Launch Illustrator and open the Graphics.ai file. Copy and paste the elements as Smart Objects into a new group folder called 'Graphics' at the top of the layer stack. Make a selection from your 'Figures' layer, target the main heading Smart Object layer and select Layer > Layer Mask > Hide Selection. Using Smart Objects makes it simple to update and change your artwork on the fly – double-clicking on the layer icon will open a version of your vector. Once you’ve saved the file and returned to Photoshop you’ll immediately see it’s been updated.
Open Distress.jpg and Shift-drag it as a new layer, naming it Distress 1. Set the Blending Mode to Soft Light and the Opacity to 52 per cent. Open Alpha_6.psd and paste it into the document as a new channel. Generate a selection then go Select > Similar. Create a new layer at the top and fill it with white. Name the layer 'Distress 2' and set the Blending Mode to Soft Light. Next, add a layer mask and erase areas as desired. Finally set the Hue/Saturation layer from Step 15 to Overlay Mode and adjust the Opacity to 60 per cent, and you’re done,
01. The renders here were made in Daz Bryce; Digital Arts gave away Bryce 5.5 in the August 2007 issue. If you missed the issue, you can order it at digitalartsonline.co.uk/ buy. For speed, you can import 3D models freely available from the Web; always check the licencing restrictions if you intend to use the models for commercial use.
02. The benefit of using adjustment layers is that no edit is permanent until you flatten the image. You can revisit the image at any time and finetune the adjustment by double-clicking its layer icon. A normal adjustment layer affects all the layers immediately below it. To clip an adjustment to just a single layer hold Alt/Opt while clicking on the ‘Create new fill of adjustment layer’ icon at the foot of the layers palette, and you’ll be presented with a new window. By checking Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask, you’ll affect only that layer leaving any others intact.
Who: Mark Mayers is a freelance Illustrator and designer based in Cornwall with over 18 years’ experience. His clients include American Express, British Gas and EuroDisney, and he’s been published in magazines all over the world. Past accolades include MetalFX Designer of the Year 06 and Highly Commended MetalFX Designer 07.
Software: Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop
Time to complete: Four hours
Download: All files for this tutorial can be downloaded here or are available on the cover CD.