CREATE RAD ALBUM ART FROM PHOTOS: A Tutorial

Hi, and welcome to this tutorial! I created this assignment because this project was really fun to do, and I want you to see how fun it is to play with filters and layers. This tutorial is for Photoshop, although you can create your own album art in any photo editing software. I created this tutorial so that you could see how I created my rad album art, but this is only one of many, many ways to complete this project. When you get into Photoshop, you might discover some other neat tricks to create a cool design piece!

Let’s get started with this version though:

1. Open up the photos you want to use in Photoshop

2. Create a new file and set it to a big canvas size. I made mine square and set the background to black.

I usually set the resolution to 150 ppi or 300 ppi to start with, but I think I left it at 72 ppi for this project since I made the width and height large. We can always save it as a smaller file when we export.

3. Use the polygonal lasso tool and start clicking around your people to select them. Then go to ‘Select’ in the menu and hit ‘Inverse.’ Finally, hit backspace and click OK.

The polygonal lasso tool is the third thing from the top in the side menu.

4. Your picture will now be a pattern of people! Copy/paste to your new file.

5. Click on ‘Adjustments’ and make a new Selective Color layer. Make it red-ish.

6. Right click your image layer and duplicate it. Move it over to the left edge, and copy/paste your friend’s head to sit over to the right a tad.

She needed some breathing room. Ahh, better.

6. Make another Selective Color layer. This time, set it to ‘Hard Mix’ in the layers panel.

7. Still have your photos open? Good. Go back to the original photo and go to ‘Filter’ > ‘Filter Gallery’ > ‘Cutout.’

8. Make a new Selective Color layer and mess around with the colors. I made mine blue and deleted the areas that weren’t blue or black.

9. Copy/paste to your file. You know, while we’re at it, let’s copy/paste some red and yellow from one of the color layers and stick it in the right corner. Yeah, that looks nice.

10. Remember all that stuff we did to make a pattern? Yeah, do that to your other friend. The one you forgot about in this tutorial.

11. Copy/paste to your file and use the polygonal lasso tool to cut out some of your friend. (Make rectangular selections and delete them).

12. Almost Done! Let’s make some text layers to go with our design.

I chose Saira Stencil One for “MANIC,” and ITC Avant Garde Gothic Pro for “HARTS.” Set the text to white, and adjust the size and placement of the text until it looks good.

13. That’s a nice band name! How about an album title?

Use ITC Avant Garde Gothic Pro for “INTO THE NIGHT.” (All of the words are on separate layers). Go to ‘Layer Style’ and create a yellow stroke on each of your album title text layers. Drag the ‘INTO’ layer down to sit underneath your friend layer so that it sits into the negative space you created.

14. Done! You now have some rad album art! Go show your friends your tubular creation!

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