Design Oahu

Web design blog from the middle of the pacific.

Radials, Rays, and Bursts

Whether you call them radials, rays, or bursts this technique is a great way to make your design pop. Unlike the sun which you are not suppose to stare at, you cannot help but focus on the center of a radial which makes radials a great addition to a design. Radials can range from mild to wild. If you want a subtle addition to your website header perhaps a burst that uses transparent gradients can help you add depth. If you want to draw attention to a specific element such as a logo, or a product for an advertisement you can use a brightly colored radial in the background with the product in the center. This adds depth and provides a faux 3D look.

Before you start to create your radial, plan out the colors, gradients, thickness, center, and shape you wish to achieve. The radial will be created in Photoshop by defining a pattern, filling a canvas with the pattern, then adding a Polar Coordinates distortion filter. Before applying the Polar Coordinates filter your canvas should be filled with vertical stripes. The top of your vertical stripes will become the center of the burst.

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Dog Ear Tutorial

Dog EarI’ve been seeing a lot of the dog ear element lately. The dog ear looks as if a page is being curled up or peeled back. If used correctly it can add depth to a flat design. The best ones I have seen are usually really subtle. They are applied to boxed elements or headers to make it look as if it is slightly peeling off the page. This element has been used in flash advertisements to make it look as if the website is being peeled back. I have also seen sights that use this in a corner of the site with text such as “Designed in Photoshop” or something similar. Here is a quick and dirty way to create this effect with Photoshop in 5 easy steps. Read the rest of this entry »

WordPress Tutorial: How to put your trackbacks in their own section

On Design Oahu the trackbacks have been separated from the comments. I felt that the trackbacks were a bit of a distraction. WordPress bloggers are most likely used to seeing the trackbacks within the comments section and skip right over them, however I would be willing to bet that new readers get a bit confused when they are trying to read the comments. For the sake of usability and readability I will provide you with some code snippets to move your trackbacks. Read the rest of this entry »

No Tripod? No worries!

This is a quick tip for Photoshop users that want to level out the horizon in a photo, most likely you shot without a tripod. This will not help to improve your blurry picture from your shaky hands, but it will quickly get the horizon perfectly horizontal. I rarely shoot with a tripod, as I just take casual photos, which means that a lot of the time my pictures are tilted. Originally I used the Image->Rotate Canvas->Arbitrary and would just keep trying new rotations until I got it as close as possible. Then I figured out that I can just Transform (Ctrl+T) and eyeball it out, however I now make use of the Lens Correction Filter which will make the horizon perfectly level. I use the highest quality setting on my camera (5.1 Mega Pixels) which gives me a 2580 x 1932 image. Do not scale it down to the size you want just yet as you will need to crop the image to compensate for the blank corners when the image is rotated. After that you can scale down your image to the size you want. Here is our original image at the top of the hill at Waimea on the North Shore of Oahu.
Waimea Unedited
Now go to Filter->Distort->Lens Correction. I prefer to uncheck the default Grid that appears at the bottom so I can see the image more clearly. Select the Straighten Tool (A) on the left sidebar. You do not need to mess with any of the settings on the right. Now click right on your horizon reference point on one side and drag to the other side.
Lens Correction Setup
When you let go the image will be repositioned correctly with the correct amount of rotation.
Missing Corners
Now you see what I mentioned earlier about the corners missing after the rotation. Just click on the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) and select the portion to keep.
Crop It
Select Image->Crop and you have your newly level image.
Finished Waimea

Creating an Old Fashioned Picture in Photoshop

It is really easy to take any photograph and created a weathered look with some simple Photoshop adjustment layers. I took this picture on the south shore of Oahu right near Sandy’s Beach. I am going to try and make it look like a picture I would find at my Grandparents’ house. Read the rest of this entry »