Valentine’s day is almost upon us, and if you’re thinking of doing something nice for someone special, why not follow this Pixelmator tutorial and make an adorable card with a heart made of ribbons.
The final product:
Here is what you will be able to create by the end of this tutorial. Romantic indeed. So let’s get started.
Create a new document of size 1024 x 768px. We are using this size to keep the final file size small, but feel free to use your own dimensions.
Open the Shapes panel (in the main menu, choose View, and then Show Shapes). Next we will select the heart shape, which comes standard with Pixelmator.
Paste the shape onto a new layer, and enlarge it evenly by holding down Shift and dragging one of the corner handles. Next set the Fill to None, and Stroke to Black colour and 2px size. You should now have the outline of a heart shape on your canvas.
Great, now let’s start to fill our heart shape with our ribbons. You’ll notice we achieve a 3D effect with the ribbons. This is simply achieved by clever placement of shapes and the use of 3 shades of the same colour to give it depth. Let’s do this step by step.
Make sure that the heart outline is below any of the new shapes we create. We are going to remove this outline at the end, so don’t worry about it too much.
First, we’ll start with the most prominent / front layer of ribbons. Start by selecting the standard rectangle shape from the toolbar and start adding wide rectangles. You can angle them and fit them to the outline of the heart. We showed you how to add and edit shapes in Pixelmator Tip #22.
Firstly add a rectangle and stretch it to the size you require. Set the colour of the rectangle to a nice bright red #fb143a.
To rotate it, we need to enable Free Transform mode (CMD+F), and you’ll notice the cursor changes once you go outside the shape handles. Drag the mouse to change the angle of the shape (note – hold down Shift let’s you change the angle in increments).
Once the rectangle is angled, the next step is to fit the ends to the outline of the heart shape. Right-click on the shape and choose Make Editable. Move the shape handles one by one to meet the outline of the heart, and if there are gaps where the rectangle doesn’t meet the heart shape, just add a new point and move this point to meet the outline.
Once you are happy with the first rectangle, continue adding more at different angles, and also feel free to vary the shape of the rectangles. This will give it a more realistic effect of ribbon wrapped around a shape.We added in a total of 6 rectangles, and all various angles and shapes, but fitted to the heart shape outline. This forms the outer layer of ribbons. In the layers panel, we grouped these rectangles together and called it Outer Shapes.
Now we are going to repeat the same process of adding rectangles with a few changes to add in our middle layer of ribbons.
Firstly make sure the colour of the rectangles in our middle layer is set to a slightly darker red #ce1d1b.
Next make sure that this set of rectangles is below our Outer Shapes group in the layers panel, this will help achieve the 3D effect.
Finally, angle the rectangles, so that the ends meets the ends of the rectangles in the Outer Shapes group. This will again give the effect of ribbons wrapped around a shape. There shouldn’t be any rectangles that don’t meet at the heart outline, if there are, then this would look wrong.
We added in 5 rectangles in this step as you can see below, grouped them together in the layers panel and called the group Middle Shapes.
We are going to add in our final set of rectangles to really finish off the 3D effect. This set of rectangles will be below the Outer Shapes and Middle Shapes groups.
We’ll set the colour of these rectangles to an even darker red #a60f1a.
Following the same steps as before, add in the final rectangles, make sure they meet the ends of the rectangles in the previous groups, and that they are also lined up with the heart shape outline.
We added in 5 rectangles in total, and grouped them in the layers panel called Inner Shapes.
With some final tweaks, we can finally remove the heart outline to get our heart made of ribbons. Great, it already looks awesome.
A card isn’t a card without some greetings. We added our simple “Be My Valentine” greeting directly below our heart of ribbons using the Jane Austen font from DaFont.
To finish off the card, we need to make it look like a greeting card.
Firstly we selected the 3 groups (Outer Shapes, Middle Shapes, and Inner Shapes) and merged them together. This converts all the shapes into a pixel format and into a single layer.
Next add in a layer below the heart of ribbons and the greeting text. Call this your background layer. Using the paint bucket, fill the background with a simple grey #ebebeb.
This gives us a nice vignette and a great greeting card effect.
The final step is to add a nice texture/pattern to our heart of ribbons to finish off our valentines card.
Add in a layer above all other layers in the layers panel and set the Blending mode to Multiply. The blending mode will effectively blend the texture layer with the layers below it i.e. heart of ribbons and the greeting text.
Copy and paste your texture/pattern onto this layer. We choose Diagonal Noise from Subtle Patterns. Fill the layer with the texture/pattern using the Affine Tile effect from the Effects panel. We showed you how to do this in Pixelmator Tip #20.
The diagonal noise pattern looks great and give you a simple but effective greeting card made with Pixelmator.
It even looks great with a simple crumpled paper texture we found on Deviant Art.
We hope you have fun creating your own valentines cards.
We’d love to see how you got on with this tutorial, and what you guys come up with, so feel free to share them by commenting on this post.