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4.3 Materials and Creases

Not all packaging designs are printed onto matte, non-textured surfaces. With a little bit of know-how, you can superimpose your designs onto a wide variety of materials, such as fabric, glass, leather, and crumpled card. Here we’ll look at how to make a simple label mockup.

4.3 Materials and Creases

Hi guys. So far we've accomplished quite a lot. We've edited a pre-prepared mock up template for a set of cosmetics, developed a chocolate packaging market from scratch, and also created a magazine mockup to help showcase the chocolate brand. In this lesson we're going to look at another aspect of creating mock ups. And it's one that we've actually already tackled in a different project. Remember when we gave our chocolate bar packaging a plastic cut out? For that part of the lesson we worked on imitating the texture of plastic by creating sheeny highlights. And brought in some subtle shadowing to show how the plastic would sit below the card exterior of the packet. Whatever product you're trying to mock up, it's going to feature a particular material. So for example, our magazine spread would have been printed on glossy coated paper, so we added highlights to give it a high gloss look. You might use a similar technique to imitate the high gloss effect of a spot varnish or the smoothness of a glass surface like a bottle or shop window. Products are made from all sorts of different materials such as wood, plastic, metal, paper, and textiles. With a few simple techniques you can help your artwork to feel at one with the material of the item it's printed onto. Let's take a look at a simple, yet effective, example. In the resources provided for this lesson you'll find a PNG logo file of the Swiss Chocolate brand that we've been building our mock ups for. So download the provided image and save it somewhere you can easily find it on your computer. For this project we'll be grafting the logo onto a stock photo image. You can head over to PhotoDune and find this image for a blank paper label on a white background. The link's written out here, so you can pause the video and type the link into your browser. Or you can find the link in the stock image list that I provided at the beginning of the course. You're going to want to have a reasonably high quality image to work with, so make sure to download the image at least a medium size. So thus, your second job. Download the stock image and save it to the same folder in which you've saved the PNG logo image. Okay, awesome, I think we're ready to start. So first things first, we want to open up the blank label photo in Photoshop. Now if you pick the right image in the first place, it's going to do a lot of the work for you when you want to create the illusion of natural materials and texture in your mockup. Photos are sometimes better than vector files for creating mockups with lots of texture. And these tend to have more natural shadows, creases, and imperfections, compared to a digital vector image. This image is perfect as it looks really natural. It's got lots of textures and creases and it's also a slight angle which makes it look more naturally posed. You've also got the bonus of a white background, so if you want to integrate this into a bigger mockup with other products, you've got more flexibility to do that. Okay so, the next step is simply to head up to file and place. Choose the chocolate logo image and place. And resize the image and rotate it to fit nicely onto the label And then hit Enter to place it. Okay. So now we need to get the positioning of the logo looking more natural to the perspective of the label. So to do this head up to Edit, Transform, and choose Distort. And then pull the corners of the image to match the angle of the label. And try and wind them up with the edges of the label as a guide for getting the right perspective. Okay, awesome, now goes to Edit, Transform, and Warp. And we can use this to subtly pull at the anchor points to mimic the undulation of the labels creases beneath. So, just try to get a feel for how the logo would sink and expand, depending on where it sat on the label. Head over to the layers panel and apply a multiply blending mode and reduce the opacity to 90%. One thing that's really going to help integrate the logo with the material, and make it appear more natural, is to add a bit of noise, which is going to give it the grainy texture that you get on some materials like paper. So head up to Filter, Noise and choose Median and set the radius to about 3 pixels. And click OK. And then we want to go back again to the Filter menu and Noise again. But this time go for Add Noise. Set the amount about 28% and make sure the distribution is set to uniform. Okay. Cool. Now just one more thing which is to add a slight Gaussian blur, our old friend, to the logo by going to Filter, Blur, Gaussian blur. And setting that to a very subtle one. And what this is going to do is soften the edges of the logo very, very slightly and just make it look that bit less digitized. And that's it. A creased paper label complete to our chocolate logo which looks as if it's actually printed onto the material. You can use a very similar process for applying your brand designs to any material. The key is to recognize the key qualities in the material. So is it matte or glossy? Grainy or uniform? Will the design be embossed or bevelled? With any product mock up, the rules are roughly the same. You need to blend the art works the opposite by selecting a suitable blending mode and opacity. And then work on how to imitate material by using a combination of shadows, light, and texture. So I'd really encourage you to practice your mock up designs using a range of materials to get a feel for what works and what doesn't when it comes to imitating the look of certain materials. If you've got your own logo design try mocking it up onto the surface of a bottle, or onto a wooden sign. You'll soon find your own technique for tackling very specific materials and it will quickly become second nature to recognize how you can approach a mock up design for a particular material. In the next lesson, we'll be moving on to a really cool aspect of creating product mock ups, which is how you can integrate human subjects into your designs. This is a really immersive way of presenting your designs and can help to really bring them to life. This will be the final project lesson of the course. So I hope you're ready to dive in and have some more Photoshop fun. I'll see you over there.

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