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Best of the Web - August 2009


This month we have a variety of topics including how to convert normal photos into HDR versions, a 3D Typography tutorial, an icon tutorial and much more. On the other side of things we have a set of amazing vector wallpapers that are sure to be loved by everyone, a new Desktopography release, and as always some great articles that will help all types of artists and designers.

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  • 3D Box Icon Tutorial

    We will start off the tutorial list with a sleek icon. This is a beginner friendly tutorial. It utilizes the most simple tools for creating the box as well as adding the color and shade to it to give it some sense of realism. The original icon comes with papers inside the box, but if you are familiar with icon design, then you can add any of your favorite things inside it and set it as one of your icons. So check this tutorial out.

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  • Scorching Photoshop Effects

    This photo manipulation tutorial from Fabio Sasso is detailed. It shows how to manipulate a stock by adding numerous different filters to it. This tutorial is advanced, but still easy to follow. there are a lot of steps so don't think you can duplicate the look just by adding a picture of fire to it. Layer masks, as well as Layer styles are used to make this look more authentic.

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  • Single Shot HDR Effects

    The tutorial here will show you how to create the HDR style photo effect with only one picture and a few tricks that the author explains. This is an interesting tutorial because usually you would have to take a few shots at different exposures and merge them together to get an HDR effect, but here you will learn how only one picture will be enough to create that effect.

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  • 3D Photoshop Typography

    This typography tutorial shows how to create 3D text in Illustrator, as well as how to give it that glassy transparent look to the text. The author shows you how to bring it into Photoshop and blend the whole thing into one with some simple shapes and patterns. Although the final outcome maybe a little hectic, the tutorial has some interesting techniques for crafting 3D text, so check it out.

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  • Dramatic Lighting

    This tutorial will show how to create proper lighting in any of your illustrations. The author demonstrates these lighting techniques by first creating a scene with a desert and city stock and after it is merged a beam of light is added. Different Filters are used as well as Curves and Layer Styles to enhance the look of the whole piece, this is more on the simple side so the novices should check it out and learn some of the basics in this tutorial.

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  • Painting Drows Vs Goblins

    Here we have a very nice and detailed digital painting tutorial. You can never have enough of these because with painting there are so many ways of approaching an illustration and experimentation is the best. The author includes some tips and brush settings to bring the whole painting together. At the end the author sums up all the important points of a painting, so if anything make sure to check that part out.

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(FREE!) Download Picks

  • 20 Awesome Wallpapers

    This freebie is an enormous pack of 20 top quality vector wallpapers. Each wallpaper has a vibrant color scheme and the vector work is top notch, we couldn't ask for anything more. The topics in the wallpapers range from colorful characters to pigeons wearing sneakers. So check this pack out, I'm sure you will like at least one of the wallpapers.

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  • Desktopography Wallpaper Pack

    Desktopography is known for having some of the best graphic designers out right now create amazing wallpapers for their annual packs. Well its that time of the year again and 2009's pack is the best one yet. Artists include Chris Haines, Zach Bush, Craig Shields, and many more extremely talented designers.

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  • Classic Fonts That Will Last A Whole Design Career

    This font pack is an essential part of any designer arsenal. These classic fonts can pretty much fit in anywhere you want them too. Included in this pack are some fonts like Helvetica, Din, Gothic, and much more. These fonts are versatile and can be used for almost anything.

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  • East Coast Textures

    The first texture set we are featuring today is a set of rugged and grungy textures taken on the east coast of Canada. The author was traveling that area and took some high-res pictures that can now be used to add some life to your illustrations. The textures are huge. Each is about 3000px wide so you do not have to worry about distortion. These 8 textures cover a range of colors and characteristics, so check them out.

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  • Denim Texture

    Our second set of textures come from the folks at Bittbox. They have done it again with another original texture, this week it was denim. There
    aren't a lot of denim textures on the net that is why this one is so interesting, so check this out and try to
    incorporate it into one of your projects.

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  • Wooden Fence Wordpress Theme

    And the last freebie of the month is for all the bloggers out there. This is a nicely made fence theme wordpress template. If this theme suites your blog then download it now because it is compatible with widgets, as well as every internet browser of importance.

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  • How much to charge?

    One of the age old questions for freelance designers is what is the right price to charge for my work? We have featured tons of insight on this topic and since it
    couldn't hurt to get another opinion here is some more. The author of this article takes quotes from different executives form large corporations like AIG, and shows their opinion on the

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  • Experts Critique Business Logos

    Newsweek recently posted an article about some of the most seen logos in the world. It includes the all popular Firefox, the Digg logo, craigslist and so forth. In this article experts on logo design proceed to critique and point out what could be better in these logos. For all the logo designers out there this is a must read because it shows you what the experts feel is good and isn't good in a logo.

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  • Marketing Rules for Freelancers

    Working on your own is a hard thing to do. The author points out principles that help freelancers land a job. Branding, as well as what to charge is included in this article. So if you are currently freelancing and are having trouble landing some work then read this article maybe the tips will help you.

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  • Beautiful Typographic Art

    Typography can be used to create countless types of illustrations. And this article gathers up some of the best pieces to give us some inspiration to create more typographic work. The styles in this post range from creating typographic faces to just crafty typography on a magazine.

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  • Top Linked Design Articles

    This is an important article that everyone should at least skim through. It runs down the most linked to pages of top design blogs. Many different topics are covered as well. It is an ultimate web roundup of Freebies, articles, tutorials, inspiration and more.

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  • Social Networking Communities for Designers

    Since Myspace first came on the scene social networking websites started to explode on to the internet. They then expanded and branched out into various different topics, and out of that came these websites that are specifically for graphic designers. So if you are a fan of social networks and like interacting with other designers then check this list out.

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  • Ways to Save Money

    We all should read this because who hasn't gone a little crazy with their money once or twice. Especially in this recession we all need to save a little more and this article shows us how we can do that with our web business by cutting expenses. There are a few good methods that are sure to work, so read this article and apply it to your business.

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