Carved pumpkin

Carved pumpkin

INTRODUCTION

Throughout the years Halloween has brought delight to countless kids and adults alike. This joyous celebration brings people and cultures together. And the most common symbol of the All Hallow’s Eve is without a doubt the Jack-o’-lantern. Create a realistic carved pumpkin from scratch.

The Gradient Tool, Effects, Selection Tools and other features of Pixelmator are used in this tutorial.

RESOURCES
 
PXM File

STEP 1

Open Pixelmator and create a new document. The image size used in this tutorial is 900×600 pixels. Select the Paint Bucket Tool (N) and fill the “Background Layer” with orange (color code – #ff8000). Next, create a new layer named “Noise 1” and use the Paint Bucket Tool (N) to fill it with white. Then, open the Effects Browser by choosing View > Show Effects. Choose the Stylize group in the browser. Double-click the Noise thumbnail. Set the Amount to 100% and click OK. Now, choose the Blur group in the Effects Browser and double-click the Motion thumbnail. Set Radius to 10 px and Angle to 90º. Click OK.

STEP 2

Next, choose the Distortion group in the Effects Browser and double-click the Bump thumbnail. Set Radius to 600 px and scale to 50%. Then, use the rope to point to the center of the canvas and click OK. Use the image below as a reference. Next, double-click the Glass thumbnail in the Effects Browser. Set the Scale to 50 px and Click OK. Finally, change the “Noise 1” layer’s Blending to Soft Light.

STEP 3

Now, add bumps and scratches to the pumpkin’s skin. First, create a new layer and name it “Noise 2”. Use the Paint Bucket Tool (N) to fill the layer with white. Then, choose the Stylize group in the Effects Browser and double-click the Noise thumbnail. Set the Amount to 50% and click OK. Now, choose the Blur group in the Effects Browser. Double-click the Median thumbnail twice. Then, double-click the Motion thumbnail. Set the Radius to 4 px and Angle to 90º. Click OK. Finally, change the “Noise 2” layer’s Blending to Color Burn and reduce the Opacity to 70%.

STEP 4

Now make the scratches appear indented by adding lighting effects. Duplicate the “Noise 2” layer and rename the copy to “Noise 3”. Choose the Color Adjustment group in the Effects Browser and double-click the Invert thumbnail. Then, change the “Noise 3” layer’s Blending to Screen and increase the Opacity to 90%. Control-click the “Noise 3” layer and choose Add Mask from the shortcut menu. Then, use the Gradient Tool (G) to fill the mask with a white to black gradient as in the example below.

STEP 5

Select the Move Tool (V) and use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move the “Noise 3” layer 2 px to the left. The result should look similar to the image below. Now, add the same lighting effects to the left side of the pumpkin. Control-click the “Noise 3” layer and choose Duplicate from the shortcut menu. Then, choose the Color Adjustments group in the Effects Browser. Select the “Noise 3 copy” layer’s mask and double-click the Invert thumbnail in the Effects Browser. Finally, use the Move Tool (V) to move the “Noise 3 copy” layer 4 px to the right.

STEP 6

Create a new layer and name it “Gradient”. Open the Gradients Palette by choosing View > Show Gradients. Then double-click the gradient that is situated first from the left in the third row. Change the Gradient Type to Radial. Then, use the Gradient Tool (G) to fill the “Gradient” layer as in the example below. Finally, change the layer’s Blending to Overlay and reduce the Opacity to 30%.

STEP 7

Now, add some ribs to the pumpkin’s skin. Use the Polygonal Lasso Tool to make a selection as in the example below. Then, choose Edit > Refine Selection. Set Smooth to 100% and Size to 50 px. Click OK.

STEP 8

Now, add a shadow effect. Use the Gradient Tool (G) to fill the selection with a black to transparent gradient. Consult the tip below for further instructions on how to create an appropriate gradient. Next, choose the Distortion group in the Effects Browser and double-click the Bump thumbnail. Set Radius to 600 px and Scale to 50%. Use the rope to point to the center of the canvas as in the example below. Finally, change the “Black” layer’s Blending to Color Burn and reduce the Opacity to 40%. Do not deselect the selection and proceed to step 7.

Tip: To create a gradient used in step 8, first, open the Gradients Palette. Choose View > Show Gradients. Then, click the Action button and choose New Gradient from the shortcut menu. Double-click the new gradient to show Brush Settings. Click the left color stop to open the Colors Palette and set the color to black. Then, reduce the Opacity to 0%. Finally, click the right-color stop and also set it’s color to black.
 

STEP 9

Now, add a lighting effect to the pumpkin’s rib. First, invert the selection made in step 7 by choosing Edit > Invert Selection. Then, create a new layer and name it “White”. Use the Brush Tool (B) to add strokes of white in the new layer as in the example below. Then, choose the Blur group in the Effects Browser and double-click the Motion thumbnail. Set Radius to 10 px and Angle to 0º. Click OK. Finally, change the layer’s Blending to Soft Light and reduce the Opacity to 50%.

STEP 10

Now, smoothen the edges of the shadow and lighting on the pumpkin’s rib. First, select the “Black” layer and choose the Blur group in the Effects Browser. Then, double-click the Motion thumbnail. Set Radius to 2 px and Angle to 0º. Click OK. Then, apply the Motion Blur effect with the same settings to the “White” layer. Next, select the Move Tool (V) and use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move the “White” layer 4 px to the right. Then, duplicate the “Black” and “White” layers and select the copies in the Layers Palette. Choose Edit > Flip Horizontal and use the Move Tool (V) to position the “Black copy” and “White copy” on the right side of the canvas. Finally, follow steps 7 to 10 to create a new rib in the middle of the canvas. The final result should look similar to the example below.

STEP 11

Now, start carving the pumpkin. Create a new layer and name it “Eye”. Use the Polygonal Lasso Tool to make a triangular selection as in the example below. Then, choose Edit > Refine Selection. Set Smooth to 10% and click OK. Finally, use the Paint Bucket Tool (N) to fill the selection with yellow (color code – #f8c600).

STEP 12

Make the carving appear more realistic by adding a shadow effect. First, duplicate the “Eye” layer. Rename the new layer to “Shadow” and position it below the “Eye” layer in the Layers palette. Now, choose the Color Adjustments group in the Effects Browser and double-click the Hue thumbnail. Set Lightness to -100% and click OK. Then, choose the Blur group in the Effects Browser and double-click the Gaussian thumbnail. Set Radius to 10 px and click OK. Finally, change the “Shadow” layer’s Blending to Soft Light and reduce the Opacity to 50%.

STEP 13

Now, make the interior of the pumpkin visible through the eye. First, duplicate the “Eye” layer and rename it to “Hole”. Choose the Color Adjustments group in the Effects Browser and double-click the Hue thumbnail. Set Lightness to -40% and spin the orange button around the color wheel until it is positioned at -25º as in the example below. Click OK. Then, Control-click the “Hole” layer and choose Create Clipping Mask. Finally, use the Move Tool (V) to position the “Hole” layer 40 px below.

STEP 14

Make the inside of the pumpkin appear a bit coarse. First, create a new layer and name it “Noise”. Control-click the new layer and choose Create Clipping Mask from the shortcut menu. Then, use the Paint Bucket Tool (N) to fill the “Noise” layer with white. Next, choose the Stylize group in the Effects Browser and double-click the Noise thumbnail. Set the Amount to 50% and click OK. Then, double-click the Twilight thumbnail and set the Radius to 10 px. Click OK. Finally, change the “Noise” layer’s Blending to Soft Light and reduce the Opacity to 20%.

STEP 15

Next, create a light source inside the pumpkin. Create a new layer and name it “Gradient”. Control-click the new layer and choose Create Clipping Mask. Then select the Gradient Tool (G) and fill the layer with the gradient used in step 6. Use the image below as a reference. Next, change the layer’s Blending to Overlay.

This action will also result in a thin black line around the eye. Remove the line with the help of the Eraser Tool (E). Select the Eraser Tool (E) and Control-click anywhere on the canvas. Increase Diameter to 40 px and reduce Hardness to 0%. Then, erase parts of the “Gradient” layer along the outline of the eye.

STEP 16

Now, make the carved eye appear three dimensional by adding a shadow. Create a new layer and name it “Gradient 2”. Control-click the new layer and choose Create Clipping Mask from the shortcut menu. Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to make a selection as in the example below. Then, use the Gradient Tool (G) to fill the selection with the gradient used in step 8. Now, position the “Gradient 2” layer below the “Hole” layer in the Layers Palette. Finally, change the “Gradient 2” layers Blending to Soft Light and reduce the Opacity to 50%.

STEP 17

Now, select all the layers containing parts of the eye. Duplicate the layers and choose Edit > Flip Horizontal. Then, use the Move Tool (V) to position the new layers on the right side of the canvas. Finally, follow steps 11 to 16 to carve a mouth in the pumpkin.

CONCLUSION

And that’s it! Combining multiple effects in Pixelmator can produce new and useful tools. Realistic textures and lifelike images can be created using the simplest techniques. The only thing you have to do is to thoroughly explore and comprehend the features of Pixelmator.