUST do the following at least once:
        • Adjust your opacity (transparency or appearance panel)
        • Use the pathfinder

        4.  QUALITY:

    Level 1 -    
    Almost every requirement is met...except it looks bad!  It is way too simple, with very
    little effort and shows limited skill.

    Level 2 -   
    This is actually quite good,          Medium skill,
    but it only uses basic shapes.     Medium effort
    The pen tool was never used.     

    Level 3 -   Each of these shows good technique, effort and practice.
                   You do not have to be an excellent artist, like some of these artists, but you can demonstrate good skill, effort and technique.


        5.  BACKGROUND:

    Last step....add a background to your image!  Do more than just a solid color.  Add objects as would be appropriate for your character.  


    If you finish early...

    Cartoon Character Series:

    Complete each of the following tutorials  -- IN ORDER  

    Upon completing each, you will design and create your own cartoon character.  Pay attention to the techniques used in the tutorials in order to produce your own quality design.

    Bug     DUE 1/29
    Monster       DUE 2/3

    Koala Bear    
        DUE 2/6 
    Bunny       DUE 2/11

    Panda Bear   
        DUE 2/17
    Sun     DUE 2/20

    The Bearcat Logo:

    -Download the bearcat logo at the bottom of the page.
    -Use tools you have learned so far, especially these:
    • Pen tool
    • Fill/Stroke
    • Pathfinder (Minus Front)

    Introductory Pen Tool Practice:

    -Complete the Bart image design by using the pen tool.   If you make a mistake or are not satisfied with what you've done, just redo or use the direct selection tool (white arrow) to move the anchor points or handles.

    -We will fill in the colors for Bart on Friday.

    -Begin working on the dragon.  Use the image of the dragon on the left as a reference.  Just as with Bart, redo or edit anchor points and handles however you need.  NOTE:   Use have artistic liberty, meaning if you don't like how the artist drew something on the dragon, do it better!  Just make it look good, andcomplete.

    -I will also go over filling in the colors for the dragon on Friday as well.  


    Good luck, and have a great day! 

    -Mr. Clements

            Intro to Illustrator

    Please download the following files to your "Graphic Design" folder.

    If you finish early...

                 Click on the image to view the tutorial

      The reference images are not available.  You will need to find similar images yourself (high quality).  For the brushes, just use a standard  brush in Photoshop (in the brushes panel) that you think is close enough.

    The IMPOSSIBLE project!


                   Click to view the video of examples for this project


    The "Impossible Project" is always a fun way to finish the semester and our focus on Photoshop.  For this assignment, you will create three (3) separate images designed to "trick" the eye.  These images are of scenes that could never ever really happen.  Hence, the title, "Impossible".

    There are just a few basic requirements for the assignment:

    • Content
      • First image - Combine an animal or insect with a fruit or vegetable.


      • Second image - Place a person or group of people in an impossible location or situation.  The person should be actively doing something that makes sense (sort of), rather than just standing there, posing. 


      • Third image - Create an image that is designed to create an emotional reaction from the viewer.  The most common images are either funny or shocking/surprising.  Don't be too offensive, though...an angry reaction may get your picture thrown in the trash from someone.  Don't behead any babies, okay?

        Hmmm....too far?  
            Hmmm.....too far?   Yeah, probably.

    • Size - Each image must be 18x24 (rotate the image as needed)

    • Required Techniques - You're required to use each at least once, although you will probably use them on all three
      • Feathering (of course)
      • Clone stamp tool
      • Healing brush
      • Adjustments (Hue/Saturation, Color Balance, etc...)

    • Grade - Your grade will be based on following the instructions and quality. 

         Take great pride in your work.  Nothing sloppy.



    Need more ideas?  Check out this awesome website!             

    Check out some examples from students last



    Fantasy Movie Poster

    The main objective of this assignment is to take a picture of any person or group of people and somehow transform them into a character for your movie.  You can transform them with just different clothing, or by changing the body and clothing...your choice.

    Here are the steps:

    • Size:  24 x 18
    • Determine a genre/theme, title, characters and overall mood
    • Import your downloaded images into Photoshop and begin making adjustments.  Use these techniques to complete your scene:
      • Feathering
      • Liquify
      • Transform (warp, scale, perspective...)
      • Adjustments (Hue/Saturation, Brightness/Contrast, Color Balance)
      • Filter Gallery
      • Clone Stamp/Healing Brush
      • Use the digital pen to draw at least one object in your scene.  Apply what you have learned about value.  Make sure this object fits in well with the other objects in the scene.  You may draw more than one if you prefer. 
    • Choose a font for the title that fits the mood and genre
    • Don't forget the include the actors' names
    • All layers MUST be labeled accurately!

    Perspective Project

    Learn about perspective to create a city street scene.  Then, create buildings using skills you've already learned!
    • Follow the in-class demonstration for creating a perspective scene. 

    • Set up at least eight buildings in your scene.

    • Then, create new documents for each building front.  Estimate the size for each building based on the size in the perspective scene.

    • Create the front for each building.  Each building must have:
      • A texture (brick, stone, granite, paint, wood, etc...)
      • At least one door
      • At least one window
      • A sign for the name of the business

    • Place the images of the building fronts into your perspective scene.

    • Add texture for the road and side walks.

    • Add background image behind the city.

    • Add people, cars, signs, etc. to make your city come to life.

    • Add elements of realism, such as grass, graffiti, dirt, trash, etc... to complete your scene.

    Application Project: 
    Halloween Scene

    Use the following steps to create a Halloween scene of your choice.
    • Create a new document:  18 x 24

    • Download a background image for your scene. 

    • Download at least 10 additional images that you will add to your scene.

    • Utilize the selection tools-- Lasso, magnetic lasso, polygonal lasso

    • Modify at least five of your objects.  Use the following techniques at least once each:
      • Warp Transform
      • Liquify
      • Add texture to object
      • Color Balance/Hue Saturation
      • Feathering

    • Limitations:   (Nothing R-rated)
      • No gore/blood
      • No vulgarity/drugs/guns, etc...
      • Nothing super evil looking   :) 
      • No clipart or cartoons.  Photos only.
      • Unsure?  Please ask!

    Application Project:  Concert Poster

    • Download the image(s) that you would like for your chosen singer/band.

    • Determine the theme and overall "look" for your poster.

    • Download background image(s) that match your chosen theme.
    • Minimum requirements:
      • Create a new document.  Size:  18"x24"
      • Make a selection around the singer(s) and place onto the new document.
      • Place the background image(s) behind the singer(s).
      • Carefully and skillfully clean up the edges around the singer(s) and do what is necessary to make it look nice with the background image(s).  The feathering technique will work well for most themes.  If it is a clean image with sharp borders you can use the magnetic lasso tool. 
      • Add text for:
        • Date of the concert
        • Name of the singer/band
        • Location and time of the concert
        • Additional interesting information
      • Add variety and interest to the text by changing these components:
        • size
        • position on document
        • color
        • effects
      • Make the poster easy to see from a small distance away:
        • Nice contrasts with text and background!
        • The image and name of the artist(s) are large and VERY clear!
        • The text does not blend with background.
        • The text matches the theme of the poster.
        • The text is easy to read by not using an obscure or thin font.
      • Zoom in to clean up any ugly border edges or imperfections.  Utilize high quality techniques!!!

    Application Project:  Value Painting

    1. Start with a sketch of any character of your choice, as long as it will challenge you!
      • You can sketch something directly in Photoshop, if you feel so inclined, or...
      • Search for a picture on the internet (that is NOT already shaded, just an outline).   
      • DO THIS:   If searching for a cat, type "Cat Sketch".  You should get sketches and outlines of a cat.  Do this for your object.
      • Save the highest quality picture that you can, then open in Photoshop.

    2. Create a new document in Photoshop, 8.5x11.  Call it "Value Painting".

    3. Bring the sketch onto the new document, label the layer "Sketch".  Use the magic eraser to remove the white in the background behind the character!

    4. Create a new layer "BG Base Value"
      • Move this layer just below the sketch layer.
      • Identify immediately where the light source will be on the background.  
      • On the BG Base Value layer, start shading in the dark to medium values in the area away from the light source on the background.  
      • Don't worry about doing any real details in the background.  Your painting should just be of the main object.  
      • Remember to blend well.  
      • Now, choose a lighter value gray to paint where the light is brighter.

    5. Create a new layer "(character) Shadow Sketch".   For example, if you are doing a dog, label it "Dog Shadow Sketch".
      • With a very light gray value, quickly identify the areas on your object that will be the shadows.  Remember where the light source is.  

    6. Create a new layer "Occlusion".
      • On this layer, you are going to use a very dark gray.  Identify the areas on the object where there is no light at all, the darkest areas. Use a soft brush and briefly paint these areas in.  

    7. Create a new layer "(character) Base Value"
      •  While still on this layer, Cmd+'left click' the thumbnail for the Sketch layer.  Click on the mask button at the bottom of the layers panel.  On the Base value layer, click back on the white thumbnail.
      • Use a light-medium gray value to basically fill in the entire object.

    8. Create a new layer "Blend/Build Contrast"
      • While still on this layer, Cmd+'left click' the thumbnail for the Sketch layer.  Click on the mask button at the bottom of the layers panel.  On the Base value layer, click back on the white thumbnail.
      • Now it's time to blend like crazy!!!.....
      • Gradually blend those dark values on the Occlusion layer towards the medium values you just did.  
      • Use a larger brush size and 0 hardness.

    9. Create a new layer "Refine"
      • Now, it's time to really make things look good.  Use a value, about 25-30% gray, about 80% hardness, and a smaller size brush.
      • Identify the lightest areas on your object.  
      • Paint in the areas on the object that require highlights.  
      • Blend if necessary.  
      • Remember to create contrast between the darks and lights.

    10. Merge the "Base Value" and "Background" layers.  Rename "BG Grayscale"

    11. Hide the "Sketch" layer.  (Do not merge this layer until you decide if you want to keep it or not).

    12. Merge all the other layers.  Rename "(character) Grayscale"

    13. Create a new layer "BG Color"
      • Place layer directly above BG Grayscale layer
      • Choose a color and use the paint bucket to fill the entire background.
      • Change blend mode from "Normal" to "Color".
      • Lower the opacity of the layer.

    14. Create a new layer "(character) Color"
      • Place layer directly above "(character) Grayscale" layer
      • Choose a base color for your object.
      • Use your paintbrush to gradually add a base color to your object.
      • Then, go over the base color with probably a smaller brush and increased hardness.  Add any details that you need to complete your painting. 
      • Remember to throw in additional colors to complement the main colors.  They will add interest.

    Our first Application Project:  Book Cover

    Create a book cover for a sci-fi or fantasy novel!

    Techniques that you will use in this project:
    • Liquify
    • Select tools such as the lasso tool or quick selection tool
    • Color adjustments
    • Feathering
    • Proper layers organization


    1. Download a high quality image of a celebrity.  Choose an image that shows the face really well and in good lighting.
    2. Create a new document that is 8.5x11.  Move the picture onto the new document.  Resize the picture to fit within the document as you want.  
    3. Using a selection tool