Pixel Playground
Illustration by John Hersey

Oyster Bar: Creating a manhole cover


Pixel Playground

with Bert Monroy

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Video: Oyster Bar: Creating a manhole cover

What we're going to look at this week is one of the more complicated parts of the Oyster Bar. I'm going to zoom in here and get into this manhole cover right there. And there you can see that manhole cover picking up all kinds of reflections, it's quite involved. There's a few of them in here. There's a different one right down here on this, oh the Actual asphalt. And a third one up here, which is very similar to the one on the other side, but the light is all being picked up in different ways.
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Watch the Online Video Course Pixel Playground
16h 4m Intermediate Jun 07, 2013 Updated Jul 31, 2015

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Take a 10-minute recess every week and join Bert Monroy in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, the playgrounds of digital artists. Every Friday Bert walks through a fun, self-contained project that tests your skills and challenges the imagination. These programs aren't just image editors; they are sandboxes for creativity and experimentation. Take a spin through a carousel of tools and get reinspired, each and every week.

Design Photography
Illustrator Photoshop
Bert Monroy

Oyster Bar: Creating a manhole cover

What we're going to look at this week is one of the more complicated parts of the Oyster Bar. I'm going to zoom in here and get into this manhole cover right there. And there you can see that manhole cover picking up all kinds of reflections, it's quite involved. There's a few of them in here. There's a different one right down here on this, oh the Actual asphalt. And a third one up here, which is very similar to the one on the other side, but the light is all being picked up in different ways.

That's what we're going to do, we're going to look at how those were created. Now for one thing, they were created in Illustrator. Illustrator made it a lot easier. So what I'm going to do, is I'm going to go into Illustrator, and show you how they would create it. Now, what I'm going to do is, I'm going to create the basic shapes. I've got a rounded rectangle tool right here. I'm going to create a little shape like so. Now, if I go like this, you'll see that it's a rounded rectangle, but by turning into like a little, Kind like a little ellipse there. There you can see that it's got that kind of a shape.

So what i'm going to do is i'm just going to just kind of, take this guy and copy him down below and this one what i'm going to do. I'm going to rotate it 90 degrees and put it right here. This is going to give me a little guide so that way I can take this guy up here and duplicate him straight across so that he's even with that guy. Alright there you go. Now, I can dump these two, this guy away and duplicate the two of them on top, come down right below them like that. And I'm going to rotate these. So right from here axis is rotated at a 90 degree.

And then line them up so that they Minor break with themselves like that. Pull back a little bit and we'll see what's going to happen next and when we take this from way up here and I'm going to duplicate this straight down like so and then I'll hit the command key, command 'd' key then do that again and again and again and when we pull back we'll see that what we have done is we've got a whole row of these things. Going down, right. So now what happens is that I could take the entire pattern like that and I'll duplicate it straight over like that, so that they are binding up at that angle like that, then I can take this little batch right, here and I'll duplicate those straight over And then hit command b, command b, command b.

And there you can see that we have this pattern being formed for those little designs in the manhole covers. Now, right here, I have the manhole cover. Now, I've already rotated those designs. I've added the other elements inside and so on. All the different parts and the little letters that are just going around a circle and a the big circle that are on the outside. Now I colorize them just so I can see them, making it easy to differentiate different shapes when I'm creating them. So now what happens is, I'm going to go in here and I'm going to select the entire batch.

And I'm going to shrink them down this way. To put them into the angle that I need for my overall scene. I make it a little bigger. There we go, like that. And I'm going to copy it. I just go in there and say, copy. Those are the paths that I'm going to use. So when I come back over to Photoshop, we'll create a new file here. New file will reflect the contents of the clipboard. So I'm going to say let's make it a little wider. Let's go with 900, and 700, and RGB. Click OK. There it is.

Go to 100% so we see this full size. And I'm going to say paste. Paste as paths because these are all going to be manipulated separately. Now I can make it larger here as well. So I'll just hit command t to bring up the transform and there we go. We can make it nice and large. Now each one of these paths is going to be manipulated. In some cases, together, in some cases, separately. Like for instance, I'm going to select this path right here. This is that inside part, the, the pressed area in the center of our manhole cover.

So in the layers, I'm going to create a new layer, and we'll just call this well. And I'm going to fill it with a nice deep. Almost black color and go to my path and say, the, there it is. So now, I'm going to select the, all these guys right here. I want to get all those little those little shapes right? I going to deselect I, when I did this originally did, I don't want to grab all this. I just want to get a nice little section that we can zoom in on. Now that I've got those, I also selected d obviously, so holding down my shift key, I'm going to click on those.

To deselect those particular ones right there and this guy, so now only those little guys inside are, are being selected, so I'm going to go to my layers and create a new layer on top of those and we'll call those little things design, we'll call them design and we'll fill them with a different color. A gray paths and fill. So there, we see that we have the basic shapes. Now, these things are going to be exposed to a lot of different effects.

One of them being layer styles. So I'm going to go in there, and in design, I'm going to say, let's give it some layer styles. So I'll say a bevel and emboss. I'm going to bring the size down to about a 2, and make the depth really strong there, soften 'em up a bit. Okay, and then, I'm going to change the light source and come a little more from this side, like this, so we get a little more of a highlight on the sides. There we go, just like that. About like that. And I don't want that white. Let's say I want the reflection of the lights. I'm going to go in there and pick a nice red, nice bright red like that.

Click Okay. I'm going to punch up that, capacity for the red, right there like we see it, right? And, maybe we'll bring this in just out a little more until we get more of a highlight right in there. And then decide here, we'll be picking up say, the sky, so we'll go in here and we'll pick a, kind of a, a light bluish color, like that, right? Now, it's not that visible, so what I'm going to do is I'm going to put this in normal, so I get that blue. See, there's the blue that I want. I'm going to put that down a little bit. Bring down that in opacity.

Click OK. Now, I want to manipulate these again. I want to take them a little further, like the red is not going to be all over the place. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to take those layer styles and separate them from the layer. So I go to layer styles and say create layer. There we go. So now, I see that here's my little red and there's my little blue. So in the red, I want to be a little stronger here, but not so much out here. So let's pull back a little bit. We could see it.

The red one, which we see right there, I'm going to go ahead and give it a mask. And in the mask, using black and a nice big brush. I'm going to go in here and, it's a soft brush, I'm going to just kind of get rid of them in those areas where I don't want them, see? And in these areas over here, maybe I don't want the blue, so I can go in there and let's give that a mask. But we'll tone down the blue, not just completely, let's bring the opacity down. And we'll just kind of tone the blue down a little bit in that area there. And you can see how we were able to control those particular tones at different sides of all our little shapes.

Now let's look at the actual manhole cover. There it is. This is the manhole cover, and let's pull out the layer panel so we can see everything in here. There are lot, a lot of layers that make it up. I'm going to just open this up, so we can start to see all the different layers that make it up. Now, you can see here, all these things that have been kind of separated here, they are in fact layer style, see? These are all layer styles that have been separated and put into their own layers. Like here, we have an outer bevel and an inner bevel. This is a bevel and emboss, there were two different bevel and embosses that were given to this one little section here, which is the outer ring.

See? Let's go look at this outer ring just that piece, right there. So, what it got was, first we had the outer bevel and the inner bevels. And then, there's this little tone that just appeared there, there's a satin, satin filter was satin layer style was applied, which gave me these nice little shapes in there. And on top of that, we have the inner, a little red glow all the way around, and an inner shadow, which we see appear down below.

The deep set area was set inside of that and an opening on top of that, which has a bevel and emboss. And again, red was substituted for the white with the black on the side. And the larger inset inside. There you can see that, that has an inner shadow, right there, a hard edge inner shadow. Then there's the little drop shadow for the pattern. Here's the pattern. The pattern originally had a drop shadow, and it has a bevel and emboss now. Let's turn it on. It has a bevel and boss. It has an outer bevel and a boss.

See, tt is an outer bevel, which is this blue and this black. and we see em right here. Let's get the pointer tools so you can see it. There's the blue, there is the black. Turn that off, you could see them disappear. Now at one point, this had an inner bevel. So, there you see there's that red and there's a little darkness on that side. So there it is at one point had two different beveling bosses. The one the outer bevel right there which is the blue that we see there and then the drop shadow had been separated.

The inner bevel emboss and the drop shadow were separated. This bevel emboss remained with it because we didn't need to modify it any more. The little center cut, same thing. All series of different effects that were applied all the way through and I, each piece gets brought up. You can see how it all starts to come together. And there's little tiny highlights that were added. These were just painted in, little tiny highlights right in there and then the whole thing was then assembled into a main piece which this is the one that was on the other side, and other changes were made to that in another file.

From there you can see how the basic manhole was created by just utilizing layer styles into the shapes themselves and putting layer styles on top of layer styles by taking the original layer styles out of the layer, allowing me to then create additional layer styles that would have additional effects creating the overall effect. Little complicated but remember you might not have to create a manhole cover, but all those steps that went in there can be applied to so many other things.

It's just a question of understanding what it is you're trying to get, and understanding how these styles work, and then manipulating them.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Pixel Playground .

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Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.
Q: Why are some of the 3D menu items grayed out when I try to follow along?
A: The 3D features in Photoshop CC require a computer with at least 512MB VRAM. If your computer doesn't meet this criterion, the 3D menu features will be greyed out.
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