This is a single Photoshop vector layer. No bitmaps are used in the document.
Due to the slightly stupid method used, the PSD is a bit slow. So if you’re going to check it out, expect long delays.
about 1 year ago
Haha. That’s just the copy protection, built into the PSD. You think I’m giving you the source, but I’m not really.
Here’s how it was done.
1. Open up a photo of the Mona Lisa.
2. Scale to exactly 10× the final size (4000×3000 pixels).
3. Convert to greyscale.
4. Create a halftone with a dot size of 10px and 90º angle.
5. Select the white areas using the channels panel.
6. Use Make Work Path in the paths panel.
7. Create a gradient layer using the converted path.
8. Scale back down to 400×300.
It works because paths that only take up a portion of a pixel are antialiased. In theory, it should be possible to create a far better greyscale image that I've done here. I was going to draw it all by hand, which would have meant I could control the exact percentage the vector path filled each pixel. Easy to do, but would have taken a very, very long time. So, I opted for a dirtier method, but at least I didn't have to create the path by hand.
Also, I’m not sure the 10px and 90º angle for the halftone was a good choice. The document is a bit slow to work with, so I didn’t experiment too much with different settings. Ideally, you’d want one circle for each 10×10 area, but that's not how the halftone filter works.
The gradient fill works as you’d expect. The layer style stroke provides the background. A gradient layer style was used to lighten the face.
To speed up working everything out, I converted the vector path back to a bitmap layer — command-click on the vector path to get the alpha data, create a new gradient layer, then create a bitmap mask from the selection. Visually identical, but far, far faster to work with. That let me set up the gradient and styles exactly as they needed to be, without having to wait for Photoshop.
If someone has the time, some of the techniques used for the other 1 layer Dribbble shots could be combined with this technique, giving some pretty crazy single vector layer results.
So much thinking behind this! Just out of interest @Bjango ✎ Marc Edwards on average how much Photoshop experimenting do you do compared to actual paid work?
We don't do work for hire at Bjango, so I guess the question is: How much time do I waste while I could be doing other, more productive things?
A bit, but some of the gains I've made from experimenting have sped up my workflow massively. I think it's important to dedicate some time to learning your tools and trying crazy things.
In particular, using less layers in your Photoshop document can have massive benefits. I'd never do anything like this specific shot, but some of the other tricks used for the 1 Layer shots by myself and others may just shave some serious time or complexity from your next real document.
Having said that, you won't want to lower the number of layers just for the sake of it. The quality of the results should be the first priority.
I definitely agree on attempting to see how far you can push the tools you use. Should schedule some time in to play about. Also on as a side note I can't say how much your articles on your site have helped me and also backed up a few design arguments in the past! Keep 'em coming.
PS - same goes for Skala, perfect iOS design tool.
@Jeff King Thank you :)
Awesome stuff — would never have thought of doing something like this. I love your technique
My english is too bad to describe how I think about this. So I just leave the overused awesome here and add incredible.
Freaking cool! :)
Before I read the description how you did it, I was thinking you were cheating... Sorry. But with the explanation, you did an Awesome job!
And yes, you're right, we must play a lot with our tools to be better and faster.
@Sebastian Hager, @Joachim Löfstedt and @Muhammad El Melegy Thank you.
@Maxime Giguère Yeah. While mostly pointless, some of these tricks have value.
@Jared Sinclair, RN haha "Computer says no" ^-^
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