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ATPM 3.03
March 1997



How To


Wishful Thinking

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Art Department

by Jamal Ghandour,

Creation of the ATPM Splash Screen

Everyone has a designer inside of them. ATPM wants to release the designer in you.

This section is designed to make working with computer graphics software easier. It will show you how to achieve marvelous results in a few steps (or shall we say clicks?). Hopefully, this will give you more time to design your graphics and take less time to actually do them.

My name is Jamal Ghandour. My goal is to guide you through doing anything from a simple tracing of a logo to full-fledged 3D animations. As you probably know, there are a million ways to acheive the same effect using computer software. So, what I will demonstrate are, to my knowledge, the best and easiest ways, but by no means are they the only ones.

I must say that after all my years of work, very little impresses me. However, ATPM's high quality did just that. I am proud to join the ATPM staff. The people here are "simply the best!"

A special "thanx" goes to Michael, Robert, my colleagues at CSS&GREY, Kuwait (you know who you are), to those of you for whom space and time prevent specific mention (but I mean every single one of you), but I'd especially like to thank my wife, who always gives me the will to go on.

Enough chat, let's get down to work!

Since this is the first installment, I will keep it simple. Remember, your input will determine how complex this section becomes. This month, I will walk you through how I did the ATPM splash screen in Adobe Photoshop 4.0.

  1. I opened a new document with the following dimensions: 393x266 pixels at 72 dpi. (Found File>New)

  2. I chose colors for the Background and Foreground.(e.g., Light Blue and Navy Blue)

  3. I used the "clouds" filter. (Found Filter>Render>Clouds)

  4. The desired effect was achieved, but the edges were hard. So, I used Gaussian Blur to soften the edges. (Found Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur)

  5. Next I used the Noise effect to give it a stylish look. (Found Filter>Noise>Add noise)

    [a2 graphic]
  6. The background was now nearly ready, only a few steps to go. First, I selected the white color.

    Here's a nice tip to get basic colors (e.g., black or white): press "x" on the keyboard.

    I set the brush opacity to 30%. Then, using the shift key, I drew white lines on the sides.

  7. I repeated step 6, except I used black color for the other sides.

  8. With the background finished, all that remained was to get the elements. So, I opened Matt Sanders's splash screen. Here I would like to thank Matt for his excellent work. He can be contacted at <> .

  9. Matt put the elements on a white background, so it was a fairly simple matter to take them out (also called "dropping out" in graphic artists' jargon). I just clicked on the white background with the Magic Wand tool and inversed the selection (I must stress here that inversing the selection is completely different from inverting the image in the selection).

    [a3 graphic]
  10. After selection, I copied the elements to a new layer on the freshly made background.

  11. I typed in white text "About The Personal Computing Experience" on the same layer. Our logo was also added to the same layer.

  12. Now all that remained was to give all the elements on the new layer a soft shadow.

  13. This is fairly simple. First, I made a copy of the layer.

    Hint: an easy way to do this is to drag the layer to the page icon on the layers pallette.

    [a4 graphic]
  14. Now comes a tricky part. First, I chose black as the foreground color, then chose "Fill" (or press shift-delete). It is very important to make sure of the following:

    a) Under Contents > you have "Foreground Color" selected b) Opacity is set to 100% c) Mode is set to normal d) Preserve Trancperancy is selected!

    Then, I pressed "OK."

  15. I now had a copy of my layer all in black. I placed this black layer underneath the original elements layer.

    [a5 graphic]
  16. Using the Cross tool, I adjusted the offset of the shadow.

  17. As a final "tweak," I used Gaussian blur on the black layer to give it a soft shadow effect.

  18. Voila! The splash screen is ready.

[a6 graphic]

Please feel free to e-mail me with any questions, inquires or comments at

[apple graphic] Software: Adobe Photoshop 4.0
Hardware: PowerMac 9500/180 MP, 256 RAM, 8 GB array hardisk

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