In this tutorial, we will explain how to take a flat logo and animate it using Photoshop’s new 3D and Timeline features. Let’s get started!

Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial.

Step 1

Open the logo in Photoshop. Note that the PNG file contains transparency—this is important when we convert to 3D. There’s no need to adjust the image size since we will change it at the end when we save it as an animation.

Step 2

Select the Crop Tool and extend the top and bottom to give our scene more space. Hit Enter to commit to the changes.

Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool to select just the ‘envato’ text (the leaf is excluded) and click on the “Add Layer Mask” icon in the Layers Panel. This will isolate just the text.

Step 3

To make things easier, I’ve renamed the only layer to “Text.” Go ahead and make a copy of this layer, rename if “Leaf,” and click on the Layer Mask (this targets the mask, making it editable). Press Command/Ctrl + I to invert the selection and thus, isolating the leaf. The result should look identical to the original image that we opened. The only difference is that the text and leaf icon are now on separate layers.

With the “Leaf” layer still active, go to Layer > Layer Mask > Apply. This will remove all delete all pixels that were hidden by the mask.

Next, go to 3D > New 3D Extrusion From Selected Layer. This will automatically bring up the panels we need to work in our 3D scene.. If not, you can always go to Window > Workspace > 3D to force those panels open. Notice that the “Leaf” layer now appears as a 3D object llayer.

Step 4

In the 3D panel, select the “Leaf” object (denoted by the extruded star icon) and go to the Properties Panel and set the Extrusion Depth to 35. Also, deselect Catch Shadows and Cast Shadows.

We now need to move the “Leaf” object to the exact center of our scene. Before we do this, it will help to change our camera to a better view. Select the “Current View” layer in the 3D panel, then select the “Top” preset in the View setting .

On the canvas, use the onscreen widget to position the leaf in the exact center of our scene (denoted by the intersection of the red and blue lines).

Step 5

Currently, our canvas is showing the Top View. Select “Default Camera” in the 3D panel to reset the camera. Notice that the leaf object does not appear to be in its proper position. We will fix this in the next step.

Currently, the leaf appears out of position. To fix this, use the camera tools in the top menu to move the camera until the logo is properly placed. By moving just the camera, we can make the leaf object appear to be back in it’s proper position. It is important that we do not actually move the leaf object like we did in Step 4.

Step 6

Now, we’re ready to animate—click Create Video Timeline in the Timeline Panel. If you don’t see the timeline panel, then go to Window > Timeline.

When you do this, you will see all the layers displayed as separate video layers in the timeline. In this case, we will have two video layers.

Step 7

Since we want to animate the “Leaf” object, we need to access its properties in the timeline. Twirl-down the “Leaf” layer to show all properties that can be animated. For this aniamtion, we will focus on the “3D Scene Position.”

Click the stopwatch icon to Enable Keyframe Animation. This will add our first keyframe to our timeline (denoted by the yellow diamond).

Since Keyframe Animation is enabled, Photoshop will automatically add a keyframe when we make changes to the scene’s position (or rotation). Before we start rotating our scene, we need to indicate how long it will animate for. Do this by dragging the Current Time Indicator (denoted by the blue slider) to another point in the time bar.

Step 8

Back in the 3D Panel, select the “Scene” layer and go to the Properties Panel. In the Properties Panel, select the Coordinate icon and change the “Y Angle” value to 360. This will rotate the scene around its Y-axis 360 degrees.

Notice that a new keyframe has been added to our timeline. Using the Current Time Indicator, you can scrub back and forth to see how our 3D object animates. Since our “Leaf” object was placed in the exact center of our scene, we should see the leaf spinning in place.

Step 9

Our goal is to have the “Leaf” object appear to continually rotate around its axis while only showing the front face of the object. To do this, we first need to make a copy of our “Leaf” layer. In the Layers Panel go ahead and copy this layer. Notice that a copy of this layer also appears in our timeline.

Next, scrub through the timeline until the “Leaf” object makes three-quarters of a turn.

Grab the beginning of the “Leaf copy” video layer and drag it to the red line. This video layer is now cropped and will start animating right after the three-quarter turn.

Now, scrub over the first part of our animation and find the point at which the object makes its first quarter turn. This time, drag the ending of the “Leaf” video layer so it stops at the red line.

Finally, slide the “Leaf copy” video layer over to the red line. Scrub through the timeline to check that the animation is smooth.

Step 10

Before we render any frames, we have to tell Photoshop which frames we want rendered. Use the Current Time Indicator to scrub through our animation to locate the point where our object appears to make a full rotation. Use the slider immediately below the timebar to set the end of the work area. Now, only these frames will render.

Step 11

With our scene complete we can set up the final animated GIF. We will cover two options to save out our animation: Option 1 will quickly save out a low-quality GIF; Option 2 will take more time, but allow us to produce a high-quality GIF.

The first option is to go to File > Save for Web. This option skips the rendering process and will save out the frames as they appear on our canvas. Go ahead and change the settings as you see fit. Click Save when done.

Here is an example of the final animation using Option 1. Notice that the edges of the leaf appear jagged.

Step 12

The second option will require our scene to be rendered first. It is highly recommended to save at this point. Now, go to File > Export > Render Video and make the changes as shown. Make sure to select “Photoshop Image Sequence” as the output. This will render our scene as individual frames.

After all the frames have rendered, we can open them as an animation. Go to File > Open As and navigate to the folder we just created with all of our rendered frames. Select the first frame and click “Image Sequence” at the bottom of the window. Click Open. You will also see a dialogue box for the Frame Rate, just click OK.

The rendered images should automatically appear in a new timeline as a new animation.

Final Rendering

The last step is to save out the animation as a GIF. Just repeat Step 11 and you’re done!.

Photoshop layer styles are a popular way to add effects, such as drop shadows and strokes, to layers in a non-destructive way. With the right knowledge and experience, any effect can be achieved. To achieve these effects, however, you need to understand what each setting does and how they can be combined to create a certain look. In this series by John Shaver from Design Panoply, we will explain every aspect of Photoshop’s layer styles feature and show you how to unlock their potential.

In this article, Part 7: How to Apply the Satin Setting to Layer Style Effects, we will explain the settings behind Satin and the ways it can be used to create different effects. Let’s get started.


The Uses For Satin

Satin is one of the more obscure settings within Photoshop Layer Styles, but if you know how to use it, you can create a few different effects.

In addition to creating a silk or satin look, it can also be used to add additional depth and even more realistic detail to glass and metal effects.

The Layer Styles Satin Dialog Box

Satin creates two copies of your layer, then offsets and blurs them to produce the final result. You may not be able to picture it, but it is easy to understand once you see it in action.

There isn’t much to the Satin dialog box, and we have seen most of these settings before. All that’s left to do is jump in and see how they interact with each other.

Blend Mode

The Blend Mode allows you to set the blending mode for your Satin, while the color box, expectedly, allows you to choose the color.

A good place to start is Linear Burn using the color black, or Linear Dodge (Add) using the color white. This will allow you to see how Satin works, while at the same time applying the most realistic looking effect.

If you are unfamiliar with how all the different Blending Modes work, I highly recommend checking out the Blending Is Fun Basix tutorial.

In the following example, using a white color with Linear Dodge (Add) as the blending mode lightens our text while using black with Linear Burn as the blending mode darkens it.


Our good old friend Opacity. A smaller number here makes for a more subtle effect and increasing the Opacity makes it more pronounced.

In the following example, you can see that a lower Opacity has a predictably more subtle impact on our final effect.


The Angle spinner sets the angle at which our Satin effect is offset from the original shape. You can enter a number in the box, or drag the line around using your mouse.

The following example may not be the prettiest, but it clearly shows how adjusting the Angle can change the look of your style. Used in conjunction with other effects, changing the Satin Angle can help you get more realistic looking lighting.


The Distance slider changes the distance that the Satin gets offset from our original shape. This is extra helpful when you are trying to create reflections for glass styles.

In the following example, you can see how slightly increasing the Distance of our white Satin effect gives us bigger reflections on our glass text.


The Size slider sets the blur size of the Satin. The larger the value is, the blurrier it gets. A modest Size value will typically yield the most realistic results.

In the following example, the lower Size setting gives the lighting on our cookie style a harder edge.


Contour curves change the falloff of the Satin effect. A linear or slight “S-curve” are the best to begin with. More dynamic Contour shapes can help you get more interesting reflective effects.

The Anti-aliased checkbox will smooth out any hard edges when checked, and the Invert checkbox will flip your Contour upside down.

In the following example, you can see how changing our Contour gives us a more reflective looking double highlight on our text.

Saving and Loading Default Settings

You can save and load default settings for each effect in the Layer Styles dialog box. By clicking “Make Default”, Photoshop will store whatever settings are currently active as the new default settings for that effect.

By clicking “Reset to Default”, Photoshop will then load whatever settings were last saved. This allows you to experiment and simply reload custom default settings if you want to start over.

One For The Road

Until next time, this free, exclusive layer style and accompanying .PSD will show you some clever usage of the Satin effect.

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The Digital Illustrations of Liran Szeiman


POSTED IN PhotoShop | Comments Off TAGS :

Each week, we feature the work of some of our favorite artists and designers for you to enjoy. In this article, we will showcase the work of Psdtuts author, Liran Szeiman. Let’s take a look!


Retreat | Tutorial

Untruth – HM9

Lurking Back


Hysterical Banana


Bajo Presion



By combining certain fonts and styles, you can create graphics reminiscent of the automobile emblems of the 1950′s, also known as Brightwork. In this tutorial we will show you how to create a reflective, retro chrome emblem using Photoshop layer styles and a few selection tricks. Let’s get started.


This tutorial was sponsored by our friends at Fontbros.

Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial.

Step 1

The first thing we’re going to do is create our background. Create a new document, ours is 1920 x 1280, and unlock the background layer.

It doesn’t matter what color it is, because we are going to override that color using layer styles.

Double click the name of your background layer in the Layers palette to open the layer styles dialog box. Apply the following layer styles settings, using a medium red to dark red gradient for the Gradient Overlay.

You should end up with something similar to the image below.

Step 2

Using the pen tool, draw a black shape with a jagged line across the top as a new layer. This shape is going to be used to simulate the reflection of mountains in the distance.

Step 3

Change the Fill to 0% in the Layers palette, and apply the following layer style settings.

You should end up with an image similar to the one below.

Step 4

Create a new layer and fill it with white. With your new layer selected, Command/Ctrl + Click the vector mask icon for your mountain reflection shape in the Layers palette to make a selection of your shape.

Press Delete to delete that portion from your new white layer, leaving you with the image below.

Set the fill to 0% in the Layers palette and apply the following layer style settings to achieve the result below.

Step 5

Now that we have a nice reflective, red car paint effect, it’s time to create our emblem.

Draw an oval shape using the Ellipse tool, set the Fill to 0% in the Layers palette, and apply the following layer style settings to achieve the result below. The Inner Shadow effect will be used to simulate the shadow of our chrome border when we create it later.

Step 6

Duplicate your oval layer, clear the layer style settings, set the Fill to 0% in the Layers palette, and apply a black outer stroke of 25px.

Right click the layer in the Layer palette and click Convert to Smart Object. This will allow us to style the stroke as a shape, while giving us the ability to edit the thickness later on.

Step 7

Apply the following layer style settings to your newly created Smart Object to give it a chrome effect.

Step 8

Next we will create a mountain shape to reflect within our oval.

Create a new layer without anything in it. With your new layer still selected, Command/Ctrl + Click the thumbnail of your Oval shape in the Layers palette to make an oval selection. Next, Command/Ctrl + ALT + Click the white layer you created as a negative of your original mountain shape. This will subtract that shape from your selection.

Fill your selection with black and apply the following layer style settings to achieve the result below.

Step 9

Duplicate your oval shape, clear the layer styles, and move it above all the rest.

Set the Fill to 0% in the Layers palette and apply the following layer style settings for some subtle lighting effects.

Step 10

Duplicate your top oval shape and clear the layer styles.

Set the Fill to 0% in the Layers palette and apply the following layer style settings for one last shadow effect.

Step 11

Now for the star of our show.

In order for this retro effect to work, you need a retro style typeface.

We are using the beautifully designed “Cocktail Shaker”, which you can get at Font Bros.

Create your text and apply the following layer style settings for a chrome look.

Step 12

Next we will create our checkerboard pattern.

Create a new document that is 200 square pixels with a white background. Draw two, 100 pixel black boxes and place them in the upper left corner, and lower right corner.

Press Command/Ctrl + A to select your entire canvas and click Edit > Define Pattern. Name your checkerboard pattern and click OK.

Step 13

Switch back over to your main document.

Draw two, 100 pixel tall strips across the top and bottom of your canvas.

Apply the following layer style settings, using our checkboard pattern for the Pattern Overlay.

Final Image

That’s it! Using some simple selection tools and Photoshop layer styles, you now have your very own retro chrome emblem.

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Actions may be able to records a complicated series of steps but that doesn’t mean that they are complicated to use. In fact, actions are quite easy to use. In this tutorial we will explain how to save, and then edit a long series of steps using actions. Let’s get started!