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Tutorial: Realistic Grungy Stickers Using Illustrator & Photoshop
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OK, this is my first tutorial so you’ll have to bear with me. I know it looks long but it’s written in a way that even photoshop beginners can follow. If that’s not you I’m sure you’ll be able to fly through this in no-time.

Right, here goes…

Step 1

Open Photoshop and create a new document 800px by 800px, 72dpi.


With the Ellipse Tool (U) draw an ellipse in the centre of your document, the same size that you want the finished sticker to be and name this layer “big 1″.


Duplicate this layer and name the duplicate “big 2″. Hit cmd+T to Transform the duplicate and resize holding Alt. Make it slightly smaller than the original, this new layer will be the blue colored section of our sticker.

Step 2

Change the color of “big 1″ just to give some contrast between our two ellipses. Hit cmd+T then right click and select warp. Drag the bottom right anchor up and left slightly, this will give the effect that the sticker is lifting from the surface. Repeat this step for “big 2″, just moving the bottom right anchor a little less than for “big 1″.


Now apply a Drop Shadow to “big 1″ with the following settings.

Change the color of “big 1″ to white, then go Layer > Layer Style > Create Layer. This moves the Drop Shadow onto it’s own layer for editing. Select the new layer and press cmd+T, then right click and select Warp.

Step 3

We’re going to move the bottom right anchor again, this time drag it down and right to extend the shadow, as if the peeled up corner of the sticker is casting a shadow.

Step 4

Now create a new layer on the top of the pile, name it “gradient 1″ and clip it to “big 2″ by Alt-clicking between the two layers. Next select the Gradient Tool and create a gradient with colors #78cid5 to #4ea8c1. Apply the gradient from the bottom right of the sticker to the top left.


Step 5

Now create a new layer on the top again, name it “shine” and again Alt-Click between this new layer and the layer below to ‘Clip’ it to “big 2″. Set your foreground color to white, select the Gradient Tool, and on your Toolbar at the top, select foreground to transparent, and a Reflected Gradient.

With “shine” layer selected, draw a small gradient over the corner of the sticker, this is where the light is reflecting from where the corner is peeling up. Now turn the layer opacity down to 26%.

Step 6

OK, now download and open this Asphalt image in Photoshop. Apply a Levels Adjustments layer and adjust as follows.


Merge these two layers (cmd+E), rename to “cracks”, drag it over into our stickers document, clip it to the stack of clipped layers and change the blend mode to Screen.


Free Transform this layer (cmd-T) and resize until you’re happy with the cracks size and position. Now we’ll add more cracks by duplicating this layer and repositioning.

Step 7

Now we’ll add some text, I’ve used Marcelle Script, it’s free but the Author does accept donations via that link.


Now group all our layers (cmd+G), name “sticker 1″ and rotate clockwise slightly using Free Transform (cmd+T).

Step 8

Now head over to Illustrator and create a new document. Draw a basic ellipse while holding down shift then go Object > Path > Add Anchor Points. Add anchor points again, then go Effect > Distort & Transform > Pucker & Bloat and apply a 17% Bloat.


Next go Object > Expand Appearance, then Object > Path > Add Anchor Points, this will add anchor points to the peaks of each curve. Then go Object > Path > Simplify and use the settings below.


Step 9

Disable the objects stroke and you should be left with what you see in the above image. Hit cmd+C to copy our shape and head back to our Photoshop file and press cmd+V and select Smart Object on the pop up window to paste the shape in our document. Resize and position the shape and hit Return to place our shape, rename the layer “sticker 2″.

Step 10

Create a new layer, rename to “gradient” and clip to “sticker 2″. Select the Gradient tool, set the colors to #a7c14f and #b9cc75 and like before draw a diagonal gradient with the darker color in the top left and the lighter color in the bottom right.


Step 11

Now apply a 4px Outer Stroke to “sticker 2″, then like before, go Layer > Layer Style > Create Layer to separate the stroke from “sticker 2″. Select this new Outer Stroke layer, name it”sticker 2 outline” and apply a Drop Shadow as shown below.



Step 12

Now duplicate the “crack” layer from within the “sticker 1″ Group and place on top of our layers, clip to “sticker 2″ and position it where you’re happy with the cracks.

Step 13

Now we can add text to this second sticker using the same font as before, then Free Transform and rotate a little anti-clockwise. Because the “H” in “Hire me” is a bit difficult to read, I’ve created a new layer and with a small, hard-edged brush, painted in the gap.



We’re almost done… just two more things to add.

Step 14

Group all the layers that relate to our second sticker and name the group “sticker 2″. Then open up this paper texture, drag it into our PSD file and place on top of our two folders. Now we need to make a selection of both stickers, to do this we first cmd-Click on the layer thumbnail of “big 1″, this will create a selection based on that layer, we then cmd+shift-Click on the layer “sticker 2 outline”, this should be the bottom layer in our “sticker 2″ folder. You should now have a selection that follows the edge of both stickers.


With this selection still active, select the new paper texture layer and click on the Add Layer Mask button located in the bottom of the Layers Palette. This will apply the selection to our paper layer as a layer mask. Now just change the blend mode of the paper layer to Multiply.


Step 15

OK, almost done. We just want to add a slight Bevel where the two stickers overlap, this will make the overlap look more realistic, as if “sticker 2″ is slightly raised where it overlaps “sticker 1″ and is casting a small shadow on the underside.

To do this we go back to layer “big 1″ and apply a Bevel & Emboss with the following settings.


We then separate our Bevel – Layer > Layer Style > Create Layer. You may get a pop-up warning but just ignore this and press OK. You now should have two new layers that make up the Bevel, group them (cmd+G) and name the group “bevel”. Move this new folder to above the two “stickers” folders, but below “paper” folder. Lastly, we just need to mask this folder so the bevel only appears over “sticker 2″, we do this by cmd-Clicking on the layer thumbnail of “sticker 2 outline” to load the selection, then with our “bevel” group selected, click Add Layer Mask at the bottom of the Layers Palette.


Step 16

Lastly let’s just add our wooden background. Download this wood texture, drag it over into our PSD file and put it on the bottom of our layers palette. Now apply a slight Gradient Overlay to the wood like so.

Finished!

Thats it! It’s a lengthy tutorial I know but I really think it’s worth talking time over the details to get that added realism. Here’s our final image preview.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, there will be lots more coming soon so make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss them!

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1 Comment | Post a Comment
eastlandgrl
October 18, 2010 at 11:30 am

interesting, thanks

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