Create a Delicious Print Ad Using Photoshop

Strawberry Ad
Print designers often work with digital illustrators and CG artists to help produce their work. In this tutorial, we will continue to develop a character concept from a Cgtuts+ tutorial by Nacho Riesco and show you how to create a print ad by combining photo manipulation techniques with some renders from another tutorial. Let's get started!

Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial. Please download them before you begin. If they are not available, you may need to find alternatives.
  • Strawberry Renders 
  • Half-cut Strawberry
  • Kichen Scene
  • Metal Texture
Create a New Document (File > New). The size doesn't matter since we will just be building a template in 3D. I'm starting at 8 x 5.5 inches.

Step 101

On a new layer, Use the Brush Tool to paint in dots to represent the placement of the strawberries.

Step 102

Copy (CMD/CTRL + C) and Paste (CMD/CTRL + V) the dots until you have several rows. (As a temporary solution, I've identified the strawberry that will be the focal point as a green dot.)

Step 103

We will now start to form some rough shapes that will act as placeholders in our scene. Right-Click and select New 3D Extrusion from Selected Layer.

Step 104a
Step 104b

Make sure to select the 3D object layer in the 3D Panel. In the Properties panel, click the Coordinates Tab and rotate 90 degrees on the X axis.

Step 105

Select the Mesh Tab and adjust the Extruded Depth to 0.

Step 106

Next, click the flyout menu in the 3D Panel and choose Snap Object to Ground Plane.

Step 107

We want to make these shapes into the approximate size of a strawberry. To do this, click the Cap Tab and adjust the Bevel and Inflate settings to make a cone.

Step 108

In the 3D Panel, select the Current View Layer. Use the camera controls in the top menu bar to move the camera into a position that works for you.

Step 109

Pay attention to how each placeholder shape is positioned. Edit the source file (click on the Edit Source button) of the 3D layer and move the dots around until they are adequately placed. This may take several attempts at editing the source file, checking the progress and adjusting the camera.

Step 110a
Step 110b
Step 110c

We will now set up a new photoshop document (File > New) to create the image for our ad. Our final ad will be 8.5 x 11 portrait plus.25 in bleeds on all sides. This means we will need to make the document 9 x 11.5.

Step 201

Go back to our 3D template file and press CMD/CTRL + A to select the entire canvas. Next, press CMD/CTRL + Shift + C to copy a flattened version of the contents of the canvas.

Step 202

Paste (CMD/CTRL + V) the contents onto a new layer called Template.

Step 203

Position the Template layer in the top half of our canvas. Resize if necessary using Transform (CMD/CTRL + T). Since this is just a template layer, we can scale to any size.

Step 204

Open the StrawberryRender_01.jpg file. Double click the layer to unlock.

Step 301

Create a new layer filled with black directly below the rendering.

Step 302

Use the Magic Wand Tool (W) to select the white space around the rendering. This tool rarley makes a good selection. We are only using the tool to help us start a selection. We will clean it up in the next few steps.

Step 303

With the selection active, click on the Create Layer Mask icon in the Layers panel.

Step 304

The Properties panel should show the mask's properties. Select Mask Edge and adjust the settings so the edges appear smooth and clean.

Step 305

It may be necessary to manually adjust the mask. The black background should help us spot any excess white areas that our first attempt couldn't get. To fix these, make sure the mask's thumbnail is selected and use the Brush Tool (B) to edit the mask. Remember, black hides and white reveals.

Step 306

Zoom into the eyes and use the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M) to select the Irises. Copy and Paste each the Iris onto a new layer. Name the layer Iris.

Step 401

Click the Lock Transparency button on the Iris layer. Hide the background layer and use the Clone Tool to clean up the iris, hiding the left over parts of the eyelid.

Step 402a
Step 402b

Add and Inner Shadow Layer Style to help fill in the edges around the iris.

Step 403a
Step 403b

Next, use the Pen Tool to draw a path around the whites of the eyes. Repeat with the other eye.

Step 404

In the Paths panel, rename the new path Eyes. Next, Right-Click the path and select Make Selection.

Step 405

Copy and Paste the selection to a new layer. Rename the layer Whites.

Step 406

Create a new clipping layer to the Whites layer and use the Brush Tool to paint over the existing eyes. Blend the eye by using a low opacity brush and paint with colors sampled from the white part of the eye. Eventually, we'll be left with just a white eye.

Step 407a
Step 407b
Step 407c

Make the Iris layer a clipping layer to the Whites layer. Move this Iris layer around to see the eyes move.

Step 408

We can add some more depth to the eye with some simple tricks. Create a new layer called Specular Highlight and use the hard-edged brush to add a dot of white that overlaps the iris and the pupil.

Step 409

Next, on a new layer called Eye Reflection add a larger white dot that falls of the upper part of the eye. Reduce the Opacity to 20%.

Step 410a
Step 410b

Referring back to the original rendering, we can see that the eyelid creates a shadow over the eye. We need to replicate this. On a new clipping layer calledShadow, use the Brush Tool to paint in a subtle shadow. Set the Blend Mode to Multiply.

Step 411a
Step 411b

The next step is to add some shadows to ground the strawberry. But first, we need to extend the canvas. Select the Crop Tool and use the handles to extend the canvas on both sides.

Step 501a
Step 501b

Create a new layer called Base Shadow below the strawberry. Use a medium-size, soft brush, with a low Opacity setting and paint in some dark shadows close to the base of the strawberry. Make sure the Blend Mode is set to Multiply. It may help to create a temporary background layer filled with white to see the progress better.

Step 502

Next, we need to blend the shadow better using a blur filter. Go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur.

Step 503

Now, add the Gaussian Blur filter (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur).

Step 504

Create a new layer and use the Elliptical Marquee Tool to make and oval at the base of the strawberry.

Step 505

Fill the selection with Black and apply a wider Motion Blur and a larger Gaussian Blur. Make sure to set the Blend Mode to Multiply.

Step 506a
Step 506b
Step 506c

Add a new layer called Ambient Shadows and paint in much softer shadows around the base of the strawberry. Make sure the Blend Mode is set to Multiply.

Step 507

Lastly, we are going to use the Crop Tool to shrink the Canvas to fit our artwork. Select the Crop Tool and move the handles inward until they snap to the edge of the content in the canvas. Make sure to hide any background layers.

Step 508

Select all layers and Right-Click and Convert to Smart Object. Not only will coverting to a Smart Object help organize our files, but it will also make it easier to add changes to the strawberry later.

Step 601

Rename the new Smart Object to Strawberry and drag it to our working document.

Step 602

We want each strawberry to be its own Smart Object (not just a duplicate of the original). Having each strawberry as its own, separate Smart Object will allow us to edit each set of eyes independently. In order to do this, we need to make a New Smart Object via Copy. We can access this option by Right-Clicking the Smart Object.

Step 603

Continue to make Smart Objects via a copy and place each one according to the template. Resize each strawberry to match the perspective.

Step 604a
Step 604b

Prepare the StrawberryRender_02.jpg file in the same way as the other strawberry file; remove the background and add shadows. Do not extract the eyes, yet. We will do this later. Convert these layers to a Smart Object and name this layer Scream.

Step 605

Move this Smart Object to the working document.

Step 606

For the half-eaten strawberry, go back to the file StrawberryRender_02.jpg. Select the original strawberry layer with the mask.

Step 607

Next, click on the canvas and drag that layer to our working document. At this point, we want to apply the mask to the layer. Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Apply (this will make it easier to manipulate later). Now, place this strawberry on its side as a placeholder—we will edit this later. Convert this layer to a Smart Object and name itBite.

Step 608

Lastly, we want to go through and organize our rows. Notice that our scene consists of four rows of three strawberries. Group each row of strawberries, naming each group accordingly.

Step 609a
Step 609b

Since we've gone through the effort to extract the eyes of the strawberries, we can easily edit them by going back into to each smart object (do this by double-clicking the Smart Object layer). Once inside the Smart Object, move the Iris layer to make the strawberry look in a random direction. Adjust the eyes for each strawberry.

Step 701

Go into the Scream Strawberry and apply the Layer Mask to the layer. Go to Layer > Layer mask > Apply. This will permanently delete the masked pixels.

Step 702

Next, use the Liquify Filter to exaggerate the expression on the strawberry. I've increased the size of the eyes and mouth as well as the brow line.

Step 703

Next, extract and rebuild the eyes using the same techniques in Section 4.

Step 704

As an optional step, you can apply the Liquify technique to the other strawberries in introduce more randomness.

Step 705

The next step is to create a strawberry that appears half eaten. Start by opening theBite Smart Object.

Step 801

Add a new layer filled with white behind the strawberry layer. This will help us to see our progress better. Next, use a Layer Mask to mask around the edge of the strawberry to reshape its body (and hide some of the leaves). I've used the Pen Toolto help me make a smooth selection.

Step 802

Place the Strawberry layer in a group and add a Layer Mask to the Group. Use this mask to mask out the strawberry's face. Try to make the empty space resemble bite marks.

Step 803

Use the Patch Tool to clean up the areas of the face that are still exposed.

Step 804

On a new layer, below the strawberry group, paint in the inside of the strawberry using a red color. Make sure to include bite marks. Name this layer Base Color.Note: I've used the vertical guides to ensure the bite marks line up properly. This is important for the next few steps.

Step 805

Next, we need to add some texture to the inside of the strawberry. Open the image of the half-cut strawberry and use the Path Tool to make a selection around the strawberry.

Step 901

Copy and Paste the selection to a new document. Select the Lock Transparencybutton in the Layers panel, and use the Spot Healing Brush to touch up any imperfections.

Step 902

As an initial step to color the strawberry, create a new clipping layer filled with pink.

Step 903

Set the pink layer's Blend Mode to Color and the Opacity to 37%.

Step 904

Merge these layers and copy the strawberry texture to our working scene.

Step 905

Make this layer a clipping layer to the Base Color layer.

Step 906

Rotate and Transform (CMD/CTRL + T) this layer so that it fills most of the inside of the strawberry.

Step 907

Make a copy of this texture layer. Make sure to keep it a clipping layer.

Step 908

Use the bite marks as guides and use the Rectangle Marquee Tool to select one 'bite mark'. Copy and Paste Into Place (Shift + CMD/CTRL + V) the slice of texture.Convert to a Smart Object.

Step 909a
Step 909b

Repeat the previous step for the other 'bite marks'.

Step 910

Warp (Edit > Transform > Warp) each slice of texture to follow the contours of the bite mark.

Step 911a
Step 911b

In order to add some more definition to the bite marks, we are going to paint in highlights and shadows. Select the Spatter 59 px brush and use the Brushes panel to change the SpacingShape Dynamics and Scattering. This will make the brush more random.

Step 1001a
Step 1001b

On a new layer, set the Blend Mode to Multiply and set the brush to a low Opacity. Select a red color and start to paint in shadows around the bite marks. Paint additional shadows on the left side of each bite mark. We will add highlights to the other side.

Step 1002

For the highlights, we will work on a new layer with the Blend Mode set to Soft Light. Use a light pink color with the same brush and paint in the highlights on the rights sides.

Step 1003

The next step is to address the edges of the bite marks. Currently, the transition from the bite mark to the strawberry is too defined. To fix this, go into the strawberry's mask and use the Blur Tool to blur those edges.

Step 1001

Next, paint in highlights and shadows around the edges of the bite. The goal is to create the illusion that the skin of the strawberry has rounded out due to the bite.

Step 1005

The strawberry looks good, but we want it to look juicier. Select all the components that make up the inside of the strawberry and Convert to a Smart Object.

Step 1006

Double click the Smart Object to edit. On a new clipping layer, paint red over the entire texture. Notice that I've cleaned up the Layers panel by grouping all the texture layers.

Step 1007

Set the Blend Mode to Multiply and the Opacity to 66%.

Step 1008

To further tweak the color, add a Levels Adjustment Layer with the following settings. This may appear extreme, but it's necessary for the next steps.

Step 1009

Save the Smart Object and return to the working document. Make sure the Smart Object is selected, the go to Filter > Filter Gallery, and choose Plastic Wrap under the Artistic Tab. Use the Settings shown.

Step 1010a
Step 1010b

As an additional step, we can add a specular highlight by painting in white areas and using the Blend If sliders in the Layer Styles panel to control the highlight.

Step 1011a
Step 1011b

Lastly, use the same techniques from Section 5 to add Shadows to the Strawberry.

Step 1012

To create the large pieces of chocolate, use the Lasso Tool and select random shapes from the chocolate topping.

Step 1101

Copy and Paste those shapes and Transform (CMD/CTRL + T) them so they appear to be resting on the ground.

Step 1102

Continue doing this until you have a few large pieces around the base of the strawberry.

Step 1103

We will now add some dimension to these pieces. Select the Brush Tool and, on a new layer, use a dark brown color to paint in 'sides' of each chocolate piece.

Step 1104

To make the smaller pieces, just use the Brush Tool set to a smaller size. Start with some initial small dots of color, then add a second, darker color for depth.

Step 1105

Lastly, we'll add shadows to the strawberry and the chocolate pieces. Again, refer toSection 5 of this tutorial to add shadows.

Step 1106

To help establish the ground plane for our half-eaten strawberry, we will add an additional leaf. To do this, make a selection of the existing leaf and Copy and Paste it below the Strawberry.

Step 1107

Convert the leaf to a Smart Object and Transform it into perspective.

Step 1202

Using the techniques from Section 5, manually paint in some shadows.

Step 1203

Lastly, add highlights and shadows to the edges of the leaf. This will give the illusion of thickness to the leaf.

Step 1204

Currently, the transition between the chocolate topping and the bite mark appears too sharp. To clean this up, we'll square off the edge of the chocolate. To start, create a new layer and use the Brush Tool to paint in a thick edge.

Step 1301

To create the illusion of cracking, create a new layer and manually paint in cracks using a small, dark brush.

Step 1302

Add a Drop Shadow to give the cracks some depth.

Step 1303a
Step 1303a

Next, create a new clipping layer to the chocolate edge layer. Using a soft brush, paint in shadows and highlights along the edge (using darker and lighter colors). Use the Blur Tool to help soften everything.

Step 1304

Lastly, using a soft brush with a low Opacity, manually paint in some variation of color on the cracked chocolate. Save the Smart Object.

Step 1305

Go back to our working scene and go to File > Place. Select theKitchenScene_01.jpg file to place into our working scene.

Step 1306

Move the new layer below all of our objects and resize (CMD/CTRL + T) and position the image so that the background appears to show just the countertop.Note: We will be blurring this image heavily, so the pixilation at this stage is acceptable.

Step 1402

Next, open the MetalTexture_01.jpg and use the Spot Healing Brush to remove any imperfections.

Step 1403

Use the Rectangle Marquee Tool to select a portion of the texture and Copy and Paste it into our working scene.

Step 1404a
Step 1404b

Convert to Smart Object. Double-click the Smart Object to edit it.

Step 1405

Create a copy of the Background layer and Add Noise. Next, Add the Motion Blurfilter. This will exaggerate the grain of the texture.

Step 1406a
Step 1406b

Next, reduce the Opacity slightly to expose some of the original texture.

Step 1407

Save the Smart Object and go back to our working scene. Transform (CMD/CTRL + T) the new metal texture into perspective under the strawberries.

Step 1408

Move this layer below the Strawberry groups and add a Levels Adjustment Layer to lighten the texture.

Step 1409

Next, make a copy of the Metal Texture layer and add the Noise Filter with the following settings.

Step 1410

Reduce the Opacity to 55%.

Step 1411

Creating reflection can be tricky, especially for organic objects. Instead of spending a lot of time trying to reproduce an accurate reflection, we will use a simple technique to mimic a reflection. Start by selecting the four groups that make up the strawberry rows.

Step 1501

Copy the four layer groups and merge them together to make one layer containing all the strawberries.

Step 1502

Place this layer below the strawberry groups. Change the name to Reflections and apply the Motion Blur filter.

Step 1503a
Step 1503b

Move the Reflections layer down a bit to make it appear like an actual reflection. Set the Blend Mode to Linear Burn and the Opacity to 73%.

Step 1504

Add a Layer Mask and mask out any parts of the reflection that you see fit. I've mainly removed the 'tops' of the reflections.

Step 1505

Next, use a large, soft brush to paint in some white streaks in between the reflections of the strawberries.

Step 1506

Set this layer's Blend Mode to Overlay and the Opacity to around 58%.

Step 1507

Lastly, sample colors from the leaves. On a new layer, paint in a harder reflection under the leaves of each strawberry using a soft brush.

Step 1508

Set the Blend Mode to Soft Light.

Step 1509

In the next few steps, we will create a custom Depth Map that we can use to apply additional effects. In this case, our depth map will be an alpha map with each element shaded gray, according to the distance of that object to the focal point. To start, make a copy of the four strawberry groups.

Step 1601

Right-Click each group and select Merge Group. We should be left with four layers that represent each row of strawberries.

Step 1602

Start with Row 4 and adjust the Levels (CMD/CTRL + L) until the strawberries turn white.

Step 1603

Do the same with the next row. However, use the Levels to make this a light gray.

Step 1604

Continue working backwards until each row is a darker gray than the one before.

Step 1605

On a new layer below all of the strawberries, paint in black on the top half of our scene and 50% gray on the bottom half.

Step 1606

We now need to add a focal point. We will be using white to define the focal point. Using a large, soft brush, paint in a white spot on the ground plane, behind the strawberry layers.

Step 1607

Use a dark gray color and paint in darker areas around the edges of the ground plane. The effect should be a radial gradient on the ground plane.

Step 1608

Go through each layer of strawberries and add a clipping layer. Painting with white and dark gray, shade each strawberry so that they appear lighter the closer they are to the focal point, and darker the further out they are. Notice that I've made the face of the 'screaming' strawberry lighter, as we want that to be a focal point as well. We now have a custom Depth Map. The next step will explain how to convert this to an Alpha Map.

Step 1609a
Step 1609b

Select All (Ctl + A) and Copy Merged (Shift + CMD/CTRL + C). This will copy a flattened version of our scene to the clipboard. Now, go to the Channels panel and click on the Create New Channel icon. Paste (CMD/CTRL + V) the selection to this channel. We now have a custom Alpha Map.

Step 1610

The next few steps will focus on adding some additional effects to our scene. Start by hiding the Alpha Map group. Now, go into the strawberry group and add a new clipping layer to Row 4. Set this layer's Blend Mode to Overlay and use a light blue brush to paint in some highlights around the edges of each strawberry.

Step 1701

Repeat this for the other rows.

Step 1702

Since we plan on adding text to the bottom of our scene, we need to lighten that area up a bit. Use a large, soft brush and paint in white towards the bottom of our scene. Set this layer's Blend Mode to Linear Dodge (Add).

Step 1703

Adjust the Blend If sliders (accessed in the Layer Styles panel) to pull out some of the grain through the white highlight.

Step 1704

On a new layer, use the same brush with a dark brown color and paint around the corners and edges of our canvas.

Step 1705

Give this layer a Gaussian Blur and set the Blend Mode to Multiply. Reduce theOpacity as needed. This will give us a nice, subtle vignette.

Step 1706

Next, we are going to use the Depth Map to add depth-of-field to our scene. To start, select the top most layer in our scene and press Shift + CMD/CTRL + Alt + E to paste a merge copy to a new layer.

Step 1707

With our merged copy select, go to Filter > Blur > Lens Blur. Use the settings shown. Make sure to select our custom Alpha Map as the Source.

Step 1708

Next, we will add adjustment layers that use the custom Alpha map to apply the effect. Go to the Channels panel and CMD/CTRL-click the Alpha Map's thumbnail to select.

Step 1709

Next, go back to the Layers Panel and add the Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer. Since we have an active selection on our canvas, the Adjustment Layer will automatically apply a mask using the selection as reference. Click on the Mask's thumbnail and press CMD/CTRL + I to invert the Mask.

Step 1710

Select the effect's thumbnail to pull up the properties in the Properties panel. Adjust the Saturation and Lightness in order to make our focal point pop more. Feel free to play around with the different adjustment layers, using the custom alpha map to selectively apply the effects.

Step 1711

The last thing I want to do is to make everything a little grittier. Select the Merge Layers layer and Convert to a Smart Object. Now, go to Filter > Pixelate > Mezzotint. Use the settings shown.

Step 1712

After you hit ok, go to the Layers panel and Double-click the slider icon on the smart filter that was applied to the layer. Reduce the Opacity to about 6% to scale back the effect.

Step 1713

Before we save our document, we need to adjust the color mode to CMYK for the printer. Go to Image > Mode > CMYK Color. Now, we can save our document as a JPG (make sure to set the Quality to 12).

Step 1714

Open InDesign and create a new document. Use the Presets to select an 8.5 x 11 portrait layout. Set the Margins to 1.0 inch and the Bleeds to.25 inches all the way around.

Step 1801

Go to File > Place (CMD/CTRL + D) and select the JPG we just saved.

Step 1802

Click on the document to place the image.

Step 1803

In the Layers panel, Rename Layer 1 to Images and click the empty box next to the left to lock that layer's contents.

Step 1804

Next, click on the Create New Layer icon and name this one Text.

Step 1805

Select the Type Tool and draw out a text box over the bottom thirds of our image. Start from the left margin and end it at the bottom-right.

Step 1806

Set the typeface to Myriad Pro Semibold at 26pt and type in the phrase below.

Step 1807

Highlight the text and set the justification to Align Center. Hold Alt and drag down a copy of the text box.

Step 1808

At this point, you can resize the text boxes so they do not overlap. This will make it easier to select either text box.

Step 1810

Select the text in the second box and change the Font Size to 13 pt and type in an address.

Step 1811

To change the color of the font, first go to the Swatches panel and selectblack. Click on the flyout menu and select New Tint. Set the Tint to 75%.

Step 1812

Highlight the website and click on the new tint swatch to change the color.

Step 1813

Lastly, look over the slogan and adjust the kerning as needed. To adjust the kerning, place your cursor in between a pair of letters that require adjusting (in this case, the "f" and "e" in "Life"). Use Alt + Left/Right Arrows to reduce/increase the spacing.

Step 1814

To save your ad out for a printer, go to File > Adobe PDF Preset and choose one of the presets (for print ads, I prefer to use High Quality Print).

Choose your location to save. On the Export Adobe PDF dialogue box that pops up, go to the Marks and Bleeds tab and check Crop MarksRegistration Marks, and Use Document Bleed Settings. Click Export and you're done.

Step 1816

This tutorial has covered several techniques that helped us to create a polished print ad. We've created a template to help us build a better scene, manipulated 3D renderings to provide variety, and used photos to help embellish our scene. Hopefully, you'll find a few techniques in this tutorial that you can use on your next project.

Strawberry Ad


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