Stunning Color Effect in 5 Minutes

Would you like to know how to create this effect in 5 minutes? Well it is a pretty easy effect to create. This tutorial should give you some ideas on how you can layer color with some photoshop effects to create interesting images for backgrounds or desktops or for use in designs.

Final Color Effect

The image below is the starting point for this effect. It should come of some surprise that we are using this flower graphic. In reality you can use any kind of image with a lot of dark and light areas, so if you want to go ahead and use an image of your choosing. If you download the tutorial file at the end of this tutorial, you will find the same flower image used here. (Flower photographed by me and can be found in larger sizes here: flower graphic).

Original Flower graphic

Open the flower image in Photoshop. To get ready for this tutorial, ensure your Toolbar and Options bar are showing by going to the “Window” menu and then make sure “Tools”, “Options” and “Layers” are checked, meaning they are visible.

In the “Filter” menu go to [Blur->Motion Blur] menu and click “Motion Blur”. Ensure that the “Angle” setting is set to “90” and that the distance setting is set somewhere close to “400”. This will be the base of our final color effect.

Motion Blur

Click the new layer button in the “Layers” palette to create a new layer above the existing one.

Click the new layer blutton on the bottom right

Now that you have a blank layer to work with, ensure the new layer is selected in the layer menu and then go to your toolbar and click the gradient button which looks like this:

After you have clicked the gradient button in the toolbar, click the gradient dropdown in the control bar (Located right below your menu). Click the rainbow gradient on the bottom left of the gradient dropdown.

Gradient dropdown box

Ensure that the layer you created before is still selected. Now drag the mouse from one end of the image to the other end of the image. Your image should look like the image below.

This is How the Gradient should look

Now set the layer’s blending mode to “Overlay” using the blending mode dropdown in the “Layers” pallette as shown below. Then make a third layer in the same way we made a new layer before.

Set the blending mode to "Overlay"

With the third layer selected, go to the “Edit” menu in the main menu and click “Fill”.

Click Fill

The “Fill” dialog will show up. Select “Color” in the “Use:” dropdown. The color picker will pop up, select a black color in the color picker.

The "Fill" window

You will notice that the third layer is filled with black, this is correct. Next click the eraser button in the toolbar. It looks like this:

Once you have clicked the eraser, click the “Brush” dropdown in the control bar as shown below. Set the “Master Diameter” to 400 px and the “Hardness” to 0%. This will give you a large blurred eraser brush.

The Brush Dropdown

Using the eraser, drag along the top part of the black to reveal the image below it. Your image should now look like the image below with the exception of the large circle which indicates the eraser brush.

Your image should now look like this

Finally, set the black layer’s opacity to somewhere around 60%.

Set the layer opacity to 60%

Your image should look like the final image.

You can use these techniques to create many forms of color and look, just alter the image used at the beginning or try a different filter than “Motion Blur”.

  Colorful Graphic Tutorial Files (933.7 KiB, 665 hits)

Illustrator Rich Black, Poor Black

I have been working with Illustrator for some time and I have had a lot of people ask about problems with the color black. There are several problems that can crop up when using black in Illustrator, understanding how to use the “Appearance of Black” settings should help clear this up. As a note, this setting also shows up in Adobe InDesign and is imporant.

What do the “Appearance of Black” settings mean in human terms?

Appearance of black is a setting in Adobe Illustrator that allows you to change how the color black is shown on your screen and how it is output to your printer and exported RGB images.

What is “Rich Black”? Rich black is a deep black that is very dark. Regular black is a very dark grey. The difference mainly matters in printing. A typical rich black mixture might be 100% black ink, and 50% of each of the other three inks (Cyan, Yellow and Magenta).

When you use the “Black” swatch in Illustrator, you get regular black (100% Black and 0% CMY).

Illustrator 100K Black and Rich Black

Setting these preferences in Illustrator

Choose Edit > Preferences > Appearance Of Black (Windows) or [ application name ] > Preferences > Appearance Of Black (Mac OS).

rbpbs.jpg

1. Choose an option for On Screen:

Display All Blacks Accurately: This setting will show all blacks acurately seen in the image below.

Rich black next to Regular black

Display All Blacks As Rich Black: This setting will show all blacks as rich black, even if they are not rich black.

different blacks displaying the same

2. Choose an option for Printing/Exporting using the above reference:

Output All Blacks Acurately:
When printing to a non-PostScript desktop printer or exporting to an RGB file format, outputs black colors as seen above. This setting allows you to see the difference between pure black and rich black.

Output all blacks acurately

Output All Blacks As Rich Black:
When printing to a non-PostScript desktop printer or exporting to an RGB file format, outputs pure CMYK black as jet black (RGB=000). This setting makes pure black and rich black appear the same.

Output al blacks as Rich Black

Other Issues with black in Illustrator:

Placed Photoshop files with black backgrounds when placed over vector black can sometimes create a problem. If you are having a problem where the black in your Photoshop file doesn’t match the black in your illustrator file, try the steps below. Additionally illustrator images not being pure black in Photoshop can relate to this information.

Use the Eyedropper tool in Illustrator to make the vector black the same color as the Photoshop black. To do this, select the black vector shape and then select the Eyedropper tool, click the Eyedropper tool on the black from the placed Photoshop file.

That should clear up the problem.

As a final note regarding colors when printing: Always consult the printer for each type of printing you are doing. Rich black and other color settings will most likely be different for each printer and print provider.