Books have captured the imaginations of their readers for years on end. The vast amount of stories and tales put in writing have supplied cheerful moments generations of people. Create a magical book to reveal it’s wonders within.
The Brush Tool, the Filters, the Layer Masks, the Gradient Tools and other features of Pixelmator are used in this tutorial.
Open Pixelmator and create a new document. The image size used in this tutorial is 900×650 pixels. First, use the Bucket Tool (N) to fill the Background Layer with gray color (color code – #191919). Then, make the background a bit scruffy by adding a noise filter. Go to Filter>Stylize>Noise, set the Amount to 1% and click OK.
Next, let’s make the background a bit erratic. To do that create a new layer and name it Clouds. Then, go to Filter>Generator>Clouds and click OK. After that, set the new layer’s Blending to Soft Light and reduce it’s Opacity to 30%.
Now, it’s time to add the floor. Create a new layer and name it Floor. Then, go to Filter>Generator>Checkerboard, set the Width to 60px and click OK. Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to select the upper portion of the checkerboard pattern and delete it by pressing the Delete key on your keyboard. The end result should look similar to the image below.
To add some perspective to the floor go to Edit>Transform. Click the Action button in the Tool Options bar and choose Perspective in the drop-down menu. Then drag the upper right handle of the selection to the centre of the canvas. Use the image below as a reference. After that, click the Action button in the Tool Options bar and choose Free Transform. Make sure that Constrain proportions is deselected and increase the width of the checkerboard pattern until it fills the whole bottom part of the screen.
Next, let’s add a lighting effect to the floor. Create a new layer named Lighting and use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to select the area covered by the floor. Then fill the selection with a radial gradient as it is shown in the example. If you have trouble creating the gradient used in this tutorial consult the tip below.
Tip: To create a radial gradient used in this tutorial open the Gradients Palette (View>Show Gradients). Click the action button and choose New Gradient. Select Radial as the Gradient Type (If the Gradient Type is not visible in the Gradients Pallet, double-click your gradient preset). Now, click the right color stop and set it’s color to white in the Colors Palette. Then, click the left color stop, set it’s color to white and reduce the Opacity to 0%.
Let’s add a vignette effect as a finishing touch for the background. Create a new layer and name it Vignette. Use the Paint Bucket Tool (N) to fill the layer with black color. Then, use the Elliptical Marquee Tool (Y) to select the centre of the image. Go to Edit>Refine Selection, set the Feather to 60% and click OK. After that, delete the selected part of the image and reduce the layer’s Opacity to 50%.
Now let’s start working on the book. Copy and paste the stock photograph of the book and use the Polygonal Lasso Tool to select the outline of the book. After that, copy and paste the selection into a new layer and name it Book. Delete the original image as it will not be used anymore. After that, go to Edit>Transform, deselect the Constrain proportions option in the Tool Options bar and reduce the book’s width to 85% and the height to 55%.
To enhance the colors of the book go to Image>Levels, set the Gray to 70% and click OK. Then duplicate the layer Book and rename it to Shadow. Position the layer Shadow under Book in the Layers Palette. After that, go to Image>Colorize and set the Lightness to -100%. This will create a black silhouette of a book. To convert the shape into a shadow go to Filter>Blur>Zoom, set the Radius to 5px and click OK. Use the image below as a reference.
Now, copy and paste the stock image of space. Then go to Edit>transform and reduce the image’s size as in the example below.
Unnecessary parts of the image can be hidden by adding a layer mask. To do that right-click the layer Space and choose Add Mask in the drop-down menu. Then use the Paint Bucket Tool (N) to fill the mask with black color. After that, select the Brush Tool (B) and open the Brushes Palette (View>Show Brushes). Select the brush that’s first from the right on the first row and use white as the brush color. Then use the brush to draw a triangular shape in the mask to make some parts of the image visible as it is shown in the image below. Lastly, blur the outline of the mask. To do that go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian, set the Radius to 50% and click OK.
Now let’s add some color and lighting effects to create an illusion that the stars are emerging from the contents of the book. First, create a new layer named Color 1. Then, select the Brush Tool (B) and open the Brushes Palette (View>Show Brushes). Click the Action button in the palette and choose Abstract in the drop down menu. Select the brush that is third from the left in the first row. Use yellow as the brush color (color code – #ffff66) and draw a circle in the new layer. Use the image below as an example.
Apply a blur filter to convert the brush into rays of light. Go to Filter>Blur>Zoom, set the Amount to 20px and click OK. Use the image below as a reference. After that, set the layer’s Blending to Hard Light and reduce the Opacity to 30%.
Add more colors to create a nice composition. Create a new layer Color 2 and select the same brush as before, but this time use an orange color (color code – #ff8000). Draw a shape similar as in the example below. After that, apply a Zoom Blur filter with the same settings as used in step 12. After that, change the layer’s Blending to Hard Light and reduce the Opacity to 30%.
Add several more colors to the mix. Just, remember to draw different shapes with the brush to vary the outcomes of this effect. Additional colors used in this tutorial are red (color code – #800040, Blending – Hard Light, Opacity – 50%) and blue (color code – #008080, Blending – Hard Light, Opacity – 60%). Different shapes and colors can be used, as long as the final outcome is similar to the example shown below.
Use a white brush to highlight the flow of the colors. Create a separate layer and draw a similar shape as in the example below. Once again apply a Zoom Blur filter with the same settings as in the previous steps. Only this time set the layer’s Blending to Soft Light and leave the Opacity unchanged.
Now, let’s add a flow of sparkles rushing out of the book. Once again, select the Brush Tool (B) and open the Brushes Palette (View>Show Brushes). Click the Action button in the palette and choose Sparkle in the drop-down menu. Brush Settings will have to be altered to get the same outcome as shown in this tutorial. To open the Brush Settings simply double-click a specific brush in the Brushes Palette. Then reduce the Diameter of the Tip to 12, increase the Spacing to about 170% and the Scatter to 100%. This will reduce the size of the brush and increase the space between strokes of the brush. After that, use the Brush Tool (B) to draw some sparkles as in the example below.
To add a fading effect to the sparkles, right-click the layer Sparkle and choose Add Mask. Use a white to black gradient to fill the mask as in the example below. This will gradually reduce the transparency of the sparkle brush strokes as they approach to the book.
As a finishing touch, let’s enhance the colors of the image. Create a new layer name Color and use the gradient that is situated third from the right on the second row of the Gradients Palette. Fill the new layer with the gradient and set it’s Blending to Linear Light and reduce the Opacity to 10%.
This tutorial shows that a combination os simple functions of Pixelmator may provide fascinating and intricate results. Do not be afraid to explore, alter the settings or mix and match to generate your outcome.